Our father Adam is not the only prophet whose description is being concealed. People are also concealing the true color of the prophets Musa (Moses), Isa (Jesus), and the prophet Mohamed (peace be upon them all). If the appearance and color of the prophets wasn’t important, the prophet Mohamed (pbuh) wouldn’t have come from the Seven Heavens describing the color of Musa and Isa (peace be upon them).
There are many hadith that say that when the prophet Mohamed (pbuh) returned from his ascent to the Seven Heavens, he described the color of some of the prophets. If this information wasn’t important, the prophet Mohamed (pbuh) wouldn’t have mentioned it. The prophet Mohamed (pbuh) didn’t speak nonsense or idle speech. The prophet Mohamed (pbuh) described the prophet Musa (Moses) as black-skinned and kinky-haired. Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal related in his Masnad (hadith number 3365) the following description that the prophet Mohamed (pbuh) gave of Musa’s (Moses’) color:
وَرَأَيْتُ مُوسَى أَسْحَمَ آدَمَ
Musa (Moses) was jet-black skinned.
Muslim relates in his Sahih Muslim (hadith numbers 239 and 243) that Ibn Abbas said that the prophet Mohamed (pbuh) described Musa’s (Moses’) appearance as follows:
َأَمَّا مُوسَى فَرَجُلٌ آدَمُ جَعْدٌ
As for Musa (Moses), he was black-skinned and kinky-haired. (hadith 243)
قَالَ ذَكَرَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ حِينَ أُسْرِيَ بِهِ فَقَالَ مُوسَى آدَمُ طُوَالٌ كَأَنَّهُ مِنْ رِجَالِ شَنُوءَةَ
He (Ibn Abbas) said that the prophet (pbuh) mentioned the time he was ascended to the Heavens and he said that Musa (Moses) was black-skinned and tall as if he was from the tribe of Shanuaa. (hadith 239)
Also, Allah says in verse 108 of
وَنَزَعَ يَدَهُ فَإِذَا هِيَ بَيْضَاء لِلنَّاظِرِينَ
And he drew forth his hand (from his bosom): and lo! it was white for the beholders. [El-Aaraaf- verse 108]
· El-Quortobi says in his tafsir of the verse:
وكان موسى أسمر شديد السمرة
Musa (Moses) was black-skinned.
· The authors of Tafsir El-Jalalain say in their tafsir of the verse:
(ونزع يده) أخرجها من جيبه (فإذا هي بيضاء) ذات شعاع (للناظرين) خلاف ما كانت عليه من الأدمة
‘He took out his hand’ means that he took his hand out of his pocket. ‘And it was white for the beholders’ means that it was radiant and was no longer black like it was originally.
· El-Tabari says in his tafsir of the verse:
وكان موسى، فيما ذكر لنا، آدم، فجعل الله تحول يده بيضاء من غير برص، له آية
According to what we were told, Musa (Moses) was black-skinned and Allah made Musa’s hand turning white, without being affected by leprosy, a sign for him.
· El-Baidawi says in his tafsir of the verse:
روي : أنه عليه السلام كان آدم شديد الأدمة ، فأدخل يده في جيبه أو تحت إبطه ثم نزعها فإذا هي بيضاء نورانية غلب شعاعها شعاع الشمس
It is related that Musa (pbuh) was jet-black-skinned. He put his hand in his pocket or under his armpit and took it out and it was white.
· El-Baghawi says in his tafsir of the verse:
وكان موسى آدم ، ثم أدخلها جيبه فصارت كما كانت
Musa (Moses) was black-skinned. Then (after withdrawing his hand from his pocket white) he put his hand back in his pocket and it turned back to the color that it was.
