Shama-il Tirmidhi Chapter 16, Hadith Number 5 (111).

Hazrat Ibn Abbas radiyallahu anhuma reports, “Sayyidina Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam was once delivering a sermon. He was wearing a black turban, or an oily strip of cloth.”

This was before Sayyidina Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam passed away. It was his last sermon. After this Sayyidina Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam did not ascend the mimbar, nor deliver a sermon. In this sermon, Sayyidina Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam especially stressed the privileges of and consideration for the Ansaar. He counted their virtues and kind favours and also requested that the one who was chosen as an amir should give special attention to the needs of the Ansaar. At that time Sayyidina Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam had a severe headache, for which reason he might have fastened a strip of cloth. Also since the hair of Sayyidina Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam used to be oiled regularly, which is mentioned in the ensuing chapters, the strip may have been oily for this reason.

His habit of wearing a black turban is well known. The Ulama have two meanings of a ‘black turban’. Some have translated it as a black coloured turban and some say it is an oily strip of cloth. Both are correct as it can have both meanings.

One narrator of this hadith is Ibnul Gaseel, who is from the progeny of Hazrat Hanzalah radiyallahu anhu who was bathed by the malaaikah (angels). Hazrat Hanzalah radiyallahu anhu was nicknamed ‘Gaseelul Malaaikah’, which means the one bathed by the angels. There is a thought provoking incident regarding this. When the call for the Battle of Uhud was announced and the army was beginning to leave, he was having relations with his wife. In this state he heard the call for war, and heard the army leaving for the battlefield. He left everything at that moment and joined the army. He did not have a chance to do gusl (bath). He was martyred in the battlefield and because a ‘shaheed’ (martyr) is not given a gusl, he too was not given. Sayyidina Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam saw the angels bathing him. He made inquiries and, on returning to Madinah Munawwarah, was informed by his wife of his condition. Truly, these people gave their lives for the sake of deen, as willingly as we would, today, fulfil our passions in which we are so heavily engrossed.