The Holy Qur’an and the Psychology of Colours
The world of creation with all its wonders is indeed a delight for the eyes. The All-Wise Creator brought into existence the universe and endowed it with a variety of colours in order to make things attractive for the eyes of the best of creation, that is, mankind. It is interesting to note that the verses of the holy Qur’an as well as the statements of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the Infallible Imams of his Household have referred to the role of colours and their psychological impact.
Verse59 of Surah Anam, says:
"Nor anything fresh or withered, but it is in a manifest Book."
Seasons are also associated with certain colours, and the different shapes and hues the plants take. These are all signs of God’s Infinite Wisdom. In Surah Zomar, verse 21 we read:
"Have you not seen that Allah sends down water from the sky; then He conducts it through the ground as springs? Then with it He brings forth crops of diverse hues. Then they wither and you see them turn yellow. Then He turns them into chaff. There is indeed an admonition in that for those who possess intellect."
The different colours the various fruits have, as well as the hue of the vegetables, is another manifestation of God’s signs that give us appetite to eat and make eating more pleasant. In Surah Fater, Ayah 27 we read:
"Have you not regarded that Allah sends down water from the sky, with which We produce fruits of diverse hues"
Another point to note is the use of certain plants with distinct pigmentation for the colouring of clothes and a variety of other objects. This is indeed a gift of God to humanity. According to the holy Qur’an animals, insects and birds have been created in various colours. Even the colour of skin of human beings varies as per their geographical habitat and impact of climatic factors, in addition to the fact that they speak a variety of languages. These are all points to ponder for better cognizance of God Almighty. Today scientists are studying the effect of colours and their psychological impact. According to psychologists, each colour has its own characteristic and is effective in treatment, because of such factors as attraction and repulsion. The liking for certain colours also reveal the hidden characteristics of persons and could be called indicative of their mindset and personality.
The assessment made by Louisiana University in the US shows that yellow is the sign of passivity and pleasantness, because of its soothing effect on nervous system. Perhaps for this reason, this colour has been proposed for study room. Interestingly, in the holy Qur’an, Ayah 69 of Surah Baqarah referring to this particular colour, says:
“She is a cow that is yellow, of a bright hue, pleasing to the onlookers.”
How remarkable! Over 14 centuries ago, the holy Qur’an enlightened us on pleasantness of yellow colour, thereby setting a general law on the impact of various colours, which the scientists and psychologists are beginning to discover today. This is another proof of the miraculous nature of the holy Qur’an. This important point of the impact of colours was not missed by Islamic scholars, especially exegetes of the holy Qur’an, throughout the long history of Islam. The pleasant state of yellow colour has been pointed out in hadith as well. For instance Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S), the 6th Infallible Heir of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) says: “Whoever wears yellow shoes is happy as long as they are worn.”
Green is a beautiful colour, and has been mentioned in the holy Qur’an as the colour of the silken apparel of the people of Paradise. Moreover, many verses of the holy Qur’an stress the significance of greenness of plants. According to psychologists, green is the most calming of colours and is the sign of life, freshness and eternity. Green is the symbol of faith and perfection and it is a sacred colour, because of its association with the Household of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The holy Qur’an pays a special attention to this colour and in seven cases has pointed to the greenness of plants, considering it a sign for the faithful. For instance ayah 63 of Surah Hajj says:
“Have you not regarded that Allah sends down water from the sky, whereupon the earth turns green? Indeed Allah is all-attentive, all-aware. “
Also in ayah 60 of Surah Naml, God introduces the green nature and plants as the symbol of happiness, and says:
“And sends down for you water from the sky, whereby We grow delightful gardens”
White is the brightest of colours, and is a symbol of peace, purity and virtues. Black is the darkest of colours, and because of its sobering effect on the personality of a person, is a symbol of sorrow and mourning. Among the verses indicating the significance of black colour is ayah 58 of Surah Nahl, in which God says:
“When one of them is brought the news of a female [newborn], his face becomes darkened and he chokes with suppressed agony.”
Regarding the individuals who frequently commit sins, ayah 27 of Surah Yunus says:
“[They will be] as if their faces were covered with dark patches of the night.”
Of course, black enjoys certain positive impacts as well. This colour controls provocations, since it not only does not attract the unnecessary attention of others, but is instrumental in providing a dignified covering to safeguard one’s privacy. This is the reason, this colour is widely used for Hejab for women, since the black cloak and chador, provide a sense of freedom from unwarranted gazes. The holy Qur’an, in addition to colours perceived by eyes in the material world, speaks about a spiritual colour in an abstract sense. Thus, by pondering on the Ayahs of the holy Qur’an, and the hadith of the Prophet and the Infallible Imams, one realizes that colours are all significant and are not associated with either fortune or misfortune. The best colour is the one that brings proximity to God Almighty, as we read in Ayah 138 of Surah Baqarah:
“The colour by Allah, and who colours better than Allah? And Him do we worship.”
Fingertips, one of Allah’s signs in His creation
The Mention of Water in the Holy Qur’an (Part 2)