We live in a time of incredible focus on physical appearances and image. In our upcoming series Reconstructing Beauty – to be posted every Wednesday for the next five weeks, inshaAllah – some of our best writers here at VirtualMosque.com will be exploring an array of topics related to beauty, image and perception.
Jinan Yousef, author of many of our most popular series, including an ongoing feature on the Names of God, will begin by discussing Divine beauty, beauty from the perspective of the Divine, and the prophetic tradition that teaches us, “God is beautiful and loves beauty.”
In her usual poignant style, Naiyerah Kolkailah will reflect on the personal and larger effects of our perceptions of beauty, and contrast popular standards and expectations of image to those based on religious precepts.
Author and translator Amatullah will offer us glimpses into the lives of some amazing women from the history of our religious tradition, women who perhaps had a different, more spiritually grounded perspective of what a beautiful woman is and should be.
Shazia Ahmad will give a critical analysis of our culture’s fixation on youth and youthfulness, and how this relates to our perceptions of age, maturity and wisdom.
Finally, teacher and upcoming al-Azhar University graduate Muslema Purmul will conclude the series with some profound reflections on modesty and self-awareness, and their connections with gender relations in a Western context.
From popular perceptions of beauty and image to deeper and alternate definitions of what and who can truly be considered beautiful, we hope to begin a deeper discussion on beauty in the Muslim and larger community, and offer an understanding of it renewed and reconstructed.