2. Thawb in Hadith
3. Thawb (blanket) In The Bible
4. Lihaaf (Blanket) In The Bible
In this final segment on whether Thaub means a blanket or actual clothes in relation to the Hadith we discussed in previous articles (links can be seen below), we are going to cite further additional authentic reports from our sources and the Bible, which would give readers clear idea that Thawb a lihaaf, here means a piece of blanket, sheet or a piece of large cloth one covers himself/herself with.
Check the following articles we have already written about in relation to Thawb, Lihaaf, and Mirt:
(1) – “Aisha’s Thawb: Was It A Blanket Or Dress? [Part 1]”
(2) – “Aisha’s Thawb: Missionary Deception Unveiled [Part 2]”
(3) – “Aisha’s Lihaaf (Blanket), Cross Dressing Lie”
(4) – “Aisha’s Mirt (مرط), Cross Dressing Fabrication”
2. Thawb in Hadith
Before quoting the Bible, we will show two important Hadith reports where we are told that thawb means a large piece of cloth that one is covered with. The Janazah, when a person has died and who was Muslim, they are traditionally to be washed and wrapped around in a large square piece of cloth before burial:
“2284. It was narrated from Ibn Abbas that the Messenger of Allah was shrouded in TWO PIECES OF WHITE CLOTH (ثَوْبِ) and a read cloak. [Hasan] (English Translation Of Musnad Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (Abu Abdullah Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Hanbal Ash-Shaibani) [Ahadeeth Edited, Researched and Refernced by Darussalam, Translated by Nasiruddin Al-Khattab, Edited by Huda Al-Khattab, Dar-us-salam, 2012], volume 2, page 393)
Here is a screenshot for the above quote:
Another report on Thawb:
“2600. Shu’bah said: I heard Abu Bishr narrate that he heard Sa’eed bin Jubair say that he heard Ibn Abbas narrate that a man came to the Prophet when he was in ihram, and he fell from his mount, and immediately died. The Messenger of Allah instructed that he be washed with water and lotus leaves, and shrouded in TWO PIECES OF CLOTH (ثَوْبِ). And he said: ‘Do not apply perfume to him, and leave his head uncovered – Shu’bah said: Then after that he told me that he said: Leave his head or his face uncovered – for he will be raised on the Day of Resurrection with his hair stuck together [with a sticky substance, as was the custom of pilgrims at that time].” [Isnad is Saheeh] (English Translation Of Musnad Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (Abu Abdullah Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Hanbal Ash-Shaibani) [Ahadeeth Edited, Researched and Refernced by Darussalam, Translated by Nasiruddin Al-Khattab, Edited by Huda Al-Khattab, Dar-us-salam, 2012], volume 2, page 524)
Here is a screenshot for the above quote:
These two reports where it shows that thawb in the context of the Prophet and Aisha meant a large piece of cloth.
3. Thawb (blanket) In The Bible
Furthermore, the Arabic Bible testifies that thaub (ثَوْبِ) in the verses of Exodus 22:26-27 means a large piece of sheet or blanket. In Exodus 22:26-27 the Israelites are commanded if they borrow a blanket (thawb) from their neighbour they have to give it back the next morning (Van Dyke Arabic Bible Translation):
“26ان ارتهنت ثوب صاحبك فالى غروب الشمس ترده له.
