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A humble Worshiper, struggling with my imperfections in seeking Allah's Pleasure. Acquiring & sharing beneficial knowledge.

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Islamic Traditions & Sciences

The Miracle of Honey

The Miracle of Honey

More than 1,400 years ago Allah and His messenger (PBUH), told us that honey can heal a variety of medical problems.

The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Make use of the two remedies: honey and the Quran.” (Tirmithi)

Modern medicine is only just learning of this fact. People knew honey from ancient times and long before they began to process refined sugar. Honey’s natural properties also make it an excellent replenisher and a solvent; it opens the pores of blood vessels and eases menstrual discharge, forces out phlegm, and opens obstruction of the liver, kidney, and bladder.

Honey is abluent and an aperient. It contains detergent and tonic properties that cleanse the arteries and bowels of impurities. It opens obstructions of the liver, kidney, and bladder. It is also a general preservative, and it helps to preserve the potency of salves among other natural medicinal remedies. Honey is also a curative for a depraved appetite, and when taken as a drink mixed with hot water and a pomace made from sweet roses, it helps the treatment of rabies, and is considered a safeguard from further infections. Honey is also used as detoxicant for drug users, and as an antitoxin to treat accidental eating of poisonous plants of the nightshade family (Hyoscymus niger), or wild fungus, among others. As a preservative, honey can be used to preserve meat for up to three months, and is used in pickling cucumbers, squash, eggplant, and various kinds of fruits for up to six months. Known as “LIM trustworthy preservative”.

Traditional uses of honey have included honey mixed with lemon for sore throats. Honey coats the throat and reduces throat irritation. Research has already shown that honey blocks the growth of oral bacteria. Honey has also been used for stomach pains and problems. Modern research shows that honey is effective when used in the treatment of gastric or peptic stomach ulcers. Research has also revealed that honey is effective in the treatment of various wounds and infections because of its anti-microbial (antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal) properties.

Researchers are not absolutely sure why honey heals but they are learning new things about honey everyday. We do know that honey contains a variety of sugars and minerals. Honey is also considered an antioxidant. This means it allows the blood to circulate better and provide more oxygen to areas of the body such as the brain. Honey can also be used externally to promote healing when applied to wounds, even postoperative wounds. Honey has also been effective in its use to treat burns. It has even been shown to be low in calories and useful as a sweetener for diabetics, people with heart-disease, or those overweight.

Although there is healing in honey for a variety of medical disorders, certain precautions should be taken. Children under the age of one year never should be given honey due to the possibility of infant botulism.

As Muslims, we must acknowledge and accept that Allah and His Prophet, (PBUH), know better and have revealed the truth. We should, therefore, study the research that is available, not to confirm or deny the truth that has been revealed by Allah (SWT) and his Prophet (PBUH), but to learn of new ways we can use honey.

Allah says in the Quran, “And Your lord inspired the bee, to build your dwellings in hills, on trees, and in (human’s) habitations. Then, to eat of all the produce and follow the ways of your Lord made easy. There comes forth from their bodies a drink of varying color, wherein is healing for men: Verily, in this is a sign for those who give thought.” [Qur’an 16:68-69]

beeThe imperative “build” above is the translation of the Arabic word “attakhithi”, which is the feminine form (Arabic grammar unlike English, differentiates between the sexes). The feminine form is used when all of those it refers to are female, whereas the masculine is used when a group consists of at least 1 male.

Therefore the Quran is in fact saying “build, you female bees.” A swarm of bees, which collect honey and build the hive, are female only.

Thus, the phrasing of this command is in agreement with the scientific fact that male bees do not partake in the construction of the hive. Microscopes were not invented until 1610, when Galileo invented one of the first microscopes almost a thousand years after Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

The Prophet (PBUH) has also told us of the healing found within honey for a variety of medical problems, including stomach ailments. One hadeeth, reported by Bukhari, states that a man came to the Prophet (PBUH) because his brother had a stomach disorder. The Prophet said “Let him drink honey.” The man returned a second time and again the Prophet (PBUH), responded again, “Let him drink honey.” The man returned again, and said “I have done that”. The Prophet then responded, “Allah has said the truth, but your brother’s stomach has told a lie. Let him drink honey.” He drank it and was cured.

