Last week, I went to an event where different art movements were presented. The goal of this event was to get recognition for the different talents that were present there. To give you an image of the content: there was painting and photography, rock music, classical music and rhythm. In short, it was the perfect occasion for everyone to express themselves in their own branch.
Creativity is the ability to fantasize or to make up something new, a willingness to play with ideas and possibilities. Many people think that this can’t be combined with Islam, but it can. Because there are different intelligences of it. There is creativity in logic and analytic thinking and creativity with space, colours and design. There is creativity in rhythms like being able to recite the Quran beautifully. Creativity in spoken language, in contact with people and creativity in understanding nature. In this, you see many aspects that a Muslim should have: having insights (tabassur), thinking (tadabbur), having a full understanding (tafaqquh), keeping in mind or including in your heart (tadhakkur), using your spirit in the right way (ta’aqqul), considering or reflecting (tawassum) and reflection (tafakkur). These are the names as written in the Quran.
As you can see, the meaning of creativity was already acknowledged by Islam. Our biggest example of this is Prophet Muhammed. He had many qualities, like the qualities to be a big leader, not only a religious one but also a political one. Politics can be defined as the ‘art of the ruling human societies’. It demands tolerance and wisdom. Qualities for both sorts of leadership, can rarely be found in one person. But the Prophet came from a religious leader, a political leader and especially a leader of humanity. It’s interesting to see how much creativity and innovation he had. One of the most important principles of the creativity of the Prophet is his practice of ‘idjtihad’. It refers to the intellectual and critical battle to search for answers on new problems. This element is something he expressed his whole life to make his messages clearer for his followers and to be able to educate them better. He also made many social changes possible by reacting with his action, to religious and intellectual aspects of life. This led to social security, familial structure, and the improvement of slavery and women rights, not only in the Arabic society but also across the whole world. This wouldn’t have happened if Prophet Muhammed didn’t handle his life creatively and innovatively.
So creativity is part of the Islam. In fact it should be seen as an important skill that Muslims should have. Be a leader or a speaker who spreads the Islam and provides a better society. Be a scientist or an architect who builds mosques because of Allah. Be an artist who is inspired by nature and the creatures of Allah. We all have our talents, qualities and ambitions. The trick is to get more out of it by opening your mind. Dozens of doors will open for you if you look wider at life and when you use your talents to do something good. Because Allah gave you this gift for a reason.