Perfume of men and women
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
Is it true that when a woman applies perfume and a non-mahrim man gets its smell it is termed as zinaa? What if a man applies perfume and then a non-mahrim woman gets the smell of it? Is that a sin too or does it depend on ones intention?
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Perfume of men and women
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
The applying of perfume was an act absolutely loved by the Messenger of Allah (saws); and he highly recommended and encouraged its use to the believers.
Hadrat Anas (r.a.) reported the Messenger of Allah (saws) as saying, "Among the things of this world, I love women and perfume, and the coolness of my eyes is prayer."
Related by Ahmad and an-Nasa'i.
Abu Hurairah (r.a.) reported that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said, "If someone offers perfume, do not reject it, for it is light to carry and has a sweet scent."
Related by Muslim, an-Nasa'i and Abu Dawud.
Thus the applying of perfume is highly recommended for the believers; men and women.
Your Question: Is it true that when a woman applies perfume and a non-mahrim man gets its smell it is termed as zinaa?
Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 4443 Narrated by Abu Hurayrah
Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "The perfume for men is that whose odour is apparent but whose colour is hidden, and the perfume for women is that whose colour is apparent but whose odour is hidden.
A believing woman may apply as much perfume as she wills when in the company of women, or her husband, or her male mehram relatives. But if she plans to go or pass by non-mehram men, she should not apply perfume whose odour may attract the attention of the other men towards her.
Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 1065 Narrated by Abu Musa
Allah's Messenger (saws) said: Every eye is lustful, and when a woman applies perfume and then goes about in an assembly, she is like such and such, i.e. an adulteress.
Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 4161 Narrated by Abu Musa
The Prophet (saws) said: If a woman uses perfume and passes the people so that they may get its odour, she is so-and-so, meaning severe remarks.
Your Question: What if a man applies perfume and then a non-mahrim woman gets the smell of it? Is that a sin too or does it depend on ones intention?
There is absolutely no sin upon the man if he applies perfume when he goes out in public, whether in front of mehrams or non-mehrams.
At times, we try to determine that whatever is applicable to women also applies to men; but Allah Subhanah in His Wisdom, has created man of a different nature than the woman, especially when it comes to their attraction of the opposite sex.
A man by his nature is primarily lustful and is immediately attracted to the woman, through her body-curves, her shape, her hair, her sound, her smell, etc. A distant second means of attraction might be her lineage, her wealth, her righteousness, her character, etc.
The nature which Allah Subhanah has bestowed upon the woman is not primarily or physically lustful when she sees a man, or smells the perfume applied by the man. Her primary attraction for the man is more towards the character of the man, his reputation, his lineage, his wealth, etc.; and a distant second might be his physical looks.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,