"My Beloved is to Me a Cluster of Henna Blossoms"

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Henna (or Mehndi) holds alot of significance in the eastern traditions may it be weddings, Eids or other festivals. Henna is an ornament for the soon-to-be brides & in fact a whole ceremony is dedicated to it known as Rasm-e-Henna or Mehndi Ki RaatThe significance of henna is perhaps attributed to the symbolic meaning of Mehndi - Fertility
Henna Designs

For centuries, the art of body painting particularly hands & feet has been practiced in the east particularly India & the Middle East. Here, henna plant is believed to bring good fortune & love hence hold a very romantic association to it. The history of Henna goes back to 3400 BC in Egypt where mummified bodies with henna dyed hair & fingers are found. Even the mummy of Ramses II, among others appeared to have henna-ed fingertips & toes which was, interestingly, applied after his death.

In the Bible, Hebrew word kopher is used several times in Song of SolomonIn 1:14 it refers to henna as a plant & is symbolic of the perfume of henna flower.  

14 My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms
   from the vineyards of En Gedi.
 This is corroborated by the mention of henna in 4:12-13 with other sweet smelling plants.
12 You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride;
   you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.

13 Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates
   with choice fruits,
   with henna and nard,

14 nard and saffron,
   calamus and cinnamon,
   with every kind of incense tree,
   with myrrh and aloes
   and all the finest spices.
Henna Designs

Henna is not mentioned in the Holy Quran but it is referred several times in the Hadith literature. Sunan of Abu Dawood Hadith 4154 narrates: 
Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin: A woman made a sign from behind a curtain to indicate that she had a letter for the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him). The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) closed his hand, saying: I do not know this is a man's or a woman's hand. She said: No, a woman. He said: If you were a woman, you would make a difference to your nails, meaning with henna.  

Henna plant is native to tropical & subtropical regions like South Asia, Africa & some parts of Asia. It is commercially cultivated in many countries like India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia & Egypt. Henna flower is delicate, petite & four petaled. Today, Henna is widely recognized as a wonderful way to dye skin & achieve different tattoo looks which last 1-2 weeks. 

Henna inherits soothing qualities & traditionally applied on the palms of hands as they contain numerous nerve endings. It is also used as a coagulant for open wounds & a poultice made with henna leaves soothes burns & certain types of eczema.  

I hope you enjoyed this informative post which was written in response to the magical festivities of Eid-ul-Fitr. Hope everyone is having a blessed Eid. 

Lots of luv..

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