It is narrated from the words of Abu Musa al-Ash’ari that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

‘Any woman who puts on perfume then passes by people so that they can smell her fragrance then she is an adulteress.’

This hadith was narrated by Abu Dawud 4173, at-Tirmidhi 2786, al-Nasai 8/153, Ibn Khuzaimah 1589.

Sheikh al-Albani called the hadith authentic. See Sahih al-jami ‘as-saghir 323, Mishkat al-Masabih 1065.

«إذا استعطرت المرأة فمرت على القوم ليجدوا ريحها فهي زانية» .
(صحيح) … [3] عن أبي موسى)

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Ibn Khuzaimah in his Saheeh (3/91), in relation to this hadith, said:

“A woman who anoints herself with incense so that men could smell her, the prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) called an adulteress. However, this act is not subject to whipping or stoning (hadd punishment). 

If the comparison in naming an adulteress would be equivalent to the actual sin, then the perfumed person would surely be punished same as a true adulteress. However, the reason entailing punishment is precisely sexual intercourse in the genital organ, therefore it is impossible to make a decision on punishing the one who is called an adulterer without committing adultery! “

There are similar hadiths in which some acts are called adultery, , such as the hadith:

“The adultery of the tongue is licentious speech.” Abu al-Sheikh, authentic hadith. See “Sahih al-jami ‘as-saghir” 3576.

Or the hadith: “Fornication of the eyes is the look.” Ibn Sa’d, at-Tabarani, authentic hadith. See Saheeh al-Jami 3575.

The words of Imam al-Munawi, who said in relation to this hadith: “If a woman anoints herself with incense and walks past a gathering of men, so that she arouses passion in men with her incense, after which they begin to cast their eyes at her,” And everyone who looks at her commits adultery with his sight. For this reason, she too is responsible for this sin, for she prompted him to do so. Therefore, she is the reason for committing adultery with the eyes, and therefore the adulteress herself. ” See Faydul-Qadir 5/27.

As it became clear to us, the meaning of the hadith is in comparing this sin with adultery to intimidate and indicate the severity of this sin, since these are all of those things that can cause real fornication.

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