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Shamail al MuhammadiyyahEdit

Description of Muhammad Sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallamImaam | Abu Isa at-Tirmidhee | Translated by Brother Abu RumaysaEdit

Key: (B) = Bukhârî; (SM) = Muslim; (IM) = Ibn Majah; (AD) = Abu Dawud; (SN) = an-Nasa'i; (T) = Tirmidhi; (BQ) = Bayhaqî, Dalâ ́il an-Nubuwwah; (M) = Munâwî, SharH Shama´il al-Muhammadiyyah; (Q) = al-Qârî, SharH Shama´il al-Muhammadiyyah; (S) = Suyûţî, Khasâ´is al-Kubra (Z) = Zurqânî, SharH Mawâhib al-Laduniyyah; (H) = ibn Hajr, FatH al-Bârı; (AQ) = al-`Ainî,`Umdatu-l-Qârî; (N) = Nawawî, SharH SaHîH Muslim; (A) = al-Albânî, Mukhtasar Shama´il a-Muhammadiyyah; (IQ) = ibn al-Qayyim, Jala ́ al-Afham.With the Name of Allâh, the All-Merciful, the Most Merciful

Al-Hâfiz Abû `خsâ Muhammad bin `خsâ bin Sawrah at-Tirmidhî said:

CHAPTER ONE - The Stature and Physical Characteristics of the Messenger of Allâh

§1. Abû Rajâ´, Qutaybah bin Sa`îd informed us; from Mâlik bin Anas; from Rabî`ah bin Abû `Abdur-RaHmân; that he heard Anas bin Mâlik (RA) saying,

The Messenger of Allâh, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, was neither very tall, such that he would be clearly noticed, nor was he short. He was not extremely white and neither was he very brown. His hair was neither very curly nor completely straight. Allâh commissioned him towards the end (ra´s) of his fortieth year. He remained in Mecca for ten years and in Madînah for ten years. Allâh caused him to pass away at the turn of his sixtieth year and there were not to be found [as much as] twenty white hairs on his head and beard. [1]

"The Messenger of Allâh, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, was neither very tall, such that he would be clearly noticed, nor was he short," (Q) Meaning that he was of medium height. His being short has been categorically negated but only his being so tall as to be clearly noticed has been negated, in this lies an indication that he, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, was indeed of medium height but leaning towards being described as tall and this is what has been reported about him, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, by al-Bayhaqî. There is no contradiction between this and the forthcoming description that he, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, was of medium stature because such a statement is relative. This understanding is strengthened by the report of al-Barâ´a, ‘He, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, was of medium stature but closer to being described as tall.’ [2] al-Bayhaqî and ibn `Asâkir mention that, ‘None would be perceived to be taller than he, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, sometimes two tall men would stand on either side of him and he would seem taller than them, yet when they parted he would seem to be of medium height.’ [3] Ibn Saba´, al-Khasâ´is, mentions that when he, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, sat, his shoulder was higher than all those sitting around him. It is said in explanation to this, ‘Perhaps it was that none could be perceived to be physically above him just as none was spiritually and morally above him.’ "He was not extremely white and neither was he very brown," (Q) This description does not contradict the affirmation of his having a brownish complexion mentioned in the next Hadîth. [Ibn Hajr] al-`Asqalânî said, ‘From all the various reports on this it becomes clear that the whiteness that has been negated from him, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, is that whiteness that has no tinge of red and the brownness [affirmed for him] is redness that is mixed with white. [4 ](M) This is proven by the narration of Anas in ad-Dalâ´il, ‘He was white, a whiteness going towards brown.’ (H) Moreover AHmad records on the authority of ibn `Abbâs with a Hasan isnâd, 'He was brown going towards white.' (M) As for his being described in some narrations to be extremely white, such as in the report of Bazzâr from Abû Hurayrah, ‘He was extremely white’ [5] and the report of at-Ţabarânî from Abû at-Ţufayl, ‘I have not forgotten the extreme whiteness of his face,’ these are understood to refer to the lustre, sheen and glitter of his skin under the light of the sun as shown by the Hadîth, ‘It was as if the sun were pursuing its course across, and shining from, his face.’ [6] "His hair was neither very curly nor completely straight," (M) Meaning that his, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, hair was in a state in between being very curly and completely straight and the best of affairs are those that are in between the two extremes. az-Zamakhsharî said, ‘The predominate course amongst the Arabs is to have curly hair and among the non-Arabs, straight hair.’ Allâh has blessed His Messenger, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, with the best of virtues and qualities and has combined in him all that He has scattered amongst the different races. "Allâh commissioned him towards the end (ra´s) of his fortieth year," (M) Allâh commissioned him as a Prophet and Messenger, sent to the entirety of the worlds of Jinn and Man, this by agreement of the Muslim nation and is known in the religion by necessity, whoever rejects this becomes a disbeliever. He was also sent to the Angels in the view of the researching scholars (muHaqqiqûn), however some have objected to this position. (Q) It is said that he was born on Monday, revelation came to him on Monday, he migrated to Madînah on Monday, he arrived at Madînah on Monday and passed away on Monday. [7]The commentators have stated that the meaning of the ra´s of his fortieth year is its last part [and not the turn] due to the opinion of the majority of the historians and biographers that he was commissioned after having entered his fortieth year. at-Ţîbî said, ‘Ra´s here is metaphorically used to refer to the end of the year [and not its beginning] in the same way as one says, “Ra´s of the verse” i.e. its last part.’ As for the usage of the word forty then it could either refer to the entry into the fortieth year or the year which is added to the thirty-ninth, both usages are common. However the specification that occurs through mention of the word ‘year’ in this Hadîth lends weight to the first possibility. al-Hâfiz al-`Asqalânî said, ‘[Understanding it to mean the turn of the fortieth year] would mean that he was commissioned in the month of his birth which is Rabî` al-Awwal, however he was commissioned in the month of Ramadân and therefore his age would be forty and a half or thirty nine and a half. Those who mentioned forty as his age did so by ignoring the addition or subtraction. However both al-Mas`ûdî and ibn `Abdu-l-Barr mention that the correct opinion was that he was commissioned in Rabı` al-Awwal, so according to this view he, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, would have just turned forty. It is also postulated that he was commissioned when he was forty years and ten days or forty years and twenty days old. Qâdî `Ayâd relates an irregular [and hence weak] report from ibn `Abbâs and Sa`îd bin al-Musayyab that he, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, was commissioned at the turn of his forty-third year.’ "He remained in Mecca for ten years," (Q) The nation is agreed that he, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, stayed in Mecca for thirteen years, (M) therefore one could say that those who narrated ten years, rounded down and left off mention of the additional three, or one could say that the narration of those who mention thirteen years is stronger. "And in Madınah for ten years," (M) meaning after the Hijrah. He, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, remained there for ten years and there is no difference concerning this. He remained there until the people entered into the religion in droves, until Allâh perfected the religion for him and his nation and completed His favour upon them. "Allâh caused him to pass away at the turn of his sixtieth year," (Q) This implies that he passed away at the age of sixty, however the strongest opinion is that he was sixty-three and it is said sixty-five. These ages are reconciled by stating that those who stated sixty-five included the year of his birth and death. Those who mentioned sixty-three did not and those who mentioned sixty rounded down. (M) This point is not contradicted by the statement ‘turn of his sixtieth year’ because what is meant here is the beginning of his sixties. "And there were not to be found [as much as] twenty white hairs on his head and beard," (M) Rather there were less as proven by the narration of ibn Sa`d [from Anas (RA)], ‘There were only seventeen white hairs on his head and beard.’ There is no contradiction between this and the report of ibn `Umar (RAA), ‘He had approximately twenty white hairs’ [8 ]because this just talks about an approximation. In the report of ibn Hibbân and al-Bayhaqî from ibn `Umar (RAA) there occurs, ‘His white hairs were approximately twenty all towards the front.’ As for the Hadîth of `Abdullâh bin Busr, ‘His white hairs did not exceed ten’, he was talking about the hairs on the front of his beard, and hence the remainder is understood to be on his temples. (B) `Abdullâh bin Busr reports that he saw a few white hairs between his, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, lower lip and chin and Anas was asked if the Prophet, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, used to dye his hair to which he replied, 'No, for there were only a few [white hairs] on his temples.' (SM) Anas reports that the white hairs were only to be found on his lower lip, temples, and a few scattered on his head. (Q) As for what is mentioned in one narration (SM) on the authority of Anas (Q) by way of negating white hairs for him, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, what is meant is a negation of plenitude not a negation in totality. A more detailed discussion concerning his, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, age and white hairs follows in the relevant chapters if Allâh wills. _________________________________________________ 1 Bukhârı [Şifatu-n-Nabı, al-Libâs], Muslim [Fadâ'il]. 2 This statement also recorded by adh-Dhuhlı, az-Zuhriyyât from Abû Hurayrah and ibn Hajr, FatH [6/705] said the isnâd was Hasan. 3 Ibn Hajr [6/709]. 4 See for example Hadıth #7. This is also the description reported of him by Anas in Muslim and Jâbir by ibn Sa'd as per ibn Hajr [6/705].] 5 Ibn Hajr [6/706], 'with a ştrong isnâd.' 6 The full Hadıth will be mentioned later in the chapter, ‘The manner of walking of the Messenger of Allâh (SAW).’] 7 This is reported from ibn 'Abbâs (RAA) by AHmad [1/277]. 8 al-Bayhaqı [Ra's Rasulillâh]

§2. Humayd bin Mas`adah al-Basrî narrated to us; `Abdu-l-Wahhâb ath-Thaqafî narrated to us; from Humayd; from Anas bin Mâlik (RA) that he said,The Messenger of Allâh, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, was of medium stature, neither tall nor short, of a goodly build. His hair was neither curly nor completely straight. He had a brownish complexion and when he walked he leant forward [walking briskly]. [1] "The Messenger of Allâh, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, was of medium stature, neither tall nor short, of a goodly build. His hair was neither curly nor completely straight. He had a brownish complexion," (Q) This does not contradict the previous description of his skin as has already been explained. However it is said that this contradicts the ensuing description that he ‘was white skinned as if moulded of silver.’ [2]Some have reconciled this by saying that the brownish complexion applied to that part of the skin that was exposed to the sun and that that part of his skin which was concealed by his garments was white. However this reconciliation has been refuted because of the narration that mentions his neck being white as if it was made of silver, the neck is normally exposed to the sun. It is possible that this comparison hold true when considering the lustre and sheen of his skin under the light of the sun and the smoothness of his skin. "And when he walked he leant forward [walking briskly]," (M) This is the manner of walking of those with firm determination, those who have a sense of gravity and dignity, inspiring respect in others, those with courage and valour. It is the best manner of walking and the manner which is easiest upon the body. Many people walk in … as if they were wood being carried, others walk as if in a state of unrest and confusion, like a reckless camel and this is a sign of weak intellect, especially if this is combined with frequent looking around. .


§3. Muhammad bin Bashshâr – al-`Abdî - narrated to us; Muhammad bin Ja`far narrated to us; Shu`bah narrated to us; from Abû Ishâq; that he heard al-Barâ´a bin `آzib (RA) saying,

The Messenger of Allâh, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, had slightly curly hair and was of medium stature (rajil marbû`) with broad shoulders. His hair was thick, reaching his earlobes and he wore a red hulla. [3]I have never seen anything more beautiful than he. [4]

"The Messenger of Allâh, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, had slightly curly hair and was of medium stature with broad shoulders. His hair was thick, reaching his earlobes," (Q) Some reports mention that his hair reached below his ears and above his shoulders, others mention half way down his ears, others mention to his ears, others mention to his shoulders and others mention to his shoulder blades. Qâdı `Ayâd reconciled these by saying that these descriptions all related to different times. Therefore when he, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, delayed cutting his hair, it would grow to his shoulders, when he cut his hair, it would reach his ears, or half way down his ears or to his earlobes. "And he wore a red hulla," A detailed discussion follows in the chapter dealing with his, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, clothes. "I have never seen anything more beautiful than he," (M) This statement, along with proving the great beauty of the Messenger of Allâh, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, also goes to show al-Barâ´a’s complete faith because believing him, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, to be so is one of the branches of having complete love for him. __________________________________________________ _________ 1 Reported by Bukhârı [Şifatu-n-Nabı, al-Libâs], Muslim [Fadâ'il]. 2 Hadıth #12. 3 A garment consisting of two pieces, an izâr and radâ'. 4 Bukhârı [Şifatu-n-Nabı, al-Libâs], Muslim [Fadâ'il].

§4. Mahmûd bin Ghaylân narrated to us; Wakî` narrated to us; Sufyân ath-Thawrî narrated to us; from Abû Ishâq; from al-Barâ´a bin `آzib (RA) that he said,I have never seen a person having a full head of hair, wearing a red hulla, who looked better than the Messenger of Allâh, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam. He had hair that reached his shoulders and his shoulders were broad. He was neither short nor tall. [1] §5. Muhammad bin Ismâ`îl narrated to us; Abû Nu`aym narrated to us; al-Mas`ûdî narrated to us; from `Uthmân bin Muslim bin Hurmuz; from Nâfi` bin Jubair bin Mut`im; from `Alî bin Abû Tâlib (RA) that he said,The Prophet, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, was neither tall nor short. His hands and feet were heavy and thick. He had a large head, large bones and a long line of [fine] hair extending from his chest to navel. When he walked, he leant forward as if descending a slope. I have not seen anyone, before him or after him, who was comparable to him [2] "The Prophet, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, was neither tall nor short. His hands and feet were heavy and thick," (Q) al-Asma`î explained this to mean having think fingers and toes and al-Hâfiż ibn Hajr explained it to mean having thick fingers and palms and mentioned another narration with the wording, "He had large hands and feet," he said, 'al-Khattâbî explained it to mean thickness and longness and this is what is intended here.' It is also narrated from al-Asma`î that he explained it to mean calloused, but when it was said to him that it is narrated that the Prophet's, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, hands were soft and tender, he went silent and decided not to explain the word any further. (M) Hence the meaning is that they tended towards being thick without being short or calloused. (Q) Ibn Battâl said, 'His, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, hand was fleshy, it was large and thick, but despite this it was soft as is established in the hadîth of Anas recorded in the Sahîh, "I have not touched silk, or silk brocade, that was softer than his hand, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam,"…. If we were to accept the explanation of al-Asma`î we would say it is possible that the narrator depicted the hand of the Messenger of Allâh, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, in different situations: when he fought Jihâd, his hand would become calloused, but otherwise his hand would be in its natural state of being soft.' al-Qâdî said, 'Abû `Ubayd, the linguist, explained it to mean thickness of fingers and palm coupled with shortness, but this position was criticised because it is established that he had long fingers. The hadîth concerning this follows and this is further endorsed by the hadîth, recorded by Bukhârı in ta`lîq form, mentioning that the Prophet, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, had long hands; the full isnâd for this was provided by al-Bayhaqî, ad-Dalâ´il. The meaning of this hadîth is that his hands and fingers were long without being excessively so. This quality of hand is praiseworthy in men because it means that they have a strong grasp, but blameworthy in women (M) as mentioned by ibn al-Athîr, an-Nihâyah. (Q) Ibn Hajr said, 'The correct position is that his hands were thick, but not short or calloused.'


(Z)[3] Muslim records that he, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, stroked the cheek of Jâbir and he said, 'I experienced a sensation of coolness from his hand and a scent as if he had just removed it from a perfume vendors box.' Ahmad records that the Prophet, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, visited Sa`d bin Abı Waqqâs in Mecca when he was ill and stroked his face, chest and stomach. Sa`d said,'To this very hour it seems to me that I can feel the coolness of his hand on my liver.' al-Bayhaqî and at-Tirmidhî [4 ]record on the authority of Abû Zayd al-Ansârî that the Prophet, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, stroked his head and beard and supplicated, "O Allâh, make him beautiful," and even when he had exceeded the age of one hundred, not a single white hair was to be seen on his beard, his face remained of cheerful complexion and never looked perturbed or dejected until the day he died. (B) Abû Juhayfah reports that the Messenger of Allâh, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, went out to al-Bathâ´ at noon, he performed ablution and prayed Dhuhr as two rak`ahs and `Asr as two rak`ahs, praying towards a short spear beyond which women would pass. The people stood and took hold of his hands and used them to wipe their faces. He said, 'So I took hold of his hand and placed it on my face and found it to be cooler than ice and its scent to be sweeter than musk.' (SM) Umm Sulaym reports that the Prophet, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, used to visit her and have a siesta in her house and she would spread out a leather cloth in which he would lie. He would sweat profusely and she would collect his sweat and put it in perfume. When the Prophet, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, asked about this she said, 'It is your sweat which we have put in our perfume, and it is perfume of the sweetest type!'(H) Abû Ya`lâ and al-Bazzâr record with a sahîh isnâd on the authority of Anas that when the Messenger of Allâh, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, passed through a road in Mecca, he would leave behind him the fragrance of musk and the people would say, 'The Messenger of Allâh has passed!'


