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June 24, 2024 8 min read

The world is quite small. Recently, by listening to a few customers’ stories, I learned about the positive impacts of Agarwood on many Muslims.

Agarwood and Its Impact on the Muslim Community in Brisbane

Brisbane is home to several well-known mosques that serve the local Muslim community. I am fortunate to have a few customers from these communities.

Holland Park Mosque

Holland Park Mosque is one of Brisbane's oldest and most significant Islamic centres. Established in 1908, it serves as a hub for the Muslim community in the area. The mosque provides various religious services, educational programs, and community activities, fostering a strong sense of unity among its attendees.

Kuraby Mosque

Kuraby Mosque is renowned for its modern facilities and active community engagement. Opened in 1998, it hosts daily prayers, Friday sermons, and various religious classes. The mosque is also involved in interfaith dialogues and community outreach programs, promoting understanding and harmony within the broader Brisbane community. Before COVID-19, every Saturday morning, there was also a local farmer's market on its right.

Darra Mosque (Salisbury Mosque)

The Darra Mosque, also known as the Salisbury Mosque, is a prominent place of worship for Muslims in Brisbane's southern suburbs. It offers regular prayer services, Islamic education for children, and community events. The mosque is known for its welcoming atmosphere and active participation in local community initiatives.

Lutwyche Mosque

Lutwyche Mosque serves the Muslim community in Brisbane's northern suburbs. It provides daily prayer services, religious education, and community support programs. The mosque is dedicated to fostering a peaceful and inclusive environment, encouraging interfaith dialogue and community engagement.

West End Mosque

West End Mosque, a local heritage building situated in one of Brisbane's most culturally diverse suburbs, is a vibrant centre for Islamic worship and community activities. It offers regular prayer services, educational programs, and social events to create a strong, cohesive community while promoting understanding and cooperation with people of different faiths.

The Story of Hassan and Agarwood at Holland Park Mosque

Hassan is a Muslim and a frequent attendee at Holland Park Mosque. By day, he is a busy healthcare professional, and by evening, he devotes his time to various community initiatives. Despite his busy schedule, Hassan found peace and rejuvenation in his daily practices, particularly through Agarwood.

One evening, after a particularly challenging day at work, Hassan attended the Maghrib prayer at the Holland Park Mosque. The day's stress weighed heavily on him, his mind cluttered with the worries and demands of his profession. However, he decided to use Agarwood oil on this day before entering the mosque. The moment he applied the oil, its rich, deep aroma enveloped him, easing his tensions and clearing his mind.

As he stepped into the mosque, the subtle fragrance of Oud mingled with the familiar scent of the prayer area. It was as if the serene aroma created a shield around him, isolating him from the chaos of the outside world. During his prayers, Hassan felt a profound sense of peace and connection, more intense than he had experienced in weeks. The fragrance relaxed him, allowing him to focus entirely on his prayer and spiritual reflection.

Inspired by how significantly the Agarwood oil affected his prayer experience, Hassan began regularly using it in his routine. He also started sharing Agarwood chips with his friends and burning Agarwood in the incense burner during weekly study circles. The scent became a hallmark of these gatherings, creating a calming environment that enhanced everyone's focus and participation.

Noticing the positive atmosphere it fostered, Hassan shared his experience with his fellow congregants, explaining the benefits of Agarwood for individual spirituality and for enhancing communal worship. His enthusiasm and personal testimony led to a broader acceptance and use of Agarwood within the mosque community. Many began to associate the soothing scent of Oud with the Holland Park Mosque, making it a signature aroma of their shared spiritual home.

Source: Agarwood oils _ photo by Hassan

Hassan's story spread beyond the confines of the mosque as more community members visited his home to learn about Agarwood. His living room, often filled with Oud's warm, inviting scent, hosted numerous discussions on the importance of mindfulness and spiritual health. These gatherings helped strengthen community bonds and provided a nurturing space for spiritual and emotional support.

Through his simple yet profound introduction of Agarwood to the mosque and his home, Hassan enhanced his spiritual practices. Still, he also enriched the communal experience, making a haven for many seeking tranquillity and spiritual renewal. His story serves as a testament to the power of tradition, the importance of community, and the profound impact of small acts of mindfulness.

Daniel's Journey with Agarwood

As a practising Muslim, I had heard of aloeswood and its mention in Islamic Prophetic traditions, where the burning of agarwood is mentioned as not only a heavenly scent but, as one tradition states, being a cure for seven ailments or illnesses. However, I had never tried it myself until the early 2000s. The practice of burning agarwood for its scent and using oud oil as a perfume is as old as Islam, but its use has traditionally principally been confined to Gulf Arabs, and it was thanks to one such gentleman that introduced me to this paradisical scent in the form of Hindi/Indian oud oil.

Each person will use aloeswood in their fashion, but I apply the oil to the outside of my wrists at least twice daily before performing my canonical prayers. I often apply different oils on each wrist to appreciate the differences. For example, I may apply a more animalic or barnyard Lao or Hindi oil on one wrist and a more ethereal Borneo or Brunei-sourced oil on the other. Smelling one wrist and then quickly the oil on the other wrist accentuates my perception of both differing scents. I also often burn agarwood chips or incense immediately before or during prayers as it allows me to focus and imbues my devotions with a sense of spirituality that is hard to evince otherwise. I sometimes also burn oud chips and use the smoke to scent my clothes that day.

