Dear Gurmukh Loko, I have been sent the following mail, I am sharing it with all , so that individuals can offer their views and enable Dr Manjit Kaur to collate her information.
Alcoholic Perfumes on Guru Granth Sahib Ji ~ OPINION
September 22, 2010 by Dr. Manjit Kaur
I am a General Practitioner of Holistic, Natural, and Alternative Medicines, based in Iver, Buckinghamshire, U.K. Over the last 13 years, I have presented various Television and Radio shows with dedicated audience across the globe on welfare of community through guidance on Alternative Medicines and Spiritual Balance. I also host "Dharmic" programs side by side.
It has come to my observation that all the Takht's and most of the Gurudwara's in India are using foreign perfumes British, American and European which contain up to 70 to 80 percent of alcohol and a few drops of actual essence. Shocked and in great heartfelt pain, I've made attempts to bring an awareness to all the five Takht's and many Gurudwara's in and around India that the sprays that they are using around Maharaja's Saroop and in Sachkhands is a serious issue. There is essence and the fragrance is in the Gurbani itself. It depends how a Gursikh or Khalsa ji understands and interprets Guru's Bani.
All around India starting from Hazur Sahib, Anandpur sahib, Hemkunt Sahib, Bangla Sahib, Rakabganj, Rehru Sahib, Bauli Sahib (Goindwal), Khadoor sahib, naming only a few. It's apparent that in my travels to all these Gurudwara's and my personal observation of the usage of these sprays on the Saroops have shocked me and even on my return to some of these Gurudwara's, I've observed that they've still not stopped using these foreign scents. Illiterate to read the information on the bottles, the Gyani Ji's are even using after-shave sprays on guru sahib as well as on their beards.
I want to create a worldwide awareness through Sikhnet that this act or performance or ritual should stop here and now. We must not use any of these alcohol based sprays other than 100% pure Ittar. It is "Ghor Paap" on Guru's "Pavittar Angs".
In my yatra I did some painstaking research and found there are cheap Ittar's that also contain alcohol. So please refrain from using those and use only 100 percent non-spirit Ittars. Kindly, use only authentic Ittar. If you so wish dilute two drops of non-spirit Ittar in Amrit in a glass atomizer bottle and then spray if you so desire.
It is my appeal to the Khalsa Satsangat, that this ritual should stop immediately. Our Guru has never instructed us to use any form of these impure products other than having a clean bathed body and "Succhai Hath" (clean and pure hands) before we recite Bani. If in every Gurudwara boundary, entry under the influence of drugs, alcohol, tobacco and uncovered hair is impermissible so another instruction should be added that no alcohol based perfumes should be brought to the Sachkhands and Takhts. In fact. they shouldn't be allowed in any Gurudwara. I want to request all the Sikh tourists, that if you're doing "daan-pun" of perfumes at these Gurudwaras, it is in fact a sin. And if you're going to these Gurudwaras as a holy yatra, please become aware that you're committing another sin by donating these.
Spare your money and use it for some better cause which actually will redeem you from your sins.
Dr. Manjit Kaur
Mobile India - +91 96469 93578, +91 98782 91590
"I am writing on behalf of Dr. Manjit Kaur, an alternative and Holistic Medicines Practitioner based in Buckinghamshire, U.K. She has been hosting a lots of program on Radios and T.V on Health and Sikh Religious affairs for last 13 years.
At present time, she is in India on her dharmic yatra. In this yatra, she has started this awareness campaign to prohibt the use of Alcoholic Perfumes on and around Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, because these perfumes contains around 70-80% of Alcohol and a very little amount of Essence. She has suggested a fine alternative to these perfumes i.e Ittar. Ittar is pure essence extracted from Flowers. She has visited Hazur Sahib, Harminder Sahib, Anandpur Sahib, Hemkunt Sahib, Fatehghar Sahib, Bangla Sahib, Rakab Ganj and many other gurudawars and met all of the important Jathedaars and Giani Singh Sahibaan. At this point, Hemkunt Sahib, Bangla Sahib, Harminder Sahib, Akal Takht Sahib, Anandpur Sahib, and few Gurudawaras have agreed and put a notice of complete prohibition of spraying/offerings of Alcohol based perfumes." ~ Gurpreet Singh
[Relying on the statement of Gurpreet Singh ji, we have published the above. Viewer's discretion advised. ~ SikhNet Editor]
As far as perfumes containing alcohol is concerned, they consist of many ingredients like water, perfume, and alcohol that comprises the highest percentage. It is known that alcohol is produced from sugarcane by way of distillation. Thus, according to the juristic rule, which states that all things are presumed to be originally pure and that being prohibited does not render something impure, perfumes that contain alcohol are pure, particularly if we bear in mind that they are used for cleaning and perfuming the body. Thus, it is permissible to use these perfumes and there is nothing wrong in that."
Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former President of the Islamic Society of North America, adds:
"It is forbidden to drink alcohol. In the perfumes usually denatured alcohol is used. This alcohol is not unclean (najas). According to some jurists even natural alcohol is not najas. According to the Shari`ah, there is nothing wrong in using alcohol based perfumes."
So in conclusion, alcohol based perfumes are allowed, according to the stronger of the two scholarly views, as long as they are not consumed in ways that lead to intoxication. Likewise, they are only impure in an abstract way (not physical) and that is when they lead to intoxication. Allah knows best. ~ Abu Abdissalam