TIBB-E-NABVI (THE PROPHET’S MEDICINE)
By Dr. Malik Sardar Khan
A Publication of Motamar at the United Nations by
the International Islamic Council for Da`wa and Relief
This is Part I of a several-part series that I will be presenting on tibb-e-nabvi because the subject is too vast to cover in the space allotted for a single speech.
The study of tibb-e-nabvi, the body of herbal, holistic, and naturopathic medicine known to the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.S.) and the people of his time and culture, has enjoyed a resurgence. As scientists have investigated the chemical composition of foods and their role on the biochemical level in maintaining health and preventing and curing diseases, we are learning exactly why and how these ancient remedies worked. It is a fertile field for biochemists and Islamic scholars knowledgeable in Hadith – the sayings of the Prophet - to work as a team to spread the knowledge in all languages to the people of the world of how they can combat ailments and maintain health using the cheap and readily available items around them.
It is a great honor that the contribution of the prophet (S.A.W.S.) in science, modern as well as in old, has brought to humanity this gift, which is second to none in the history of mankind. The Hadith-e-Nabvi, which has been interpreted by `ulema and medical practitioners, has come up with a dynamic compilation of remedies, cures, and treatments for different diseases. The beauty in the Islamic medical practice is such that if you take any medicine, using with water or with oil or raw or in any other forms, each method through which we utilize the medicine has a different effect, in the same way like vitamins are soluble in water or in oil. The scientific evidence is bringing from the Qur'an knowledge to mankind to cure diseases that were not possible before to be cured. These cures work over time, just as letting a fruit ripen on the tree or on the vine the fruit ripens with taste, flavor, and fragrance, whereas if you force-ripen the fruit with a package of carbide in a box of picked fruit, the fruit will develop the color of ripe fruit but lack the good taste and sweetness.
Today in the modern world of medicine we see the benefits from Qur'an, Hadith, and Islamic tradition, where the `ulema have interpreted and found out through research that we are blessed by Allah (S.W.T.) through the knowledge of Qur'an and through the prophets who have given us the knowledge how to combat different diseases with natural herbal and holistic medicines. These medicines are not only popular because of their spiritual significance, but also have no side effects, whereas the allopathic medicine of today, though it combats and kills the germs, also damages and destroys the good organism in the body.
Diseases and conditions treated by tibb-e-nabvi include loss of appetite, anorexia, aerophagy (burping), flatulence, gastritis, peptic ulcer, stomach cancer, gastroenteritis, dysentery, diarrhea, cholera, typhoid fever, intestinal tuberculosis, colon cancer, diseases of the liver, hepatitis, jaundice, diseases of the gall bladder, intestinal worms, ascities (water filling in the stomach), constipation, piles, hemorrhoids, diabetes, and indigestion (dyspepsia).
We have seen that tibb-e-nabvi particularly mentions Zamzam water, rainwater, olives, figs, pomegranate, jujube, onions, toothbrush tree, miswak, beetroot, milk, lentils, raihan (tulsi), oranges, ginger, camphor, pumpkins (squash), musk, cucumber, meat, fish, coral, pearls, ambergris, and the Islamic method of slaughtering animals, in regard to their effects on the human body and health.
In the light of research and knowledge, we should continue to study tibb-e-nabvi in view of the modern science, and bring to surface the treatments and remedies for chronic diseases.
Olives and olive oil are mentioned as the remedy for 70 diseases including leprosy. The dates are cure for hundreds of diseases.
For high blood pressure garlic is commonly known today in the world, but our prophet did not even taste it, and the garlic and onion eaters were regarded as not welcomed in gatherings.
The biochemical processes inside the body of the bee turn nectar into honey, which is known to be a remedy for many diseases including diarrhea and hay fever.
Figs are mentioned in tibb-e-nabvi to be the remedy for piles, hemorrhoids, and gout, and also good for people with heart disease and high cholesterol.
If a human consumes the meat of a sick animal, that human can become sick. The pig or the pork meat has a tremendous amount of sodium, which increases heart disease. Any animal which has been thrown from a far-away distance and has been squashed and beaten up becomes full of histamines, which can make the body bad. If a lamb or other animal has been partly eaten by a wolf suffering from the rabies virus and if a human consumes the rest of the meat, the human will also get hydrophobia, which affects the brain.
