Etiquette of Wearing Jewellery, Applying Surma, Looking in the Mirror and Applying Hair-Dye for Men and Women
1. Way of putting on ring and its advantages:
It is sunnat-e-muakkedah (very commendable) for men and women to wear ring on the right hand. Some traditions allow the ring to be worn on the left. However, if the ring has some holy engraving on a holy gem, one should take it off before visiting the toilet.
According to a tradition coming from Salman-e-Farsi (r.a.), the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) asked Hazrat Ali (a.s.) to wear a ring on the right hand that he may be listed among Muqarrabeen (those near to God).
Ali (a.s.) enquired as to who were the Muqarrabeen. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) replied that those were Jibrael and Mekael.
Then Ali (a.s.) questioned which ring he should wear. He (a.s.) was asked to wear red Aqiq because this red stone had accepted God's oneness, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.)'s prophethood and Ali (a.s.)'s vicigerency and heavens for Ali's friends and Shias. According to a tradition Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.) was asked why Hazrat Ali (a.s.) wore a ring on his right hand. He replied that Hazrat Ali (a.s.) is the leader of Ashab-e-yameen and Ashab-e-yameen are those whose record of action will be given in the right hand.
And secondly, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) used to wear ring on his right hand. The believers will be identified by these symbols: having ring on the right hand, praying five times at the correct timings, giving Zakat, distributing among his religious brothers his belongings, ordering good actions and keeping people away from evil.
According to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has prohibited wearing of ring on the first and middle finger.
According to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), a ring should be worn at the very end of the finger where it joins with the palm. According to Fiqh-e-Riza, one should recite the following prayer while wearing the ring:
‘O Allah, let the signs of faith be the cause of my recognition! Let my end be worthwhile and let there be good for me even in the world to come. It is well-known that Thou are Almighty, Wise and Generous!’
2. What should the ring be made of:
It is sunnat to have a silver ring. Men are prohibited from wearing gold ring. Wearing iron, steel or brass ring is makrooh for both men and women. Therefore, according to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) used to wear a silver ring.
According to another tradition, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) asked men not to wear an iron ring while praying and strictly prohibited wearing of brass ring.
3. The advantages of Aqiq (Cornelian):
According to a reliable tradition from Hazrat Ali Reza (a.s.), Aqiq takes away poverty and dissolves difference from one's heart. According to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), Aqiq brings safety while travelling.
4. Advantages of Yakoot (Ruby), Zaberjaa (Jade) and Zamarrud (Emerald):
According to three reliable traditions from Imam Ali Al-Reza (a.s.), wearing the ring of yakoot (ruby) stops worries and according to Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.), it eases difficulties.
In another tradition Imam Reza (a.s.) has used the same words about the ring of Zaberjad (Jade) and also stated that the emerald ring turns poor into rich and that whosoever wears the ring set in yellow ruby (yakoot) will never become poor.
5. Advantages of Turquoise (Feroza) and Jaz-e-Yamani:
According to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), whosoever wears a turquoise ring will never become dependent. According to Hasan Ibne Ali Ibne Mehran, when he visited Hazrat Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.), he saw a ring on his finger set in with feroza (turquoise) having been engraved thus:
Allah, Master of the kingdom.
While he kept standing, the Imam (a.s.) asked what he was looking at? When Hasan replied, the Imam (a.s.) further questioned whether he recognized that engraving? Hasan replied in the negative and the Imam (a.s.) said that this stone was brought by Jibrael as a gift to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) from heaven and the Holy Prophet gave it to Hazrat Ali (a.s.) and it has reached him from his Holy ancestors in line.
According to Imam Ali Reza (a.s.), Hazrat Ali (a.s.) has stated that once the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) came out of his house wearing a ring of Jaz-e-Yamani and attended the congregation with them. After completing his prayer, he gave the ring to Hazrat Ali (a.s.) and asked him to have it on his right hand while he prayed, as prayer with Jaz-e-Yamani is equal to seventy prayers without it. The stone is always praying and pronouncing ‘La ilaha illal'lah and Subhanallah’, and its reward reaches the wearer of the ring.
Ali ibne Mohammad Zumairi states that he married the daughter of Ja'far ibne Mahmood and loved her a lot but had no children from her. He went to Hazrat Imam Ali-un-Naqi (a.s.) and stated his request. The Imam (a.s.) smiled and asked him to have a ring set in turquoise over which:
‘O my Lord! Leave me not alone without an issue. Thou art the best of heirs!’[^1]
Should be engraved and worn by him. He did as he was told and before the year was out, he was blessed with a son from the same woman.
According to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), God finds it difficult not to listen to the prayers of those who have Aqiq (Cornelian) and Turquoise rings on their fingers and feels hurt to negate their prayers.
6. Beneficial qualities of Durre-Najaf, Billore, Hadeed-Cheeni and other stones:
According to a reliable tradition, Mufazzal ibne Umar once visited Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) when he had put on a ring of Durre-Najaf. The Imam (a.s.) addressed Mufazzal thus, ‘O Mufazzal, all mo'mineen and mo'minat (all believing men and women) feel happy when they sight this gem and the pain of their eyes is relieved. I want every momin to have five rings; Yaqoot
(ruby) ring is the best and second comes Aqiq as it is a stone which has affection for God & Ahle Bait (a.s.) and thirdly, a ring of Feroza (turquoise) which gives strength to the eyes, expands the chest and strengthens the heart. Whenever a momin goes for some work with a turquoise ring on his finger, his work is done. Fourthly, one should wear the ring of Hadeed-Cheeni, but not always; only when one is afraid of some mischief then he should visit that place with this ring on as the stone keeps the devil away; therefore it is advisable to possess it. And the fifth ring should be of that stone which is found only in Najaf (Durre-Najaf). When a person wears a ring of this stone, at his every glance towards it, God gives him the reward of Ziarat, Haj and Umrah, which are kept in his record of action. The reward is equal to the reward of the Prophets and pious. If God had not been merciful towards the Shias, every gem of Durre-Najaf would have been costly; but God made this gem easily available that the poor and rich can wear it alike.
7. Suitable engravings for every gem:
Husain ibne Khalid visited Imam Reza (a.s.) and asked him if it was permissible to visit the toilet wearing a gem on which was engraved:
‘There is no God but Allah.’
The Imam (a.s.) replied that this act was good for no one. Husain further asked if the Prophet and other ancestors did not visit the toilet with the ring on. The Imam (a.s.) replied in the affirmative but also stated that the ring was in the right hand and that Husain should stop defaming his ancestors. Then Imam (a.s.) said that naqsh (engraving) on the gem of Adam, which was brought from heaven, was thus:
‘There is no God but one Allah and Mohammed is the Messenger of Allah.’
The engraving on the Prophet's ring was:
‘There is no God but Allah, Mohammed is the Messenger of Allah.’
The engraving on Hazrat Ali (a.s.)'s ring was:
‘Allah is Master of the kingdom.’
The engraving on Imam Hasan (a.s.)'s ring was:
‘Verily, All honour (as a whole) belongeth (only) to God.’
The engraving on Imam Husain (a.s.)'s ring was:
‘Verily God accomplisheth His purpose.’
The ring worn by Hazrat Ali ibnul Husain (a.s.) and Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.) belonged to Imam Husain (a.s.).
The engraving on the ring of Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) was:
‘Allah is my master and He will safeguard me from His creatures.’
The engraving on the ring of Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.) was:
‘Sufficient for me is Allah.’
After speaking about the engraving of Imam Ali Reza (a.s.), he put forth his hand on which he was wearing the ring of his father.
According to the tradition from Syed Ibne Taoos (r.a.), a person visited Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) and said that he was scared of the ruler of Jazeerah as his enemies had poisoned the ears of ruler and he may kill him. The Imam (a.s.) ordered him to make a ring set in with a thick gem of
Hadeed Cheeni on one side of which the following three sentences should be engraved:
‘I seek the refuge of the Almightyness of Allah. I seek the shelter of the words of Allah. I seek the shelter of the Prophet of Allah.’
and at the back of the gem the following two lines should be engraved:
‘I have brought faith on Allah and his Books. I myself rely on Allah and his Prophets.’
and further, the following should be engraved on all the four corners of the gem:
‘I stand witness with all submission to there being no Creator except Allah.’
When he will wear this ring all his difficulties will be solved; especially he will not be afraid of the wicked. And if the ring is tied, women will have an easy delivery and they will not be affected by any evil eye. It is very important to protect this gem. Dirt should be kept away from it and it should not be taken in bathroom or toilet as it contains the secrets of God. Shias of Ahle Bait (a.s.) who are afraid of the enemy should keep this ring dearer than life and hide it from their enemies and keep it a secret except from those who are reliable. According to the traditionalist, his experience proved what the Imam (a.s.) had said.
According to Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.), if a person possesses a ring set in with Aqiq and turns it towards his palm and then looks at it and recites the 97th chapter of the Holy Book (Sura Inna Anzalna):
‘In the name of Allah, the Beneficient, the Merciful.
Verily, We sent it (The Quran) down in the night of Qadr! What can make thee know what the night of Qadr is? The night of Qadr is better than a thousand months. The Angels and the Spirit descend therein with the permission of their Lord, with (decrees) of all affairs; Peace is (in the whole night) till the breaking of the dawn!’
