Sunday, 21 June 2009

Shamâ´il al-Muhammadiyyah [Part 16] - Chapter 4 - The Prophet Tending to his Hair

CHAPTER FOUR - The Messenger of Allâh Tending to His Hair

(Q) Tarajjul refers to combing, cleaning, and adorning the hair; ibn Hajr said, quoting from ibn Battâl, 'It falls under the general category of cleanliness and this is something the Sharî`ah has recommended.' [1] He (SAW) said,"Cleanliness is from the religion"; Allâh, Exalted is He says, "Children of Adam! Wear fine clothing in every Mosque"[2]; and moreover the outer is an indication of the inner. As for the hadîth prohibiting tending to the hair except occasionally,[3] the intent behind it is to prohibit excessive oiling and the likes, this being indicative that the action being done is arising from ones own base desires. (AD) `Abdullâh bin Buraydah reports that a man from the Companions of the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) travelled to Fadâlah bin `Ubayd in Egypt and said, 'I have not come to visit you, rather you and I heard a hadîth from the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) and I had hoped you had some knowledge concerning it.' He asked, 'What is it?' He said, 'Such-and-such a hadîth'. Then he asked [Fadâlah], 'Why is it that I see you with dishevelled hair yet you are the ruler of this land?' He replied, 'The Messenger of Allâh (SAW) prohibited us from excessive luxurious living'. 'ibn Buraydah said that falling under its meaning was [frequent] tending to the hair. (Q) al-Mîrak said, 'The excessiveness mentioned in the hadîth shows that a middle course is not prohibited, and it is with this understanding that all the varying reports are reconciled.' [4]

(AD) Abû Hurayrah reports that the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) said, 'Whoever has hair, let him honour it.' (Q) The isnâd is hasan.[5] The Muwatta has the hadîth of `Atâ´ bin Yasâr that the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) saw a man with dishevelled hair of head and beard and indicated that he should neaten it. The hadîth is mursal sahîh and it has a witness in the hadîth of Jâbir that is recorded by Abû Dâwûd and an-Nasâ´î with a hasan isnâd.[6] (MM) Abû Qatâdah al-Ansârî reports that he asked the Messenger of Allâh (SAW), 'I have hair reaching my shoulders, should I comb it?' He replied, "Yes, and honour it." Because of this he would sometimes oil his hair twice a day. (Z) [7]Because of its frequently becoming disarrayed due to his work or the likes, as such it does not contradict the prohibition of doing so except occasionally, [because he did it due to a need].

§1/32. Ishâq bin Mûsâ al-Ansârî narrated to us; Ma`n bin `خsâ narrated to us; Mâlik bin Anas narrated to us; from Hishâm bin `Urwah; from his father; from `آ´ishah (RAH) who said,
I would comb the hair of the Messenger of Allâh while menstruating. [8]
"I would comb the hair of the Messenger of Allâh," (M) thereby showing the recommendation of combing the hair of the head and by analogy, the hair of the beard. This is explicitly mentioned in the da`îf hadîth that follows. (MS) [9]Rather combing the beard could be regarded as something more recommended than combing the head because the hair of the head could be covered whereas the hair of the beard is not. "While menstruating," (Q) this proves the permissibility of interacting with a menstruating woman. ad-Dâruqutnî records that she used to wash the head of the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) while he was residing in the Mosque and she was menstruating: he would hold his head out of the Mosque for her. This proves that the body of menstruating woman is pure, as is her sweat; moreover it shows that the contact that is prohibited for one making i`tikâf is sexual intercourse and what leads to it, and that the menstruating woman cannot enter the Mosque.

§2/33. Yûsuf bin `خsâ narrated to us; Wakî` informed us; ar-Rabî` bin Ŝabîh informed us; from Yazîd bin Abân - i.e. ar-Raqâshî; from Anas bin Mâlik (RA) who said,
Frequently would the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) oil his hair, comb his beard and wear a head veil [when having oiled his hair] to the point that it seemed that his garment was like that of an oil merchants. [10]
(Q) ar-Rabî` bin Ŝabîh: truthful but of poor memory (M) ibn al-Qattân was not pleased with him; Ahmad said that there was no problem with him; ibn Ma`în said he was da`îf. (Q) Yazîd bin Abân: Ibn Hajr said, 'They declared him da`îf, therefore the hadîth is defective.' (M) an-Nasâ´î said he was matrûk; ad-Dâruqutnî and Ahmad said that he was munkar al-hadîth; and al-Hâfidh al-`Irâqî decisively stated that the hadîth was da`îf.

