The Prophet’s ﷺ Face


Oftentimes, when we love someone, and our hearts are truly attached to that person, we want to know everything about them. It is not enough to just know about how they conducted their affairs or their character, but we have a desire to know them so well to almost be able to see them in front of us. Think of people who carry pictures of their loved ones, or wear their picture in a pendant around their necks. Think of children who’s fathers passed away before they even saw them, asking their mothers all sorts of questions; “How did he look like?” “What did he wear?” “How did he laugh?” It gives a face to all the wonderful things we know.

If we look at any book on the shama’il of the Prophet ﷺ, such as Qadhi ‘Iyadh’s “Shifa” or Imam Tirmidhi’s “Ash-shama’il Al-Muhamaddiya”, they contain the most precise details of the Prophet’s ﷺ physical apperance, character and spiritual state. Qadhi ‘Iyadh has said that the proof of one’s love is that he often remembers the beloved. How many of us have so much love for the Prophet ﷺ, that it is as though we can see him? How many of us inquire into even the tiniest habits of the best of creation, of the beloved of Allah ﷺ? How many us know the details of his face, how he smiled and laughed?
Al-Hasan, son of Ali ibn Abi Taleb (radi Allahu `anhu), asked his maternal uncle Hind ibn Abi Haala to describe the Prophet ﷺ. He said, “I wished him to relate some of it for me so I might hold fast to it.” Even the Prophet’s grandson wanted to hold onto every tiny detail of the beloved Messenger ﷺ, and he had seen him. What about us, who have never seen him? How should our own yearning be?
Hind gave a very detailed description, and the following relates to the Prophet ﷺ’s face:
“The Prophet of God ﷺ was of mighty significance to God, and profoundly honored among the people. His face radiated light like the moon on its fullest night. He was a bit taller than the medium stature and a bit shorter than the tall and skinny. His head was large. His hair was wavy. If his hair parted, he would leave it parted, if not he would leave it, and it would not be long enough to pass his earlobes. His complexion was fair. He had a wide forehead, arched, thick eyebrows with a space between them. There was a vein between them that would swell and pulse when he was angry. His nose was aquiline; it had a brightness about the upper part that led those who were less observant to think him haughty. He had a thick beard. His eyes were very black and the whites very white. His cheeks were not prominent, he had a full mouth. His teeth were white and there was a space between his front teeth… Most of his laughing was as smiling; when he did laugh, it was not loud, and he would show his teeth a bit like they were hailstones.”(Tirmidhi)

Ali ibn Abi Taleb (ra) also described the Prophet’s ﷺ face, stating “His face was not narrow, nor was it fully round, but there was a roundness to it. His skin was fair. His eyes were black. He had long eyelashes. He was big-boned and had wide shoulders.” (Tirmidhi)

Ali (ra) also relates that everyone who saw him was in awe of him. He says “I did not see anyone like him neither before him, nor after him.” (Tirmidhi) Sometimes it is possible to glimpse some of a person’s character from their face, and Abdullah Ibn Salaam, who was a former Jew, did. He said “When I came to see him [the Prophet ﷺ] I kept gazing at his face and I just knew that this person could not be a liar; his face suggested honesty, which was why I believed in him”. Jaabir (ra) said: “I once saw the Messenger of Allah ﷺ on the night of a full moon. On that night he wore red clothing. I looked at the full moon and I looked at the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. Ultimately I came to the conclusion that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was more handsome, beautiful and more radiant than the full moon.” (Tirmdhi)

After reading these descriptions, does our heart not yearn to be able to really see him? If even just a glimpse, maybe in a dream? The Prophet ﷺ said “He who has seen me in a dream, has seen the truth.” (Bukhari) Few people are as fortunate to be given this station of seeing the Prophet ﷺ in a dream, but may Allah make us of them. If we miss out on this in this life, we can strive to be of his companions in Paradise. But this will require us to have our hearts clinging on to Allah and His beloved, and learning all we can about our Prophet’s ﷺ attributes, so much so that we know him better than anyone else.

May our hearts be filled with love for Allah and His Messenger ﷺ, a true love that makes us want to follow him to be closer to Allah, and may Allah grant us Paradise with His Messenger ﷺ and the righteous. Ameen.

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17 Comments

  1. UK Resident says:

    Jazak Allah Khayr Shayk

    this was an especially beautiful post

  2. Amatullah says:

    Jazaakum Allahu khayran Imam Suhaib. We just had a class on Shamaa’il this past weekend, mashaAllah it was amazing. I hope you can give us some more articles and lectures on the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

  3. z says:

    as-salamu alaikum shaykh,

    really appreciated the post and benefited;

    just wanted to point out one thing: the literal translation of the part of the hadith describing the Prophet’s attire, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, would be as you noted, however, commentators on the hadith mentioned that what was meant was that “there was red mixed in his garment”, i.e. that either it was a different color with some red in it, or else that it had red threads mixed in, as is the yemeni style. (see footnotes in Dar al Yamama edition, tahqeeq Abdu Kawshak, reviewed by Sh. Abd al Qadir Arna’ut).

    They noted this because there is a prohibition of men wearing straight red clothing, which Imam ibn Hajr discusses in detail in Fath al Bari.

    if you have read otherwise regarding this hadith, or chose to translate it this way for some other reason, please share this knowledge with me.

    i remain in your service,

    wa jazakum Allahu khairan,

    z

  4. Nadia says:

    Reading about the Prophet’s (saw) attributes really makes one’s heart yearn to actually see him. May Allah make this a reality for us.

