Ruling On A Woman Selling Perfumes In Shopping Centres To Which Men And Women Go
Islamic Rulings -
Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
What is the ruling on a woman selling perfumes
in trade fairs and shopping centres to which men and
And selling perfumes and bakhoor (incense) to men and
women, and burning bakhoor in the store constantly so
as to attract customers, when it is possible that some
of the fragrance may get onto her, such as the bakhoor
and perfumes that she is offering for sale?.
Praise be to Allaah.
There is nothing wrong with a woman working in buying
and selling, so long as she adheres to proper Islamic
etiquette in her dress, speech and dealings.
In the early days of Islam, women used to buy and sell
in a modest and reserved manner, and none of the
scholars objected to that.
In Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa'imah (17/13), it says:
It is permissible for her (a woman) to go to the
marketplace to buy and sell, if she needs to do so,
and if she covers her entire body in clothes that do
not show her shape, and she does not mix freely with
men. But if she does not need to engage in that buying
and selling, then it is better for her not to do that.
But if a woman's engaging in trade will lead to her
uncovering that which Allah has forbidden her to
uncover, such as her face, or to her travelling
without a mahram, or to her mixing with non-mahram men
in a manner that it is feared will lead to fitnah,
then it is not permissible for her to do that; rather
she should not do it. End quote.
Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa'imah, 13/16
For a woman to work in a perfume shop, selling to men,
exposes her to fitnah and may encourage foolish men to
There is nothing wrong with a woman selling perfume
and bakhoor so long as she is careful not to let any
of the fragrance get onto her, because of the warning
against women wearing perfume in front of non-mahram
men. See the answer to question no. 102329.
And it is not permissible for her to burn bakhoor in
her shop to attract customers, because the fragrance
of the bakhoor will undoubtedly get onto her, and the
Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)
said: "Any woman who has got the fragrance of bakhoor
on her should not attend ‘Isha' prayer with us."
Narrated by Muslim, 444.
If the woman who is going to the mosque is forbidden
to use perfume and bakhoor, then how about the one who
is sitting in the marketplace to buy and sell, where
men will inevitably smell the fragrance of bakhoor
So it is better for that woman, if she needs to work,
to limit it to selling to women only, so that she will
not mix with men.
And Allah knows best.