Sunday, 21 June 2009

Shamâ´il al-Muhammadiyyah [Part 10] Chapter 2 - The Seal of Prophethood

CHAPTER TWO - The Seal of Prophethood

§1/16. Qutaybah bin Sa`id narrated to us; Hâtim bin Ismâ`îl informed us; from al-Ja`d bin `Abdur-Rahmân who said; I heard Sâ´ib bin Yazid saying,
My aunty took me to the Prophet (SAW) and said, 'Messenger of Allâh, this son of my sister is in pain.' So he (SAW) wiped his hand over my head and supplicated for blessings for me, then he performed ritual ablution and I drank the left over water which he had employed. I stood behind him and I saw the seal between his shoulders, it resembled the tassel of a netted structure. [2]
"My aunty," (M) al-Hâfidh ibn Hajr said, 'I have not found a mention of her name,' al-Jazarî said that she was the sister of an-Namir bint Qâsiţ al-Kindî, (Q) and ibn Hajr said that the name of his mother was `Ulbah bint Shurayh, the sister of Makhramah bint Shurayh. "Took me to the Prophet (SAW)," (Q) in another version of the book, the wording is, 'Messenger of Allâh (SAW)'. "and said, 'Messenger of Allâh, this son of my sister is in pain,'" (Q) or one can understand the meaning to be 'ill', i.e. this son of my sister is ill, however the first understanding is better because the wording of Bukhârî mentions that he had a pain in his foot. Some have said that the fact that he (SAW) wiped his head shows that the problem was with the head, however there is nothing to prevent his having a pain in the head and foot, and the Prophet (SAW) chose to wipe the head because it was the more noble of the two appendages (M) and a problem with it is the more serious of the two.

"So he (SAW) wiped his hand over my head," (Q) al-Bayhaqî records that amongst the effects of this wiping was that the hair of his head never went white, even though his other hair did. "And supplicated for blessings for me," (Q) in age as the context shows, or age and other things, ibn Sa`d records that the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) said to him, "May Allâh bless you," and Bukhârî records that Ja`d said, 'I saw Sâ´ib when he was ninety four years old, still looking youthful, and he said, "I know that I have been granted good sight and hearing through the blessings of the Prophet's supplication for me."' (M) This hadîth shows the extent of gentleness and kindness that he (SAW) showed his Companions. "Then he performed ritual ablution and I drank the left over water which he had employed," (Q) Ibn Hajr said, 'i.e. the water that had been prepared for his ablution, or what was left over, or what he actually employed.' The most likely is the second case, and the first case is incorrect as this goes against good conduct. Some of the scholars chose the third case reasoning that it has a stronger relationship to the issue of seeking blessings, but the wording of the narration indicates the second for he said, 'I drank' and did not say, 'I sought blessings from.' (B) Abû Mûsâ reports that the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) called for a vessel containing water, he washed his hands and face therein, then spat lightly in it and said [to Abû Mûsâ and Bilâl], "Drink from it and splash it over your faces and necks," (H) so as to seek blessings with it by virtue of his blessed spit. (B) Abû Juhayfah reports that the Messenger of Allâh (SAW) came out to us at midday, water for his ablution was brought to him and he performed ablution. The people would take the water left over from his ablution and wipe themselves with it.

"I stood behind him," (Q) by way of good manners or deliberately (M) so as to see the seal. "And I saw the seal between his shoulders," (M) between his shoulders but closer to the left. al-Qurţubî said, 'The narrations on the seal concur that it was a protrusion, reddish in colour, and close to the left shoulder.' They said that the reason for this seal is that the heart is in that position and that is the entry point of Satan. Was he born with the seal, or was it placed there when he was born, or when his chest was split open in his youth, or when he was commissioned as a Prophet? al-Hafidh ibn Hajr said that the third option was the strongest, (H) as is shown by the hadîth of `Utbah bin `Abd as-Sulamî recorded by Ahmad and others that he asked the Messenger of Allâh (SAW), 'How was the commencement of your affair?' He (SAW) replied by mentioning the story of his fostering in Banû Sa`d, and in there it is mentioned that when the two Angels split open his chest, one said to the other, 'Sow it up', so he did and then sealed it with the Seal of Prophethood. "It resembled the tassel of a netted structure," (M) what is meant here is a netted structure built over the bridegrooms bed (Q) which has large tassels, some said that the sentence should be rendered, 'resembled a pigeons egg,' and used the next narration to support this understanding (N) but the scholars rejected this understanding.


1. Reported by at-Ţabarānı, al-Awsaţ and al-Kabır [11/416] and al-Bayhaqı, ad-Dalā'il [1/215]. (A) The isnād is da'ıf jiddan.
2. Bukhārī [al-Wudū´, Ŝifatu-n-Nabī, al-Mardā, ad-Da`wāt] and Muslim [Ŝifatu-n-Nabī].