Rasulullah (saw) using itr
A sweet fragrance naturally emitted from the mubaarak body of Sayyidina Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam, as though he did not use itr. In a narration Sayyidina Anas radiyallahu anhu says: ‘I did not smell anything more fragrant than the smell of Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam. The 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 Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam was used instead of itr.
A narration from Sayyiditina Umme Sulaym radiyallahu anha is related in the Sahih Muslim and other kitaabs, that once while Sayyidina Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam was sleeping, sweat began to emit from his mubaarak body. She began collecting it in a small bottle. The mubaarak eyes of Sayyidina Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam opened. He asked her what she was doing. She replied: “When we use this in our itr, it has the most fragrance”.
Once Sayyidina Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam blew (made damm) on his 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 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 Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam passed, others who passed later knew immediately that Sayyidina Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam had just passed there. Many other narrations are reported on this subject. Besides this Sayyidina Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam usually used itr. The author has written six ahaadith in this chapter.
(207) Hadith 1
Anas radiyallahu anhu says: “Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam had a ‘Sukkah’. He used a fragrance from it”.
The ulama give two meanings to the word ‘Sukkah’. Some say it is an itr box, in which itr is kept. In this case it will mean he used the fragrance from an itr box. My ustaadh rahmatullahi alaihe gave the above meaning.
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 2
Thumaamah bin Abdullah radiyallahu anhu reports, “Anas bin Maalik did not refuse itr, and used to say that Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam never refused (the acceptance of) itr”.
(209) Hadith 3
Ibn Umar radiyallahu anhu says, “Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam said, ‘Three things should not be refused: pillow; fragrance (itr-oil); and milk.”
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 does 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 4
Abu Hurayrah radiyallahu anhu narrates: “Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe 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.)”.
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 5
Abu Uthman An-Nahdi (At-Taabi’ee) radiyallahu anhu relates that Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam said: “If one is given rayhaan, he should not refuse it, because it originates from Jannah.”
From this, is it only the rayhaan itself that is meant or 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 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
Jarir bin Abdullah Bajali radiyallahu anhu reports, I was presented to Umar (for an inspection). “Jarir threw off his top shawl and walked in his lungi 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 alaihis salaam.”
What we heard of 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 Jarir 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. We can openly say that the handsomeness of Sayyidina Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam was more than that of Sayyidina Yusuf alaihis salaam. By not mentioning this, the handsomeness of Sayyidina Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam is obviously exempted. Shah Waliyullah Dehlawi has mentioned that the handsomeness of Sayyidina Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe 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 Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam was the handsomest among the creation, and it is an accepted fact that he was the most glittering among the moons, therefore a sweet fragrance emitting from him is natural.