Food contaminated by Flies – Tibb-e-Nabawi

Food contaminated by Flies

وَأَيُّوبَ إِذْ نَادَى رَبَّهُ أَنِّي مَسَّنِيَ الضُّرُّ وَأَنتَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ

Prophet’s Guidance on food and drink contaminated by Flies

فى “الصحيحين” من حديث أبى هُريرة، أنَّ رسولَ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: “إذا وقَعَ الُّذَبابُ فى إناءِ أحَدِكُم، فامْقُلُوه، فإنَّ فى أحد جنَاحيهِ داءً، وفى الآخرِ شِفَاءً”.

In the Sahihain, it is narrated that Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam said:

“If a house fly falls in the drink of anyone of you, he should dip it (in the drink), for one of its wings has a disease and the other has the cure for the disease”.

In addition, Ibn Majah narrated that Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam said:

وفى “سنن ابن ماجه” عنِ أبى سعيد الخُدْرىِّ، أنَّ رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: “أحَدُ جَناحَى الذُّبابِ سَمٌ، والآخَرُ شِفَاءٌ، فإذا وَقَعَ فى الطَّعَام، فامْقُلُوه، فإنه يُقَدِّمُ السُّمَّ، ويُؤَخِّرُ الشِّفَاءَ”.

“One of the fly’s wings carries poison while the other carries a cure. When it falls in the food, dip it, for the sake of Allah, for verily He (Allah) Makes the poison (take affect) first and He Makes the cure come last”.

This Hadith contains two areas of interest; Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) and medicinal. As for the Fiqh part, the Hadith states that when a fly falls in water or fluids, it does not make it impure, according to the majority of the scholars. None among the early generations contradicted this ruling.

Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam ordered that the fly that fells on the food be dipped in it, thus killing the fly, especially if the food is hot, If the fly’s death inside the food would make the food impure, our beloved Prophet would have ordered us to discard the food. On the contrary, Prophet sought to salvage the food.

Bees, hornets, spiders and all similar insects are treated in the same manner as houseflies, because the ruling that we derived from Prophet’s commandment in this Hadith is general. Since the reason why dead animals are impure is that their blood remains trapped in their bodies, therefore the insects, which do not have blood are pure. The first person to use the words “What does not have a soul (meaning blood)” was Ibrahim An-Nukhai and then the scholars used these terms after him.

As for the medicinal value contained in the Hadith, Abu Ubaidah said that the purpose behind dipping the fly in the drink is to extract the cure from its other wing, just as the poison was extracted from the wing that fell in the food.

Houseflies carry poisonous materials as evidenced by the effect of their bite, such as rash and infection, and this poison is the fly’s weapon of defense. When the fly falls into what harms it, it tries to defend itself with the available weapons. Prophet ordered that we neutralize the poisonous substances produced by the fly with the cure that Allah Has Kept in its other wing. The fly should then be submerged in the water or the food so that the cure could nullify the effect of poison. This is a remedy that the best medical minds would never be able to discover on their own, because it is corning from Prophetic knowledge. The doctors who have good knowledge and comprehension submit to this Prophetic remedy and admit that he (Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam) who was sent with it; is indeed the perfect human being who is supported by divine revelation that is beyond human powers.

Several doctors have stated that when one anoints the inflammation caused by scorpion and hornet bites with the housefly it would calm down the pain due to the cure that the fly carries in its wing. When the head of the housefly is amputated and the body is used to scrub the tumor that appears in the eyelid it will cure it, Allah Willing.