A wonderful tradition of Islam are the 99 beautiful names of God, or the Asma Al Husna Al Musawwir, being one of the names.

A possible interpertation of this name is The Bestower of Beautiful Forms. Sheikh Ibn al-Arabi says:

“Know that the divine beauty through which God is named “Beautiful,” and by which he described Himself in His messenger’s words, “He loves beauty,” is in all things. There is nothing but beauty, for God created the cosmos only in His form, and He is beautiful. Hence all cosmos is beautiful.”

… A sound report has come in the Sahih of Muslim from God’s Messenger that he said “God is beautiful, and He loves beauty.” He is the artisan of the cosmos, and He gave it existence in His form. (The Self Disclosure of God – William Chittick – pp. 28, 29). “

This web site is a very humble, and necessarily unsucessful, attempt at presenting just a very tiny tiny fraction of a fraction fragment of this immense beauty that is the comos: nature and wilderness.

Our cosmos is also the social, societical, or people situation/context… And as Islam is a reflection on beauty, and compassion, it is also a call towards a movement of justice. As Fazlur Rahman suggests in his book Health and Medicine in the Islamic tradition (p 13) …” the extraordinary Qur’anic emphasis on monotheism on the one hand and socioeconomic justice and egalitarianism on the other are organically linked — the Qur’an seems to proclaim “one God, one humanity.” This blog also contains commentary, viewpoints, and expressions towards justice.

Each photograph has a caption, some lines of description, and may have an ayat/verse from the Quran, or ahadith. Several photographs have links that lead to other sites on the web that may be of interest.

A note on “translations”: Many of the photographs have a line or two from the Quran. For Muslims, the Quran is a revelation, the word of God, and in the original Arabic each word, perhaps even each letter has multiple layers of meaning; containing within a rhythm that calls to our very essential nature. As such, a “translation” is at best a limited interpertation of the translator.

The word “Hu” is commonly translated as “He” however the Quran says that “Glory be to thy Sustainer, the Lord of Glory, above that they ascribe (describe) ” (37:180). As such, God is beyond human concepts of gender – and in this context, I’ve used the Arabic pronoun “Hu,” and avoided using “He” or “Him” when possible.