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Prophetic Beauty; the likes of Musk and Silk

The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said: “None of you truly believes until I am more beloved to him than his father, his child and all the people.”[1]

In this series we embark on a journey to increase our knowledge of the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam), to view him as the Sahāba viewed him, and to love him as we should.

Last week, we began with an exploration of the stature and physical characteristics of the Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam). This shall be continued this week, inshāAllāh.

Click to read: 

Part 1 | Part 3

Muḥammad b. Bashshār  al-ʿAbdī narrated to us; from Muḥammad b. Jaʿfar; from Shuʿbah; from Abū Isḥāq; that he heard Barāʾa b. ʿĀzib (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) saying,

“The Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) had slightly curly hair and was of medium stature (rajil marbūʿ) with broad shoulders. His hair was thick, reaching his earlobes and he wore a red ḥulla.[2] I have never seen anything more beautiful than him.”[3]

The Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) had slightly curly hair and was of medium stature with broad shoulders. His hair was thick, reaching his earlobes

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 yet others mention to his shoulder blades. Qāḍī ʿIyāḍ reconciled these by saying that these descriptions all related to different times; therefore, when he (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) delayed cutting his hair, it would grow to his shoulders, and when he cut his hair, it would reach his ears, or half way down his ears, or his earlobes.[4]

And he wore a red ḥulla

A detailed discussion follows in the chapter dealing with his (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) clothes.

I have never seen anything more beautiful than him

This statement, along with proving the great beauty of the Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) also goes to show Barāʾa’s complete faith because believing him (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) to be so is one of the branches of having complete love for him.[5]

Maḥmūd b. Ghaylān narrated to us from Wakīʿ; from Sufyān al-Thawrī; from Abū Isḥāq; that Barāʾa b. ʿĀzib (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) said,

“I have never seen a person having a full head of hair, wearing a red ḥulla, who looked better than the Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam). He had hair that reached his shoulders and his shoulders were broad. He was neither short nor tall.”[6]

Muḥammad b. Ismāʿīl narrated to us;  from Abū Nuʿaym; from Masʿūdī; from ʿUthmān b. Muslim b. Hurmuz; from Nāfiʿ b. Jubair b. Muṭʿim; that ʿAlī b. Abū Ṭālib (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) said,

“The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) was neither tall nor short. His hands and feet were large 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.”[7][8]

The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) was neither tall nor short. His hands and feet were heavy and thick

Bukhārī also recorded from Anas that “The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) had large, thick hands and feet.”[9] Aṣmaʿī explained the word shathn used in the ḥadīth to describe his hands and feet to mean having thick fingers and toes. Ibn Ḥajr explained it to mean having thick fingers and palms and mentioned another narration with the wording, “He had large hands and feet.” He also said, ‘Khaṭṭābī explained it to mean thickness and longness of hand and this is what is intended here.’ It is also reported that Aṣmaʿī explained it to mean calloused, but when the narration stating that the Prophet’s (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) hands were soft was quoted, he went silent and decided not to explain the word any further. Qāḍī ʿIyāḍ said, ‘Abū ʿUbayd, 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.’ Hence, the meaning is that his hands were large, tending towards being thick, but without being short or calloused. Ibn Ḥajr said, ‘The correct position is that his hands were thick, but not short or calloused.’[10]

Bukhārī records that Anas said, “The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) had large hands and feet and a handsome face. I have not seen anyone, before him or after him, who was like him. He had wide palms.”[11]

Ibn Baṭṭāl said, ‘His (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) hand was fleshy, it was large and thick, but despite this it was soft as is established in the ḥadīth of Anas recorded in the Ṣaḥīḥ, “I have not touched silk, or silk brocade, that was softer than his hand (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam).”[12]

If we were to accept the explanation of Aṣmaʿī we would say it is possible that the narrator depicted the hand of the Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) in different situations: when he fought Jihād, his hand would become calloused, but otherwise his hand would be in its natural state of being soft.’

