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CHAPTER ON THE KUHL OF

SAYYIDINA RASULULLAH SALLALLAHU ALAYHI WASALLAM

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

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"'.  


Commentary

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"' 


Commentary

One of 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".  


Commentary

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.
   

Studying Ash-Shaam-il


The application 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 times.  


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’.

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