The Life of Perfection (Shamayal of Rasulullah saws) Eating and Drinking Habits
By Dr. Abidullah Ghazi
Executive Director, IQRA International Educational Foundation
Chicago , IL
Clean and Simple Dress: Rasulullah dressed very simply. “I am a servant of Allah,” he said, “and I want to be dressed as servants are.”
Because he prized cleanliness, he wore clean clothes. Ibn Umar R reported that Rasulullah (S) once said, “Among all the virtues of a Muslim, those which Allah prefers most are the habit of cleanliness in dress and contentment and thankfulness when he does not have enough.”
Rasulullah did not have any rigid rules which he followed to dress. He would wear whatever quality, color and style of clothes were available. He did not desire expensive clothes, though he sometimes wore them when he received them as gifts. His preference was for inexpensive and coarse clothes made of cotton, but he wore woolen garments as well.
Style of Dress: He would wear any clothes that fulfilled the immediate need of properly covering the body. Usually, he covered his upper body with a cotton sheet and the bottom part of his body with another sheet wrapped around well above his ankles. It was tied lower in the front than in the back. He once bought trousers and perhaps wore them.
Umm al-Mu’minin Umm Salma reported, “He preferred a qamis (long shirt) if it was available.” Such shirts typically reached his ankles. He wore shorter shirts sometimes, but with sleeves that stretched to the wrists.
Color of Dress: Although he wore garments dyed with black, red, saffron, and green, Rasulullah’s favorite color was white. It was reported by Umm Salma R that he (S) said, “You ought to wear white clothes while living and bury your dead in white clothes as well.”
His second favorite color was green.
Habra and `Iba: He liked Habra, lined or printed cotton from Yemen.
On special occasions, he wore an `Iba (an overcoat) from Syria. He once received and wore an ‘Iba from Iran also.
His Cap and the Turban: Rasulullah usually wore a white cap, but occasionally he wore a black turban instead. He told the Muslims, “Tie a turban, it increases forbearance (hilm).”
Whenever Rasulullah had new clothes to wear, he waited until Friday to wear them.
Du’a for Putting on Clothes: Rasulullah said the following Du’a when he dressed:
“All praises are due to Allah who provided me with these clothes to cover my body and to make life pleasant.”
His Shoes: Rasulullah wore sandals of leather. They had a leather sole, two strips to hold the toes and two strips to hold the back of the foot. He picked up his sandals with the thumb and first finger of his left hand. He always put the right shoe on first and took the left shoe off first, except when leaving the masjid; then he put the left shoe on first. He said the right foot was reluctant to leave the masjid.
Allah swt Loves Beauty: Once Rasulullah was criticizing pride and vanity. Some Sahabah said, “People like to put on beautiful clothes and nice shoes.” Rasulullah replied: “You are correct. Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty.”
Gratefulness to Allah swt: Rasulullah once saw a well-to-do Sahabi wearing ragged clothing. He (S) asked him, “Don’t you have enough money?”
He replied, “Yes, O Messenger, Allah has blessed me with money and wealth.”
Rasulullah advised him, “Your appearance must reflect Allah’s gifts and blessings.”
Love of Perfumes: Rasulullah loved perfumes and fragrant things. He was pleased to receive perfume as a gift. He liked the fragrance of raihan and henna flowers, as well as Musk and `Ud. He used a special perfume called sikka.
He once remarked:
“There is a masculine fragrance. Its color is light, and its fragrance is intense like rose water. And there is a feminine fragrance; its color is intense, and its fragrance is light, like Henna and saffron.”
Rasulullah used kuhl before he went to sleep. The kuhl was used for medicinal purposes to improve the eyesight. Many Muslims apply kuhl following the Sunnah of Rasulullah. Their experience shows that this practice helps the sight.
His Hairs: The Prophet’s hair was slightly curly, and he usually wore it long enough to reach his shoulders, but sometimes he cut it shorter. He took good care of his hair, washing, combing, and putting hair oil on it. Sometimes he combed it upward; other times he parted it in the middle. He shaved his head sometimes, especially when performing Hajj or Umrah.
To grow the beard and trim the mustache is a sunnah of Rasulullah. His (S) mustache was cut so closely it appeared shaven. A magnificent beard hung to his chest. Rasulullah put hair oil in his beard and combed it regularly. During old age, his thick black beard was lightly flecked with white. (To be continued)