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Perfumes for men & women

Published: 25/08/2011 07:57:00 AM GMT
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Please tell me the rulings for the use of perfumes by both men and women in Islam.

Answered by

Sheikh Hamad al-Haydarî, professor at al-Imâm University

The Prophet (peace be upon him) has distinguished between the scents to be used by men and those to be used by women.

He told us that the scents used by men should be strong but not colorful, whereas the perfumes used by women should be colorful but not strong.

These days, there are indeed clear differences between the perfumes used by men and women, but they are different than those that existed at the Prophet's time which are described in the above-mentioned hadîth.

There is another hadîth encouraging men to use perfume for their Friday prayers and that the Prophet (peace be upon him) allowed men to use women’s perfumes (by the definition given above, not by contemporary standards). In this hadîth the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “...even if a woman’s perfume”. This shows that it is disliked for a man to use such perfumes, but that it is permitted when he cannot find anything else.

Ibn Hajr said: “Using women’s perfume does not come under the severe warning for those men who try to imitate women, because it was permitted by the Prophet (peace be upon him)."

However, actions are only by intentions, so if a man uses women’s perfume to imitate women, he will come under the serious sin of doing so.

Of course, it is preferable that men use their own perfume, and avoid women’s scents as much as possible.

And Allah knows best.

Source: Islam Today

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