Hamites and Semites in Egypt

The colour of Musa alayhi as Salaam says a lot about what the people of Egypt looked like . The Egyptians were Hamites and Musa (Moses) and the Children of Israel were Semites.

How would it be possible for a Semite child to go unnoticed in the house of a Hamite if they looked significantly different? Why did Musa (Moses) alayhi as Salaam not know that he was a Semite until he was told?

The Prophets were blessed with wisdom and therefore, WE CAN NOT EVEN DARE TO THINK  that Musa (Moses) alayhi as Salaam was not competent to know the difference.


Ibn Hishaam reports in his book Seera Al Nabawiyyah :

”The people of the village (in Egypt in which Hajar alayha As Salaam was from) was inhabited by jet black skinned people with kinky hair…

Ibn Luhya’h said that Haajir alayha As Salaam was  the MOTHER OF THE ARABS”


قال ابن هشام في كتابه السير النبوية

…قال ابن هشام : حدثنا عبد الله بن وهب عن عبد الله بن لهيعة ، عن عمر مولى غفرة أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم ، قال : الله الله في أهل الذمة ، أهل المدرة السوداء السحم الجعاد ،

قال ابن لهيعة : أم إسماعيل : هاجر ، من أم العرب ،

The word used in this report to describe the people of Haajir alayha As Salaam is the ASHAM / اسحم which is the same word used to describe Musa (Moses) alayhi As Salaam.

In Musnad Ahmed Ibn Hanbal , Chapter 50 page 488 Authenticated by Sheikh Arnoot 

The Messenger of Allah may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him said, And the description of Moses may peace be upon him : ” And I saw Moses intensely black skinned”

مسند أحمد بن حنبل ج 50 ص 488

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم في وصفه لموسى عليه السلام: “و رأيت موسى أسحم آدم”. رواه أحمد وغيره وصححه الأرناؤوط

Abu al-Fadl `Iyad ibn Amr ibn Musa ibn `Iyad ibn Muhammad ibn Abdillah ibn Musa ibn `Iyad al-Yahsubi al-Sabti Qaady Abu Fadl I’yaad Ibn Musa Ibn I’yaad  said in his book Mashariq al-Anwar `ala Sahih al-Athar:

”In some of the explanations of the narrations and in some books,  Ashaam means intensely black

(Seen Haa Meem) The saying if it comes (the baby) and it is Asham meaning intensely black. Harbi said it is that which is the colour of the crow.”

للقاضي أبو الفضل عياض بن موسى بن عياض اليحصبي السبتي المالكي مثلا ورد في كتابه  مشارق الأنوار على صحاح الآثار    ج ٢ ص ٤١٠

 في شروحات بعض الأحاديث وبعض الكتب بأن أسحم : بمعنى شديد السواد

 س ح م ) قوله إن جاءت به أسحم أي أسود شديد السواد قال الحربي هو الذي لونه كلون الغراب)


In Al Tabaqaat by Ibn Sa’d  Chapter 3 page 79 he narrates:

Kinanah Mawlah Safiyyah , said, ” I saw the killer of Uthmaan radi Allahu anhu in the residence (of Uthmaan radi Allahu anhu), a (jet) black skinned man from the people of EGYPT”

طبقات لابن سعد ج ٣ ص ٧٩

 اخرجنا كنانة مولى صفيته قال  رأيت قاتل عثمان في الدار رجلاً أسود من أهل مصر