The pomegranate is good for 80 different diseases. It is the saying of the Prophet (S.A.W.S.) that there isn’t a pomegranate which doesn’t have its contents from jannah (heaven). It is said that if anybody eats pomegranate, Satan runs away from him. The skin of the pomegranate is used for the cure of stomach diseases. Pomegranate skin kills intestinal parasites, and pomegranate is used in many compound medicines. Eating pomegranate is an excellent cure for constipation, blisters of the mouth, burning in the chest, and for lungs and chronic cough. Pomegranate is also known to be a diuretic. It stops vomiting and it gives energy and power to all parts of the body. It soothes the stomach lining. The pomegranate water heated with honey and concentrated can be a treatment for pink eye. For pyorrhea also the honey and the pomegranate mixture cooked in concentration can cure the disease. The stomach virus can also be cured by pomegranate. A sweet pomegranate provides the maximum benefits. Loss of appetite can also be cured by pomegranate, and the pomegranate cooked with honey can be utilized for many other stomach diseases. Pomegranate leaves can be made into a tea for stopping nosebleeds. If the pomegranate leaf is boiled with rice water, it can be a treatment for piles as well as diarrhea. Looking into the chemical composition of pomegranate, we find proteins, carbohydrates, sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, sulfur, and chlorides. All these are very beneficial for health. Pomegranate is a treatment for cholesterol and aids weight loss. Tannic acid and punicotannic acid, pectin, and mannite and pelletierine compounds are found in pomegranate. Malaria, chronic fever, and chronic cough all are treated with pomegranate.
Zamzam water is known historically as a thirst quencher. The practitioners of holistic medicine consider Zamzam water not only sacred but also to have healing properties against many diseases. This water contains magnesium sulfate, sodium sulfate, sodium chloride, calcium carbonate, potassium nitrate, and hydrogen sulfate. Zamzam water also contains COD and BOD. The minerals which are found in Zamzam water are known to be very healthful for people who have anemia. The water makes the mind sharper and is good for digestion. The story of Hazrat Ayyub (Job) (A.S.) also claims that the water which he used to get healed was the same Zamzam.
The people use Zamzam water for healing purposes. The cancer patients, those with diabetes, high blood pressure, and many others stay in the Grand Mosque and continue to drink Zamzam water and pray to the Almighty for healing. People also mix Zamzam water with a powdered mixture of antimony, zinc, magnesium, and sulfur as a treatment for the eyes.
The rainwater is significantly known historically among human communities as distilled water and ionized water. Tibb-e-nabvi mentions the use of rainwater for the treatment of various diseases. It is a scientifically known phenomenon that when an electronic charge comes in contact with the molecules nitrogen and oxygen, oxides are produced. These nitrates and nitrites are also the fertilizers. So rainwater has a big effect on the environment. It is very healthy for the plant kingdom.
Tibb-e-nabvi talks about mixing rainwater with honey as a remedy for many diseases. Rainwater mixed with olive oil and honey has been used in Arabia and mentioned in tibb-e-nabvi for many contagious and dangerous diseases. The Qur'anic verses written on paper, dissolved in rainwater and mixed with honey, are also used for healing purpose.
Where people have to cope with the mineral content of hard water, they have valued rainwater for its softness to wash hair and to wash clothes cleaner.
It is said that when Adam landed on Earth, the first fruit that he consumed was Ziziphus jujuba (jujube) (ber in Urdu). The jujube fruit, cooked with sugar to make squash, is known as a thirst-quencher and nerve calmer to prevent nightmares. The jujube also is used for treating stomach worms. Jujube is an excellent medicine for stomach viruses. Jujube is best eaten with honey, which removes its side effects. Jujube leaves are also used for washing the dead body. Washing hair with jujube leaves instead of shampoo makes the hair shiny, soft, and long. The bark from the jujube yields glue, lacquer, and red coloring which is used for tanning and dye. Jujube honey is also used as a gentle laxative, especially by the elderly. The pit of the jujube fruit is used for killing tapeworms in the intestine. Ground jujube leaves are used to combat scorpion poisoning by putting a paste on the skin on the site of the sting. Jujube also stimulates the appetite and is eaten as a vegetable and as pickles, consumed for medicinal purpose. Marmalade, jam, and chutney made of jujube are used for liver and kidney diseases. Jujube leaves ground into a poultice with olive oil makes the wound heal more quickly. The gluey quality of jujube is utilized for stomach and intestinal burning. It is an excellent medicine against acidity and ulcers.
