The Prophetic Medicine
The Revival of the Sunnah
“Say: It is for those who believe, a guide and a healing.” – [Fussilat 41:44]
Allah is the Creator of the disease and the Creator of its cure, and it is He Who controls the affairs of everything and everyone. Therefore the hearts that are connected to Allah The Exalted do not need to look further whilst seeking remedies for ones ailments. Furthermore, as Muslims our trust in Allah is ever-building – thus once our souls and our hearts become stronger in faith, it is without a doubt that defeating the illnesses and overcoming them will become that much easier. It is an undeniable fact that the most effective cure for the ailment which affects a being is through drawing closer to the Lord, loving Him, remembering Him and depending upon Him when seeking His help. And what better way is there to draw closer to Allah other than to implement the methodology of His Messenger ﷺ?
The Prophetic Medicine, otherwise known as at-Tibb an-Nabawi, is a complete code of medicine that was gifted by Allah to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ through Wahee (revelation). It is truly the healing for both the doctor and the patient, and for the sick and the healthy.
It is a clear truth that there is a healing for every disease except for one, as it is narrated that Osamah bin Shourayk said:
“I was with the Prophet when the Bedouins came to him and said, “O Messenger of Allah, should we seek medicine?” He replied, “Yes, O slaves of Allah, seek medicine, for Allah has not created a disease except that He has in addition created its cure, except for one illness.” Thy said, “And what is that?” He said “It is old age.” – Sahih in Ahmad.
Many people are diagnosed with physical ailments and it is often the case that their diagnosis is followed by diseases of the heart such as depression, anxiety, insomnia etc. For the believing Muslim however, it is an opportunity for the expiation of sins that one may be burdened with. In addition, it is a call from Allah to His slave! The Muslim will strive to follow the true principals of Shifa’a (cure), which will undoubtedly strengthen ones relationship with his Lord. The first principle of healing of both the heart and the body is healing by having Yaqeen (certainty) that Allah has sent the disease and with Allah is the cure – It is to fully comprehend that if the healing is delayed, then it is by Allah’s Will and that indeed, there is Hikmah (wisdom) behind it. Another principle is of attaining Shifa’a is by committing to righteous deeds such as adhering to the compulsory prayers, giving Sadaqah (charity), making Dhikr (remembering Allah), reciting the Qur’an, fasting, abstaining from sins and making Istighfaar (repentance) etc. This is followed by implementing the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in regards to healing through the Prophetic Medicine. When these principles are combined, it becomes difficult for any sickness or ailment to withstand the power of the Prophetic Medicine!
Besides the cure that comes from implementing the Prophetic Medicine, there are also many other great significances in it. Our lives should revolve around the Sunnah (established ways) of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, and it is upon us to love what he had brought to us as it is he who said: "None of you will be regarded to have believed unless he loves me more than himself, his father, his children and everybody." – Sahih in Bukhari and Muslim. And Allah The Exalted mentions in the Qur’an: “And whatever the Messenger has given you – take; and what he has forbidden you – refrain from. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty." [Quran 59: 7]. Taking both the mentions in Qur’an and in Hadith into consideration, it is clear that it is upon the truthful believers to follow what the Messenger of Allah ﷺ had guided us with and that Allah has made obedience to the Messenger ﷺ a religious duty – Resisting the Sunnah or opposing it is a sign of hypocrisy and only encompasses those with diseased hearts.
As well as this, it is important to emphasise that the Prophetic Medicine is currently practiced at a very minuet scale across the world today, therefore it is upon every single Muslim to work towards reviving this enriched Sunnah and making it a common practice. It is well known that whoever revives a Sunnah will have the reward of everyone who acts upon it. This is based on the hadith narrated by Amr ibn Awf RA: The Messenger of Allah said, “Know that whoever revives my practice when it has died out after me will have a reward similar to those who act upon it without detracting from his reward in the slightest, and whoever innovates misguidance displeasing to Allah and His messenger will have a sin similar to those who act upon it without detracting from their sins in the slightest.”
We are also living in a time where evil and corruption has become widespread and innovation and fitnah prevail. Therefore the rewards for those who attend to the Sunnah will be far greater and the status of those in the sight of Allah will be higher, for they are living as strangers with the light of the Qur’an and the Sunnah that is guiding them amidst the darkness. The efforts of those seeking to implement the Prophetic Medicine and to set their affairs straight will be recompensed with a great reward as they are of those who are seeking to be Saleh (righteous). Imam Malik, one of the greatest Muslim scholars, compared the Sunnah of the Prophet to the ark of the Prophet Noah and said: 'The Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is like the Ark of Noah. Whoever embarks upon it reaches salvation and whoever refuses it, is drowned.' This is the significance of the Sunnah so strive to embark upon spreading this knowledge amongst your communities as a means of Da’wah, through speech and most importantly through your actions!