There are many other hadith that say the same thing about Musa’s (Moses’) appearance. Why are Muslims silent about this? Why aren’t Muslims striving to make this common knowledge? Why aren’t Muslims spreading these words of the prophet (pbuh)? Because these words of the prophet Mohamed (pbuh) are not common knowledge, the Muslims have lost
َThere are also many hadith that describe Isa (Jesus) as black-skinned. Bukhari relates that Ibn Umar said, “No! I swear by Allah that the prophet (pbuh) didn’t say that Jesus was light-skinned, but he said ‘While I was asleep, I was walking around the Kaaba when I saw a black-skinned man with non-kinky hair between two men. I asked who the man was and I was told that he was Isa (Jesus) the son of Meryem.’…”
حَدَّثَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ الْمَكِّيُّ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ بْنَ سَعْدٍ قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي الزُّهْرِيُّ عَنْ سَالِمٍ عَنْ أَبِيهِ قَالَ لَا وَاللَّهِ مَا قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لِعِيسَى أَحْمَرُ وَلَكِنْ قَالَ بَيْنَمَا أَنَا نَائِمٌ أَطُوفُ بِالْكَعْبَةِ فَإِذَا رَجُلٌ آدَمُ سَبْطُ الشَّعَرِ يُهَادَى بَيْنَ رَجُلَيْنِ يَنْطِفُ رَأْسُهُ مَاءً أَوْ يُهَرَاقُ رَأْسُهُ مَاءً فَقُلْتُ مَنْ هَذَا قَالُوا ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ فَذَهَبْتُ أَلْتَفِتُ فَإِذَا رَجُلٌ أَحْمَرُ جَسِيمٌ جَعْدُ الرَّأْسِ أَعْوَرُ عَيْنِهِ الْيُمْنَى كَأَنَّ عَيْنَهُ عِنَبَةٌ طَافِيَةٌ قُلْتُ مَنْ هَذَا قَالُوا هَذَا الدَّجَّالُ وَأَقْرَبُ النَّاسِ بِهِ شَبَهًا ابْنُ
قَطَنٍ قَالَ الزُّهْرِيُّ رَجُلٌ مِنْ خُزَاعَةَ هَلَكَ فِي الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ
Bukhari (hadith number 3185)
There are many other hadith related by Bukhari, Muslim, Imam Ahmed, and others that describe Isa (Jesus) as black-skinned. I ask those who claim that it is not necessary to talk about the physical description of the prophets why it is that Ibn Umar found it important enough for him to swear by Allah that the prophet Mohamed (pbuh) said that Isa (Jesus) was black-skinned. Why are we avoiding this subject instead of striving to make it common knowledge? Why are we hiding the truth about the appearance of the prophets? Why are we diminishing the importance of that which Allah spoke about and gave importance to? Why are we diminishing the importance of that which the prophet Mohamed (pbuh) and his companions spoke about and gave importance to? Avoiding this topic is innovation in Islam. Allah mentioned the topic. The prophet Mohamed (pbuh) and his companions mentioned the topic. If they had felt that there was good in avoiding the topic, they would have avoided it. Is there anyone today who feels that he/she knows what is good for Islam and mankind better than Allah? Is there a Muslim today who feels that he/she knows what is good for Islam and mankind better than the prophet Mohamed (pbuh) and his companions?
