Chapter-VII

 

Verse 12 is:

עיניו  כיונים  על־אפיק  מים  רחצות  בחלב  ישבות  על־מלאת[1]

His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set.

Jesus Christ’s detailed features are available neither in the Bible nor in any other book. There may be some casual glimpses of some of his features, which are irrelevant to the qualities stated in this stanza. The Christian scholars attach the qualities, which Solomon is describing about his ‘Praised One’, to Jesus Christ (pbAh) without any proof or relevance.[2] Hereunder are some of its examples:

The Pulpit Commentary has explained the verse as follows:

The eyes are not only pure and clear, but with a glancing moistness in them which expresses feeling and devotion. (….). The pureness of the white of the eye is represented in the bathing or washing in milk. They are full and large, ‘fine in their setting,’ referring no doubt to the steady strong look of fine eyes.[3]

Of course the verse can be interpreted in these terms, but how can one apply it to Jesus Christ when there is no record in this regard.

Matthew Henry explains this verse in the following words:

His eyes are as the eyes of doves, fair and clear, and chaste and kind, (...). They are washed, to make them clean, washed with milk, to make them white, and fitly set, neither starting out nor sunk in. Christ is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, for they are doves’ eyes.[4]

No doubt this paragraph, except the last sentence ‘Christ (…) eyes’, depicts proper picture of the above verse, but its application to Jesus Christ is quite arbitrary. It would be quite pertinent to undertake a fairly detailed analytical study of the verse. The first clause is ‘His eyes are as the eyes of doves’. The lexical details of the word ‘doves’ are being explored here. Strong’s Dic. explains it as under:

Probably from the same as 3196; a dove.[5]

The Hebrew word under entry. 3196 is ‘יין’ (yayin). It has been explained in thisDic. as:

From an unused root meaning to effervesce (to be gay and excited); wine (as fermented); by implication intoxication [it is a common phenomenon that the eyes turn red in this condition].[6]

The Heb. Lexicon of the OT gives one of its meanings as: ‘wine=drunkenness’[7].

As to the simile ‘His eyes are as the eyes of doves’, it looks to be absurd. There is nothing conspicuous in the eyes of ‘doves’ that they be compared with the eyes of the ‘beloved’ one. In view of the lexical exploration of the word ‘doves’ the sensible meanings of the clause would be ‘His eyes are as the eyes of a drunken one, i.e. red to some extent.’

Sayyed Abu’l A‘la Mawdudi has described the eyes of Prophet Muhammad (pbAh) in the following words:

His eyes were intensely black. Eyelashes were long. (...). The pupils of the eyes were extremely black. Eyeballs were extremely white [washed with milk].[8]

The same author has recorded some of the features of his eyes at another place as follows:

His eyes were large and very beautiful. Even without antimony it seemed as if he had applied antimony to his eyes. There were light red threads in his eyes. Eyelashes were thick and long.[9]

Hereunder are some traditions describing the qualities of the eyes of Prophet Muhammad (pbAh) from which the above statement has been derived:

Umm Ma’bad describes the features of his eyes as follows:

في عينيه دعج[10]احور[11]اكحل[12]ازج[13]اقرن [14]

His eyes are deep black and large; there is a marked contrast of white and black in them; even without applying any antimony, it seemed as if antimony has been applied to them; they have beautifully arched eyebrows; it looks as if the eyebrows were grown together.

As to the blackness of his eyes, Jabir reports:

عَنْ جَابِرِ بْنِ سَمُرَةَ قَالَ وَكُنْتُ إِذَا نَظَرْتُ إِلَيْهِ قُلْتُ أَكْحَلُ الْعَيْنَيْنِ وَلَيْسَ بِأَكْحَلٌَ  [15]

When I looked at him I would say he has applied antimony to his eyes, whereas he had not applied antimony.

‘Ali, the first cousin of Prophet Muhammad(pbAh) reports:

كانَ عليٌّ إذا وَصَفَ رسولَ الله صلى الله عليه وسلمقال (...) وكان (...)أدعَجَ العَينَينِ (...) قال أبو عيسى سَمِعتُ أبا جعفر محمحد بن الحسين يقولُ سمِعتُ الاصمعي يقول في تفسيرِ صفتِ النبيصلى الله عليه وسلم (...)والأدعجُ[16]الشديدُ سواد العينِ.[17]

The Prophet (pbAh) wasأدعَجَ العَينَينِ, (...) Abu ‘Isa (Tirmidhi) says that he heard Abu Ja‘far Muhammad bin Husayn saying that he heard al-Asma‘i explaining the qualities of the Prophet that الأدعجُis the person whose black of eyes is extremely black.

As to the ‘light red threads in his eyes’ and their largeness, Jabir reports in Sahih Muslim:

عنْ (...) جَابِرَ بْنَ سَمُرَةَ قَالَ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم(...) [18]أَشْكَلَ الْعَيْنِ[19]

The Apostle of Allah (pbAh) was large-eyed having light red threads in them.

The study of the eyes of Prophet Muhammad(pbAh) conducted so far shows that there was a vivid cotrast in their white and black parts (as if washed) and there were red threads in them.

As to the next phrase ‘by the rivers of waters, washed with milk’, the Pulpit Com. has explained it as: ‘with a glancing moistness in them which expresses feeling and devotion.’ The Hebrew Word for ‘river’ is אפיק(Afeeq), which, according to Strong’s Dic., means:

 From 622: ‘(…) a bed or valley of a stream; (...).’[20]

As such ‘by the rivers of waters, washed with milk,’ would actually mean that the eyes of the ‘beloved’ are ‘with a glancing moistness in them which expresses feeling and devotion’. They are full of mercy, love and compassion. It is an admitted fact that Prophet Muhammad (pbAh) was a very kind and compassionate person. Tears often came in his eyes at the distress and pathetic condition of people. Only one example is being quoted here to show his kindheartedness:

أَخْبَرَنَا الْوَلِيدُ بْنُ النَّضْرِ الرَّمْلِيُّ عَنْ مَسَرَّةَ بْنِ مَعْبَدٍ مِنْ بَنِي الْحَارِثِ بْنِ أَبِي الْحَرَامِ مِنْ لَخْمٍ عَنْ الْوَضِينِ أَنَّ رَجُلًا أَتَى النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلمفَقَالَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّا كُنَّا أَهْلَ جَاهِلِيَّةٍ وَعِبَادَةِ أَوْثَانٍ فَكُنَّا نَقْتُلُ الْأَوْلَادَ وَكَانَتْ عِنْدِي ابْنَةٌ لِي فَلَمَّا أَجَابَتْ وَكَانَتْ مَسْرُورَةً بِدُعَائِي إِذَا دَعَوْتُهَا فَدَعَوْتُهَا يَوْمًا فَاتَّبَعَتْنِي فَمَرَرْتُ حَتَّى أَتَيْتُ بِئْرًا مِنْ أَهْلِي غَيْرَ بَعِيدٍ فَأَخَذْتُ بِيَدِهَا فَرَدَّيْتُ بِهَا فِي الْبِئْرِ وَكَانَ آخِرَ عَهْدِي بِهَا أَنْ تَقُولَ يَا أَبَتَاهُ يَا أَبَتَاهُ فَبَكَى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلمحَتَّى وَكَفَ دَمْعُ عَيْنَيْهِ فَقَالَ لَهُ رَجُلٌ مِنْ جُلَسَاءِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلمأَحْزَنْتَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلمفَقَالَ لَهُ كُفَّ فَإِنَّهُ يَسْأَلُ عَمَّا أَهَمَّهُ ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُ أَعِدْ عَلَيَّ حَدِيثَكَ فَأَعَادَهُ فَبَكَى حَتَّى وَكَفَ الدَّمْعُ مِنْ عَيْنَيْهِ عَلَى لِحْيَتِهِ ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَدْ وَضَعَ عَنْ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ مَا عَمِلُوا فَاسْتَأْنِفْ عَمَلَكَ[21]

 Reported to us Walid bin al-Nadr al-Ramliyy From Sabrah bin Ma‘bad (who was from the tribe of Bani’l-Harith bin abi’l-Haram which is a branch of the tribe of Lakhm) from Wadin that a man came to the Prophet (pbAh) and said: ‘O Apostle of Allah (pbAh), we were the people of ignorance and worshipped idols. We used to put the children to death. There was a daughter of mine. When [I called out to her], she responded. And it gave her much pleasure to respond to my call. One day I called out to her and she followed me. I went out so that I reached the well of my family, which was not very far off. I caught her by her hand and threw her down in the well. My last contact with her was that she cried and cried: ‘O Dad! O Dad!’ the Apostle of Allah (pbAh)wept [to hear it], so that tears fell in drops from both of his eyes. A man from the companions of the Apostle of Allah (pbAh) said to him, ‘You have caused grief and worry to the Apostle of Allah (pbAh).’ The Apostle of Allah (pbAh)said, ‘Leave him, because he is enquiring of something that disturbs him.’ Then he said to the man, ‘Repeat to me your story.’ He rerpeated it and the Apostle of Allah (pbAh) again started weeping, so that tears dripped from both of his eyes into his beard. Then he said to him, ‘Surely Allah has dropped of whatever the people had done in the Age of Ignorance. Now start your deeds afresh.’

As quoted in this very chapter below, Umm Ma’bad has described one of the qualities of his eyes as:احور[22], which means that there is a marked contrast of white and black in them. Bustani notes in his Dictionary:

حارالثوب  غسله و بَيًّضَهُ[23]

(حارالثوب means) washed the clothe and made it white.

