The Prophet Muhammad’s (s) Sandal

There is not a civilization that has loved and celebrated its leader as Islamic civilization has loved and celebrated its Prophet, our master Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace). Love is the strongest of all human attachments, and is the greatest thing that distinguishes the relationship of Muslims with their Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), who said, “None of you [truly] believes until I am more beloved to him than his very self, wealth, and all people.”

Motivated by this love, as well as by an understanding of the immense importance of the personal example of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), the Muslim community recorded and preserved his entire life in the most exacting detail. The Islamic scholars did not limit their attention to the moral and legal example of the Prophet alone (Allah bless him and give him peace). Rather, they also focused on his daily life, like his habits of eating, drinking, and sleeping, as well as other matters that do not have immediate legal implications. From that time, until this present day, Muslims have sought to imitate the example of their Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) in all its details, unless they were of the particular matters that Allah Most High chose only for him.

The Prophet’s (Allah bless him and give him peace) external, physical appearance was also among the matters that Muslims paid great attention to, as were his habits of dress. Among the matters of external appearance, the Prophet’s noble sandals received particular attention, perhaps because of what his followers felt of utmost love and humility for the person of their beloved Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), such that they saw themselves as less than his sandals.

The Companions and the Noble Sandals

The attention given to the noble sandals is not an innovated matter. Rather, the first generations, from the Companions of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), were the first to give them attention and importance, such that some of them were known to have distinguished themselves with serving the noble sandals. It has been reported by Ibn Sa`d that Anas (Allah be well pleased with him) was the keeper of the sandals of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace).

And Imam al-Sâlihî reported in his work, Subul al-Huda wa’l Rashâd (8:318) that `Abd Allâh ibn Mas`ûd (Allah be pleased with him) used to get up as soon as the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) sat down, and would take off the latter’s sandals, and place them under his own arms. Then, when the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) would get up, he would put them on him. Many other narrations have been transmitted from the Companions giving exact descriptions of the noble sandals of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).

The Attention Given by the Imams and Scholars to the Noble Sandals

A number of Imams gave the noble sandals of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) particular attention, authoring complete works in describing and praising them, and gathering that which was transmitted regarding this. Among them were:

1. Imam Abu Ishâq Ibrahîm ibn Muhammad ibn Khalaf al-Sullamî, famous as Ibn al-Hâjj, who collected that which many poets and authors had written in praise of the sandals.

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