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Yellow dyeing of the beard

Question

Please provide the authenticity and explanation of the following narration:

Zayd ibn ‘Umar (rahimahullah) has reported that Ibn ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhuma) used to dye his beard using the colour yellow [so profusely] until even his clothes became full [i.e became dyed] of yellowness. He was asked: “Why do you dye using the colour yellow?” He replied: “I saw Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) dyeing with it, and nothing was dearer to him than it.”

He would dye all his clothes with it, even his turban.

 

Answer

Imam Abu Dawud (rahimahullah) has recorded this Hadith in his Sunan.

(Sunan Abi Dawud, Hadith: 4061)

 

A similar narration has also been recorded by Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) and others.

(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 166)

 

The Hadith in question is suitable to quote.

 

Explanation

The last sentence of this narration could have either been the statement of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhuma) referring to Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam), or it could have been the statement of one of the narrators referring to the practice of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhuma).

(Badhlul Majhud, Hadith: 4064)

 

The word صفرة, a general word meaning yellow [colour], was used in the narration above. In the era of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam), this yellow pigment was attained through different substances.

(See Fathul Bari, Hadith: 5846 and Umdatul Qari, Hadith: 166)

 

A few of these are mentioned hereunder:

  • زعفران – namely saffron, this was a famously used type of fragrance and dye which resulted in a yellowish colour when used [the pigment attained from all of the listed elements will vary based on the intensity of the dying].

(Fathul Bari, Hadith: 5846 – 5847, Lisanul Arab vol. 6, pg. 45 and Arabic Lexicon vol. 8, pg. 1231)

  • ورس – a Yemenite dye-yielding plant resembling sesame in its manner of growth. It has a yellow pigment and is used at times as a liniment for treating the discolouration of the skin. It is also used when dying clothes.

(Lisanul Arab vol. 15, pg. 270 and Arabic Lexicon vol. 8 pg. 2936)

  • خلوق – a previously well-known type of fragrance having a thick consistency, the colour of which is predominantly yellow or red. It is composed of Saffron as well as other such substances.

(An-Nihayah vol. 1, pg. 526, Lisanul Arab vol. 4, pg. 197 and Arabic Lexicon vol. 2, pg. 802)

 

These are just a few of the different elements through which a yellow type of pigment could have been attained. The narration in question contained a general word that could potentially refer to one of the listed substances unexclusive of other possibilities.

 

Note: This is merely an explanation regarding the authenticity and text of the aforementioned Hadith. Kindly refer to a Mufti/Darul Ifta for further queries regarding matters pertaining to the fiqhi understanding and application of the Hadith.

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.

 

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar