Beautify the Inner and the Outer


Islam emphasizes the multi-dimensional nature of the human being and promotes the balance between the inner and the outer, between the physical and the spiritual. Body, mind and spirit are all inter-connected, inseparable and an integral part of our being. We do need to realize that the body/physical is very limited, while the spiritual or metaphysical is boundless. That which serves purely the body too is limited and restricted (greed, hunger…) while that which pertains to the spirit is not (love, joy, happiness…). We thus realize that real happiness is not found in our material possessions but in the valuables of life; fond memories, cherished moments, selfless acts, dedication and service, love and affection, lasting and meaningful relationships... all things not purely physical, all things that money can't buy. How true the words that wealth is not measured by how much you possess,  but by the contentment of your self/soul. [Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)]

The internal dimension of the self is therefore the most essential element in one’s life and vital in determining who you really are, what you would really like to do, what you are capable of doing and what you are actually prepared to do. When the best of your internal dimension finds practical expression outwardly, then; and only then, are you capable of reaching your full potential.

Even the spiritual aspect of human beings have an inner and outer dimension
- Internally, it refers to the purification of the self from the evils of bad 
intention, deceit, hypocrisy, selfishness, cowardice, arrogance, prejudice ...
-    Outwardly, it becomes manifested in one's attitude, behavior and character.

The Prophet emphasized the harmonious interplay between the inner and the outer when he said; “Successful indeed is the person who is sincere in faith, whose heart is pure, whose speech is truthful and whose character is upright.” We are thus taught by the Prophet (pbuh) to read this supplication when looking at a reflection of ourselves,  O Allah! You have made my outer(physical)  good,  make my inner (character) good as well.
The following prayer of Sayyedna ‘Ali emphasizes the balance between the inner and the outer, with the focus on goodness being manifest in both dimensions;  O Allah! Make my inner (secrets) better than my outer; and make my outer to be good. Remember, righteousness is neither in dressing up nor in outer appearances, but rather in inner tranquility and self dignity. [Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)]

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