27لانه وحده غطاؤه. هو ثوبه لجلده. في ماذا ينام. فيكون اذا صرخ اليّ اني اسمع. لاني رؤوف” (Van Dyke Arabic Bible) Exodus 22- 26-27 http://etabetapi.com/cmp/arvd/asv/Exod/22)
The Biblical exegesis state that the thawb that is borrowed here is a large piece of blanket:
Coffman’s Commentaries on the Bible:
“If thou at all take thy neighbor’s garment to pledge …” The garment in view here is THAT LARGE, SUBSTANTIAL BLANKET, or pancho, used not only as the principal covering in daytime, but also as the only bedclothes the man had. The taking of a garment like that in pledge was forbidden. The fact of the lender’s having to return it every night would have meant, in effect, that the borrower could keep it! Many of the Jews of a later day sorely abused the rights of the poor. “Ye oppress the poor … ye crush the needy … they have sold the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes!” (Amos 2:6,4:1). The principle here applied to any absolutely necessary possession, such as the mill, or either of its stones (Deuteronomy 24:6). (Coffman’s Commentaries on the Bible, online source http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/exodus-22.html)
Adam Clarke Commentary:
If thou – take thy neighbor’s raiment to pledge – It seems strange that any pledge should be taken which must be so speedily restored; but it is very likely that the pledge was restored by night only, and that he who pledged it brought it back to his creditor next morning. The opinion of the rabbins is, that whatever a man needed for the support of life, he had the use of it when absolutely necessary, though it was pledged. Thus he had the use of his working tools by day, but he brought them to his creditor in the evening. His hyke, which serves an Arab as a plaid does a Highlander, (See Clarke’s note on Exodus 12:34;), was probably the raiment here referred to: IT IS A SORT OF COARSE BLANKET, ABOUT SIX YARDS LONG, AND FIVE OR SIX FEET BROAD, WHICH AN ARAB ALWAYS CARRIES WITH HIM, AND ON WHICH HE SLEEPS AT NIGHT, IT BEING HIS ONLY SUBSTITUTE FOR A BED. As the fashions in the east scarcely ever change, it is very likely that the raiment of the Israelites was precisely the same with that of the modern Arabs, who live in the very same desert in which the Hebrews were when this law was given. How necessary it was to restore the hyke to a poor man before the going down of the sun, that he might have something to repose on, will appear evident from the above considerations. At the same time, the returning it daily to the creditor was a continual acknowledgment of the debt, and served instead of a written acknowledgment or bond; as we may rest assured that writing, if practiced at all before the giving of the law, was not common: but it is most likely that it did not exist.” (The Holy Bible, Containing The Old And New Testaments. Marginal Readings and Parallel Texts: With A Commentary And Critical Notes,[The Old Testament, New-York: Published by T, Mason & G. Lane, James Collord, Printer, 1837] by Adam Clarke, LL.D., F.S.A., &c., volume 1, page 415 )
The Pulpit Commentaries:
Wherein shall he sleep? The outer garment worn by the ancient Hebrews was like that of the modern Bedouins—a sort of LARGE WOOLLEN… BLANKET, in which they enveloped the greater part of their persons. It serves the Bedouins, to the present time, as robe by day, and as COVERLET by night. When he crieth unto me. Compare verse 23. If the law is broken, and the man cry unto the Lord, he will hear, and avenge him.” (The Pulpit Commentaries, online source http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tpc/exodus-22.html)
Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament:
If a man should lend to one of the poor of his own people, he was not to oppress him by demanding interest; and if he gave his upper garment as a pledge, he was to give it him back towards sunset, because it was his only covering; as the poorer classes in the East use the upper garment, consisting of a LARGE SQUARE PIECE OF CLOTH, to sleep in. “It is his clothing for his skin:” i.e., it serves for a covering to his body. “Wherein shall he lie?” i.e., in what SHALL BE WRAP HIMSELF TO SLEEP? (cf. Deuteronomy 24:6, Deuteronomy 24:10-13). …”(Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament, online source http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/exodus-22.html)
John Dummelow’s Commentary on the Bible:
