The Quran about adornments
In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful.
Dictated by the “clay” content, human has a sense of beauty, which is largely expressed through the creation of objects of adornment. With the passage of time, the attitude toward them developed in different ways: from prohibition to deification.
In order to objectively understand this, it is necessary to turn to the main legislative act in Islam – the Quran.
In the Prescription of God for the disclosure of this topic, the words are used, which root is the morpheme of “zaana”, meaning: “beautify, adorn, decorating, cleaning, representing in the best light.”
And We have placed within the heaven great stars and have beautified it for the observers! (15:16)
Indeed, We have adorned the nearest heaven with an adornment of stars (37:6)
And He completed them as seven heavens within two days and inspired in each heaven its command. And We adorned the nearest heaven illuminating and as protection. That is the determination of the Exalted in Might, the Knowing! (41:12)
Have they not looked at the heaven above them – how We structured it and adorned it and it has no rifts? (50:6)
And We have certainly beautified the nearest heaven with stars and have made it strike the disobedient and have prepared for them the punishment of the blaze. (67:5)
This term is used by the Almighty not only in a direct, but in a figurative sense.
And do not insult those who invoke other than God, lest they insult God in enmity without knowledge. Thus We have beautified to every headship their deeds! Then to their Lord is their return, and He will inform them about what they used to do! (6:108)
Indeed, for those who do not believe in the hereafter, We have beautified to them their deeds, so they wander blindly! (27:4)
And know that among you is the messenger of God. If he were to obey you in much of the matter, you would be in difficulty, but God has endeared to you the faith and has beautified it in your hearts. And has made hateful to you closed nature, apostasy and disobedience. Those are the prudent! (49:7)
The external world is perceived by every person in different ways. Everything depends on the meaningful filling of the visible medium. For those who have this life as the basis of his being, it appears to them in all its deceptive beauty:
Beautified for those who closed themselves is the life of this world, and they ridicule those who believe.
But those who are circumspect will be above them on the day of standing before God. And God gives provision to whom He wills without account! (2:212)
For people blinded by this life, the actions, dictated by the influence of “creation”, not of God, fully correspond to their ideas:
And is one who was dead and We gave him life and made for him Light by which to walk among the people like one who is in darkness, never to emerge therefrom?! Thus it has been beautified to the closed ones that which they were doing! (6:122)
…Beautified to them is the evil of their deeds; and God does not guide people, who closed themselves. (9:37)
And when harm touches man, he calls upon Us, whether lying on his side or sitting or standing; but when We remove from him harm, he continues as if he had never called upon Us concerning the harm that touched him. Thus is beautified to the transgressors that which they have been doing (10:12)
They say, “Then is He who stand above every person, with what it has earned?” But to God they have attributed partners.
Say, “Name them. Or do you inform Him of that which He knows not upon the earth or of what is apparent of speech?” Rather, their cunning has been beautified to those who closed themselves, and they have been averted from the way! And whomever God leaves astray – there will be for him no guide! (13:33)
Then is one to whom the evil of his deed has been made attractive so he considers it good? For indeed, God sends astray whom He wills and guides whom He wills! So do not let yourself perish over them in regret. Indeed, God is Knowing of what they do! (35:8)
…And thus was beautified to pharaoh the evil of his deed, and he was averted from the way. And the intrigue of pharaoh was not except in ruin. (40:37)
So is he who is on clear evidence from his Lord like him to whom the evil of his work has been beautified? They followed their passions! (47:14)
But you thought that the messenger and the believers would never return to their families, ever, and that was beautified in your hearts. And you assumed an assumption of evil and became a people ruined!” (48:12)
As they say, “a holy place is never empty”. This proverb accurately reflects the state of a person who rejected the leadership that the Creator sent down. By giving up the order of God, people fall under the influence of their main enemy – the disappointed (iblis) and his team.
If they have humbled themselves, until Our strength was not yet coming to them! But their hearts became hardened, and the disobedient beautified to them that which they were doing! (6:43)
And when the disobedient beautified their deeds to them and said, “No one can overcome you today from among the people, and indeed, I will join you.” But when the two armies sighted each other, he turned on his heels and said, “Indeed, I am disassociated from you. Indeed, I see what you do not see; indeed I fear God. And God is severe in penalty.” (8:48)
By God, We did certainly send to the leaders before you, but the disobedient beautified their deeds to them. And he will be their patron on that day and they will have a painful punishment! (16:63)
I found her and her people prostrating to the sun instead of God, and the disobedient has beautified their deeds to them and averted them from the way. (27:24)
‘Aad and Thamud nations. It has become clear to you their dwellings. The disobedient had beautified to them their deeds and averted them from the path, and they were endowed with perception! (29:38)
And We appointed for them companions who beautified to them what was before them and what was behind them, and the word has come into effect upon them which had passed on before them of jinn and men. Indeed, they were at loss! (41:25)
The Creator in the Prescription warns believers of the true values of certain things that are unjustifiably overstated by man, which often leads him to disappointment.
Beautified for people is the love of that which they desire – of women and sons, heaped-up sums of gold and silver, fine branded horses, and cattle and tilled land. That is the enjoyment of worldly life, but God has with Him the best return! (3:14)
In the above passage it is clearly stated that it is precisely human passions that are beautified, and not the listed “objects” themselves – women, children, wealth, etc. Unconsciously going under the feeling towards someone or something, people are stepping on unsteady soil.
Separate term used to describe adornments like material objects, is the word ziinatun. It is used both in general and in a specific meaning:
Whoever desires the life of this world and its adornments – We fully repay them for their deeds therein, and they therein will not be deprived! (11:15)
And keep yourself patient with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance! And let not your eyes pass beyond them, desiring adornments of the worldly life, and do not obey one whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance and who follows his desire and whose affair is immoderate. (18:28)
Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children – like the example of a rain whose plant growth pleases the tillers; then it dries and you see it turned yellow; then it becomes debris. And in the hereafter is severe punishment. (57:20)
Our life is full of all sorts of adornments. A believing person realizes that all this was created not without purpose:
Indeed, We have made that which is on the earth adornment for it that We may test them which of them is best in deed! (18:7)
To successfully overcome the test, the Lord stimulates believers not to give themselves up to the earthly beauties, because they are waited by infinitely more beautiful things and it would be a utopia to exchange them for trifles.
And whatever thing you have been given – it is the enjoyment of worldly life and its adornment. And what is with God is better and more lasting; so will you not use reason? (28:60)
Being created from the earth, people are endowed with certain feelings that react to the surrounding “brilliance”. The wives of Muhammad were no exception, so they were given a choice:
O prophet, say to your wives, “If you should desire the worldly life and its adornment, then come, I will provide for you and give you a gracious release. (33:28)
And what exactly is the adornment of this life?
And He created the horses, mules and donkeys for you to ride and as adornments. And He creates that which you do not know! (16:8)
Wealth and children are adornment of the worldly life. But the corrected existence is better to your Lord for reward and better for anticipation! (18:46)
The above signs of the Most High narrate about the main adornments of our being: prosperity and offspring.
The Quran also mentions specific adornments made by human hands.
So he came out before his people in adornments.
Those who desired the worldly life said, “Oh, would that we had like what was given to Qarun! Indeed, he is one of great fortune!” (28:79)
And Moses said, “Our Lord, indeed You have given pharaoh and his establishment adornment and wealth in the worldly life, our Lord, to lead them astray from Your way. Our Lord, obliterate their wealth and harden their hearts so that they will not believe until they see the painful punishment!” (10:88)
He replied, “The term which is promised to you is on the day of the adornments that the people will gather in the morning.” (20:59)
They said, “We did not break our promise to you by our will, but we were made to carry burdens from the adornments of the nation, so we threw them.” (20:87)
God turns to believers and explains to them that jewellery is designed for them personally. An interesting point is that the presence of jewellery on a believer is encouraged even during worship services.
O children of Adam! Take your adornment at every place for earthly worship. Eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess!
Say, “Who has forbidden the adornment of God which He has produced for His servants and the good things of provision?”
Say, “They are for those who believe during the worldly life, exclusively for them on the day of standing before Him.” Thus do We detail the signs for a people who know! (7:31-32)
The fact that jewellery is intended for believers is logical, because they do not put them at the forefront, because the meaning of their life is not in this. However, adornments help to position oneself from the positive side, to influence others, to attract to the faith, and not to reject it.
The presence of jewellery on the believer is natural and acceptable. The only condition of the Creator for believing women is the concealment of those adornments which are located under the clothing.
And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their private parts. And not expose their adornment except that which appears thereof. Let them cover with veils the cuts of their dresses. And not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, the ones dependent on them, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to God in repentance, all of you, O believers! That you might succeed. (24:31)
In this regard, there are different opinions. Some believe that the adornments include parts of the woman’s body: hair, ears, face. But nowhere in the Quran are parts of the body identified with adornments. Context of the same passage refers to the concealed, under clothing adornments. This is the end of the quotation:
…And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment…
Apparently, that jewellery which is located on legs under the dress was concealed.
Finally, this is clarified by the following:
And women who do not hope for intimacy – there is no offense upon them for putting aside their outer garments not displaying their adornments. But to modestly refrain is better for them. And God is Hearing and Knowing. (24:60)
In the quoted passage of the Prescription, God specifically defined the meaning and place of the concealed adornments. That is, adornments are products made by people, and only those which are under clothing are needed to be concealed. And those that are outside: rings, earrings, bracelets, hairpins, bows, etc; such things – do not fall into the category of the concealed.