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12 November 2020

Umm Ma'bad's (ra) Description of the Prophet (saw)

Yasrab Shah
Umm Ma'bad's (ra) Description of the Prophet (saw)

Context:

When the Messenger of Allah (saw) was granted permission to migrate (the Hijrah) from Makkah to Madinah. He was accompanied by his companions Abu Bakr (ra) and his freed slave ‘Amar ibn Fuhairah (ra) alongside their guide, ‘Abdullah ibn Uraiqit (who was a polytheist).

During their migration they rested at a camp in Qudaid at a time of drought. They requested some food and drink from Umm Ma‘bad but there was unfortunately nothing to offer them. The Prophet (saw) noticed a solitary and weak goat, which he requested Umm Ma‘bad to milk.

Miraculously the milk started gushing milk at the blessed hand of the Prophet (saw) and they all drank and the Prophet (saw) left plenty of milk for Umm Ma‘bad and her family.

When her husband, Aktham ibn Abu al-Jawn al-Khuza‘i returned from herding his sheep he saw all the milk. He asked his wife where this had come from and she explained a ‘blessed man’ had passed by us. He asked her to describe him (saw) and what follows is Umm Ma‘bad’s incredible description of the Messenger of Allah (saw).

Hadith:

On the authority of Umm Ma‘bad ‘Atikah bint Khalid al-Khuza‘iyyah (ra) who said:

‘I saw a man of visible radiance and purity, beautiful appearance, bright faced, with neither protruding ribs nor a small head, handsome and fair. His eyes were deep black and large, and his eyelashes were lush. His voice was mellow and soft. The whiteness of his eyes was bright and his pupils were very black. His eyebrows were beautifully arched and connected. His neck was long, his beard densely full. When he was silent, he appeared dignified. When he spoke, he was eminent and crowned with magnificence. His speech was sweet, his words precise, neither too little nor too much. Like a string of pearls flowing down gradually.

He was the most striking and beautiful of people when seen from afar and the fairest of them when seen up close. He was medium height, neither unagreeably tall nor scornfully short; a branch between two branches. Among the three he was the most radiant in appearance, the finest of them in stature. He was surrounded by companions. When he spoke, they listened attentively. When he gave orders, they hastened to fulfil them. Honoured, served and surrounded by followers. He neither frowned, nor criticised’.

[Al-Baihaqi and al-Hakim]

 

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