“26. While the taking of interest is forbidden, the taking of a pledge for repayment of a loan is sanctioned, and frequent reference is made in Scripture to the practice: see e.g. Amos 2:8; Job 22:6; Job 24:9; Deuteronomy 24:6. The outer garment of the Israelite (the simlah) is a kind of cloak or PLAID ABOUT 4 FT. SQUARE, which may be used as a COVERLET BY NIGHT. In the case of a poor man this might be the only thing he could give as a pledge, in which case he is to be allowed the use of it each night: cp. Deuteronomy 24:12-13, and for a similar humane precept, Deuteronomy 24:6 of that chapter.” (John Dummelow’s Commentary on the Bible, online source http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/exodus-22.html)
Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers:
(26, 27) Thy neighbour’s raiment.—The simlah, or salmah, here translated “raiment,” was the large flowing outer raiment, elsewhere called beged, which was commonly of woollen, and corresponded to the abba of the modern Arabs. It was a WARM WRAPPER, and has sometimes been compared to a Scotch plaid. The poor Israelite did not much want it by day; but needed it as a BLANKET BY NIGHT—a practice known to many modern tribes of Arabs. The present passage forbids the retention of this garment as a pledge during the night, and seems to imply a continuous practice of pledging the simlah by day, and being allowed to Enjoy the use of it, nevertheless, as a nocturnal covering.” (Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers, online source http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/exodus-22.html)
Rabbinical commentary Sefer HaChinukh 587:1
“To return the surety to the owners at the time that he needs it: That we were commanded to return the surety to its Israelite owners at the time that it will be needed by him; meaning to say that if the surety is something that a person needs during the day – for example, the tool for his work – he should return it to him during the day, and the borrower brings it back to him during the night, and if it is a vessel that he needs during the night – for example, BEDDING OR A BLANKET – he should return it to him during the night, and the borrower brings it back to the creditor during the day. And the language of Mekhilta, Mishpatim 186 is “‘You must return it to him before the sun sets’ (Exodus 22:25) (Sefer HaChinukh 587:1, online source http://www.sefaria.org/Exodus.22.25?lang=en&with=Sefer%20HaChinukh&lang2=en)
Numbers 4:6-13 a large piece of cloth is used to cover up bread, and other material objects:
“6and shall put thereon a covering of sealskin, and shall spread over it a CLOTH all of blue, and shall put in the staves thereof.
6ويجعلون عليه غطاء من جلد تخس ويبسطون من فوق ثوبا كله اسمانجوني ويضعون عصيّه.
7And upon the table of showbread they shall spread a CLOTH of blue, and put thereon the dishes, and the spoons, and the bowls and the cups wherewith to pour out; and the continual bread shall be thereon:
7وعلى مائدة الوجوه يبسطون ثوب اسمانجون ويضعون عليه الصحاف والصحون والاقداح وكاسات السكيب. ويكون الخبز الدائم عليه.
8and they shall spread upon them a CLOTH of scarlet, and cover the same with a covering of sealskin, and shall put in the staves thereof.
8ويبسطون عليها ثوب قرمز ويغطونه بغطاء من جلد تخس ويضعون عصّيه.
9And they shall take a CLOTH of blue, and cover the candlestick of the light, and its lamps, and its snuffers, and its snuffdishes, and all the oil vessels thereof, wherewith they minister unto it:
9وياخذون ثوب اسمانجون ويغطون منارة الضوء وسرجها وملاقطها ومنافضها وجميع آنية زيتها التي يخدمونها بها.
10and they shall put it and all the vessels thereof within a covering of sealskin, and shall put it upon the frame.
10ويجعلونها وجميع آنيتها في غطاء من جلد تخس ويجعلونه على العتلة.
11And upon the golden altar they shall spread a CLOTH of blue, and cover it with a covering of sealskin, and shall put in the staves thereof:
11وعلى مذبح الذهب يبسطون ثوب اسمانجون ويغطونه بغطاء من جلد تخس ويضعون عصيه.
12and they shall take all the vessels of ministry, wherewith they minister in the sanctuary, and put them in a CLOTH of blue, and cover them with a covering of sealskin, and shall put them on the frame.
12ويأخذون جميع امتعة الخدمة التي يخدمون بها في القدس ويجعلونها في ثوب اسمانجون ويغطونها بغطاء من جلد تخس ويجعلونها على العتلة.
13And they shall take away the ashes from the altar, and spread a purple CLOTH thereon:
13ويرفعون رماد المذبح ويبسطون عليه ثوب ارجوان
14and they shall put upon it all the vessels thereof, wherewith they minister about it, the firepans, the flesh-hooks, and the shovels, and the basins, all the vessels of the altar; and they shall spread upon it a covering of sealskin, and put in the staves thereof.
