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THE OUTWARD APPEARANCE OF NABI MUHAMMED (S.A.W) AND HIS LIKES AND DISLIKES.

THE OUTWARD APPEARANCE OF THE PROPHET (S.A.W)

Ahmet Cevdet Pasha, an important scholar from Ottoman times, wrote a study that effectively summarized descriptions of the Prophet (saas)’s features. That appeared in Part IV of the Qisas al-Anbiya (Stories of the Prophets), under the heading “Some Attributes of the Prophet Muhammad (saas)”:

“The blessed one had a beautiful appearance, his limbs were in perfect proportion, his body was well-formed, his forehead and chest and the distance between his shoulders were broad. His neck was slender and pure as silver, his shoulders, biceps and calves were large and thick, his wrists were long, his fingers also long, and his hands and fingers rather thick. His blessed skin was softer than silk.

On his perfect countenance were a well-proportioned head, curved eyebrows, a long nose and an oval face.

His eyelashes were long, his eyes black and beautiful, the space between his largish eyebrows was clear, though his eyebrows were close together.

That chosen Prophet (saas) was shining in appearance. In other words, he was neither light nor dark, but somewhere between the two, white like a red rose, light and limpid, and the light shone from his face. His teeth were as white as pearls and bright, and the light gleamed from his front teeth as he spoke. When he laughed, it was as if his mouth gave off rays like soft lightning…

His senses were exceedingly powerful. He could hear from a long way off and see further than anyone. In essence, he had a body formed in perfection and uniqueness, and blessed … Anyone suddenly seeing him would be consumed with love, and anyone speaking with him would feel great love in his heart and soul. The wise respected him in accordance with their degree. He greatly honoured his relatives. He would not, however, treat them better than those more worthy than them.

He treated his servants well. Whatever he wore or ate, he would give to them to wear and eat.

He was generous, beneficial, compassionate, forgiving, brave and mild. In speech, he kept to his word. In essence, his excellent morality, sharp powers of reasoning were greater than those of all other people and worthy of great praise.

In eating and apparel he contented himself with the very poorest degree and refrained from excess

SEAL OF PROPHETHOOD

Jaabir bin Samurah (ra) relates that:

“I saw the Seal of Prophethood of Rasullullah (saas) between his two shoulders, the size of which was like that of a pigeon’s egg.”

HAIR OF RASULULLAH (S.A.W)

The Prophet (saas) attached the greatest importance to cleanliness, and therefore, to his hair and beard too. It is reported in some sources that he always carried with him a comb, mirror, miswak (a small natural toothbrush), tooth-pick, scissors and a kuhl bottle.

The Prophet (saas) advised his companions to do the same, and said: “He who has hair should honor it.” Some other reports that have reached us of his hair and beard are:

Hassan (ra) said:

“He had a thick, dense beard.

Anas bin Malik (ra) reports:

“Sayyidina Rasulullah (saas) often rubbed oil in his head…

Simak bin Harb (ra) reports:

“Jaabir bin Samurah (ra) was asked a question regarding the white hair of Rasulullah He replied: ‘When Rasulullah (saas) oiled his hair, it (white hair) did not show. When he did not oil it, it showed’.”

The Prophet (saas) set an example for the believers with the importance he attached to his appearance and cleanliness. One account describes the Prophet (saas)’s attitude to such matters:

“The Prophet (saas) once intended to go to his companions and so he put on his turban and dressed his hairs…He said: ‘Yes, Allah loves the actions of His servant who refines his body in order to meet his friends and brothers’.”

THE PROPHET (SAAS)’S MANNER OF DRESS

His companions have handed down a great many details about the Prophet (saas)’s manner of dress. In addition to these, the Prophet (saas)’s advice to the believers about how they should dress reveal the importance he attached to this subject. For example, one hadith reports him as saying:

“No one who has even an atom’s-weight of pride in his heart will enter Paradise.” A man asked him, “What if he likes his clothes and shoes to look good?” (Meaning, is this counted as pride?) The Prophet (saas) said: “Allah is beautiful and loves beauty. Pride means denying the truth and looking down on other people.”

He regarded dressing well and looking good as a demonstration of the blessings of Allah:

“Allah loves to see the result of His blessing on His creatures.”

Jundub ibn Makith (r.a.) said:

“Whenever a delegation came to meet the Messenger of Allah, he would wear his best clothes and order his leading Companions to do likewise. I saw the Prophet (saas) on the day that the delegation of Kindah came to meet him; he was wearing a Yemeni garment, and Abu Bakr and ‘Umar were dressed similarly.”

Another hadith relates:

“Eat what you like, and wear what you like provided that it is free from two things : extravagance and vainglory.”

The Prophet (saas) would immediately warn any of his companions who were unkempt or failed to care for their appearance. One story on the subject is from ‘Ata ‘ibn Yassar (ra):

“The Messenger of Allah was in the mosque, when a man with unkempt hair and an untidy beard came in. The Prophet (saas) pointed to him, as if indicating to him that he should tidy up his hair and beard. The man went and did so, then returned. The Prophet (saas) said, ‘Is this not better than that any one of you should come with unkempt hair?'”

