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Ithmid Kohl : A protection against CMV virus?

Cytomegalovirus, HCMV, is a herpes type virus carried by most people – like other viruses – without any symptoms.

Eyes can be seriously damaged by the HCMV virus. It can cause a condition called HCMV retinitis which as its worst could lead to blindness.

Ithmid Kohl has been traditionally used as an antimicrobial agent by ancient Arabs in the Middle East.

Therefore, it is very plausible that regular use of ithmid Kohl, as has been strongly recommended by prophet Muhammad ( May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), could protect the eyes against viral infections such as that caused by CMV.

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Is kohl eyeliner harmful or dangerous for eyes and health ?

Bad reputation and negative stigma is attached to kohl eyeliners as a result of findings that it contains harmful ingredients and toxic levels of lead.

This puts many people who are attracted to the potential cosmetic and health benefits of kohl eyeliners in a difficult situation ; wandering wether or not to use kohl and confused about its safety.

Many people face a dilemma between wanting to use kohl for its assumed benefits and the mainstream advice not to use it because of potential health problems.

So just how dangerous is kohl eyeliners and should you be avoiding them?

Lead laden

Unfortunately, the vast majority of kohl eyeliners (both traditional and commercial) contain unsafe levels of lead, which can lead to lead poisoning, particularly on children.

Excessive Lead can build up in different body tissues and can cause various adverse health effects.

Saudi Food and Drugs Agency (SFDA) reported that nine of the most popular commercial kohl brands on the market contained lead levels which are 10 times higher than permitted levels. Additionally, the samples were found to be contaminated with bacteria (very concerning as eyes have suppresses immunity) .

A large proportion of commercial kohl products are made using galena and minium which are lead based compounds containing high amounts of lead.

Many kohl products are full of toxic substances

But not all kohl is bad

According to one study, as much as three quarters of kohl products on the market do not contain lead as a major component.

Another study have shown that indeed a very small percentage (7 out of 21 samples) of kohl eyeliners on the market do not contain any lead at all (lead free).

Clearly not all kohl eyeliners are the same and the main stream blanket approach of warning against all kohl eyeliners and products is wrong.

Genuine and organic Ithmid (antimony) kohl poses no health risks or potential harmful effects to the eyes or health in general.

It is made by crushing natural rocks containing antimony compounds (minerals) such as stibnite, valentinite and stibiconite.

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Ithmid Kohl Might Kill Eyelash Mites

This might come as a surprise but your eyelashes and eyebrows are a favourite abode for a tiny microscopic mites.

Known commonly as eyelash mites (demodex scientifically) , they lurk around hair follicles and feed on dead skin cells.

The presence of these mites is thought to be normal and that small numbers exist on everybody’s body. The mites feed on dead skin cells and can be good in that way.

However, infestation of eyelash mites can cause various eye irritations such as redness and itchiness.

Eyelash mites have also been associated with skin disorders such as acne and rosacea.

Research on eyelash mites is still ongoing and it is likely more will be discovered about their nature and effect on health, especially eyes related conditions, in the future.

Ithmid kohl /surma might kill eyelash mites

Ithmid Kohl kills microbes

It has been known since ancient times that Ithmid kohl /Surma has antimicrobial properties.

While mentioning the benefits of Ithmid (Antimony) Kohl, Imam ibn al-Qayyim said :

“… And it (Ithmid) removes the extra (dead) flesh from wounds and makes it heal, and it cleans its dirt (pus etc) and purifies it.” [Zaad Al-Ma’aad]

Historically antimony compounds and antimony based medical drugs have been used as a treatment for a range of diseases caused by bacteria or parasites in humans and animals such as protozoan infection and schistosomiasis.

It is not far fetched to speculate that one of the benefits of Ithmid kohl/surma is to prevent unwanted outbreaks of eyelash mites which will have negative effects on eye health.

This can easily be scientifically tested in lab by seeing the effect of an original Ithmid kohl/surma powder sample on an isolated eyelash mites.