Onion is known to be the #1 ingredient in gourmet cooking. It dissipates the unacceptable smell of meat. Meat cooked with onions is very palatable. Whether meat is fried, boiled into broth, roasted, or cooked with rice, onions are normally used to enhance the flavor and aroma. In ancient days the people used to put cut onions on their skin to cure insect bites and stings and burns. Onion was used to combat cholera, diarrhea, weakness, influenza, common cold, cough, ear pain and many other diseases. Onion should be eaten not raw but cooked because raw onion causes the mouth to smell bad. Onion is used to combat oozing of the ears. If a selahi (stick) is dipped into onion seeds ground and mixed with honey, and then drawn across the eye, it prevents cataracts. Onion seed oil is also known to be used for hair growth. Onion is also utilized as anti-vomiting medicine and dissolver of gallstones and kidney stones. Onion and onion seed (blackseed) are utilized against hepatitis, chronic cough, burning of the chest, chest congestion, and as a diuretic. When cooked with meat onion makes the meat easily digestible. Soaking onion in salt and vinegar removes onion’s side effects. Eating onion so treated stimulates the appetite. Onion is also known as an aphrodisiac. If one quarter pound of onion juice is cooked with sugar and is given to people with piles or hemorrhoids, they can be cured.
Rye seed oil and onion is mixed to combat joint pain. If a dog bites, onion juice is put on the wound, and the onion juice is given for the patient to drink. Onion is also an insect repellant, and some people put it next to a source of heat for the smell to continuously evaporate into the air to repel insects. Urinary tract burning can be stopped by boiling onion juice and giving it to the patient. Irregular heartbeat is also combated through the Prophet’s medicine by the pits of ajwa dates with blackseed oil and honey.
Toothbrush tree (miswak)
The toothbrush tree produces miswak from its branches and roots.
The camel takes different kinds of food and fodder. As a result, the milk also provides certain qualities to combat certain diseases. King Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia’s camel used to be fed with many herbs and the leaves of the toothbrush tree. As a result, it was very healthy.
Olive oil is heated with the leaves of the toothbrush tree and used for joint pains, hemorrhoids, and other diseases.
Tibb-e-nabvi provides a variety of herbs, fruits, vegetables, and other natural products whose chemical composition has great medicinal value.
Beetroot has 24% sugar, and sugar is produced out of it. Beetroot leaves can be a very beneficial green to eat. They do not cause kidney stones or burning in the urine as spinach can. Beetroot is also good for the liver and burning of the pancreas. It is an excellent source for repairing the liver. Beetroot is also a laxative. If the beetroot water is mixed with honey, it repairs the enlarged spleen and the liver as well. It is the best treatment for hepatitis and many other diseases.
Tea made from the roasted husk of garbanzo beans, glucose, and horseradish are all treatments for hepatitis.
Infected or contaminated milk can cause many diseases, including cholera, tuberculosis, burning of the throat, and scarlet fever. A healthy animal’s milk, though, is always healthy. Raw milk increases cold viruses and also makes people to have a big belly.
Yogurt is utilized in hot seasons as a thirst quencher. It helps in digestion and is good for the stomach. Drinking buttermilk or milk aids people to sleep. Raw milk is a complete diet, although consumption of raw milk is not recommended because of the possibility of contamination with tuberculosis, etc. Pasteurized or boiled milk, honey for additional energy, and orange juice for vitamin C can together indeed provide a complete diet. Butter taken from milk is used in many medicines. The camel’s milk and urine both are used for combating many diseases. The reason is that the camel eats all kinds of herbs and thorny bushes which have a medicinal effect. The urine of the camel also is used for those people who have water in their stomach. Donkey milk is also used to treat asthma, chronic cough, and hemorrhoids. Milk should not be consumed with fish, onion, radish, or eggs. It is also known that milk should be avoided with sour vegetables, sesame seed, rye and moong beans. Camel milk and camel urine have been used for combating the diseases of the kidney.
