How Should Ithmid (Antimony) Be Applied to the Eyes?

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


I understand that ithmid (antimony) is a Sunna product that is applied three times before sleeping, three times on the right eye, and twice on the left.

Having said that, there appear to be two popular methods of application:

  • Applying to the eye’s waterline;
  • Applying under the bottom eyelash.

Which of these, if any, are from the sunna of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), and are the benefits of ithmid tied to a specific geographic region to Madina, or is any Ithmid beneficial?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

I pray you are well.

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The best antimony/collyrium is ithmid, (applied) before sleeping, it helps the (eyelashes) to grow and sharpens the eyesight.” [Ibn Majah, Musnad Ahmad, Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Sunan Abi Dawud]

Best Antimony (Kuhl)

Then best and virtuous of antimony (kuhl) is ithmid as mentioned above, although other types are fine too. Some of the learned say it is the Isfahani kuhl, and some say it can be available from the maghrib, too. It should only be used whose eyes agree with it, otherwise, because of certain eye conditions antimony does not agree with some people. The use of antimony is not tied to one particular region. It can be beneficial widely, too.

Some narrations mention three times in each eye, and some only twice in the left eye. Ibn Hajr and Mulla Ali Qari preferred this view. [Zakariya al-Kandhlewi, Shamail Tirmidhi; Ibn al-Qayyim, al-Tibb al-Nabawi]

Method of Applications

Some say, based on their application and experience, that one should apply to the waterline of the eye, and some say under the bottom of the eyelash. No specific way has been mentioned in books of hadith categorically, just mere mention of application.

Genuine Ithmid

There are many brands of antimony available in the market including those that are marketed with the name of Ithmid. Unfortunately, many of these are not genuine and contain a high amount of lead, and some even contain menthol and camphor which may be harmful to the eye. A person is advised to apply caution when selecting. As indicated in the hadith, the best is Ithmid. The genuine Ithmid is usually rownish/reddish in color.

Is Using Kohl/Antimony From the Sunna? – SeekersGuidance

May Allah (Most High) guide us all to follow the sunna of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) in all our actions, amin

I pray this helps in your question.
[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied within UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete hifz of Quran in India, then enrolled into an Islamic seminary in UK where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for a number of years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh and many other Islamic sciences to both children and adults onsite and online extensively in UK and Ireland. He was teaching at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in UK with his wife. His personal interest is love of books and gardening.