Having over 20 years experience in making, selling and using high quality Attar/Ittar oils, I am fortunate with the blessing of Allah (swt) to be striving in helping people act towards one of the Sunnah’s of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him).
It is reported in a Hadith the holy Prophet of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him) was asked which three things he liked, he replied:
“Salah is the coolness of my eyes, and the things I love the most in this world are my wives and Attar. (Ahmad, Nasa’i)
The Holy Prophet of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him) has also said:
“There are four things practised amongst the Ambiya a.s (Prophets of God peace be upon them all)
2 To use Attar/Ittar (Perfume oil),
3 To use Miswaak and
The the most perfect creation the holy prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) was obviously very fond of fragrance, so much that there are narrations mentioning even before his birth, beautiful fragrances emanating from his mother Amanah’s (Allah be pleased with her) body.
Anas ibn Maalik R.A saying,
“I have never smelt any ambergris, musk nor anything more pleasant than the smell of the Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him).” Small wonder, for Umm Sulaym may Allah be pleased with her would collect the sweat of the Prophet ( peace & blessings be upon him) in a flask and use it as a perfume. (Ahmad, Tirmidhi)
Anas bin Malik Radiyallahu ta’ala ‘anhu reported that: “The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) never refused a gift of perfume”.
Aisha (Radiyallahu ta’ala ‘anha) narrates that: “I used to perfume Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) with the best scent available till I saw the shine of scent on his head and beard”.
What is Attar/Ittar ?
Attar, Ittar or It’r is an Arabic word meaning fragrance, scent or essence, these are pure oils, derived about from natural extracts of flowers, plants, vegetation, fruits and even animals. Ittar or Perfume is food for the soul, it is a fact when one wears ittar or perfume, it enlightens ones behaviour making that individual more pleasing and humble. It is well known that if a person was to stay and spend time with an Itaar (a perfumer), then he would smell nice, and if a person was to spend time with an individual who is occupied in foul place, then it is also a fact he would come out smelling that way.
Attar has been used for over 5000 years. It is well known throughout history and with the ever increasing development in science that the scent of Attar has many medicinal as well as spiritual benefits. This is evident in the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him).
The powers of fragrance
Fragrances have been used since the arrival of man. When Adam a.s left Heaven with his companion Hawa a.s, they both had leaves and foliage from heaven to cover there body parts, it is believed those very beautiful and amazing fragrances mingled with the earth and gave us many beautiful aromas today.
It is a well known fact that fragrances can alter a person’s mood and behaviour. Lavender is widely used within aromatherapies and helps relax a person, sandalwood has been associated with peace and calmness. Amongst many religions and beliefs. Fragrances of Rose and Jasmine have been associated with love, marriage and to charm or create a pleasant atmosphere.
Fragrances of Aloeswood have been used to meditate and create a sacred atmosphere whilst meditating. It is widely used around the world from temples to Masjids.
Sometimes with fragrances and scents they bring back a particular memory or event in the past, this is very special as this makes a person feel good and this is what its all about, it spreads happiness by opening the mind bring out the positive and repelling the negatives.
Attar for Men or Women
Many times in the years when exhibiting attar oils and their information, I have been approached by women asking me whether it is permissible to use attar, it is just as beneficial to a man as it is to a woman to administer perfume oils. I came across a hadith whereby The prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) said:
narrated from Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that Asma asked the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about ghusl following menses. He said: “Let one of you take her water and lotus leaves and clean herself well, then let her pour water over her head and rub it vigorously so that it will reach the roots of her hair. Then let her pour the water over herself, then take a piece of cloth scented with musk and purify herself.” Asma’ said: How should she purify herself? He said: “Subhaan-Allaah! Purify yourself with it.” ‘Aa’ishah said – as if she whispered it to her – Follow the traces of blood. (Bukhari & Muslim)
The meaning by the scholars of this and the majority say it was to remove the unpleasant smells from the body, if no musk or perfume is available then soap in todays terms would be justified and if that is not available then water would be. However in recent times there has been a study by a Dr Aaminah Sadeeqh (microbiologist)at the Colleges of Science Jeddah KSA, that musk is a natural antibiotic for treating skin diseases and genital diseases in humans and animals.
Why Alcohol free?
Alcohol or fillers as they are commonly called in the Industry, are used throughout conventional perfumes and so called aftershaves. The reason for their use is:
Firstly to save money, by reducing the amount of pure perfume oil in the bottle – if you care to look at around the base of a perfume bottle, you will see a figure with a percentage sometimes as much as 95% and letters such as vol (volume), this actually indicates the volume of alcohol within that bottle, the remaining figure after this percentage is the amount of pure perfume oil in the bottle!
Secondly alcohol causes the perfume to accelerate much faster sometimes upto as much as 10 – 15 times faster, this causes the first impression of the perfume to be overwhelming and nice to human senses, but soon evaporates and loses that overwhelming first impression, this is why perfumes with alcohol always smell nice and strong when first applied, but soon lose that initial lift. attar or perfume oil is Alcohol free which means it is pure and free from alcohol having an original smell and a little applied to the skin lasts a long time. The body releases natural chemicals from the pores of the skin, when a certain type of natural attar is applied, it reacts with the bodies chemicals and creates a unique and beautiful smell that benefits the body and mind.
Denatured Alcohol or sometimes called alcohol denat, is most commonly used in perfumes, of which the main ingredient sometimes being methanol, this is very harmful as it is poisonous as it is mass produced as a non-consumable alcohol for the cosmetics and perfume industry as well as other uses. If one cares to look in the encyclopaedia of poisons, under the prefix ‘A’ you will find this Alcohol present. The skin is a very sensitive part of the body with natural pores that allow the skin to breath and release natural chemicals from the body, this type of an alcohol on the skin could be detrimental to the health.
Attar itself should be appreciated when applied to the skin, rather than smelt from the decanter or bottle. As humans we are also an amalgamation of earth and water, for one chemical to another, only when the chemicals are mixed does a reaction take place, thus the true smell of each attar is appreciated through testing upon ones skin and this was the practice of all the Prophets of God (peace be upon them all).
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