Ahmad Raza Attari Madani

The Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم ate honey, and it was one of his favourite foods. It is a natural food with many benefits, owing to its richness in nutrients, iron, vitamins, and antioxidants. Its sweetness and pleasant smell make it an appealing food for people of all ages. These properties are the reason why it is known as a superfood.

The Quran explains how honey is a food of Paradise:

وَ اَنۡہٰرٌ مِّنۡ عَسَلٍ مُّصَفًّی ؕ

“And rivers of refined honey.”[1]

In Arabic, honeybees are known as naḥl. There is chapter in the Quran with the same name, in which Allah describes the excellences of honey Himself.

The Quran says:

یَخۡرُجُ مِنۡۢ بُطُوۡنِہَا شَرَابٌ مُّخۡتَلِفٌ اَلۡوَانُہٗ  فِیۡہِ شِفَآءٌ لِّلنَّاسِ ؕ

“A colourful liquid comes out of their bellies; there is healing therein for people.”[2]

Exegetical points

In relation to this verse, Tafsīr asanāt says honey has four colours: white, yellow, red and black. Its colour depends on the honeybee’s age. White honey is produced by young honeybees, yellow from the middle-aged, red is from the old, and black from honeybees that work hard during old age.[3]

The nature of honey

Fresh honey is initially solid (as honeycomb) before its liquid form.[4]

Hadith regarding honey

There are many hadith in which honey is mentioned. Here are some of them:

1.   Lady ʿĀishah رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ عَنْهَا narrates of how the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم used to consume honey when with Zaynab bint Jash رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ عَنْهَا, and he would stay with her for extended periods of time.[5]

2.   She also reports of how he liked sweet things and honey.[6]

3.   The Companion Jābir b. ʿAbdullah رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ said, “Some honey was given as a gift to the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, and he shared it among us equally. I took my portion and asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah, can I have another?’ He replied, ‘Yes.’”[7]

4.   The Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, “Take hold of two cures as a necessity: honey and the Quran.”[8]

5.   The Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم included honey amongst things which provide cure and remedy.[9]

6.   As narrated by the Companion Abū Hurayrah رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ, the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, “Whoever consumes honey in three mornings of each month will not endure any serious calamity.”[10]

7.   The Companion Abū Saʿīd al-Khudrī رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ explained:

The Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was approached by a person who said, “My brother has an abdominal illness.”

“Let him have honey”, he instructed.

The person came for the second time, and he again said, “Let him have honey.”

The person came back for a third time and said, “I have given it to him (but it did not benefit him).”

The Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم announced, “Allah is truthful, and your brother’s stomach is lying. Let him have honey!” The person gave honey to his brother again, and the latter was cured.[11]

Hadith commentary

It is proven the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم consumed honey and loved it greatly. It is a source of remedy, and it can be used as part of a treatment due to its nutritional benefits.

Health benefits of honey

Honey has many health benefits, which is why it is used as a form of treatment across the world. Here are some of its benefits:

* Clears the voice, sharpens vision, and increases appetite.

* Cleans wounds and produces fresh flesh.

* Freshens the appearance.

* Increases intelligence.

* Treats cough and runny nose.

* Reduces fat.[12]

* Drinking a syrup made of peeled pine nuts and honey is beneficial for a productive cough.[13]

* Improves cholesterol levels.

* Reduces high blood pressure.

* Eliminates dandruff.

* An effective remedy for all types of coughs.

* Reduces weight.[14]

Note: Consult a qualified doctor before consuming any food or medicine.   

[1] Al-Quran, 47:15, translation from Kanz al-Īmān

[2] Al-Quran, 16:69, translation from Kanz al-Īmān

[3] Tafsīr asanāt, Sūrah Nal, verse 69, vol. 3, p. 637

[4] Khazāin al-Adwiyah, vol. 3, p. 56

[5] aī al-Bukhārī: 4912

[6] Ibid: 5682

[7] Sunan Ibn Mājah: 3451

[8] Ibid: 3452

[9] aī al-Bukhārī:5681

[10] Sunan Ibn Mājah: 3450

[11] aī al-Bukhārī: 5684

[12] Khazāin al-Adwiyah, vol. 3, p. 59

[13] Kitāb al-Mufridāt, p. 211

[14] Health Wire Web




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