  5. Suhaib Webb says:

    Asalamu alaykum,

    I did not translate this. It was done by a sister who kindly asks for your duas in the night.

    SDW

  6. Sal Allahu Alaih!! says:

    Beauuutiful!

    JazakAllah Sister – may Allah reward you, ameen!

    SAL ALLAHU ALAIH!

  7. khaled says:

    Jazak Allahu Khayrn for the effort you did.

  8. abu rumaysah says:

    Barak Allahu feek for the reminder…just to add one other related story, let us see what Amr ibn al Aas said on his death bed regarding seeing the prophet (saws)..

    In A.H. 43, death caught up with ‘Amr Ibn Al-’Aas Radi-Allahu ‘anhu in Egypt, where he was ruling. He recaptured his life in the moments of departure, saying, “In the first part of my life I was a disbeliever, and I was one of the fiercest people against the Messenger of Allâh Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala, so if I had died on that day, the fire would have been my fate. Then, I swore allegiance to the Messenger Sallallahu ‘Alaihi Wa Sallam of Allâh Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala, and there was no person more dear to me than he and more glorious in my eyes than he. If I wanted to describe him, I could not, because I was not able to fill my eyes with him on account of being in awe of him. If I had died back then, I would have wished to be of the inhabitants of Paradise. Then after that I was tested with command and with material things. I do not know if they were for me or against me.”

    Then he raised his sight to the sky in awe, calling upon Allâh Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala, saying, “O Allâh Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala, I am not innocent, so forgive me. I am not mighty, so help me. And if Your mercy does not come to me, I will surely be of those destroyed.”

  9. UK Resident says:

    Oh sorry- yes i just noticed it was translated by a sister.

    i will inshAllah do dua for her

    Jazaki Allahu khayran katheeran ya ukhti

    fi amanillah

  10. JB says:

    @ z- in arabic I read حلة حمراء and when i saw the english translation, it said “red clothing” so i left it. I have never heard of red clothing being impermissible which is why I did not change it, but that’s due to my lack of knowledge, so thank you for the explanation!

  11. Shuja Farooq says:

    subhanAllah beautiful post!

  12. Brother says:

    Asalamu Alaikum,

    I would just like to share anonymously that one night, I truly believe that I had the blessing of the Messenger of Allah,
    Salalahu Alayhi Wasalam, in my dream, Praise be to Allah Almighty. It was in the middle of the last ten nights of
    Ramadan, on the night of Jumah. During those nights, I used to work during the day, and come to the masjid for
    Tarawih prayer, and stay until 2am or so every night.
    That particular night, Alhumdulilah, I was engrossed in praying for peace on our most beloved Prophet,
    Salalahu Alayhi Wasalam, for most of the night. And I was reading the
    beautiful book by Qadi Iyad, Shifa. I was also struggling with the Qur’an, trying to learn how to read it properly,
    and was blessed to be able to finally read an ayah without having to stutter all the way through. Whether or not I
    was reading properly like this a few weeks or days before, I do not know, but I do know that was the night that I
    realized I was able to read the Qur’an in a manner that I was not afraid of making mistakes. I was comfortable with
    my recitation, although that is just the first step. This actually overjoyed me, and I truly felt joy in my heart
    after such a long time in my life. I truly felt (although it always
    is the case for all of us), that Allah Almighty favored me specially that night by giving me the ability to finally
    read better.
    I went home sometime after 2am, and I had the most beautiful dream in my life, Praise be to Allah Almighty.

    It was very short, but I and my two younger brothers (in our young age such as maybe 10 years old), were sitting
    on the floor and on the other side, was the most beautiful, most beloved Prophet Muhammad, Salalahu Alayhi wasalam.
    I felt as if He, Salalahu Alayhi Wasalam, was teaching us with love like a father. He, Salalahu Alayhi Wasalam, was
    wearing white clothes, with some black shawl or cloth around his top part of his blessed body and a black head covering
    or turban on his blessed head, Salalahu Alayhi Wasalam. He, Salalahu Alayhi Wasalam, was giving us advice but loving
    us like children at the same time. Although I could not remember what was said, since I was awed by the fact that I
    was in a room with the Messenger of Allah, Salalahu Alayhi Wasalam.

    I yearn to have another dream in my life and I ask Allah Almighty to bless me and you with a dream, tonight and every
    night, Ameen.

    I wanted to post this because I have never told anyone, and I humbly humbly humbly tell you, my brothers and sisters
    about my dream, for it brings me joy, and I truly feel honored, although I do not know why Allah Almighty chose
    me to be blessed with this beautiful dream, but I am so grateful. Although I have emersed myself in the dunya, with
    dunya worries everyday that increase, I always have in my mind the goal to insha’Allah handle my responsibilities
    that Allah Almighty gave me, to the point where my mind and heart can be free of anxiety, and again filled with
    another dream of our beloved Messenger of Allah, Salalahu Alayhi Wasalam.

    Wa’salam

  13. assalamu’alaykum.

    a greet from indonesia brother.

    :-)

    nice writing.

  14. Muslimah says:

    What a beuatiful drea, ‘brother; your post bought tears to my eyes..May Allah (swt) give us the same opportunity as you to see ou beloved in our dream even for a spilt second! Ameen.

  15. mashal says:

    PLEASE PRAY FOR ME I HAVE PANCREATIC CANCER AND I AM IN SO MUCH PAIN ,WANT DEAR LIFE

  16. arshiya says:

    such a beautiful message thank you

  17. arshiya says:

    masha allah thank you

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