Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Handsome Eyes of Our Beloved Mustafa

(May Allah give him peace & blessings)

In the following piece of work, I have given a detailed description of the gorgeous eyes of our Noble Prophet Muhammad (May Allah give him peace & blessings) that were described by many of his companions, and I have explained the Arabic terms used in Arabic to describe them:

1. The beautiful eyes were “wide” and “large” described as [1]"عظيمُ العَينَيْن" and [2]"كانتْ عَينَاهُ نَجْلَاوَين".

2. The Iris was "extremely black" described as [3]"أدْعَجُ العَين" and [4] "أسودُ الحَدَقًة" however the former more precisely means “a large eye with a dark black Iris having an extremely white sclera” "أدعج العين شديد سواد حدقتهما لكن قيد مع سعة العين وشدة بياضهما".[5]

3. The sclera -white part of the eye- had a touch of redness in it described as [6]"أشْكًلُ العَيْن", [7]"مُشرّبُ العَينِ بِحُمْرَة" and "كانَ فِي عَينَيْهِ تَمَزُّجٌ من حُمْرَة".

Shu`ba once asked Simak about the meaning of "أشْكًلُ العَيْن" to which he said: “an eye that has a long eyelashes”. Qadhi `Iyyadh commented: this is a misapprehension (wahm) by Simak and the sound view is that the word "شَكلًة" in Arabic means to have a complexion of redness in the eye as the entire scholars have agreed to and this is what the entire scholars of the science of unusual Arabic literary (al-Gharib) have concurred on. The word "شَهلَة" is used to describe a touch of redness in the Iris. Redness in the eye is a praiseworthy attribute and a handsome quality according to the Arabs.[8]

Hafiz al-`Iraqi considered this redness one of the signs of the Prophethood. When the Noble Prophet travelled with Maysara to Basra, Rahib questioned him whether he had some redness in his eyes, upon knowing, he affirmed that he is the promised Messenger.[9]

4. The eyelashes were “long” and “full” described as "أًَهْدَبُ الأَشفار" .[10]

5. The eyelashes were naturally dark black as if kuhl had been applied to them described as "أكْحل العَينَين" [11]

6. The blessed eyebrows were “long” and shaped like a “bow” described as"أزَجّ الحَواجِب" [12].
Al-Qamus defines “azajj” as “bow shaped and long” and al-Sihah defines it as “thin and long”.[13] Al-Fa’q defines it as “fine eyebrows that lead onto the end of the eye”.[14] Munawi adds “plenteous in hair and far stretched”.[15]

7. The eyebrows were “fine” and not “thick” described as "دَقِيقَ الحَاجِبَين".

8. The eyebrows were “perfect” and “never met in the middle” above the nose, described as "سَوابِغَ في غيرِ قَرَن"[16].

Sayyiduna `Ali, Umm Ma`bad and Suwayd bin Gafalah reported that the Noble Prophet’s eyebrows (upon him be peace & blessings) did meet, giving the Arabic description "مقرُونَ الحاجِبَين". However, the scholars have explained the sound view is that they “did not” meet and reconciled between the two reports by saying that if one was to “attentively” look at the eyebrows, he would realise that there was a “thin white gap” between them, otherwise it appeared as if they met.[17] The word that describes the non-meeting of the eyebrows in Arabic is "بَلج" and thus "أبلَج الحواجب".[18]

9. In the affairs of Allah, the beloved’s anger would appear as such that a vane would clearly appear filled by blood in between his eyebrows rising over his forehead, described as "بَينهما عِرقٌ يُدِرُّه الغَضَب".

Our Beloved Prophet's eyes (upon him be peace & blessing) were mentioned by many poets in Persian, Arabic and Urdu. Among the great Gnostics who often made mention of the precise details of the eyes were Pir Sayyid Mehr `Ali Shah in his Punjabi odes which he penned after seeing the Noble Mustafa in just outside Madina in Wadiy Hamra, and the great Mujaddid Imam Ahmad Ridha especially in his Qasida Salamiya, in which he described the entire hilya. The people of the subcontinent are always overwhelmed by these odes as much that my personal experience is that hair lifts up on my skin and tears fill my eyes when passionately sang.

Pir Sayyid Mehr Ali Shah says;

“The Beloved’s bow-shaped eyebrows appeared before me
And it seemed though the lashes were firing arrows”




[1] Narrated Bayhaqi on the authority of Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Taalib & cited by `Ali Qari in Jam` al-Wasa’il (1:55)
[2] Qadhi Yusuf Nabhani cited this wording in Wasa’il al-Wusul p63
[3] As in a narration of `Umar bin Khattab and `Ali ibn Abi Talib
[4] As in a narration of Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Talib
[5] Mulla `Ali Qari, Jam` al-Wasa’il (1: 31)
[6] Narrated by Tirmidhi in his Shama’il on the authority of Jabir ibn Samura. Ibn al-Athir also affirmed that Ashkal means “a touch of redness” in al-Nihaya.
[7] Narrated by Bayhaqi on the authority of Sayyiduna `Ali ibn Abi Taalib & cited by `Ali Qari in Jam` al-Wasa’il (1:55)
[8] `Ali Qari in Jam` al-Wasa’il and Munawi in Sharh al-Shama’il (1: 55)
[9] Munawi’s Sharh al-Shama’il, 1:55
[10] This explanation to the word "أهدَب" was given by `Ali Qari in Jam` al-Wasa’il (1: 32) and is also understood by the following narration cited by Yusuf al-Nabhani in Wasa’il al-Wusul p63: "وكان أهدب الأشفار حتي تكاد تلتبس من كثرتها". This description was given by Sayyiduna `Ali in the popular narration of the Hilya narrated by Tirmidhi.
[11] In a narration of Abu Hurayrah, and narration of Jabir bin Samurah cited by Tirmidhi
[12] In the popular Hilya narration by Hind bin Abi Haala cited by Tirmidhi.
[13] `Ali Qari in Jam` al-Wasa’il (1:43)
[14] Munawi in Sharh al-Shama’il (1:43)
[15] Ibid
[16] In the popular Hilya narration of Hind bin Abi Haala cited by Tirmidhi.
[17] Ibn al-Athir in al-Nihaya, Yusuf al-Nabhani in Wasa’il al-Wusul p 73, `Ali Qari in Jam` al-Wasa’il (1:44)
[18] `Ali Qari, Jam` al-Wasa’il (1:44)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Mufti `Ali Hussain Maliki Makki

Two Stories from Shaykh `Ali Hussain Makki’s unpublished “al-Hady al-Taam” on celebrating the Mawlid & Qiyam

Shaykh Ali Hussain Maliki ~ Biography

Shaykh `Ali Hussain Maliki, Master of the fundamental and subsidiary Islamic sciences, jurist & teacher at the Makkan Haram and at Madrasa Dar al-`Ulum al-Deeniya. He was reffered to as ((Seebwayh al-`Asr)). His father Shaykh Hussain bin Ibrahim Maliki, who passed away when Shaykh `Ali was five, and elder brother Shaykh `Abid Hussain Maliki al-Azhari (d.1340h)- student of Imam Ahmad Bin Zayni Dahlan & Haji Rahmatullah Keerwani, also teacher of Sayyid `Abbas Maliki and Shaykh Umar bin Hamdan Mahrisi- were both illustrious qadhis of Makka. The family was originally from Morocco and lived in Makka where Shaykh `Ali was born in 1287h. He later became the Maliki Mufti of the Haram and authored numerous works in various sciences, among them are “al-Sawanih al-Fakhira fi `Ilm al-Munazarah”, “Tahdheeb al-Furuq fi Usul al-Fiqh”, “Tadrib al-Tullab fi al-Nahw”, “Nayl al-Umniya bi sharh al-`Azziya”, "al-Qawati` al-Burhaniyya fi bayani Ifki Gulam Ahmad wa Atba`ihi al-Qaadyaniyya" in refutation of the Deviant Mirza Gulam Ahmad, and “al-Hady al-Taam wa fi bayan al-Mawlid wa ma U`uteed fihi min al-Qiyam”. He was the greatest teacher of Sayyid `Alawi Maliki the father of the late Muhadith of Makka Sayyid Muhammad `Alawi Maliki, after Sayyid `Abbas as mentioned in Fihrist al-Shuyukh wa al-Asaneed p32. He was the first Arab scholar to pen a lengthy poem in praise of Imam Ahmad Ridha Khan al-Birelwi, and endorsed the latter’s al-Dawla al-Makkiyya and Hussam al-Haramayn as he also took the Qadiri Rizvi Tariqa from him and Ijaza in the Noble hadith and Islamic sciences which is documented in the latter’s “al-Ijaazaat al-Matina li-`Ulama-i Bakkata wa al-Madina”. His personal library was endowed to the Makkan Library and remains there until today. He passed away in Ta'if in1367h. His student, Shaykh Yasin Fadani Makki authored a thabat pertaining to the chains of the Shaykh entitled "al-Maslak al-Jaliy fi Asaneed Fadheelat al-Shaykh Muhammad `Ali".
The Shaykh's biography is detailed in "Siyar wa Tarajim" by `Umar `Abd al-Jabbar Makki, published by Maktaba Tihama Jedda, and in "Tashneef al-Isma`" by Shaykh Mahmud Sa`eed Mamduh publihsed by Dar al-Shabab, Cairo.

