Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Spritz at Your Own Risk

This morning, I saw a guy in the street wearing baggy shorts and a tennis shirt. He was carrying a gym bag and a bottle of cold water. He was obviously going to his morning workout. As he approached, I was over taken by a fog of citrus and greenery. He smelled amazing. This got me thinking.

First, why would anyone wear cologne to the gym. You're definitely going to sweat. You're going to have to take a shower, and wash away all traces of your artificial scent. Maybe it was habitual. He absentmindedly reached for his cologne while checking out his coiffed reflection.

Secondly, I was told a long time ago that wearing perfume, for women, was akin to adultery. I was 17. My uncle's wife approached me with hushed tones and took me aside. With our bowed heads , inches apart, she gave me this pearl of wisdom. At the time, I thought, "This is the most absurd thing I have ever heard." I was a teenager, I only spoke in absolute superlatives. Furthermore, her manner offended me, her veiled judgement hiding behind the guise of concern. Needless to say, I haven't stopped wearing perfume because I want to smell nice. I enjoy going to the cosmetic section, sniffing floral and spicy aromas until I find something that captivates me. I wear perfume for me and not to attract men. But this is besides the point. When this guy passed me, his scent was tantalizing. I looked up and noticed his aviators and Tissot watch. I saw the pack of cigarettes he clutched in his right hand. The very same hand that rested on the gym bag hanging from his shoulder. 

As Egyptian females, we are told that wearing perfume is haram, forbidden, because it is seductive to men. We are told that wearing perfume is no better than sinning. Yet, men are instructed to liberally spritz themselves because it is Suna. My predicament is the fact that scent is seductive to both genders, and for some animals as well. So, why have perfume wearing women been labeled sinners, excluding men from this classification. Furthermore, why do we accept these arbitrary statements. Several people have reiterated the fact that it is haram to wear perfume, to a point that some women refused to use scented soap, yet no one bothers to quote Koran verses or Nabawy saying to support this claim. People simply regurgitate something they were told, something they chose to accept as a fact without questioning the validity of this ruling, and then they decided to broadcast these beliefs onto others in the name of guiding the less righteous to the path of enlightenment. 

Yes, these are the sort of debates we need to have about Islam, whether wearing perfume is haram, or showing one's foot and ankle isn't proper Hejjab, and the proper placement of feet during prayer. These are the important issues. It's not like there's  a group of terrorist killing innocent civilians and committing atrocities in the name of our beautiful religion.

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