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Kohl/Surma

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Question and Answer:
Q. It is known that to use antimony is Sunnah, antimony doesn’t disturb penetration of water and purification over antimony is valid. It is right concerning antimony in powder. However Islamic shops sell antimony in the form of paste, when powder is mixed with various other ingredients, for example, with the oil. Whether it is possible to use such antimony? If it’s possible, can we buy such antimony in a tube and to do ablution over it or is it necessary to check its structure?

A. Kohl is usually applied along the rim of the eye. It is not necessary to wash the part of the rim of the eye that is not visible when a person normally shuts his eyes. However, it is necessary to wash the part of the rim of the eye that is visible when the eyes are naturally closed. (al-Muheet al-Burhani, Vol: 1, Pg: 33)
So if the Kohl is applied to this part of the rim of the eye which is not visible when the eyes are naturally closed, it will not be necessary to remove when making Wudhu even if it is non-permeable paste.
If the Kohl exceeds this part of the rim of the eye and is applied onto the skin that is visible when the eyes are closed, it will be necessary to remove the antimony when making Wudhu if it does not allow water to reach the surface of the skin.
It should be noted that the type of Kohl that is specifically encouraged to use in the Hadith is Ithmid. This is a special type of Kuhl (Kohl) and has many benefits. The Prophet of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:
The best Kohl to use is Ithmid, it improves the eyesight and assists in the growth of the eyelashes (Nasai, Hadith #: 5113)
NB. There are many brands of Kuhl available in the market including those that are marketed with the name of Ithmid. Unfortunately, many of these are not genuine and contain a high amount of lead, and some even contain menthol and camphor which may be harmful to the eye. A person is advised to apply caution when selecting Kuhl. As indicated in the Hadith, the best is Ithmid. The genuine Ithmid is usually brownish/reddish in colour.

And Allah Knows Best

Fatwa Department
Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)
Council of Muslim Theologians

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