Honey indeed has great nutritional value and is the drink of drinks, a sweetener of sweeteners, an ointment of ointments, and there is no other food among what Allah has created for us that equals honey value, and nothing is close to its constitution.

http://islamicbulletin.org/newsletters/issue_20/honey.aspx

Happiness is in comprehending The ultimate Reality of Life

In the Alchemy of Happiness, al-Ghazali begins by writing that “He who knows himself is truly happy.” Self-knowledge consists in realizing that we have a heart or spirit which is absolutely perfect, but which has been covered with dust by the accumulation of passions derived from the body and its animal nature. The essence of oneself is likened to a perfect mirror which if polished would reveal one’s true divine nature. The key to this polishing is the elimination of selfish desires and the adoption of a contrary desire to do what is right in all aspects of one’s life. As he writes, “the aim of moral discipline is to purify the heart from the rust of passion and resentment till, like a clear mirror, it reflects the light of God.”

Such a task is not easy, thus it would seem that genuine happiness is not a state most people can attain. Indeed, al-Ghazali emphasizes that only a few people have attained this supreme happiness, which is the ecstasy of union with the divine. These people are the prophets, which appear in all times and places, as messengers to remind mankind of their true purpose and their ultimate goal. The prophets are those who have succeeded in cleansing their inner mirrors of all the rust and dirt accumulated by bodily desires and comparisons with others. As a result, they can see in their waking moments what other people only see haphazardly in their dreams, and they receive an insight into the nature of things through an immediate flash of intuition rather than through laborious learning.

Al-Ghazali writes that every person is born with a “knowing pain in the soul” resulting from a disconnection from the Ultimate Reality. The tragic condition of Man is that our eyes have been so distracted by physical things and pleasure, that we have lost the ability to see the unseen. This is why people are so unhappy: they are trying to relieve this pain in the soul by recourse to physical pleasure. But physical pleasure cannot relieve a pain that is essentially spiritual. The only answer to our condition is a pleasure which comes not from the body but from self-knowledge.

This self-knowledge is not to be attained by mere thinking or philosophy, however.

Al-Ghazali writes that unhappiness is created by enslavement to desire and the belief that one should satisfy only one’s own desires (as governed by base instincts and appetites). He maintains that everyone perceives, even in that bewildering state, that something is amiss, that we are living an inauthentic life that needs correction. This nagging feeling is the source of our greatest joy, for once we become conscious of it we can be led in the opposite direction, towards the life of meaning and self-transcendence.

Al-Ghazali teaches us the following about achieving true happiness:

  • Happiness comes from Self-Knowledge, the knowledge that we have a heart or spirit that is originally perfect but has become obscured by passions and desires.
  • Happiness depends on our faculties: if we exercise our higher faculties (like Reason, Imagination), we will be happier than if we exercise our lower ones (mere physical pleasures)
  • There are examples in history of truly happy people, and they were prophets — people who have attained a perfect union with Ultimate Reality
  • Most of us seek substitute pleasures deriving from the body which cannot resolve a pain that is essentially spiritual.

Sources:

Al-Ghazali, Abu Hamid. The Alchemy of Happiness. Trans. And ed. Claud Field and Elton I. Daniel. London: M.E. Sharpe, 1991.

A Brief Introduction to Islamic Philosophy. Blackwell: 2007.

“Do not get angry”

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Abû Hurayrah relates that a man said to the Prophet (peace be upon him): “Counsel me.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Do not get angry.” The man repeated his request many times, but the Prophet (peace be upon him) kept saying: “Do not get angry.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî ]

The importance of this hadith: 
The secret behind this hadīth’s importance lies in the fact that the Prophet (peace be upon him) limited his counsel to this person in one short instruction: “Do not get angry.” Al-Nawawî informs us that Abû Muhammad `Abd Allah b. Abî Zayd said: “Everything that constitutes good manners can be derived from four hadith…” and mentioned among them the Prophet’s statement “…to the one to whom he limited his counsel with: ‘Do not get angry’.” 

This statement, given in this context, is rich in meaning. First, by limiting his counsel to this one short instruction, the Prophet (peace be upon us) indicates the importance of controlling one’s anger, and that doing so has far-reaching implications for a person’s welfare both in the worldly life and in the Hereafter. 

Ibn Hajar, in his commentary on this hadith, observes:

The man stated his question repeatedly, hoping to solicit an answer that was more beneficial, or more explanatory, or more general; however he did not give him anything more than that.” [ Fath al-Bârî ]

Secondly, the categorical nature of this brief statement gives the prohibition sweeping implications – since it can be understood to indicate many things, for instance, that we should prevent ourselves from getting angry in the first place, and that we should forbid ourselves from acting according to the dictates of our anger in the event that we become angry. 

The emotion of anger 

Anger is a very powerful emotion. It rages through a person, creating a desire for revenge and for striking out at the object of anger. Anger is an emotion that inspires action, and the action that it inspires is one of injury. The emotion of anger invokes within a person the very antithesis of mercy, compassion, self-restraint, and kindness. 