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Incentivising Putting On Kohl/ Surma For Women and Men

Question: Is putting on Kohl (Surma/Kajal) halal or haram for women?

All praises are due to Allah, and salutation and blessing is upon the messenger of Allah, his family and his companions.

Incentivising putting on kohl (Surma/Kajal) for women and men has been reported from the messenger of Allah ( صلى الله عليه وسلم ).

And al-Mundiree has titled a chapter in his book ‘al-Targheeb Watarheeb’: “The Targheeb (incentivisation) on putting on Ithmid kohl (surma/kajal) for women and men”, under which he narrated from ibn Majah from ibn Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) that the messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said :

“Utilise the Ithmid for it enhances vision and grows hair”

And in Sunan al-Tirmidi, from ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) that the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said :

“Utilise the Ithmid for it enhances vision and grows hair”

And he claimed that the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) used to have a Makhala (kohl holder) from which he used to take kohl and apply it three times in each eye every night.

For more benefit,refer to the Fatwas : 3354 and 3849.

Fatwa translated from

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Simple test to check Ithmid Kohl Authencicity

This simple and DIY test can be used by anybody to help determine if a product is genuine Ithmid kohl.

All what is needed for it is a piece of magnet or magnetic object (like magnetic screwdriver) and a piece of paper.

  • Pour some of the product (kohl) on the paper.
  • Hold the paper with the Kohl on top so that you can run the magnet under it.
  • Starting right under where the powder is, move the magnet around slowly.
  • If the product is genuine Ithmid kohl, the magnet would have no effect.
  • On the other hand, if it moves with the magnet, the product is likely not to be a genuine Ithmid kohl.

Buy pure and genuine Ithmid kohl 

This is a well-known test amongst Ithmid kohl traders and enthusiasts.

Although it is difficult to say the basis on which it works, it is likely that the high lead content of fake Ithmid kohl products might be the reason why they get attracted by magnets.

Lead-free pure Ithmid kohl powders

Below is a a video posted by a concerned Saudi consumer which demonstrates the test.

The man tests samples of some widely available brands against a sample sourced from a local seller. Only the sample from the local dealer passes the test.

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K. S. A: Popular Kohl Brands Found To Be Unsafe

The Saudi Food and Drugs Agency has carried out tests on 9 Ithmid Kohl samples from some of the most popular and widely distributed brands.

In a press release on its website, the agency found high levels of lead and bacterial contamination in all samples.

The levels of lead found in the samples exceeded 10 times the allowed limit for lead in beauty products as per Saudi guidelines.

Seven of the samples contained higher than allowed levels of bacteria.

The agency posted the names of the products alongside images on their website (Click here to view).

The main brands in the list include :

1) Ithmid Kohl with ZamZam water

This product is currently sold on ebay and is found in many shops in the western countries, let alone in Saudi Arabia.

2) Alharamain Kohl

Clever marketing with the inclusion of the free makhala, but no substance to it, it seems.

3) Hashmi Kohl

Again, a widely circulated brand that has flooded online platforms like amazon and eBay as well as shops all over the world, and thought of many consumers as premium Kohl eyeliner brand.

4) Raani Kohl Kajal

This is another popular kohl eyeliner brand that markets itself as a high quality kohl producer. Likewise it widely circulated and still available on as we speak.

And the list continues

The rest of the list is made up unbranded but professionally and nicely packaged kohl products from smaller players, which has not got as much as global reach as the other main ones.

Common denominator

The common thing between all these fake kohl brands is the focus on marketing rather than quality.

You can notice that all are produced and packaged to a high professional standard to give an impression on genuinety and authenticity.

Here at things are the opposite way.

We sell genuine and real Ithmid kohl in a plain undecorated packages. Rather than focusing on marketing through image, we focused on obtaining the best possible quality from trustworthy sources.

As a result, you can be rest assured that you will be buying authentic and safe Ithmid kohl.

