Sunday, June 14, 2015

Was the Prophet Muhammad Red-Haired?

This is quite an interesting one. A lot of sites on-line state that Muhammad may have had red hair. It's also said that in later years he used henna to dye his beard red. It's been suggested that Muslims use henna to dye their beards and hair red in honour of this fact.
Muslim men may use henna as a dye for hair and most particularly their beards. This is considered sunnah, a commendable tradition of the Prophet Muhammad.
On the topic of red-haired Muslims we also have two more to add to our list; Oruç Reis and his brother, Hayreddin Barbarossa. Both had red beards and were nicknamed Barbarossa because of it. Hayreddin was an Ottoman admiral of the fleet and Oruç was a Barbary pirate.

Whilst looking into the nickname Barbarossa, quite a common one throughout history (you may remember Frederick I Barbarossa), I came across the fact that "red beard" in German is Rotbart. Rotbart sounds very similar to the name Robert. I've speculated before about the name Robert maybe meaning red-haired. This would run contrary to the accepted etymology, but it would make a bit more sense. Maybe rotbard works in relation to this.

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