Hazrat Mu‘az bin Jabal was of extremely fair complexion, had a beautiful countenance, bright teeth and beautiful eyes. Amongst his people, he was considered the most handsome, youthful and generous person.
With regard to the physical appearance of Hazrat Abu Ubaidah (ra) it is stated that he was tall, slim and had a slender face. Two of his front teeth broke while he was extracting the metal rings of the helmet that were stuck in the blessed face of the Holy Prophet (sa) at the occasion of the Battle of Uhud. His beard was sparse and he used to dye his hair.
(Sheikh Shah Moinuddin Ahmad Nadvi, Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 3, Hazrat Abu Ubaidah bin al-Jarrah [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Isha‘ah, 2004] 135)
Hazrat Umar (ra) was tall and had a strong build. He had no hair on the front of his head. He was of a reddish complexion and his moustache was thick, the ends of which had a reddish tinge and his cheeks were slim.
(Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Al-Isabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahabah, Vol. 4, Umar bin al-Khattab (ra) [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2005], p. 484)
Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘ud was slim, short in height and had a wheatish complexion. He would wear fine white clothing and use perfume. Hazrat Talha relates that he would be recognised by his perfume.
(Al-Tabqaat-ul-Kubra, Vol. 3, pp. 116-117, Dar-ul-Kutb al-Ilimiyya, Beirut, 1990)
Hazrat Ali (ra) relates that once the Holy Prophet (sa) instructed Abdullah bin Mas‘ud for a certain task to climb a tree. Seeing as his calves were apparently thin and weak, the Companions began laughing. The Holy Prophet (sa) thereupon asked, “Why do you laugh? The virtues of Abdullah bin Mas‘ud will be heavier in the scales on the Day of Judgement than the Uhud Mountain.”
(Usdul Ghaba, Vol. 3, p. 385, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut)
Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘ud had hair which he would lift from his ears. According to one narration his hair reached his neck. When he prayed he would put his hair behind his ears.
(Al-Tabqaat-ul-Kubra, Vol. 3, p. 117, Dar-ul-Kutb al-Ilimiyya, Beirut, 1990)
Zaid bin Wahhab narrates: “One day, I was sitting with Hazrat Umar (ra) when Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas‘ud arrived. Since he had a short stature it was difficult to see him in the crowd of people that were seated.” The other people seated in the congregation were tall or perhaps they were seated in a way that it was difficult to see him. He was almost concealed from view. “When Hazrat Umar (ra) saw him, he smiled and then began to converse with him in a joyful manner. During this discourse Hazrat Abdullah remained standing lest he became obscured from view. When they finished the conversation and Hazrat Abdullah left, Hazrat Umar (ra) watched him until he was out of sight. He then said: “This individual is an extraordinary vessel of knowledge”.
(Usdul Ghaba, Vol. 3, p. 386, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-ilmiyyah, Beirut)
Urwah bin Zubair (ra) narrates that Hazrat Zubair (ra) was so tall that whenever he mounted [upon an animal], his feet would touch the ground.
(al-Isabah Fi Tamyeez al-Sahabah, Vol. 2, p. 458, Zubair (ra) bin al-Awwam, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1995)
Hazrat Suhaib (ra) had a deep reddish complexion; he was neither tall, nor short and had thick hair.
(Usdul Ghabah, Vol. 3, p. 41, Suhaib bin Sinaan, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2016)
With regard to the appearance of Hazrat Ali (ra), it is mentioned that he was of average height, had dark eyes and was of a heavy build with broad shoulders.
(Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Al-Isabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahabah, Vol. 4, Dhikr Ali bin Abi Talib [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1995], 464) (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 4, Dhikr Ali bin Abi Talib [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2003], 87, 88) (Ibn Abd al-Barr, Al-Isti‘ab fi Ma‘rifat al-Ashab, Vol. 3, Dhikr Ali bin Abi Talib [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2002], 218)
Sahlah bint Asim relates that he was of a fair complexion, with beautiful eyes and long eyelashes. He had a long nose and his canine teeth were also long. His hair fell down to his ears, he had a long neck, strong wrists and large fingers.
(al-Isti‘ab, Vol. 2, p. 847, Abdur Rahman bin Auf, Dar-ul-Jeel, Beirut)
Ibrahim bin Sa‘d relates from his father that Hazrat Abdur Rahman (ra) bin Auf was very tall and had a white complexion with a hint of red. He was extremely handsome and had soft skin and did not use any hair-dye. It said that he had a limp in his leg, which happened after sustaining an injury in Uhud whilst fighting in the way of the truth.
