Al-Muwatta Hadith - 29.103

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Limit of Abstaining from Adornment in Mourning

Zaynab said, "I heard my mother, Umm Salama, the wife of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say that a woman came to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, 'Messenger of Allah! My daughter's husband died, and her eyes are troubling her, can she put kohl on them?' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'No' two or three times. Then he said, 'It is only four months and ten days. In the Jahiliyya, none of you threw away the piece of dung until a year had passed.' "

Humayd ibn Nafi said, "I asked Zaynab to explain what 'throwing away the piece of dung at the end of a year' meant. Zaynab said, 'In the Jahiliyya when a woman's husband died, she went into a small tent and dressed in the worst of clothes. She did not touch perfume or anything until a year had passed. Then she was brought an animal - a donkey, a sheep, or a bird, and she would break her idda with it, by rubbing her body against it (taftaddu). Rarely did she break her idda with anything (by rubbing herself against it) but that it died. Then she would come out and would be given a piece of dung. She would throw it away and then return to whatever she wished of perfumes or whatever.' "

Malik explained, 'Taftaddu' means to wipe her skin with it in the same way as with a healing charm."

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