Imam ‘Ali (ra) was the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet (saw). He eventually became the fourth Caliph of Islam.
On the authority of ‘Ali ibn Abu Ṭalib (ra) that when he described the Prophet (saw), he would say:
‘He was neither excessively tall, nor short, but rather was of a medium stature among (his) people. His hair was neither extremely curly nor straight, but rather it was wavy and flowing. He was neither corpulent nor was his face completely circular, but it was slightly rounded. (His complexion) was fair with some redness. His eyes were very black, his eyelashes were long. His joints were large and his shoulders broad. He was smooth-skinned; a thin line of hair ran from his chest to his navel. His hands and feet were full-fleshed and sturdy. He walked with vigour, as though descending from a height. When he turned to look (at someone or something), he would turn with his whole person.
Between his shoulders was the Seal of Prophethood, and he is the Seal of the Prophets. His heart was the soundest and most generous of hearts. His speech is the most truthful of speech. He was the gentlest of people and the kindest of them in companionship. Whoever saw him unexpectedly would be awe-stricken. Whoever came to know him would love him. Whoever described him would say, “I saw neither before him nor after him anyone like him”’.
[Imam at-Tirmidhi’s ash-Shama’il al-Muhammadiyyah]
The following video shows the making of a Hilye art piece in English, using Imam Ali's (ra) description. You can download this Hilye at the bottom of this article.
- Listen to a description of the Prophet (saw) in Arabic and English
- Read Umm Ma'bad's (ra) description of the Prophet (saw)
- Listen to a commentary about the Prophet's (saw) description