And recites this prayer:
‘I have brought faith on that One Allah who has no partner and I do not believe in Jibl and Taghoot (idols)! And have also brought faith on the beginning and the end, the visible and the invisible (aspects) of Mohammed (s.a.w.a.) and Ale Mohammed (a.s.) whether their Imamat has been declared or they are in their temporary disappearance. Mohammed (s.a.w.a.) is the Prophet of Allah and Hazrat Ali (a.s.) is the Divine Vicegerent of Allah.’
then God keeps him protected the whole day from trouble whether they are descendent from heaven or earth and he will be protected till the evening by God and God's friends will guide him.
According to another tradition, a person who makes a ring set in Aqiq should have the following engraved on it so that God will protect him from a bad death and he will die in his faith:
‘Mohammed (s.a.w.a.) is the Prophet of Allah and Hazrat Ali (a.s.) is the Divine Vicegerent of Allah.’
8. Way of wearing gold and silver jewellery for women and children:
According to a tradition, people asked Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) whether it was permissible to make children wear jewellery. The Imam (a.s.) replied that Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s.) used to make his women and children wear silver and gold jewellery. According to another reliable tradition Fazeel ibne Yasar asked Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) whether one could keep a chair which has pure gold on it. The Imam (a.s.) replied in the negative but said that it is allowed to keep a chair covered with a thin layer of mixed gold.
According to another tradition, it is not good to keep a woman away from jewellery. At least a necklace should be around her neck and it is also not good for a woman's hand to be without Henna (Mehendi) even though she may be very old.
According to another reliable tradition, gold wire should not be used to tie one's teeth, especially men should keep away from all things made of gold. Even sword and Quran-e-Majeed should not be encased in gold.
9. Way of applying Antimony (Surma) (A black powder applied inside the eyes):
According to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) used to apply surma in both his eyes before going to bed.
Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) said that doing miswak (using neem or any other kind of stick for cleaning teeth) gives good breath to the mouth because miswak stops sputum and in the same manner, applying surma gives light to the eyes and makes the brain and eyes give up its dirty water that the light in the eyes is increased. Surma makes the dirty water of eyes pass away from the mouth, therefore it produces good breath.
According to Fiqha-al-Reza, when one decides to apply surma, one should take the salai (stick made of any metal especially for applying surma) in the right hand, say ‘Bismillah’ and put it in the surma bottle and when applying in the eyes recite the following Dua:
‘O Allah brighten (illuminate) my eyes and bless me with such light that I may be able to see thy justice! Lead me to the right path and give me the sense to follow the path of goodness. O Allah! Let there be light for me both in this world and that to come.’
10. Manners of using the mirror:
According to the reliable tradition related to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) had said that heaven is definitely rewarded to that young fellow who looks in the mirror and thanks God for the beauty given to him.
According to another tradition, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) kept on looking in the mirror while combing his hair and beard. He also ordered his wives and other companions to beautify themselves as God liked that a muslim should, before meeting another person, make himself acceptable to the other's eyes.
According to a tradition related to Hazrat Ali (a.s.), one should recite the following prayer while looking into the mirror.
‘All praise is worthy of that Allah who has created me and made my creation the best. He has made my face as it was the best possible to make. He has beautified me with such things, had these been found in others, they
would have been considered as faults and then He has blessed me with Islam.’
11. Benefits of applying dye for men and women:
It is mustahab (commendable) for men to dye their head and beard. There are fourteen advantages for women in dyeing their hair and applying henna to their head and feet:
a) Deafness is cured
b) Brightness in the eyes is increased
c) Dryness of nose is lessened
d) There is good breath in the mouth
e) Gums are strengthened
f) There is no bad smell in the under arms
g) There is less temptation from the devil
h) The angels are happy
i) It is a means to the happiness of a momin
j) The nonbelievers get jealous
k) It is beauty in itself
l) It is good scent in itself
m) It is a means to the salvation from the curse of the grave
n) It makes Munker and Nakeer feel shy
According to a tradition, a certain person visited the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and when the Holy Prophet saw a few white hair in his beard, he said that these hair are light and all the muslims who possess a single white hair in the beard, there will be a light for them on the day of judgement.
According to another tradition, Hazrat Ali (a.s.) said that he did not apply dye (khizab) as he was mourning for the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.)
Another reliable tradition states that Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) said that among a few bad signs o which will appear in the world during the last days will be that men of Bani Abbas will act like their women by applying henna to the hands and feet and comb like them.
According to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) ordered every woman to apply henna whether she was a widow or a happily married woman, the former as not to let her hands resemble men, the latter to beautify them for her husband.
12. Ways of applying dye:
According to another reliable tradition Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) said that it was not bad for an old man to apply wasma dye.
According to another tradition from Hasan, Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.) applied henna dye to his beard.
Another tradition states that the henna dye relieves bad smell, beautifies the face, creates good breath and beautiful children are born.
One should know the various opinions of scholars in this connection. It is makrooh for man and woman to apply dye in the state of Janabat; coition is also makrooh during the process of dyeing. Coition is allowed when henna's colour has appeared on the dyed area. It is makrooh to dye during menstruation.