The appearing of the white hair of Rasulullah (saw)

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Imaam Tirmidhi has compiled eight ahaadith in this chapter.

(36) Hadith Number 1.
Qatadah R.A. reports: "I asked Anas R.A., 'Did Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) dye his hair?'"  He replied: "The hair of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) did not reach such a stage where one would use a dye.However Rasulullah  (Sallallahu alihe wasallam) did have a few white hair on his temples, on the other hand Abu Bakr R.A. dyed his hair with Hina and Katm."

Katm is a type of grass, which is used for dying the hair.  Some people say that the colour of Katm is black, and if mixed with Hina it becomes red.  Others say the colour of Katm is green, and when mixed with Hina it gives a black tint.  Mulla Ali Qari says: 'The one that gives more colour is considered.  If more Katm is used the dye becomes black and if more Hina is used, it becomes red'.  The use of both colours are permissible, but black should not be used.  It has been forbidden in the ahaadith to use a totally black dye.

(37) Hadith Number 2.
Anas bin Maalik R.A. reports: "I did not count more than fourteen white hair on the head and beard of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam)".

Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) had very few white hair.  There is some disagreement on the actual number.  In this narration fourteen hairs are mentioned.  In others, seventeen, eighteen, and in some, twenty white hairs are mentioned.  This is a minor disagreement.  The other ahaadith may have been related at different periods.  A difference in the counting may also be possible.

(38) Hadith Number 3.
Jaabir bin Samurah R.A. was asked a question regarding the white hair of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam).  He replied: "When Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) oiled his hair, it (white hair) did not show.  When he did not oil it, it showed".

Oil gives the hair a shine, therefore the white hair becomes indistinguishable from the other hair, or they become compact and mixed, therefore the few whit hairs cannot be easily seen.  When there is no oil the hair becomes dry and loose, and is easily seen.

(39) Hadith Number 4.
Ibne Umar R.A. says: "Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) had about twenty white hair".

As mentioned above this is not contrary to the other ahaadith.

(40) Hadith Number 5.
Ibne Abbas R.A. reports: "Abu Bakr R.A. once said, 'O Messenger of Allah, you have become old'.  (What is the reason? Due to this mild and soft temperament he ought to be young, and also according to his age he could be still called young).  Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) replied: "The recitation of Surahs Hud, Waaqiah, Mursalat, Amma and Kuwwirah has made me old'".

Apart form these surahs the Surahs of Al-Haaqqah, Al-Qaariah, Al- Ghaashiah etc. have also been mentioned. In short all those surahs wherein frightening matters are mentioned,  e.g. Qiyaamah, (Day of judgement) Hell, the Trumpet, the punishment of evil 
people etc. In hadith it is stated that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) said: "If you knew what I know, you would laugh less and cry more.  You would even stop going to your wives (or as he had said)".  It is written in the Sharhus Sunnah that a person saw Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) in his dream. He asked: "O Rasulallah, (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam)! This hadith has reached me, that you  said: 'Surah Hud has made me old'".  Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) replied: "There is one verse in it 'Wastaqim kama umirta' (Stay steadfast on the religion as I have commanded you).  And it is well-known that to stay steadfast on the commandments of Allah is very difficult". That is why the Sufiya have written that to remain steadfast is better than a thousand miracles.

(41) Hadith Number 6.
Abu Juhayfa R.A. says: 'The people said: "O Rasulallah, (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam)! we see the signs of old age beginning to show on you?"  Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) replied: "Surah Hud and similar surahs have made me old".

It is related in a hadith that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) once came out of his house, wiping his hands on his blessed beared.  Abu Bakr and Umar R.A. were sitting in the Masjid at that time.  When AbuBakr R.A. saw this he said: 'O Messenger of Allah, may my father and mother be sacrificed for you. How early you have aged'. Then he began to weep. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) said: "Surahs like Surah Hud have made me old". 
Zamakh'shari says: "He read in a kitaab, that a person had pure black hairone evening, and during the night it became completely white.  When the people enquired of this sudden change, he said: "At night, I saw Qiyaamah, in my dream. People were being pulled with chains and thrown into Hell.  It frightened me so much, that within the night I became like this".  Allah is Great.

(42) Hadith Number 7.
Abu Rimtha Taymi R.A. says: "I went with my son to Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam).  (Probably he had not see Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) before).  When  I saw him I said to myself immediately, 'This is the true Messenger of Allah'.  At that time Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) was wearing two pieces of green  clothing.  (His lungi -sarong,waist-wrap- and shawl were both green).  On a few hairs there were signs of old age, but those hair were red".

The signs of dignity, 'Anwaar-e- Nubuwwah'(prophetic illumination) and 'Aathari-Haybah' (signs of awe) were thus seen on the blessed face of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam). 
When one sees these signs, such words naturally come to one's tongue: "There is no doubt he is Allah's Messenger and cannot be false."  The ahaadith state that many Sahabah R.A. uttered such words when they first met Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam). The above Hadith also states that the hair of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) was red. The ulama disagreewhether Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) dyed his hair or not. Some are of the opinion that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) dyed his hair and they base their argument on the red hair.  Others deny this and say that before the hair becomes white, it usually turns red. The redness was natural, and not that of a dye.

(43) Hadith Number 8.
Jaabir bin Samurah R.A. was asked: "Were there any white hair in the blessed head of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam)?  He replied: 'He only had a few on the middle parting, and when Rasuullah (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) oiled his hair, they did not show'".

This narration seems to contradict the one related by Anas R.A., which has been mentioned in the beginning of this chapter. There is no complication, as there were a few white hair in the parting, that used to be covered by other hair.  When oil was not rubbed in, they became visible.  Therefore, if this is not mentioned in any hadith, there is no complication or harm.

Shamaail Tirmidhi