In some hadith, Jesus is said to be of red or reddish-white. eg:

Narrated Ibn `Abbas: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "I saw Moses, Jesus and Abraham (on the night of my Ascension to the heavens). Jesus was of red complexion, curly hair and a broad chest [ ref ]

Also see Jesus was reddish-white.
Yet another hadith says:

Narrated Salim from his father:
No, By Allah, the Prophet (ﷺ) did not tell that Jesus was of red complexion but said, "While I was asleep circumambulating the Ka`ba (in my dream), suddenly I saw a man of brown complexion. He was the son of Mary. [ref]

Only Allah knows the truth, but my question is: why two sahih hadiths contradict each other or, why two contradicting hadith are graded as sahih?


There is no contradiction in the original Arabic text of Hadiths.

I checked the translation, it translates this part (A man "Aadam") as (a man of brown complexion), and that is because they translate the word, but it does not work that way, in Arabic you need to understand the context so if you read the word Adam in Moajam (Arabic dictionary), you see it has different meanings one of them is dark complexion, but another meaning is complexion, and if you read the Arabic explication for the group of Hadiths about Jesus, it's clear that Jesus had white reddish complexion. ِِ

So to understand this check the other Hadith, it will be easier to understand when you read the complete context:

رَجُلاً آدَمَ كَأَحْسَنِ مَا تَرَى مِنْ أُدْمِ الرِّجَالِ

which is translated to :

Man with complexion which is the best you may see for men complexion.

Now try to join both Hadiths, it's not complicated, he has white reddish complexion as the best you may see for a man.

That, and Allah knows best.

  • 1
    But how do you explain the apparent contradiction between the first hadith in which the prophet is clearly attributed as saying "عِيسَى فَأَحْمَرُ جَعْدٌ عَرِيضُ الصَّدْرِ" and the second which claims "لاَ وَاللَّهِ مَا قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم لِعِيسَى أَحْمَرُ"? – goldPseudo Jun 21 '16 at 18:17
  • This obvious (and normal) that both Hadiths are Sahih, Ibn Omar did not hear the Hadith which Ibn Abbas narrated (companions were not all arround the prophet (PBUH)) all time. – M.M Jun 21 '16 at 18:28

I'd like to mention an unexciting explanation as to how they can both be correct: i.e., Ibn 'Abbas saw a man of red complexion whereas Salim saw a man of brown complexion. It's hard to tell red from brown.

From the xckd Blog color chart, we see that red and brown are next to each other, and are hard to distinguish:

color name map

In addition, there's other possible factors:

  • Color blindness: "Red–green color blindness affects up to 8% of males... of Northern European descent."

    The main axis of colors of confusion is the same and so both types have the same main problem colors: red, orange, yellow, green, brown. -- Red-Green Color Blindness

  • Metamerism. Different colors look different in different lighting (an important consideration in the paint industry).

I don't know if these apply, but when it comes to humans distinguishing between colors, it's blurry.

  • This is a good answer from a different perspective! – Sassir Jan 22 '18 at 17:49

The Ancient Israelites were people of color, Isa was probably light brown in color with chiseled features, such as a aquiline nose and a youthful look.

Moses is described as being dark-skinned. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4T4J55Fu5jo&t=1411s


The prophet Muhammed ( sallallahio alayhi wa salami) said in sahib Muslim Hadith that he saw Prophet Isa ( pbuh) going around around the kabah leaning on two Angels and his skin was a beautiful brown color,the color red is destincly different from brown,you have to be careful of what you read during these times the enemies of Islam have access to the various Hadith,whereby printing their own interpretation,so that they can create confusion .

  • Welcome to Islam SE. Answers should be elaborate and focused on addressing the question. Claims should be supported by evidence. Please visit our tour in the help center, and refer to How to Answer. – III-AK-III Dec 17 '17 at 10:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy