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Shamaail (6)

Tuesday, 29 September 2015 04:27

Shamaail - Hadith 6

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حدثني إبراهيم بن محمد من ولد علي بن أبي طالب قال : كان علي رضي الله عنه إذا وصف رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال : لم يكن رسول الله بالطويل الممغط ، ولا بالقصير المتردد ، وكان ربعة من القوم ، لم يكن بالجعد القطط ، ولا بالسبط ، كان جعدا رجلا ، ولم يكن بالمطهم ولا بالمكلثم ، وكان في وجهه تدوير أبيض مشرب ، أدعج العينين ، أهدب الأشفار ، جليل المشاش والكتد ، أجرد ذو مسربة ، شثن الكفين والقدمين ، إذا مشى تقلع كأنما ينحط في صبب ، وإذا التفت التفت معا ، بين كتفيه خاتم النبوة ، وهو خاتم النبيين ، أجود الناس صدرا ، وأصدق الناس لهجة ، وألينهم عريكة ، وأكرمهم عشرة ، من رآه بديهة هابه ، ومن خالطه معرفة أحبه ، يقول ناعته : لم أر قبله ولا بعده مثله صلى الله عليه وسلم.

It is related from Ebrahim bin Muhammad (Radiyallahu Anhu), who is from the grandsons of Hadhrat Ali (Radiyallahu Anhu), that whenever Hadhrat Ali (Radiyallahu Anhu) described the noble features of Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), he used to say, “Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was neither very tall nor very short, rather he was a person of medium height among the people. His hair was neither completely curly nor completely straight, but it was slightly curly and wavy. (As far as the built of his body was concerned), he was not fat in size, nor was his face completely round, rather his mubaarak face was slightly round (i.e. he did not have a fully round face nor a fully elongated face, but in between the two). The complexion of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was white with a tinge of redness in it. The (pupil of the) mubaarak eyes of Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alahi Wasallam) was pitch black. His eye lashes were long. The joints of the body (e.g. elbows, knees etc.) were large. Likewise, the portion between the two shoulders was broad and fully fleshed (i.e. well developed and well-built). There was no hair on his mubaarak body (i.e. Apart from the normal hair that men have on certain parts of the body). (Some people have excessive amount of hair on their body, however Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) did not have hair on his body besides those parts of the body which men normally have hair like the arms and legs etc.). He had a thin line of hair running from the chest to the navel. The hands and feet of Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) were fully fleshed (i.e. well developed). When he walked, he lifted his feet with vigour, as though it (his appearance of humility while walking) seemed as if he was descending a slope. When he addressed any person he used to turn his entire body towards that person. (He did not suffice on only turning his face towards the person he addressed as this manner of address is one of disregard and indifference towards the one being addressed, and at times it can be considered as an attitude of pride. Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) used to turn his full attention towards the person he addressed while turning his chest and body towards him. Some Ulama have translated this portion of the Hadith in the following manner that when Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) addressed anyone, he used to turn his face completely towards that person, and did not give a side glance. However, this is not a suitable translation as the words imply that he did not only turn his face towards the one he addressed, rather he turned his face as well as his body towards him). The seal of prophethood was situated between his mubaarak shoulders. He was the last of all Ambiyaa. He was the most generous at heart and the most truthful. He was the most compassionate and kind-hearted and came from a most noble family. (In essence he was the most honoured and greatest of every human being in his heart, tongue, character, temperament, nature and family lineage and everything associated with his mubaarak personality and ways was of the most noble and of the best). Any person who had seen him suddenly was overcome with fear (i.e. Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) had such a great, dignified and awesome personality, that any person who had seen him and come into contact with him for the first time, would become overcome with fear on account of his awe-inspiring personality. Firstly, the physical form of beauty and splendour found within a person has a natural awe, added to this when other attributes of perfection are joined to it, then one can well imagine the additional beauty and awe that will be created within the person. Besides this, among the special attributes and qualities granted to Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) from the side of Allah Ta’ala, was the quality of awe). Anyone who came in close contact with him, and knew his excellent character and excellent attributes loved him dearly. Anyone who described his noble features could only say, ‘I have not seen anyone in his external beauty and perfect qualities like Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), neither before him nor after him’ (i.e. due to being unable to do justice in describing the beauty and excellence of Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) the one who described him sufficed on saying I have not seen anyone like him).”

Monday, 20 April 2015 05:05

Shamaail - Hadith 5

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عن علي بن أبي طالب قال : لم يكن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم بالطويل ولا بالقصير ، شثن الكفين والقدمين ، ضخم الرأس ، ضخم الكراديس ، طويل المسربة ، إذا مشى تكفأ تكفؤا كأنما ينحط من صبب ، لم أر قبله ولا بعده مثله ، صلى الله عليه وسلم.

Hadhrat Ali (Radiyallahu Anhu) reports: “Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was neither very tall nor short. The mubaarak hands and feet were well-built and fully fleshed. (These qualities are praiseworthy qualities in a man as it denotes strength and courage, though it is not regarded as praiseworthy qualities for a woman). He had a large head (i.e. in due proportion to his mubaarak body). The joints of the bones were also large (i.e. every aspect of his mubaarak body was developed completely). There was a thin line of hair from the mubaarak chest (moving straight down) to the mubaarak navel. When Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) walked, (on account of his humble manner of walking) it was as though he was walking down from a high place.” (i.e. he never walk with his chest out in boastfulness and pride). Hadhrat Ali (Radhiallahu Anhu) further says, “I had never seen anyone like him neither before him, nor after him.”


Generally the intention for mentioning this type of expression ‘I did not see anyone like him’ is to exaggerate and over-emphasize the degree of the exceptional beauty possessed by a person and his beauty being unparallel. However in the case of Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), there is really no exaggeration as words can never do justice in capturing the complete beauty of the mubaarak appearance of Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Allamah Munaawi wrote that every believer should hold the belief that Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was unique in his beauty, sterling qualities and mubaarak attributes, and that no other person can ever be compared with Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). This is not merely a belief, rather it is a reality. The books on seerah (history of Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)) and Ahaadith are replete with descriptions of his beautiful qualities. Therein it is stated that Allah Ta’ala bestowed fully on Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) all the inner kamaalaat (perfection) and zaahiri (apparent) beauty. Two verses (couplets) are narrated from Hadhrat Aayesha (Radiyallahu Anha), the meaning of which is, ‘If the friends of Zulaykha could see the blessed face of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), they would have cut their hearts instead of their hands.’ How true are the words of Hadhrat Aayesha (Radiyallahu Anha)! If you wish to read more about the love of the Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) – male and female- for Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), then read chapter 8 of my book ‘Stories of the Sahaabah’ (Radiyallahu Anhum).

Monday, 20 April 2015 05:02

Shamaail - Hadith 4

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عن البراء بن عازب قال : ما رأيت من ذي لمة في حلة حمراء أحسن من رسول الله ، له شعر يضرب منكبيه ، بعيد ما بين المنكبين ، لم يكن بالقصير ولا بالطويل.

Hadhrat Baraa’ bin Aazib (Radiyallahu Anhu) reports: I have never seen anyone with long hair and dressed in red-coloured clothing more handsome than Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). His hair reached his shoulders. The area between his mubaarak shoulders was broad. He was neither very tall nor very short (instead his height was moderate, slightly inclined towards being tall).



The description of the mubaarak hair of Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) recorded in this Hadith differs from the description given in the aforementioned Hadith which states that the length of his mubaarak hair was till his earlobes. In reality there is no contradiction between these both Ahaadith, as it is known that the hair does not always remain the same length. At times the hair is short, and at times, it grows and becomes long. At times one intentionally shortens one’s hair and at times one allows it to grow long.

Monday, 20 April 2015 04:51

Shamaail - Hadith 3

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عن البراء بن عازب قال : كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم رجلا مربوعا بعيد ما بين المنكبين ، عظيم الجمة إلى شحمة أذنيه ، عليه حلة حمراء ، ما رأيت شيئا قط أحسن منه.