It is related that the prophet Hud, who was from the ancient Arab tribe of Aad, was also described as jet-black skinned? The prophet Hud was from the tribe of Aad the son of Aus the son of Iram the son of Sam. Iram, Arfakshadh, Ashudh, and Lodh were the brothers of
It is related that ibn Al-Kalbi, the famous genealogist/transmitter of hadith/linguist/Arab historian who died in
وروى ابن الكَلبي عن رجاله، عن الأصْبْغَ بن نباتة، قال: كنّا عند علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه وفي خلافة عمر، فسأَلَ رجلاً عن حَضْرَ مَوْت، فقال أعَالِمٌ أنتَ بحضر موت؟ قال: إذا جهلتُها فما أعلمُ غيرها. قال: أتعرف مَوضِع الأحقاف؟ قال: كأنَّك تسأل عن قَبْرهُود. قال: نعم. قال: خرجتُ وأنا غُلاَمٌ في أُغيْلمةٍ من الحيّ، نريد أن نَأْتي قَبْرهَ، لبُعْدِ صيته، فسِرْنا في وادي الأحقاف أيّاماً، وفينا من قد عَرَف الموضع: حتى انْتَهَيْنَا إلى كثيبٍ أَحْمَر، فيه كهوف، فانْتَهَى بنا ذلك الرجل إلى كَهفٍ منها، فدَخَلْناه، فأَمْعَنَّا فيه، فانْتَهَيْنَا إلى حَجَرَيْنِ قد أُطْبِقَ أَحدُهما فوق الآخر، وفيه خَلَلٌ يدْخُل منه (الرجل) النحيفُ متجانفاً فرَأيْتُ رجلاً على سرير، شديدَ الأُدْمة، كَثَّ اللحية، قد يَبِسَ على سريره، وإذا لمستُ شيئاً من جسده وَجَدْتُه صُلْباً، وعند رأسه كتابٌ بالعربيّةّ:
أنا هُودٌ (النبيّ) الذي آمنتُ بالله، وأَسِفْتُ على عاد لكُفْرُها، وما كان لأمْر الله من مَرَد
قال علي: كذا سمعتُه من أبي القاسم، صلى الله عليه وسلم
Ibn Al-Kalbi related from his sources that El-Asbagh ibn Nabaata said, “We were with Ali ibn Abi Talib (RAA) during the caliphate of Umar and he (Ali) asked a man about Hadramout. He (Ali) asked, ‘Do you know about Hadramout?’ The man said, ‘If I don’t know about Hadramout, I don’t know anything.’ Ali said, ‘Do you know where El-Ahqaaf is?’ The man said, ‘It seems that you are asking about the grave of Hud.’ Ali said, ‘Yes, that’s right.’ The man said, ‘I and some boys from the neighborhood went out in search of his grave because we heard so much about him. We traveled for days through the
I am Hud, who believed in Allah and felt sorry for Aad because of their disbelief. Allah’s decree cannot be averted.
Ali then said, ‘I heard it the same way from Abu El-Qasim (the prophet Mohamed pbuh)’”
Scholars of hadith do not consider Ibn Al-Kalbi and Asbagh ibn Nabata reliable sources for hadith. However, I‘ve mentioned what Ibn Al-Kalbi and Asbagh ibn Nabata said about Hud’s appearance because though the hadith may be unsound, the meaning is true. Also, it shows that the Arabs of the past were a black-skinned people because Asbagh wouldn’t have described Hud ibn Abdella ibn Rabah ibn Jaloud ibn Aad ibn Aus ibn Iram ibn Sam ibn Nuh as jet-black-skinned if the Arabs weren’t black-skinned.
People are also not giving a correct description of the prophet Mohamed (pbuh) in particular and the Arabs in general. If people had a better idea of what the Arabs looked like, it would be easier for them to understand the descriptions of the prophet Mohamed (pbuh). Remember that Ibn Abbas said that Allah made the descendants of Sam and the descendants of Ham black-skinned and He made the descendants of Japheth white-skinned. The Arabs are descendants of Sam. The Arabs of the past used the term “red” to describe a complexion that we call white today. Lisan El-Arab (an old Arabic dictionary) mentions Shamar’s explanation of the hadiths that say that the prophet Mohamed (pbuh) said that he was sent to the blacks and the reds. Shamar explains the hadiths as follows:
قال شمر: يعنـي العرب والعجم والغالب علـى أَلوان العرب السُّمرة والأُدْمَة وعلـى أَلوان العجم البـياض والـحمرة،
“He means (by the blacks and the reds) the Arabs and the non-Arabs and the complexion of most Arabs is brown and jet-black and the complexion of most non-Arabs is white and red.”
