Assalamualaikum. I want to ask for your opinion. Recently, my wife told me that she got the chance to smell the sweat of the Prophet PBUH. Her colleague was the one who gave her the chance to smell it. She was so happy saying that it was a form of blessing from Allah SWT and it made her love and longing to meet the Prophet PBUH stronger. I’m confused. Is it true that the sweat of the Prophet PBUH can be stored up to this day? I’m worried that it is a tactic to manipulate or compel others to follow deviant teaching. I’m an ignorant person in these matters. Hope for an explanation from you.
Waalaikumussalam wrt. wbt.
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
It is an obligation and a necessity for every Muslim to learn and know about the life of the Prophet PBUH. Especially if it involves the characteristics of the Prophet PBUH for he is the best example in every aspect of our lives, regardless of whether it is in this world or the hereafter. This can clearly be understood through the statement of Allah SWT:
لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِى رَسُولِ ٱللَّـهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُوا۟ ٱللَّـهَ وَٱلْيَوْمَ ٱلْـَٔاخِرَ وَذَكَرَ ٱللَّـهَ كَثِيرًا
“There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often.”
Surah al-Ahzab (21)
Syeikh Mustafa al-Maraghi said the above verse meant that the best and most excellent of example is the Prophet PBUH. Thus, if you want to follow anyone, the Prophet PBUH is the best example to follow. The example and practises of the Prophet PBUH should be followed and we should be on the manhaj that he taught us. It is if you are searching and hoping for rewards of Allah SWT and fears His severe punishments. (Refer Tafsir Al-Maraghi, 21/146)
This means that every Muslim should try his best to learn and follow the character of the Prophet PBUH especially in matters related to the Prophet PBUH’s character for it is crucial in today’s time which is full of challenges and fitnah.
Before answering the question asked, scholars have strived to collect hadiths and athar related to the characteristics of the Prophet PBUH. Regardless whether it mentions about the physical body of the Prophet PBUH or the Prophet PBUH’s character. Among the renowned books which collect the hadiths related to the character of the Prophet PBUH is Al-Syamail Al-Muhammadiyah arranged by Imam Abu Isa Al-Tirmizi (w.279 H). Thus, books such as these should be the reference for every Muslim so that he is not easily deceived by people who claimed this and that about the Prophet PBUH out of his own interest.
There are numerous narrations which explained about the sweat of the Prophet PBUH. Among them are:
- From Ummu Sulaim:
- كَانَ يَأْتِيهَا فَيَقِيلُ عِنْدَهَا فَتَبْسُطُ لَهُ نَطْعًا فَيَقِيلُ عَلَيْهِ وَكَانَ كَثِيرَ الْعَرَقِ فَكَانَتْ تَجْمَعُ عَرَقَهُ فَتَجْعَلُهُ فِى الطِّيبِ وَالْقَوَارِيرِ فَقَالَ النَّبِىُّ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- « يَا أُمَّ سُلَيْمٍ مَا هَذَا ». قَالَتْ عَرَقُكَ أَدُوفُ بِهِ طِيبِى
Allah's Apostle (ﷺ) visited her house and (took rest) and she spread a piece of cloth for him and he had had a siesta on it. And he sweated profusely and she collected his sweat and put it in a perfume and in bottles. Allah's Apostle (ﷺ) said: “Umm Sulaim, what is this?” She said: “It is your sweat, which I put in my perfume.”
Sahih Muslim (6203)
- From Anas bin Malik RA. He said:
مَا مَسِسْتُ حَرِيرًا وَلَا دِيبَاجًا أَلْيَنَ مِنْ كَفِّ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَلَا شَمِمْتُ رِيحًا قَطُّ أَوْ عَرْفًا قَطُّ أَطْيَبَ مِنْ رِيحِ أَوْ عَرْفِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ
“I have never touched silk or Dibaj (i.e. thick silk) softer than the palm of the Prophet (ﷺ) nor have I smelt a perfume nicer than the sweat of the Prophet.”
Sahih al-Bukhari (3561)
- From Jabir bin Samurah, he said:
صَلَّيْتُ مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- صَلاَةَ الأُولَى ثُمَّ خَرَجَ إِلَى أَهْلِهِ وَخَرَجْتُ مَعَهُ فَاسْتَقْبَلَهُ وِلْدَانٌ فَجَعَلَ يَمْسَحُ خَدَّىْ أَحَدِهِمْ وَاحِدًا وَاحِدًا - قَالَ –
وَأَمَّا أَنَا فَمَسَحَ خَدِّى - قَالَ - فَوَجَدْتُ لِيَدِهِ بَرْدًا أَوْ رِيحًا كَأَنَّمَا أَخْرَجَهَا مِنْ جُؤْنَةِ عَطَّارٍ
“I prayed along with Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) the first prayer. He then went to his family and I also went along with him when he met some children (on the way). He began to pat the cheeks of each one of them. He also patted my cheek and I experienced a coolness or a fragrance of his hand as if it had been brought out from the scent bag of a perfumer.”
Sahih Muslim (6197)
These are among the sahih hadiths which explain the smell of the sweat of the Prophet PBUH. Every Muslim should learn hadiths such as these, whether he is old or young. The purpose is so that we know the real matter regarding the perfection of the character of the Prophet PBUH and it would prevent us from being deceived by others who like to claim something is from the Prophet PBUH when in truth it is not so.
Coming back to the question presented, matters such as this needs proof or evidence supporting the claim especially when it is related to the Prophet PBUH. We are inclined to state that what is given to the questioner’s wife by her colleague is not the sweat of the Prophet PBUH. The reason is, if it is really the sweat of the Prophet PBUH, surely it would have been mentioned by the companions of the Prophet PBUH. As for Ummu Sulaim, although he mixed the Prophet PBUH’s sweat in her perfume, she did not specify whether it was later used or stored. Or did she keep it or gives it away? All of these are not stated in any thabit narrations.
As it is in the discipline of the science of hadith which emphasizes on the sanad in determining the sahih status of anything related to the Prophet PBUH, then in matters such as this, we need to tawaqquf until there is a clear proof or evidence. Furthermore, due to the great distance in time between our time and the time of the Prophet PBUH, it is impossible for a person to have kept the sweat of the Prophet PBUH for more than 1400 years without denying the greatness and honour of the Prophet PBUH.
We discussed in-depth regarding the issue of the exhibition of athar of the Prophet PBUH and its Rulings in Bayan Linnas Series 19. 
To conclude, a person should be careful when referring or relating something is from the Prophet PBUH. This matter should be considered carefully for there is concern that one may fall into the category of those who lie in the name of the Prophet PBUH. The Prophet PBUH said:
مَنْ تَعَمَّدَ عَلَيَّ كَذِبًا، فَلْيَتَبَوَّأْ مَقْعَدَهُ مِنَ النَّارِ
"Whoever tells a lie against me intentionally, then (surely) let him occupy his seat in Hell-fire."
Sahih al-Bukhari (108)
A person should always attend religious classes, ask questions to experts of the field to avoid getting deceived by irresponsible parties. Following the sunnah of the Prophet PBUH is not only through our love for him but how much of the sunnah and character of the Prophet PBUH that we follow in our daily lives.
May Allah SWT distance us from deceivers in the name of religion. Wallahua’lam.