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Thursday, January 01, 2009

Umm Ma’bud’s description of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)

This was a text taught to us by Sheikh Atabek Shukurov.

The event occured during the Migration/Hijra from Mecca to Medina.

Translated by Arfan Shah.

It was narrated that the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), his servant, a guide and Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) left Mecca, passing a tent of an elderly lady called Umm Ma’bud. She would sit close to the tent and would give food and drink to travellers. So they asked her if they could buy some meat or dates from her but she could not find anything. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) looked towards a sheep next to the tent. They had run out of provisions and where hungry. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) asked Umm Ma’bud, “What is wrong with this sheep, dear Umm Ma’bud?”

She replied, “The sheep is fatigued and is weaker than the other sheep.”

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Does it milk?

She replied, “I swear by your mother and father, if I saw milk from it then I would milk it.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) called the sheep and moved his hand over its udder; he pronounced the name of Allah and praised him. Then he called Umm Ma’bud when the sheep steadied its feet and its udder filled. He asked for a large container and milked it until it was filled. The lady drank until full, his companions (meaning satisfied) drank until full, then the others drank. Then it was milked for a second time until the container was full and they left her and continued on their journey.

After a short while, the partner of the lady (Abu Ma’bud) returned from herding goats that were swaying from weakness. He saw the milk and said to his wife, “Where did you get this milk from, dear Umm Ma’bad. The sheep is single and there is no milk in the house!”

She replied, “I swear by God, a blessed man passed by, in the following manner...”


Abu Ma’bud said, “Describe him to me.”

She said, “I saw a man externally bright; fair of face (beautiful face). His form was not blemished (The slimness of his body); he was not afflicted by extreme leanness (he was not thin), he was not plump but beautifully proportioned (He radiated beauty); his eyes were deep set (they were black); his eyelids were bushy (he had long eyelashes); his voice was melody (throaty and beautiful); his neck was prominent (long); his beard was dense (ample hair); curved furrows (long arched eyebrows). If silent, he possessed dignity, when he spoke, its elevation and loftiness was beautiful. He is the most beautiful person, beautiful from afar and stunning when close. Delightful speech with pauses, without jest or nonsense (speech between a little and a lot). His speech is like the beads of a necklace cut (he would not speak excessively or moderately). His height does not harm and the eye is not taken over by him, a branch between two branches, he is more radiant than them and he is most respected.

His colleagues would surround him, if he said something they would listen attentively, if he ordered then they would hasten to perform it, his entourage (He had some companions with him who would obey him), without frowning or refusing (without frowning on the face and speech free from dislike)."

Abu Ma’bud said, “I swear to God, he is the one Quresh mentioned to us about his affair in Mecca. I am determined to accompany him; if I could go that way.”


It was mentioned that Asma the daughter of Abu Bakr, and who was with her, fearful of what had happened to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon). They did not know where they went until a man of the jinn came whose voice was heard but could not be seen. Came into the city whilst the people were following and composed the following;

“May Allah recompense the protector of people with the best reward,

The friends who came into the tent of Umm Ma’bud,

They came in goodness then left ,

Prosperous is who is the follower of Muhammad,

May the tribe of Ka’b be blessed in their youth,

She intended to wait for the believers,

How embarrassed are you, from what Allah has taken,

With the action with reward or leadership,

Ask your sister about her sheep and her container,

Even if you ask the sheep it will testify,

Call the barren sheep and which gave milk,

The udder of the sheep gave cream,

He left her and gifted her with a sheep giving milk,

He returned her to her place and then to his destination.”


Sources: Ibn Hisham, Imam Ahmed, Al-Hikam Hasan qawi agreed upon by Ad-Dhahbi, Tabarni in Mujam Al-Kabir 3/57, Ibn Kathir “The beginning and the end” 2/190, Haytami 6/57, Proofs of Prophethood by Al-Bayhaqi 2/493, Tabarani in the Major compilation 4/57, in the “Grades” of Ibn Saad 1/230

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