Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan
Question: (1) Is it from the sunna for guys to use kohl/antimony (in urdu “kajul”)? Is it true it makes the eyes clean or something?
(2) I understand there are two types of sunnah, one sunnah is that which is strongly emphasized to be practiced and one that is merely optional and usually when practiced by someone, it practiced out of love for Prophet Sal-Allah-Alaihi-Wassalam. If using coal/mascara is as sunnah, which type?
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,
I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.
(1) Yes it is from the sunna to use kohl/antimony (in Arabic, ithmid), and it does help with vision according to the hadith.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The best type of antimony for you is ithmid, for it makes vision clear and causes hair to grow.” [Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud]
(2) As you mention, there are two types of sunna:
(a) Emphasized sunnas of guidance (sunan al-huda), the leaving of which entails wrongdoing and is disliked [unless one has a valid excuse].
Such sunnas are considered to be among the symbols (sha’air) of the religion itself. If a person/community habitually abandons such a sunna, they are deemed to be astray, as abandoning these entails not taking the religion seriously. Examples are praying in congregation, and making the call to prayer (adhan) and the commencement of prayer (iqama).
(b) Non-emphasized sunnas that are of additional blessing (sunan al-zawa’id), the leaving of which does not entail wrongdoing and is not disliked.
These sunnas are things that the Prophet regularly did, yet they are not symbolic of the religion itself and hence are “of additional blessing” (zawa’id). Examples are the way the Beloved Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) dressed, stood and sat.
[Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]
Applying kohl/antimony would fall under the second category.
And Allah knows best.
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani