Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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(1,040 words)

A quality in persons or objects that appeals to the human senses and exalts the spirit. At least a dozen terms describe beauty in the Qurʾān, which is more often understood as a moral quality than an aesthetic one. It is a quality defined by its deep effects upon the beholder rather than by its own properties. Aesthetic terms (e.g. the various terms related to jamāl, iʿjāb, zīna, ḥilya, zukhruf, ṭayyib, alwān, qurrat ʿayn, bahīj) signal moral choices to be made or divine grace rendered (see consolation ), while moral terms (e.g. the various terms related to ḥusn, itqān, fitna, karīm) signal ei…

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Gwynne, Rosalind Ward, “Beauty”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 28 May 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQSIM_00045>

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