The ḥadīth concerning this follows and this is further endorsed by the ḥadīth mentioning that the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) had long hands.[13] The meaning of this ḥadīth 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 grip.[14]

The Prophet’s (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) hands were full of blessings. Muslim records that he   stroked the cheek of Jābir who then said, ‘I experienced a sensation of coolness from his hand and a scent as if he had just removed it from a perfume vendor’s box.’[15]

The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) visited Saʿd b. Abī Waqqāṣ in Makkah when he was ill and stroked his face, chest and stomach. Saʿd said, ‘To this very hour it seems to me that I can feel the coolness of his hand on my liver.’[16]

The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) also once stroked Abū Zayd al-Anṣārī’s head and beard and supplicated, “O Allāh, make him beautiful.” Even when he had exceeded the age of one hundred, not a single white hair was seen on his beard, and his face remained cheerful and never looked perturbed or dejected until the day he died.[17][18]

Abū Juḥayfah narrates that the Messenger of Allāh  (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) went out to al-Baṭḥāʾ at noon where he performed ablution and prayed Ẓuhr as two rakʿahs and ʿAṣr as two rakʿahs, 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.’[19]

Umm Sulaym narrates that the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) used to visit her and have a siesta in her house and she would spread out a leather cloth on which he would lie. He would sweat profusely and she would collect his sweat and put it in perfume. When the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi 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!’[20]

Anas (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) narrates that when the Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) passed through a road in Makkah, he would leave behind him the fragrance of musk and the people would say, “The Messenger of Allāh has passed!”’[21]

He had a large head, large bones, and a long line of [fine] hair extending from his chest to navel

“He (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) had a line of hair extending from his navel to chest, and he had no other hair on his chest or stomach.”[22]

I have not seen anyone, before him or after him, who was comparable to him

One should believe that Allāh created his noble body with an excellence that has not been seen before him or after him. The reason for this is that, predominantly, the good qualities of the body are a manifestation of the inner morals, manners and qualities of a person and the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) reached the peak of perfection in all of these.[23] Moreover, a Muslim sees the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) through the lens of faith and love, which enhances the sense of his beauty.

Barāʾa (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) states that ‘The Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) was the most handsome of people, with the best of builds, and he was neither very tall nor was he short.’[24] He also said, “I have never seen anything more beautiful than him.”

Anas (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) also said, “He (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) had a handsome face, and I have not seen anyone, before him or after him, who was like him.”[25]

Preview of the next ḥadīth in the series:

“… 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 of them…”

This series is an adapted translation of Shamāʾil al-Muḥammadiyyah by Imām Tirmidhī (raḥimahu Allāhu).

Source: www.islam21c.com

Notes:

[1] Narrated by al-Bukhāri, 15; Muslim, 44

[2] A garment consisting of two pieces, an izār and raḍāʾ.

[3] Bukhārī #3551-5848 and Muslim #2337.

[4] Qārī

[5] Munāwī

[6] Muslim #2337 and Abū Dāwūd #4183.

[7] Tirmidhī #3637 who said it was ḥasan ṣaḥīḥ and it was ruled ṣaḥīḥ by Ibn Ḥibbān #6311, Ḥākim #4194 with Dhahabī agreeing, and Albānī.

[8] Sufyān b. Wakīʿ narrates “My father narrated to us; from Masʿūdī the likes of this with this isnād.”

[9] Bukhārī #5910

[10] Qarī, Munāwī

[11] Bukhārī #5907

[12] Bukhārī #3561 and Muslim #2329

[13] Recorded by Bukhārī in taʿlīq form. The full isnād for this was provided by Bayhaqī, al-Dalāʾil.

[14] Ibn al-Athīr, al-Nihāyah

[15] Muslim #2329

[16] Aḥmad

[17] Bayhaqī said it was ṣaḥīḥ and Tirmidhī #3269 said it was ḥasan.

[18] Zurqānī 5, pp. 452+

[19] Bukhārī #3553

[20] Muslim #2331

[21] Ibn Ḥajr, vol.6:711; recorded by ‘Abū Yaʿlā and Bazzār with a ṣaḥīḥ isnād

[22] Bayhaqī

[23] Munāwī

[24] Bukhārī #3549

[25] Bukhārī #5906

About Shaikh Abu Rumaysah Refi Shafi

Ustadh Abu Rumaysah Refi Shaafi was born and brought up in High Wycombe. He studies with Shaykh Haitham Al-Haddad and Shaykh Abu AbdiRahman Al-Libee. He graduated from Imperial College from the faculty of Computer Sciences. He is currently a Java Programmer Manager. He is the chairman for the WISE (Wycombe Islamic Society). He is very active in his local community especially with his Masjid and working with youth via Islamic Scouts He has translated a number of books such as The criterion between the friends of Allah and the friends of shaytan, The relief from distress (the dua of Yunus Alayhisalam, both by Ibn Taymiyyah and many others. He has also written an explanation of Surah Al-Faatiha called ‘The spiritual cure.’ He currently gives weekly circles in High Wycombe and Watford. He is also a Lecturer for MRDF.

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