Laws of Religion
Laws of Islam Concerning Food
14. Medicinal Foods and Drinks
from the Holy Qur’an, major hadith collections
and Islamic jurisprudence
From Islamic Source Documents: Qur’an and Hadith
Honey is said to be medicinal in both the Qur’an and in a number of hadiths, and Muhammad recommends honey specifically for abdominal problems and diarrhea. Muhammad says that black cumin in the nostrils fights all diseases except death itself. He also says that eye disease should be treated with the juice from truffles. Talbina is said to relieve grief. Water – or Zam Zam water – should be used to cool a fever. (Zam Zam is a well located near the Ka‛ba in Mecca.)
Muhammad said that the effects of poison or magic can be avoided for a day by eating seven ‘ajwa dates or dates from the land between two lava plains in the morning. Muhammad said that the ‘ajwa dates have a heating effect that is an antidote early in the morning.
Muhammad prescribed camel milk and urine or only camel milk as medicine. In other hadiths, he sends the ailing people to the camels and they drink the milk and urine as medicine without explicitly being told to do so by Muhammad. The
original Muslims would treat themselves with camel urine.
From Islamic Jurisprudence (fiqh/sharia§): Reliance of the Traveller
Reliance of the Traveller recommends drinking Zam Zam water for whatever religious or this-worldly purpose one intends. (This could include medicinal purposes.)
§The specific derived laws of fiqh summarized here are often referred to by the more general term sharia law.
Abbreviations used in footnotes:
BK: Hadith collection of al-Bukhari as found here (USC/CMJE website) and here (ebook download). In a few instances, the hadiths on the USC website differ from those in the ebook download, either by having slightly different numbering of the hadiths or because the hadith appears only on the USC site and not in the ebook download. Such cases are noted in the footnotes by putting either “(USC)” or “(ebook)” after the relevant hadith number when it applies to only one of these two sources. Part or all of the hadith collections of al-Bukhari, with somewhat different numbering systems, can also be found here, here and here.
DJP: The Distinguished Jurist’s Primer, by Ibn Rushd, translated by Imran Ahsan Khan Nyazee, published by Garnet Publishing Ltd, Reading, UK. Volume 1, 1994. Volume 2, 1996. Full text online and download for Volume 1 are here and here and for Volume 2 are here and here.
RT: Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller, revised edition 1994, published by Amana Publications, Beltsville, Maryland, USA. Reliance of the Traveller can be found here and here.
SR: al-Shafi‛i’s Risala: Treatise on the Foundations of Islamic Jurisprudence, translated by Majid Khadduri, Second Edition, published by The Islamic Texts Society.
● The sources cited are described on the page Source Texts Used for Laws of Islam.
 QR 16:68-69, BK 7:71:584, BK 7:71:585, BK 7:71:587, BK 7:71:603, ML 26:5468
 BK 7:71:588, BK 7:71:614, ML 26:5492
 BK 7:71:591, BK 7:71:592
 BK 7:71:609, ML 23:5084, ML 23:5085, ML 23:5086, ML 23:5087, ML 23:5088, ML 23:5089
 BK 7:65:328, BK 7:71:593, BK 7:71:594, ML 26:5491
 BK 4:54:483
 BK 7:65:356, BK 7:71:663, BK 7:71:664, BK 7:71:671, ML 23:5081-5082
 ML 23:5080
 ML 23:5083
 BK 1:4:234, BK 5:59:505, BK 6:60:134, BK 7:71:590, BK 7:71:623, BK 8:82:794, BK 8:82:797, BK 9:83:37, ML 16:4130, ML 16:4131-4132-4133
 BK 7:71:589
 BK 2:24:577, BK 4:52:261, BK 8:82:796
 BK 7:71:672
 RT j11.6 (page 349)