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History of Ithmid Kohl and the story of al-Zarqaa’a

Ithmid Kohl was known amongst the Arabs in pre-Islamic Jahiliyah times for its benefits for eyes and vision.

There is a widely circulated and infamous story from this era highlighting how Ithmid Kohl can give strong vision.

This is the story of a woman called Zarqaa’a al-Yamama. She was from a al-Yamama tribe and was famous amongst them for her exceptional vision.

When another tribe wanted to launch an attack on the tribe of  Zarqaa, they were so concerned with Zarqa seeing them from far and alerting her people in advance.

They came up with a plan : every man was to carry and hide under a freshly dislodged tree whilst on the march. That way Zarqa would not be able to see them coming. They thought she will think of them as trees in the distance.

However, Zarqa was able to spot them coming from very far distance. She told her tribesman about the sight of moving trees that she can see in the distance. Her fellow tribesman found this to be ridiculous and did not believe her, thinking that Zarqa must have lost her mind. Before they knew, the enemy was upon them and having taken them by surprise was able to easily to defeat them.

Zarqa was taken captive and was later executed on the orders of the king of the victorious tribe. It is said they then dissected her eyes and found visible traces of Ithmid Kohl within her veins. The king decided to call the area “Alyamamah” in honour of her.  Al-Yamama is still a district in modern day Saudi Arabia.

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Benefits of Ithmid Surma/Kajal for the eyes

The especial Ithmid Surma/Kajal is the best type of Surma/Kajal to be used for the eyes. This is because it has been   personally used and praised by prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم), who was inspired by Allah , Glorified be he.

Benefits of Ithmid Surma/ Kajal for the eyes

1. Ithmid Surma/Kajal cleanses the eyes of harmfull substances. This includes dirt, dust, germs as well as other chemicals which can harm your eyes in the long term.

For example, Nitric oxide is a chemical substance that is produced inside the body as by product of reactions. It can build up in the eyes and cause serious eye diseases.

We simply do not know the true scale of what Ithmid surma/kajal can do for the eyes in terms of protecting it from harmfull substances, both internal and external, and reducing risk for the many eye diseases out there since no one has ever researched this.

But there is no doubt if proper research has been done to examine this, scientists would have found that ithmid surma/ kajal gives best protection possible for the eyes from anything that can harm sight in both the long tetm or short term. As a result,much commom eye problems and diseases will have been avoided.

2. As stated by the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) ithmid surma /kajal both maintains and improves eye sight. This is partly due to its eye cleansing and detoxification effects. But there could be other ways it can does this. Without anyone doing research, we simply do not know how ithmid surma/kajal increases benefits vision. But a muslim has no doubt in it doing so since this has been stated by the one who speaks nothing but truth and who has been given knowledge by Allah.

3. Ithmid Surma / kajal grows eye lashes and makes them longer and this in turn acts to protect the eyes from dirt particles and other harmfull things.

Those are 3 major benefits of using ithmid surma / kajal for the eyes. All of these benefits are confirmed by authentic hadiths from the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم).

Is it not enough to convince us in adopting using ithmid surma / kajal for the eyes as a basic routine for all of us muslims ?

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Kohl can be harmfull but not genuine Ithmid (antimony) kohl

Kohl in Arabic is anything that is applied to the eye and/or its surroundings such as the eyelashes and eyebrows. Under this broader meaning, modern eyeliner and mascara products can also be regarded as kohl.

Given this, the answer to the question : Is kohl harmfull ?, is yes and no. It all depends on what it is made of.

People have used and still use different substances to adorn the eyes; essentially different types of kohl.

For example, frankincense resin was used in ancient egypt as a form of kohl. In India, many people who can not afford to buy commercially available kohl make their own one using soot and natural oils.

Even modern eye-makeup products, which can be regarded as kohl, can contain many harmful chemicals which are associated serious health problems.

