Camphor – Kaafur (الكافور) – In Death and Jannah

Kaafur (الكافور) (Camphor)

Names:

  1. In Hadith, Arabic & Quran it is called as Kaafur (الكافور)
    2. In Sanskrit it is called as Karpura.
    3. In Hindi & Urdu it is called as Kafur.
    4. In Latin it is called as Cinnamomum camphora.

Introduction:

It is made from distilling the bark of camphora tree, this is natural form, and also it is made biosynthetically by using chemicals. But natural form is the best to use medically.
It is a waxy, flammable, white or transparent solid substance with aromatic odour, it is a terpenoid found in the woods of Camphora laurel or Cinnamomum camphora (an ever green tree).

Quranic reference of it:

Kaafur (الكافور) is mentioned in Quran in chapter no 76. (Surah DAHR), verse no. 5.

إِنَّ ٱلْأَبْرَارَ يَشْرَبُونَ مِن كَأسٍ كَانَ مِزَاجُهَا كَافُورًا

Translation: In this verse Allah Ta’ala speaks about a drink which will be given to the people of Jannah, this drink will has Flavour of Kaafur.

In most commentaries and translations of the Qur’an, Kafur has been described as the Camphor of plant origin. In Tafseer-e-Majidi (Note 4 of the relevant Surah), characteristics and qualities of Camphor are given, and stated that the camphor of Heaven would be without the harmful effects, and would be different from the camphor of the Earth. In Tafhim-ul-Qur’an, it has been stated that the wine of Heaven would have the brightness and coolness of the Camphor and this will not actually be its mixture.

Nabi صلى الله عليه وسلم’s guidance about Kaafur:

Applying Kaafur on a Dead Body:

  1. Hazrat Umme Atiya رضي الله عنها says that one daughter of Rasoolullahﷺ died, & Rasoolullahﷺ told us to give bath to His daughter’s body with sidr (water) for odd numbers of time 3 or 5 or more times if you think necessary, & lastly apply Kaafur (الكافور) or anything made from Kaafur (الكافور) & when you finish inform me. He gave His waist cloth to us (to shroud her). We entwined the hairs in braids & made them fall at her back.
    [Bukhari: 1263; Book. 23; Eng vol: 2; Book. 23; Hadith. 353.]
    According to Bulugh Al-Muram: 544; Book no, 3, In English Book no. 3; Hadith no. 568. That daughter was Hazrat Zainab رضي الله عنها.
  2. It was narrated that Jaabir said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When you perfume the deceased with incense (bakhoor) then perfume him three times.” Narrated by Imam Ahmad, 14131. al-Nawawi said in al-Majmoo’ (5/155): Its isnaad is saheeh. It was also classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 278.The word deceased here refers to both male and female.What is meant is perfuming the shroud with incense. Al-Bayhaqi mentioned in his Sunan (3/568) that this hadeeth was also narrated with the words, “Perfume the shroud of the deceased with incense three times.”See Badaa’i’ al-Sanaa’i’, 1/307.It was narrated that Asma’ bint Abi Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with her) said to her family: “Perfume my garments with incense when I die, then apply hanoot to me.” Narrated by Maalik in al-Muwatta’, 528; and by al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra, 3/568.It says in al-Muntaqa: Hanoot is that which is put on the body and shroud of the deceased of perfume, musk, amber, camphor and anything else that is used for its scent rather than its colour, because the purpose here is the scent rather than beautification with the colour.

Content of it:

The main chemical components are a-pinene, camphene, b-pinene, sabinene, phellandrene, limonene, 1, 8-cineole, y-terpinene, p-cymene, terpinolene, furfural, camphor, linalool, bornyl acetate, terpinen-4-ol, caryophyllene, borneol, piperitone, geraniol, safrole, cinnamaldehyde, methyl cinnamate and eugenol.

Scientific benefits of it:

  1. It is anti microbial, suppresses cough.
    2. Acts as a local anesthetic agent & anti itching.
    3. Reduces sprain, pain, swelling, inflammation.
    4. It is a tropical vasodilating agent, perspiration & diuretic agent.
    5. Can be inhaled for Bronchitis & etc.
    6. Relieves pain, itching, fungal infections, cold sores, hemorrhoids (piles) warts & etc.

Science & Hadith regarding Kaafur:

Camphor is also used as an antimicrobial substance. It is said that the reason why camphor is used, although it is a perfume, is because of the angels and others who attend, in addition to the fact that it has a drying and cooling effect; it can penetrate the body of the deceased and stiffen the body, keep vermin away, prevent wastes from being expelled, and prevent the body from decomposing rapidly. It is the most effective of perfumes in that sense. This is the reason why it is put in the last wash, because if it was put in the first wash the water would remove it. But can musk, for example, be used instead of camphor? If we think just in terms of fragrance, then yes, otherwise the answer is no. It was said that if no camphor is available, other kinds of perfume may be used, even if it has only one of these qualities.