14ويجعلون عليه جميع امتعته التي يخدمون عليه بها المجامر والمناشل والرفوش والمناضح كل امتعة المذبح ويبسطون عليه غطاء من جلد تخس ويضعون عصيه.“ (الكتاب المقدس (Van Dyke Arabic Bible Translation) ASV, Numbers 4:6:14, online source http://etabetapi.com/cmp/arvd/uknt/Num/4)
The commentaries for the above verse all agree that the thing that covers all these items is unsewn cloth, for example, a piece of sheet:
Coffman’s Commentaries on the Bible:
“The Ark. This was to be covered by the veil that screened off the Holy of Holies. This was to be covered with the skin covering, and over that there was to be placed a CLOTH OF BLUE, a color that would be exposed during the march, making the ark easily identified.
The Table. This was to include all the articles usually used in connection with it, and the whole was to be COVERED WITH A CLOTH of scarlet, with a skin covering over all.
The Candlestick. This was to include snuff dishes, etc., with all vessels pertaining to it, the whole to be COVERED WITH A CLOTH OF BLUE, with a skin covering over all.
The Golden Altar. A CLOTH OF BLUE WAS TO BE SPREAD OVER this with a sealskin over all.
The Great Bronze (Copper) Altar. The ashes were to be removed and all of the shovels, vessels, flesh-hooks, etc., connected with service at the altar were to be placed around it, the whole to be covered with a purple cloth, with a skin covering over all.
“And put in the staves thereof …” (Numbers 4:6,8,11,14). This recurring instruction shows that preparatory to WRAPPING and covering the sacred articles with the colored cloths and skin coverings, the staves were to be first removed. This is a variation of the instruction pertaining to the times when the various articles were properly installed to fulfill their normal function. During those times, the staves were “not to be taken out” (Exodus 25:15ff). Critical scholars are really hard pressed for something to criticize when they make a “contradiction” out of this variation, as did both Gray and Noth. THE VERY COMMANDMENT TO WRAP (OR COVER) EACH ARTICLE WITH CLOTH, the staves being conspicuously omitted in each commandment, inherently carries with it the instruction that the staves were to be first removed. The commandment to put them in, repeated four times, proves this. There is no contradiction here, the various instructions applying to different situations. In their normal placement, the staves were to be left in, when made ready for travel, they were removed (necessarily) for the wrapping, and replaced for the purpose of their transportation.” (Coffman’s Commentaries on the Bible, online source https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/numbers-4.html)
How do you cover a bread? Do you put clothes on it or wrap it in a cloth, the latter is true. Geneva Study Bible:
(d) Meaning, to COVER THE BREAD. (Geneva Study Bible, online source https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/numbers-4.html)
John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible:
“…the use of which; see Gill on Exodus 25:29; these seem to be put not immediately upon the table, but upon the BLUE CLOTH SPREAD OVER THE TABLE: and the continual bread shall be thereon: the shewbread is called “continual”, because it was always on the table; for while the one was removing by a set of priests, which had stood a week, new loaves were placed by another set of priests: this bread seems at this time to be placed also upon the table, SPREAD WITH THE BLUE CLOTH; and from hence it appears, that the Israelites had the shewbread in the wilderness; for the making of which they might be supplied with corn from the neighbouring countries, though they themselves needed not any, being daily fed with manna. … and COVER IT with a covering of badgers’ skins; after the CLOTH OF BLUE WAS SPREAD UPON IT … and put them in a cloth of blue, and cover them with a covering of badgers’ skins; ALL WRAPPED UP in one bundle. (John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible, online source https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/numbers-4.html)
L. M. Grant’s Commentary on the Bible:
“The priests then spread a BLUE CLOTH OVER THE TABLE OF SHOW-BREAD and put on it the dishes, pans, bowls and pitchers. The showbread itself should also remain on it (v.7). A scarlet CLOTH WAS PUT OVER THIS, then also a covering of badger skins, and the poles inserted (v.8). The table speaks of Christ as the Sustainer of communion, and the blue cloth reminds us that communion with Him now is on a heavenly level, while the badger skins tell us that communion is not attractive to the outside world, though still strong and endurable. …” (L. M. Grant’s Commentary on the Bible, online source https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lmg/numbers-4.html)
Some have claimed that the bread and other items being covered with a square cloth actually means that they were wearing clothes. This is the desperation of some missionaries to peddle the lie that Muhammed wore a dress, when history is a witness that thawb in the Hadith used is speaking of a bed sheet or a large cloth, as the above commentaries for Numbers 4 have also shown. Think of it like this, imagine you were lying on the floor going to sleep few thousand years ago where there are no beds, but one slept on the floor, you have a cloth (sheet) spread covering you, would that mean that one is wearing clothes or is he/she covering themselves? Of course the latter is true.
