Why is this all important?
The truth is always important! By questioning the purpose of gathering evidences and scholarly explanations is equivalent to saying that you prefer to keep the truth hidden. It’s like saying that knowing the truth is not important or you prefer to remain with falsehood because your’e happy with common fallacies.
Ibn Qayyim may Allah have mercy upon him said in his book Al Jawabul Wafi on page 235:
“The one who advises people with falsehood is a speaking devil. The one who remains silent about the truth is a speechless devil.”
قول الناصح المتكفم بالباطل شيطان ناطق، والساكت عن الحق شيطان أخرس
Allah created us into Tribes and Nations for us to get to know each other
O mankind! Indeed, We created you from a male and a female and We made you into nations and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you near Allah are the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is All-Knower, All-Aware.
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ
Allah made it very clear by creating us into tribes and nations, there would be differences amongst. These differences come in various forms and one of these differences is obviously differences in physical appearance. Other forms of recognition are in Allah’s signs. When Allah promises, he keeps his promise, so if he promises to punish a nation until judgement day for disobeying him, then these people should be known because of their states and conditions. A prime example of this is with the Children of Israel, why do people not know the differences between being a Jew and being from the Children of Israel ?
Allah promises to punish the Children of Israel until judgement day until they return back to the covenant. Why do people not know who they are when Allah’s signs are clear?
Many of the descriptions came from the Prophet sullahu alayhi wa Salam himself.
The Prophet sullahu alayhi wa salaam didn’t speak from his own desires
Surah 53. An-Najm, Ayah 4
He does not speak from his own desires
وَمَا يَنْطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَىٰ
Surah 53. An-Najm, Ayah 5
that is but a divine inspiration with which he is being inspired
إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَىٰ
Bearing this in mind, we must understand that many of the descriptions that we find in the Prophetic narrations are via inspiration due to the fact that Prophet gave descriptions about Prophets that he saw in the heavens and descriptions of people related to future events. Other descriptions include descriptions of people related to the end of times.
The Prophet sullahu alayhi wa salaam was blessed with eloquency
It is evidently clear that the Prophet sullahu alayhi wa Salaam was VERY eloquent and was blessed with eloquence. He spoke few words which gave deep meanings.
Sahih al-Bukhari 7013
حَدَّثَنَا سَعِيدُ بْنُ عُفَيْرٍ، حَدَّثَنَا اللَّيْثُ، حَدَّثَنِي عُقَيْلٌ، عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، أَخْبَرَنِي سَعِيدُ بْنُ الْمُسَيَّبِ، أَنَّ أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ . قَالَ مُحَمَّدٌ وَبَلَغَنِي أَنَّ جَوَامِعَ الْكَلِمِ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَجْمَعُ الأُمُورَ الْكَثِيرَةَ الَّتِي كَانَتْ تُكْتَبُ فِي الْكُتُبِ قَبْلَهُ فِي الأَمْرِ الْوَاحِدِ وَالأَمْرَيْنِ. أَوْ نَحْوَ ذَلِكَ.
Colours of things were often mentioned which included complexions of people as previously mentioned, such as the complexions of the Prophets , messengers other than them. The scholars of old have spoken vastly about these issues due to how much they, first and foremost respected and understood how important the words of the Prophet may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him are and also how important the words of his companions were too. There is no way of understanding the Quran and the Prophetic narrations if the words in the narrations are not understood!
What we also understand is that it was perfectly normal for the companions to ask the Prophet for descriptions of people.
It’s completely normal for one to ask questions such as “what colour was or will so and so be” and we know this because the companions of the Prophet sullahu alayhi wa Salaam asked these very questions because they deemed them to be important and actually essential in preparing them for situations, and ultimately to save themselves from the fire. The Prophet sullahu alayhi wa Salaam did not reprimand them for asking, disregard their questions or trivialise them but rather he welcomed them and not only did he welcome them but he also warned them by using complexions and descriptions to help aid them in their lives. The description of the dajjal or anti christ was given in detail. Anyone wanting to save themselves from the fire would find this information extremely important.
