By Hwaa Irfan
Opinions differ on the significance of the colour green in Islam. Soem scholars regard that there is no siginficance, and hence not Sunnah (tradition), whilst the Hanafi School regards the colour as Sunnah. Far from being a contentious issue of these times, there are some considerations on our relationship to ourselves, with others, and our deen (life transaction).
The color green has often been referred to one of the two favorite colors of Prophet Muhammed (SAW). Many ahadith refer to this, but also refer to the colors white and black although Prophet Muhammed (SAW) was known for wearing different types of clothes from different places, including colors and designs.
A weak ahadith refers to Prophet Muhammed’s choice as:
“The most beloved of colors to the Messenger of Allah (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) was green.” [Tabarani, Mu’jam al-Awsat; al-Bazzar, Musnad] by Anas in Malik.
However this is supported by another ahadith on the occasion of visiting land covered in vegetation:
“How beautiful is this greenery!” Thereafter, Anas reminisced that, “We used to say that the Prophet’s (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) favorite color was green.” [al-Bayhaqi, Shu’ab al-Iman]
The ‘Sunnah’ practice of wearing green was established from Prophet Muhammed’s (SAW) habit of wearing a green coloured turban by first some of his Companions but Al-Kattani informs that:
“This green turban is not [prescribed] from the Sacred Law itself, nor from the Sunnah, and was not around [as a specific dress] in the early period [of Islam]. It was only begun [as a distinct practice] in the year 763 hijri by the order of [Sultan] al-Ashraf Sha’ban ibn Hasan [to those of the Prophetic Household, so that it might distinguish them from others out of respect].”
The Holy Banner which Muhammad held when he conquered Mecca was green with gold embroidery. Green came to represent the ancient Dynasties and Empires. The Arab League use green to represent Islamic Unity.
But equally Prophet Muhammed (SAW) was known to wear black, pale yellow and white.
The colore green comes up again in Prophet Muhammed’s (SAW) Ascension when an angel appeared to him offering three suits of cloth: green, white, and black. Prophet Muhammed (SAW) chose the first two following which Angel Gabriel said:
“White is the color of believers and green is the color of Paradise. All of your followers are going to be believers in this world and all are going to enter Paradise in the next.”
Sheikh Hamza Yusuf explains further:
“It is exactly in the middle. If you look at the light spectrum of the 6 or 7 according to Newton, there are 7 colours in the light spectrum. If you look at them and add them altogether and divide by 2, you get the spectrum of green because it is the middle colour. It is the colour that the Prophet (SAW) loved the most. He was born on Monday because according to the ulema it was on the day that Allah created vegetation.
“There is something else about green, his dome was paintedgreen out of a wisdom by the people at that time because they were the people of the internal and they painted the dome green because it represents something. The secret of life in biology is photosynthesis. What is photosynthesis? It is two greek words. It means to make light. What is being made is chlorophyll and what is chlorophyll? It is green. So the secret of life is the ability to produce green. That is what life is, the ability to produce green.”
For them will be Gardens of Eternity; beneath them rivers will flow; they will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold, and they will wear green garments of fine silk and heavy brocade; they will recline therein on raised thrones. How good the recompense! How beautiful a couch to recline on! (Al-Kahf 18: 31)
But what does it mean to have the ability to produce green!
If we take a look at the electromagnetic field of the human aura, our bodies emit colours including our brain tissues from infra-red, to ultra violet has discovered by the National Academy of Sciences, U.S. for colours are but wavelengths of light. From these vibratory wavelengths there are 7 of which green is the fourth, the middle.
Over the years, therapists and healers (according to skill) have read and understood the value of colours by reading the human aura that date back to the Healing Temples of Light and Colour Heliopolis, Egypt. Modern science’s need to make everything tangible, led to the 1920 application of the Kilner Screen by British scientist, Walter Kilner who used it to help non-psychics to see the human aura further explored and explained through Kirlian photography. Through various skills and techniques exploring the relationship of colour to the human condition it has been learnt that green is the colour of balance, harmony, and in Islam, the heart is the organ of balance, and harmony – the mizan!
It also happens that the auric radiation given off by the heart is bright clear green! As an energy point (chakra) where a collection of nerves meet, that this governs the thymus (endocrine gland), blood, vagus nerve and the circulatory system. When this energy point is balanced, we have very little difficulty in feeling connected and open to life, and love for other humans – a serious difficiency today that leads to so many complications in our relationship to ourselves, others, our environment, and in making real our relationship with our universal Creator. In other words we are able to have healthier relationships all round because we are more able to accept a whole person, and not just the judgemental parts. We are more able to appreciate what is unique in each life form instead of oppressing it, manipulating, or banishing it. And there is one good physiological reason why the heart is the Mizan! Through the heart chakra all energies are metabolized. Therapists who work with these energies through all forms of vibrational/energy healing have found those whose heart chakra is not working efficiently (underactive) have problems. Those problems include:
- The perception that God’s Will, and the will of other’s is against our own will
- That everything involves force in order to achieve it, which of course leads to stress, because we beging to have control issues
- We begin to see our world as a hostile place
When the heart chakra is overactive we have problems with:
- Our will takes over from love
- An inability to let go, trust, and love
- Lose power from within, and develop sense of ownership of the other
If we sit back and take an overview of our everyday lives, we can see how much our heart chakras are overactive or underactive, and to what degree we are living within the deen, and therefore at the center of who we really are. If we bring into our lives things that help us grow (and routine is not one of them), to expand, to heal, to hope, to have enthusiasm, gratitude, and increase our creative forms of communication and expression, life would be more worth living.
Brennan, B.A. “Hands of Light.” Bantam Books, U.S. 1988.
David, W. “The Harmonics of Sound, Color, and Vibration.” DeVorss and Company, U.S. 1980
Drury, N. “The Healing Power: The Handbook of Alternative Meidicine and Natural Health.” Frederick Muller Ltd., U.K. 1981
Sheikh Hamza Yusuf “Description of the Prophet(SAW).” http://sheikhhamza.com/transcript/Description-of-the-Prophet(SAW)