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In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Most Merciful. All praises and thanks are due and belong to Allah and may His peace and blessings be upon the Prophet Muhammad, his family, companions and all followers.

Among the lofty teachings of the dear Prophet of Islam; Prophet Muhammad-peace be upon him-is the captioned above. It came in a pronouncement reported by the companion; Abdullah Ibn Sarajsi (may Allah be pleased with him) in which the holy Prophet –peace be upon him-in very universal words that carries expository meanings worthy of being written in golden ink said: “ good looking and appearance, deliberateness and observing a middle course (in issues) is one part of a twenty-four parts of Prophethood”. (reported by Tirmidhi and rendered authentic by Albaani)

The combination of these qualities in a Muslim who is firm in sound faith is of no doubt a necessary step towards religious perfection and a preamble to enjoying such spiritual ecstasy that is only enjoyed by Prophets.  Hence, these qualities forming one part of a twenty-fourth parts of Prophethood is an undeniable fact especially when mentioned by the one who does not speak out of whims but of revelation revealed to him from his Lord.

The phrase: “good looking and appearance” : the word translated as appearance in Arabic is; “As-Samt” which originally means road in which case the direct linguistic translation would be : “good road or route”, however, according to scholars, the sentence is meant to be good looking and elegant outfit in dresses and good behavior. Allah says:

يَٰبَنِىٓ ءَادَمَ قَدْ أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكُمْ لِبَاسًا يُوَٰرِى سَوْءَٰتِكُمْ وَرِيشًا ۖ وَلِبَاسُ ٱلتَّقْوَىٰ ذَٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ ءَايَٰتِ ٱللَّهِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَذَّكَّرُونَ

O children of Adam! We have provided you with clothing to cover your bodies, and for luxury. But the clothing of piety-that is best. These are some of God's revelations, so that they may take heed.” (Al-A’raf:26).

 Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “clothing of piety” here in the verse is good facial appearance”1( Ibn Katheer: Tafseer al-Qur’an Al-Azeem, vol.3 verse 26 of the chapter of A’raaf)

Also in the sunan of Ibn Majah, he reported a tradition on the authority of jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet Muhammad( may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him ) said: “he whose prayer is plenty in the night would have a good looking face in the day” (Ibn Majah)

The second quality mentioned in the tradition is deliberateness ( attu’da-التؤدة). It is the act of being vigilant and steadied and the absence of impetuosity and hastiness in doing things. It was the presence of this lofty quality that made the companion; Ashaj Abd Qais (may Allah be pleased with him) to enjoy the recommendation of the blessed Prophet of Allah-peace be upon him. it is reported by Ibn Abbas (may Allah be please with him) that the Prophet (may Alah be please with him) said to Ashaj Abd Qais: “You have two qualities that Allah loves: deliberateness and forbearance” (Muslim).

The cause of this hadith was that; the mentioned companion was among a delegation that came to Madina to pledge their obedience to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Upon reaching Madina, the rest of the delegation quickly rushed to the Messenger of Allah but Ashaj Abd Qais waited at their caravan, tied his camel and then put on good looking cloths before he approached  the Prophet-peace be upon him. He (peace be upon him) seated him by his side and then asked them to give their pledges.( Tuhfatu al-Ahwazi fii sharh at-Tirmidhi)

It must however be bore in mind that deliberateness is good in all things except in the deeds of the hereafter, in which case hastiness is the required character of a servant, as said by the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him): “ deliberateness in all things is good except in the deeds of the hereafter” .  (Abu Daawud and others). Allah says:

وَسَارِعُوٓا۟ إِلَىٰ مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتُ وَٱلْأَرْضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ

And race towards forgiveness from your Lord, and a Garden as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for the righteous.” (Aali-Imraan:133)

The third quality is following a middle course in an affair with the aim of maintaining constancy in it. The theme of this quality is in many verses of the Glorious Qur’an especially on the issue of spending in charity. One should be neither meager nor extravagant but must observe a middle course in that. Allah says:

وَلَا تَجْعَلْ يَدَكَ مَغْلُولَةً إِلَىٰ عُنُقِكَ وَلَا تَبْسُطْهَا كُلَّ ٱلْبَسْطِ فَتَقْعُدَ مَلُومًا مَّحْسُورًا

And do not keep your hand neither tied to your neck, nor spread it out fully, lest you end up liable and regretful.” (Al-Israa’:29)

Also Allah says:

وَٱلَّذِينَ إِذَآ أَنفَقُوا۟ لَمْ يُسْرِفُوا۟ وَلَمْ يَقْتُرُوا۟ وَكَانَ بَيْنَ ذَٰلِكَ قَوَامًا

And those who, when they spend, are neither wasteful nor stingy, but choose a middle course between that. (Al-Furqaan:67)

The phrase: “is one part of a twenty-four parts of Prophethood” means these aforementioned qualities are universal and comprehensive characters of the Prophets, hence, implement them in your lives. This however does not mean one who has these characters has a portion of prophethood in him or her, and neither does it mean prophethood is in various parts. Prophets and Messengers are special humans chosen by Allah to deliver His messenger to mankind.

May Allah grant us the ability to possess these lofty manners, and may His salutations be upon the prophet Muhammad, his family and all companions. Ameen. 


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