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CHAPTER ON SAYYIDINA RASULULLAH SALLA LAHU ALAYHI WA’ALE HI WASALLAM USING ITR (PERFUME)   

Hazrat Sheikh-ul Hadeeth Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhelwi (R.A.) explains; 

A sweet fragrance naturally emitted from the mubaarak - blessed body of Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam, as if he did not use itr. In a narration Sayyidina Anas radiyallahu anhu says: ‘I did not smell anything more fragrant than the fragrant smell of Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam. Its fragrance was better than Amber and Musk.

Various other narrations testify to this. Many narrations are mentioned in the books of hadith, where it is stated that the perspiration of Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam was used instead of itr. A narration from Sayyidina Umm Sulaym radiyallahu anha is related in the Sahih Muslim and other books, that once while Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam was sleeping, sweat began to emit from his blessed - mubaarak body. She began collecting it in a small bottle. The mubaarak eyes of Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam opened. He asked her what she was doing. She replied: “We use this in our itr, it has the most fragrance”.

Once Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam blew (damm) on his blessed palm and wiped it over the back and stomach of Sayyidina Uqbah radiyallahu anhu. It became so fragrant, and as he had four wives, every one of them put on so much itr, to equal that fragrance, but it could not overcome the fragrance Sayyidina Uqbah radiyallahu anhu had. 
 

What should I do with the sweet smell of flowers O Nasim (fragrant breeze).
The clothing is also hopeful of attaining a sweet smell.

Sayyidina Abu Ya’laa radiyallahu anhu and others relate that in whichever alley Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam passed, others who passed later knew immediately that Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam had just passed there. Many other narrations are reported on this subject. Besides this Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam usually used itr. 
 

The author has written six ahaadith in this chapter.       


(207) Hadith Number 1

Hasrat Anas radiyallahu anhu says: “Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam had a ‘Sukkah’. He used a fragrance from it”.    

Commentary

The ulama give two meanings to the word ‘Sukkah’. Some say it is an itr box, and say it is that box in which itr is kept. In this case it will mean using the fragrance from an itr box. My ustaadh rahmatullahi alaihe gave the above transalation. Some ulama say it is a mixture of various fragrances. The author of Qaamus and others prefer this meaning, and have also written the full recipe of how it is made. 


(208) Hadith Number 2

Hasrat Thumaamah bin Abdullah radiyallahu anhu reports, “Anas bin Maalik did not refuse itr, and used to say that Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam never refused (the acceptance of) itr”. 
  


(209) Hadith Number 3

Hasrat Ibn Umar radiyallahu anhu says, “Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam said, ‘Three things should not be refused: a pillow; fragrance (itr-oil); and milk.”   


Commentary

These things are mentioned because it is not a burden upon the one who gives these presents and by refusing, one may at times offend the giver. All these things are included in those which are simple and do not burden the one that presents it. By ‘pillow’, some ulama say it means presenting a pillow, as it does not burden a person. Some ulama say that it is just for one’s use while sitting, lying, sleeping, leaning, etc. 


(210) Hadith Number 4  

Hasrat Abu Hurayrah radiyallahu anhu narrates: “Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam said, “The itr of a male is the fragrance of which spreads and has less colour in it (i.e. rose, kewrah etc.), and the itr of a female is that, which has more colour and less fragrance (hina, mendhi, za’faraan etc.)”.   


Commentary

Males should use a fragrance that is masculine, as colour does not suit them. Women should use a feminine fragrance, which does not give off a strong fragrance, it must be such that its fragrance does not reach strangers.


(211) Hadith Number 5

Abu Uthman An-Nahdi (At-Taabi’ee) radiyallahu anhu relates that Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam said: “If one is given rayhaan, he should not refuse it, because it originates from Jannah.”  

Commentary

From this, it is only the rayhaan itself that is meant or are other fragrant substances also included? The linguists give both meanings, and both may be intended here. Allah Ta’aala made an imitation of the fragrance of Jannah - Paradise in this world, because this may be an incentive for the people towards Jannah, and also increase their desire and zeal for it. People are naturally attracted to something fragrant. What comparison can there be made with the original fragrance of Jannah. It shall have such a strong fragrance, that the distance of five hundred years will have to be covered to reach its source. 


(212) Hadith Number 6

Hasrat Jarir bin Abdullah Bajali radiyallahu anhu reports that ‘I was presented to Umar (for an inspection). “Jarir threw off his top shawl and walked in his izzar only (so that he could be inspected). Umar told him to take his top sheet (put it on) and address the people saying: “I did not see anyone more handsome than Jarir besides what we have heard of Yusuf As-Siddiqe alayhis salaam.”   


Commentary

‘What we heard of Sayyidina Yusuf As-Siddiqe alaihis salaam shows that he must have been more handsome and beautiful than Sayyidina Jarir radiyallahu anhu. Otherwise it seems there was none more handsome than him (Sayyidina Yusuf alaihis salaam). Sayyidina Umar radiyallahu anhu was making a detailed inspection of the army at the time of jihaad. Every soldier was inspected and Sayyidina Jarir radiyallahu anhu was among them. There are a few difficulties in this narration but shall be omitted to keep the subject short. One of these difficulties is, that the beauty and handsomeness of Sayyidina Yusuf alaihis salaam is exempted here. However the mubaarak – blessed beauty and handsomeness of Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam is not mentioned or exempted here. We can openly say that the handsomeness of Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla Lahu Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam was more than that of Sayyidina Yusuf alaihis salaam. By not mentioning this, the handsomeness of Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam is obviously exempted. Shah Waliyullah Dehlawi has mentioned that the handsomeness of Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam was hidden. The other question is, what relevance has this narration with this chapter? An answer to this is that fragrance is a part of beauty. The more handsome the person, the more fragrance will be emitted from that person’s clothing and body. It is an accepted fact that Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam was the most handsome and beautiful among the creation, and it is an accepted fact that he was the most glittering among the full moons, therefore a sweet fragrance emitting from him is natural.

Studying Ash-Shaam-il  

The Etiquette of using Itr of Sayyidina Rasulullah (salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam)  

Sayyidina Rasulullah (salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam) did not refuse perfume. If someone gives perfume, you should reward them. The way to apply perfume is to hold the perfume in the left hand and apply with the right hand. First perfume should be applied on the eyebrows, as this is the first hair that grows in the womb. Perfume should be applied on hair and by doing this we thank Allah (swt) for this. The perfume used by the male, should have strong smell with out colour and for the female should be colour without strong smell. An example of this is zaffran. Women should not allow their scent to reach non-Mahram men as Sayyidina Rasulullah (salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam) has warned that ‘Every eye has certain share of zina, passing by men is commiting a type of zina’. (Zina means fornication). 

Sayyidina Rasulullah (salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam) loved fragrance and also his blessed wives. Therefore we should also love perfume and our wife(s) for the sake of Rasulullah (salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam).  


Origin of Perfume 

The origin of perfume is from Al Jannah. Perfume reminds us of Jannah – Paradise. The fragrance of Al - Jannah can be smelt from five hundred years of travelling. Scent comes from burning of wood and is a cure. It gives relief and spreads happiness by opening the mind. The hadith concerning Hasrat Jarir bin Abdullah Bajali (RA) is mentioned in this chapter to show that good fragrance is also linked to good image. Hasrat Jarir bin Abdullah Bajali (RA) spent forty days with Rasulullah (salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam) and became Muslim.  

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