The role of fragrance in Islam
Fragrances have unique importance in the medieval Middle East due to their several practical functions, but one shouldn’t forget that aromatics also had profound symbolic and religious associations. Just like in Islam!
Prophet ﷺ reported that” of all that is available in this present life, I am made to love perfume and women, but the thing that gives me best gratification is prayer .”This means that Prophet ﷺ loves fragrances and encourage them. In the list of places where the Prophet ﷺ suggest us to use attars like Oud and bukhoor incorporates the gatherings, particularly in the mosque and most notably in the Friday and Eid prayers. Prophet ﷺ said: “When a man does ghusl on the day of Jumu’a, making himself as pure as possible, uses hair oil or puts on any perfume he has in his house, then goes out and does not part two people, and then prays what is prescribed for him and is silent while the Imam speaks, he is forgiven everything between then and the previous Jumu’a.” the attar that the Muslims mainly use are also considered as a charity insofar as beautiful scents benefit the people.
Except for the gatherings and personal use, there is also particular importance of attar in gifting, that one shouldn’t refuse a gift if there is a fragrance in it. One of the companions of Prophet ﷺ, Sayyudina Anas, reported that “prophet ﷺ would not refuse perfume.”
These fragrances not only have pleasure as a scent, but they have a profound spiritual effect. Oud is known as the “wood of gods” that facilitates a connection between man and the divine whereas, the bakhoor is known to stimulate the psyche of humans.
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