Hadhrat Baraa’ bin Aazib (Radiyallahu Anhu) relates: “Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was a man of medium height (however slightly taller than medium height as was explained before), he had broad shoulders (from which we understand that he had a broad chest), he had dense hair which reached his mubaarak ear-lobes. He wore a red-striped pair of clothes (i.e. red-striped lungi and shawl). I never saw anything more handsome than him (i.e. Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).”



In this Hadith, the words رجلا مربوعا is mentioned, which if the letter ‘jeem’ is read with a ‘dhamma’, then it would translate as ‘a man’. This meaning could be intended. In this case the word رجل was added for the purpose of joining. In the Arabic language there are certain similar words which don’t give any extra meaning in the sentence, however it was brought for the purpose of joining other words with it. (i.e. the word مربوع is an attribute describing something. Hence, when the word رجل was brought, one will understand that this quality is in reference to the mubaarak height of Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Though the meaning would have been completely understood without adding the word رجل, however it was brought for further clarification). Some Muhadditheen are of the opinion that this word is read with a ‘kasra’ on the ‘jeem’, and thus would translate as ‘between straight and curly’. In this case the word will be in reference to the description of the mubaarak hair of Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), and as explained before, his mubaarak hair had a slight curl in it. From this Hadith, some ulama deduce that it is permissible for men to wear red-coloured clothing. However, according to the Hanafis, there are some details in regard to this issue (which are mentioned in the books of fiqh). Therefore before one chooses to wear red-coloured clothing, one should refer to the ulama and find out regarding its permissibility.

The ulama have written that in this Hadith the Sahaabi mentioned that he did not see ‘anything’ more handsome and beautiful than Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). The word ‘anything’ indicates towards the fact that Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)’s beauty did not only excel the human species, instead it also excelled every other creation of Allah Ta’ala e.g. the moon, sun, and every other creation.

Saturday, 14 March 2015 14:42

Shamaail - Hadith 2

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عن أنس بن مالك رضي الله عنه قال: كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ربعة ، ليس بالطويل ولا بالقصير ، حسن الجسم ، وكان شعره ليس بجعد ولا سبط أسمر اللون ، إذا مشى يتكفأ.

Hadhrat Anas (Radiyallahu Anhu) reports: “Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was of a medium stature. He was neither very tall nor short. He was very handsome of medium built and his hair was neither very curly nor very straight (but slightly curly and wavy). He had a wheat-coloured complexion. When he walked, he leaned forward slightly.



In this Hadith, Hadhrat Anas (Radiyallahu Anhu) states that the complexion of Sayyiduna Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was wheat coloured. In the previous hadith, also narrated by Hadhrat Anas (Radiyallahu Anhu), he states that Sayyiduna Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) did not have a wheat-coloured complexion (as explained in the translation of the previous Hadith). In reality there is no contradiction between these two Ahaadith. Instead, the essence of both Ahaadith is that Sayyiduna Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)’s complexion did not contain within it a deep wheat-colour which is inclining towards darkness and which would cause the beauty and fairness to decrease. Rather, he was extremely fair in complexion with extraordinary beauty with a slight tinge of wheat-colour within it.

In this Hadith, the word يتكفأ is used in describing the mubaarak manner in which Sayyiduna Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) walked. The ulama translate this word in several ways. Some say it means to walk in a fast pace. Others are of the opinion that it means to lean a bit forward while walking. Yet others say that it means to lift up one’s legs while walking (and not drag it). All three translations are correct because the mubaarak walk of Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) contained all three descriptions and the word يتكفأ also conveys these three meanings. Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) walked quickly and not like some men who adopt the walk of women. It was also the noble habit of Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) to walk in a way of humility with his head and shoulders leaning slightly forward. He did not walk with his chest pushed out in pride. He lifted his legs as men do while walking and did not drag his legs on the ground.

The author has quoted in this chapter those Ahaadith that have been narrated on the noble features of Sayyiduna Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). It is impossible to accurately describe the actual beauty and elegance of Sayyiduna Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). To capture and describe in words his appearance is beyond one’s capability, but the Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) have endeavoured, according to their capabilities, to preserve what little they could, of which some is written here.