(al-Isabah Fi Tamyeez al-Sahabah, Vol. 4, p. 292, Abdur Rahman bin Auf, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1995)
Hazrat Bilal (ra) was of a dark-brown complexion. He was thin, had thick hair and a slender face.
(Roshan Satarey az Ghulam Bari Saif Sahib, Vol. 1, p. 145)
Hazrat Ubayy (ra) was of moderate height. The colour of his hair and beard was white and he did not dye them in order to conceal his grey hair. He did not dye his beard nor his hair.
(Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3 (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2017) 378)
With regards to the attire and appearance of Hazrat Uthman (ra), it is related by Mahmud bin Labid that he saw Hazrat Uthman bin Affan (ra) riding a mule and his body was covered with two yellow garments.
Hakam bin Salt relates, “My father told me that he saw Hazrat Uthman (ra) delivering a sermon. He was wearing a black garment and his hair had been dyed with henna.”
Sulaym Abu Amir relates that he saw Hazrat Uthman bin Affan (ra) wearing a Yemeni cloak, which cost 100 dirham. Muhammad bin Umar relates, “I asked Amr bin Abdillah, Urwah bin Khalid and Abdur Rahman bin Abu Zinad with regards to the appearance of Hazrat Uthman (ra). All of them unanimously said that he was neither very tall, nor very short. He had a beautiful countenance, soft skin and a thick and long beard. He was of a wheat complexion, had a strong build, broad shoulders and had thick hair. He would dye his beard yellow.”
Waqid bin Abi Yasir relates that Hazrat Uthman (ra) had his teeth bound with a golden wire. Musa bin Talha relates, “I observed that when Hazrat Uthman (ra) left his home on a Friday, he would be covered with two yellow garments. He would then take a seat on the pulpit and the muazzin [person giving the call to prayer] would call the Azan. When the muazzin would finish, he would stand up with the support of the handle of a staff and would deliver the sermon whilst holding on to it. Following this, he would come down from the pulpit and the muazzin would give the iqamah [pronounced immediately before the prayer begins].”
Hassan relates, “I saw Hazrat Uthman (ra) sleeping in the mosque, using his garment as a pillow.”
(Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Dhikr Libas Uthman (ra) bin Affan [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, 1996], pp. 32-34)
Musa bin Talha relates that on Friday, Hazrat Uthman (ra) was standing with the support of a staff. He was more handsome than everyone else. He would be clothed in two yellow garments; one for the upper body and one for the lower body. He would then ascend the pulpit and take a seat.
(Majma al-Zawa‘id wa Manba al-Fawa‘id, Kitab-ul-Manaqib, Bab Sifatuh, Hadith 14493, Vol. 9, p. 75, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001)
With regard to Hazrat Abu Bakr’s (ra) appearance, Hazrat Aisha (ra) narrates that once, she was sat in her camel litter and saw an Arab man walking. Upon this, she stated, “I have never seen anyone resemble Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) more than this person.” The narrator states that they asked Hazrat Aisha (ra) to describe the features and appearance of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra). Hazrat Aisha (ra) stated, “Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) had a fair complexion and was of a thin build. He had very slender cheeks and his back was slightly curved forward as a result of which his outer garment would slip down from his back. He had a slender face and deep-set eyes and he had a prominent forehead.”
(Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra) wa man Bani Taym bin Murrah bin Kaab [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1990], p. 140)
In Sahih al-Bukhari, there is a narration from Hazrat Abdullah bin Umar (ra) in which the Holy Prophet (sa) said, “Whosoever lets his clothes drag on the floor behind him out of arrogance, Allah the Almighty will not even glance at him on the Day of Judgement.” Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) said, “My cloak from one side becomes loose and falls down, unless I pay special attention to it.” The Holy Prophet (sa) stated, “You do not do it out of arrogance.”
(Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Fada‘il Ashab al-Nabisa, Bab Qaul al-Nabisa Lau Kunta Muttakhidhan Khalilan, Hadith 3665)
Therefore, it was permissible for him as there was no harm in doing so.
Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) would use Henna and Katam as a dye.
(Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Fada‘il, Bab Shaibihisa, Hadith 6073)
Katam is a plant that grows on mountains. It is applied after mixing with indigo leaves [wasmah], which causes the hair to go black.
(Lisan al-Arab, Zair madah ‘Katama’