Is Camel Urine all that bad?
by Ibn Anwar
Like many shameless Christians, Silas(a prominent author on answering islam) wrote an article to defame Muhammad s.a.w. on the issue of camel urine i.e. the Prophet s.a.w. prescribed it as medicine. To the untrained, uninformed individual, such a medical prescription may sound daft and totally vile. But is it really?
Let us briefly analysed the article written by Silas on the issue. As proof he has provided exactly four narrations(ahadith) pertaining to the incident. However, for the purpose of discussion it is sufficient to quote only the first and fourth hadiths here.
From Volume 1, #234
1.234: Narrated Abu Qilaba:
Anas said, "Some people of ?Ukl or ?Uraina tribe came to Medina and its climate did not suit them. So the Prophet ordered them to go to the herd of (Milch) camels and to drink their milk and urine (as a medicine). So they went as directed and after they became healthy, they killed the shepherd of the Prophet and drove away all the camels. The news reached the Prophet early in the morning and he sent (men) in their pursuit and they were captured and brought at noon. He then ordered to cut their hands and feet (and it was done), and their eyes were branded with heated pieces of iron. They were put in ?Al-Harra' and when they asked for water, no water was given to them." Abu Qilaba said, "Those people committed theft and murder, became infidels after embracing Islam and fought against Allah and His Apostle ."
FROM THE KITAB AL TABAQAT AL KABIR (BOOK OF THE MAJOR CLASSES), Volume 2, BY IBN SA'D, pages 114, 115 (4)
Then (occurred) the sariyyah of Kurz Ibn Jabir al-Fihri towards al-Uraniyin in Shawwal of the sixth year from the hijrah of the Apostle of Allah. They (narrators) said: A party of the Uraynah numbering eight came to the Apostle of Allah and embraced Islam but the climate of al-Medina did not suit them. Thereupon the Apostle of Allah ordered them to live with his milch-camels which used to graze at Dhu al-Jadr in the vicinity of Quba close to Ayr at a distance of six miles from al-Medina. They remained there till they recuperated and became fat. One morning they made a raid on the milch camels and drove them away. Yasar the mawla of the Apostle of Allah, with a party confronted them. He fought with them. They cut his hands and feet and pricked thorns in his tongue and eyes. Consequently he died. The news of his incident reached the Apostle of Allah. He sent twenty horsemen to pursue them and appointed Kurz Ibn al-Fihri their leader. They reached there, and surrounded them. They captured them, tied them, and seating them on their horses they brought them to al-Medina. The Apostle of Allah, was at al-Ghabah. They set out with them towards him and met him at al-Zaghabah, the place where flood water came from all directions. He gave orders and their hands and feet were amputated, their eyes were extracted. They were crucified. Then the verse was revealed to the Apostle of Allah:
"The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His Messenger and strive after corruption in the land".
After that he did not extract eyes of anyone.
The milch-camels were fifteen in number which yielded much milk. They brought them back to al-Medina. The Apostle of Allah found one of the camels called al-Hinna missing. He inquired about it and was told that they had slaughtered it."
In the hadiths we see that the Prophet s.a.w. ordered the Uraynah people to medicate themselves with camel urine and as a consequence they were cured. After they were cured and returned to good health they murdered the poor owner of the camel herd by cutting his hands and feet and pricked thorns into his eyes and tongue. The Prophet s.a.w. was informed of the atrocious murder and thereafter had the killers captured and capital punishment(specifically Qisas[retaliation]) was imposed on them.
Silas' first observation:
Two strange things stand out in this event:
#1) Muhammad, the self appointed prophet of God told Muslims to drink camel urine as medicine.
#2) Muhammad had the criminals brutally tortured before they died a slow death in the heat of the desert.
In dealing with point #1, I've asked some medical professionals about urine having any medicinal properties. All of them said that urine is a waste product, not a medicine.
Urine does contain urea, which is an organic compound. It can be used as a fertilizer, just as dung can be used. But urea is basically excess nitrogen being expelled by the body of humans or other animals. It has no medicinal properties. (5)
So Silas ruled that it was silly for the Prophet s.a.w. to have ordered the sick men to consume urine as medicine because he has asked "medical professionals" about urine and all of them said that it's nothing but waste. Firstly, one has to question Silas whether he actually believes in the authenticity of the narrations i.e. did the incidents mentioned in the ahadith actually occured? By carefully examining his article one may safely deduce that he does in fact believe in the said narrations. If that is the case, then he has to concur that the narrations indicate that the men were cured as a RESULT of their taking the urine as prescribed by the Prophet s.a.w. Thus, his questioning of the Prophet's action in this regard is quite moot. Secondly, is it true that urine is just nitrogen waste and has no medical properties?
Let us recap what Silas claimed in regards to urine:
"Urine does contain urea, which is an organic compound. It can be used as a fertilizer, just as dung can be used. But urea is basically excess nitrogen being expelled by the body of humans or the r animals. It has no medicinal properties."
