Son of a Drop Dead Handsome Man
Like Father Like Son
Another peaceful Halloween where no parents were foolish enough to risk their children's lives by sending or taking them trick and treating disguised as the Prophet.
It is really too bad. A fake beard and a pasted-on bushy eyebrow would have been even more adorable on a child than the real thing was on the one who, by all accounts, was the most handsome of men.
The Prophet coloured his beard using a bright orange natural dye called henna. Whether it was to cover grey strands or simply a fashion statement we do not know.
An often quoted eye-witness description of God's Messenger is that of Umm Ma`bad who gazed upon his unavoidable brilliance when "he passed by the tent ... [and she] swore fealty to Islam before he departed" for Medina.
Muhammad was imposing and majestic. His face was luminous like a full moon.
I saw a man who is handsome, of glowing countenance, and of good proportions, with neither a large stomach nor a small head.
He is smart of appearance, with balanced features, deep black eyes, and long eyelashes.
His voice is not coarse. He has a long neck, a full rounded beard, and thick eyebrows that meet each other.
The Prophet came by his good looks honestly. God's Messenger may have been good-looking but his father was literally to-die-for gorgeous.
Not only does Arab tradition laud how handsome Muhammad was, but how exceptionally attractive was his father and the women they married.
It was said that when the breathtaking Abdulla (Muhammad’s father) married Amina the Prophet’s mother, 200 virgins of Mecca died of a broken heart, not only because the handsome Abdulla had not picked them, but because they would not be the mother of Muhammad the future Prophet.
From La Vie de Mahomet, Robert Lafont, 1962 by Virgil Gheorghiu (my translation)
Grandpa Strikes a Deal With God
God's last and greatest spokesperson owes his very existence and his prestigious job to a bargain – later renegotiated with far-reaching consequences – made with his future Employer by his grandfather.
Abu-Mutallib bargained with God through intermediaries. His grandson would do so face-to-face. The much referenced prayer negotiations.
A Birth Spectacular
John the Baptist announced the coming of Jesus; Jesus would announce the coming of the Prophet Muhammad. And no, it was not sorcery.
61:6 And when Jesus, son of Mary, said: “O Children of Israel, I am Allah’s Messenger to you, confirming what came before me of the Torah, and announcing the news of a Messenger who will come after me, whose name is Ahmad.” Then when he (Ahmad i.e. Mohammad) brought them the clear proofs, they said: “This is manifest sorcery.”
Like the virgin Mary, Amina was informed that the child she was carrying was special, with a disembodied voice adding that she should be wary of Jews.
The child to whom you will give birth will be a prophet and a law promulgator to the Arab people. Be wary of the enmity and the jealousy of men; especially the Jews. Seek refuge with God.
ibn Sa'd b. 784 d. 845
The birth of the Prophet Muhammad, like that of Jesus, was announced by a star.
I was a child of about seven or eight years when I heard the Jews of Medina who had gathered in the street speaking loudly. One of them climb onto a roof and called over his coreligionist, telling them to come together. Once they had assembled in the street, the one who had climbed on the roof shouted: "This night, the star which announced the birth of Ahmed appeared in the sky. Ahmed is born!
Hassan ibn Thabit d. 674
More than a hundred and fifty years after the death of God's last and greatest spokesperson, ibn Sa'd wrote about a spectacular widespread phenomenon which heralded the ultimate messenger's birth which traditional historians across the then known world overlooked.
At the moment of Prophet's [birth] a blinding light floods the planet. Amina spots the silhouettes of camels in Bosra more than a thousand kilometers away and the streets of the souks of Damascus as if she was there. The Palm trees of Yatrib (Medina) are lit up as if by giant projectors. The fires of in the temples to Zoroaster in Persia go out.
The birth of the greatest of them all is said to have occurred during the year Mecca was attacked by a fellow by the name of Abraha whose army was defeated by squads of Allah's sparrows.
Like all those who came before him, except for Jesus, the devil touched the future Prophet Muhammad while he was in the amniotic sac shortly before he exited through the birth canal, leaving a mark on his heart the size of a "pepper grain".
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "When any human being is born. Satan touches him at both sides of the body with his two fingers, except Jesus, the son of Mary, whom Satan tried to touch but failed, for he touched the placenta-cover instead."
You would need a magnifying to see it even if you knew where to find this still elusive mark.
Unlike the rest of us, God's greatest and last spokesman had this blemish removed while still a boy so that the Almighty could, decades later, communicate His final instructions for mankind via a flawless human being.
How Allah got rid of this apocryphal mark enthrals the believers to this day.
Virgil Gheorghiu's account of the cleansing as revealed in ibn Hisham's biography of the Prophet:
Halima (the Prophet's foster mother):
Muhammad was among the sheep and lambs in our tents, when Mesrouth came running to tell us "my brother the Quraysh, two men dressed in white robes took him. They threw him to the ground. They opened his body and are right now searching inside it with their hands."
His father and me* ran towards him. We found him standing up all pale. I held him close. His father held him close.
We asked him, "did they hurt you my son?"
"Two men dressed in white came," answered Muhammad, "they opened my body looking for I don't know what."
Halima and her husband, history has not revealed his name, are afraid. Later in life the Prophet would elaborate on what actually happened.
He said: "I was first taken from the clan of Sa'd-ben-Bakr, on a day when I was with my brother in a tent sheltering sheep when two men dressed in white approached with a bowl filled with snow. They seized me, opened my body, took out my heart and extracted a black pebble which they threw away then washed my heart and body with the snow, purifying both."
* This was before God, to allow His Messenger to wed the wife of adopted son made it illegal to claim your adopted sons as your own.