Shama'il Muhammadiyah

The Shamā'il Muhammadiyyah ("The Appearance of Muhammad"), often referred to as Shamā'il al-Tirmidhi or simply Shamā'il), is a collection of hadiths compiled by the 9th-century scholar Tirmidhi regarding the intricate details of the Islamic prophet Muhammad's appearance, belongings, manners and life. The book contains 399 narrations from the successors of the Prophet which are divided into 56 chapters.[1]

The best known and accepted of these hadith are attributed to his son-in-law and cousin Ali.[2] Another well-known description is attributed to a woman named Umm Ma'bad.[3] Other descriptions are attributed to Aisha, `Abd Allah ibn `Abbas, Abu Hurairah and Hasan ibn Ali. While shama'il lists the physical and spiritual characteristics of Muhammad in simple prose, in hilye these are written about in a literary style.[4] Among other descriptive Shama'il text are the Dala'il al-Nubuwwah of Al-Bayhaqi, Tarih-i Isfahan of Abu Naeem Isfahani, Al-Wafa bi Fadha’il al-Mustafa of Abu'l-Faraj ibn al-Jawzi and Al-Shifa of Qadi Ayyad are the main shemaa-il and hilya books.[4]

An Urdu translation and commentary, Khasa'il-i Nabawi was written by Muhammad Zakariya al-Kandahlawi.

Content of descriptions

The description of Muhammad by Ali, according to Tirmidhi, is as follows:[5]

The description attributed by Umm Ma'bad goes as follows:[3]

Muhammad's title as the "seal of the prophets" (khātam an-nabīyīn خاتم النبيين ; i.e. the last of them, as it were the "seal" closing God's communication to man) is taken from Ali's description,

"Between his two shoulders was the seal of prophethood, and he was the seal of the prophets"

This "seal of prophethood" (khātam an-nubuwwah خاتم النبوة ) between Muhammad's shoulders is given a closer description in other texts of the hadith, and it is given a dedicated discussion in Sahih Muslim. It is depicted as a mole on the end of his left shoulder blade, in size compared to a pigeon's egg or an apple.[6] A passage from Sunan Abu Dawood (32.4071), also collected in the Shama'il, reports how one Qurrah ibn Iyas al-Muzani on the occasion of swearing allegiance to Muhammad put his hand inside his shirt to "feel the seal".[7]

References

  1. ^ ibn Isa (2011)
  2. ^ Brockopp, Jonathan E. (2010). The Cambridge companion to Muhammad. Cambridge University Press. p. 130.  
  3. ^ a b  
  4. ^ a b Erdoğan, M. (2007). "Hâkim Mehmed Efendi’nin Manzum Hilyesi". Cumhuriyet Üniversitesi İlahiyat Fakültesi Dergisi (in Turkish) 11: 317–357. 
  5. ^ Shick, I.C. (2008). "The Iconicity of Islamic Calligraphy in Turkey". RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics (53/54): 211–224.  
  6. ^ Sahih Muslim, trans. Abdul Hamid Siddiqui, "The Book Pertaining to the Excellent Qualities of the Holy Prophet (may Peace be upon them) and His Companions (Kitab Al-Fada'il)", chapter 28: "the fact pertaining to the seal of his prophethood, its characteristic feature and its location on his body". See also Sam Shamoun, Muhammad and the Seal of Prophethood: A Sign or A Physical Deformity?
  7. ^ "Narrated Qurrah ibn Iyas al-Muzani: I came to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) with a company of Muzaynah and we swore allegiance to him. The buttons of his shirt were open. I swore allegiance to him and I put my hand inside the collar of his shirt and felt the seal." online edition. The original context is a discussion of the clothing, the point being made is that al-Muzani was able to put his hand inside the shirt's collar as Muhammad kept his collar open.

See also

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