Al-Fayyumi explains:

و قيل لاصحاب عيسَى عليه السلام (حواريون) لأنهم كانوا يحورون الثياب أي يبَيضونها.[24]

The companions of Jesus were called ‘Hawariyyun’, because they ‘yahurun’ (washed) the clothes, i.e. made them white.

It shows that the white of the eyes of Prophet Muhammad (pbAh) was very bright and there was moistness in his eyes and they were conspicuously white as if washed with milk.

It proves the literal and exact application of the words of the Bible ‘by the rivers of waters, washed with milk’ to the eyes of Prophet Muhammad (pbAh)whereas nothing is on the record regarding the eyes of Jesus Christ (pbAh).

The fairly detailed study of the part of the verse (His eyes are … washed with milk) and the qualities of the eyes of Prophet Muhammad (pbAh), undertaken so far, establish the fact that there is complete concordance in the qualities of the eyes of Prophet Muhammad (pbAh) and the statement of the Prophet Solomon (pbAh).

Now the meanings of the word ‘fitly’ of this verse are to be explored. The original Hebrew word for it is ‘םלאת’ (millayth). Strong’s Dic. explains it as follows:

From 4390; fulness, i.e. (concretely) a plump [fat in a pleasant looking way] socket (of the eye)= X[25] fitly.[26]

The Heb. word under entry 4390 is ‘םלא’ (mala’). It means:

To fill or be full of; consecrate.[27]

It has similar meanings in Arabic. As such, the words for the beloved’s eyes, ‘fitly set’, would mean:

The eyes have been set in the face of the beloved of King Solomon in such a proportionate manner that they look to be beautiful, big, well-filled up, plump, risen up, and attractive.

Keeping in view various meanings and implications of the key words and commentaries on these words by Biblical scholars, the verse can be explained as follows:

The eyes have been set in the face and forehead of the beloved of King Solomon in such a proportionate manner that they look to be beautiful, big, well-filled up, plump, risen up, and attractive. His eyes exhibit the warmth of love and happiness. There are light red filaments in his eyes as if from intoxication. ‘The eyes are not only pure and clear, but with a glancing moistness in them which expresses feeling and devotion. (...). The pureness of the white of the eye is represented in the bathing or washing in milk (...). They are full and large,[28]His eyes are as the eyes of doves, fair and clear, and chaste and kind, (...).They are washed, to make them clean[29], washed with milk, to make them white [it naturally means that the white of his eyes is quite distinct from the black of his eyes, which is extremely black], and fitly set, neither starting out nor sunk in.[30]

The commentators of the Bible have arbitrarily attached these details and qualities to Jesus Christ (pbAh), but they do not afford the grounds of their claim. What has allegorically been stated, is only out of their wishful thinking and designed purpose. There is no substantial proof or objective relevance in favour of their assertion. As already stated, the details of the figures of Jesus Christ (pbAh) have nowhere been given in the Bible. On the other hand, the details of the figures and features of Prophet Muhammad (pbAh) have so meticulously been recorded in authentic traditions that we feel as if he himself is present among us. The features of king Solomon’s beloved related in his ‘Song’ in the Bible apply to Prophet Muhammad (pbAh) so exactly and accurately that there remains no doubt in their relevance.

Now the features of Prophet Muhammad (pbAh) have also been recorded above. There is so conspicuous concordance in the statement of the verse of the ‘Song’ and the features of Prophet Muhammad (pbAh) that the reader would face no hardship in appreciating that King Solomon (pbAh) is describing here the features of none other than Prophet Muhammad (pbAh). 

In the light of the study of the complete verse of the Bible, its commentaries by the Biblical scholars, and the lexical explorations of the original Hebrew words of the verse, there are four key points with reference to the eyes of the ‘beloved’ one of Prophet Solomon (pbAh). Theyare:

(1) doves;

(2) rivers of waters;

(3) washed with milk; and

(4) fitly set’.

As to the first point, the ‘dove’ signifies ‘red threads in the eyes as if by the intoxication of wine’. As to the second point, the ‘rivers of waters’ signifies ‘brightness and moistness (due to being ever with ablution and tender-heartedness)’. As to the third point, the ‘washed with milk’ signifies ‘pureness and whiteness’. As to the last and fourth point, the ‘fitly set’ signifies ‘large and beautifully set in the socket of the eye’.

The study of the qualities of the eyes of Prophet Muhammad (pbAh) from the authentic biographical and the historical record confirms that there is perefect concordance between the words of the verse and the qualities of the eyes of Prophet Muhammad (pbAh) even in the minutest details. As far as the qualities of the eyes of Jesus Christ (pbAh) are concerned no record is available about them at all, and the statements of the biblical scholars are based on mere arbitrary conjectures and speculations.

As such there remains no doubt that the verse is a complete and faithful description of the eyes of Prophet Muhammad (pbAh), which have been foretold by Prophet Solomon (pbAh) almost fifteen centuries before the advent of Islam.

________