Abu Wahb Al Jushami (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reported that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Keep horses and pass your hand over their forelocks and their humps and adorn them with belts and adorn them not with odd belts.” At Tirmidhi
What is meant by belts as well as odd belts?
1) I have not come across this Hadith in Sunan Tirmidhi as referenced in your question. Imam Nasai and Imam Abu Dawud (rahimahumallah) have recorded this narration.
(Sunan Nasai; Al-Mujtaba, Hadith: 3565 and Sunan Abi Dawud, Hadith: 2546)
2) The translation you have provided is incorrect. The correct translation is as follows:
Sayyiduna Abu Wahb Al Jushami (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“Hold fast onto horses, rub their forelocks and their rump or their hips [showing kindness to them and to clean them], put [something] around their neck [if you wish] but do not put bowstrings”
The commentators have explained two possible reasons as to why Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) prohibited using bowstrings:
1) The bowstring may get stuck to something and choke the horse.
2) In the days of ignorance, they would put bowstrings around the neck of the horse assuming that this will ward off evil eye and harm. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) prohibited this and informed them that bowstrings will not repel harm or ward off evil.
Another explanatory translation of the last part of the Hadith
…”Put something around the neck of the horse with the intention of defending Islam and to raise Din, do not put something around it’s neck with the intention of revenge, seeking vengeance and blood”
References for the above
Mirqatus Su’ud of ‘Allamah Suyuti, vol. 2 pg. 641, Mirqatul Mafatih, Hadith: 3881, ‘Awnul Ma’bud, Hadith: 2550, Hashiyah of Sindhi on Nasai and Badhlul Majhud, Hadith: 2553
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar