Allah’s name Al-Jameel— The Most Beautiful— is not mentioned in the Quran, but occurs in a narration of the Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Al-Jameel is the one who is the most beautiful and the source of all beauty to be found in creation. He is perfect and most beautiful in His essence, attributes, and actions!
The Most Beautiful, the Source of Beauty
Jameel comes from the root jeem-meem-laam which points to three main meanings. The first main meaning is to be beautiful, gracious, and good, and the second main meaning is to be all at once. The third main meaning refers to a camel.
This root appears 11 times in the Quran in five derived forms. Examples of these forms are al-jamalu (“the camel”), jumlatan (“all at once”) and jameelan (“good, gracious”).
Linguistically, jameel is used to indicate something or someone who or which possesses attributes of beauty, in either their appearance, character or actions. Jameel can therefore be used for a human being, for example hiya jameelah – she is beautiful.
Human beings can look good, but their inner attributes may not be beautiful at all. Others might not look beautiful, but display beauty in their actions and good deeds. Only Allah is Al-Jameel, most beautiful in essence, names, and attributes and actions. And only He is the true source of all the beauty of the creation!
The Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty. [Muslim]
The beauty of Allah
Human beings are naturally attracted by beauty and we look for it in people and objects. All the beauty of this world is nothing compared to the beauty of the Creator Himself, and the beauty of others all comes from Him and His power alone. Let’s look at three ways in which the beauty of Allah is demonstrated.
Firstly. jamaal az-zaat, Allah Himself is beauty. Al-Jameel covers Himself with a veil and the creation is incapable to perceive the beauty and light of His appearance. The Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: His is a veil of light. If He were to remove it, the glory of His countenance would ignite everything of Creation as He looks upon it. [Muslim]
The greatest of delights of the Hereafter is that the successful believers will be able to see His beauty. Al-Jameel says: That day will faces be resplendent, looking to their Lord. [Quran, 79: 22-23] In fact, for the people of the Hellfire their very inability to see Allah ‘azza wa jall even increases their suffering and torment.
Secondly, jamaal as-sifaat, all Allah’s names and attributes are perfect and beautiful. Al-Jameel says: Allah’s are the most beautiful names, so invoke Him by them. [Quran, 7: 180]
Thirdly, jamaal al af’al, Allah ‘azza wa jall has utmost beauty in all His actions. All His actions testify of His perfectly timed and proportioned mercy, justice, wisdom, protection etc. Al-Jameel says: Perfected is the Word of your Lord in truth and justice. [Quran, 6:115]
How Can You Live by This Name?
1. Take care of your appearance.
Someone once approached the Prophet and asked: What if someone likes that his clothing and his shoes are beautiful? The Prophet replied: Allah loves to see the affects of His grace upon His servant. [At-Tirmidhee] Al-Jameel provided us with clothes and adornments and He loves to see the external beauty of His slaves, because they reflect His blessings on them. However in looking after our appearance and belongings, we should never be extravagant!
There is a commendable and a blameworthy type of beauty in outward appearance. You can make any act of beautifying yourself as an act of worship if you do it for the sake of Allah. Examples of beautifying yourself for the sake of Allah are: dressing beautifully in prayer, to (privately) please your spouse or actually concealing your beauty, by wearing the proper hijaab and by observing cleanliness. Then there is beautification for the sake of this world, for power, pride or showing off, which is blameworthy. Go for the commendable to gain rewards!
2. Strive for inner beauty.
The Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was not only beautiful in his looks but also in his character and manners. An example of inner beauty is being grateful to Al-Jameel for His blessings and beautifying your deeds by seeking His pleasure only with them. Allah says: O Children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover yourselves (screen your private parts, etc.) and as an adornment, and the raiment of righteousness, that is better. [Quran, 7:26]
Spend more time on beautifying yourself on the inside rather than only beautifying your outside, for example by purifying your heart of diseases like jealousy, ill-feelings, showing off, and hypocrisy. This will also have an effect on your outside appearance! Beautify your tongue with the truth and beautify your limbs and actions with obedience to Al-Jameel.
3. Beware of the trial of beauty.
The Prophet Yusuf ‘alayhi sallam was given half of all human beauty [Muslim], and beauty can be a trial for us from Al-Jameel. Does it make you arrogant or do you realize it is only temporary and you are grateful for it to Al-Jameel, without letting it get in the way of your worship? When you see something or someone beautiful, always remember the source of this beauty is Allah. You can say tabaarakAllah– this is also a means to prevent the works of the evil eye.
4. Never praise excessively.
Mention of a man was made to the Prophet sallallahu ’alayhi wa sallam and someone praised him whereupon he sallallahu ’alayhi wa sallam said: Woe be to you! You have broken the neck of your friend! He repeated this several times and added: If one of you has to praise his friend at all, he should say: I reckon him to be such and such and Allah knows him well, if you think him to be so-and-so, you will be accountable to Allah because no one can testify the purity of others against Allah. [Al-Bukhaari, Muslim].
This hadith teaches us that if you have to praise someone at all, say: “In my opinion he or she is such and such, if you really think as you say as it is only Allah ‘azza wa jall who thoroughly knows the person.”
5. Be motivated by Allah’s beauty.
Your faith in Allah’s beauty will increase your connection with Him; just imagine how beautiful Allah must be. Be bedazzled by a beautiful sunset as a blessing from Him and let it increase your love and longing for Him, but always remind yourself that nothing in this world can weigh up to gazing at His countenance in Paradise. So strive for your Hereafter by doing good deeds and fight shaytan by remembering Al-Jameel consistently, as he wants to keep you away from the beauty of Jannah!
O Allah, Al-Jameel, we know that You are the most Beautiful. Adorn us with inner and outer beauty. Make us never forget that You are the source of all beauty and let us be grateful for all Your blessings. Enable us to gaze at Your beauty and make us of those who will become more and more beautiful with each day in Paradise, ameen!
Wallahu ta’alaa ‘alem.
The Understand Quran Academy Team