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What Is the Place of Frankincense in the Sunnah?

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Ustadh Shuaib Ally

Question: What can you tell me about the essential oil Frankincense and it’s relation with the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his Sunnah please?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

Frankincense in the Sunnah

Ibn al-Qayyim, in his Zad al-Ma’ad, includes a short discussion of frankincense under a section on medicinal treatments. He mentions a report of the Prophet (peace be upon him) telling his companions to fumigate/burn frankincense and thyme in their houses. However, he holds that the report does not authentically trace back to the Prophet (peace be upon him). He further records that it is reported that ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) recommended frankincense to a man who had complained to him about memory loss or forgetfulness. The same is reported of Ibn ‘Abbas and Anas (may Allah be pleased with them).

Ibn al-Qayyim explains these reports through medieval theories of medicine. He also lists numerous other benefits of frankincense, such as helping with stomachaches, indigestion,sharpening vision, and so on.

This is, it goes without saying, based on their expertise and knowledge at the time. One would need to resort to experts in this field of study to ascertain its actual benefits or harms.

I have not come across other authentic narrations in this regard with respect to the Prophet (peace be upon him) or his companions.

Source: Zad al-Ma’ad

And Allah alone gives success.


Shuaib Ally

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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