Short Article on the name ‘Rayḥānah’



Before the reader, May Allāh bless you with good, is a small article on the name “Rayḥānah” which has been gathered from the revelations, the Qur’ān and the Authentic Sunnah, and from the works of the scholars of Islam رحمهم الله. We ask Allāh to bring benefit through it.


رَيْحَانَةُ: واحدة الرَيْحان
Rayḥānah: Singular of Rayḥān
Meaning: Sweet scent or fragrance

Every plant that has a good scent is called Rayḥān. Therefore, every area gives a certain plant that name. For instance, the people of the Maghrib[1] confer it to the ‘Myrtle’, and this is known to the Arabs as Rayḥān. The people of Iraq and Shām[2] consider ‘Basil’ to be Rayḥān .[3]


Allāh سبحانه وتعالى revealed in Surah ar-Raḥmān regarding Rayḥān being from His favours and mercy upon His creation on earth,

﴿وَالْحَبُّ ذُو الْعَصْفِ وَالرَّيْحَانُ
And also corn, with (its) leaves and stalk for fodder, and Rayḥān (sweet-scented plants).[4]

And in Surah al-Wāqi’ah, Allāh عز وجل mentioned regarding Rayḥān being from the rewards in Paradise for the Muqarrabūn (who fulfilled the obligations and the recommended acts of worship and avoided the forbidden and disliked matters and even some of the allowed)

﴿فَرَوْحٌ وَرَيْحَانٌ وَجَنَّتُ نَعِيمٍ﴾
(There is for him) rest and provision, and a Garden of delights (Paradise).[5]

Rawḥ means rest, rejoice, paradise, mercy and Rayḥān means place of rest, delights, provisions. All of these explanations are correct and similar in meaning. The near believers who die will earn all of these.[6]


It has been reported by Imām Aḥmad and Ibn Mājah, in a Ṣaḥīḥ hadīth narrated by Abū Hurayrah رضي الله عنه, that the Prophet ﷺ said,

“Angels come to the dying person, and if the man was righteous, they say:

«اخْرُجِي أَيَّتُهَا النَّفْسُ الطَّيِّبَةُ كَانَتْ فِي الْجَسَدِ الطَّيِّبِ اخْرُجِي حَمِيدَةً وَأَبْشِرِي بِرَوْحٍ وَرَيْحَانٍ وَرَبٍّ غَيْرِ غَضْبَانَ»

‘Come out, O good soul that was in a good body, come out praiseworthy and receive glad tidings of Rawḥ and Rayḥān and a Lord Who is not angry.’
And this is repeated until it comes out, then it is taken up to heaven, and it is opened for it, and it is asked: “Who is this?’ They say: “So-and-so.’ It is said: “Welcome to the good soul that was in a good body. Enter praiseworthy and receive the glad tidings of Rawḥ and Rayḥān and a Lord Who is not angry.’ And this is repeated until it is brought to the heaven above which is Allāh.”[7]

Also Abū Hurayrah رضي الله عنه reported Allāh’s Messenger ﷺ as saying:

«مَنْ عُرِضَ عَلَيْهِ رَيْحَانٌ فَلاَ يَرُدُّهُ فَإِنَّهُ خَفِيفُ الْمَحْمِلِ طَيِّبُ الرِّيحِ»

He who is presented with a Rayḥān (sweet-smelling flowers) should not reject it, for it is light to carry and pleasant in odour.[8]

Also, in another narration of Ibn Abū Nu’m رضي الله عنه, a man from the people of Irāq asked regarding the blood of mosquitoes and Ibn ‘Umar رضي الله عنهما said,

“Look at that! he is asking me about the blood of mosquitoes while they (the people of ‘Irāq) have killed the (grand) son of the Prophet. I have heard the Prophet ﷺ saying,

“هُمَا رَيْحَانَتَاىَ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا”

“They (Hasan and Husayn) are my two Rayḥānah (sweet-smelling flowers) in this world.”[9]


From the wives of the Prophet ﷺ (as per the saying of a group of scholars) was Rayḥānah (bint Sham’ūn) bint Zayd An-Nadriyah or Qurayziyah, a captive from Banū Qurayzah. However, it has been differed upon as to whether she was from the Mothers of the Believers رضي الله عنهن or from the slaves possessed by the right hand.[10]

Another Ṣaḥābiyyah by this blessed name was Rayḥānah bint Ma’ad Yakrib az-Zubaydiyyah رضي الله عنها, sibling of the Ṣaḥābī ‘Amr bin Ma’ad Yakrib az-Zubaydī.[11]

Also known is a Ṣaḥābī called Abū Rayḥānah Sham’ūn bin Zayd رضي الله عنه who lived at Bayt al-Maqdis. Some say that he was the father of Rayḥānah Qurayziyah.[12]


Ibn al-Qayyim said that Myrtle had cleansing properties and was beneficial for the head and haemoptysis (coughing up blood). He mentioned that the leaves of the myrtle plant could be crushed with vinegar and used to stop a nosebleed, or that the dried leaves when crushed were beneficial for ulcers. He also said the plant could strengthen weak organs and when it was rubbed on the body, it dried out excess moisture and sweat, and dispelled odor from the armpits. Another benefit he mentioned was that it reduced hair loss and darkened the hair.

Ibn al-Qayyim said that the sweet-scented basil was beneficial for headaches when inhaled, and that it could help to aid sleep, control diarrhea, calm the stomach, and strengthen the heart.[3]

والحمد لله رب العالمين

🌱Written by: Abū Āsiyah Muzaffar bin Fazel Hussain -May Allāh forgive him and his parents-
🌷On 20 Muharram 1440 Hijri | 30/09/2018


[1] Includes modern-day Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania
[2] Includes modern-day Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan and Cyprus.
[3] Tibb an-Nabawī (The Prophetic Medicine)]
[4] 55:12
[5] 56:89
[6] Tafsīr Ibn Kathīr
[7] Musnad Aḥmad 25090, 8769 and Sunan Ibn Mājah 4262
[8] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2253
[9] Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 3753, 5994 and Jāmi’ at-Tirmidhī 3770
[10] Ibn al-Qayyim, Zād al-Ma’ād (Provisions for the Hereafter)
[11] Al-Hāfiz Ibn Ḥajar al-ʻAsqalānī, Al-Iṣābah fī Tamyīz aṣ-Ṣaḥābah
[12] Ibn al-Athīr, Usud al-Ghābah fī Ma’rifah as-Sahābah (Lions in the jungle in the knowledge of the Companions)