The Law of Wearing Perfumes For Women in Islam
Women are the creatures of Allah SWT. They always notice about their appearance. So, women are competing to appear as attractive as possible in front of the public. In order to realize all of that, women use perfume or fragrance as one way to realize it.
Women today will be not confident if they did not use perfume. Actually, in the view of Islam, wearing perfume especially for women can be a source of sin. As from Abi Musa al-‘Asy’ari with marfu to the Messenger of Allah saw, he said :
“Any woman who use a fragrance then she passes on a people (men) in order that they find that smell, thenshe is an adulterer.”
Islam has implemented the law of wearing perfume for women in Islam. Notice the word of the Prophet Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam,
“The fragrance of a man is a vague color but it smelled its scent. While the fragrance of a woman is a clear color but the smell is not so visible.” (Narrated by Baihaqi in Syu’abul Iman, number 7564, hadith hasan. See : Fiqh Sunnah Iin Nisa’, page 387)
More clearly, Al-Munawi rahimahullah said,
“The meaning from ‘fragrance of women is a clear color but the smell is not so visible’. Ulama said, ‘This is for women who want to leave her house. Otherwise, she can wear perfume as she wishes.” (Syarh Asy-Syama’il, 2:5)
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The Law of Wearing Perfume for Women in Islam
As a perfect religion, Islam has arranged in detail and it arranged about the law of wearing perfume for women in Islam. Which will be described in full in the following points :
The first law of wearing perfume for women is makruh Tanzih. When a woman goes out, she adorns and wears perfume in a state of closure, the law is makruh Tanzih or not haram and she is one of beautiful women in Islam. That thing will change to be haram if the purpose is showing the beauty (get the eyesight of men), or the purpose make a slander for themselves.
At-Tirmidzi  in the chapter about the abandonment of women by wearing perfume, it is also from the hadith of Abi Musa al-‘Asy’ari with marfu to the Messenger of Allah saw, he said :
“Every [most] eyes do adultery and a woman if she was wearing perfume then she passed in an assembly, then she is this and that”
The meaning is she is an adulterer.
Narrated by an-Nasa’i and al-Baihqi in a chapter both calling the chapter a “Chapter makruh for women to wear perfumery.” The chapter is named like that because both understand that the law of wearing perfume for women is makruh Tanzih. If lafazd makruh is expressed in absolute, it means makruh Tanzih, as it is stated by ulama of Syafi’i madhhab. Sheikh Ahmad ibn Ruslan said  :
An actor who did makruh is not tortured but if he did not do that because the purpose is implementing shariah, he is given a reward.”
There is no Ulama that declared absolutely haram about the law of wearing perfume for women. This kind of understanding is as same as the hadith of Aishah that was narrated by Abu Dawud in his Sunan, that she said  :
“We [Prophet’s wives] came out with the Prophet to Mecca, and we smeared our faces with fragrance for iihram. If one of us was sweating, her sweat flowed on her face [forming streask], and the prophet did not prevent.” Whereas the Messenger of Allah saw and his wives wore ihram from Dzil Hulaifah; a place in a few miles from Medina.
As for a hadith that was narrated by Ibn Khuzaimah, that one day when a woman passed in front of Abu Hurairah who her fragrance was felt by him, he asked :
“Where are you going, O the servant of God the Almighty?
The woman answered :
“To the mosque”.
Abu Hurairah said :
“Do you wear a fragrance for that?”
She replied :
Abu Hurairah said :
“Go back to your home and take a bath,
“Allah does not accept prayers from a woman who goes to the mosque while her fragrance spreads around until she go back home and take a bath.”
This hadith is not declared by Ulama. Even Ibn Khuzaimah who was narrated it said : “If this hadith is saheeh.” [It means according to him that this hadith is not saheeh].
Thus this hadith can not be a law backdrop. In this case, the law backdrop is the earlier hadith of ‘Aisha above, because that hadith is stranger than this hadith of Ibn Khuzaimah.
However, the meaning of these of hadith can be combined. It is understood as follows : “If the hadith of Ibn Khuzaimah was declared saheeh, its meaning is not forbidding a woman to wear perfume, but it declares that the prayer of that woman is not accepted [no reward].”
The perfumes here are fragrances that fragrant to the smell. It is not used absolutely or commonly for all fragrances. As this has been explained by the linguists.
As for the hadith which reads :
“Do not you forbid the servants of Allah from women to come the mosques, just let them out without using perfumes.”
As it is explained before that the law of wearing perfume for women in Islam can be haram when the conditions are :
- To lure men who are not her mahram
Al-Munawi rahimahullah said :
“If a woman was wearing perfume, then she passes a asssembly (set) of men, then she can rouse the lust of men and encourage the to see her. Everyone who sees to her, his eyes have been fornicated. That woman get a sin because she lures the eyesight to her and make men’s heart uncalm. So, she is the cause of eyes adultery and she is one of adulterers.” (Faidhul Qadir, 5 : 27, Makatabah At-Tijariyah, edition 1, 1356 H, Al-Maktabah Asy-Syamilah)
The above hadith affirmed that if the purpose of wearing perfumes was alluring men, that thing is haram and not included in the way of maintaining eyesight in Islam.
- Wearing strong odor perfumes
As it is mentioned before that the type of haram fragrances is a fragrance that has a strong odor. So when someone smell her especially the opposite sex can cause lust. Because of that, the type of this fragrance is haram to be used for Muslim women.
- Wearing perfumes when leave home
From Yahya bin Ja’dah, “In the reign of Umar bin Khatab, there was a woman who went out her home with wearing a perfume. In the middle way, Umar smelled the sweet smell from that woman, then Umar hit her with a stick. After that, he said :
“You, women came out from your home with wearing perfumes so the men smell your smell?! Indeed the heart of men are determined by the smell that was smelled by his nose. Come out from your home with no perfumes.” (Narrated by Abdurrazaq in al Mushanaf number 8107)
See also : The law of women going out at night in Islam
- Wearing perfumes when do prayers
As a statement from Abdul ‘Aziz bin ‘Abdillah bin Baz rahimahullah :
“Prayers in a state of wearing perfumes are allowed, even it is allowed for believing men and women. However, women should only use perfumes when they are at home by their husbands. And a woman is not allowed to wear perfumes when she came out to the market or mosque. As for men, he is allowed to wear perfumes when he was at home, market or mosque. Even using perfumes for men is included the sunnah of the Apostles.”
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Thus this article about the law of wearing perfumes for women in Islam. Hopefully it is useful for you all. Amen. Thank you.