Source: image from Daniel's email

Over the past 20+ years, I have spent thousands of dollars purchasing both oud wood and oil, particularly the latter. I have bought agarwood oils from just about every geographical location where aloeswood grows and is cultivated. Early on in my agarwood journey, I was fortunate to sample exquisite oud oils, which now sell for over $1,000 per gram. I also had the opportunity to try poor-quality oils to confidently discern between the two. I was lucky enough to come across Trent and Grandawood not long after he and his family began selling agarwood products online almost ten years ago. I have witnessed the quality of their product steadily and constantly improve, and although I purchase oud on occasion from other vendors, I now buy the overwhelming majority of my agarwood products from Grandawood, such is their outstanding quality and affordability.

Source: image from Daniel's email

Amir's Gift of Gratitude

Amir, a regular attendee at the Lakemba Mosque, discovered the deep impact of Oud oil when he received it as a gift. Overwhelmed by its calming scent, he decided to pass on this serenity to one of his friends, Abraham. He began purchasing small vials of Oud oil to gift to his friends and family on special occasions like Eid and birthdays. The feedback was heartwarming—everyone appreciated the gift and the thoughtfulness it represented. Amir felt that by sharing Oud oil, he was not just giving a gift but also spreading peace and goodwill. This act of kindness became a cherished tradition within his community, strengthening bonds and creating lasting memories.

For those who know me, I have some customers and partners in Malaysia. One of them is Sharil. And here is his story

Agarwood: The Timeless Gift for Muslim A Story of Culture, Faith, and Reverence

In a small town in the heart of Malaysia, a man named Sharil was preparing for a special occasion. The holy month of Ramadan was coming to an end, and the celebration of Eid al-Fitr was just around the corner. This year, Sharil wanted to give a gift that was not only meaningful but also deeply rooted in tradition and faith. After much thought, he decided on a gift that would encapsulate all of these qualities: Agarwood.

Sharil's journey to find the perfect Agarwood began with a visit to the local souk. The market was bustling with activity, with vendors selling everything from spices to textiles. However, Sharil was drawn to a particular stall that emanated a rich, woody aroma. The stall belonged to an elderly man named Mr Hassan, who was known throughout the town for his exquisite collection of Agarwood.

"Salam, Mr Hassan," Sharil greeted the vendor. "I am looking for a special gift for Eid. I have heard that Agarwood is a good choice."



Mr Hassan smiled warmly. "Indeed, Agarwood is not just a good choice; it is a gift of great significance and beauty. Let me tell you why."

As they sat down, Mr Hassan began to share the story of Agarwood, or "Oud" as it is commonly known in Arabic. He explained that Agarwood is a precious resinous wood that forms in the heartwood of Aquilaria trees. These trees are found in the dense forests of Southeast Asia, and the formation of Agarwood is a rare and mysterious process, often triggered by natural infections or injuries to the tree.

"Sharil, the significance of Agarwood in Islamic culture is profound," Mr Hassan continued. "Our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) himself cherished the scent of Oud. It is mentioned in several Hadiths that he used to use Agarwood oil as perfume. The fragrance of Agarwood is not only pleasant but also spiritually uplifting, making it a perfect gift for Muslims."

Sharil listened intently as Mr Hassan described how Agarwood is used in various religious and cultural practices. During Ramadan, many Muslims use Agarwood incense to create a serene and fragrant atmosphere in their homes, enhancing their spiritual experience. The smoke from burning Agarwood chips is believed to carry prayers to the heavens, creating a connection between the earthly and the divine.

"Moreover," Mr Hassan added, "Agarwood oil is often used in the preparation of the deceased for burial. It is a way of honouring and purifying the body, signifying the importance of cleanliness and fragrance in Islam."

As Sharil looked at the various pieces of Agarwood on display, he began to understand the depth of its significance. He picked up a beautifully carved piece of Agarwood and inhaled its rich, complex aroma. It was a scent unlike any other, a blend of sweetness, warmth, and earthiness that seemed to evoke a sense of peace and reverence.

Mr Hassan then showed Sharil a small bottle of Agarwood oil. "This oil is extracted from the finest Agarwood and is highly concentrated. A single drop can fill a room with its divine fragrance. It is a gift that will be cherished and remembered for years."

With his heart set on Agarwood, Sharil purchased a piece of the wood and a bottle of the oil. He knew that this gift would not only please his family and friends but also bring them closer to their faith and traditions.

On the day of Eid, as Sharil presented the Agarwood to his loved ones, he saw their eyes light up with joy and appreciation. The aroma filled the room, creating an atmosphere of warmth and spirituality. It was a gift that spoke of love, respect, and reverence—a gift that truly embodied the spirit of Eid.

Source: AI generated



Through this experience, Sharil realised that Agarwood was more than just a fragrant wood. It was a bridge connecting the past and present, the earthly and the divine. It was a timeless gift, deeply rooted in culture and faith, making it the perfect choice for any Muslim.

 

The stories of Hassan, Daniel, Amir and Sharil illustrate Agarwood's profound influence on many Muslims' lives. These individuals found a deeper connection to their faith and community through the calming and spiritual effects of Agarwood oil and incense. Hassan's experience at the Holland Park Mosque exemplifies how Agarwood can enhance spiritual practices, creating a serene environment for worship and reflection. Daniel's journey with agarwood showcases the personal and sensory enrichment that comes from exploring different varieties of oud. Amir's tradition of gifting Oud oil highlights the unifying power of this sacred scent, fostering bonds and spreading goodwill within his community. These narratives collectively underscore Agarwood's timeless and transcendent qualities, enriching both individual spirituality and communal harmony.

(*) Pseudonym used for privacy.

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