Saturday, March 09, 2013

Islamic Traditions Relating to Medicinal Use of Honey

Medicinal uses of Honey (Quranic Medicine) and Its Bee Flora from Dera Ismail Khan District, KPK, Pakistan
Pak J Pharm Sci, 2013 Mar;26(2):307-14
This study was carried out during 2005-2008 to identify existing plant species visited by workers of honeybees for nectar and pollen collection in Dera Ismail Khan (D.I.Khan) District, Pakistan. The honeybee species investigated in the area were, rock bee (Apis dorsata F.), little bee (A. florea F.) and European honeybee (A. mellifera L.). A detailed list of 86 plant species both wild and cultivated was prepared, out of which 12 species, Phulai (Acacia modesta Wall.), Sarsoon (Brassica campestris L.), Kaghzi nimboo (Citrus aurantifolia L.), Khatta (C. medica L.), Malta (C. sinensis (L.) Osbeck.), Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo Roxb.), Date (Phoenix dactylifera L.), Barseen (Trifolium alexandrianum L.), Shaftal (T. resupinatum L), Makai (Zea mays L.), Ber (Zizyphus mauritiana Lam.) and Jher beri (Z. numularia (Burm. f.) Wight & Arn.,) were found as major sources (table 1) for the production of surplus honey in a year at different localities in the District. Among the minor sources various plant species were included (table 2). These plants fill the flowering gaps between the major sources in various parts of the year and help in continuous supply of food to honey bees...
Religion, human civilizations and history all have regarded honey a valuable and sacred food. It has been used by the ancient civilization for the purpose of mummification. Medicinal use of honey was very common among all nations of the ancient civilizations (SMEDA, 2009).
Both the Holy Quran (Holy book of Muslims) and Ahadith [Sayings of Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaiyhi Wassallam)] refer to honey as a healer of diseases.
The Holy book (Quran) says: And your Lord inspired the bees, saying: “Take your habitation in the mountains and in the trees and in what they erect. “Then, eat of all the fruits, and follow the ways of your Lord made easy (for you).” There comes forth from their bellies, a drink of varying colour, wherein is healing for men. Verily, in this is indeed a sign for people who think" [Al-Nahal: 68, 69].
According to Ahadith, Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaiyhi Wassallam) strongly recommended honey for healing purposes:
1. Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: A man came to the Prophet and said, "My brother has some abdominal trouble." The Prophet said to him "Let him drink honey." The man came for the second time and the Prophet said to him, 'Let him drink honey." He came for the third time and the Prophet said, "Let him drink honey." He returned again and said, "I have done that ' The Prophet then said, "Allah has said the truth, but your brother's abdomen has told a lie. Let him drink honey." So he made him drink honey and he was cured (Farooqi, 1998).
2. Narrated Ibn 'Abbas (Radiyallahu Anhu): The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaiyhi Wassallam) said, “there are three sources for healing: use of honey, bleed patient by suction through a cupping-glass and branding with fire."But I forbid my followers to use (cauterization) branding with fire." (Sahih Bukhari) (Farooqi, 1998).
3. Narrated Aisha (Radiyallahu Anha): The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaiyhi Wassallam) used to like sweet edible things and honey (Sahih Bukhari) (Farooqi, 1998).
4. Narrated Anas (Radiyallahu Anhu), reported: I served drink to Allah's Messenger (Sallallahu Alaiyhi Wassallam) in this cup of mine: Honey, Nabidh, Water and Milk [Sahih Muslim] (Farooqi, 1998).
5. In another tradition, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaiyhi Wassallam) said: "Make use of the two remedies: Honey and the Qur'an" (Khan, 1989). Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaiyhi Wassallam) has pointed out many benefits of honey more than 1400 years ago.
Thus, one could use the above Remedies with the intention (niyyah) of a Sunnah, and through its Barakah one will be rewarded for fulfilling a Sunnah, as well as, receive its cure, Insha-Allah…

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