Qurtubi (Rahmatullahi Alaihi) writes: “The full beauty and elegance of Sayyiduna Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has not been made manifest to the people of this world, otherwise it would not have been possible for man to look at him.” The Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) have done the ummah an immense favour by conveying to them the perfect attributes, qualities and knowledge of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), as well as explained to them his apparent beauty and grandeur. When an unfulfilled lover is deprived of meeting the beloved, then he stands in front of the beloved’s house remembering the features of his beloved, in an attempt to gain some solace. It is from habits and features that the heart is appeased.

Imaam Tirmizi (Rahmatullahi Alaihi) has collected about 400 Ahaadith and divided them into 55 chapters. In the first chapter, 14 Ahaadith are quoted.

عن أنس رضي الله عنه قال: كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ليس بالطويل البائن ولا بالقصير ولا بالأبيض الأمهق ولا بالآدم ولا بالجعد القطط ولا بالسبط بعثه الله على رأس أربعين سنة فأقام بمكة عشر سنين وبالمدينة عشرا وتوفاه الله على رأس ستين سنة وليس في رأسه ولحيته عشرون شعرة بيضاء. قال أبو عيسى هذا حديث حسن صحيح

Hadhrat Anas (Radiyallahu Anhu) reports: Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was neither very tall nor was he short (like a dwarf or midget). In complexion he was neither extremely white (like lime), nor wheat brown (or so brown inclining towards a dark complexion. Rather Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)’s mubaarak countenance and body was full of noor (illumination), even more than the noor of the 14th moon). The hair of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was neither very straight nor very curly (but slightly curly and wavy). When he reached the age of forty, Allah Ta’ala granted him nubuwwah. He lived in Makkah Mukarramah for ten years (the complete explanation will be given in the commentary), and in Madinah Munawwarah for ten years. He passed away at the age of sixty. At that time there was not even twenty strands of white hair on his mubaarak hair and beard.


Sayyiduna Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was of a medium stature, but slightly taller than the medium height. This has been clearly reported in a narration from Sayyidina Hind bin Abi Haalah (Radiyallahu Anhu) and others. An objection may arise concerning these two Ahaadith, that it is stated in one hadith that when Sayyiduna Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) used to stand up in a group, he appeared to be the tallest amongst them. However, this was not due to his height, but was a result of a mu’jizah (miracle). This miracle was in order that no one could be seen greater than Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) in his outward, external beauty as no one was equal to him in his inward splendour and beauty.

It is stated in the above-mentioned hadith that Sayyiduna Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) lived after nubuwwah in Makkah Mukarramah for ten years. For this reason it is stated that he attained the age of sixty years. However this is contrary to what has been reported in the other Ahaadith, where it is stated that Sayyiduna Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) lived there for thirteen years and attained the age of sixty three years. In some Ahaadith it is stated that Sayyiduna Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) attained the age of sixty five years. At the end of this kitaab (Shamaail Tirmizi), Imaam Tirmizi will mention all three ahaadith with the chain of narrators. Imaam Bukhaari (Rahmatullahi Alaih) says: ‘Most narrations show that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) lived for sixty three years.’

The ulama have presented two explanations in order to reconcile these Ahaadith:

The first explanation is that Sayyiduna Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) received Nubuwwah at the age of forty and Risaalah three years later, and thereafter he lived for ten years in Makkah Mukarramah. According to this, the three years between the time he received Nubuwwah and Risaalah have been omitted in the Hadith under discussion.

The second explanation is that among the Arabs, generally when counting and calculating, they used to omit the fractions and round off the number. For this reason, Sayyiduna Anas (Radiyallahu Anhu) has only calculated in tens in his narration and omitted the units.

In the hadith where the age of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is shown as sixty five, then the reason is that the years of birth and death have been counted separately. In short, the content of all the Ahaadith is the same. According to most authentic Ahaaadith, the age of Sayyiduna Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was sixty three years, therefore all the other Ahaadith will corroborate this.