The scholars saw the significance
The scholars, may have mercy upon them understood the significance of trying to understand the words used for these descriptions because they understood how critically important it was to get accurate facts about history and to get accurate facts about the future too. They wrote lengthy explanations in books and in dictionaries for us to understand.
There will, and have always been good and bad white and black people
The value of having these narrations preserved for us allows us to be able to see from a historical point of view that there have always been good and bad people from the reds (white people ) and from amongst blacks (black people). This goes hand in hand with the Quran and the sunnah.
Saheeh Muslim Book 45, Hadith 42
Verily Allah does not look at your physical appearance and your wealth but He looks to your heart and to your deeds.
42 صحيح مسلم كتاب 45 حديث
وعنْ أبي هريرةَ عبدِ الرحمنِ بنِ صخرٍ قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ الله، إنَّ الله لا ينْظُرُ إِلى أجْسَامِكُمْ ، ولا إِلى صُوَرِكمْ ، وَلَكن ينْظُرُ إلى قُلُوبِكمْ .
It is quite evident that white supremacist ideas of some sort have crept in amongst many Muslims. You can see this in modern literature, films and you even hear it on the tongues of many Muslims. It so sad that whenever an African tribe is mentioned, translators go as far as to lumping all other blacks( people who are abyadh ,asmar , Adam and shadeed aludmah with kinky hair) from other tribes into the same tribe. For example, they’ll translate the word Zanj to mean Negro or black people , when the Zanj people are a particular group of people who happen to have jet black skin. They are very unique in appearance, culture and have a very different history to many other tribes. The same applies to the people of Habasha and other than them.
In many of the Arab countries the word slave became synonymous with the word black, which makes it quite clear that this knowledge has been suppressed. What makes it even more bizarre is that many of the scholars that have been quoted on this site are the same scholars that are referenced in these countries. If the layman knew what his or her ancestors looked like, perhaps they would have a much better understanding of how to behave. Or maybe it is because some are not even related to the Arabs of the past by blood and are actually from the Mawaaly?
How is someone supposed to learn the truth if the ones teaching haven’t even learned it themselves?
There are many capable people out there who have the ability to do what has been presented on this site, but they somehow managed to skip finding out the meanings of many words and went with what they thought they understood when they translated.
You are responsible
“O you who believe! If a Faasiq (liar — evil person) comes to you with any news, verify it, lest you should harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful for what you have done”
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنْ جَاءَكُمْ فَاسِقٌ بِنَبَإٍ فَتَبَيَّنُوا أَنْ تُصِيبُوا قَوْمًا بِجَهَالَةٍ فَتُصْبِحُوا عَلَىٰ مَا فَعَلْتُمْ نَادِمِينَ
Sunan Abi Dawud 4992
On the authority of Abu Hurayrah he said that the Prophet peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him said: “It is enough sin for a man to speak of everything that he hears.”
عَنْأَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى اللهعليه وسلم قَالَ “ كَفَى بِالْمَرْءِ إِثْمًاأَنْ يُحَدِّثَ بِكُلِّ مَا سَمِعَ” ”
Al-Nawawi may Allah have mercy upon him said in his book Explanation of Saheeh Muslim Chapter 1 page 75
A person often hears truth and lies, so if he speaks about everything that he hears, he is lying by speaking about things that did not happen, and lying by speaking of something other than the way it happened; and he does not have to do that deliberately”
شرح النووي على صحيح مسلم ٧٥/١
”فَإِنَّهُ يَسْمَع فِي الْعَادَة الصِّدْق وَالْكَذِب فَإِذَا حَدَّثَ بِكُلِّ مَا سَمِعَ فَقَدْ كَذَبَ لإِخْبَارِهِ بِمَا لَمْ يَكُنْ , وَالْكَذِب الإِخْبَار عَنْ الشَّيْء بِخِلَافِ مَا هُوَ وَلا يُشْتَرَط فِيهِ التَّعَمُّد “
In conclusion, if you don’t know the truth you’ll not ever be able see the signs ahead and could be setting yourself up for a troubled future, nor will you ever be able to teach the truth to your loved ones.