According to the hadith narrated by one of the companions of the Prophet (saas), the Prophet (saas) told his Companions, when they were travelling to meet some brothers in faith:

“You are going to visit your brothers, so repair your saddles and make sure that you are dressed well, so that you will stand out among people like an adornment, for Allah does not love ugliness.”

Some of the information that was conveyed through the inner circle of the Prophet (saas) about his clothing are below:

Umar (ra) relates:

“I saw the Messenger of Allah (saas) ask for a new garment. He put it on, and when it reached his knees he said, ‘Praise be to Allah, Who has given me clothes with which to cover myself and make myself look beautiful in this life.'”

Umm Salama (ra) reports that:

“The Holy Prophet (saas) liked kurta (long shirt) most.”

Qurrah bin Ilyaas (ra) describes:

“I came with a group from the tribe of Muzeenah to pay allegiance to Rasulullah (saas). The button loop of Rasulullah (saas) was open.”

Al-Bara’ ibn ‘Azib (ra) states:

“I have never seen someone with long hair and red clothing more handsome than Rasullullah (saas). His hair reached his shoulders.”

Another report comes from Fazl ibn Abbas (ra):

“The Holy Prophet (saas) said: ‘Adopt white clothes; it is the best attire.'”

Aisha (ra) reported that:

“Allah’s Apostle (saas) went out one morning wearing a cloak made of (camel’s or sheep’s) black hair with patterns of camel saddles upon it.”

THE PROPHET (SAAS)’S MANNER OF WALKING

Abu Huraira (ra) reports:

“I did not see anyone more handsome than Rasulullah (saas). It was as if the brightness of the sun had shone from his blessed face. I did not see anyone walk faster than him, as is the earth folded for him. A few moments ago he would be here, and then there. We found it difficult to keep pace when we walked with him and he walked at his normal pace.”

One of Ali (ra)’s grandchildren, Ibrahim bin Muhammad (ra), says that the Prophet (saas) had an easy manner of walking:

When ‘Ali (ra) described Rasulullah (saas), he used to say: ‘When he walked, because of the speed and force of the legs, it seemed as if he was descending from a high place’.”

Hassan (ra) describes how:

“When he walked, he lifted his legs with vigour, leaned, slightly forward and placed his feet softly on the ground. He walked at a quick pace and took a rather long step. He did not take small steps. When he walked it seemed as if he was descending to a lower place. When he looked at something, he turned his whole body towards it. He always looked down. His blessed glance was focused more to the ground than towards the sky. His noble habit was to look at something with a slight glance. He made salaam (greeted) first to whomsoever he met.”

THE PROPHET (SAAS)’S MANNER OF SITTING

Qaylah bint Makhramah (ra) reports:

“I saw Rasulullah (saas) in the masjid (in a very humble posture) sitting. Due to his awe-inspiring personality, I began shivering.

Jaabir bin Samurah (ra) says:

“I observed Rasulullah (saas) lean on a pillow, which was on his left side.”

THE PROPHET (SAAS)’S WAY OF SPEAKING

The Prophet (saas) was a man known for his effective, wise and concise manner of speaking. His messages had a great effect on people, and everyone took great pleasure in talking with him. A number of accounts that have come down from his companions also confirm that fact. These are some of them:

“The Prophet (saas) was the greatest of the Arabs in oratory and beauty of speech. He said: ‘I am the greatest orator among the Arabs’.”

Aisha (ra) describes the Prophet (saas)’s way of speaking thus:

“The speech of Rasulullah (saas) was not quick and continuous as that of yours. He spoke clearly, word by word.”

“They said: ‘The Messenger of Allah used to talk little and every thing was expressed in this brief talk. In his speech, there was no defect of excess or brevity. The words came one after another like pearls. Whoever heard them remembered them. He was the sweetest in talk among his companions. He used to keep silent for long and not talk without necessity. He used not to talk evil words and what he talked was just.”

“He did not use ornamental words….”

“… His companions did never dispute before him.”

“He used to smile much before his companions…”

Aisha (ra) again says:

“He spoke in such a way that the words were spaced out so that those who sat with him remembered them.”

Abdullah bin Haarith (ra) reports that:

“I have not seen anyone who makes a person more cheerful than Rasulullah (saas).”

Anas bin Malik (ra) tells us the following:

“Rasulullah (saas) used to mingle with us and joke.”

THE PROPHET (SAAS)’S PLEASING SCENT

The Prophet (saas) attached great importance to cleanliness. He always smelt very fresh, clean and pleasant, and recommended that Muslims do the same. Accounts that have reached us from his companions give further details of this aspect of the Prophet (saas):

Jaabir bin Samura (ra) states:

“Whenever the Holy Prophet tread on any path, when someone passed by later, that they could recognize that the prophet had passed by there because they could smell the fragrance of his body.”

From Anas bin Malik (ra):

“I never felt a silk cloth, nor pure silk, nor any other thing softer than the palm of Rasulullah (saas). Nor did I smell any musk or any other fragrance, more sweet smelling than the fragrance of Rasullullah (saas).”

