He explains to us. He says that Jibreel (AS) when he came, he would take the most beautiful form. And so, when he came to the arabs he took the form in human form of the most beautiful amongst the men of the arabs. And when Jibreel (AS) went to maryam [as] in the form of a human being first, he went in the form of a very handsome man from bani israel.
And anytime he went to a prophet or went to a people, in the form of a human being, he took the form of who was noted to be the most handsome amongst them. So this happens to be amongst the arabs, this man by the name of dihyah (RA). And there are several encounters where, you know, you looked at the prophet slice i’m talking to jibreel (AS) and if you were blessed to be able to see the prophet (saw) speaking with jibreel (AS) when he came to the Prophet (SAW) in human form, you would have thought it was Dihyah.
And umm salamah (RA) she actually narrates that one time, you know, in her living room, suddenly she sees the prophet [saw] is sitting with who she thinks is dihyah (RA). So she looks and then she immediately sort of walks away and distances herself from the sitting of the prophet [saw] and who she thinks is dihyah (RA) and then the prophet (saw) goes to her and says… who do you think this is?
And she said, Dihyah. So the Prophet (SAW) he doesn’t say anything. And umm salamah [RA] says, by allah, i thought it was dihyah. Until the prophet (SAW) stood up on the minber and he said atani jibreel
Jibreel (AS) came to me and he said this this this and that has a similar story. She says that one time the prophet (SAW) heard a man’s voice outside and he got up quickly and he went outside to meet that man so she said i followed him out to see who he was talking to and i saw a man from the distance and he was leaning against a very fine horse.
And as far as i could see, it looked like dihyah [RA] wearing his turban, and the ends of the turban were behind his back. So the prophet [saw] came back to home and i said ya rasulullah, i saw you get up quickly, with a sense of urgency to respond to that voice and go speak to that man.
But when i looked in the distance, it looked like dihyah [ra]. So the prophet [saw] said, ya aisha, did you see him?
So she said, yes i saw him. And the prophet (saw) said, that was jibreel (AS).
Now aisha (RA) mentioned that, when she saw him, he was wearing clothes that he’d never worn before.
So he was wearing a white turban. He had a white burd, a white scarf, so white garment. He had white sandal. And she said i’ve never seen Dihyah (RA) dressed in that way. So who is this man dihyah (RA) what’s his story beyond jibreel [as] ooking like him. When he came down in human form?
First and foremost, they say about dihyah [RA]. That people used to write poetry and he would be the example, the standard of beauty amongst the arabs.
So when they would talk about someone and measure someone’s handsomeness they would measure them against Dihyah [RA]. And ibn abbas [ra] he says that Dihyah he was from madinah, so yathrib prior to madinah obviously.
And when he used to return home or when Dihyah (RA) was out. There wasn’t a single woman except they would go out to see what Dihyah was doing and they would stare at him as he was walking through the street. So it was hard to lower your gaze, from a person of that level of beauty, that level of handsomeness.
So who is he?
Dihyah (RA) was from madina, as we said, and he would become muslim sometime after badr. And he would witness every battle with the prophet (SAW) after badr. And the role that the prophet (saw) chose for him is significant and it shows you the wisdom of the prophet (saw). Rasulullah (saw) chose dihyah (RA) to be an ambassador to emperors around the world.
So the prophet (SAW) sends him to world leaders with handwritten letters calling them to islam and so the very famous story of caesar
In rome receiving the message of the Prophet (SAW), dihyah (RA) was the one who went out to hashem to greater syria and hand delivered the message of the prophet (saw) to hiraculous and this was the wisdom of the prophet (saw) because when dihyah showed up to a place it attracted attention. Dihyah (ra) used that attention once again to call people to Allah (S.W.T) as he did as the prophet saws commanded him.
However, he also was a warrior, and we find Dihyah (RA) was someone that fought in numerous battles, and fought in the famous battle of yarmouk. So he wasn’t just someone that the prophet [saw] kept there, just to go send here and there.
He was actually someone that was taking part in a heavy way in some of the most notable battles in islamic history. Now, i said, imagine being the woman that’s married to that man, and this is probably my favorite part of the story of dihyah by the way, is who his wife was.
Now before i say who his wife was a lot of times people i think failed to grasp the significance of ikrama ibn abi jahal of all people becoming muslim and becoming a great warrior and eventually becoming a shahid eventually becoming a martyr.
And the way the prophet [saw] treated ikrima (RA) and said you know don’t abuse him in regards to his father don’t mention his father in a bad way even though his father, was the firaun of this ummah don’t don’t hurt him with abu jahl in his presence at least, right?
We know who abu jahl is. The prophet [saw] took his feelings into consideration.
But even ikrima became muslim much, much, much later.
Now, who is the wife of dihiya?
It’s actually the daughter of abu lahab. And she is from the first to embrace islam, her name is durrah bint abu lahab (ra). I mean imagine her reciting the quran and she recites
تَبَّتْ يَدَا أَبِي لَهَبٍ وَتَبَّ Perish the hands of the Father of Flame! Perish he! (Surah Al-Lahab:1)
She recites the punishment of her father and her mother, the only person who has a whole surah revealed about their punishment and fire. She is the one reciting that she became muslim early on with the prophet sallallahu alaihi wasallam and of course she’s the first cousin of the prophet salallahu and she was married already to a man by the name of al-harit ibn nawfal who not only was a disbeliever but who died fighting against the muslims in badr.
So dura bint abi lahab [ra] i mean, you have to be a righteous woman to overcome all of those psychological hurdles, right?
And spiritual hurdles, she overcame those hurdles. Her husband remained a disbeliever; he fought against the muslims in bed, she had children from him and she made hijrah with the Prophet (SAW). So she actually was part of the extended family of the prophet saws that was protected but was in a very tricky situation. Now when al harith died fighting against the muslims that kind of seals all hope for her right she has kids and she’s the daughter of abu lahab.
And yes, in medina, she had a hard time there. Is an incident that’s documented where some people mocked her for her father and the prophet [saw] became very upset. Look what Allah (S.W.T) gave to her after the battle of badr. When her husband passed away fighting against the muslims, allah subhanahu wa ta’ala made it so that Dihyah (ra) would marry durrah bint abu lahab. The great wisdom of this by the way as well you know remember, um jamil, the wife of abu lahab said to the prophet (saw) that i think your devil has forsaken you, which is prior to surat ad- dhuha.
Instead of subhanallah we find that her daughter became one of the people of iman and was married, to a man who was so handsome and of course righteous that jibreel (as) would take his form.