Shams El-Din Mohamed ibn Ahmed ibn Othman El-Dhahabi (died
يريد ألقائل أنه في لون ألموالي ألذين سبوا من نصارى ألشام وألروم و ألعجم
“The speaker means that the man was the color of the slaves who were captured from the Christians of
It was common for the Arabs of the past to describe a light-skinned person as having the color of the slaves. This is a known fact.
Ibn Mandhor (1232-
سبوطة الشعر هي الغالبة علـى شعور العجم من الروم والفرس. و جُعودة الشعر هي الغالبة علـى شعور العرب
“Non-kinky hair is the kind of hair that most non-Arabs like the Romans and Persians have while kinky hair is the kind of hair that most Arabs have.”
The Arabs of the past also used the word green to mean black. El-Fadl ibn El-Abbas ibn ‘Utba El-Lahabi said:
وأَنا الأَخْضَرُ، من يَعْرِفُنـي؟
أَخْضَرُ الـجِلْدَةِ فـي بـيتِ العَرَبْ
I am the green one. Who knows me?
My skin is green. I am from the family of the Arabs.
Ibn Mandhor, the author of Lisan El-Arab says this about the verse:
يقول: أَنا خالص لأَن أَلوان العرب السمرة
“He says that he is a pure Arab because the color of the Arabs is brown (dark).”
In Lisan El-Arab, Ibn Mandhor also quotes the author of El-Tahdhib, Saad El-Din Masud ibn Umar El-Taftaazaani (1312-
فـي هذا البـيت قولان: أَحدهما أَنه أَراد أَسود الـجلدة؛ قال: قاله أَبو طالب النـحوي، وقـيل: أَراد أَنه من خالص العرب وصميمهم لأَن الغالب علـى أَلوان العرب الأُدْمَةُ،
“There are two sayings about this verse. One is that he meant that he had black skin. This is what Abu Talib El-Nahwi said. It is also said that he meant that he is a pure unmixed Arab because most Arabs are black-skinned.”
Abdella ibn Berry (1106-
قال ابن بري: نسب الـجوهري هذا البـيت للهبـي، وهو الفضل بن العباس بن عُتْبَةَ بن أَبـي لَهَبٍ، وأَراد بالـخضرة سمرة لونه، وإِنما يريد بذلك خـلوص نسبه وأَنه عربـي مـحض، لأَن العرب تصف أَلوانها بالسواد وتصف أَلوان العجم بالـحمرة. وفـي الـحديث: بُعثت إِلـى الأَحمر والأَسود؛ وهذا الـمعنى بعينه هو الذي أَراده مسكين الدارمي فـي قوله
أَنا مسكِينٌ لـمن يَعْرِفُنـي،
لَوْنِـي السُّمْرَةُ أَلوانُ العَرَبْ
“El-Jawhari attributed this verse to El-Lahabi and he is El-Fadl ibn El-Abbas ibn ‘Utba ibn Abi Lahab and he meant by green the brownness (darkness) of his complexion and he meant by that the purity of his genealogy and that he was an unmixed Arab because the Arabs describe their color as black and they describe the color of the non-Arabs as red. Like the hadith says, ‘I was sent to the red and the black. And this is exactly what Miskeen El-Darimi meant when he said:
‘I am Miskeen, for those who know me.
My color is brown (dark), the color of the Arabs’”.
Miskeen said this verse to a woman who refused to marry him because of his blackness and his poorness. Miskeen was a pure Arab from the tribe of Darim and he was black-skinned.
As you can see, the true appearance of the Arabs of the past is entirely different from the appearance most people today think that the Arabs had. As a result, most people today have an inaccurate conception of what the prophet Mohamed’s (pbuh) color was. The reason for this misconception is because some people either don’t have a correct understanding of the Arabic words that were used to describe the prophet Mohamed (pbuh) and others in the past or they know and they don’t want to say the reality. I explain many misunderstood Arabic terms in detail in my book The Unknown Arabs.
