Description: Based on a traditional style of Ottoman Hilya this unique piece of art contains the following from top to bottom:
- In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
- Top right circle - Abu Bakr (R.A)
- Top left circle - Omer (R.A)
- Circular white calligraphy – No perfume could ever match that of the earth that holds his noble form. What bliss for the one who smells that blessed earth or kisses it! (This is taken from the Burda Sharif by Imam Sharaf Ad-Din Al-Busiri (Chapter 3, verse 58))
- The brown calligraphy in the middle relates a description of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ as related by Sayyiduna Ali (R.A) and is translated as:
"He was not too tall nor too short. He was medium sized. His hair was not short and curly, nor was it lank, but in between. His face was not narrow, nor was it fully round, but there was a roundness to it. His skin was white. His eyes were black. He had long eyelashes. He was big-boned and had wide shoulders. He had no body hair except in the middle of his chest. He had thick hands and feet. When he walked, he walked inclined, as if descending a slope. When he looked at someone, he looked at them in full face.
Between his shoulders was the seal of prophecy, the sign that he was the last of the prophets. He was the most generous-hearted of men, the most truthful of them in speech, the most mild-tempered of them, and the noblest of them in lineage. Whoever saw him unexpectedly was in awe of him. And whoever associated with him familiarly, loved him. Anyone who would describe him would say, I never saw, before him or after him, the like of him. Peace be upon him."
- Bottom right circle – Uthman (R.A)
- Bottom left circle – Ali (R.A)
- And We have not sent you (O Muhammad ﷺ), except as a mercy to the worlds (surah Al-Anbya (21:107))
- There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you and to the believers is kind and merciful (surah Tawbah (9:128))
This is all set out against a vivid blue floral mosaic background with gold leaf embellishments. A stunning piece that will inshAllah bring blessings to you and your family.
The Story: What is a Hilya/Hilye Sharif? In simplistic terms, the hilya (Arabic: ḥilan/ḥulan and in Turkish: hilye) is a form of Ottoman art describing the physical description of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (Peace and Blessings be Upon Him). Hilya literally means "ornament".
However, how can anyone describe the indescribable? The form of RasoolAllah ﷺ cannot be portrayed fully. The hilye gives parameters to the imagination so that one can think about the Prophet with a mental or spiritual image, yet not attempt to visualize him or portray him in a painting.
Hilye is the Turkish form of the Arabic word hilya, which has several meanings, including physiognomy, natural disposition, likeness, depiction, characterization, and description. But these dictionary definitions only begin to convey the real meaning of the hilye, which embodies the Prophet’s ﷺ moral, behavioural, and spiritual qualities as well as physical appearance. Like most Arabic words, hilya carries multiple overtones, making it difficult to translate. It has connotations of ornament, beauty, finery, and embellishment.
Study of the Holy Prophet ﷺ - Hilye, both as the literary genre and as the graphic art form, originates from Shama'il, the study of Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ appearance and character. The best source on this subject is considered to be Imam Tirmidhi's al-Shama'il al-Muhamadiyyah wa al-Khasa'il al-Mustafawiyyah ("The Sublime Characteristics of Muhammad" ﷺ).
The term "shama'il" (appearance) is used to mean Muhammad's ﷺ fine morals and unique physical beauty. They contained hadiths describing Muhammad's ﷺ spirit and physique. The shama-il have been the source of hilye shareef. The best known and accepted of these hadith are attributed to his son-in-law and cousin Ali (R.A.) The sources of hilye have been the six main hadith books along with other hadith sources, attributed to people such as Aisha (R.A), `Abd Allah ibn `Abbas (R.A), Abu Hurairah (R.A), Hasan ibn Ali (R.A.).
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