"He had a large head, large bones and a long line of [fine] hair extending from his chest to navel" (Q) al-Bayhaqî records the hadîth, "He, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, had a line of hair extending from his navel to chest, and he had no other hair on his chest or stomach." "When he walked, he leant forward as if descending a slope," An explanation of this has preceded and follows in the next hadîth. "I have not seen anyone, before him or after him, who was comparable to him," (M) One should believe that Allâh created his noble body with an excellence that has not appeared before him or after him, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam. The reason for this is that the good qualities of the body are an indication of what is contained within the body of sublime morals, manners, and attributes, and the Chosen One, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, reached the peak of all of these. (B) al-Barâ´a reports that 'The Messenger of Allâh, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, was the most handsome of people, with the best of builds, he was not very tall, neither was he short.'


§6. Sufyân bin Wakî` narrated to us; my father narrated to us; from al-Mas`ûdî the likes of this with this isnâd.

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1 Muslim [Fadâ'il], Abû Dâwûd [at-Tarajjul]. 2 Reported by at-Tirmidhî [al-Manâqib]. The sentence, "His hands and feet were heavy and thick," along with the last sentence are reported by Bukhârı [al-Libâs] from Anas (RA). 3 Zurqânı [5/452+] 4 al-Bayhaqı said it was şahıh and at-Tirmidhı said it was hasan.§7. Aĥmad bin `Abdah ad-Dabbî al-Baŝrî narrated to us, as did `Alî bin Ĥujr and Abû Ja`far Muĥammad bin al-Ĥusayn – i.e. ibn Abî Ĥalîmah – with different wordings but the same meaning; `Isâ bin Yûnus narrated to us; from `Umar bin `Abdullâh the servant of Ghufrah; Ibrâhım bin Muĥammad – one of the sons of `Alî bin Abû Ţâlib (RA) – narrated to me that when `Alî (RA) described the Messenger of Allâh, ŝallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, he would say,The Messenger of Allâh, ŝallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, was neither extremely tall nor extremely short, rather he was of a medium stature amongst the people. His hair was neither curly nor completely straight, rather in between. He did not have a very fleshy face, neither was it completely round, rather it was only slightly so. He was white skinned, having a reddish tinge. His eyes were large with jet black pupils and his lashes, long. His joints were large as was his upper back. He did not have hair all over his body but had a line of fine hair extending from his chest to his navel. When he walked, he would walk briskly as if descending a slope. When he turned, he would turn his whole body and between his two shoulders was the Seal of Prophethood. He was the Seal of the Prophets; he had the most giving of hearts; he was the most truthful of people, the best of them in temperament, and the most sociable amongst them. Whoever unexpectedly saw him would stand in awe of him and whoever accompanied him and got to know him would love him. Those who described him would say, ‘I have never seen anyone, before him or after him, who was comparable to him.’ [1] (Q,M) `Umar bin `Abdullâh, the servant of Ghufrah: he was declared thiqah by ibn Mas`ûd but da`ıf by ibn Ma`ın and an-Nasâ´ı; Aĥmad said that he narrated many mursal reports. "The Messenger of Allâh, ŝallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, was neither extremely tall nor extremely short, rather he was of a medium stature amongst the people. His hair was neither curly nor completely straight, rather in between. He did not have a very fleshy face, neither was it completely round, rather it was only slightly so. He was white skinned, having a reddish tinge. His eyes were large with jet black pupils and his lashes, long. His joints were large as was his upper back. He did not have hair all over his body," (Q) This description also holds true for someone who has hair on parts of his body and hence does not contradict the description that he, ŝallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, had hair on his shins, forearms and a line of hair from chest to navel. "But had a line of fine hair extending from his chest to his navel. When he walked, he would walk briskly as if descending a slope," (Q) Meaning that he walked with strength of purpose, lifting each foot clearly off the ground, not like those who walk with an air of ostentation – walking in small steps like women. "When he turned, he would turn his whole body," (Q) Meaning that he did not steal any glances. It is said that it means that he did not turn his head left or right when looking at something because this is the mannerism of those frivolous and thoughtless, having no sense of purpose; instead he would turn his whole body to one who addressed him, showing his complete concern to what he was saying and would turn his whole body away upon finishing. Therefore when he was talking to someone or other such things, he would turn his entire body to him and not just turn his head as this is the manner of the arrogant. This last meaning is the clearest due to the ensuing description that most of the time he would merely glance at things [i.e. when not addressing them].


"Between his two shoulders was the Seal of Prophethood," a discussion of this follows in the next chapter inshâAllâh. "He was the Seal of the Prophets; he had the most giving of hearts," (Q) Meaning he would never miserly withhold any of the effects of this world or any knowledge concerning his Lord. His generosity did not come about through effort, neither was it hard upon him, rather it naturally arose due to the purity of his soul and gentleness of spirit. (B) Ibn `Abbâs reports that the Messenger of Allâh, ŝallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, was the most generous of people, and he was never so generous as he was in the month of Ramadân when he met with Jibrıl. Jibrıl would meet him every night of Ramadan and revise the Qur´ân with him. He, ŝallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, was more generous than a brisk breeze. (Q) It is also said that it means that he had the largest heart, i.e. his heart never held back or grieved him. This is supported by the report of ibn Sa`d with this isnâd with the words, ‘the most giving of people and the largest of heart.’ It is also said that it means that he had the best of hearts, i.e. he was free of all lowly traits and how could this be otherwise when Jibrıl cut open his heart, took out of a morsel of flesh, placed it in a golden tray and washed it with Zamzam water. (IQ) [2]He had the most giving of hearts by virtue of the righteousness of his heart and the great good contained therein. Good would pour out of his heart for it was enveloped in every beautiful moral and in every good. Some of the People of Knowledge said, 'There is not a single place in the entire world that had more good than the heart of the Messenger of Allâh, ŝallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, all good was gathered together and placed in his heart.' (B) Anas reports that although the eyes of the Prophet, ŝallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, slept, his heart would always be awake.


"He was the most truthful of people," (IQ) This was something that even his enemies testified to and not one of his enemies could ever say that they had seen him lying, not even once, leave alone the testimony of all his friends and followers! The people of the earth fought him employing all the various forms of warfare yet none of them ever accused him lying, not a serious lie or even a minor, insignificant one! al-Miswarah bin Makhramah said, 'I asked Abû Jahl, my uncle, "O uncle! Did you ever accuse Muĥammad of lying before he came with his message?" he replied, "Son of my sister, by Allâh, while he was yet young, Muĥammad would be called al-Amîn (the truthful) by us. Even when his hair started turning white, he would still not lie." I asked, "O uncle of mine! So why don’t you follow him?" He replied, "Son of my sister, we and Banû Hâshim were always competing with each other for nobility, they fed people and so we did too, they gave others drink and so we did too, they granted protection and so we did too. We've kept pace with each other like two race horses, then they said, 'A Prophet has arisen from us', how could we possibly compete in this?"' Allâh, Exalted is He says, consoling him, ŝallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam,"We know that what they say distresses you. It is not that they are calling you a liar; the wrongdoers are just denying the signs of Allâh. Messengers before you were also denied but they were steadfast in the face of the denial and injury they suffered until Our help arrived. There is no changing the Words of Allâh and news of other Messengers has come to you."[3]"The best of them in temperament," (IQ) meaning that he was easy going, soft, close to people, he answered the calls of those who called him, judged those who required judgment, fulfilled the need of those who asked of him – never preventing them from asking him and never letting them go disappointed or empty handed. When his Companions desired a matter from him, he would agree with them and follow them, if he determined to do something, he would consult them. He, ŝallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, would accept their good from them and overlook the actions of those of them who did evil. "And the most sociable amongst them," (IQ) meaning that he would interact with those who sat with him in the best of ways, he would never frown at them, treat them harshly or turn away from them, he would not point out slips of the tongue nor reprimand him for any coarseness in speech or the likes, and make excuses for them as much as possible. Whoever mixed with him would think that he was the most beloved person to him due to the attention he received, his kindness and the sincere advice he was given. There is no better way of dealing with people than this! (Q) In some texts the wording is ‘the best of them in lineage’ and both descriptions hold true of him, ŝallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam. (B) Abû Hurayrah reports that the Messenger of Allâh, ŝallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, said, "I was passed through the best generations of the children of آdam, generation after generation, until I reached the generation in which I came." (SM) Wâthila bin al-Asqa` reports that the Messenger of Allâh, ŝallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, said, "Allâh chose Kinânah from amongst the descendants of Ismâ`îl, He chose the Quraysh from amongst the descendants of Kinâna, from the Quraysh he chose Banû Hâshim, and me from Banû Hâshim."


"Whoever unexpectedly saw him would stand in awe of him," (M) This due to his exceptional descriptions, his heavenly sense of gravity, dignity, and appearance and deluge of spirituality. "Whoever accompanied him and got to know him would love him," (M) to the point that that he became more beloved to him than his father, his child and indeed the whole of mankind. This was due to the clear manifestation and existence of all that would necessitate love such as perfect morals and manners, sweeping compassion and kindness, innate humility and his captivating hearts and uniting them. Ibn al-Qayyim said while explaining the difference between arrogance (kibr) and carrying oneself with an air of dignity and self-respect (mahâbah), ‘Dignity and self-respect arise from a heart that is filled with the glorification of Allâh, with love of Him and magnification of Him. When the heart is filled with this it becomes inundated with light, tranquillity descends upon it, one is clothed with the garments of gravity, dignity and inspiring awe, and his face displays a sense of sweetness and pureness. Hearts love him and stand in awe of him; they are drawn to him and are comforted by his presence. His speech is light, his entrance is light, his leaving is light and his actions are light. When he is quiet, a sense of dignity and gravity overcomes him, and when he speaks, he captures heart, ear and sight. As for arrogance then it arises from self-conceit and transgression from a heart that is filled with ignorance and oppression. Servitude leaves such a person and displeasure descends upon him. When he looks at people, he looks askance, when he walks amongst them, he struts. He deals with them as one who gives himself preference in all things rather than giving them preference. He does not commence by giving people the salâm, and if he replies to a salâm, he acts as if he has granted them a great favour. He does not display a cheerful face to them and his manners do not accommodate them. Allâh has protected His beloved from all of these vile mannerisms.’ "Those who described him would say," (Q) i.e. by way of generalisation because of the inability to truly describe his beauty and perfection in detail. "I have never seen anyone, before him or after him, who was comparable to him."

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1 Reported by at-Tirmidhī [al-Manāqib]. (A) da'ıf, its isnād is munqati' and contains 'Umar bin 'Abdullāh who is da'ıf. 2 Ibn al-Qayyim, Jalā' al-Afhām. 3 al-An'ām (6): 33-34§8. Sufyân bin Wakî`; narrated to us; Jumay` bin `Umayr bin `Abdur-Rahmân al-`Ijlî read to us from his book saying: A man from Banî Tamîl, from the sons of Abû Hâlah – the husband of Khadîjah – who was given the agonym of Abû `Abdullâh; from one of the sons of ibn Abû Hâlah; from al-Hasan bin `Alî (RAA) that he said, I asked my uncle, Hind bin Abû Hâlah, [to describe the Prophet, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam,] because it was his habit to do so and I ardently desired that he describe something of his characteristics so that I could relate to them and imitate them. He said,

‘The Messenger of Allâh, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, was imposing, dignified and one who was greatly honoured and respected. His face shone with resplendence like that of the moon when it was full. He was somewhat taller than a person of medium stature but shorter than a tall person. His head was large with slightly curly hair and if the hair on his forehead parted of its own accord, he would keep it parted, otherwise his hair, when at its longest, would reach the lobes of his ears. He was white skinned with a wide brow, thick curved eyebrows which were completely joined except in the place where they met. Between them was a vein that would throb when angry. He had a long, aquiline nose which shone with a light that would seem to elevate it, whoever did not carefully look at it would think it upturned. He had a thick and full beard with firm cheeks that were not raised. He had a wide mouth, evenly spaced teeth and had a fine line of hair extending from his chest to navel. His neck resembled that of an ivory statue’s, white in colour like smooth silver and he was of a goodly build, finely balanced. His chest and stomach were level and he had a wide chest with broad shoulders. His joints were large, and his skin that would normally be covered with clothes had a lustre about it. He had a line of hair extending from his upper chest to his navel, apart from that, his chest and stomach were bare. The upper part of his chest, his forearms and shoulders had a lot of hair on them. He had long forearms with wide palms and he had heavy and thick hands and feet. His fingers were long but not extremely so, he had high insteps and his feet were smooth and well proportioned because of which water would swiftly flow off them and quickly vanish. When he walked he walked briskly with strength of purpose but placed his feet on the ground softly. When he walked, he took large steps and it was if he was descending a slope. When he turned [to address someone], he turned his entire body. He would constantly lower his gaze looking more to the ground then he would to the sky. Most of the time he would merely glance at something, he would have his Companions walk in front of him and would hurry to greet whoever he met with the salâm.’ [1] (Q,M) Jumay`: he was declared thiqah by ibn Hibbân but da`îf by others. Abû Dâwûd said, 'I fear he is a liar', adh-Dhahabı said he was feeble and quoted al-Bukhârı saying, 'He is problematic'. Ibn Hajr said about him, 'Da`îf, a râfidî.' (Q) A man from Banî Tamîm: ibn Hajr said, 'He is `Abdullâh at-Tamîmî: majhûl al-hâl'.


"The Messenger of Allâh, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, was imposing, dignified and one who was greatly honoured and respected. His face shone with resplendence like that of the moon when it was full," (Q) Comparing some of his attributes to things such the sun and moon is done simply because this is the habit of poets and the Arabs, or by way of approximation, for there is nothing that could compare to his attributes since they are loftier and more sublime than any object of creation. (M) Here ibn Abî Hâlah chose to compare his face to the moon because he, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, appeared when the world was steeped in the darkness of disbelief [and illuminated it just as the moon illuminates the night].


"He was somewhat taller than a person of medium stature but shorter than a tall person. His head was large with slightly curly hair and if the hair on his forehead parted of its own accord, he would keep it parted, otherwise his hair, when at its longest," (Q) i.e. sometimes, "would reach the lobes of his ears," (Q) Ibn Hajr said, 'Bukhârî and Muslim record that he, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, would let his hair hang freely, as did the People of the Book, and the polytheists would part their hair. He liked to follow the practice of the People of the Book in those matters for which no command had come to him. Then, after this, the Messenger of Allâh, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, would part his hair. It is permissible to let the hair hang freely or part it, but parting is better as this is what he, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, did at the end.'


"He was white skinned," (Q) with a lustre to it and a red tinge. It is also possible that it means: the best skin colour. "With a wide brow, thick curved eyebrows which were completely joined except in the place where they met," (Q) Meaning his eyebrows almost joined but did not. A joined eyebrow is not praiseworthy in the view of the Arabs but a gap is, and this is what is correct of his features in contrast to what is reported in the hadîth of Umm Ma`bad that his eyebrows were joined. Assuming that this report is authentic, it is possible to reconcile the two descriptions by saying that the gap between the eyebrows was very fine such as not to be noticed unless one carefully looked, as such in reality there was a gap even though at a glance it would seem that there was not. "Between them was a vein that would throb when angry. He had a long, aquiline nose which shone with a light that would seem to elevate it, whoever did not carefully look at it would think it upturned. He had a thick and full beard," (Q) in one narration, "full beard" [2] and in another, "large beard." [3 ](M) az-Zayn al-`Irâqı said, 'This is how it was described by `Umar bin al-Khattâb, ibn Mas`ûd, Umm Ma`bad, and Hind. The narration of Humayd has, "His beard filled the area from here to here", and some of the narrators of this hadîth pointed from one side of the face to the other. The narration of Simâk from Jâbir has, "He, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, had thick hair of head and beard."' "With firm cheeks that were not raised. He had a wide mouth, evenly spaced teeth," (Q) A later narration shows that he had evenly spaced incisors.[4] Ibn Hajr said, 'Ahmad and others record that he, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, drank from a bucket which was then lowered into a well, and after this it would diffuse an aroma like that of musk. Abû Nu`aym records that he, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, spat in a well in the house of Anas, after which there was no well to be found in Madınah that would give sweeter water than his. al-Bayhaqî records that on the Day of `آshûrâ´, he spat lightly in the mouths of those suckling infants with him and his daughter, Fâtimah and said not to feed them till nightfall, and his spit would suffice them.'