In the parable of Mark 2:21, Jesus states how could a man put a piece of cloth on an old garment. We cannot determine how big this piece of cloth is, but the cloth he mentions here is a piece of sheet. Here is Mark 2:21 (Van Dyke Arabic Bible):
“21ليس احد يخيط رقعة من قطعة جديدة على ثوب عتيق وإلا فالملء الجديد ياخذ من العتيق فيصير الخرق اردأ.” (Van Dyke Arabic Bible) Mark 2:21, http://etabetapi.com/cmp/arvd/arvd/Mark/2))
Different Bible translations for Mark 2:21,
King James 2000 Bible
“No man also sews a PIECE OF NEW CLOTH on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up tears away from the old, and the tear is made worse.” – Mark 2: 21
Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“No man places a NEW STRIP OF CLOTH and sews it on an old garment lest the fullness of that new cloth takes from the old, and it rips more.” – Mark 2: 21
American King James Version
“No man also sews a PIECE OF NEW CLOTH on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up takes away from the old, and the rent is made worse.” – Mark 2: 21
“No man seweth a PIECE OF RAW CLOTH to an old garment: otherwise the new piecing taketh away from the old, and there is made a greater rent.” – Mark 2: 21
Darby Bible Translation
“No one sews a patch of NEW CLOTH on an old garment: otherwise its new filling-up takes from the old [stuff], and there is a worse rent.” – Mark 2: 21
Webster’s Bible Translation
“No man also seweth a PIECE OF NEW CLOTH on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up, taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse.” – Mark 2: 21
It is quite clear from the Bible that Thawb means a piece of cloth or a large sheet. Now we have on to the Arabic word Lihaf (Lihaaf).
4. Lihaaf (Blanket) In The Bible
Judges 4:18 where the word lihaaf (لِحَافِ) is and here the commentaries all agree that it is in reference to a blanket,
Arabic Bible Smith And Van Dyke,
“١٨ فخرجت ياعيل لاستقبال سيسرا وقالت لهُ مِلْ يا سيدي مِل اليَّ. لا تخف. فمال اليها الى الخيمة وغطتهُ باللحاف.
١٩ فقال لها اسقيني قليل ماءٍ لاني قد عطشت. ففتحت وطب اللبن واسقتهُ ثم غطتهُ.” (Arabic Bible Smith And Van Dyke on Judges 4:18, online source, https://bible.faithlife.com/books/ar-vandyke/Jdg4.18)
Screenshot for the above quote:
Different Bible Translations on Judges 4:18 that lihaaf (لِحَافِ) means a “blanket”,
Common English Bible (CEB)
“18 Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Come in, sir, come in here. Don’t be afraid.” So he went with her into the tent, and she hid him under a BLANKET.” – Judges 4:18
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
“18 Ya‘el went out to meet Sisra and said to him, “Come in, my lord; stay here with me; and don’t be afraid.” So he went into her tent, and she covered him with a BLANKET.” – Judges 4:18
Contemporary English Version (CEV)
“18 She came out to greet him and said, “Come in, sir! Please come on in. Don’t be afraid.”
After they had gone inside, Sisera lay down, and Jael covered him with a BLANKET.” – Judges 4:18
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
“18 Jael saw him coming, so she went out to meet him and said, “Sir, come into my tent. Come in. Don’t be afraid.” So Sisera went into Jael’s tent, and she covered him with a BLANKET.” – Judges 4:18
Lexham English Bible (LEB)
“18 And Jael came out to meet Sisera, and she said to him, “Turn aside, my lord; turn aside to me and do not be afraid.” So he turned aside into her tent, and she covered him with a BLANKET.” – Judges 4:18
Living Bible (TLB)
“18 Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Come into my tent, sir. You will be safe here in our protection. Don’t be afraid.” So he went into her tent, and she covered him with a BLANKET.” – Judges 4:18
The Message (MSG)
“17-18 Meanwhile Sisera, running for his life, headed for the tent of Jael, wife of Heber the Kenite. Jabin king of Hazor and Heber the Kenite were on good terms with one another. Jael stepped out to meet Sisera and said, “Come in, sir. Stay here with me. Don’t be afraid.” So he went with her into her tent. She covered him with a BLANKET.” – Judges 4:18
New English Translation (NET Bible)
“18 Jael came out to welcome Sisera. She said to him, “Stop and rest, my lord. Stop and rest with me. Don’t be afraid.” So Sisera stopped to rest in her tent, and she put a BLANKET over him.” – Judges 4:18
New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)
“18 Jael went out to meet Sisera. “Come in, sir,” she said. “Come right in. Don’t be afraid.” So he entered her tent. Then she covered him with a BLANKET.” – Judges 4:18
New International Version (NIV)
“18 Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Come, my lord, come right in. Don’t be afraid.” So he entered her tent, and she covered him with a BLANKET.” – Judges 4:18
New International Version – UK (NIVUK)
“18 Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, ‘Come, my lord, come right in. Don’t be afraid.’ So he entered her tent, and she covered him with a BLANKET.” – Judges 4:18
New King James Version (NKJV)
“18 And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said to him, “Turn aside, my lord, turn aside to me; do not fear.” And when he had turned aside with her into the tent, she covered him with a BLANKET.” – Judges 4:18
New Living Translation (NLT)
“18 Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Come into my tent, sir. Come in. Don’t be afraid.” So he went into her tent, and she COVERED HIM WITH A BLANKET.” – Judges 4:18
Tree of Life Version (TLV)
“18 So Yael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Turn aside, my lord, turn aside to me! Don’t be afraid!” So he turned aside to her into the tent, and she COVERED HIM WITH A BLANKET.” – Judges 4:18
Darby Translation (DARBY)
“18 And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said to him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not. And he turned in to her, into the tent, and she COVERED HIM WITH THE QUILT.” – Judges 4:18
Jubilee Bible 2000 (JUB)
“18 And Jael went out to meet Sisera and said unto him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not. And when he had turned in unto her into the tent, she COVERED HIM WITH A THICK COVERLET.” – Judges 4:18
Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)
“18 and Jael goeth out to meet Sisera, and saith unto him, `Turn aside, my lord, turn aside unto me, fear not;’ and he turneth aside unto her, into the tent, and she COVERETH HIM WITH A COVERLET.” – Judges 4:18
Notice all the above translations have translated the Arabic word lihaaf to mean a blanket in this context. Here we get a clear-cut verse from the Bible where the text tells us that “lihaaf” (لِحَافِ) here means a blanket. And thus, the Hadith which are mistranslated to mean clothes by some missionaries have no historical basis when the Bible itself debunks this.
Just so our readers are acquainted what lihaaf looks like, copy this Arabic word lihaaf in brackets (لِحَافِ) into google search engine. I will make it easier, just click on the following link it will direct you straight to Google images where it will show you that lihaaf (لِحَافِ) is a piece of blanket.
As the context of the passages from the Bible shows, thawb means a large piece of cloth or sheet and “lihaaf” means a blanket one covers himself at night. With the above said, this article strengthen and bolsters our case that Prophet Muhammed (p) was using Aisha’s blanket in regards to the Hadith mistranslated by some missionaries.