Therefore, it is wrong to treat kohl products as one entity and then say it is harmful to health.  Unfortunately, this is completely wrong approach is taken by the majority of scientific researchers who carried out research into kohl products.

Unsurprisingly, many of these research papers wrongly conclude that kohl is harmful to health because of it containing high levels of lead and other toxic material.

This is akin to saying that eyeliners and mascara are damaging to health. If this statement was to be made regarding eyeliner and mascara products, the first thing that comes to mind would be : which brands are to be avoided ? with so many different types of these stuff made from in so many different ways, surely not all of them can be the same.

Unfortunately, this simple common sense is missing when dealing with kohl products. They are treated as though they are one entity and the popular scientific opinion currently says : kohl is harmfull to your health.

The question is : which kohl ?

Ithmid kohl: Innocent till proven guilty

However, genuine Ithmid kohl is made only with 100% natural ingredient (s) and has no harmful side effects when used appropriately.

For over 15 centuries and counting, Ithmid kohl has kept its reputation as an effective and safe beauty and health maintenance substance, at least in the Arabian peninsula.

If it was harmful to health in any way, it is likely this practice will not have survived this long. But because it gives good results without any health problems, Ithmid kohl remained as a popular and sought-after substance.

Moreover, Ithmid kohl has been used and recommended by the prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم. Knowing this, a muslim should have no worries and anxiety about using Ithmid kohl. Rather than worrying about whether it is safe or not, our sole concern should be about obtaining genuine Ithmid kohl and avoiding the numerous counterfeit products out there.

There is no doubt that proper research into Ithmid kohl, which is completely absent, would have found it to be a truly wonder substance and that it poses no health risks whatsoever, when used appropriately.




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Ithmid (antimony) Kohl : Beauty on a different level

Ithmid (antimony) kohl is recommended by the prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم for its eye health benefits. It is often the case that when the prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم recommends something or an action, it comes with extra bonus benefits.

These benefits are not mentioned by the prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم because they are less important but are only realised when you start putting the prophet`s words into action.

Ithmid (antimony) kohl is a case in point. As well as the major health benefits mentioned by the prophet, it also carries beauty benefits for the eyes.

Universal beauty

There are certain characteristics which are wished for by both women and men. These are gender-neautral physical traits which make both genders seem beautiful.

Obtaining these characteristics helps anyone, regardless of gender, to be seen and judged as beautiful by beholders from both sexes. Examples include having big eyes, glowing skin, and being slightly tall.

Difference between Ithmid (antimony) and other types of kohl regarding beauty

What is great about Ithmid (antimony) kohl is that it promotes universal beauty traits, hence why it should be used by both men and women.

Other types of kohl carry a superficial and short term beauty effect. Unlike Ithmid (antimony) kohl, they do not go deep and start introducing structural changes that result in you obtaining universal beauty characteristics. As soon as they are washed off, the beauty goes with them.

Non-Ithmid kohls are essentially eyeliners and mascaras under a different name. These makes them unsuitable to be used by men ( at least during the day) as in most cultures, these cosmetic products are reserved exclusively for women only, and most men would shy away from walking around with highlighted eyes and hair.

Gender-neutral beautiful eyes

Ithmid (antimony) kohl makes your eyelashes longer, as affirmed by the prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. As well as having health benefits, this makes your eyes ,and in turn your face and yourself, look better.

Ithmid (antimony) kohl also makes your eyes themselves look more pristine, clear and beautiful. Although this is is not confirmed by a Hadith, it is a well known and taken-for-granted benefit amongst Ithmid kohl users.
Using Ithmid (antimony) kohl makes the white parts of the eyes more whiter and clearer, and the coloured part ( Iris) more colourful and also clearer.

Ithmid (antimony) kohl is also capable and is reported to give you bigger eyes. This is likely to be the result of Ithmid (antimony) kohl promoting stronger and healthier eyes, allowing the user to open their eyes more wider than before.