Let us see what the PROFESSIONALS have to say:
"In 1975, one of the founders of Miles Laboratories, Dr. A. H. Free, published his book Urinalysis in Clinical Laboratory Practice, in which he remarked that not only is urine a sterile body compound (purer than distilled water), but that it is now recognized that urine contains literally thousands of compounds. Among the urine constituents mentioned in Dr. Free's treatise is a list of nutrients that will knock your socks off. Here's just a few.
Alanine, Arginine, Ascorbic acid, Allantoin, Amino acids, Bicarbonate, Biotin, Calcium, Creatinine, Cystine, DHEA, Dopamine, Epinephrine, Folic acid, Glucose, Glutamic acid, Glycine, Inositol, Iodine, Iron, Lysine, Magnesium, Manganese, Melatonin, Methionine, Nitrogen, Ornithane, Pantothenic acid, Phenylalaline, Phosphorus, Potassium, Proteins, Riboflavin, Tryptophan, Tyrosine, Urea, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Zinc."
Clearly, Silas' assertion that urine is basically excess nitrogen is faulty. Perhaps he should brush up his knowledge on biology.
"To get some understanding of how urine can be such a powerful healing substance in and of itself, let's take a look at how urine therapy has been known to completely eliminate allergies.
We read where researchers have discovered that allergic responses are caused by "renegade" white blood cells that inappropriately attack substances even when they may be no threat to the body. So it is the activity of these renegade white blood cells, called antigen receptors, that needs to be corrected in order to cure the allergy.
In 1982, studies published by Dr. William Linscott (in Basic and Clinical Immunology) showed that when these antigen receptors (or renegade white blood cells) are reintroduced into the body, the body actually developed antibodies to these antigen receptors, and the antibodies then stopped the allergic response. "
The following are the average quantities of the various substances in 100 milliliters of urine as reported in ?Introduction to Biochemistry' by Dr. Pharon:
1] Urea nitrogen
3] Creatinin nitrogen
5] Uric acid nitrogen
6] Uric acid
7] Amino nitrogen
8] Ammonia nitrogen
14] Total sulphate
15] Inorganic sulphate
16] Inorganic phosphate
17] N/10 acid
Some other important constituents of Shivambu are as follows:
Lactic dehydrogenate (L. D. H.).
Leucine amino-peptidase (L. A. P.).
Excerpts from an article by Martha M. Christy from Nexus Magazine:
"Urine is considered to be an invaluable source of nourishment and healing that perhaps has been too controversial or not financially rewarding enough for it to be talked about and encouraged as a potent medicine. One's own urine, a living food, contains elements that are specific to one's body alone. The body is constantly producing a huge variety of antibodies, hormones, enzymes and other natural chemicals to regulate and control its functions and combat imbalances that one may not be aware of. -"
"Clinical studies have proved that the thousands of critical body chemicals and nutrients that end up in urine reflect the individual body's functions. When re-utilised, these chemicals and nutrients act as natural vaccines, antibacterial, antiviral and anticarcinogenic agents as well as hormone balancers and allergy relievers. The information that urine contains therefore cannot be duplicated or derived from any other source. Just as nature produces no two people who are exactly the same, there are no two urine samples in the world that contain exactly the same components."
An excerpt from a medical paper entitled "Urotherapy for patients with cancer" by Dr. Joseph Eldor :
"Cancer cells release various antigens, some of which appear in the urine. Oral auto-urotherapy is suggested as a new treatment modality for cancer patients. It will provide the intestinal lymphatic system the many tumor antigens against which antibodies may be produced. These antibodies may be transpierced through the blood stream and attack the tumor and its cells."
An excerpt from "Urine Therapy":
What is urine therapy? How does it work?
"Urine therapy has been practised for thousands of years and has merely fallen a bit into obscurity in the last century. However, urine therapy may seem to be unorthodox and perhaps revolutionary, it does not introduce anything new or original. It has been known throughout the centuries both in the West and in the East. Dr. Evagelos Danopouolos of Greece reported that urea found in urine has anti-cancerous properties. The urea seems to disrupt the ability of cancer cells to group together and kills them by upsetting some of their normal metabolic activities. Urine therapy has been used to treat cancers of the skin, cervix, lungs, eyes, breast, and liver. The first question that probably comes to mind is whether urine is not a toxic substance and how a toxic waste product could ever be of any benefit for your health. Well, urine is NOT a toxic waste product and this has been scientifically proven. 95% of urine is water, 2.5% consists of urea and the remaining 2.5% is a mixture of minerals, salt, hormones and enzymes. Toxic substances are being removed from the body through the liver and intestines, through the skin and through the outbreath.
An excerpt from "The Miracles of Urine Therapy", a book by Dr. Beatrice Bartnett and Margie Adelman:
"The Therapy outlined in this book is an entirely drugless system of healing; the only ingredient is a substance manufactured by the body, rich in minerals, salt, hormones, and other vital substances, namely human urine. This book includes case studies of patients successfully treated with urine therapy. It also provides scientific proof of the efficacy of urine as well as an in-depth look at the history and metaphysical roots supporting Urine-Therapy. "
Tom Brokaw, NBC Nightly News, October 16, 1992:
"In Egypt, rescue workers found a 37-year-old man alive in earthquake rubble. He survived almost 82 hours by drinking his own urine. His wife, daughter and mother would not and they died."
