What do the scholars and muftis of the noble Shari’ah say regarding the following matter; can a woman use perfume when going out? Can a woman wear any type of perfume when she is indoors? What should a woman do if she has applied perfume while she is in her house and she has to go out due to some emergency?
Questioner: Nabila from UK
بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب
It is not permissible for a woman to wear a perfume, the fragrance of which leaves the body and reaches others. It is permissible for a woman to wear any type of perfume when she is at home, where only her husband or mahrams (unmarriageable kin) are present. It is necessary be cautious that the fragrance does not reach her brothers-in-law and other non-mahrams. If a woman has applied such a perfume whilst indoors and has to go out due to some emergency, she should change her clothes and go out, so that its fragrance does not reach non-mahrams.
It has been mentioned in a hadith:
أَلَا وَطِيبُ الرِّجَالِ رِيحٌ لَا لَوْنَ لَهُ أَلَا وَطِيبُ النِّسَاءِ لَوْنٌ لَا رِيحَ لَهُ”، قَالَ سَعِيدٌ: أُرَهُ، قَالَ إِنَّمَا حَمَلُوا قَوْلَهُ فِي طِيبِ النِّسَاءِ عَلَى أَنَّهَا إِذَا خَرَجَتْ فَأَمَّا إِذَا كَانَتْ عِنْدَ زَوْجِهَا فَلْتَطَّيَّبْ بِمَا شَاءَتْ
Translation: “‘The perfume used by men should have an odour but no colour, and the perfume used by women should have a colour but no odour.’
Sa’id said: I think he (Qatadah) said: They interpreted his tradition about perfume used by women as applying when she comes out. But when she is with her husband, she may use any perfume she wishes.” [Sunan Abu Dawud, hadith no. 4048]
The woman who goes out applying perfume, the fragrance of which attracts other men, has been warned strictly. It is narrated from Sayyiduna Abu Musa al-Ash’ari (may Allah be pleased with him): “When a woman wears perfume and goes out so that her fragrance is found, then such a woman is an adultress.” [Sunan al-Nasa’i, vol. 8, pg. 153]
واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری
Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by the SeekersPath Team
Read the original answer in Urdu here – [Q-ID0441] What is the ruling on women applying perfume when going out?