Smelling and Application of Scent, Flowers and Oil
1. Benefits of sweet-scent and its proper application:
According to reliable traditions, applying scent and smelling it is included in the elegant manners of the Prophets.
It is stated froom Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) that sweet scents increase the strength of heart and virility.
According to a reliable tradition from Imam Reza (a.s.), it is not advisable for man to leave off applying scent. It is better if one applies it every day; if he cannot, he should apply every alternate day and even if that is not possible, he should never miss applying scent on a Friday.
According to Hazrat Ali (a.s.), one should apply scent on the moustaches as it was the habit of the Prophets. The angels who record the deed are impressed as they like good scent.
According to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), the person who applies it (scent without spirit) in the morning will be free from freak of reason until night; and that the prayer of a person who applies it during prayers, is better than 70 prayers performed without it.
Another tradition states that people used to recognise the place where Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) had done sajdah (bowing down during prayers) by the scent which used to emanate from the place.
According to a tradition from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), the scent which is used by women should have a prominent colour and its perfume subdued whereas the scent used by men must possess a subdued colour and impressive perfume.
Hazrat Ali (a.s.) states that it is imperative for a woman to be always well-perfumed for the sake of her husband.
2. A version on refusing scent or perfume:
People asked Imam Ja'farr-e-Sadiq (a.s.) whether it was proper for a person to refuse perfume when it is offered. The Imam (a.s.) replied that it is not advisable to refuse the creation of Almighty.
According to a tradition, people brought perfumed oil as a gift to Hazrat Ali (a.s.). He (a.s.) accepted the gift and applied it to his body though he had already applied oil to his body earlier in the day and said that he had never refused perfume at any time.
Another tradition states that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) never used to refuse the sweets and perfumes brought for him.
According to Hasan ibne Juane, he visited Imam Reza (a.s.) one day. The Imam (a.s.) brought a container which had musk in it and asked him to take some from it. He did what was told. He was ordered to take musk once more and apply it on his neck and garment. He did what he was told and there was a little left in the container. The Imam (a.s.) asked him to take that much also and apply it as he had applied before and said that except a donkey no one refuses the wonders of God. When Hasan inquired of the Imam (a.s.) as to what were the wonders of the Almighty, the Imam (a.s.) replied, perfume, relaxing cushions which people offer one to sit comfortably and also those things which are the signs of respect.
3. The blessings of musk, umber and saffron:
According to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), perfume implies musk, saffron and ood.
Another tradition states that Imam Zainul Aabedin (a.s.) possessed a musk container made of alloy (rang). Before changing his clothes he used to apply a little on his body.
Another tradition states that he kept a little bottle of musk in his prayer mat and used to apply it every time he stood for prayers.
Another tradition states that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) used to apply so much musk that the colour of the musk could be seen on his forehead.
Another tradition states that Imam Reza (a.s.) possessed a bottle of scent which had many sections in it. Each section contained a separate perfume and in one section there was musk.
Another tradition states that Ali, the son of Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), asked his elder brother Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.) whether it was permissible to mix musk in the oil which was applied on the body. The Imam (a.s.) said that it was not harmful as he himself mixed musk with the oil meant for body.
Many traditions have praised Khulooq (name of a perfume) but some traditions have prohibited its constant use.
4. Advantages of Ghalia (Musk):
According to a reliable tradition, it is stated that Ishaq ibne Ammar said to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) that when he meets merchants he applies a little ghalia (musk) that they may not think him poor. The Imam (a.s.) said that whether the ghalia is more or less, it does not matter and even a little of its application once in a while is enough. Ishaq said that he listened to the advice of Imam (a.s.) and only with ghalia worth ten dirhams he was able to keep himself perfumed for the whole year.
5. Advantages of Almond and Banafsha Oil:
According to a reliable tradition from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), the greatness of banafsha oil over others is comparable to the greatness of the Ahle bait over other people. One should rub it in good quantity, as it cures all sorts of headaches and eye troubles.
According to a tradition from Aqba, a person fell down from a donkey. The Imam (a.s.) ordered that drops of almond and banafsha oil should be poured into the injured man's nose. The man felt greatly relieved. Then the Imam (a.s.) addressed Aqba thus. ‘O Aqba, banafsha oil gives heat in winter and is cool in summer. It is beneficient for our shias and harmful for the unbelievers and if people come to know every beneficient quality of banafsha oil, then a very little of it will be valued as a gold coin.
6. Advantages of Chambeli (a tropical flower) and Bakain oil:
According to Hazrat Ali (a.s.), one should apply bakain oil as it has been used by the Prophets. It safeguards one from all types of pains.
According to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), there are many benefits of chambeli (jasmine) oil. It cures seventy diseases.
Even according to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), there are many beneficial uses of chambeli oil besides its being a cure for seventy diseases. Chambeli implies white chambeli and in arabic the word for chambeli is Raazne as stated in many traditions.
7. Advantages of other oils:
It is stated, according to a tradition, that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said to Hazrat Ali (a.s.) that olive oil should be eaten and applied on the body because shaitan keeps away from the man who applies it for forty days.
According to a tradition, when the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) suffered from headache, he used to put drops of washed til (sesamum seed) oil in his nose.
According to another tradition, Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.) used to apply oil of a flower known as Gule Khairo on his body.
8. Advantages of incense, its types and how to take it:
According to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), one should, when possible, incense one's clothes.
Whosoever used to enter the presence of Imam Reza (a.s.) used to feel the aroma of incense.
A tradition from Marazam states that when he once visited a bathing-house with Imam Reza (a.s.), and the Imam (a.s.) reached the stage of putting on clothes after the bath, he ordered for Oode Sooz and applied it to his body and then ordered that the perfume should be given to Marazam too.
According to a tradition, the wife of Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.) used to incense his clothes by putting the seed of sobhani dates and other types of fragrant material in fire so that the scent may increase and last longer.
According to another tradition, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) used to smell the incense of Ood-Qumari.
Another tradition from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) states that one should take the incense of Ood-e-Hindi as it possesses eight kinds of cures.
Another tradition quotes Imam Reza (a.s.) as taking incense and later applying rose and musk on his body.
A tradition from Syed ibne Toos (a.r.) states that the Prophet used to recite the following while taking incense:
‘All praise is for Allah Whose blessings are the cause of all goodness. O Allah make our perfume clean and purified and make our place of eternal rest better. Piety is our accompaniment. Our place of return is heaven and Thy care and blessings are always with us. Undoubtedly You are Almighty.’
9. Benefits of Rose, Rose-water and other flowers:
It is stated from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) that washing the face with rose-water enhances its beauty and removes worry and poverty.
It is stated from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) that a person who sprays a handful of rose water on his mouth on the first of Ramazan-ul-Mubarak will find freedom from worries, and the person who will spray a handful of water on his mouth on the eighth day will be free from cerebral disease and pneumonia.
According to a tradition from Hazrat Ali (a.s.), Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) gave him a handful of red flowers and when Hazrat Ali (a.s.) started
smelling them, the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said that amongst the flowers of Heaven, after rose this was the best.
According to another tradition, rubbing narcissus (nargis) or smelling it is very advantageous. When Abraham (a.s.) was thrown in fire and when that fire froze and he came out unburnt, God created narcissus for him and that was how it first came on earth.
10. Etiquette of smelling flowers:
According to a reliable tradition from Malik Juainer, he gave a flower to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.). He (a.s.) smelled it and touched his eyes with it and said that a person who smells flowers and touches his eyes with them and recites:
‘O Allah shower Thy blessings on Mohammed and Ale-Mohammed (a.s.)’
will be pardoned of his sins before he could keep it on the ground.