If today we find a patient who has heart and kidney problems due to alcoholism, scurvy, and water in the stomach, if you do multiple tests it will be very difficult to pinpoint what disease the patient has. The Prophet’s medicine has given an excellent medicine for this patient. Camel’s milk and urine became the answer for these patients. Camel’s urine, besides urea, contains many important other elements which have medicinal value for the above problems.
The pregnant woman needs to properly provide nutrition for the baby to develop. It is essential for her to drink milk for her baby’s bones. Milk is the important diet ingredient for the pregnant woman. Milk has all those important elements which are essential for the human body. It is also essential for the animal to be in the open air and taking enough sun to be giving quality milk. Tibb-e-nabvi has provided us a tremendous amount of knowledge that can be very beneficial to combat many diseases and cure many diseases that are caused by lack of fresh air and sun to the animals.
Though we are today eating the grains, beans, legumes, and lentils, unfortunately we are losing the husk, which has all kinds of oils, minerals, and roughage essential for bowel movement, and nutritionally it provides benefits to the human body. The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.S.) has strictly forbidden the Muslims to throw away the husk but rather to utilize it. All husks are sugar-free and can form an excellent part of the diet for diabetics. Such food gives them energy and controls the diabetes. The husk is soaked overnight and cooked in the morning with egg white as a loaf for breakfast. For lunch or dinner the diabetic can add pieces of meat or poultry.
It is also mentioned that if you eat squash with lentils, and if with this meal one consumes pomegranate, it will not only help digestion but will protect the human body from diseases. Lentils make the food light and make the eye water. Lentils and melon seeds are ground together and used as a facial cleanser.
Since it is considered as poor man’s diet, the Prophet requires us to be thankful to the Almighty and humbly eat whatever is available and take its benefits. Lentils also have the ability to make the blood thick and are good for stroke victims.
The combination of some foods also is bad for health. For instance, it is bad to cook dried fish with lentils. Some of these combinations have different effects on the female.
The leaves and seeds of raihan (tulsi - basil) are ground and applied as a paste to a scorpion’s sting. Raihan is considered to be a blessed plant in the household as its perfume is very much liked by the angels. Within the flower every part of the flower gives a different fragrance. It is good for the stomach, chronic cough, nasal allergy, fever, and it dissolves the acidic nature of the prostrate and removes burning in the urinary tract. The seeds of raihan are also used for dressing wounds. If they are ground with olive oil and rosewater and put as a poultice, all skin rashes can be cleared. The burning of hemorrhoidal tissues also is treated. Eczema, allergy, and burning, are treated with a mixture of olive oil and raihan spread on the affected skin. Even cracked skin of the feet is healed. It is an excellent remedy for ulcer. It relieves intestinal burning. A teaspoonful is given with a tablespoon of honey to stop diarrhea.
Raihan blended into water clears the liver and also cleans hepatitis. If raihan is mixed with water-lily, then stomach bleeding can be stopped. Raihan can be boiled like tea and given with honey to sufferers from prostrate and urinary tract burning.
According to the Prophet’s medicine, oranges strengthen the heart and help protect against heart attack. The skin, pulp, juice, and seed each have different benefits. Snakebite is treated with the juice of orange peel. Orange juice is considered excellent for the stomach and also for women to be cured from nymphomania. Crushed orange seeds are anti toxin and also considered laxative and remove bad breath. If the skin of orange is mixed with honey and made into majun, it will clear liver defects. It increases appetite and removes toxin from the stomach. Its fragrance is refreshing and it gives energy to the brain and other parts of the body. It has a tranquilizing effect. Citrus oil is utilized in the cure of many diseases. Fruit pectin from orange has a gelatinous quality. It is also used against gout by mixing it with magnesium carbonate. Lemon, which is related to orange, when added to green tea is a cure for malaria. Olive oil and egg white and lemon juice are utilized for flu, cough, phlegm, and diseases such as the common cold. Lemon dissolves toxins from the body.