CHAPTER ON THE KUHL OF
SAYYIDINA RASULULLAH SALLALLAHU ALAYHI WASALLAM
Hazrat Sheikh-ul Hadeeth Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhelwi
To apply kuhl (surmah,
antimony, collyrium) in the eyes is mustabab. One should use kuhl with the intention of ajr/ thawaab - reward.
It benefits the eye and one receives ajr for following the sunnah also.
Imaam Tirmidhi mentions five ahaadith
in this chapter.
(48) Hadith Number 1
Ibn 'Abbaas Radiyallahu 'Anhu says: "Rasulullah
Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam said: 'Use kuhl made of ithmid on the eye; it brightens the eyesight,
and strengthens and increases the growth of the eye lashes'. (Sayyidina Ibn'Abbaas Radiyallahu'Anhu also used
to say) 'Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam had a small container for keeping kuhl, from which
he applied kuhl in each blessed eye three times every night"'.
Ithmid is a special type of kuhl which
is reddish black in colour. It is obtained in the Eastern countries. Some of the learned say it is the Isfahaani kuhl, and
other say it is the Totiya. Some 'ulama say, it means those who have good eyesight and it should be used by those with
whose eyesight it agrees, otherwise a sick person's eyes will pain more by its use. It is more beneficial to apply kuhl
at the time of sleeping as it will remain longer in the eyes, and will penetrate more into the pores. There are different
narrations on the number of times it should be applied in each eye. In a few it is stated that it should be applied three
times in each eye, as mentioned above. In other narrations it is stated that it should be put three times in the right eye
and two times in the left eye. It is supposed that the variations are because of the different times of the narrations. At
a certain time, Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam applied it in one manner and at another time
in the other manner. Haafiz Ibn Hajar, Mulla 'Ali Qaari and other 'ulama have preferred the first method (as given
in the hadith under discussion). The first method has been narrated many times from Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu' Alayhi
Wa’ale Hi Wasallam, as will be seen in the narrations that follow.
(49) Hadith Number 2
Ibn 'Abbaas Radiyallahu
'Anhu reports: "Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam applied kuhl of ithmid three times in
each eye before sleeping'. In a narration also from Ibn 'Abbaas Radiyallahu 'Anhu, it is reported: "Rasulullah
Salla lahu'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam had a small container for keeping kuhl, from which he applied in each blessed
eye kuhl three times before sleeping'.
(50) Hadith Number 3
Jaabir bin 'Abdullah
Radiyallahu 'Anhu says: "Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam said: 'Use the kuhl
made from ithmid for the eyes. It brightens the vision and strengthens the growth of the eye lashes'.
(51) Hadith Number 4
Ibn 'Abbaas Radiyallahu 'Anhu says: "Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi
Wasallam has said: 'The best from among all the kuhl used by you is the one made from ithmid. It brightens the
eyesight and strengthens the growth of the eye lashes"'.
the narrators in the chain of this hadith is Bishr bin Mufaddal RA. The 'ulama wrote that he performed four hundred rak'ahs
nafl – optional units of prayer daily, and it was his permanent practice to fast every alternate day.
(52) Hadith Number 5
'Abdullah bin 'Umar Radiyallahu 'Anhu related the same hadith from
Rasulullah Salla lahu 'Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam that: "Verily use the kuhl made from ithmid. It brightens
the vision and strengthens the growth of the eye lashes".
In all the above narrations the use
of kuhl made from ithmid has been stressed. Only those eyes are meant, that agree with the use of it, otherwise, because of
certain eye conditions kuhl does not agree with some people, as was mentioned previously. The 'ulama have written that
due to these commands and practices it is sunnah to use kuhl, and it is better to use the one made from ithmid. If one uses
kuhl made from any other substance it will be regarded as sunnah, but the virtue is obtained by using kuhl made of ithmid.
of Kuhl by Rasulullah (salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam)
The authentic narrations confirm that it is recommended to apply
kuhl as directed by the Sunnah. The benefits of the application of Kuhl are sharpening of the eyes, brightening the
vision, protection and cure of the eyesight. The additional benefit as narrated in the above hadith is allowing the eyelashes
to grow. Also established in the above ahaadith is the fact that Rasulullah (salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi Wasallam) had
a separate container for the kuhl but there is a difference of opinion on the amount of times it should be applied in each
eye. The most common opinion is the kuhl be applied three times in each eye as both eyes are separate members. This ruling
is similar to the Sunnah of performing wudu – ablution, where we also rinse each arm and foot three
Establishing the Sunnah
Allah (swt) bestowed upon his beloved
Prophet (salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam) great heights of qualities and attributes such as generosity and mercy.
Sayyid Sheikh Muhammad al Yaqoubi al Hasani confirm that commandments, which have been established from the practice of Rasulullah
(salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi Wasallam) must be accepted in their proper context. There is no capacity to do Ijtihad
in such matters as the great Mujtahids must be followed. They include the four main schools of Fiqh, which are
Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi and Hanbali.
The mention is also made in this chapter of praying salah. Sayyid Sheikh Muhammad al Yaqoubi
confirms that most practices in Shariah – Islamic law should be done by the odd number. This includes applying
kuhl, which should also be applied in an odd number.
Allah (swt) is Witr meaning (1), which is an odd number. In the Arabic language the first
number is 2, there is not a number 1. in Arabic. The number 2. means multiplicity. Imam Abu Hanifa (Rh) confirm ‘Allah
is One, but not as a number’.