At a gloomy time like this, when an invisible virus called ‘Corona Virus’ and codenamed COVID-19 turns itself into a merciless biological ‘hurricane’ foraging the lives of humans and threatening those lives with death, famine and poverty while turning hope into forlorn, a recourse to Prophet Muhammad’s medicament should become a matter of prioritized necessity. Now that the global focus is mostly on COVID-19 with its attritional variants, we can jointly seize the opportunity of the current global helplessness to share thoughts and ideas, through this forum, about the causes and effects of ailments generally as well as their possible prevention and cure.
Ailments and Medicaments
It is a fact, universally acknowledged, that without ailments there would have been no need for medicaments. Incidentally, however, it is the combination of both ailments and medicaments that prompted the idea of establishing certain healing institutions, in the primordial time, that came to be named hospitals in the contemporary time.
Origin of Hospital
The word hospital itself is a mediaeval English coinage that originated from the Latin word ‘hospes’ or ‘hospice’ (meaning guest) while the word ‘patient’, used to describe a health seeker which also came from the Latin word ‘Patior’ meaning suffering. Thus, philologically, hospital means a place where suffering guests are given proper care for normal comfort of body system.
Ironically, today, however, despite the ubiquity of hospitals in all nations and communities around the world, global pandemics like COVID-19 still randomly perch on earth to stubbornly resist the efficacy of any synthetic antidote while rendering those hospitals helpless. Thus, humanity grows incredibly restive with no cute assurance for rescue. In such a bewildering situation where this virus has become like a stormy rain showering the entire world with acidic water, will it not be effectively meaningful and rewarding to seek a permanent solution than to keep scampering for temporary cover? That is what motivated yours sincerely to write this article for the benefit of today’s generation and that of tomorrow.
Classification of Medicaments
Whether in the olden days or modern time, medicaments have had to be classified into natural and artificial segments. But because of the sophistication of the modern time, the one is said to be conventional while the other is known as synthetic. However, none of them enjoys the permanency of time and space in the absence of knowledge. It is with knowledge that ailments are diagnosed. It is also with knowledge that medicaments for their prevention or cure are prescribed. In other words, ailments of any type can gain access to man only in the absence of knowledge.
Incidentally, the most potent medicaments of all times, for all ailments, including contagious pandemics like COVID- 19, are the ones prescribed by the unlettered Prophet from Arabia, Muhammad (SAW), the son of Abdullah and Aminah almost 1500 years ago. And those medicaments remain as validly potent today as they were when theywere prescribed in the 7th century AD. And, they will continue to be as much potent throughout the remaining period of human existence on earth because they are unalterably backed up by divine authority.
From Adam to Muhammad
Prophet Muhammad’s prescription of medicament for ailments was a confirmation of the coded remedy primordially prescribed by the first human being called Adam. That primogenitor of mankind was the first human being divinely designated as a Prophet. From the Qur’anic historical record, Muslims came to learn that Adam was hardly one hour old as a creature when he started prescribing medicaments with which to heal ailments. He was commanded by Allah to teach the Angels the names of all creatures, which the Angels had confessed not to know when Allah asked them to name those creatures. Thus, by teaching the Angels those names, Prophet Adam became, not only the teacher of Angels, but also their Doctor and this was to spark off a fierce controversy, later in life, among intellectuals and certain professionals on what should be called the first human profession.
While some scholars regard teaching as the very first profession of man, some professionals, especially those in the Information/Communication sector called journalists, believe that what Adam actually did by teaching the Angels the names of all creatures, which they (the Angels) did not know, was more of information dissemination through communication than actual teaching. And, in fairness to the proponents of that argument, there can be no effective teaching without adequate information disseminated through communication. That is why nobody can claim to be a teacher or even a Doctor without strong ability to communicate effectively.
Prophet Adam as a Doctor
By teaching the Angels the names of all creatures through the guidance of Allah, what Prophet Adam really did was to cure the worst disease (ignorance) in those Angels. If Adam had not taught the Angels the names of all things on earth, by the grace of Allah, those Angels would have remained permanently ignorant. And if he (Adam) had not healed the Angels of the disease called ignorance, Allah’s subsequent messages to mankind, through His appointed Messengers and Prophets, would not have come to mankind through them.
Natural and Artificial Medicaments
In ordinary man’s view, medicament is the substance required to cure or prevent an ailment. Such substance may be natural or artificial. It may also be as crude as raw herbs or as sophisticated as surgery. Meanwhile, it is generally believed that a person does not need medication unless he is ill. That is why the Western conventional medicine of the cotemporary time is rather curative than preventive. As a norm, physical human illness resides in human body just as an abstract illness like ignorance makes man’s mind its abode. Today, in most cases, people neither go to the hospitals nor take medicine unless they fall sick or feel ill.
Although unlettered, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) had known, by divine intuition, the different types of ailments and their required medicaments before he diagnosed two basic general ailments and prescribed two fundamental medicaments for them. The first of those ailments is ignorance for which he prescribed thorough understanding of the Qur’an and obedience to the rules and regulations therein in one’s own interest. The second ailment is poverty. And, poverty in this sense, is not lack of material wealth alone as many people erroneously believe. It is also lack of many things including health and conscience. Many people are victims of one of these ailments. Many more are victims of both.
