(Original post by Perseveranze)
The Scholars name is Hamza Yusuf, he's one of the most famous scholars in the west. He was quite legendary before 9/11 (speaking out against falsehood etc.), but after that he became a bit of a western tool and ambassador. Still though, it doesn't make him a laymen, and he's known to be quite knowledgeable with these types of facts. It's just I wouldn't take a fatwa from him seriously.
As far as proof goes then there's plenty of it, for example;
Rab’ia bin Abdul Rahman narrates from Anas (RA) who while describing the appearance of the Holy Prophet said:
وَلَا بِالْأَبْيَضِ الْأَمْهَقِ، وَلَا بِالْآدَمِ
“And he was neither white as lime (abyad al-amhaq) , nor brown (adam).”
(Shama’il Tirmidhi, Hadith 1)
Another very close companion of the Holy Prophet –peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, ‘Ali (RA) described the complexion of the Holy Prophet in the following words:
كَانَ أَبْيَضَ مشرَّباً بَيَاضُهُ حُمْرَةً، وَكَانَ أَسْوَدَ الْحَدَقَةِ
“He had white complexion, his whiteness being imbued with redness (abyad musharraban bayaduhu humrah) and his iris was black (awsad).”
(Dalail al-Nubuwwah lil-Baihaqi 1/212-213 Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyya Beirut 1405 A.H.)
Reports to this effect from ‘Ali (RA) are found in many works of Hadith.
Ibn Sa’d in his Tabaqat al-Kubra narrates from Abu Umamah that he described about the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, as:
رَجُلًا أَبْيَضَ تَعْلُوهُ حُمْرَةٌ
“A man of white complexion with red tinge in it (abyad ta’luhu humrah).”
(Tabaqat al-Kubra 1/413)
And so on. Hamza Yusuf has done his research in looking at all the descriptions and given the best understanding to the wester/english based audience.
Otherwise these are the types of word in Arabic used to describe the Prophet(pbuh) -
Meaning of Adam/Udma
آدم Of the colour termed أُدمة (Book I, p.37)
أُدمة... and in human beings, a tawny colour; or darkness of complexion; syn. سُمرة or an intermixture, or a tinge, of blackness or intense سُمرة (Book I, p.36)
Meaning of Asmar/Sumra
أسمر [Tawny, or brownish; dusky; dark-complexioned or dark-coloured;] of the colour termed سُمرة (Book I, p.1426)
سُمرة [A tawny, or brownish, colour, of various shades, like the various hues of wheat; duskiness; darkness of complexion or colour;] certain colour, well known, between white and black, … (Book I, p.1425)
Meaning of Ahmar/Humrah
حُمرة [Redness;] a well-known colour; (Msb, K
the colour of that which is termed أحمر …. But when relating to complexion, whiteness; (Book I, p.640)
Meaning of Azhar/Zuhrah
أزهر Shining; giving light; bright. (S.,K) …. White; (S.,K
and beautiful: (K.
or of a bright white colour: (TA
or of any shining colour: (AH.n,R
(Book I, p.1262)
زُهرة Whiteness; (Yaakoon,S,K
and beauty: (K
whiteness, or fairness, characteristic of good birth: (S
or bright whiteness: (TA
or any shining colour. (AHn,R) (Book I, p.1262)
So I'd say Hamza was spot on.