فَأَتَيتُهُ بِالكِساءِ اليَمانِيِّ فَغَطّيتُهُ بِهِ وَ صِرتُ أَنظُرُ إِلَيهِ وَ إِذا وَجهُهُ يَتَلَأ لَأ كَأَنَّهُ البَدرُ فِي لَيلَةِ تمامِهِ وَ كَمالِهِ
I brought him the Yemeni cloak and covered him with it. I then kept on looking at his face, which was glittering like a moon at the night of its fullness and perfection.
Lady Fatima (AS) brings the cloak to her father and she covers him. A parent in general appreciates and prefers the service of their children more than a stranger or even a housemaid. There is no comparison to the feeling that the parent gets when they experience care and affection from their own children compared to others. Lady Fatima (AS) went on looking and gazing at him as she covered her father.
According to the Islamic code of conduct, it is highly recommended for a person to look at the faces of their parents and persist in doing so. (Fiqh Al Zahra) On the other hand, it is narrated that he who gives his parent an abhorrent look, Allah (SWT) will not accept anything from him. With that in mind, imagine if the father of a person is the prophet of God, never mind the Seal of Messengers and best of creations! It is also recommended to look at the face of a knowledgeable scholar or even at the door of a scholar.
From these traditions, we come to understand that there is indeed a positive effect that we acquire from “looking” at a scholar or parent, and that effect is not limited to the materialistic aspect but is rather spiritual and long-lasting. Same is the case regarding the Holy Ka’aba which we are encouraged to gaze upon.
That is because looking at someone who have reached the stage of perfection or has come close to it will in turn make that person approach the stage of perfection that is personified in that person or thing. That’s why it is recommended to look at the face of an infallible person such as Imam Ali (AS) as the Prophet (SA) said in his regards, “Looking at the face of Ali is worship”. (Wasa’el Al Shi’a)
If gazing at the face of a scholar is recommended, then it is not surprising that he who is the gate of knowledge be one whom the Prophet (SA) would specifically identify him as deserving of such merit.
Upon observing her father, Lady Fatima (AS) observed that his face was “glittering like a moon at the night of its fullness”. It is interesting that this is how the Prophet (SA) appeared even though he just expressed physical weakness.
It may seem like a contradiction but the reality is that Lady Fatima (AS) became preoccupied and captured by the beauty and splendor of her father. She knew very well that her father was not like any father or man; her father was the best of creation and the Seal of Messengers who is delivering the final revelation to all of mankind till the end of time! In her mind, Lady Fatima (AS) was not simply looking at her father, but rather, the divine representative of her time who has authority on her and all the believers.
Words could not describe what she observed upon looking at the Prophet (SA) under the cloak. However, the analogy Lady Fatima (AS) presents gives a hint and draws a good picture of what magnanimity of appearance emanated from her father’s face. She testifies that her father’s face “was glittering like a moon at the night of its fullness and perfection”. It is the course of nature that when the lunar month reaches the middle, the moon becomes full and thus, we observe it to be radiating from the sky like a piece of diamond in the midst of a black sea.
The scene is beautiful and sensational as it urges us to reflect on the Almighty Creator who has brought into existence every beautiful creation of His and bestowed us the ability to observe and recognize that. Due to the exceptionally beautiful scene of the full moon in the midst of the sky, it has become the tradition of the Arabs in particular to draw an analogy of the full moon to anything that is distinctly beautiful and radiant.
The blessed face of the Prophet (SA) which constantly appears to be radiant with the glow of light emanating from him is certainly analogous to the full moon at the middle of the month. Actually, the radiance of splendor from the Prophet’s appearance is much greater than that of a full moon glittering at the night of its fullness and perfection!
Furthermore, it should be noted that the physical or materialistic beauty can only be recognized by those who have eyes of the heart that can be able to identify that beauty. If we compare that physical beauty emanating from the Prophet (SA) to his inner and spiritual beauty, we will surely recognize that the latter is much greater and cannot be measured by a normal human being. It is certainly quite interesting that the person who is testifying on behalf of the Prophet (SA) about his splendor in appearance is herself the manifestation of the splendor of creation!