Islam and the Quran

Is It Forbidden to Women to Wear Perfume?

Question: There is a hadith that says it is not right for a woman to wear perfume. Could you please explain this?

The hadiths that prohibit a woman from wearing perfume do not state that it is prohibited in an absolute sense. A woman may wear perfume at home in the presence of her husband, children, and relatives who are not strangers to her in the religious sense. What is forbidden is when they go out and impress men, or when they wear perfume to such an extent that they attract the attention of men. A hadith is as follows:

Abu Musa al-Ash’ari (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said:

“Every eye commits eye fornication by looking at a strange woman. And if a woman passes by men while wearing fragrance, she has committed adultery just like the men who look at her.” (Tirmidhi, Edeb, 35; Abu Dawood, Terajjul, 7)

The hadiths on how men and women should wear perfume are as follows:

It was narrated from Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet said:

“Men should wear a fragrance whose scent is noticeable but not colored. The fragrance of women should have color, but it should not be noticeable to others (foreign men).” (Tirmidhi, Edeb, 35)

It was narrated from Imran b. Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: The Messenger of Allah said to me:

“The best of men’s fragrances is one whose scent is open and its color is hidden. The best of women’s fragrances is the one whose color is clear and visible and whose fragrance does not spread.” (Tirmidhi, Edeb, 35)

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