Etc. Etc. Etc.
Silas' second observation :
In dealing with point #2, I'd say that this is an extraordinary act of brutality on Muhammad's part. I believe that the criminals needed to be punished and I have no problem with putting them to death. But I do have a problem with torturing them. Let's review what was done to these men after they were captured and brought to Muhammad.
1) Their hands and feet were cut off.
2) Their eyes were seared with hot irons then gouged out.
3) They were thrown upon the hot, black rocks of the Harra desert. There they began to suffer the effects of dehydration. They begged for water, but none was given to them. In their pain and agony the men bit at the rocks.
Personally, I don't have sympathy for the criminals. I have no problem with the death penalty for their crime. But it amazes me that a man who claimed to be from God would treat other humans in this fashion. You can sense the bitter hate, the driving need for revenge in Muhammad's heart as he had them tortured in this way. I don't see God in this. I see dark spiritual forces, and dark fleshly forces at work, driving Muhammad to do this."
Wow.is that dramatic or what? .Muhammad s.a.w. is evil, demon possessed and utterly vengeful because he commanded the apparently brutal murder of the killers? Silas also claims that the punishment Muhammad s.a.w. imposed was "godless".hmm, interesting. Let us analyse these mighty accusations, shall we?
Sheikh GF Haddad comments in his brilliant article on the issue:
"As for the conclusion of the h.adîth of the `Uraniyyîn in which the nomads commited apostasy, killed the camelherd after blinding and maiming him, stole the camels, were caught, blinded, maimed, and left to die of thirst, their execution was a literal retaliation according to Mosaic Law "before the penal laws were revealed" as narrated from Ibn Sîrîn by al-Bukhârî, Abû Dâwûd, al-Tirmidhî, and Ah.mad. And Allâh knows best."
The brutal punishment afforded to those murderers were in accordance with the brutal method used by those killers in murdering the innocent camel herder. This is known as the law of "retaliation" or Qisas in Arabic - a law which is to be found in the Old Testament given by God. Need I remind the Christians that their God gave the following command :
"Your eye shall not pity: life shall be for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand and foot for foot."
Silas, I don't want you to tell me that this law is now abrogated by the NT. That's not the point. The point of the matter is that clearly we have here a literal law of retaliation imposed and revealed by your God in a book you take your oath upon. For you to accuse Muhammad s.a.w. of being godless and demon possessed for enforcing the law of retaliation smacks of utter hypocrisy. Was your God evil, demonic and godless when he revealed that law in Deuteronomy? According to the accusations you've thrown at Muhammad s.a.w. the answer is obviously a yes.
Let us have a look at some lovely Biblical delicacies which you may try as prescribed by the Biblical God (CAUTION: for Christians and Jews ONLY):
Each day prepare your bread as you would barley cakes. While all the people are watching, bake it over a fire using dried human dung as fuel and then eat the bread. For this is what the Lord says: Israel will eat defiled bread in the Gentile lands, where I will banish them!" Then I said, "O Sovereign Lord, must I be defiled by using human dung? For I have never been defiled before. From the time I was a child until now I have never eaten any animal that died of sickness or that I found dead. And I have never eaten any of the animals that our laws forbid." "All right," the Lord said. "You may bake your bread with cow dung instead of human dung."
Special nourishment for the disobedient :
If you refuse to listen to the LORD your God and to obey the commands and laws he has given you, all these curses will pursue and overtake you until you are destroyed. These horrors will serve as a sign and warning among you and your descendants forever. Because you have not served the LORD your God with joy and enthusiasm for the abundant benefits you have received, you will serve your enemies whom the LORD will send against you. You will be left hungry, thirsty, naked, and lacking in everything. They will oppress you harshly until you are destroyed. "The LORD will bring a distant nation against you from the end of the earth, and it will swoop down on you like an eagle. It is a nation whose language you do not understand, a fierce and heartless nation that shows no respect for the old and no pity for the young. Its armies will devour your livestock and crops, and you will starve to death. They will leave you no grain, new wine, olive oil, calves, or lambs, bringing about your destruction. They will lay siege to your cities until all the fortified walls in your land - the walls you trusted to protect you - are knocked down. They will attack all the towns in the land the LORD your God has given you. The siege will be so severe that you will eat the flesh of your own sons and daughters, whom the LORD your God has given you. The most tender hearted man among you will have no compassion for his own brother, his beloved wife, and his surviving children. He will refuse to give them a share of the flesh he is devouring - the flesh of one of his own children - because he has nothing else to eat during the siege that your enemy will inflict on all your towns. The most tender and delicate woman among you - so delicate she would not so much as touch her feet to the ground - will be cruel to the husband she loves and to her own son or daughter. She will hide from them the afterbirth and the new baby she has borne, so that she herself can secretly eat them. She will have nothing else to eat during the siege and terrible distress that your enemy will inflict on all your towns.
"When truth is hurled against falsehood, falsehood perishes, for falsehood by its nature is bound to perish". (Qur'an 21:18)