There are thousands of mentions of different natural resources that are utilised for the purpose of at-Tibb al Nabawi, however we have summarised for our readers some of the most prominent.
Talbinah is a broth made from Sha`eer (barley). The broth is called Talbinah because it is thin and white, similar to milk. Talbinah has been mentioned in many narrations of the Prophet ﷺ such as the narration of A’isha: When someone from her relatives died, the women would gather for that (reason) then they would disperse except her family, she would order an earthenware pot of talbinah be cooked, then tharid (a dish made form meat and bread) would be made and the talbinah poured over it. Then she (Aisha) would say (to the women), ‘Eat from it for indeed I heard the Messenger of Allah [peace be upon him] say: “Talbinah is a relaxation for the heart of the sick person and it removes some of the sorrow”.’ – [Bukhari 479/9, Book of Food, Chapter of Talbinah]. In another Hadith narrated by Umm Kulthum, it is said: I heard Aisha RA say, “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “You must have what you find unpleasant but beneficial (i.e. talbinah); by the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, indeed it cleanses the stomach of one of you, just as one of you washes his face from dirt, with water.” – [Sunan An Nisai Al Kubra, #7575]
Recipe for Constipation or Anaemia: Mix green barley powder (start with 1/2 teaspoon once a day then increase to 2-3 teaspoons) with water or juice and drink it. Recipe for Depression or Sadness: Add 1-2 tablespoons of 100% barley flour to a cup and a half of milk or water. Drink daily.
It is also notable that in many modern discoveries, barley has been specified as an emollient to enhance digestion and it is highly recommended for stomach pain and bowel irritation. Research has also shown that B Vitamins in Barley are linked to the development and maintenance of the nervous system. This may explain the saying of the Prophet ﷺ that talbina removes some of the sorrow.
Honey is a sweet and sticky fluid produced by honey bees from the nectar of flowers and plants. Its colour, flavour, thickness and aroma vary depending on the flower or plant from which the bees gather the nectar. In the Qur’an, Allah informs us about the honey of honey bees, that their honey varies in colour and that it is a healing for mankind. He the Most High said: “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.” [16:69] Honey has also been mentioned in the authentic Sunnah. It is reported that the Prophet said: “Cure is in three (things): a drink of honey, a slash of the knife used in Hijamah and branding (cauterizing) by fire. And I prohibit my nation from cauterizing.” – Sahih in Bukhari
Generally it is recommended to take 2-3tbsp of honey a day and is used as a component with other prescribed herbs and medicines. The scholar, Ibn Al Qayyim mentioned that honey is a food, a drink, a sweet, a remedy a type of refreshment and an ointment and that there is no substance that is more beneficial. Today, it is deemed as a natural antiseptic that works against a preventative against bacterial and fungal growth. It can be used to treat various ailments including stomach ulcers, burns, gastric as well as be utilised as part of ones daily beauty regime.
Recipe to rejuvenate hair: mix ½ cup of honey and ¼ of a cup of olive oil, massage into the scalp. This will get the nutrients into the roots of the hair. Leave for 30 minutes to an hour and then wash off.
Recipe to brighten the face: mix equal parts of olive oil, honey and almond oil (this can be stored in a jar), apply the mixture to the face and leave for 15 to 20 minutes before washing off.
Blackseed forms a prominent part of the Prophetic Medicine due to the vast benefits which come from it. Blackseed has been for over 1400 years, and in recent centuries increasing numbers of research have been undertaken to investigate its properties. Research has illustrated that it is key to maintaining a healthy immune system so that the body can fight off infections that may enter the body. Blackseed is an anti-oxidant and thus it helps cleanse the body of toxins. It contains immense benefits for the body and is used as a remedy to treat wide range of ailments such as skin disorder, allergies, illnesses, infections, conditions related to respiratory health, digestive system, kidney and liver function, circulatory and immune system as well as support and assist the general wellbeing. It is significant to mention the hadith narrtated on the authority of Abu Hurairah that the Prophet said “Use the black seed, because it contains a cure for every type of ailment except death.” – Sahih in Bukhari and Muslim.
Recipe for backache and muscular pains: mildly heat a little black seed oil and then massage into the affected area alternatively powder equal quantities of asparagus seeds, black cumin, fenugreek and caraway. Take ¼ teaspoon of powder every morning with a glass of water.
Recipe for asthma and bronchial and respiratory problems: mix a teaspoon of black seed oil in coffee, and take twice a day. Also rub the chest with black seed every night and inhale the vapour of black seed in hot water
Recipe for toothache and gum: mix a half a teaspoon of black seed oil with warm water and gargle in the mouth, apply oil on the affected tooth for quick relief)
Recipe to increase flow of breast milk: mix together 250 grams of black seed with 250grams of pure honey, stir and take one tablespoon with black seed oil twice a day
Senna is a shrub that grows to about 1 meter in height and is found in hot and humid climates. It has yellow flowers and papery pods which contain six to eight seeds in them. From Asmaa Bint Umais, She said: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “With what do you relieve constipation?” She replied, “With the shubrum.” He said “That is hot and strong”, she then said: “I also relieve it with the Senna!” To which he said, “If there was a thing (which) cures from death, indeed it would be the Senna.” [Ibn Maajah 3461]
According to Ibn Al-Qayyim, other than being a laxative, senna relaxes the muscle and improves the hair; it also helps against lice, headache, rash and epilepsy.