"His neck resembled that of an ivory statue’s," (Q) The purpose is to illustrate that the longness of his neck was finely balanced with his body and truly beautiful. "White in colour like smooth silver and he was of a goodly build, finely balanced. His chest and stomach were level and he had a wide chest with broad shoulders. His joints were large, and his skin that would normally be covered with clothes had a lustre about it. He had a line of hair extending from his upper chest to his navel, apart from that, his chest and stomach were bare. The upper part of his chest, his forearms and shoulders had a lot of hair on them. He had long forearms with wide palms and he had heavy and thick hands and feet. His fingers were long but not extremely so, he had insteps," (M) This does not contradict the description mentioned in the hadîth of Abû Hurayrah that when he, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, walked, he walked with all his foot and he did not have insteps, [5]because he merely negated his having high insteps while those who affirmed them for him affirmed slight insteps. Moreover the context of the narration of Abû Hurayrah shows that he derived this description from looking at his footprints and did not rely upon any narration, as such his description would be viewed as the weaker of the two even though the isnâd of his report is stronger than this isnâd (Q) Mırak said, 'This is the most one can say in reconciling the two narrations, however the hadîth of Abû Hurayrah has strong isnâds being recorded by Ya`qûb bin Sufyân, al-Bazzâr, and others whereas this hadîth of Hind has weakness: Jumay` bin `Amr is da`ıf in the view of the researching scholars, even though ibn Hibbân mentioned him in ath-Thiqât, and it contains two unknown narrators.'


"And his feet were smooth and well proportioned because of which water would swiftly flow off them and quickly vanish. When he walked he walked briskly with strength of purpose but placed his feet on the ground softly. When he walked, he took large steps and it was if he was descending a slope. When he turned [to address someone], he turned his entire body. He would constantly lower his gaze looking more to the ground then he would to the sky," (M) meaning in his periods of silence. The reason for this is that such a posture aids more in contemplating and thinking, or it was because of his, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, great modesty before his Lord, or because he was sent to teach and cultivate the inhabitants of the earth not the inhabitants of the heaven. When understood in this light, this narration does not contradict the hadîth recorded by Abû Dâwûd that when he sat and spoke, he would frequently look at the sky. "Most of the time he would merely glance at something, he would have his Companions walk in front of him," (Q) out of modesty and humbleness, and to show that he was like a shepherd guiding his flock, and out of his care for the weak such that he would be the last amongst them taking them and the poor into account. This practice refutes the habit of the arrogant, ostentatious and the ignoramuses seeking after status. ad-Dârimî records with a sahîh isnâd that the Messenger of Allâh, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, said, "Leave my back empty for the Angels." Ahmad records on the authority of Jâbir that the Companions of the Prophet, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, would walk in front of him and leave his rear for the Angels. Perhaps this is derived from His saying, "And the Angels moreover are his assistants," [6] "And would hurry to greet whoever he met with the salâm," (M) This is a general statement but excludes the disbelievers, and perhaps the reason for not explicitly excluding them was because they are viewed to be of the same ranking as dumb animals, hence they cannot understand and therefore are not addressed. (Q) Meaning that he would rush to give the salâm immediately upon meeting as this is a sign of humility. al-`Isâm said, 'He did so to prefer those he met over himself with the greater reward, this is because responding to the salâm is obligatory and this is superior to the reward of a sunnah [i.e. initiating the greeting].' This is negligence on his part of the established principle that giving preference to others in matters of worship is not praiseworthy, (M) indeed it is reprehensible in the view of an-Nawawî who explained this in the chapter dealing with Tayammum in al-Majmû` and it is unlawful in the view of Imâm al-Haramayn. Ibn `Abdis-Salâm said: one cannot give preference in matters of worship because the goal of worship is to exalt and magnify Allâh; as such whoever gives preference to another in matters of worship has left magnifying Allâh. (Q) Moreover he has also overlooked the saying of the scholars that this sunnah is better than the obligation because it is a means to its attainment. (M) The principle that an obligation is superior to an optional deed does not hold true in every case, rather there are exceptions such as initiating the salâm which is a sunnah, the response to which is an obligation, and such as performing ablution before the time of prayer, this is sunnah and it is better than performing it in the time of prayer.


(M) Addendum: from amongst the virtues of the Prophet, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, is that Allâh has mentioned each of his limbs in the Qur´ân: He mentioned his face in, "We have seen the turning of your face toward the heaven"[7]; his eyes in, "Do not direct your eyes longingly to what We have given certain of them to enjoy"[8]; his tongue in, "We have made it easy on your tongue so that you can give good news to those who have taqwâ"[9]; his hand and neck in "Do not keep your hand chained to your neck and neither extend it to its full extent"[10]; his chest and back in, "Did We not expand your breast for you and remove your load from you which weighed down your back"[11]; his heart in, " The faithful spirit brought it down to your heart so that you would be one of the warners" [12]; and all of him in, "Indeed you are truly vast in character"[13].

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1. (A) In one text the wording is, "He would initiate the salām." I say: perhaps this is the correct wording for this is what is mentioned in al-Bidāyah via the route of Ya'qūb bin Sufyān. Recorded by at-Ţabarānı and al-Bayhaqı with an isnād that is da'ıf jiddan: the man from Banı Tamım is majhūl and Jumay' is da'ıf and some accused him of lying. (T) But all that is mentioned in the ĥadıth is proven by other authentic aĥādıth, Allāh knows best. 2. an-Nasā'ı [az-Zınah] 3. al-Bayhaqı [Ra's Rasulillāh] 4. Ĥadıth #15. 5. al-Bayhaqı [Şifatu Bu'di Mā Bayna Mankibay Rasulillāh] 6. at-Taĥrım (66): 4 7. al-Baqarah (2): 144 8. al-Ĥijr (15): 88 9. Maryam (19): 97 10. al-Isrā' (17): 29 11. ash-Sharĥ (94): 1-3 12. ash-Shu'arā' (26): 194 13. al-Qalam (68): 4§9. Abû Mûsâ Muhammad bin al-Muthanna narrated to us; Muhammad bin Ja`far narrated to us; Shu`bah narrated to us; from Simâk bin Harb; who said that he heard Jâbir bin Samurah (RA) saying,The Messenger of Allâh, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, had a wide mouth; eyes, the white of which had a red tinge; and lean heels. [1] Shu`bah said, 'I asked Simâk what the meaning of "wide mouth" was and he replied, "a large mouth." I asked him what the meaning of "ashkal eyes" was and he replied, "wide eyes." I asked him what the meaning of "manhûs heels" was and he replied, "of little flesh on the heels".'


"The Messenger of Allâh, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, had a wide mouth," (Q) This is a praiseworthy feature in the view of the Arabs and an expression denoting the peak of eloquence and clarity in speech. "Eyes, the white of which had a red tinge; and lean heels. Shu'bah said: I asked Simâk what the meaning of 'wide mouth' was and he replied, 'a large mouth.' (Q) This is the opinion of the majority, and it is also said that the meaning is 'having large teeth.' (M) but this is incorrect. "I asked him what the meaning of 'ashkal eyes' was and he replied, 'wide eyes'," (Q) Qadî `Ayâd said, 'This is an error on the part of Simâk and the correct position is the position agreed upon by the scholars and all those who explained the difficult words [occurring in the ahâdîth]: shaklah is a redness in the white of the eye and this is an extremely praiseworthy feature in the view of the Arabs; shahlah is a redness in the black of the eye. Bayhaqî records on the authority of `Alı, may Allâh ennoble his face, that, "He, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, had large eyes, long eyelashes, and his eyes had a tinge of red".' (M) al-Hâfiż al-`Irâqî said, 'This feature is one of the signs of prophethood, when he, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, journeyed to Syria with Maysirah and the monk asked about him, amongst the things that Maysirah said was, "His eyes have a red tinge to them", to which the monk said, "That is him, that is him".' (Q) Bukhârî records that he, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, would be able to see at night, in the dark, as he was able to see during the day, in the light. [2]Bukhârî and Muslim record that he, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, said, "Your bowing and prostrating is not hidden from me for I can see you behind my back," perhaps this is specific to the state of prayer [3] and as such it does not contradict the narration, "I do not know what is on the other side of that wall"; even though this report is not authentic, [4]were one to assume that it was, it is possible to explain that it means, 'I do not know without Allâh first having informed me.' This explanation is strengthened by the fact that when his, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, camel went missing, and some of the hypocrites used this occasion as an opportunity to bring to question the veracity of his Prophethood, he, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, said, "All I know is what my Lord has taught me, and He has directed me to it, it is in such and such a place and its nose-band has been caught by a tree," and the people found it exactly as he had described. [The keenness of his sight was such that] as-Suhaylî records that he, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, could see ten stars of the Pleiades and in ash-Shifâ it is mentioned that he could see twelve. "I asked him what the meaning of 'manhûs heels' was and he replied, 'of little flesh on the heels'."


§10. Hannâd bin as-Sarrî narrated to us; 'Abthar bin al-Qâsim narrated to us; from Ash`âth – i.e. ibn Sawwâr; from Abû Ishâq; from Jâbir bin Samurah (RA) who said, I saw the Messenger of Allâh, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, on a clear night wearing a red hulla and I paused and looked at him and then the moon and found that, in my view, he was more beautiful than the moon. [5] (M) The hadîth is authentically reported on the authority of Jâbir and al-Barâ´a bin `آzib as stated by al-Bukhârı, as such the statement of an-Nasâ´î that the report to Jâbir is a mistake and what is preserved is the report of al-Barâ´a, is a mistake."I saw the Messenger of Allâh, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, on a clear night", (Q) in some narrations it is mentioned that it was the eighth night of the month. "Wearing a red hulla" (Q) This was said to show that his clothing was a further cause to ponder his, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, beauty, or he mentioned it just to state what he was wearing and to show that he had precisely memorized the incident such that it was as if he, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, was before his eyes. "And I paused and looked at him," (Q) meaning looked at his, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, face. " And found that, in my view," (Q) This is not to show that only he had this view, for he, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, is like this in the view of every Muslim who sees him with the light of Prophethood, in contrast to those who are blind as Allâh, Mighty and Magnificent informs us, "You see them looking at you but not seeing," [6]i.e. not seeing your beauty and your perfection because of the deficiency of their sight, just like the weak of sight who is unable to look at the light of the sun without injuring his eyes. "He was more beautiful than the moon," (Q) because his light is clear in the horizons and in the souls, this coupled with his physical and spiritual beauty. The light of his, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, face is intrinsic to it, it never leaves it, but the light of the moon is something that does not belong to it, indeed it is borrowed, sometimes it fades and sometimes disappears altogether in an eclipse. (M) The report of ibn al-Jawzî and others on the authority of Jabir has, "in my eyes" in place of, "in my view". Abû Nu`aym records on the authority of Abû Bakr that, "His face was like the halo of the moon." ad-Dârimî records on the authority of ar-Rabî` bint Mu`awwidh, "Were you to see him, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, you would have thought the sun had risen." [7]

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1. Reported by Muslim [al-Fadā'il], at-Tirmidhı [al-Manāqib]. 2. az-Zurqānı [5/262] said, 'I have not found it in Bukhārı, instead I have found that as-Suyūţı and others referred it to al-Bayhaqı and said that it was ĥasan. I say: perhaps it is ĥasan due to witnesses for as-Suhaylı said, "It is not strong and ibn Diĥyā declared it da'ıf because it has weakness." If this is the case how can it possibly be in Bukhārı?!' 'A'ishah also reports that he (SAW) could see just as well in the dark as in the light, this was recorded by al-Bayhaqı. It was declared da'ıf by ibn al-Jawzı and al-Bayhaqı, and mawdū' by adh-Dhahabı as per al-Munāwı, Fayd al-Qadır [5/215]. Some scholars such as az-Zurqānı and as-Suyūţi viewed the ĥadıth ĥasan due to supports. Allāh knows best. 3. This is the position that ibn Ĥajr said was the most obvious in al-Fatĥ and declared with certainty in Talkhış al-Ĥabır. 4. as-Sakhāwı, al-Maqāşid al-Ĥasanah, quotes ibn Ĥajr saying that it has no basis. 5. Reported by at-Tirmidhı [al-Adab]. 6. al-A'rāf (7): 198§11. Sufyân bin Wakî` narrated to us; Humayd bin `Abdur-Rahmân ar-Ruwwâsî [or ar-Ru´âsî] narrated to us; from Zuhayr; from Abû Ishâq who said; a man asked al-Barâ´a bin `آzib (RA),‘Did the face of the Messenger of Allâh, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, resemble a sword?’ He replied, ‘No, rather it resembled the moon.’ [1] "Did the face of the Messenger of Allâh, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, resemble a sword?" (Q) i.e. in beauty and lustre, it is also postulated that it was a question regarding the longness of his face due to what is mentioned in some reports of this hadîth, as recorded by al-Ismâ`îlî, 'Was the face of the Messenger of Allâh, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, elongated like a sword?' (M) However there is nothing to negate the fact that both things were meant. "He replied, ‘no, rather it resembled the moon,’"(Q) This was mentioned so that the similitude could combine the quality of lustre and shine with the quality of being close to round [as opposed to long]. This understanding is strengthened by the hadîth of Ka`b bin Mâlik, (B) 'Whenever the Messenger of Allâh, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, was happy, his face would glitter as if it was a piece of the moon.' (Q) It can also be said that meaning is: it was not like a sword, nor like the moon, rather better than it; this understanding is strengthened by the hadîth that has just preceded, "He was more beautiful than the moon," and the hadîth of ar-Rabî` bint Mu`awwidh, "Were you to see him, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, you would have thought the sun had risen." (M) The moon is more luminescent and of more benefit than the sword because the sword rusts, its splendour fades, and its sharpness decreases; as such the comparison was altered to that of the moon. This was also done by way of seeking good omens (tafâ´ul) because the word sword comes from sâfa which means halaka (to perish). We say this even though the sword has good things about it such as killing disbelievers, but for the purpose of this similitude this benefit is countered by what we have just mentioned. If it said: but the sun and moon eclipse [and as such they lose their light], we would say this is just a temporary occurrence, like illness, in contrast to what happens to the sword. (Q) Muslim records on the authority of Jâbir bin Samurah that a man asked him, 'Did the face of the Messenger of Allâh, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, resemble a sword?' He replied, 'No, it was like the sun and the moon, it was round.' Abû `Ubayd said, 'He did not mean that it was completely round, rather it had a sense of softness and easiness about it. This is a quality that is better in the Arabs and non-Arabs but not the Turks.' This understanding is strengthened by the report that, "he had firm cheeks." [2 ](M) The sun and the moon have been mentioned here because the first is used to liken light and radiance whereas the second is used to liken beauty and perfection. So he explained that his, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, face combines these qualities added to its having roundness. The sun alone was not compared due to its quality of burning and exhausting the sight and because they only used it to make a simile to its light and radiance. The purpose of these similitudes is not mere comparison but to highlight his beauty and splendour, so the intent here is to compare his excellent qualities with the excellent qualities of all that is beautiful. [3]


§12. Abû Dâwûd al-Masâhifî – Sulaymân bin Salm – narrated to us; an-Nadr bin Shumayl narrated to us; from Sâlih bin Abû al-Akhdar; from ibn Shihâb; from Abû Salamah; from Abû Hurayrah (RA) that he said,The Messenger of Allâh, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, was white skinned as if moulded of silver and he had slightly curly hair. [4] "The Messenger of Allâh, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, was white skinned as if moulded of silver," (Q) i.e. when considering how the whiteness of his skin would bring out his lustre and sheen. The meaning is that he was white skinned with a whiteness that was pleasing in the eyes of those who beheld him, as such this description does not contradict the report of his not being extremely white as has preceded. This is also the meaning of hadîth that mentions that "he was very luminescent," and the hadîth, "he was very white." It also does not contradict the description of his whiteness being mixed with red which was mentioned in one report, that has preceded, as being brown.[5] (M) The narration, "Allâh never sent a Prophet except that he had a beautiful voice and a nice voice, and your Prophet has the best face and the best voice", indicates that his face and voice were better than that of Yûsuf, and the explanation to this hâdıth follows. "And he had slightly curly hair." The explanation to this has preceded.[6 ]

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1. Reported by Bukhārı [Şifatu-n-Nabı], at-Tirmidhı [al-Manāqib]. 2. Ĥadıth #8. 3. Refer also to the comments of (Q) to ĥadıth #8. 4. Reported by at-Tirmidhı alone. 5. Ĥadıth #8. 6. Ĥadıth #1,3'§13. Qutaybah bin Sa`îd narrated to us; al-Layth bin Sa`d informed us; from Abû az-Zubair; from Jâbir bin `Abdullâh (RA) that the Messenger of Allâh, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, said,The Prophets were presented to me: I saw Moses (AS), he was thin and resembled the tribe of Shanû`ah. I saw Jesus (AS) and the person I have seen who resembles him most is `Urwah bin Mas`ûd. I saw Abraham (AS) and the person who resembles him most is your companion – i.e. himself - I saw Gabriel and the person who resembles him the most is Dihyâ. [1] "The Prophets were presented to me," (Q) This contains an indication of his superiority, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, over them because he said this rather than, 'I was presented to the Prophets.' This is because they are like his entourage and the entourage is presented to the master and not vice-versa. This is why one of the Gnostics said, 'The Prophet, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, is like the heart of the army, the Prophets are the front guard and the Awliyâ´ are the rear guard, with the Angels aligning on the right and left, coming to their aid as Allâh says, "And the Angels moreover are his assistants," [2]and the devils are the highway robbers of this religion.' The meaning of the word Prophets here is more general so as to include the Messengers. This presentation was done on the Night of al-Isrâ´ as is mentioned in other reports.


