Prophet Mohammad (saw) has described the beauty of the Heaven as follows:
“(It is built of) one brick of gold and the other brick of silver, its mortar is of strongly scented musk, its stones are pearls and emeralds and its soil is of saffron”. (At-Tirmidhi, Musnad)
‘The rivers of the Garden spring from mountains or hills of musk’. (Mukhtasar Tadhkirah-al-Qurtubi, p.305/50)
The above mentioned ahadith show that ittars (musk) are not only a gift from Allah (swt) in this world but shall also be rewarded to those who obey Allah (swt) in the life hereafter, in Paradise. Ittars, being natural and pure, find their mention in the Holy Quran as well as in ahadith.
However, the perfumes, which are extensively used in the western world, are not fit to be used by the followers of Islam due to the presence of alcohol, which makes them najis. Besides this factor, there are hordes of other reasons which make perfumes unfit to be used by anybody in a general sense. Here are some of them:
The synthetic commercial perfumes are made up of harsh chemicals. Research shows perfumes are composed of almost 95% of chemicals that are synthetic compounds derived from petroleum. They can cause side-effects such as cancer, central nervous system disorders, birth defects and allergies.
Phthalates, which are used to make the perfumes last longer are also hazardous. They can lead to cancer and reduce sperm count in males.
The perfume formulas can cause allergies such as contact dermatitis and can also lead to asthma.
Ironically, despite these risks of skin problems, lung diseases, neurotoxicity and many other serious health hazards, perfumes are widely used in the western world because they cost considerably less then their natural counterparts.
Ittars are much more superior to perfumes owing to their following characteristics:
Ittars have a much longer shelf-life than the synthetic perfumes and they even tend to smell better as they age.
Ittars being natural, pure and concentrated can be applied directly on the skin. A tiny drop can be dabbed on the body for a strong, divine fragrance.
When applied, the ittars being derived from natural sources linger on till a long time. On the other hand, the perfumes evaporate quickly due to the presence of alcohol, which is commonly used as a solvent.
The above mentioned facts about ittars and perfumes prove that perfumes should be avoided due to the health risks. Moreover, its alcohol contents, makes it najis, from the Islamic viewpoint.
Keep Me In Your Prayers.