Human Beauty in the Garden
One of the greatest delights in this world is human beauty. If a person lives in a wonderful house, eats the finest food and goes on holiday to the most wonderful places, the pleasure he takes from these things will be limited if he is alone. All these only have meaning if they are shared with others. Allah has breathed spirit into the human being and he is of value because of his worship of Allah, obedience and character. If perfect physical beauty accompanies these qualities, the blessing becomes complete, and is something that everyone can appreciate.
Here is a hadith in which human beauty in the Garden is described:
The maidens of the Garden are like ruby and coral. One looks at one maiden’s face and sees himself even more clearly than he would in a mirror, and the smallest jewel therein will illuminate the east and the west. (Ahmad Diya ad-Din al-Kamushkhanawi, Ramuz al-Ahadith, vol. 2, p. 337/7)
The Messenger of Allah compared the beauty of the maidens of the Garden to rubies and beautiful natural things like coral. The beauty of their smooth skin and the brightness of their faces are described as being clearer than when a person looks at himself in the mirror.
In this world, the firmness of the skin lasts a very short time. The smooth beauty of young skin ages and becomes worn out and it gains wrinkles from the problems associated with age. Therefore, such beauty in this world is transient. However, Allah promises those slaves who please Him perfect and endless beauty in the Garden. The Messenger of Allah said that beauty and youth will continue in the Garden:
The inhabitants of the Garden will be hairless on their bodies, beardless and blackeyed; their youth will not end, nor will their clothes become old. (Narrated by Abu Hurayra, at-Tirmidhi)
The inmates of the Garden will be beardless and hairless. Their colour will be white and their eyes anointed with kohl. They will be youths of thirty-three years of age. (Imam Ghazzali, Ihya Ulum ad-Din, vol. 4)
Whoever enters the Garden will be in bliss and suffer no distress; his clothes will not wear out nor will his youth end. (Narrated by Abu Hurayra, Sahih Muslim)
He also says in the hadith that the eyes of the People of the Garden will be dark as if lined with kohl. Kohl makes the colour and shape of the eye stand out. In this world, people try to attain this beauty by artificial means but it can never be perfect; in the afterlife, it will be a natural attribute of believers.
We also notice that both Allah in the Qur’an and the Messenger in his hadith speak about the sweet nature of women in the Garden. In another verse of the Qur’an Allah tells us of the people in the Garden and the beauty of their environment and of the maidens there:
In them are sweet, lovely maidens. (Surat ar- Rahman: 70)
In another hadith, the beauty of the people in the Garden is described thus:
… Each maiden has seventy sets of clothing, all of different colours. Likewise, each is given seventy different scents... Each maiden has seventy thousand female servants and seventy thousand male servants to serve and attend to her needs. Each servant is accompanied by golden trays with different foods, in which believers will find new flavours not found in the one before… (Mukhtasar Tadhkirah al- Qurtubi, p. 333/591)
In many hadith the Prophet described the beauty of the faces of the People of the Garden and even said that this beauty will increase:
In the Garden there is a market to which they will come every Friday. The north wind will blow and will scatter fragrance on their faces and on their clothes and add to their goodness and beauty, and then they will go back to their wives who will also have increased in goodness and beauty, and their wives will say to them: “By Allah, you have increased in goodness and beauty after leaving us,” and they will say: “By Allah, you have also increased in goodness and beauty after us.” (Narrated by Anas ibn Malik, Sahih Muslim)
Another hadith mentions the bright faces of the women in the Garden:
If one of the women of the Garden peeped into this world, she would illuminate and fill with fragrance everything between [heaven and earth]. Her veil is better than the earth and everything in it. (Imam Ghazzali, Ihya Ulum ad-Din, vol. 4; Sahih al-Bukhari)
When asked what the beauty described in the hadith was like, the famous scholar, Bediuzzaman, answered:
Its meaning is truly beautiful and its beauty is most lovely. It is like this: in this world, which is ugly, inanimate, lifeless, and for the most part just a husk, beauty and loveliness only appear beautiful to the eye, and so long as familiarity is not an obstacle, that is sufficient. Whereas in the Garden, which is beautiful, living, brilliant, and entirely essence without husk and kernel without shell, like the eye, all man’s senses and subtle faculties will want to receive their different pleasures and various delights from the houris [maidens of the Garden],… and from the women of this world, who will be like houris and even more beautiful… That is to say, just as the houris are clothed in seventy of the varieties of the adornments of the Garden, and not just one sort, none of which conceal the others; so they display beauty and loveliness perhaps seventy times greater than their own bodies and beings, all of different sorts and varieties. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur Collection, The Words, The Twenty-Eighth Word)
The Beauty and Variety of Clothing in the Garden:
Everyone likes to wear fine clothing of quality fabrics, and the various colours of the beautiful clothing of the Garden will appeal to all the people there. No matter how fine clothing is in this world, there will always be some imperfection. In time, all clothing becomes old, its colours fade and the wearer loses the pleasure he had when he first wore it. How much clothing a person has in this world is not important, because the pleasure he derives from it is limited by his lifespan, among other things. Like all other things, this too is left behind at the time of death. However, clothing in the Garden is flawless in its beauty and variety and lasts forever.
The clothing of the people of the Garden is created for their comfort. The clothing they wear will not cause them any discomfort in the perfect beauty of the Garden. In the Garden, clothing does not fade, wrinkle, become soiled or grow old as it does in this world, and there are no preparatory stages such as weaving the fabric and sewing the garment. By Allah’s blessing, everything in the Garden is already perfectly prepared. Here are some more details about the clothing believers will wear in the Garden:
… The garments of the Garden are not woven. The fruits of the Garden split open and garments emerge from them… (Mukhtasar Tadhkirah al-Qurtubi, p. 21) Whoever enters the Garden will live in happiness. He will want for nothing, his clothing will not grow old and his youth will not end. (Imam Ghazzali, Ihya Ulum ad-Din, vol. 4)
…the leaves [of the date-palms in the Garden] are clothing to be worn by the people of the Garden. One part are undergarments, one part are lined over-garment. (Mukhtasar Tadhkirah al-Qurtubi, p. 314)
… They [the inmates of the Garden] will proclaim the glory of Allah morning and evening… each wife will have seventy dresses. (Imam Ghazzali, Ihya Ulum ad-Din, vol. 4)
Allah also says in the Qur’an that clothing will be rich and made of silk:
They will wear green garments of fine silk and rich brocade… (Surat al-Insan: 21)
But Allah will admit those who have iman and do right actions into Gardens with rivers flowing under them where they will be adorned with gold bracelets and pearls, and where their clothing will be of silk. (Surat al-Hajj: 23)