Sayyid `Abbas Maliki ~ The Qiyam of an Old Man

Shaykh `Ali Hussain Maliki says: “Sayyid `Alawi Maliki narrated the following incident that once his father Sayyid `Abbas Maliki, may Allah have mercy on him, participated in a Mawlid gathering in Bayt al-Maqdis on the night of `Eid al-Milad al-Nabawi during the recital of Barzanji’s Mawlid, where he saw a white haired old man standing with much respect listening to the recitation from beginning to end. Upon asking him why he stood all the way through despite his old age, he replied that he never used to stand during the mention of the Prophet’s Mawlid and he deemed it a reprehensible innovation until one night he saw a group of people preparing themselves to receive and welcome the Noble Prophet, Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, and when the Noble moon appeared and the his light shun, the group stood up but he was unable to stand. The Messenger of Allah, Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, said to him: you cannot stand! When he woke up, he was seated and was unable to stand for one whole year. He made a vow that if Allah heals him he will stand from the beginning of the Mawlid recitation till the end and so he did and was cured immediately. He told Sayyid `Abbas that he continues practicing this in honour of the Messenger of Allah, may give him peace and blessings!

Sayyid Muhammad Ja`far Kattani ~ Rasulullah’s presence in Majalis al-Dhikr

Sayyid Muhammad bin Ja`far Kattani was asked about the Noble Messenger’s embodiment of Divine traits to which he said: He, Allah give him peace and blessings, informed us that Allah Most high said: “I am the companion (jalees) of the one who remembers me” and in a variant “I am with the one who remembers me” thus he, May Allah give him peace and blessings, is present with the one who remembers him in every place he is remembered with his Noble soul. An event that supports the latter is which Sayyid Kattani mentioned: Shaykh Ibn `Allan Makki was once reciting Sahih al-Bukhari in Hijr Isma`il in Makka when only three sittings were remaining for its completion. A student sought permission from the shaykh to leave for the visitation of the Noble Messenger in Madina before the completion whereupon the Shaykh asked him to delay his travel and remain in Makka until he completed the hearing of the entire recitation but the student hastened and prepared to leave the following morning. The night before his journey, he slept and saw the Noble Prophet, Allah give him peace and blessings, in his dream mounted on a camel coming from Madina whereby he questioned in amazement to which the Noble Prophet, Upon him be peace and blessings, said he was going to Makka to attend the khatm of Ibn `Allan’s recitation of Sahih al-Bukhari! The next morning the student cancelled his trip and attended the recitation gathering informing the Shaykh of the dream, who was delighted to here this great news and gave him glad tidings.

“Al-Hady al-Taam” remains a manuscript at the Makkan Library and is dated 1360h in the handwriting of the author, may Allah have mercy on him. It contains a two paged refutation of `Abdul Majeed Deobandi in its end and is followed by a section on Shaykh `Ali Hussain’s ijaza from Shah `Abdul Haq Ilahabadi Makki, the pillar upon whom Imam Ahmad Ridha relied on in Hijaz, and his hadith chains.