Essay No. 86:
A Thing Of Beauty Is A Joy For Ever: It is with reference to Keats’ poem “Endymion”. This explains about the sensuousness of beauty. Combination of qualities that give pleasure to the senses, especially to the eye or to the mind is called beauty. Anything which moves somebody emotionally, intellectually or physically, is beauty.
If you see a lovely morning face, you are attracted to it. By seeing rose flowers of different hues, you are emotionally moved and experience a typical thrill and excitement. If you see a lady with a well-proportioned body and a charming face, you feel like spending time in her company. Her beauty attracts you and you are spellbound by it.
Likewise, if you see a building embodying the fine architecture and constructed in an artful manner, its grandeur and beauty appeal to you the most. In other words, one feels more intensely about beauty than anything else. Beauty is the weakness of man. He cannot escape the influence of beauty in life.
Majority of people, run after the physical beauty of things. They experience a tremor in their being by seeing a beautiful lovely human face. They gaze at it with covetous eyes. Others believe in the intellectual beauty of human beings, which lies hidden in their thoughts. Socrates was physically ugly but intellectually was the most handsome. He possessed the intellectual beauty of a unique type. He laid the foundations of modern dialecticism, which, later on, was employed by Hegels and Karl Marx in their theses.
Socrates’ beauty was different from that of physical one but it was time-enduring. Physical beauty perishes after some time, but the intellectual beauty manifesting itself in different forms cannot come within the devastating range of time. It remains as ever and cannot be destroyed by time. Also the beauty reflective of good, human deeds remains a permanent entity in the world.
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Hazrat Bilal (may Allah be pleased with him) was black in colour, but the Islamic history regards him as the fairest person on account of his devotion and services to the cause of Islam. Hence a black person may be the fairest if judged in terms of deeds noble/good. The lesson that comes to a man is that he should consciously endeavour to ornament himself with ever-enduring beauty through the commission of good, noble deeds.
Communities that evaluate the intellectual beauty of their benefactors in the form of teachers, engineers, doctors, politicians with their established credentials on a continual basis, inspire the younger generations to follow in their footsteps to shed its own intellectual beauty in time to come. Communities that come up with new thoughts in different realms of knowledge, earn the reputation of gaining intellectual beauty.
Sufis who are devoted to earning the pleasure of Allah, are the paragons of spiritual beauty. Their beauty does not dim with their physical departure from the world. Rather it remains intact through their works and preaching. The saints who enjoy eternal sleep in their abode shed inspiration to a large segment of mankind. It is the beauty of their deeds that casts its brilliance on the crest of time forever.