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Studying Ash-Shamaa-il


Imam At-Tirmidhi 209(AH) - 279(AH)

Imaam Abi ‘Eesaa Muhammad bin ‘Eesa bin Sorah At-Tirmidhi is the full title of this great scholar and compiler of hadith.

Imam Tirmidhi was blessed with a great memory and passion to excel in learning and preserving hadith. This led him to seek knowledge by travelling great distances and learning from the great teachers of his time. He has studied under the finest scholars such as Imam Bukhari, Imam Muslim and Imam Abu Dawud. Allah (swt) blessed him with such intelligence that he received great compliments from his teachers as Imam Bukhari once told Imam Tirmidhi that ‘I have benefited more from you than you have benefited from me’. Imam Bukhari who is recognised as the greatest compiler of authentic Hadith (Sahih Bukhari) claimed that he had taken hadith from Imam Tirmidhi, which was authentic.

Imam At-Tirmidhi’s greatest work is Al-Jami, which is regarded by scholars as essential study of hadith. Al Jami is ranked in the same bracket as the hadith collections of Bukhari, Muslim and Abu Dawud.

Imam At-Tirmidhi’s priceless collection of hadith on the description of Prophet Muhammad (salla lahu alayhi wa'ale hi wasallam), is called Ash-Shamaa-il Muhammadiyyah’. This collection is based solely on authentic work of hadith and Seerah - Life of Sayyidina Rasulullah (salla lahu alayhi wa'ale hi wasallam)  and is also known as 'Shamaa-il Tirmidhi'. The great Imam believed that each chapter of this collection was actually a step by step journey to meet the beloved Rasul-Allah (salla lahu alayhi wa'ale hi wasallam) in spirit. The Imam explained that the description and connection for the student of Shamaa-il Tirmidhi with the beloved Prophet Muhammad (salla lahu alayhi wa'ale hi wasallam) would be so strong that InshAllah the climax of the work would result in seeing the vision of the beloved Prophet (salla lahu alayhi wa'ale hi wasallam) in a dream. This belief was confirmed as the truth by Imam At-Tirmidhi himself and has since been confirmed by scholars.

May Allah (swt) grant us this great honour and blessing by enabling us to recite the original Ash-Shamaa-il Muhammadiyyah  text correctly in Arabic and understand the commentary and interpretation through the work of great scholars of Islam.

Studying Shamaa-il Tirmidhi

The great tradition of seeking knowledge in Islam is to learn from scholars. Knowledge is passed down through listening attentively and observing the great men of knowledge and wisdom. When students make this commitment they acquire more than the text in a book but also take an ocean of experience and guidance from the one who is teaching.

This is the experience I shared through studying Shamaa-il Tirmidhi with the great scholar from Syria, Damascus; Sayyed Shaikh Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi al' Hasani. This education was in fact a journey, which was inspired by the learned Shaikh who had blessed me and my fellow students with his company and pearls of wisdom.

This Web programme 'rasulallah.info'  is based on the inspiration and guidance I received by the grace of Allah (swt) enabling me to pass on the Shamaa-il Tirmidhi text in English accompanied by the in depth commentary of Sayyed Shaikh Muhammad Al Yaqoubi and the original work of Shaykhul Hadith - Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhelwi. The translation of the Ash-Shaam-il into English has been done by Muhammad bin ’Abdurrahmaan Ebraahim.

Chapter by Chapter

This spiritual journey through the fifty five chapters of Shamaa-il Tirmidhi has been the subject of over one hundred commentaries.

Shamaa-il Tirmidhi continues to be studied and discussed in great detail by students around the world and has been established as the closest spiritual link through hadith with the beloved of Allah (swt). Once completing the study of Shamaa-il with the adab - etiquette and sincerity required, there should be an image of Rasul-Allah (salla lahu alayhi wa'ale hi wasallam) in our mind. As believers we have to love Rasul-Allah (salla lahu alayhi wa'ale hi wasallam), take the blessed Sunnah and adopt that tremendous character.

An authentic hadith from the beloved Prophet (salla lahu alayhi wa'ale hi wasallam) explained that someone asked the Prophet (salla lahu alayhi wa'ale hi wasallam) about the final hour, the response from the Prophet (salla lahu alayhi wa'ale hi wasallam) was to ask what he had done to prepare for it? The answer from the companion was ’Nothing except I love Allah and his apostle’. The blessed Prophet (salla lahu alayhi wa'ale hi wasallam) replied You will be with the ones you love’. This love is the key to obedience and shows the way for practice. The more we love Rasul-Allah (salla lahu alayhi wa'ale hi wasallam) is the more we will strive to follow and learn about their qualities and character.

The beauty of Shaam-il Tirmidhi………………….

Some memorable comments on this remarkable journey given below;

‘When an unfulfilled lover is deprived of meeting the beloved then he stands in front of the beloved’s house remembering the features of his beloved, in an attempt to gain some solace. It is from the habits and features the heart is appeased’.

‘If the home of the beloved is too far, too difficult to reach then do not miss the description of Shamaa-il Tirmidhi’

‘The Prophet (saw) is perfect in essence, in both form and character. His qualities are countless’.

‘The Noblest of Messengers, how beautiful your qualities. Anyone who hears, will be swaying like a branch in the wind’.

‘I seek every word of praise but it comes short, no matter how poets exaggerate, no praise can reach his rank’.

Sayyed Shaikh Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi al Hasani

Sayyed Shaikh Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi descends from a scholarly family whose lineage goes back to the beloved Prophet Muhammad (salla lahu alayhi wa'ale hi wasallam). This heritage comes through the grandson of Rasul-Allah (salla lahu alayhi wa'ale hi wasallam); Sayyidina Al-Hasan bin Ali (Ra).

The Shaikh learnt the major disciplines of Shariah from his father and teacher; Shaikh Ibrahim Al-Yaqoubi from the age of four. This education included over five hundred books studied over a period of twenty years. The learned Shaikh is now recognised as a leading torch in Islamic Literature, with authority to narrate Hadith through their chains from the leading senior scholars in the Middle East. His work involves teaching around the world and is also an instructor in the Fatwa Administration in Damascus.


Sayyid Shaykh Muhammad al'Yaqoubi al Hasani



Shaikh Muhammad Jassus (rh) informed us that there are six essential reasons for studying the Ash-Shamaa-il Muhammadiyyah.

1. Knowledge of the tremendous attributes of the Prophet (saw) fills the heart with respect for him.

2. The knowledge that is inclusive in knowing the Prophet’s (saw) excellent qualities is a means to acquiring great love for him. Love for the Prophet (saw) is the very spirit of faith, which is the foundation of every happiness and rank in spiritual leadership.

3. Endeavouring to know about the noble traits and superb features of the Prophet (saw) is a form of giving service to him, a form of praise of him and respect for his exalted esteem.

4. Knowledge of the splendid attributes of the Prophet (saw) furnishes assistance in the actual witnessing of his noble essence.

5. In mentioning and hearing the noble traits of the Prophet (saw) there is a blessing and delight for those who love him in their hearts, coolness of the eyes for those who seek nearness, gathering and arrival with him.

6. In mentioning his excellent traits it causes love and yearning to move dynamically in the hearts causing the breasts to expand and the hearts to become liberated until the lover becomes absent in mentioning the Beloved (saw).