"I saw Moses (AS), he was thin and resembled the tribe of Shanû`ah," (Q) a well known Yemeni tribe (M) known for being of moderate build, neither too thin nor too fat. (Q) It is clear that the purpose of making this resemblance is to point out similarity in features, not to further consolidate his being thin. This is because the principle is that the possibility of deriving a new meaning takes precedence over the possibility of further consolidating an already existing meaning. However this hadîth seems to contradict what is reported in Bukhârî that Moses was heavily built with straight hair, but this is answered by saying that what is meant is that he was tall [3] and hence there is no inconsistency between being tall and being thin. It is also possible that he, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, saw Moses on two separate occasion of his life, and it is well known that physical bodies can alter from being heavily built to being thin over the vicissitudes of time.


"I saw Jesus (AS) and the person I have seen who resembles him most is `Urwah bin Mas`ûd," (Q) He accepted Islâm in the ninth year of Hijrah after the Prophet, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, returned from Tâ´if and went back to his people to call them to Islâm, they refused however and he was killed when calling the adhân for prayer, or when he was calling his people to Islâm one of them shot him with an arrow and killed him. Not much more is known of `Urwah so as to know how Jesus looked but Muslim has the hadîth describing Jesus as being "of medium build, red skinned as if he had just come out of a bath." In another narration it is mentioned about him, "I saw a brown man, the best one can see amongst those of brown colour." These narrations are reconciled by saying that he had a redness and a brownness, but neither was so severe as to be predominate, as such sometimes he was described as being red and other times as brown; or they can be reconciled by saying that he, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, saw him on two separate occasions in two different situations, his actually colour being brown and his being described as red on another occasion was due to some external factor, such as exertion or the likes. In another narration it is mentioned, "Jesus was of medium build with curly hair," another narration has, "red skinned, curly haired, broad chested, not too tall." "I saw Abraham (AS) and the person who resembles him most is your companion," (Q) In another narration, "I am the one who resembles Abraham the most amongst his children." "– i.e. himself," (Q) These are the words of Jâbir or one of the other narrators of the hadîth. "I saw Gabriel," (Q) He has been mentioned amongst the Prophets because of his frequently mixing with their company because of his conveying revelation to them. "And the person who resembles him the most is Dihyâ," one of the senior Companions, he did not attend Badr but attended all the ensuing battles and was one of those who gave the pledge of allegiance under the tree. Similitudes would be propounded of him because of his great beauty. The Two Sahîhs mention that Jibrîl would come to the Messenger of Allâh, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, in the form of Dihyâ, i.e. frequently.


§14. Sufyân bin Wakî` and Muhammad bin Bashshâr narrated to us; Yazîd bin Hârûn narrated to us; from Sa`îd al-Jurayrî; I heard Abû at-Tufayl saying,‘I have seen the Messenger of Allâh, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, and not a single person remains on the face of this earth who has seen him other than me.’ I said, ‘Describe him to me.’ He said, ‘He was white skinned, handsome and of middle build and height.’[4] "I have seen the Messenger of Allâh, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, and not a single person," (Q) from amongst humans, from amongst his Companions, hence Angels and Jinn are not included. "Remains on the face of this earth," (Q) thereby omitting Jesus who saw him, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, while he was in the heaven. "Who has seen him other than me," (Q) meaning that he then is the most deserving of being asked to describe him, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, and thereby encouraging others to ask him to describe him, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam. "I said, ‘describe him to me.’ He said, ‘he was white skinned," (M) with a tinge of red as has preceded. [5]"Handsome" (M) one of the meanings of this word is fat, and it was to clear the possibility of understanding it in this way that he followed this by saying, "and of middle build and height,’" (Q) al-Mîrak said, 'This hadîth clearly shows that he was the last of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, to die. He passed away in the year 110H according to the correct opinion, and this accords to the hadîth recorded in the Sahîh that the Prophet, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, said, a month before his passing away, "There is no breathing soul on this earth that will be alive in one hundred years time," in another narration that the Prophet, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, towards the end of his life, prayed `Ishâ´ after which he stood and said, "Do you see this night of yours? In one hundred years, there will not remain alive anybody who is alive on this earth today."

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1. Reported by Muslim [al-Īmān], at-Tirmidhı [al-Manāqib]. 2. at-Taĥrım (66): 4 3. As mentioned in another report of Bukhārı [Kitāb al-Anbiyā']. 4. Reported by Muslim [al-Fadā'il], Abū Dāwūd [al-Adab]. 5. Ĥadıth #1,2§15. `Abdullâh bin `Abdur-Rahmân narrated to us; Ibrâhîm bin al-Mundhir al-Hizâmî narrated to us; `Abdu-l-`Azîz bin Thâbit az-Zuhrî narrated to us; Ismâ`îl bin Ibrâhîm – the son of the brother of Mûsâ bin `Uqbah – narrated to me; from Mûsâ bin `Uqbah; from Kurayb; from ibn `Abbâs (RAA) who said,The Messenger of Allâh, ŝallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, had a gap between his incisors, when he spoke it was as if light was emanating from between them. [1] (Q,M) `Abdu-l-`Azîz bin Thâbit az-Zuhrî, he is matrûk: he would narrate from memory after his books were burnt and hence made many mistakes. "The Messenger of Allâh, ŝallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, had a gap between his front teeth," (M) al-falaj refers to a gap between the incisors and the molars and al-faraq refers to a gap between the incisors, here al-falaj is employed with the meaning of al-faraq as proven by the context, this was stated by ibn al-Athîr. However in as-Ŝihâh it is mentioned that al-falaj is used to refer to both types of gaps and as such one no longer stands in need of saying that one word has been used in place of another. "When he spoke it was as if light was emanating from between them," (M) Meaning something very white was seen that would glitter like light, this by way of a miracle for him, ŝallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam.

CHAPTER TWO - The Seal of Prophethood


§1/16. Qutaybah bin Sa`id narrated to us; Hâtim bin Ismâ`îl informed us; from al-Ja`d bin `Abdur-Rahmân who said; I heard Sâ´ib bin Yazid saying,My aunty took me to the Prophet (SAW) and said, 'Messenger of Allâh, this son of my sister is in pain.' So he (SAW) wiped his hand over my head and supplicated for blessings for me, then he performed ritual ablution and I drank the left over water which he had employed. I stood behind him and I saw the seal between his shoulders, it resembled the tassel of a netted structure. [2] "My aunty," (M) al-Hâfidh ibn Hajr said, 'I have not found a mention of her name,' al-Jazarî said that she was the sister of an-Namir bint Qâsiţ al-Kindî, (Q) and ibn Hajr said that the name of his mother was `Ulbah bint Shurayh, the sister of Makhramah bint Shurayh. "Took me to the Prophet (SAW)," (Q) in another version of the book, the wording is, 'Messenger of Allâh (SAW)'. "and said, 'Messenger of Allâh, this son of my sister is in pain,'" (Q) or one can understand the meaning to be 'ill', i.e. this son of my sister is ill, however the first understanding is better because the wording of Bukhârî mentions that he had a pain in his foot. Some have said that the fact that he (SAW) wiped his head shows that the problem was with the head, however there is nothing to prevent his having a pain in the head and foot, and the Prophet (SAW) chose to wipe the head because it was the more noble of the two appendages (M) and a problem with it is the more serious of the two.


"So he (SAW) wiped his hand over my head," (Q) al-Bayhaqî records that amongst the effects of this wiping was that the hair of his head never went white, even though his other hair did. "And supplicated for blessings for me," (Q) in age as the context shows, or age and other things, ibn Sa`d records that the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) said to him, "May Allâh bless you," and Bukhârî records that Ja`d said, 'I saw Sâ´ib when he was ninety four years old, still looking youthful, and he said, "I know that I have been granted good sight and hearing through the blessings of the Prophet's supplication for me."' (M) This hadîth shows the extent of gentleness and kindness that he (SAW) showed his Companions. "Then he performed ritual ablution and I drank the left over water which he had employed," (Q) Ibn Hajr said, 'i.e. the water that had been prepared for his ablution, or what was left over, or what he actually employed.' The most likely is the second case, and the first case is incorrect as this goes against good conduct. Some of the scholars chose the third case reasoning that it has a stronger relationship to the issue of seeking blessings, but the wording of the narration indicates the second for he said, 'I drank' and did not say, 'I sought blessings from.' (B) Abû Mûsâ reports that the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) called for a vessel containing water, he washed his hands and face therein, then spat lightly in it and said [to Abû Mûsâ and Bilâl], "Drink from it and splash it over your faces and necks," (H) so as to seek blessings with it by virtue of his blessed spit. (B) Abû Juhayfah reports that the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) came out to us at midday, water for his ablution was brought to him and he performed ablution. The people would take the water left over from his ablution and wipe themselves with it.


"I stood behind him," (Q) by way of good manners or deliberately (M) so as to see the seal. "And I saw the seal between his shoulders," (M) between his shoulders but closer to the left. al-Qurţubî said, 'The narrations on the seal concur that it was a protrusion, reddish in colour, and close to the left shoulder.' They said that the reason for this seal is that the heart is in that position and that is the entry point of Satan. Was he born with the seal, or was it placed there when he was born, or when his chest was split open in his youth, or when he was commissioned as a Prophet? al-Hafidh ibn Hajr said that the third option was the strongest, (H) as is shown by the hadîth of `Utbah bin `Abd as-Sulamî recorded by Ahmad and others that he asked the Messenger of Allâh (SAW), 'How was the commencement of your affair?' He (SAW) replied by mentioning the story of his fostering in Banû Sa`d, and in there it is mentioned that when the two Angels split open his chest, one said to the other, 'Sow it up', so he did and then sealed it with the Seal of Prophethood. "It resembled the tassel of a netted structure," (M) what is meant here is a netted structure built over the bridegrooms bed (Q) which has large tassels, some said that the sentence should be rendered, 'resembled a pigeons egg,' and used the next narration to support this understanding (N) but the scholars rejected this understanding.

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1. Reported by at-Ţabarānı, al-Awsaţ and al-Kabır [11/416] and al-Bayhaqı, ad-Dalā'il [1/215]. (A) The isnād is da'ıf jiddan. 2. Bukhārī [al-Wudū´, Ŝifatu-n-Nabī, al-Mardā, ad-Da`wāt] and Muslim [Ŝifatu-n-Nabī].2/17. Sa`îd bin Ya`qub at-Tâlaqânî narrated to us; Ayyûb bin Jâbir informed us; from Simâk bin Harb; from Jâbir bin Samurah (RA) who said,I saw the seal between the shoulder blades of the Messenger of Allah (SAW), a reddish protruding part of the flesh resembling the egg of a pigeon. [1] "I saw the seal between the shoulder blades of the Messenger of Allah (SAW), a reddish protruding part of the flesh," (Q) meaning leaning towards being described as red, hence this report does not contradict the report of Muslim (SM) on the authority of Jâbir bin Samurah (Q) that it was of the same colour as his (SAW) skin. "Resembling the egg of a pigeon," (M) in shape and size. Various narrations mention differing similes for the seal: Ibn Hibbân has the narration mentioning that it was like the egg of an ostrich and ibn Hajr mentioned that this wording was a mistake on the part of one of the narrators; ibn Hibbân has the report of ibn `Umar that it was a piece of flesh like a shot pellet; Bayhaqî has the report (Z) [2]on the authority of Abu Rimthah (M) that it was like a wen; al-Hâkim has the report that it was a grouping of hair (Z) i.e. it had hair on it; (M) and at-Tirmidhî has the report that it was like an apple; (Z) ibn Abî Shaybah has the report of `Amr bin Akhtab that it resembled the mark left behind by a seal. al-Qurtubî said that all of these reports were close in meaning. (M) It is also possible that the slight differences arose from the point of view of the onlooker, dependant upon factors such as distance from the Prophet (SAW) at the time of looking and the likes. Ibn Hajr said, 'These wordings are all close in meaning. With regards what is reported that it was like the trace of a cupping glass; or like a black or green mole; or that written on it was, "Muhammad is the Messenger of Allâh," or, "Go wherever you will for you will be victorious"; or that it was of yellowish colour being surrounded by evenly spaced hair on his left shoulder as if it was the mane of a horse; and other such reports, none of them are authentic,' (Z) some are bâtil and others are da`îf.


3/18. Abû Mus`ab al-Madanî narrated to us; Yûsuf bin al-Majishûn informed us; from his father; from `آsim bin `Umar bin Qatâdah; from his grandmother, Rumaythah (RAH) who said,I heard the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) speaking, and if I had wished to kiss the seal which was between his shoulder blades I would have been able to due to his proximity, he said concerning Sa`d bin Mu`âdh on the day that he died, "The Throne of the All-Merciful trembled." [3] "I heard the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) speaking, and if I had wished to kiss the seal which was between his shoulder blades I would have been able to due to his proximity, he said concerning Sa`d bin Mu`âdh," (M) by way of explaining his status with Allâh. When Sa`d accepted Islâm, Banû `Abd al-Ashal did so too because of their great respect for him. They were the first people to accept Islâm in Madînah. He was present at Badr and was one of those who remained firm with the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) on the Day of Uhud. He was shot with an arrow on the Day of Khandaq and died a month later in Dhû-l-Qa`dah, in the 5th year of Hijrah at the age of thirty seven, (Q) he was buried in al-Baqî` and ibn Mas`ûd and `آ´ishah reported hadîth from him. His funeral was attended by seventy thousand Angels. "On the day that he died, 'The Throne of the All-Merciful trembled,'" (M) out of joy at the arrival of his soul, or to display his great status to the Angels, or at anger at the one who killed him. This last possibility is far fetched because the Throne is adjoined to His Name, All-Merciful, as opposed to the Compellor, or Subduer, or the likes. Some figuratively interpreted this hadîth but a group of scholars objected to its being taken away from its literal sense. They said it is possible to imagine the actions of those with intellect arising from those without by the permission of Allâh, just as Allâh says about some rocks, "…from them are those that fall down for the fear of Allâh. [4 ](Q) This position is further proven by the hadîth of ibn `Umar recorded by al-Hâkim with the wording, "The Throne trembled out of joy." This was the position chosen by ibn Hajr and an-Nawawî said that this was the best opinion. (M) It is also said that this is a phrase denoting that his death was a great matter, in the same way that people say, 'The world darkened at the death of so-and-so' etc., one of the scholars said that this was a good opinion and it is. (Q) It is clear that this opinion is far removed from the intent of the Legislator here. (M) From the virtues of this hadîth is that it is reported on the authority of ten Companions.

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1. Muslim [al-Fada´il], at-Tirmidhī [al-Manāqib]. 2. Zurqānī [1/289+] 3. Bukhārī and Muslim on the authority of Jābir. Muslim on the authority of Anas. Aĥmad on the authority of Rumaythah. 4. al-Baqarah (2): 744/19. Ahmad bin `Abdah ad-Dabbî narrated to us, as did `Alî bin Hujr and others; `Isâ bin Yûnus informed us; from `Umar bin `Abdullâh, the servant of Ghufrah who said; Ibrâhîm bin Muhammad narrated to us; from one of the sons of `Alî bin Abî Tâlib (RA) who said,'When `Alî (RA) used to describe the Messenger of Allâh (SAW), he would say...,' and he mentioned the complete hadîth and said [in it], 'Between his shoulder blades was the Seal of Prophecy and he was the Seal of the Prophets.' [1] 5/20. Muhammad bin Bashshâr narrated to us; Abû `آsim informed us; `Azrah bin Thâbit informed us; `Ilbâ´ bin Ahmar al-Yashkurî narrated to me; Abû Zayd `Umar bin Akhtab al-Ansârî (RA) narrated to me saying,'The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said to me, "Abû Zayd, come close and stroke my back." I did so and my fingers felt the seal.' I asked, 'What is the seal?' He replied, 'A grouping of hair.' [2] "The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said to me, 'Abû Zayd, come close and stroke my back,'" (M) al-Qastalânî said, 'It is possible that the Chosen One (SAW) thought that there was something on his garments that may harm him, and hence ordered him to stroke his [skin directly], or he came to know through the light of Prophethood that Abû Zayd wished to know how the seal was. Therefore he ordered him to place his hand in his garment to feel it. He did not raise his garment due to a factor preventing this such as its being tight or the likes.' "I did so and my fingers felt the seal.' I asked, 'What is the seal?' He replied, 'A grouping of hair,'" (Q) The literal sense of this narrations shows that he did not actually see the seal and hence just felt the hair on it. In the light of this, this description is not at odds with the other descriptions of the seal. (M) The narration in the Jâmi` of the author mentions that he (SAW) supplicated for him. In another narration it mentions that he (SAW) said, "O Allâh, make him beautiful," he lived to age of one hundred and twenty and there were only a few white hairs to be seen on his head and beard.


'6/21. Abû `Ammâr al-Husayn bin Hurayth al-Khuzâ`î narrated to us; `Alî bin Husayn bin Wâqid informed us; my father narrated to me; `Abdullâh bin Buraydah narrated to me; I heard my father, Buraydah (RA) saying,Salmân al-Fârisî went to the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) when he arrived at Madînah with a platter containing moist dates and placed it before the Messenger of Allâh (SAW). He said, "Salman, what is this?" He replied, 'Charity for you and your Companions.' He said, "Remove it for we do not eat from that which is offered as charity." So he removed it and the next day came with the likes of it and placed it before the Messenger of Allâh (SAW). He said, 'Salman, what is this?' He replied, 'A gift for you.' Thereupon the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) said to his Companions, 'Take from it.'

Then he looked at the seal on the back of the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) and believed in him. However he belonged to a Jew and so the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) bought him for a number of dînârs on the condition that he would tend to some date-palm trees for them until they bore fruit. The Messenger of Allâh (SA W) planted the trees except for one which was planted by `Umar (RA) and in the same year the trees bore fruit except for that one. The Messenger of Allâh (SAW) said, "What is the matter with this tree?" `Umar replied, 'Messenger of Allâh, I planted it.' So the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) uprooted it and planted it again and it bore fruit in that same year. [3] "Salmân al-Fârisî went to the Messenger of Allâh (SAW)," (Q) in the first year of the Hijrah. "When he," the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) "arrived at Madînah with a platter," (Q) in one narration, 'Which I carried on my shoulder.' "Containing moist dates and placed it before the Messenger of Allâh (SAW)," (Q) al-`Irâqî, Sharh at-Taqrîb said, 'The literal sense of this narration is that the food that Salmân brought was only moist dates, however Ahmad and at-Tabarânî record, with a good isnâd, on the authority of Salmân himself, "I collected firewood, sold it, and prepared some food and took it to the Prophet (SAW)." at-Tabarânî also records, with a good isnâd, "I bought camel meat for one dînâr and cooked it. I prepared a large bowl of tharîd, and took it to him, carrying it on my shoulder, and placed it before him." So it seems that this platter contained food and moist dates. As for the version in at-Tabarânî on the authority of Salmân that mentions that it contained dates, it is da`îf.' "He said, "Salman, what is this?" He replied, 'Charity for you and your Companions,'" (Q) charity is a form of donation that one gives to another seeking thereby reward in the Hereafter, it comes from one is higher to one who is lower and as such it contains a hint of embarrassment for the one who is taking and is done by way of showing kindness to him. A gift on the other hand does not contain these traits and its goal is to increase mutual love and closeness. al-`I·âm said, 'Therefore one understands from charity that it is not befitting to be taken by the Prophet (SAW), and indeed charity, optional and obligatory, is forbidden for him and his family to accept.' "He said, 'Remove it for we do not eat from that which is offered as charity,'" (Q) i.e. take it away from me, this because of the narration of at-Tabarânî and Ahmad that he (SAW) said to his Companions, "Eat," but did not partake himself. al-`Irâqî said, 'The hadîth contains proof that optional charity is prohibited for him (SAW) to accept; this is the correct and famous position.' "So he removed it," (Q) from the Prophet's presence, or altogether after his Companions had finished, " and the next day came with the likes of it and placed it before the Messenger of Allâh (SAW). He said, 'Salman, what is this?' He replied, 'A gift for you.' Thereupon the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) said to his Companions, 'Take from it,'"(Q) he said this in order to remove any misconception that the food was only for him. The hadîth contains proof that a gift is accepted from one who claims that he has ownership of that gift, merely depending upon the outward appearance of things, without the need to investigate the issue any further. It also contains proof that it is recommended for a person who has received a gift of food to feed those with him from it.


"Then," (M) some time later, "he looked at the seal on the back of the Messenger of Allâh (SAW)," (Q) the books of biographies mention that Salmân remained waiting to see the third sign of his (SAW) prophecy. He had previously been informed by the last of his teachers that the awaited Prophet would have three traits that would prove him to be so: he would accept gifts; he would not eat from charity; and between his shoulders would be the Seal of Prophethood. So having seen two of them, he remained waiting for the chance to see the third. The opportunity arose when one of the leaders of the Ansâr died; the Prophet (SAW) escorted the funeral procession to Baqî` al-Gharqad and then sat, waiting for the burial to commence. Salmân came and moved behind him (SAW), lingering there, trying to catch a glimpse of the Seal. When the Prophet (SAW) noticed him, he lifted his garment and showed Salmân the Seal. "And believed in him. However he belonged to a Jew and so the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) bought him for a number of dînârs on the condition that he would tend to some date-palm trees for them," (Q) i.e. those who owned him, "until they bore fruit. The Messenger of Allâh (SA W) planted the trees except for one which was planted by `Umar (RA) and in the same year the trees bore fruit except for that one. The Messenger of Allâh (SAW) said, "What is the matter with this tree?" `Umar replied, 'Messenger of Allâh, I planted it.' So the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) uprooted it and planted it again and it bore fruit in that same year," (Q) this is one of his (SAW) miracles.

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1. Ĥadīth #7. 2. Aĥmad and ibn Ĥibbān. 3. Aĥmad and ibn Ĥibbān.7/22. Muhammad bin Bashshâr narrated to us; Bishr bin al-Waddâh informed us; Abū `Aqîl ad-Dawraqî informed us; from Abū Nadrah who said; I asked Abū Sa`îd al-Khudrî about the seal of the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) - i.e. the Seal of Prophecy - and he replied, 'A protruding piece of flesh on his back.' [1] 8/23.' Abū al-Ash`ath, Ahmad bin al-Miqdâm al-`Ijlî al-Ba·rî, narrated to us; Hammâd bin Zayd informed us; from `آsim al-Ahwal; from `Abdullâh bin Sarjis (RA) who said,I went to the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) while he was amongst a group of his Companions and I moved behind him like this, he came to know what I wished so he lifted his upper garment from his back and I saw the seal between his shoulder blades resembling a clenched fist, surrounding which were marks looking like small moles. So I went to it to kiss it and said, 'May Allâh forgive you, Messenger of Allâh.' He replied, "And you also." The people asked, 'Did the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) seek forgiveness for you?' he replied, 'Yes and you also.' Then he recited the verse, "And seek forgiveness for your sin and for the believers, male and female." [2] "I went to the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) while he was amongst a group of his Companions and I moved behind him like this, he came to know what I wished so he lifted his upper garment from his back and I saw the seal between his shoulder blades," (SM) `Abdullâh bin Sarjis reports that he ate bread and meat, or: tharîd, with the Messenger of Allâh (SAW). The narrator asked, 'Did the Prophet (SAW) seek forgiveness for you?' He replied, 'Yes, and for you.' Then he recited the verse,"And seek forgiveness for your sin and for the believers, male and female." Then he said, 'I moved behind him and saw the Seal of Prophethood between his shoulders, near the top of his left shoulder, resembling a clenched fist, surrounding which were marks resembling moles.' "Resembling a clenched fist," (N) in features not size, "surrounding which were marks looking like small moles. So Iwent to it to kiss it and said, 'May Allâh forgive you, Messenger of Allâh,'" (Q) by way of thanking him. "He replied, 'And you also.' The people asked," (Q) i.e. the people who `Abdullâh bin Sarjis was addressing, the person who actually said these words is the sub-narrator, `آsim al-Ahwal; or the people who were asking were the Companions and the one who said the actual words was `Abdullâh, this seems to be the more obvious case. "'Did the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) seek forgiveness for you?' he replied, 'Yes and you also.' Then he recited the verse, 'And seek forgiveness for your sin and for the believers, male and female.'" __________________________________________________ _

1. Singularly recorded by the author. A similar ĥadīth is recorded by Aĥmad. 2. Muĥammad (47: 19). Recorded by Muslim [al-Fadā´il] and an-Nasā´ī, al-Kubrā.Chapter 3 - The Hair of the Prophet §1/24. `Alî bin Hujr narrated to us; Ismâ`îl bin Ibrâhîm informed us; from Humayd; from Anas bin Mâlik (RA) who said,The hair of the Prophet (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) reached half way down his ears. [1] "The hair of the Prophet (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) reached half way down his ears," (Q) meaning the majority of his hair or on some occasions, as such there is no discrepancy between this and the description that his (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) hair reached his shoulders or just above them.

(AD) Ibn al-Hanzaliyya (RA) reports that the Prophet (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) said, "A fine man, Khuraym al-Asadi were it not for the length of his hair and the dragging of his waist-wrap." News of this reached Khuraym, whereupon he immediately took a blade and cut his hair to his ears, then he raised his waist-wrap to his mid-calves. Wâ´il bin Hujr (RA) reports that he came to the Prophet (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) when he had long hair. When the Prophet saw him, he said,"Misfortune, misfortune!" and so he returned and clipped it. When he came back to see him (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) the next day he said, "I truly did not mean you, but this is better."

'''§2/25. Hannâd bin as-Sarrî narrated to us; `Abdur-Rahmân bin Abû az-Zinâd informed us; from Hishâm bin `Urwah; from his father; from `آ´ishah (RAH) that she said,I and the Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) used to take a bath from one and the same vessel, his hair was above his shoulders and beyond the lobes of his ears. [2] "I and the Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) used to take a bath from one and the same vessel," (M) thereby proving the permissibility of a man and woman washing from one vessel, and also proving that the water left over by a woman after purification is pure and purifying (ţahûr); this because the version of Bukhârî has, '…from one vessel because of janâbah.' "His hair was above his shoulders and beyond the lobes of his ears," (M) al-Hâfidh Abû al-Fadl al-`Irâqî said, 'His hair has been depicted in three fashions: jumma, which is hair reaching the shoulders; wafra, which is hair reaching the lobes of the ears; and limma, which is hair going beyond the lobes of the ears [but not reaching the shoulders].' (Q) Hence the clear sense of this hadîth shows that his hair was between a jumma and wafra, (M) i.e. a limma. (Q) The author also recorded this hadîth in his Jâmi` and said that it was hasan gharîb sahîh; the narration of Abû Dâwûd has seemingly the opposite wording, 'The hair of the Prophet (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) was above [or: more than] a wafra and beyond [or: less than] a jumma.' al-`Irâqî in his commentary to at-Tirmidhî reconciled the two by saying that the first narration talked about the length of the hair and the second about the quantity. So 'above the jumma' means that its length was above this and 'beyond a jumma' means less than it in quantity; and so too for the wafra. (H) [3]This is an excellent reconciliation but for the fact that the source of the hadîth is one and the same.


§3/26. Ahmad bin Manî´ narrated to us; Abû Qaţan informed us; Shu`bah informed us; from Abû Ishâq; from al-Barâ´a bin `آzib (RA) who said,The Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) was of medium stature having broad shoulders; his hair would just reach the lobes of his ears. [4] (SB) Another wording of the same hadîth has, "…his hair would almost reach his shoulders." (H) [5]ibn Baţţâl reconciled these two different wordings by saying that they were describing him (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) on two separate occasions…but this reconciliation only holds if one were discussing two separate hadîth, however here the hadîth is one and has the same source, for both variations are from the narration of Abû Ishâq on the authority of al-Barâ´a. Therefore the better reconciliation between the two variations is that they were only depicting an approximation. The same holds for the hadîth of Anas to be mentioned shortly. (SB) Qatadah narrated to us; that Anas narrated to us that the hair of the Prophet (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) would reach his shoulders. Qatadah reports that he asked Anas ibn Mâlik about the hair of the Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) to which he replied, 'The hair of the Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) was neither very curly nor completely straight, it hung between his ears and shoulders.'


§4/27. Muhammad bin Bashshâr narrated to us; Wahb bin Jarîr bin Hâzim informed us; my father narrated to me; from Qatâdah (RH) who said,I asked Anas, 'How was the hair of the Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam)?' He replied, 'It was neither curly nor completely straight, it used to reach his earlobes.' [6] §5/28. Muhammad bin Yahyâ bin Abû `Umar narrated to us; Sufyân bin `Uyaynah informed us; from ibn Abû Najih; from Mujâhid; from Umm Hâni´, the daughter of Abû Ţâlib (RAH) who said,The Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) arrived at Makkah once and he had four braids. [7]

"The Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) arrived at Makkah once," (Q) all in all the Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) visited Makkah on four occasions: for `Umratu-l-Qadâ´; the conquest of Makkah; `Umratu-l-Ja`rânah; and the Farewell Hajj. Some of the narrations of this hadîth show that this occasion was the conquest of Makkah."And he had four braids," a discussion on this follows. [8] ______________________________________________ 1. Abū Dāwūd [at-Tarajjul] and an-Nasā´ī [az-Zīnah]. Muslim [al-Fadā´il] with wordings close in meaning to that quoted. 2. at-Tirmidhī [al-Libās] and Abū Dāwūd [at-Tarajjul]. The part concerning the bath it is to be found in the Two Ŝaĥīĥs from her via a number of different routes. 3. Fatĥ [10/439] 4. Ĥadīth #3 5. Fatĥ [10/438] 6. Bukhārī [al-Libās] and Muslim [al-Fadā´il] 7. at-Tirmidhī [al-Libās] and Abū Dāwūd [at-Tarajjul] 8. Ĥadīth #31.

§6/29. Suwayd bin Nasr narrated to us; `Abdullâh bin al-Mubârak narrated to us; from Ma`mar; from Thâbit; from Anas (RA) that,The hair of the Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) used to reach half way down his ears. [1] §7/30. Suwayd bin Nasr narrated to us; `Abdullâh bin al-Mubârak narrated to us; from Yûnus bin Yazîd; from az-Zuhrî; `Ubaydullâh bin `Abdullâh bin `Utbah informed us; from ibn `Abbâs (RAA) that,The Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) used to let his hair hang down whereas the polytheists used to part their hair. The People of the Book used to let their hair hang down and he (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) used to like conforming to their practice in that which he had not been commanded. Then after this the Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) used to part his hair. [2] "The Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) used to let his hair hang down," (M) without parting it. an-Nawawî said, 'The scholars have stated that what this means is that he would let his forelock hang over his brow like a lock of hair (qussa).' "Whereas the polytheists used to part their hair. The People of the Book used to let their hair hang down and he (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) used to like conforming to their practice," (M) i.e. at that time when the polytheists were many"in that which he had not been commanded," (H) [3]in the narration of Ma`mar, 'Whenever he was in doubt over a matter concerning which no command had come to him, he would do what the People of the Book did.' (M) He preferred the practice of the People of the Book over the practice of the polytheists because they were still holding on to some remnant of the laws of the Messengers whereas the polytheists had no support for what they did besides the practice of their forefathers. Alternatively it is said, as mentioned by an-Nawawî, that he did this by way of encouraging them to accept Islâm just as he did by initially facing their Qiblah in prayer (Q) then after this when Islâm became manifest, he opposed them in many affairs. (M) Some went on to say that the hadîth shows that this preference was shown before Islâm spread and became strong, then when Makkah was conquered and affairs settled down, he preferred to oppose them. al-Qurţubî said, 'His preference for conforming to their practice was when he first came to Madînah, at that time when he used to face their Qiblah, in order to encourage them to accept Islâm. When they did not accept Islâm despite his efforts, he ordered that their practice be opposed in many different issues.' (H) [4]This opinion of al-Qurţubî is a possibility, but there is another possibility which is more likely: that in those issues where the ruling could either be one or the other, without there being a third possibility, and nothing had been revealed concerning it to the Prophet (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam), he would act in accordance to the practice of the People of the Book because in origin they had a law from Allâh. Then, when the polytheists accepted Islâm, only the People of the Book were left to oppose so he ordered that they be opposed. I have gathered together the issues in which we have been ordered to oppose the People of the Book in from various ahâdîth and they exceeded thirty. "Then after this the Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) used to part his hair," (Q) and not leave any hanging over his brow. (H) [5]In the narration of Ma`mar the wording is, 'Then he ordered the parting of the hair.' …It is clear that he did this because revelation came to him concerning it due to the saying of the narrator, 'He (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) used to like conforming to their practice in that which he had not been commanded,' which then clearly implies that he parted his hair because the order came to him from Allâh. An order can either be obligatory or recommended. (M) Letting the hair hang freely is still permissible but this hadîth shows that it is better to part the hair as this is what the Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) did at the end of his life. [6]This at odds to the opinion of Qâdî `Ayâd (Q) that letting the hair hang freely was abrogated and as such this was not permissible and neither was the forelock or letting the hair reach shoulder length. (M) It is reported that some of the Companions would let their hair hang freely; were parting obligatory, they would not have done so. [7 ](Q) This is the opinion of Mâlik and the majority and an-Nawawî said, 'The correct opinion is that it is permissible.' Perhaps the wisdom behind his changing to parting is that it is neater and easier to clean, with less wastage of water, and moreover it does not resemble the habit of women. Ibn Hajr said, 'Letting the hair hang freely would then be permissible if by doing so one does not resemble women, otherwise it is prohibited without any dispute.' (M) With regards the hadîth that has preceded, [8]'If the hair on his forehead parted of its own accord, he would keep it parted,' al-Qasţallânî said that this is understood to refer to the beginning of his affair.


