loftiest values of prophet muhammad’s attributes
having dealt with the noble civilized values of prophet muhammad’ s (pbuh) polygyny and jihad(1) in the cause of allah(2), we are going to touch upon some of his noble attributes in order to highlight the uniqueness of both his morals and physique. although we cannot embrace all the aspects in this regard, we will mention some of the testaments of those who dealt with him (pbuh) and who were more than ready to die to protect him (pbuh).
smart and well-groomed
the believers and unbelievers who saw prophet muhammad (pbuh) were unanimous agreed that he had the best attributes and that he (pbuh) was unique and approached the level of human perfection.
ali ibn abi talib’s (may allah be pleased with him) description of allah’s prophet – peace and blessings be upon him -
“the prophet was neither too tall nor too short, his hands and feet were slender, his head and bones were big, he had long hair line from his chest to his navel, he moved as if descending a slope. i have never seen before or after him anyone similar to him.”(4)
umm ma’bad’s description of allah’s prophet – peace and blessings be upon him
umm mabad al-khuzaiyyah was the best one ever to describe the allah’s prophet . she described him to her husband: “he is bright, he has a good face, well-behaved, he is not defective with a large abdomen or a small head, he is a handsome man, the pupils of his eyes are very black, the hair of his eyelids is very long, there is sahal in his voice (i.e. mild hoarseness), his neck is brilliant, there is kathatha in his beard (i.e. much hair), he is black-eyed, his eyebrows are bent and very close to each other, his hair is very black, he is dignified when he is silent and he is splendid when he talks. he is most beautiful and graceful one from a distance and the best one when he is near, he is fluent, his speech looks like pearls, he has a medium height, he becomes the brightest and the most supreme one when he is between two persons, he always has companions who listen to him when he talks and obeys his orders when he asks them to do something, his companions accompany and serve him, he is not frowning, he does not talk in vain.” (5)
comparison between both descriptions
although both descriptions tried to provide the most exact image of the prophet (pbuh) they have some differences due to the difference of purpose and contexts:
umm ma’bad’s description has nothing to do with any religious belief in the prophet (pbuh). therefore it cannot be dubbed as exaggerated. the resemblance of her description to that of ali (ra) renders the latter’s description unexaggerated.
despite the idiosyncratic preferences of men and women in determining the criteria of smartness and tidiness, neither umm ma’bad nor ali mentioned a demerit in the prophet (pbuh ).
umm ma’bad’s description was during the prophet’s (pbuh) escape from makkah. he was afraid and apprehensive, hungry and thirsty; he was fifty-three years old at that time. however, her description does not differ from ali’s who knew him while he (pbuh) was still young. this testifies to the consistence of the prophet’s (pbuh) condition during all his life.
the prophet (pbuh) was always well-groomed and smart without exaggeration or asceticism. he always opted for the golden mean.
taking care of his hair care of his hair:
lady a’isha (may allah be pleased with her) used to comb his (pbuh) hair while she was in her menses. she also tells us that the prophet (pbuh) used to like to start from the right side on wearing shoes, combing his hair and cleaning or washing himself and on doing anything else. he was smart both within and without.
description of his clothes of his clothes:
lady umm-salamah (may allah be pleased with her) tells us that the best clothe for the prophet (pbuh) was the shirt. anas ibn malik (may allah be pleased with him) tells us that the prophet (pbuh) used to wear habrah(6). abu juhaifah saw the prophet (pbuh) in a red garment and his legs were bright. the prophet (pbuh) recommended his companions to wear white clothes and shroud the dead in them.
type of his shoes and slippers:
the prophet (pbuh) used different types of khuffs(7). ibn ‘abbas tells us that an-najashi sent two pairs of simple black leather socks to the prophet (pbuh). the prophet (pbuh) wore them then did ablution.
type of his ring: ibn ‘omar (may allah be pleased with him) tells us that the prophet (pbuh) got a silver ring and stamped on it the expression “muhammad, prophet of allah”.
1 jihad: any earnest striving in the way of allah, involving personal, physical, intellectual or military effort, for righteousness and against wrong-doing. “lesser jihad”: fighting to protect islam from attack or oppression. in such fighting, no woman, child or innocent civilian is to be harmed, and no tree is to be cut down. “greater jihad”: internal struggle for the soul (nafs) against evil, e.g. to overcome the temptation to sleep when it is time to pray the morning prayer is a greater jihad. although jihad comprises lesser and greater jihad, the term mujahideen often refers to those of lesser jihad.
2 the word allah is the arabic term for god. although the use of the word "allah" is most often associated with islam, it is not used exclusively by muslims; arab christians and arabic-speaking jews also use it to refer to the one god. the arabic word expresses the unique characteristics of the one god more precisely than the english term. whereas the word "allah" has no plural form in arabic, the english form does. allah is the god worshipped by all prophets, from adam to noah, abraham, moses, jesus and muhammad.
4 at-tirmithi, muhammdan attributes (4). sahih as per al-albani in compendium of muhammdan attributes (p. 15).
5 sahih. reported by at-tabarani in al mujam al kabir (3524), al hakim in al mustadark (4243), al baihaqi in prophethood proofs, and ibn amro as-shaibani in al ahad wa al mathani (3083). az-zahibi in the brief dubbed it as sahih.
6 wrapping garment.
7 leather socks