Seeking Blessings through the Righteous (tabarruk) and Visiting the Hair of the Messenger of Allah (Allah Bless him & give him Peace)

Seeking Blessings through the Righteous (tabarruk) and Visiting the Hair of the Messenger of Allah (Allah Bless him & give him Peace)

Question:

What is the ruling on seeking blessings through the righteous (tabarruk)? Also, what is the ruling on visiting and seeking blessings from the hair of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him)?

Answer:

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

Seeking blessings (tabarruk) from the traces of the beloved Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) is not something that is merely permissible, but rather an act of recommendation that results in attaining reward and a great deal of benefit. The Companions (Allah be pleased with them all) used to seek blessings from the traces of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) during his lifetime and after his death, and the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) would himself allow them to do so. There are numerous proofs indicating that seeking benefit and blessings from the traces of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) is permitted and encouraged, for example:

1) Abdullah, the freed slave of Sayyida Asma bint Abi Bakr (Allah be pleased with her) reports that Asma sent me to Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him)……. I went back to Asma (Allah be pleased with her) and informed her, whereupon she said: “Here is the cloak of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace).” She brought out to me a cloak made of Persian cloth with a hem of brocade, and its sleeves bordered with brocade and said: “This was Allah’s Messenger’s cloak with A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) until she died. When she passed away, I got possession of it. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) used to wear it, and we washed it for the sick so that they could seek cure thereby.” (Sahih Muslim, no: 2069)

Imam an-Nawawi (Allah have mercy on him) comments on this Hadith in his commentary of Sahih Muslim by stating:

“In this Hadith, there is proof for the recommendation of seeking blessings (tabarruk) through the traces of the righteous people and their clothes.” (Sharh Sahih Muslim, P: 1571, Dar Ibn Hazm print)

The Companions (Allah be pleased with them all) sought blessings from this cloak of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) by using the water in which it was soaked in order to treat the sick and cure their illness.

2) Sayyida Umm Atiyya (Allah be pleased with her) reports that the Messenger of Allah’s (Allah bless him & give him peace) daughter (Zaynab) passed away and he said to us: “Wash her thrice or five times or more, if you see it necessary, and when you finish, notify me.” So when we finished, we informed him and he gave us his waist-sheet and told us to shroud her in it. (Sahih al-Bukhari, no: 1191)

In this Hadith, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) gave his waist-sheet to be placed on the body of his deceased daughter, so that she may benefit from its blessings.

3) Sayyiduna Abu Juhayfa (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) came to us at noon, and water for ablution was brought to him and he performed ablution. Hence, people began to take the remaining water left from his ablution and wipe their bodies with it (for blessings)….. Abu Musa said: “The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) asked for a tumbler containing water and washed both his hands and face in it and then spat a mouthful of water in the tumbler and said to both of us (Abu Musa and Bilal): “Drink from the tumbler and pour some of its water on your faces and chests.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no: 185)

4) Mahmud ibn Ar-Rabi (Allah be pleased with him) said: “Whenever the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) performed ablution, the companions almost fought over the excess water.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no: 186)

The above and many other narrations are clear proofs on the permissibility and desirability of seeking blessings from the traces of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace). The Companions (Allah be pleased with them all) understood this, hence they regularly sought blessings from the traces of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace). The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) himself taught and encouraged the companions to do so. The Tabi’un (students of the companions) used to also seek blessings from the traces of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace). Thabit al-Bunani (Allah be pleased with him) would go to Sayyiduna Anas ibn Malik (Allah be pleased with him), kiss his hands, and say: “These are hands that touched the Messenger of Allah.” He would kiss his eyes and say: “These are eyes that saw the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace).”

Seeking blessings (tabarruk) is not just restricted to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), but rather one may seek blessings from the traces of the righteous and pious, as we have learnt from the text of Imam Nawawi (Allah have mercy on him) quoted above.

Visiting and obtaining blessings from the hair of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace)

As regards to visiting and obtaining blessings from the blessed hair of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), its permissibility and desirability is also documented and proven through the Hadiths of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace).