§8/31. Muhammad bin Bashshâr narrated to us; `Abdur-Rahmân bin Mahdî informed us; from Ibrâhîm bin Nâfi` al-Makkî; from ibn Abû Najîh; from Mujâhid from Umm Hâni´ who said,I saw the Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) having four braids. [9] "I saw the Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) having four braids," (Q) Ibn Hajr said, 'This hadîth proves the permissibility of having braids even for men, as such it is not specific to women unless one takes into account the habit which has become widespread in the majority of lands, but this should not be taken into consideration.'


(M) The literal sense of the ahâdîth quoted in this chapter show that the Prophet (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) never shaved his head except as part of the rites of Hajj and `Umrah. (Z) [10 ]This was declared with certainty by ibn al-Qayyim who further said that he only shaved his head on four occasions. (AD) Ibn `Umar (RAA) reports that the Prophet (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) saw a child, part of whose head was shaved and part unshaved. He said, "Either shave the whole head or leave the whole head." (MS) [11]al-Qârî said, 'This hadîth indicates the permissibility of shaving the head outside of Hajj and `Umrah. However it is better not to shave unless it be part of the rites of Hajj and Umrah as was the practice of the Prophet (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) and his Companions.' As for the hadîth concerning the Khawârij that one of their features would be the shaving of their heads, an-Nawawî said, 'There is no evidence in this for the reprehensibility of shaving the head, all it mentions is this would be one of their features and a feature could be prohibited or permissible.' (MS) [12]ibn `Abdu-l-Barr said, 'The scholars in all the various lands are agreed that shaving the head is permissible.' It is disliked for a woman to shave her hair and some said it was prohibited.


(SM) Ibn `Umar (RAA) reports that he heard the Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam) prohibiting al-Qaza`. I [the sub-narrator] asked Nâfi` what that was and he replied, 'When a part of a child's hair is shaved and part of it is left.' (H) [13]an-Nawawî said, 'The most authentic position is that al-Qaza` is as explained by Nâfi`: shaving part of the head of a child unrestrictedly. It is also said it is to shave different parts of the head but the first opinion is correct as it is the explanation of the narrator and it does not oppose the literal sense of the hadîth, therefore it is obligatory to act by it.' I say: except that it is not a condition that it be a child. An-Nawawî said, 'They have unanimously agreed upon the reprehensibility of shaving the hair in different places, unless it is for medicinal reasons or the likes. The reprehensibility mentioned is not one of prohibition and there is no difference in this between men and women.'

________________________________________________

1. Abû Dâwûd [at-Tarajjul] and an-Nasâ´î [az-Zînah], refer to Hadîth #24 2. Bukhârî [Sifatu-n-Nabî, Manâqib al-Ansâr, al-Libâs] and Muslim [al-Fadâ´il] 3. Ibn Hajr [6/712, 10/442] 4. Fath [10/444] 5. Fath [10/443] 6. Zurqânî, Sharh Muwaţţa [4/428] 7. Some of these narrations can be seen in ibn `Abdu-l-Barr, at-Tamhîd [2/629+] 8. Hadîth #8 9. Hadîth #28 10. Sharh Mawâhib al-Laduniyyah [5/507] 11. `Adhimabâdî, `Awn al-Ma`bûd [11/248] 12. ibn Muflih, al- آdâb ash-Sharî`ah [3/513] 13. Fath [10/446-447], Sharh Sahîh Muslim [13/85]CHAPTER FOUR - The Messenger of Allâh Tending to His Hair (Q) Tarajjul refers to combing, cleaning, and adorning the hair; ibn Hajr said, quoting from ibn Battâl, 'It falls under the general category of cleanliness and this is something the Sharî`ah has recommended.' [1] He (SAW) said,"Cleanliness is from the religion"; Allâh, Exalted is He says, "Children of Adam! Wear fine clothing in every Mosque"[2]; and moreover the outer is an indication of the inner. As for the hadîth prohibiting tending to the hair except occasionally,[3] the intent behind it is to prohibit excessive oiling and the likes, this being indicative that the action being done is arising from ones own base desires. (AD) `Abdullâh bin Buraydah reports that a man from the Companions of the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) travelled to Fadâlah bin `Ubayd in Egypt and said, 'I have not come to visit you, rather you and I heard a hadîth from the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) and I had hoped you had some knowledge concerning it.' He asked, 'What is it?' He said, 'Such-and-such a hadîth'. Then he asked [Fadâlah], 'Why is it that I see you with dishevelled hair yet you are the ruler of this land?' He replied, 'The Messenger of Allâh (SAW) prohibited us from excessive luxurious living'. 'ibn Buraydah said that falling under its meaning was [frequent] tending to the hair. (Q) al-Mîrak said, 'The excessiveness mentioned in the hadîth shows that a middle course is not prohibited, and it is with this understanding that all the varying reports are reconciled.' [4]

(AD) Abû Hurayrah reports that the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) said, 'Whoever has hair, let him honour it.' (Q) The isnâd is hasan.[5] The Muwatta has the hadîth of `Atâ´ bin Yasâr that the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) saw a man with dishevelled hair of head and beard and indicated that he should neaten it. The hadîth is mursal sahîh and it has a witness in the hadîth of Jâbir that is recorded by Abû Dâwûd and an-Nasâ´î with a hasan isnâd.[6] (MM) Abû Qatâdah al-Ansârî reports that he asked the Messenger of Allâh (SAW), 'I have hair reaching my shoulders, should I comb it?' He replied, "Yes, and honour it." Because of this he would sometimes oil his hair twice a day. (Z) [7]Because of its frequently becoming disarrayed due to his work or the likes, as such it does not contradict the prohibition of doing so except occasionally, [because he did it due to a need].


§1/32. Ishâq bin Mûsâ al-Ansârî narrated to us; Ma`n bin `خsâ narrated to us; Mâlik bin Anas narrated to us; from Hishâm bin `Urwah; from his father; from `آ´ishah (RAH) who said,I would comb the hair of the Messenger of Allâh while menstruating. [8] "I would comb the hair of the Messenger of Allâh," (M) thereby showing the recommendation of combing the hair of the head and by analogy, the hair of the beard. This is explicitly mentioned in the da`îf hadîth that follows. (MS) [9]Rather combing the beard could be regarded as something more recommended than combing the head because the hair of the head could be covered whereas the hair of the beard is not. "While menstruating," (Q) this proves the permissibility of interacting with a menstruating woman. ad-Dâruqutnî records that she used to wash the head of the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) while he was residing in the Mosque and she was menstruating: he would hold his head out of the Mosque for her. This proves that the body of menstruating woman is pure, as is her sweat; moreover it shows that the contact that is prohibited for one making i`tikâf is sexual intercourse and what leads to it, and that the menstruating woman cannot enter the Mosque.


§2/33. Yûsuf bin `خsâ narrated to us; Wakî` informed us; ar-Rabî` bin Ŝabîh informed us; from Yazîd bin Abân - i.e. ar-Raqâshî; from Anas bin Mâlik (RA) who said,Frequently would the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) oil his hair, comb his beard and wear a head veil [when having oiled his hair] to the point that it seemed that his garment was like that of an oil merchants. [10] (Q) ar-Rabî` bin Ŝabîh: truthful but of poor memory (M) ibn al-Qattân was not pleased with him; Ahmad said that there was no problem with him; ibn Ma`în said he was da`îf. (Q) Yazîd bin Abân: Ibn Hajr said, 'They declared him da`îf, therefore the hadîth is defective.' (M) an-Nasâ´î said he was matrûk; ad-Dâruqutnî and Ahmad said that he was munkar al-hadîth; and al-Hâfidh al-`Irâqî decisively stated that the hadîth was da`îf.


"Frequently would the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) oil his hair, comb his beard and wear a head veil," (M) this is a veil placed on the head after oiling the hair in order to protect the turban from staining. (Q) Ibn al-Jawzî, Kitâb al-Wafâ´ records on the authority of Anas that when the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) would lie down to sleep at night, his water for wudû´, miswâk and comb would be laid out for him. Then when he awoke at night to pray, he would clean his teeth, perform wudû´ and comb his beard. at-Tabarânî, al-Awsat records on the authority of `آ´ishah that the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) would always have his miswâk and comb with him, and he would look in a mirror when combing his beard. "To the point that it seemed that his garment," (Q) of his body due to his frequent oiling and wearing of the head veil, it is also postulated that the garment referred to is the head veil. (M) The context of many of the narrations concerning this show that what is meant is the top of his shirt that met his hair and that the oil seeped down that far. Ibn Sa`d, at-Tabaqât records this hadîth with the wording, 'He would frequently wear a head veil until it seemed that the collar of his shirt was like the clothes of an oil merchant.' Ibn Hajr said, 'A narration mentions that his garment would be like that of an oil merchants, this means that he would oil his hair and then cover it with a veil, and it would seem that the part of his garment that made contact with his hair was like that of an oil merchants.'"Was like that of an oil merchants," (Q) or one who makes oil. Ibn Sa`d also records a similar hadîth on the authority of Anas.


(M) al-Hâfidh al-`Irâqî, Sharh at-Tirmidhî said, 'The isnâd to this hadîth is da`îf but it has supporting witnesses such as what is to be found in al-Khalfiyyât on the authority of Sa`d bin Sa`d that the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) would frequently oil his hair and comb his beard after wetting it; al-Bayhaqî, as-Sunan records on the authority of Abû Sa`îd that his (SAW) place of prayer would never be devoid of his miswâk and comb, and he would frequently comb his beard. The isnâd to this hadîth is da`îf.' Moreover what is meant by frequently here is on some occasions and not others due to the ahâdîth that mention the prohibition of oiling except on occasion. When this is understood, it does not contradict the description of him (SAW) being the cleanest of people. (Q) [11 ]Moreover doing something frequently does not necessitate that it be done everyday, rather the term frequently could equally apply to doing something whenever a need dictated its observance.


'§3/34. Hannâd bin Sarrî narrated to us; Abû al-Ahwa· informed us; from al-Ash`ath bin Abû ash-Sha`thâ´; from his father; from Masrûq; from `آ´ishah (RAH) who said,The Messenger of Allâh (SAW) used to love commencing on his right side when cleaning himself, when combing and when putting his shoes on. [12] "The Messenger of Allâh (SAW) used to love commencing on his right side," (Q) Perhaps the reason behind this preference was to seek good omens, for the People of the Right Hand are the inhabitants of Paradise and they will be given their books in their right hands. Bukhârî adds in his version, "…as much as he was able," thereby showing that he persisted in this so long as there did not exist any factors preventing him from doing so. "When cleaning himself, when combing and when putting his shoes on," (Q) but not when taking his shoes off for one commences with left, again to honour the right. Likewise one does the same for clothes, socks, and the likes. The meaning is that he (SAW) would love commencing with the right in these matters and in all matters that involved showing respect and honour such as accepting and giving, entering the Mosque, the house, shaving the head, trimming the moustache, trimming nails, removing underarm hair, applying antimony, lying down, eating, drinking, and brushing the teeth with regards holding with the right hand and starting with the right side. This in contrast to that which does not contain nobility such as leaving the Mosque, entering the toilet etc. which is commenced with the left, again to honour the right. an-Nawawî said, 'The principle of the Sharî`ah is to commence with the right in everything that carries the meaning of respect, honour and adornment, and to commence the opposite with the left.' The proof for this generalization lies with what Bukhârî and Muslim record on the authority of `آ´ishah that "It would please the Prophet (SAW) to commence with the right side in his putting shoes on, his combing, his purification, and in all his affairs." an-Nasâ´î records the hadîth that "The Messenger of Allâh (SAW) would love commencing with the right: he would take with the right, give with the right, and would love commencing with the right in all his affairs." The exception with regards to things that do not contain any honouring is proven by the hadîth recorded by Abû Dâwûd on the authority of `آ´ishah that 'The right hand of the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) was for his purification and eating and his left hand was for cleaning after relieving himself and for anything that was distasteful." _____________________________________________

1. Fath [10/450] 2. al-A`râf (7): 31 3. Hadîth #35 4. as was also stated by ibn Hajr, Fath [10/450] 5. as was also stated by ibn Hajr, Fath [10/450] 6. Fath [10/449] 7. Zurqânî, Sharh Muwatta [4/430] 8. Bukhârî [al-Hayd, al-Libâs], Muslim [al-Hayd] 9. al-Bâjî, Sharh Muwatta [9/400] 10. al-Bayhaqî. (A) its isnâd contains two da`îf narrators. Ibn Kathîr said, 'It contains oddity and is objectionable.' 11. Sharh Mishkât [8/226 #4445] 12. Bukhârî [al-Wudû´, as-Ŝalâh, al-At`imah, al-Libâs], Muslim [at-Tahârah]


Chapter 5 - The Messenger of Allâh's White Hair §1/37 Muhammad bin Bashshâr narrated to us; Abû Dâwûd informed us; Hammân informed us; on the authority of Qatâdah who said,I asked Anas bin Mâlik, 'Did the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) dye his hair?' He replied, 'He did not reach that stage, there was just something on his temples, however Abû Bakr dyed his hair with henna and katam.'[1] "I asked Anas bin Mâlik, 'Did the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) dye his hair?' He replied, 'He did not reach that stage," (Q) meaning his hair did not reach that stage, this is what some said but the correct opinion is that he (SAW) himself did not reach the stage in life where he required to dye. This explanation is strengthened by the report of Muslim via the route of Muhammad bin Sîrîn that he asked Anas bin Mâlik, 'Did the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) dye his hair?' He replied, 'He did not reach that age.' It is also possible that it means that the number of his white hairs did not reach the point where he would have needed to dye them, and this understanding is strengthened by the remainder of the hadîth. "There was just something," (Q) insignificant "on his temples," (Q) the literal sense of this seems to contradict the next hadîth, however it could be said that this statement was said to stress their lack of number as opposed to specifying the number of white hairs on his beard. al-`Isâm said, 'One also understands from this that there were only a few white hairs on his head because the first appearance of white hairs there is on the temples.'


(MS) Bukhârî records on the authority of Wahb Abû Juhayfah as-Suwâ´î who said, 'I saw the Prophet (SAW) and I saw some white hair below his lower lip.'; Harîz ibn `Uthmân asked `Abdullah ibn Busr, the Companion of the Prophet (SAW), 'Did you see the Prophet (SAW) when he was an old man?' He replied, 'There was some white hairs below his lower lip and above the chin.';[2] He also records on the authority of Muhammad ibn Sîrîn who said, 'I asked Anas if the Prophet (SAW) dyed his hair.' He replied, 'He did not reach the stage of having white hair, except a little.'; Thâbit reports that Anas was asked about the Prophet (SAW) dying his hair to which he replied, 'He did not reach that stage where he would have needed to dye, and if I wished to count the scarce scattering of white hairs in his beard [I could have done so].' Muslim records on the authority of Thâbit that Anas said, 'If I had wished to count the scarce scattering of white hairs in his head, I could have done so.'; Jâbir ibn Samurah said, 'White hairs appeared on the front of his head and beard.'


al-Hâfiz ibn Hajr said, 'All the various ahâdîth concerning this are reconciled by the report of Muslim on the authority of Anas, 'The Messenger of Allâh (SAW) did not dye his hair, there were white hairs on his lower lip, temples, and a scarce scattering on his head.'[3] From all the different narrations it becomes clear that most of his (SAW) white hairs were on his lower lip. The statement of Anas when asked if he (SAW) dyed his hair, 'There was just something on his temples' means that there were not that great a number such as would have required him to dye, this was explicitly stated by him in the version narrated by Muhammad ibn Sîrîn.'[4]


"However Abû Bakr dyed his hair with henna and katam," (Q) The reason for mentioning Abû Bakr was because of his status and closeness to the Messenger of Allâh (SAW). (M) Katam is a root that contains a reddish colour which is mixed with wasima so as to get a black dye. The narration of the author mentions Abû Bakr alone as does Muslim in some of his routes. However the narration of Ahmad5 has, 'Abû Bakr and `Umar dyed their hair with henna and katam.' Some said that the mention of `Umar here is an error due to the report of Muslim that Abû Bakr would dye his hair with henna and katam and `Umar would dye his hair with henna alone, (MS) or it indicates that Abû Bakr would use a mix all the time whereas `Umar would not,[6] or that `Umar employed one method sometimes and the other at others. This option is better than claiming error.[7] (Q) This narration shows that Abû Bakr would mix henna with katam when dying and not use katam alone, because this would imply that he dyed his hair black and that is something blameworthy. al-`Asqalânî said: using katam alone leads to a black colour with a reddish tinge, using henna alone leads to a red colour and mixing both leads to a colour between black and red. Detail follows in the next chapter.


