The use of kohl or surma is a sunnah that benefits the eyes and provides thawaab (reward). It is recommended to keep seven things beside one’s bed – comb oil itching stick surma mirror miswak and scissors. Ibn ‘Abbaas Radiyallahu ‘Anhu has related that the Messenger of Allah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam had a container for kohl and from it he would apply surma to each eye thrice before sleeping.
Ithmid Surma is the purest type of kohl as it comes from a natural source which is the stone ithmid. Pure ithmid has a silverish shine to it with a colour more of a dark grey than black. It is soft in texture and compacts on itself like sand. It also has a smoky smell to it which is very similar to the smell of burning coal.
Ithmid kohl is the only type of kohl that the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wasallam used to use and it should be purchased from reliable sellers who have knowledge of how to identify the quality. Sellers that sell genuinely pure ithmid will know where the stone came from and how it was crushed to make the powder. They will also be able to explain all of the hadiths regarding the benefits and etiquette of using ithmid kohl.
Ithmid kohl can be applied on the waterline of the eyes, above and below the eyelashes and on the lower lid. One should rub the kohl on the area where it is being applied lightly and then drag the end of the kohl stick gently across the waterline of the eye. It should be left there all night and washed in the morning to gain the maximum benefit from it. Ithmid Surma