Read again the description above that the Arabs of the past gave of the appearance of a pure Arab and then look at the picture that today’s Arab producers give of what a pure Arab looks like.
Today’s Arab producers show the pure Arabs as white-skinned and anyone who actually looks like a pure Arab, is not shown as an Arab but as a non-Arab slave. Where did Arab producers get this false idea? This is another reason people today have a false idea about what a pure Arab looks like. Are today’s Arab producers purposely misinforming the masses or are they innocently ignorant of the appearance of the Arabs of the past? Ali ibn Abi Talib (RAA), the cousin and son-in-law of the prophet Mohamed (pbuh) and the ancestor of all people who are called sharifs (noble descendants of the prophet Mohamed pbuh), was described as jet-black skinned and so were his descendants (see The Unknown Arabs pages 60-63). Look at how today’s Arab producers portrayed Ali’s father Abi Talib (the brother of the prophet Mohamed’s (pbuh) father) in the film The Messenger.
Most hadith describe the prophet Mohamed (pbuh) as not very black-skinned and not light-skinned, with hair that was not extremely kinky and not non-kinky. Another hadith describes the prophet’s (pbuh) color as brown, which, as I explain in The Unknown Arabs, means a color darker than the color that the term is used for today. The hadith that describes the prophet’s (pbuh) color as brown is related by Tirmidhi (hadith number 1676). Some hadith describe the prophet’s (pbuh) color as “white”. However, the meaning that the Arabs intended for the term “white”, when used to describe people, was completely different from the usual meaning of white.
It’s important that people understand that when the Arabs of the past described someone’s color as “white”, they meant a color much different from the color that the term is usually used to describe. The Arabs had a special meaning for the term white when describing each other. The Arabs usually described the non-Arab descendants of Japheth as red. When they described the non-Arab descendants of Japheth as white, it had the meaning that it has today. However, when the Arabs described each other’s complexion as white, they meant the complexion that I will explain to you now.
Ibn Mandhor says in his book Lisan El-Arab:
والعرب إِذا قالوا: فلان أَبـيض وفلانة بـيضاء فمعناه الكرم فـي الأَخلاق لا لون الـخـلقة، وإِذا قالوا: فلان أَحمر وفلانة حمراء عنوا بـياض اللون؛
“When the Arabs said that a man or a woman was ‘white’, they meant that the person was honorable. They weren’t talking about his/her complexion. When they (the Arabs) said that a man or a woman was ‘red’, they meant that his/her complexion was white.
The famous, old Arabic dictionary Lisan El Arab also quotes the author of El-Tahdhib, Saad El-Din Masud ibn Umar El-Taftaazaani (1312-
التهذيب: إِذا قالت العرب فلان أَبْـيَضُ وفلانة بَـيْضاء فالـمعنى نَقاء العِرْض من الدنَس والعيوب... لا يريدون به بَـياضَ اللون ولكنهم يريدون الـمدح بالكرم ونَقاءِ العِرْض من العيوب، وإِذا قالوا: فلان أَبْـيَض الوجه وفلانة بَـيْضاءُ الوجه أَرادوا نقاءَ اللون من الكَلَفِ والسوادِ الشائن
“When the Arabs said that a man or a woman was white, they meant that the person had a faultless honor…they didn’t mean white skin. What they meant by this was to praise the person for his/her generosity and faultless honor. When they said that a man or woman had a white face, they meant that the person had a complexion free of blemishes and free of an unattractive blackness.”
Shams El-Din Mohamed ibn Ahmed ibn Othman El-Dhahabi (died
العرب إذا قالتّ: فلان أبيض فإنهم يريدون الحنطي أللون بحلية سوداء
“When the Arabs said that a person was white, they meant that he/she had a black complexion with a wheat-colored undertone.”
So, as you can see, when the Arabs described each other’s complexion as “white”, they actually meant a dark complexion; a nice, dark, even complexion with a wheat-colored undertone.