§2/38 Ishâq bin Man•ûr and Yahyâ bin Mûsâ narrated to us; `Abdur-Razzâq narrated to us; on the authority of Ma`mar; on the authority of Thâbit; on the authority of Anas (RA) who said,I counted only fourteen white hairs in the head and beard of the Messenger of Allâh (SAW). [8] "I counted only fourteen white hairs in the head and beard of the Messenger of Allâh (SAW)," (Q) This does not negate the hadîth that has already been quoted in the first chapter also on the authority of Anas (RA), 'There were not to be found [as much as] twenty white hairs on his head and beard,'[9] because this is a generic negation (M) and is an approximation, and fourteen is close to twenty. Bayhaqî records on the authority of Anas, 'Allâh, Exalted is He, did not disfigure him with white hairs, there were only seventeen or eighteen such hairs,' (MS) the isnâd is sahîh.[10] al-Hâfiz ibn Hajr said, 'Meaning that his white hairs did not detract from his beauty in any way.'[11] (M) These two narrations are reconciled by stating that he was informing of two different stages in the life of the Prophet (SAW) or that he himself did not count more than fourteen hairs but in actuality there were seventeen or eighteen.


'§3/39 Muhammad bin al-Muthannâ narrated to us; Abû Dâwûd informed us; Shu`bah informed us; on the authority of Simâk bin Harb who said that he heard Jâbir bin Samurah (RA) saying upon being asked about the Messenger of Allâh's (SAW) white hairs,When he oiled his hair, no white hairs would be seen, but when he did not oil it, something of them would be seen. [12]

"When he oiled his hair, no white hairs would be seen," (Q) due to their being hidden by the shine of the oil, "but when he did not oil it, something of them would be seen," (MS) Ahmad records on the authority of Jâbir bin Samurah that, 'The hair on the front of the Messenger of Allâh's (SAW) head and beard had turned white. When he oiled it and combed it, it was no longer apparent.' Muslim records on the authority of Jâbir bin Samurah that, 'The hair on the front of the Messenger of Allâh's (SAW) head and beard had turned white. When he oiled it, it was no longer apparent, but when it was dishevelled, it was.' (Q) This shows that when he (SAW) oiled his hair, it would join together and therefore the white hairs would be hidden due to their scarce number, but when he did not oil his hair, it would be loose and then the white hairs would show. _______________________________________________ 1. Bukhâri [Manâqib] and Muslim [Fadâ´il] 2. Zurqânî, Sharh Mawâhib al-Laduniyyah [5/496], 'The clear sense of this hadîth shows that there were ten or less. This is because the jam` qilla has been employed which refers to a number which is ten or less.' 3. This was also stated by al-`Ainî, `Umadatu-l-Qârî [11/297] 4. Fath [6/707-709] 5. and one narration of Muslim. 6. `Adhîmabâdî, `Awn al-Ma`bùd [11/2590] 7. Sharh Mishkât [8/232 #4452] 8. Ahmad [#] 9. Hadîth #1 10. Fath [6/708]. Muslim also records on the authority of Anas, 'Allâh did not disfigure him with white hairs.' al-Hâkim records on the authority of `A´ishah, 'Allâh did not disfigure him with white hairs. 11. Sharh Mawâhib al-Laduniyyah [5/497], Fath [6/709]. This was also stated by al-`Ainî, `Umdatu-l-Qârî [11/297] 12. Muslim [Fadâ´il] and an-Nasâ´î [az-Zînah

§4/40 Muhammad bin `Umar bin al-Walîd al-Kindî al-Kûfî narrated to us; Yahyâ bin Adam informed us; on the authority of Sharîk; on the authority of `Ubaydullâh bin `Umar; on the authority of Nâfi`; on the authority of `Abdullâh bin `Umar (RAA) who said,The white hairs of the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) only came to about twenty. [1] "The white hairs of the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) only came to about twenty," (MS) Ishâq bin Rahawayh, ibn Hibbân and al-Bayhaqî record on the authority of ibn `Umar, 'The white hairs of the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) only came to about twenty, all towards the front.'[2]


Having white hairs is not a defect in a person. Abû Dâwûd records on the authority of ibn `Umar that the Prophet (SAW) said, "Do not pluck your white hairs for they are the light of Islâm. There is no Muslim who attains a white hair while in Islâm except that it will be a light for him on the Day of Judgment." at-Tirmidhî and an-Nasâ´î record on the authority of Ka`b ibn Murrah that the Prophet (SAW) said, "Whoever attains a white hair while in Islâm, it will be a light for him on the Day of Judgment." al-Bayhaqî records on the authority of ibn `Umar that the Prophet (SAW) said, "White hairs are the light of a believer. There is no person who attains a white hair while in Islâm except that he will acquire a good deed for each white hair, and be raised one level."[3,4]


§5/41 Abû Kurayb Muhammad bin al-`Alâ´ narrated to us; Mu`âwiyah bin Hishâm informed us; on the authority of Shaybân; on the authority of Abû Ishâq; on the authority of `Ikrimah; on the authority of ibn `Abbâs (RAA) who said,Abû Bakr said to the Messenger of Allâh (SAW), 'Messenger of Allâh, your hair has gone white!' He replied, "It was [Sûrah's] Hûd, al-Wâqi`ah, al-Mursalât, `Amma Yatasâ´lûn, and Idha ash-Shamsu Kuwwirat that made this happen!" [5] "Abû Bakr said to the Messenger of Allâh (SAW), 'Messenger of Allâh, your hair has gone white!'" (Q) i.e. your hair has gone white and the resultant effects have appeared on your body such as frailty and the likes. Ibn Sa`d has the wording, '…your hair has fast gone white!' "He replied, 'It was [Sûrah's] Hûd, al-Wâqi`ah, al-Mursalât, `Amma Yatasâ´alûn, and Idha ash-Shamsu Kuwwirat that made this happen!'" (M) at-Ţabarânî adds in his version, "al-Hâqqâh." Ibn Mardawayh adds in his version, "Hal atâka hadîthu-l-ghâsghiyah." Ibn Sa`d adds in his version, "al-Qâri`ah and Sa´ala Sâ´ilun," yet another version of his has, "Iqtarabati-s-Sâ`ah." (Q) and the likes of these chapters which talk about the affairs of the Hereafter and their horrors. at-Tûrabashtî said, 'Meaning that my concern for what they contain with regards mention of the horrors of the Hereafter, and the calamities that struck the previous nations, and my subsequent fear for my nation, has greatly affected me to the point that I attained white hairs before my time.' (M) And add to this the command that is contained in Hûd to remain firm and steadfast (istiqâmah) which is something truly difficult. However because of the greatness of the Prophet's heart and his degree of certainty, his concern did not overcome him completely but rather slightly so, such that only a few of his hairs turned white. As such his beauty and splendour remained. Sûrah Hûd has been mentioned first because it contains the command to remain firm and steadfast which is from the loftiest of the stations: none is able to reach its peak unless he be one whom Allâh has graced. Some have objected to this reasoning stating that the command to be steadfast and firm has also been mentioned in ash-Shûrâ so why just mention Hûd? This is answered by stating that the order in Hûd came first and moreover the order in ash-Shûrâ concerns the Prophet (SAW) alone whereas the order in Hûd concerns the Prophet (SAW) and his nation.


§6/42 Sufyân bin Wakî` narrated to us; Muhammad bin Bishr informed us; on the authority of `Alî bin Sâlih; on the authority of Abû Ishâq; on the authority of Abû Juhayfah (RA) that,The people said, 'Messenger of Allâh, your hair has gone white!' He replied, "It was [Sûrah] Hûd and its sisters that did this!"[6] §7/43 `Alî bin Hujr narrated to us; Shu`ayb bin Safwân informed us; on the authority of al-Malik bin `Umayr; Iyâd bin Laqîţ al-`Ijlî; on the authority of Abû Rimthah at-Taymî (RA) – Taym ar-Rabâb – who said,I came to the Messenger of Allâh with my son. He said, 'I was shown him (SAW),' and I immediately said, "This is the Prophet of Allâh (SAW)."' He was wearing two green garments and whiteness had appeared in his hair, it was reddish in colour. [7] "I came to the Messenger of Allâh with my son. He," (Q) the son, "said, 'I was shown him (SAW),' and I immediately" (Q) without pausing or needing to think, "said, 'This is the Prophet of Allâh (SAW),'" (Q) knowing this with certainty through the light of his beauty, manifest perfection, (M) great dignity, and light of Prophethood (Q) such that I required no further proof."He was wearing two green garments," (Q) i.e. completely green and these are the generality of the garments of Paradise as shown in some reports. It is also possible that these garments had lines of green in them and were not all green as some versions of the hadîth mention that they were cloaks (burdah), and these are mostly streaked. (M) It is said that this narration proves that it is Sunnah to wear green garments but in fact all it proves is the permissibility of this. A discussion on green garments follows later. "and whiteness had appeared in his hair, it was reddish in colour," (Q) i.e. the tips of his white hairs were red, this is because the first stages of white hair is accompanied by redness in the tips. It is also possible that the narration means that the hair was white but it was reddish in colour due to dye. A detailed discussion concerning dyeing follows inshâAllâh.


§8/44 Ahmad bin Manî` narrated to us; Surayj bin an-Nu`mân narrated to us; Hammâd bin Salamah narrated to us; on the authority of Simâk bin Harb who said, Jâbir bin Samurah was asked, 'Were there any white hairs on the head of the Messenger of Allâh (SAW)?' He replied, 'There were no white hairs on his head save a few where the hair parted, when he oiled them, they were concealed.'[8]

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1. Ibn Mâjah [Libâs] and Ahmad [#] 2. Fath [6/707] 3. Refer also to al-Albânî, Sahîh at-Targhîb [#2091-2096] 4. Sharh Mawâhib al-Laduniyyah [5/498-499] 5. Tirmidhî [Tafsîr] 6. at-Ţabarânî. 7. Abû Dâwùd [Tarajjul] and an-Nasâ´î [az-Zîna] 8. Refer to fn. #8Chapter 6 - The Messenger of Allâh on Dyeing His Hair

(Q) The narrations and scholars differed as to whether the Prophet (SAW) dyed his hair or not. an-Nawawî said, 'The preferable opinion is that he (SAW) did actually dye his hair for a time as is proven by the hadîth of ibn `Umar recorded in the Two Sahîhs, it is not possible to leave this hadîth or explain it away. However most of the time he did not dye his hair, so each person narrated what he saw of his practice and all were truthful in what they narrated.'[1] (MS) Bukhârî records on the authority of Ibn `Umar that he saw the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) dyeing his hair. Abû Dâwûd records on the authority of Ibn `Umar that the Prophet (SAW) used to wear tanned leather sandals and would dye his beard with waras (yellow colouring) and saffron and ibn `Umar would do the same.


1/45 Ahmad ibn Manî` narrated to us; Hushaym narrated to us; `Abdu-l-Malik ibn `Umayr narrated to us; from Iyâd ibn Laqîţ who said; Abû Rimthah informed me that,I came to the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) with my son. He asked, "Is this your son?" I said, 'Yes, bear witness to it.' He said, "He will not be responsible for your crimes and you will not be responsible for his crimes." I saw that his white hairs were red.[2]

Abû `خsâ said, 'This is the best of what has been reported concerning this topic, and the most clear. This is because the authentic narrations show that the Prophet (SAW) did not reach the stage of having white hairs. The name of Abû Rimthah is Rifâ`ah ibn Yathribî at-Taymî.' "I came to the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) with my son. He asked, "Is this your son?" I said, 'Yes, bear witness to it,'" (Q) in some texts the wording is, 'I bear witness to it.' (M) This statement serves to further consolidate the meaning of his affirmation either because someone may be in doubt concerning this fact or to show that he was responsible for the crimes of his son in accordance to the ways of Jâhiliyyah (Q) that the father was responsible for the actions of the son. Islâm has negated this thinking with the words of Allâh, "No bearer of burden shall bear the burden of another,"[3] and this is why the Prophet (SAW) said, >"He will not be responsible for your crimes and you will not be responsible for his crimes." (Q) i.e. you will not be held accountable for his sin and he will not be held accountable for your sin, (M) rather you are responsible for your own crimes. The essential meaning of janâyah (crime) is dhanb (sin) but the word has been predominantly used by the Legal Jurists to refer to matters such as killing, inflicting wounds, and the likes. (Q) Ahmad has the wording, via the same route, "Is this your son?" He replied, 'Yes, by the Lord of the Ka`bah!' He (SAW) asked, "Your own son?" He said, 'Bear witness to it.' He said, "He will not be responsible for your crimes and you will not be responsible for his crimes." Another narration of Ahmad mentions that the Prophet (SAW) then recited, "No bearer of burden shall bear the burden of another."


"I saw that his white hairs were red," (Q) either because they were just turning white or because they had been dyed, the latter option would be the reason why this hadîth has been included in this chapter[4] (M) and is proven by the narration of al-Hâkim, 'His white hairs were red, being dyed with henna.' (Q) Abû Dâwûd records on the authority of the same narrator, Abû Rimthah that, 'He (SAW) had stained his beard with henna.' Ibn al-Jawzî records in his Kitâb al-Wafâ´ on the authority of Abû Rimthah that the Prophet (SAW) would dye his hair with henna and katam. This narration explicitly shows that he would dye his hair.


"Abû `خsâ said, 'This is the best of what has been reported concerning this topic, and the most clear. This is because the authentic narrations show that the Prophet (SAW) did not reach the stage of having white hairs," (Q) meaning that he did not reach the stage of having plentiful white hairs, rather only a few such that he was not in need of dyeing.


2/46 Sufyân ibn Wakî` narrated to us; my father narrated to us; from Sharîk; from `Uthmân ibn Mawhab who said that Abû Hurayrah was asked,'Did the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) dye his hair?' He replied, 'Yes.'[5] Abû `خsâ said, 'This hadîth was also reported by Abû `Awânah; from `Uthmân ibn `Abdullâh ibn Mawhab who said; from Umm Salamah.'[6] "Abû `خsâ said, 'This hadîth was also reported by Abû `Awânah; from `Uthmân ibn `Abdullâh ibn Mawhab who said; from Umm Salamah.'" (Q) Bukhârî also records on the authority of `Uthmân ibn `Abdullâh ibn Mawhab who said, 'I entered upon Umm Salamah and she brought out a hair of the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) which was dyed.' Ibn Mâjah and Ahmad add, "…with henna and al-katam." al-Ismâ`îlî records that 'a hair from the beard of the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) was in the possession of Umm Salamah and it had on it the traces of henna and al-katam.'


(Q) The fact that they were in the possession of some Companions, dyed, is not a proof that the Prophet (SAW) himself dyed them. (MS) ad-Dâruquţnî records in Rijâl Mâlik, and it is also to be found in his Gharâ´ib Mâlik, on the authority of Abû Hurayrah that when the Prophet (SAW) passed away, whoever had any of his hairs would dye them so as to preserve them and make them last longer.[7]

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1. Nawawî, Sharh Ŝahîh Muslim [15/77]; this was also stated by al-`Ainî, `Umadatu-l-Qârî [11/297] 2. Hadîth #43. 3. al-Isrâ´ (17): 15 4. Refer to the comments of (Q) to hadîth #43. 5. The author was alone in recording it. 6. Bukhârî. 7. Ibn Hajr [6/708].

2/46 Sufyân ibn Wakî` narrated to us; my father narrated to us; from Sharîk; from `Uthmân ibn Mawhab who said that Abû Hurayrah was asked,'Did the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) dye his hair?' He replied, 'Yes.'[1] Abû `isâ said, 'This hadîth was also reported by Abû `Awânah; from `Uthmân ibn `Abdullâh ibn Mawhab who said; from Umm Salamah.' [2] "Abû `خsâ said, 'This hadîth was also reported by Abû `Awânah; from `Uthmân ibn `Abdullâh ibn Mawhab who said; from Umm Salamah.'" (Q) Bukhârî also records on the authority of `Uthmân ibn `Abdullâh ibn Mawhab who said, 'I entered upon Umm Salamah and she brought out a hair of the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) which was dyed.' Ibn Mâjah and Ahmad add, "…with henna and al-katam." al-Ismâ`îlî records that 'a hair from the beard of the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) was in the possession of Umm Salamah and it had on it the traces of henna and al-katam.'


