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.
3 thoughts on “Kohl can be harmfull but not genuine Ithmid (antimony) kohl”
Salaamu alaykum wa rahmatullah.
I am so happy to find your site.
I’ve been wanting to purchase kohl/surma to act upon this sunna.
I went to a shop in London and I was told that three or four cases of blindness had occurred because people had sold pencil lead as kohl (imported from abroad), and it had been banned from the market.
It’s great to learn about Ithmid. I was very worried after that story. Can you truly reassure us we will not have any such problems with your products?
Walaikumu Salam warahmatullah Wabarakatuh.
Alhamdulilah for you finding the site.
Yes, there is a lot of fake ithmid kohl out there and most of them are filled with harmful substances like lead. And obviously this causes serious health problems.
First of all, you need to know that ithmid is naturally found as a stone. This is then crushed into a powder.
A genuine ithmid kohl should feel and look like that. Not some sort of artificial lustrous black as these pencils are.
Second, if it is genuine ithmid, you will see results (eyelashe/eyebrow growth, better vision, and relief from eye problems) within days.
There is also a home based test to check if it is genuine : real ithmid kohl tends not to be attracted to magnets whereas fake ones often do.
The ithmid kohls I sell all meet those three categories. I have tried them personally. I also received positive feedback from customers.
On top of that I have obtained them from reliable and trustworthy sources.
And on this basis, I can assure you that you will be buying a genuine ithmid kohl that is not like the fake ones, and that Insha’Allah you will only see benefits and no harmful side effects.
Lead pencils do not contain any lead (Pb) – they are pure graphite (carbon) and non-toxic (not that I would recommend using it on or around the eyes!)