Uthman ibn Abdillah ibn Mawhab said: “I went to Umm Salama (Allah be pleased with her) and she brought out for us some of the dyed hair of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace). Ibn Mawhab also said that Umm Salama (Allah be pleased with her) had shown him the red hair of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace). (Sahih al-Bukhari, no: 5558)

Uthman ibn Abdillah ibn Mawhab said: “my family sent me to Umm Salama (Allah be pleased with her) with a cup of water…. (And Umm Salama brought out) a silver bottle which contained one of the hairs of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace). And it used to be such that if anyone came under the evil eye or anything else, they would send her their utensil. I looked into the silver bottle and saw some reddish hairs.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no: 5557)

Imam al-Qastallani (Allah have mercy on him) states in his commentary of Sahih al-Bukhari that the normal practice amongst the Companions was that if anyone was trouble by the evil eye or anything else, they would send Umm Salama (Allah be pleased with her) a cup of water through which she would pass the blessed hair of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) and then the water was consumed by the effected person for the purpose of cure. (See: Qastallani’s Sharh al-Bukhari, 8/372)

Imam Badr al-Din al-Ayni (Allah have mercy on him) states:

“Umm Salama (Allah be pleased with her) had some of the hairs of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) kept in a silver bottle. When people became ill, they would go and obtain blessings from these hairs and they would be healed by means of its blessings. They would take the hair of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) and place it in a cup of water and drink the water in which the hair was placed, and by this they would be healed.” (Umdat al-Qari sharh Sahih al-Bukhari, 15/94)

As such, it is recommended to seek benefit and blessings from the blessed hair of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace). It is also virtuous to visit the blessed hair of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), as we have seen from the above-quoted narration that people would come and visit the blessed hair of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) by his wife Umm Salama (Allah be pleased with her). It is also recommended to use his blessed hair for the purpose of healing by means of its blessings.

As far as the Messenger of Allah’s (Allah bless him & give him peace) hair existing and being present in the world is concerned, it is something that is not far-fetched. It is a proven fact that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) personally distributed some of his hair amongst his Companions. He once, after shaving his head, handed his hair to people near him, including Abu Talha (Allah be pleased with him) in order to distribute it amongst the people.

Sayyiduna Anas ibn Malik (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) came to Mina; he went to the Jamra and threw stones at it. Thereafter he went to his tent in Mina and sacrificed the animal. He then said to the barber, turning his right side and then the left side to him, “shave the hair”. He then began to give these hairs to the people. (Sahih Muslim, no: 1305)

Sayyiduna Anas ibn Malik (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) threw stones at Jamrat al-Aqaba. He then went to his sacrificial animal and sacrificed it, and there was sitting the barber. He pointed with his hand towards his head, and the barber shaved off the right side and the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) distributed the hair among those who were near him. He then said to the barber: “Shave the other half” and said: Where is Abu Talha? Hence he (Allah bless him & give him peace) gave his hair to Abu Talha. (Sahih Muslim, no: 1305)

Thus, the hair of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) was spread throughout the Muslim world. It is certainly possible for one to have the Messenger of Allah’s (Allah bless him & give him peace) blessed hair in one’s possession. As such, if it is proven through an authentic and reliable chain of transmission that the hair is of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), then it should be visited, honoured and respected. If no such chain exists, one should remain quite without passing any comments or making any judgements.

In conclusion, it is permissible and recommended to visit the blessed hair of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) and to seek benefit and blessings from it. One will be rewarded for doing so. This visit can be made whenever one desires and wishes, for there is no fixed date or time for its visitation. However, care must be taken of not violating any injunction of Shariah such as the rulings of Hijab, modesty and covering properly. Casual free mixing of the two genders must be avoided when visiting the blessed hair of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), as not to fall into a sin instead of obtaining benefit.

And Allah knows best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK

Question #: 5816
Published: 15/06/2006
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