This description that the Arabs of the past gave of a pure Arab should help give people today a better understanding of the meanings of the terms used to describe the prophet Mohamed (pbuh). It’s time for people to stop hiding the truth about the appearance of the prophet Mohamed (pbuh), his family, and his people. As I said, Ali ibn Abi Talib, the first cousin and son-in-law of the prophet Mohamed (pbuh) was described as jet-black skinned. Ali’s father was the prophet’s uncle (his father’s brother). In my book, The Unknown Arabs, I mention many other noble, pure-blooded Arabs who were described as jet-black skinned. Many of the noble, pure-blooded, jet-black-skinned Arabs that I mention were from the prophet Mohamed’s (pbuh) tribe.
There are some who try to avoid this topic by saying Allah’s words
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَى وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ
O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made `you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. Lo! the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware. (Hujaraat-verse 13)
I ask all who try to use this verse as an excuse for concealing Allah’s words and the prophet Mohamed’s (pbuh) words what this verse has to do with what I am talking about here. How could giving a correct description of the prophets and certain peoples possibly be construed as being racist? Allah described the color of the mud that Adam was created from. The prophet Mohamed (pbuh) described the color of Musa (Moses) and Isa (Jesus). The companions of the prophet Mohamed (pbuh) described the color of people. When did it become a forbidden or taboo subject? Who made this subject taboo in Islam? Does one really believe that this verse means that we are supposed to conceal truths that Allah made clear in His book? Does this verse mean that we are supposed to conceal the fact that Allah said that He created our father Adam from black mud? Does this verse mean that we are supposed to conceal the fact that the prophet Mohamed (pbuh) said that Musa (Moses) and Isa (Jesus) were black-skinned? One should be careful of using Allah’s verses to justify one’s sins. In fact, by avoiding this topic, one is going against what the verse says that we are supposed to do. Allah says that He created us nations and tribes لِتَعَارَفُوا “that ye may know one another”. If we don’t know what our father Adam looked like, what the Arabs looked like, what the Hebrews looked like, who is a descendant of Japheth, who is a Hebrew, who is a European, we are not doing what Allah says that we are supposed to do. Allah says that He made us nations and tribes لِتَعَارَفُوا “that ye may know one another”. The scholars say that this means so that we can know who is the son of whom and who is from whom. Am I asking any more than this?
People have to stop hiding the truth about the appearance of our father Adam, the appearance of the prophet Mohamed (pbuh), and the appearance of the other prophets that I mentioned in this book. People must also correct the widespread wrong idea about the appearance of the original pure Arabs. It’s not enough to simply say that what I am saying is true and leave it at that. We must take serious steps to correct this misconception. We must start a campaign to correct this misunderstanding by using various means such as the media, the educational systems, books, movies, TV programs, etc. We must not stop this campaign until the true appearance of the prophets that I mentioned in this book, the true appearance of the Arabs, and the true appearance of the Hebrews become common knowledge. It’s time for true lovers of the truth to show their unconditional love for the truth by taking steps to make the truth known and by continuing to take steps until the truth is once again known to the general public. We must fix things and reveal the truth as Allah commanded us to do in verse 160 of
إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ تَابُواْ وَأَصْلَحُواْ وَبَيَّنُواْ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ أَتُوبُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَأَنَا التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ
Except such of them as repent and amend and make manifest (the truth). These it is toward whom I relent. I am the Relenting, the Merciful. [Baqara-verse 160].
We must do as the prophet Mohamed (pbuh) commanded us to do and tell the truth even if the truth is bitter and we must not fear the blame of those who blame. This is Islam, the religion of truth. Allah says:
وَقُلْ جَاء الْحَقُّ وَزَهَقَ الْبَاطِلُ إِنَّ الْبَاطِلَ كَانَ زَهُوقًا
And say: Truth hath come and falsehood hath vanished away. Lo! falsehood is ever bound to vanish. [