Anas bin Malik (r.a) reports:

“I never smelt ambergris or musk as fragrant as the fragrance of the body of Allah’s Messenger (saas) and I never touched brocade or silk and found it as soft as the body of Allah’s Messenger (saas).”

In Qisas al-Anbiya, the Prophet (saas) was described in this way:

“His body was clean and his scent beautiful. Whether or not he had used scent, his skin always had a lovely scent to it. If someone shook hands or conversed with him, or showed his friendship or affection, he would smell that clean scent all day, and if he laid that sacred hand on a child’s head, that child could be distinguished from other children by that clean scent.”

THE PROPHET (SAAS)’S FAVORITE FOODS

“He used not to take any hot food.”

“Meat was his most favorite curry.”

“The Holy Prophet (saas), amongst all other foods, liked pumpkin.”

“He used to eat the meat of hunted birds.”

“He liked dried dates among dates.”

Aisha (ra) had this to say about the food the Prophet (saas) enjoyed:

“Rasulullah (saas) loved halva and honey.”

“Among foods, he liked mutton, broth, pumpkins, sweet things, honey, dates, milk, cream, melons, grapes and cucumbers. He also liked cold water.”

She adds:

“Rasulullah (saas) ate watermelon with fresh dates.”

“He never condemned the food. He used to eat what he liked and did not eat what he did not like.”

“Rasulullah (saas) loved the meat of the forequarter.”

These are some of the things the Prophet (saas) said about certain foods:

“What a nice curry vinegar is.”

“The Prophet (saas) said that mushroom is a good cure for the eyes, it also arrests paralysis.”

“Illnesses are cured by means of three things: (one of them) is a drink of honey.”

“Use olive oil as a food and ointment for it comes from a blessed tree.”

 

WHAT THE PROPHET (SAAS) LIKED TO DRINK

Aisha tells us that:

“The drink most liked by Rasulullah (saas) was that which was sweet and cold.”

“Nabeez was prepared from dried grapes for the Prophet (saas) and dates were, also, put in it, or it was prepared from dried dates, and grapes, too, were put in it. ”

“The best of drinks to the Messenger of Allah was sweet cold drink.”

“The Holy Prophet (saas) said; besides milk there is nothing else that serves the purpose of both milk and water.”

THIS IS WHAT THE PROPHET (SAAS) HAD TO SAY ABOUT MILK:

“When one of you eats food, he should say: ‘O Allah, bless us in it, and give us food (or nourishment) better than it.’ When he is given milk to drink he should say: ‘O Allah! Bless us in it and give us more of it, for no food or drink satisfies like milk’.”

WHAT THE PROPHET (SAAS) SAID ABOUT WATER

The Prophet (saas) took great care to distribute water, particularly on journeys. On one particular journey, for instance, he stopped somewhere and asked for water from those around him. After washing his hands and face, he drank from the water, and told his companions; “pour some of its water on your faces and chests.”

After drinking water, he prayed:

“All praise is due to Allah Who has made it delicious and sweet by His grace and has not made it either salty or unsavory.”

On another occasion, the Prophet (saas) said:

“Water was created pure and nothing makes it impure except that which changes its color, taste and smell.”

SOME OF THE PROPHET (SAAS)’S FINER TRAITS

Imam Ghazzali, known as “Hujjatul Islam,” collected and set out some of the Prophet (saas)’s traits as related by such great Islamic scholars as Tirmidhi, Tabarani, Muslim, Imam Ahmad, Abu Dawood and Ibn Maja:

“The Holy Prophet (saas) was the most patient among men, the bravest, the best judge, and he who pardoned most. … he was the most charitable man. He did not pass a single night hoarding a single dirham or dinar. Whenever any excess money came to him and if he did not then get anyone to accept it as charity, he did not return home till he gave it to the poor and the needy. He did not store up for more than a year the provision of his family members which Allah was pleased to give him. He used to take one fifth of what easily came to him out of dates and wheat. What remained in excess, he used to give in charity. He used to give away in charity to him who begged of him of anything, even out of his stored up provision.

He did not take any revenge for personal wrongs but he used take it for preservation of the honor of Allah.

He used to speak the truth even though it was sometimes a cause of trouble to himself and his companions.

He was the most modest, without pride, and his tongue was most eloquent without prolongation of speech. His constitution was the most beatiful. No worldly duties could keep him busy.

He used to go even to a distant place to see the sick, loved scents and hated a stench or bad smell, sat with the poor and the destitute, ate with them, honored those possessing honor, advised them to do good and show kindness to relatives. He did not treat harshly to anybody and accepted excuses offered to him.

He accepted sports and pastimes as lawful, played with his wives and held races with them…. He did not hate the poor for their poverty nor fear the kings for their mighty power. He used to call the people, high or low towards Allah. Allah adorned him with all the qualities and good administration

At the time when the Quran was being revealed to him, he used to smile most. When something happened, he entrusted it to Allah, kept himself free from his own strength and ability and said in invocation: ‘O Allah, show me truth in a true manner or give me grace to give it up. You guide to the straight path whomsoever You will.’

Allah revealed the Quran to him and through it He taught him good manners.”

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