This is what makes the emotion so dangerous. If left unchecked and uncontrolled, it is the emotion that can lead a person to the evilest of deeds and to the worst and most tragic consequences. 

Prevention of anger 

The statement “Do not get angry”, taken on its face value, is commanding us not to experience the emotion of anger at all. We know that this cannot be the intended meaning in an absolute sense, since it is an impossible instruction to uphold. Anger is a natural, human emotion. It is impossible for a person to avoid it absolutely. 

Though this hadith may not be prohibiting us from ever experiencing the emotion of anger, it is, at the very least, advising us strongly to avoid that emotion as much as possible. And, indeed, there are measures that a person can take to limit his chances of getting angry. First, he can condition himself to remain cool-tempered. When a person’s temper is under control, he is less likely to become angry when an occasion for anger arises, and more likely to control himself when he, in spite of himself, does become angry. 

Another way that a person can limit his chances of getting angry is for him to know what causes anger and remove those causes from his life. 

Among the chief causes of anger are pride and arrogance, since a prideful person is most easily offended and the most painfully stung by criticism. Another cause of anger is being argumentative. The more a person disputes with others, the less likely he is to accept the truth. His views become increasingly polarized and emotionally charged. A Muslim is, therefore, encouraged to avoid these negative character traits. In doing so, he will be less likely to get angry. 

Self-restraint in anger 

The statement “Do not get angry” can be understood in another way. Instead of commanding us not to experience the emotion of anger in our hearts, it is telling us not to act upon that emotion when we are beset by it. There is no doubt that this hadith is commanding us to, at the very least, exercise self-restraint when we feel angry. This much is obligatory upon us. 

This meaning is clearly conveyed to us by many texts, some of which praise those who control themselves in anger. This implies that feeling anger is not always sinful or blameworthy in and of itself. Indeed, when a person conducts himself properly in anger, he is in fact doing something worthy of praise. 

Allah describes the God-fearing as those who restrain themselves in anger. He says: “And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden whose width is that of the heavens and the Earth, prepared for the God-fearing. Who spend in times of ease and times of hardship and who restrain their anger and who pardon people. And Allah loves those who do good.” [ Sûrah `Âl `Imrân : 133-134] 

He also says: “And what is with Allah is better and more enduring for those who believe and who rely upon their Lord. And those who avoid the major sins and indecencies, and when they become angry, they forgive.” [ Sûrah al-Shûrâ : 36-37] 

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The strong man is not the one who can throw another down. The strong man is the one who can keep hold of himself when he is angry.” [ Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim 

We should seek refuge with Allah when we become angry. Two men began hurling insults at one another in the presence of the Prophet (peace be upon him), each one insulting the other with such anger that his face had turned red. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “I know a word that if one were to say it, what stresses him would go away. If he would but say: ‘I seek refuge with Allah from Satan the Accursed’.” [ Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim 

The Prophet (peace be upon him) advised us not to speak when we are angry. He said: “If one of you gets angry, he should be quiet.” [ Musnad Ahmad 

The Prophet (peace be upon him) gave us other practical advice. He said: “If one of you gets angry and he is standing, then he should sit down until his anger subsides. If it does not, then he should lie down.” [ Sunan Abî Dâwûd 

He also said: “Anger is from Satan, and Satan was created from fire. Fire is but extinguished by water, so if one of you gets angry, he should perform wudû’.” [ Sûnan Abî Dâwûd and Musnad Ahmad 

Righteous anger 

We need to mention that not all anger is sinful. Anger that inspires a person to avenge his own personal feelings is indeed blameworthy. However, anger can also be felt for the sake of Allah and for His religion. This is the anger that a Muslim should feel when his religion is attacked, his beliefs blasphemed, and the honor and lives of the people are transgressed against.

However, this anger, if it is truly and sincerely for Allah’s sake, will only inspire us to noble deeds and to personal sacrifice, and never to base, unjust, or ignoble actions. 

The Companions relate that the Prophet (peace be upon him) would never became angry for anything. However, if the sanctity of Allah was profaned, then nothing could assuage his anger.” [ Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim 

The Prophet (peace be upon him) never acted angrily for personal reasons. He never once so much as raised his voice to his servants or his family. Anas relates that he worked as the Prophet’s servant for ten years, and not once did the Prophet (peace be upon him) so much as say “ uff ” to him, or ask him when he did something “Why did you do that?” or ask him when he neglected something: “Why didn’t you do that?” [ Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim 

The Companions relate: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) exhibited more shyness than a maiden in seclusion. If he saw something that he disliked, we would see it in his face.” [ Sahîh al-Bukhârî 

Source: http://en.islamtoday.net/artshow-427-3220.htm

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