"Frequently would the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) oil his hair, comb his beard and wear a head veil," (M) this is a veil placed on the head after oiling the hair in order to protect the turban from staining. (Q) Ibn al-Jawzî, Kitâb al-Wafâ´ records on the authority of Anas that when the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) would lie down to sleep at night, his water for wudû´, miswâk and comb would be laid out for him. Then when he awoke at night to pray, he would clean his teeth, perform wudû´ and comb his beard. at-Tabarânî, al-Awsat records on the authority of `آ´ishah that the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) would always have his miswâk and comb with him, and he would look in a mirror when combing his beard. "To the point that it seemed that his garment," (Q) of his body due to his frequent oiling and wearing of the head veil, it is also postulated that the garment referred to is the head veil. (M) The context of many of the narrations concerning this show that what is meant is the top of his shirt that met his hair and that the oil seeped down that far. Ibn Sa`d, at-Tabaqât records this hadîth with the wording, 'He would frequently wear a head veil until it seemed that the collar of his shirt was like the clothes of an oil merchant.' Ibn Hajr said, 'A narration mentions that his garment would be like that of an oil merchants, this means that he would oil his hair and then cover it with a veil, and it would seem that the part of his garment that made contact with his hair was like that of an oil merchants.' "Was like that of an oil merchants," (Q) or one who makes oil. Ibn Sa`d also records a similar hadîth on the authority of Anas.

(M) al-Hâfidh al-`Irâqî, Sharh at-Tirmidhî said, 'The isnâd to this hadîth is da`îf but it has supporting witnesses such as what is to be found in al-Khalfiyyât on the authority of Sa`d bin Sa`d that the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) would frequently oil his hair and comb his beard after wetting it; al-Bayhaqî, as-Sunan records on the authority of Abû Sa`îd that his (SAW) place of prayer would never be devoid of his miswâk and comb, and he would frequently comb his beard. The isnâd to this hadîth is da`îf.' Moreover what is meant by frequently here is on some occasions and not others due to the ahâdîth that mention the prohibition of oiling except on occasion. When this is understood, it does not contradict the description of him (SAW) being the cleanest of people. (Q) [11 ]Moreover doing something frequently does not necessitate that it be done everyday, rather the term frequently could equally apply to doing something whenever a need dictated its observance.

§3/34. Hannâd bin Sarrî narrated to us; Abû al-Ahwa· informed us; from al-Ash`ath bin Abû ash-Sha`thâ´; from his father; from Masrûq; from `آ´ishah (RAH) who said,
The Messenger of Allâh (SAW) used to love commencing on his right side when cleaning himself, when combing and when putting his shoes on. [12]
"The Messenger of Allâh (SAW) used to love commencing on his right side," (Q) Perhaps the reason behind this preference was to seek good omens, for the People of the Right Hand are the inhabitants of Paradise and they will be given their books in their right hands. Bukhârî adds in his version, "…as much as he was able," thereby showing that he persisted in this so long as there did not exist any factors preventing him from doing so. "When cleaning himself, when combing and when putting his shoes on," (Q) but not when taking his shoes off for one commences with left, again to honour the right. Likewise one does the same for clothes, socks, and the likes. The meaning is that he (SAW) would love commencing with the right in these matters and in all matters that involved showing respect and honour such as accepting and giving, entering the Mosque, the house, shaving the head, trimming the moustache, trimming nails, removing underarm hair, applying antimony, lying down, eating, drinking, and brushing the teeth with regards holding with the right hand and starting with the right side. This in contrast to that which does not contain nobility such as leaving the Mosque, entering the toilet etc. which is commenced with the left, again to honour the right. an-Nawawî said, 'The principle of the Sharî`ah is to commence with the right in everything that carries the meaning of respect, honour and adornment, and to commence the opposite with the left.' The proof for this generalization lies with what Bukhârî and Muslim record on the authority of `آ´ishah that "It would please the Prophet (SAW) to commence with the right side in his putting shoes on, his combing, his purification, and in all his affairs." an-Nasâ´î records the hadîth that "The Messenger of Allâh (SAW) would love commencing with the right: he would take with the right, give with the right, and would love commencing with the right in all his affairs." The exception with regards to things that do not contain any honouring is proven by the hadîth recorded by Abû Dâwûd on the authority of `آ´ishah that 'The right hand of the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) was for his purification and eating and his left hand was for cleaning after relieving himself and for anything that was distasteful."


1. Fath [10/450] 2. al-A`râf (7): 31
3. Hadîth #35
4. as was also stated by ibn Hajr, Fath [10/450]
5. as was also stated by ibn Hajr, Fath [10/450]
6. Fath [10/449]
7. Zurqânî, Sharh Muwatta [4/430]
8. Bukhârî [al-Hayd, al-Libâs], Muslim [al-Hayd]
9. al-Bâjî, Sharh Muwatta [9/400]
10. al-Bayhaqî. (A) its isnâd contains two da`îf narrators. Ibn Kathîr said, 'It contains oddity and is objectionable.'
11. Sharh Mishkât [8/226 #4445]
12. Bukhârî [al-Wudû´, as-Ŝalâh, al-At`imah, al-Libâs], Muslim [at-Tahârah]