As an antidote for the ailment of the mind which is ignorance, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) prescribed constant recitation and thorough understanding of Allah’s rules and regulations for mankind which are contained in the Qur’an. And, for body ailments, he (Prophet Muhammad) prescribed two different medicaments. One is ‘Han’ (ie: honey) which is a product of an insect called ‘Bee’. The other is ‘Habbatu-s-Sauda’u’ otherwise known as Black Seed of a plant called ‘Nigella Sativa’. Honey is just one of the seven products of the Bee. But it is the most popular of them all. Black Seed, on the other hand, is a wonderful natural seed of a plant that is native to the Middle East, South Western Asia, North Africa and some parts of Eastern Europe. This seed can come in three different forms: raw seed, powder and liquid.
Qur’an’s Medical Role
The Qur’an is the encyclopedia of life which embodies and personifies knowledge in all its ramifications. There is nothing spiritual or mundane about knowledge that is not contained in the Qur’an either in coded or decoded form. Thus, by recommending the Qur’an as the medicament for ignorance, the Prophet simply provided a permanent cure for the ailment of the mind. And, by prescribing Honey and Black Seed as antidotes for body ailments, he encouraged longevity through the strengthening of human immune system. It is, therefore, not by accident that Suratu-n-Nahl chapter 16 of the Qur’an, is named after the insect called ‘Bee’ which heals human ailments with its products. The contents of Verse 68 in that chapter of the Qur’an are explicit as follows:
“And, your Lord revealed to the Bee thus: Build your homes in the mountains, in the trees and in the hives which men shall make for you. Feed on every kind of fruit and follow the trodden path of your Lord’. From its belly comes forth a fluid of many hues as a healing substance for mankind. Surely in this, there is a sign for those who can reason….”. That Qur’anic verse confirms that the Qur’an is not for humans alone. It is also for all living organisms depending on how those organisms relate to it.
Other Products of the Bee
Contrary to general belief in people, honey is not the only product of the Bee. There are six others so far known to man. These are: Propolis; Pollen; Royal Jelly; Bees wax; Bee Venom and Bee Bread. More can still be discovered by man as research continues along this line in accordance with the Qur’anic challenge. Each of these products has specific functions in sanitizing and immunizing the human hormone system. And, each of them has tremendous health maintenance value in the life of man. For instance, propolis is the most efficacious natural antibiotic without negative side effect just as bee venom is the most effective natural vaccine against any epidemic or pandemic in the world. But there is neither time nor space here to discuss them in full details now. A better chance may come in the near future.
Composition of Honey
Genuine honey in its raw form contains about 80 different substances that are most important for human nutrition. Besides glucose and fructose, honey contains all of the B-complex minerals and vitamins such as A, C, D, E and K as well as trace elements such as magnesium, sulphur, phosphorus, iron, calcium, chlorine, potassium, iodine, sodium, copper and manganese. The enzyme content of honey is one of the highest of all existing foods on earth. Honey also contains an antimicrobial, as well as antiviral and antibacterial factors. Other ailments for which honey may be found appropriate as an antidote include staphylococcus, respiration, constipation, whitlow, burns and wounds.
After many centuries of disputing the above facts ignorantly, conventional Doctors of the West finally came to realize that no medicine is as effective in sealing up surgical wounds and healing sores as honey.
Today, at the instance of the World Health Organization (WHO), honey is globally used for these purposes in most public hospitals in various parts of the world, Nigeria inclusive.
Types of Black Seed
Ordinarily, there are three ways in which Black Seed can be put to use for effective cure or prevention. One way is the chewing of raw Black Seed. Another is grinding it (Black Seed) into powder while the third is turning it into a lotion. But the three are not dissimilar in potency or efficacy. They are all the same.
Governor Seyi Makinde’s Rescue
Sometime in 2020, while the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, who tested positive to COVID-19, was still writhing hopelessly in untold agony at the intensive care unit of a London hospital, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Nigeria was easily rescued from the claw of Corona Virus in Ibadan after about nine days in the isolation gulag of that deadly virus.
It was a Muslim brother, Dr. Muyideen Olatunji that was said to have introduced the Prophetic medicament to him at that precarious moment of his life after almost one and a half millennium that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) had prescribed Honey and Black Seed as potent medicaments.
But, in fairness to Governor Makinde, he 0penly confessed to that effect and gave a public testimony in appreciation of that unique gesture. That is one of the contributions of Islam to the continuity of human existence and the civilization of mankind.
That Prophet Muhammad (SAW) knew that much even as an unlettered person at a time when the world was evidently assailed by blatant ignorance and primitivism is a further confirmation of Michael Hart’s classification of him (Prophet Muhammad) as the greatest human being that ever lived. What else will Nigerian charlatans who are parochially claiming to be prophets say to counter this axiomatic fact? God bless the readers of this column.
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