What does the Prophet Muhammad physically look like?

Al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said, “I asked my uncle Hind ibn Abi Hala about the features of the Messenger of Allah since he was wont to describe them.
I wanted him to describe them to me so that I could retain them in my mind.
He said:
‘The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was imposing and majestic.
His face shone like the full moon.
He was somewhat taller than medium height and a little shorter than what could be described as tall. His head was large and he had hair that was neither curly nor straight. It was parted, and did not go beyond the lobes of his ears.
He was very fair-skinned with a wide brow, and had thick eyebrows with a narrow space between them. He had a vein there which throbbed when he was angry.
He had a long nose with a line of light over it which someone might unthinkingly take to be his nose.
‘His beard was thick.
He had black eyes, firm cheeks, a wide mouth and white teeth with gaps.
The hair of his chest formed a fine line.
His neck was like that of a statue made of pure silver.
‘His physique was finely-balanced.
His body was firm and full.
His belly and chest were equal in size.
His chest was broad and the space between his shoulders wide.
He had full calves. He was luminous.
‘Between his neck and his navel there was a line of hair, but the rest of his torso was free of it. He had hair on his forearms and shoulders and the upper part of his chest.
He had thick wrists, wide palms, rough hands and feet.
His fingers were long.
He was fine sinewed.
He had high insteps and his feet were so smooth that water ran off of them.
‘When he walked, he walked as though he were going down a hill.
He walked in a dignified manner and walked easily.
He walked swiftly.
When he walked, it was as though he were heading down a slope.
When he turned to address somebody, he turned his whole body completely.
He lowered his glance, glancing downwards more than upwards.
He restrained his glance.
He spoke first to his Companions and was the first to greet any person he met.’ **

If you used the above description and drawn or painted a portrait and were good at it, you would come up with something very beautiful indeed.

How about this descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, from Surabaya, Indonesia. He is said to resemble the Prophet physically but of course only up to a certain extent.

The Prophet’s description gives us insight into other Prophets’ description. They were clean.
His body contained so much and one could even feel it say:

“And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds! ”
Quran 21:107

On the technical side, some people, including the late Nasir ad-Din al-Albani, attempted to classify the above narration as extremely weak and their reasons are:
1. There is an unknown person in the narration.
2. One of the narrators is Jumay’ bin Umayr bin Abderahman al-Ijli and he is weak according to some people of hadith.
However, this opinion on this narration can be safely discarded for the following reasons:
1. This narration does meet many other narrations in its meanings and in some details. Hence it was narrated as is by a-Tirmidhi and others.
2. Even if you are one of those people who are bogged down in details, there is nothing in its meaning that a sincere researcher would classify as absurd or a lie.
3. Jumay’ bin Umayr bin Abderahman al-Ijli is not accused of being a liar. On the contrary Ahmed al-Ijli says: “He is trustworthy” and Abu Hatim says: “He habitually speaks the truth”. These two scholars are known to documenting who is who in hadith. Furthermore, Ibn Hajar says they classified him as weak because of shiism. This is a known crime commited by many people of hadith. Many of them were and still are slaves to their old master Muawiya Bin abi Sufyan (MBS). One should make note that shiism of old times was more of a political movement. Hence, quite different to the one from this modern era.
3. As to the unknown person, Jumay’ bin Umayr bin Abderahman al-Ijli, says he narrated from a son of Hind ibn Abi Hala nicknamed Abu Abdillah. We know for sure that Hind ibnAbi Hala, did have a son also called Hind.
4. It is worth noting that Hind Ibn Abi Hala was the son in law of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and he was very good at depiction. Moreover, he was an enemy to MBS, and indeed, he fought many battles against him at the time of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and at a later time on the side of Ali bin Abi Taleb.

* There is more than fifteeen narration from the companions of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him
** This is part of a narration that was taken from Qadi Iyad’s Ash-Shifa as translated by Aisha Abdarrahman Bewley, but I changed the layout and added some info in the first sentence.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s