(Q) The fact that they were in the possession of some Companions, dyed, is not a proof that the Prophet (SAW) himself dyed them. (MS) ad-Dâruquţnî records in Rijâl Mâlik, and it is also to be found in his Gharâ´ib Mâlik, on the authority of Abû Hurayrah that when the Prophet (SAW) passed away, whoever had any of his hairs would dye them so as to preserve them and make them last longer.[3]


3/47 Ibrâhîm ibn Hârûn narrated to us; an-Nadr ibn Zurârah informed us; from Abû Janâb; from Iyâd ibn Laqîţ; from al-Jahdamah, the wife of Bashîr ibn al-Khaŝâŝiyyah who said,I saw the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) leaving his house while wiping his head after having had a bath. He had dyed his head with saffron (rad`) henna or a thick smearing of henna (radgh). [4] The doubt arose from the Shaykh [i.e. the narrator of the hadîţh]. (Q,M) an-Nadr: ibn Hajr said he was mastûr. Abû Janâb: some declared him da`îf because of his frequent tadlîs.


4/48 `Abdullâh ibn `Abdur-Rahmân narrated to us; `Amr ibn `Aŝim narrated to us; Hammâd ibn Salamah narrated to us; Humayd narrated to us; from Anas who said,I saw the hair of the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) dyed. [5] 5/49 Hammâd and `Abdullâh ibn Muhammad ibn `Aqîl said,I saw the hair of the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) with Anas ibn Mâlik, and it was dyed. [6] "I saw the hair of the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) with Anas ibn Mâlik, and it was dyed." (MS) This hadîth of Anas contradicts an earlier hadîth from him stating that the Prophet (SAW) did not dye his hair. In some narrations of that hadiţh the wording is, "The Prophet (SAW) never dyed his hair." The reconciliation of these two ahâdîth can be found in the report which mentions that 'Anas ibn Mâlik came to Madînah when `Umar ibn `Abdu-l-`Azîz was its governor. `Umar sent a messenger to him to ask him if the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) had dyed his hair for he had seen some of his hair coloured. Anas replied, "The Messenger of Allâh (SAW) was blessed with black hair, and if I had wished to count what had appeared in his head and beard of white hairs, I would not have counted more than eleven. This colour that you saw came about because of the perfume that he (SAW) would employ." Recorded by al-Hâkim who said it had a ŝahîh isnâd and adh-Dhahabî agreed.[7] Bukhârî records on the authority of ar-Rabî`ah who said, 'I saw one of his hairs and it was red so I asked about it and it was said: it was red on account of perfume.'[8]


However this negation of Anas contradicts the affirmation of his (SAW) dyeing his hair narrated from other Companions, and these are reconciled by the words of an-Nawawî that have preceded. A similar reconciliation was mentioned by al-Hâfiz, al-Fath and before him by ibn Kathîr, al-Bidâyah.[9]

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1. The author was alone in recording it. 2. Bukhârî. 3. Ibn Hajr [6/708]. 4. The author was alone in recording it. (A) The isnâd is da`îf: it contains an-Nadr who is mastûr and Abû Janâb who is a mudallis. 5. he author was alone in recording it. 6. Hadîth #48. 7. Albânî, Mukhtaŝar Shamâ´il 8. Bukhârî. 9. Albânî, Mukhtaŝar Shamâ´ilIs it recommended to dye white hairs?

(MS) The scholars have not differed concerning the permissibility of dyeing the hair with henna and the likes but they have differed concerning which is better: dyeing or not dyeing.[1] (Q) al-Mîrak said, 'The scholars, the early and latter, differed as to whether dyeing is the better course or not dyeing. A group of the People of Knowledge were of the opinion that it is better to dye depending upon the hadîth of Abû Hurayrah recorded by Bukhârî and Muslim that the Prophet (SAW) said, "The Jews and Christians do not dye their hair, so oppose them." They also depended upon the hadîth of Abû Umâmah who said, "The Messenger of Allâh (SAW) came out upon a group of elderly people of the Anŝâr whose beards were white and said, 'Gathering of Anŝâr, dye with red or saffron and oppose the People of the Book.'" Recorded by Ahmad with hasan isnâd. It was for this reason that al-Hasan, al-Husayn, and a large group of the senior Companions dyed their hair (MS) such as Abû Bakr, `Umar, `Uthmân, Mu`âwiyah, al-Mughîrah, Abû Hurayrah, and Jâbir.[2] an-Nawawî said, 'Our madhab is that it is recommended for a man and woman to dye their white hair with henna or saffron and it is prohibited for them to dye it black according to the most correct opinion.'[3] (Q) However, many scholars leaned towards the opinion that not dyeing was the better course due to the hadîth of `Amr ibn Shu`ayb from his father from his grandfather that the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) said, "Whoever attains a white hair, it will be light for him unless he plucks it or dyes it." This is how at-Ţabarî reports it but al-`Asqalânî said, "Recorded by at-Tirmidhî who declared it hasan but I have not seen this exception mentioned in any of its routes."[4] at-Tirmidhî and an-Nasâ´î record on the authority of Ka`b ibn Murrah that the Prophet (SAW) said, "Whoever attains a white hair while in Islâm, it will be a light for him on the Day of Judgment." at-Tirmidhî also records it from the hadîth of `Amr ibn `Abasah and said it was ŝahîh. at-Ţabarânî records the hadîth of ibn Mas`ûd that the Prophet (SAW) used to dislike altering the colour of white hairs. It is for this reason that `Alî, Salamah ibn al-Akwa`, Ubayy ibn Ka`b, and a group of the senior Companions did not dye their hair. at-Ţabarî reconciled these reports by stating that, 'Whoever's white hairs look distasteful, it is recommended for such a person to dye his hair; as for the one whose white hairs do not look distasteful, it is not recommended for him to dye his hair. However the better course, in general, is to dye white hair because by doing so one is following the command to oppose the People of the Book and preserving his hair. However if the habit of a land is not to dye, not dyeing for a person who resides there is better.' This is an excellent reconciliation.


Dyeing with black

Moreover those who hold that is recommended to dye have differed concerning the permissibility of dyeing with black. The best course is to dye with red or saffron and most of the scholars were of the opinion that it is reprehensible to dye with black. (MS) This is without doubt the correct opinion and Imâm Ahmad was asked, 'Do you dislike dyeing with black?' to which he replied, 'By Allâh, yes!'[5] (Q) and an-Nawawî leant towards the opinion that the reprehensibility is one of prohibition. Some of the scholars allowed dyeing with black when undertaking Jihâd but others did not. Muslim records on the authority of Jâbir that Abû Quhâfah was brought to the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) on the Day of the Conquest of Mecca and the hair of his head and beard was white like hyssop. He (SAW) said, "Change the colour of this but avoid black."' (MS) Abû Dâwûd records on the authority of Ibn `Abbâs reports that the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) said, "In the last days there will be a people who dye their hair black such that they look like the chests of pigeons: they will not smell the scent of Paradise."[6] (Q) The authors of the Sunan record on the authority of Abû Dharr that the Prophet (SAW) said, "The best thing with which you alter your white hairs is henna and al-katam." We have previously mentioned that dyeing with these two leads to a colour between red and black.[7] (MS) `Aţâ´ said, 'I did not see any of the Companions dyeing their hair black, rather they would only use henna and al-Katam and this yellow dye.'[8] al-Hakam ibn al-`Amr al-Ghifârî, 'My brother, Râfi`, and I entered upon `Umar ibn al-Khaţţâb and I had dyed my hair with henna and my brother had dyed his hair with saffron. `Umar ibn al-Khaţţâb said to me, "This is dye of Islâm," and he said to my brother, "This is the dye of faith."['9 ] (Q) Some differentiated between men and women in this: allowing black for women but not for men and this is the chosen opinion of al-Halîmî, (MS) and Ishâq ibn Râhawayh.[10] (Q) As for dyeing hands and feet, this is recommended for women and prohibited for men, unless it is for medicinal purposes.


Plucking white hairs

Plucking white hairs is reprehensible in the view of the majority of scholars due to the hadîth of `Amr ibn Shu`ayb from his father from his grandfather that the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) said, "Do not pluck your white hairs for they are the light of a Muslim." Recorded by the authors of the Sunan and at-Tirmidhî said it was hasan. (MS) an-Nawawî said, 'This is the view of our companions, [the Shâfi`îs], and the companions of Mâlik.'[11]

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1. Ibn `Abdu-l-Barr, al-Istidhkâr [8/439] 2. Ibid. [8/440-441]. 3. `Adhîmabâdî, `Awn al-Ma`bûd [11/257] 4. However the first exception is proven by a hasan hadîth recorded by at-Ţabarânî, al-Kabîr on the authority of Fadâlah ibn `Ubayd that the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) was asked about a person plucking his white hairs to which he replied, "Whoever wishes, let him pluck his light." Ŝahîh at-Targhîb [#2092] 5. ibn al-Qayyim, Tahdhîb as-Sunan [11/257 of `Awn]. 6. Abû Dâwûd, refer to Ŝahîh at-Targhîb [#2097]. 7. Hadîth #37. 8. ibn `Abdu-l-Barr, al-Istidhkâr [8/441] 9. ibn al-Qayyim, Tahdhîb as-Sunan [11/257 of `Awn] 10. ibn al-Qayyim, Tahdhîb as-Sunan [11/257 of `Awn]

11. Sharh Ŝahîh Muslim [15/78]

Chapter 7 - The Messenger of Allâh Applying Kohl

'1/50 Muhammad ibn Humayd ar-Râzî narrated to us; Abû Dâwûd at-Ţayâlisî informed us; on the authority of `Abbâd ibn Manڑûr; on the authority of `Ikrimah; on the authority of ibn `Abbâs (RAA) that the Prophet (SAW) said,Anoint your eyes with ithmid for it gives strength to the sight and facilitates the growth of hair. He also stated that the Prophet (SAW) had a kohl container from which he would smear his eyes every night: three times in this one and three times in this one.[1] "Anoint your eyes with ithmid," (Q) i.e. persist in using it. Abû Dâwûd records "that the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) ordered that ithmid scented with musk be employed when going to sleep, and he said that the one fasting should avoid it." The isnâd to this is problematic.[2] Abû ash-Shaykh, al-Akhlâq, records on the authority of `A´ishah that the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) would anoint his eyes with ithmid when going to sleep, three times in every eye. The isnâd is da`îf. "for it gives strength to the sight," (Q) because the eye is assisted in impeding harmful things that may fall into it, "and facilitates the growth of hair" (Q) i.e. the hair of the lashes. Ibn Abî `Aڑim and at-Ţabarânî record on the authority of `Alî that the Prophet (SAW) said, "Take to applying ithmid for it facilitates the growth of hair, removes harmful things, and clears the sight." The isnâd is hasan.[3 ]


"He" (Q) i.e. ibn `Abbâs as can be seen in the version recorded by ibn Mâjah and the following narrations, "also stated that the Prophet (SAW) had a kohl container from which he would smear his eyes every night," (Q) before he went to sleep as the following narrations show and has already been mentioned, "three times in this one and three times in this one." (Q) i.e. the left and right eyes.


'2/51 `Abdullâh ibn as-ٹabbâh al-Hâshimî al-Baڑrî narrated to us; `Ubaydullâh ibn Mûsâ narrated to us; Isrâ´îl informed us; on the authority of `Abbâd ibn Manڑûr; (H) and `Alî ibn Hujr narrated to us; Yazîd ibn Hârûn narrated to us; `Abbâd ibn Manڑûr narrated to us; on the authority of `Ikrimah; on the authority of ibn `Abbâs who said,The Prophet (SAW) would anoint his eyes with ithmid before he went to sleep: three times in each eye.

Yazîd ibn Hârûn said in his version, 'The Prophet (SAW) had a kohl container from which he would anoint his eyes before going to sleep: three times in each eye.' [4] "The Prophet (SAW) would anoint his eyes with ithmid before he went to sleep: three times in each eye," (MS) Anas reports that the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) used to apply ithmid to his right eye three times and his left eye three times.[5] (Q) It is established that he (SAW) said, "Whoever uses kohl, let him apply it an odd number of times." Recorded by Abû Dâwûd. There are two opinions with regards to the usage of an odd number of times: that one anoints each eye three times such that each eye receives an odd number; or that one anoints both eyes a total of five times: three times in the right and twice in the left as is recorded in Sharh as-Sunnah[6] (M) and at-Ţabarânî on the authority of ibn `Umar that "when the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) applied kohl he would apply it three times in the right and twice in the left, making the total number odd."[7] (MS) Anas reports that the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) would apply ithmid three times in his right eye and twice in his left eye.[8] (Q) Some also said that one can anoint both eyes twice, and on the fifth time anoint both eyes with one (M) based upon the hadith recorded by ibn `Adî, al-Kâmil, on the authority of Anas that "the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) would anoint his right eye twice, his left eye twice, and then both of them with one."[9] al-Hâfiµ ibn Hajr said that the strongest option was the first option.[10] al-Hâfi* al-`Irâqî mentioned that it was recommended to commence with the right eye as the Messenger of Allâh loved to commence with the right. He also mentioned that it was best to do all the wipes of the right eye first and then the left by analogy to the way one washes the limbs when performing ablution.

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1. Tirmidhî [al-Libâs] and ibn Mâjah [at-Ţibb] (A) The isnâd is da`îf jiddan as I have explained in al-Irwâ´ [#76]. However the first part is ڑahîh as it has supporting witnesses as I have explained in as-ٹahîhah [#665, 724] 2. Abû Dâwûd [as-ٹiyâm: al-Kohl `inda an-Nawm] says after recording this hadîth, 'Ibn Ma`în said to me: this is a munkar hadîth.' He also proceeds to quote that Anas ibn Mâlik would apply kohl while he was fasting and that al-A`mash said, 'None of our companions would dislike the application of kohl for the one fasting.' 3. al-Hâfi* al-Mundhirî said the isnâd was hasan as did al-Hâfî* al-`Irâqî and ibn Hajr and al-Albânî, ٹahîh at-Targhîb [#2106] said the hadîth was ڑahîh. 4. Tirmidhî [al-Libâs] and ibn Mâjah [at-Ţibb] with a da`îf jiddan isnâd as per al-Albânî, al-Irwâ` [#76]. 5. Abû ash-Shaykh, Akhlâq an-Nabî [p. 170] with a strong isnâd as per Tahqîq al-Musnad [5/342] 6. Bâb al-Iktihâl. 7. The isnâd is da`îf but it is supported by the narration of Anas mentioned next and the narration recorded by ibn Abî Shaybah on the authority of `Imrân ibn Abî Anas that "the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) would smear his eyes with ithmid: he would apply it three times in the right and twice in the left." This is mursal ڑahîh as per Tahqîq Musnad [5/343]. 8. Sharh as-Sunnah [12/119 #3205] with a jayyid isnâd as ruled by S. al-Arna´ûţ. 9. … 10. i.e. 3 times in each eye. 3/52 Ahmad ibn Manî` narrated to us; Muhammad ibn Yazîd narrated to us; on the authority of Muhammad ibn Ishâq; on the authority of Muhammad ibn al-Munkadir; on the authority of Jâbir who said that the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) said,Take to applying ithmid when you go to sleep for it gives strength to the sight and facilitates the growth of hair. [1] "Take to applying ithmid," (Q) al-Hâfi* ibn Hajr said that the command here was one of recommendation by consensus,"when you go to sleep for it gives strength to the sight and facilitates the growth of hair," (Q) this wording contains a subtle indication that the Sunnah of applying kohl for men is only fulfilled if one has the intention of treatment and cure, not just the intention of adornment as in the case of women. It is for this reason that Imâm Mâlik was of the opinion that it was disliked for men to apply kohl unless it be for reason of treatment and cure.


4/53 Qutaybah ibn Sa`îd narrated to us; Bishr ibn al-Mufaddal narrated to us; on the authority of `Abdullâh ibn `Uthmân ibn Khuthaym; on the authority of Sa`îd ibn Jubayr; on the authority of ibn `Abbâs (RAA) who said that the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) said,The best type of kohl with which you can smear your eyes is ithmid, it gives strength to the sight and facilitates the growth of hair. [2] "The best type of kohl with which you can smear your eyes is ithmid," (Q) this proves that ithmid is a specific type of kohl. (M) They said that applying kohl was recommended and that the use of ithmid was best. "It gives strength to the sight and facilitates the growth of hair," (MS) The same hadîth is recorded by al-Bazzâr on the authority of Abû Hurayrah and the narrators are those of the ٹahîh.[3]


5/54 Ibrâhîm ibn al-Mustamirrî al-Baڑrî narrated to us; Abû `Aڑim narrated to us; on the authority of `Uthmân ibn `Abdu-l-Malik; on the authority of Sâlim; on the authority of ibn `Umar who said that the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) said, Take to applying ithmid for it gives strength to the sight and facilitates the growth of hair.[4] (Q) The point of mentioning these narrations with different chains of narration is to strengthen the basic narrative and show that it has a basis. This is because `Abbâd ibn Manڑûr is da`îf by consensus.

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1. ibn Mâjah [at-Ţibb]. 2. an-Nasâ´î [az-Zînah], ibn Mâjah [at-Ţibb], and Abû Dâwûd [at-Ţibb]. 3. al-Hâfi* al-Mundhirî, at-Targhîb wa-t-Tarhîb

4. ibn Mâjah [at-Ţibb]

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