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Ithmid (antimony) Kohl : what is it and why it is special ?

If you have never heard of Ithmid (antimony) Kohl, then reading this article aims to introduce you to Ithmid (antimony) kohl to you, making understand what it is and why it is important in Islam.
Kohl in Arabic is anything that is applied to the eye and/or its surroundings such as eyelashes and eyebrows.
Ithmid (antimony) is a type of a natural stone which when powdered is called Ithmid (antimony) Kohl and is used as a kohl for the eyes and the surrounding hair.

A special Kohl

Ithmid (antimony) Kohl is special because unlike other types of Kohl it carries enormous health benefits for the eyes. As an added bonus, Ithmid (antimony) Kohl also beautifies the eyes in a unique and different way.
Ithmid (antimony) kohl has been used for over 15 centuries to enhance eyesight and maintain overall eye health. Even before the dawn of Islam and at the time of Jahilyah, Ithmid (antimony) kohl was famous for its unique benefits.
Other types of kohl (stuff applied to eyes and its hairs) only carry beauty benefits and ,contrary to promoting health as Ithmid (antimony) kohl does, often contain harmful substances.

The only kohl approved by the prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم

What makes Ithmid (antimony) kohl truly special is that it is the only type of kohl the prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم has praised and affirmed its benefits.

Ibn Al-Abbas (رضي الله عنهما ) narrated that the prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم said : “The best of your kohl is ithmid (antimony), for it makes the vision clear and makes the hair grow.”

Not only did the prophet ( صلي الله عليه وسلم ) praised Ithmid kohl but he also commanded it to be used.

Ibn Al-Abbas (رضي الله عنهما) narrated that the prophet ( صلي الله عليه وسلم ) said : Apply ithmid (antimony) to your eyes, for it makes the vision clear and makes the hair grow”

This hadeeth, classed saheeh by Al-Albaani, reflects the importance and specialness of Ithmid (antimony) kohl as the prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم ) would not have felt the need to order it to be used unless if it was of such a high significance and benefit.

Because of the incredible benefits of Ithmid (antimony) kohl, the prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم himself used to apply Ithmid kohl to his eyes when going to sleep, to maintain his eye health and set an example for us to follow.

Aisha رضي الله عنهما)ا) has reported that the prophet ( صلي الله عليه وسلم ) “used to have an Ithmid (antimony) from which he used to apply kohl three times in his eyes when going to sleep”
Ibn Al-Abbas (رضي الله عنهما) also said: “The Prophet ( صلي الله عليه وسلم ) used to have a Kohl container and used to apply Kohl 3 times in each eye”

This article has hopefully made you aware about this little known sunnah and realise the significance of Ithmid (antimony) kohl in Islam.