PerfumeHumans like nice smells. This can especially be seen today in the world around us, where people go out of their way to spend hard earned money on expensive, arousing, sensational and aromatic perfumes of all kinds.

Yes, a small bottle with some colored liquid in it (sorry for being so literal and unromantic) costs many of our light pockets a hell of a lot of money. Why? Because humans - aka we - like nice smells.

The Daily Mail published an article in 2010, which states:

‘Classic fragrances are making a comeback, with sales of perfumes that evoke nostalgic memories increasing by up to 50 per cent in the past year. Why do perfumes from our past have such a powerful effect on us? Professor of Perfumes Roja Dove explains: “When we discover a scent we truly love, it will have large numbers of ingredients within it that have positive, feel-good associations. The scent itself then becomes an odour which also has positive associations, making us feel safe, secure, happy and well.”’

On the other hand, when a smelly person is within our personal range and then their ill-scent somehow reaches our noses, we cringe and move away out of distaste. Depending on the nature of the person who’s suffering, they’ll either back off in an offensive way, or pretend nothing happened in a polite and amicable manner. But even then if we, when finding ourselves in such a predicament, try to push away the frown that reflexively begins to creep into our faces, the heart and nose will continue to suffer till the person concerned goes away…Why? Because our natural instincts are averse to bad smells.

Many people do not know that the angels also have a sense of smell. I mean, they can actually smell! Yes, but it’s different from the way we smell things as they are made out of light and we are made out of clay. Therefore, we are intrinsically different in every way, even in our sensory experience. In fact, the angels are offended by what the sons and daughters of Aadam (‘alayhis-salaam) are offended by. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Anyone who eats garlic and onions or leeks should not come near our Masjid. The angels are harmed by what harms the sons of Adam.” (Saheeh Muslim)

That is why, just as humans don’t appreciate foul smells, neither do angels. Especially when it comes to garlic-onion breath, we should be careful that our mouths do not exude that which the angels dislike and are harmed by. Wherever people sit to remember Allah, talk about the things that please Him, study the Qur’aan, or pray, angels envelop them with their wings. Therefore, we should take care to clean our mouths and teeth with Miswaak before setting out for such gatherings so people and the angels are not harmed by us. Similarly, we should make sure that our bodies are clean and our clothes are not smelly either, so that those present are not disgusted by our presence.

Bad Deeds Stink

Don’t you agree that evil deeds have a bad and putrid smell? I don’t mean that you can literally smell them, but you can sense them, especially from children – just as the saying goes: “I can smell something fishy.” In this sense, our bad deeds have a smell, an effect, and so do our good deeds have a scent, an effect. Similarly, sinners have a certain look and pious people have a certain look. But this smell and this look can’t be sensed and perceived by just anyone. For example, once a man named Sawad bin Qarib passed by and ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) didn't know him. ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said,

"This is either a soothsayer or he was so in the days of jaahiliyyah."

Upon sitting before ‘Umar, Sawad said, "O commander of the faithful! You never received any of your guests the way you did (receive) me." ‘Umar said, "What we used to do in the days of jaahiliyyah is worse than this. But tell me about what I have asked you." Sawad said, "You were true, O commander of the faithful! I was a soothsayer in the days of jaahiliyyah", then he related (to) him the (i.e. his) story.

But what about those who don’t repent to Allah? Those who don’t mend their ways and never wash themselves and rid themselves from their sins, the sins which linger in their hearts and give out a bad vibe, a bad feeling for others? For example, some women leave their homes with perfume on that others can smell. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “If a woman wears a perfume and then passes by people who smelled her perfume, she is then considered an adulteress. And every eye is liable to commit adultery.” (This hadith was reported by An-Nasa’i, Ibn Khuzaymah and Ibn Hibban in their compilations of authentic hadiths. It was also reported by Al-Hakim who regarded it as authentic.)

The same hadith was reported by Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi with the following wording: “Every eye is liable to commit adultery; and the woman who wears perfume and then passes by a gathering is such and such (i.e., she is an adulteress).” (At-Tirmidhi regarded the same hadith as authentic.) We learn from reported traditions that the best perfume for women is such that its color is apparent and scent is hidden.

On the other hand, what about those who purified themselves, physically and much more importantly, spiritually? Of course, both are completely and strikingly different in this sense and when the angels come to extract their souls each group will be emitting a different smell.

Yes, if you are a righteous believer, your body will emit a scent unlike any other in this world. It will be smelling of musk, but not like Body Shop’s musk, nor the musk found in Arab shops. It will be out of this world…and yes, the angels will smell it.

So, next time don’t just pay attention to what perfumes you are going to wear or purchase, rather also think about the good deeds you want to perform, which will add to your righteous aroma, purify you, draw the righteous near and push the evil, smelly ones away.

The question is: Which perfume do YOU think smells better and lasts longer?


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