the preceding chapters of this book discussed examples of the prophet (saas)'s morality, as revealed in the qur'an, and which is an example to all of mankind. we have considered various aspects of his just, compassionate, merciful, peaceful, conciliatory, mild, patient, allah-fearing, modest and determined disposition.
as well as verses from the qur'an, statements from the prophet (saas)'s companions that have come down to us also contain a great deal of information about the prophet (saas). many details, such as his relations with his family and the believers around him, details of his daily life, his physical appearance, the feelings of awe he inspired in those who saw him, the food he enjoyed, his clothes and smile are all described by islamic scholars with the term "outward form" (shamail). the term comprises such ideas as "character, temperament, behavior and attitudes." even if the concept of "shamail" originally had a broader meaning, it became more specific over time and eventually became a term used to describe the details of the kind of life the prophet (saas) led and his personality traits.
every detail of the character and manner of this chosen servant of allah, whom he favored over all beings, is at the same time a reflection of his superior morality. the main intention for the composition of this chapter on the outward form of the prophet (saas) is to examine those of his features that have been described in sources that have come down to us, and for us to draw inspiration from them for our own lives.