Recipe for constipation: Boil a scarce spoonful of Senna leaves with two glasses of water and brew for about 10 -15 minutes or until it is reduced by half. Strain the leaves and drink the liquid before going to sleep.
Recipe for conditioning the hair: mix some Senna leaf powder with warm water until it becomes a paste. Apply the paste to the hair and leave in for about 10 to 15 minutes before washing off.
Olives has been mentioned many times in the Qur’an and it is one of the blessed foods of this life. From among the ayat that mention the olive are the following: “Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth. the parable of his light is as a niche and within it a lamp, the lamp is In glass, the glass as it were a brilliant star, lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east (i.e. neither it gets sun-rays Only In the morning) nor of the west (i.e. nor it gets sun-rays Only In the afternoon, but it is exposed to the sun All Day long), whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself), though no Fire touched it…” [24:35] As wel as: “And a tree (olive) that springs forth from Mount Sinai, that grows oil, and (it is a) relish for the eaters.” [23:20]. The olive has also been mentioned in authentic Hadith where Abu Hurayrah made mention that the Prophet said: “Eat the olive and anoint (yourselves) with it, for indeed it is from a blessed tree.” – Sahih in Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah.
For the purpose of ointments, all parts of the olive tree are used, including its bark, its leaves, its fruits and the oil which derives from it.
Ibn al Qayyim said that olive is hot and wet in the first degree and that the quality of its oil depends on the tree that it is produced from, such that oil from unripe olives are cold and dry, while black olives produce hot and wet oil. He mentioned that olive oil is useful against poisons, loosens the bowel, ejects worms and strengthens the gums. From amongst the other benefits of this blessed tree he mentioned was that olive oil mixed with salty water is useful against blisters resulting from a fire burn; and the olive leaves are useful against erysipelas (skin disease characterised by infection of the skin and underlying tissue), eczema, sores and urticaria (hives – elevated patches and severe itching caused by allergic reaction).
Recipe to clear ear wax: ear place 3 to 4 drops in the ear morning and evening for a few days until the wax softens and can be removed easily.
Recipe for Type 2 Diabetes and High Blood Pressure: boil about 20 dried leaves in 300ml of water, boil for 30 seconds and infuse for 10 minutes. Drink 3 cups a day during meals.
Siwaak is a natural toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss and it comes from a small tree called the Arak. Its twigs are usually cut to a hand span in length and of medium thickness. There are many ahadeeth mentioning the importance and virtues of using the siwaak however the most outstanding is narrated by Ibn Abbas, that the Prophet ﷺ said: “I was ordered with the siwaak until I thought that something would be revealed in the Qur’an in regards to it.” – Sahih in Ahmad. In regards to the health benefits of it however, it is based on the hadith of A’isha where she reported that the Prophet ﷺ said, “The siwaak is purifying for the mouth and pleasing to the Rabb.” – Sunan an Nasa’i.
Many studies have been carried out on the siwaak attesting to the truth that the Messenger ﷺ spoke when he said that the siwaak is purifying for the mouth. The research has shown that populations where the siwaak is in use are linked to low oral incidence of oral diseases and infections.
Tahneek is the practice of putting something sweet such as dates or honey in the childs mouth when it is newborn. It was reported that Abou Mousa said: “I had a baby boy and so I brought him to the Prophet. He named him Ibraheem and then did Tahneek with some dates and prayed for Allah to bless him, then he gave my son back to me.” [Narrated by al Bukhaari 5150]
Recent research states that one in ten babies are born prematurely are prone to brain damage if not treated immediately. Recent research has proven that a small dose of dextrose (sugar) gel inside the mouth of a newborn with low blood sugar levels can prevent a child from becoming brain damaged. Allah knows best, but it is suggestive that the wisdom behind tahneek was to strengthen the childs immune system.
It is important to remind the believers that the recent scientific findings that align with what the Prophet of Allah ﷺ had prescribed for his Ummah are purely a further testimony to the truth that he spoke and the divinity of Allah’s revelations to His Apostle. Our belief does not vary based on these scientific findings, rather we increase in belief because we are Muslim and believe in the Kalam (words of Allah), His miracles and in His Messenger.
This article was a summary on the vast content of the Prophetic Medicine and it is upon every Muslim to seek knowledge of the Sunnah in order to be able to implement it. Try out some of the remedies for yourself and for further queries, get in touch with The Suuk.