Friday, 22 May 2009

Strengthening the eyesight.

Antimony sulphate (Ithmid, or Isfahan Collyrium) is a silvery dark grey stone, which is crushed into a very fine powder and used to darken the eyes. The best kind is found in Morocco, and it has a cold, dry temperament. Antimony strengthens the optic nerve and is considered the best kohl when mixed with musk powder for elderly people with poor vision weakened by old age.

Ibn Al Qayyim (Rahimahullah) suggests that then used as a kohl, Ithmid, also helps reduce skin flap growing on the eyelid, mange of the eyelids and it relaxes eyestrain. It helps detoxify eye moisture and eases congestion in tear ducts. It helps natural cleansing of the eyes and helps to protect the eyes from dust particles floating in the air, and brightens one’s sight. When Ithmid is mixed with honey diluted in water and applied on the edge of the eyelid, it can help reduce headaches.

Applying it before going to sleep is healthier than using it during the day, especially for women, and it helps the growing of eyelashes, making them thicker and longer in sha Allah. 

Abdullah Ibn Abbas (radhi Allahu anhu) narrated that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: "Wear your white garments, for they are among your best garments, and shroud your dead in them. Among the best types of collyrium you use is antimony (ithmid): it clears the vision and makes the hair [eyelashes] sprout."
[Sunan Abi Dawood Book 28, Hadith 3869] Classed as Saheeh by Al Albaani.

The kohl most widely available is normally produced in India and Pakistan (called ‘Surma’). It is jet black and has a different chemical composition to true Ithmid. It can be made up of many ingredients, some of which include lead sulphide, the soot of sandalwood oil lamps and charcoal (Wiki). Lead sulphide is extremely toxic.

The best Ithmid to buy is from Morocco or from Medinah, Saudia Arabia.

Purchase Ithmid here -

Lowering the Gaze.

By casting evil glances [malicious jealousy], a person's eyesight becomes very weak. Eyesight is one of the greatest blessings of Allah and we should take great care with it, particularly ensuring we are lowering our gaze when in the presence of non-mahrams. The eyes of men should not follow women, neither should the eyes of women follow men. This is because by guarding one's gaze, one is fulfilling gratitude for the blessing of sight and the reward of gratefulness is the increase of blessings, as Allah Azzawajjal mentions in the Qur'an;
"And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, 'If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.'"

And also Allah Azzawajjal commands His believing servants directly regarding their gaze;
"Tell the believing men to reduce [lower] of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do..."
[This and the next verse regarding women 24:30-31]


There is a well known case of an Eygptian doctor who developed eye drops which cure cataracts using the recitation of the Qur'aan upon a liquid which contained the components of human sweat.

The verses come from the story of Prophet Yusuf (alayhisalaam) where Allah the Exalted relates how Yusuf's father Ya'qoob (alayhisalaam) fell into despair after having been separated from both Yusuf and then his youngest son Benyameen for a long period, so much so that his eyes became white with sorrow. Islamic commentators have taken this to mean that Ya'qoob (alayhisalaam) developed cataracts.

"And he [Ya'qoob] turned away from them and said; "Alas my grief for Yusuf!" And he lost his sight because of the sorrow he was suppressing."

Yusuf (alayhisalaam), being divinely inspired by Allah, asked his brothers to take his shirt and cast it over the face of their father.

"Go with this shirt of mine, and cast it over the face of my father, he will become clear sighted, and bring to me all of your family." And when the caravan departed, their father said; "I do indeed feel the smell of Yusuf, if only you think me not a dotard [a person who suffers weakness of mind due to old age]." They said; "By Allah! Certainly, you are in your old error." Then, when the bearer of glad tidings arrived, he cast it [the shirt] over his face, and he became clear sighted. He said; "Did not I say to you 'I know from Allah that which you know not?'"
[12:93 to 96]

The second set of verses can be recited an odd number of times on purified water and used as eye drops or recited on olive oil which is then massaged onto the eyelids.

The spiritual aspect of strengthening the eyesight.

Imam Shafi’ (Rahimahullah) said;

Four matters weaken the sight;

* Looking at filth (dirt, excrement etc.) 
* Looking at crucified persons. 
* Men – looking at their spouse’s private part. 
* Sitting while your back is towards the Qiblah (direction of the prayer).

He also said;

Four matters strengthen the sight;

* Sitting next to the Ka’ba. 
* Using Ithmid before going to sleep. 
* Looking at green things (trees, grass etc.) 
* Cleaning up the sitting area (at home, i.e. because it is where guests are welcomed).

[page 353 from Healing with the Medicine of the Prophet (salahu alayhi wa sallam). Darussalam 2003]


  1. Please read
    In the first scientific article find that kohl ingredient is wrongly translated from Egyption word “Mestem” or “Stim”, while
    this word was identical to Greek word, “Stimmi” or
    “Stibi” and to a Latin word “Stibium”, meaning
    Antimony. In The Encyclopedia of Islam, the
    authors also concluded that the words, “Al-Kuhl” (Kohl),“Surma” and “Ithmid” (Ismad), indicate that the substance was in fact only galena, and rarely antimony sulphide

  2. Thanks a lot for this nice information about anstronomy. I like it so much keep posting and updating the blog on regular basis.

    Smith Alan

  3. I want to apply ithmid kohl. I have done a lot of research and in some places I have read that ithmid is lead sulphide. Is this true?

  4. Saudi Arabia's King Abdulaziz University has established a chair on Prophetic Medicine at the King Fahd Centre for Medical Research in Jeddah, Saudi Gazette has reported. Research to develop safe methods for manufacturing drugs will be the main focus of the chair, apart from setting the basic and scientific rules to Prophetic Medicine, said Professor Mohammad Qari, vice supervisor of the chair.

  5. The kohl that is sunnah is made from antimony ( hence lead free). And the prophet ﷺ said that the best one is ithmed ( made from antimony not lead sulphide
    The black version is the best he said which is found in Isfahan, Iran. In Saudi Arabia the red version is found.

  6. Asalamualaikum, kindly change Rahimullah to Rahimahullah (Allah have mercy upon him).
    It might lead to confusion.
    Allah knows best!

  7. Where can I buy the qust Al baht from makka or madinah

  8. Musk powder? There is so many variants of musk synthetic and pure....what type of musk powder is best to use along with surma?

    1. The pure Musk powder Ibn al Qayyim was speaking of is very rare and difficult to find nowadays. Even if you do find it, it will be very expensive. Please omit it and use ithmid on its own.


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