Prophet Muhammad’s Hadith of the Fly is confirmed by Science:
The sections of this article are:
1- The Prophet’s Sayings.
2- The Scientific Proofs.
3- Renowned Islamic Scholars state that the Prophet made errors in the past.
4- The Hadith of the fly is not a Mutawatir one.
1- The Prophet’s Sayings:
Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, made a remarkable statement about the flies carrying antidotes:
Narrated Abu Huraira: “Allah’s Apostle said, “If a fly falls in the vessel of any of you, let him dip all of it (into the vessel) and then throw it away, for in one of its wings there is a disease and in the other there is healing (antidote for it) i e. the treatment for that disease.” (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 71, Number 673)“
Narrated Abu Huraira: “The Prophet 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.” (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, Number 537)“
2- The Scientific Proofs:
The following articles are from non-Muslim Western sources.
From http://abc.gov.au/science/articles/2002/10/01/689400.htm: (This is an official Government web site)
The new buzz on antibiotics
Tuesday, 1 October 2002 Danny Kingsley – ABC Science Online
The surface of flies is the last place you would expect to find antibiotics, yet that is exactly where a team of Australian researchers is concentrating their efforts.
Working on the theory that flies must have remarkable antimicrobial defences to survive rotting dung, meat and fruit, the team at the Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, set out to identify those antibacterial properties manifesting at different stages of a fly’s development.
“Our research is a small part of a global research effort for new antibiotics, but we are looking where we believe no-one has looked before,” said Ms Joanne Clarke, who presented the group’s findings at the Australian Society for Microbiology Conference in Melbourne this week. The project is part of her PhD thesis.
The scientists tested four different species of fly: a house fly, a sheep blowfly, a vinegar fruit fly and the control, a Queensland fruit fly which lays its eggs in fresh fruit. These larvae do not need as much antibacterial compound because they do not come into contact with as much bacteria.
Flies go through the life stages of larvae and pupae before becoming adults. In the pupae stage, the fly is encased in a protective casing and does not feed. “We predicted they would not produce many antibiotics,” said Ms Clarke.
They did not. However the larvae all showed antibacterial properties (except that of the Queensland fruit fly control).
As did all the adult fly species, including the Queensland fruit fly (which at this point requires antibacterial protection because it has contact with other flies and is mobile).
Such properties were present on the fly surface in all four species, although antibacterial properties occur in the gut as well. “You find activity in both places,” said Ms Clarke.
“The reason we concentrated on the surface is because it is a simpler extraction.”
The antibiotic material is extracted by drowning the flies in ethanol, then running the mixture through a filter to obtain the crude extract.
When this was placed in a solution with various bacteria including E.coli, Golden Staph, Candida (a yeast) and a common hospital pathogen, antibiotic action was observed every time.
“We are now trying to identify the specific antibacterial compounds,“ said Ms Clarke. Ultimately these will be chemically synthesised.
Because the compounds are not from bacteria, any genes conferring resistance to them may not be as easily transferred into pathogens. It is hoped this new form of antibiotics will have a longer effective therapeutic life.
From http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15462958: (Another official Government web site)
Antibacterial action of Myiasis-causing flies.
Department of Pharmacy Practice, College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.
Some species of calliphorid blowflies lay their eggs in wounds; their larvae develop by feeding on the tissue, and the infection is known as myiasis or fly-strike. But wounds, from whatever cause, are frequently contaminated with bacteria – many o f which can spread in the bloodstream causing septicaemia and/or toxaemia. For example, wound contamination with Clostridium welchii – leading to ‘gas gangrene’ – was a frequent cause of death amongst battlefield casualties. It is from such situations that early observations were made on the beneficial effect of some blowfly larvae in limiting the bacterial infection of wounds. Indeed, some military surgeons would deliberately infest wounds with blowfly maggots in order to prevent bacterial complications. Now, a century or two later, the search for new antibiotics had led researchers back to these early observations, and in this article, Gory Erdmann describes progress in understanding the antibacterial action of blowfly maggots.
PMID: 15462958 [PubMed]
“Drosophila males transfer antibacterial proteins from their accessory gland and ejaculatory duct to their mates Purchase the full-text article
References and further reading may be available for this article. To view references and further reading you must purchase this article.
O. Lung1, a, L. Kuoa and M.F. WolfnerCorresponding Author Contact Information, a, E-mail The Corresponding Author
Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
Received 7 July 2000;
accepted 25 October 2000.
Available online 8 March 2001.
The male fruitfly, Drosophila melanogaster, transfers to his mate proteins that increase his reproductive success by causing changes in her behavior and physiology. Here we show that among the transferred proteins are ones with antibacterial activity. We performed Escherichia coli overlay assays of native PAGE or renatured SDS–PAGE of reproductive tissue extracts of wild-type or transgenic males deficient in accessory gland function. We detected a 28 kDa male accessory gland-derived protein and two ejaculatory duct-derived proteins all with antibacterial activity. Based on its gel mobility and tissue of synthesis, one of the ejaculatory duct proteins is likely to be andropin, a previously-reported 6 kDa antibacterial peptide. All three proteins are transferred to females during mating. Therefore, they could assist in protecting the male’s reproductive tract and, after transfer to the female, the female’s reproductive tract or eggs against bacterial infection. Since seminal fluid proteins are transferred before the sperm, these antibacterial proteins may also protect sperm from bacterial infection.
“Brazilian Journal of Microbiology
Print version ISSN 1517-8382
Braz. J. Microbiol. vol.39 no.2 São Paulo Apr./June 2008
Antibacterial activities of multi drug resistant Myroides odoratimimus bacteria isolated from adult flesh flies (Diptera: Sarcophagidae) are independent of metallo beta-lactamase gene” (Source)
3- Renowned Islamic Scholars state that the Prophet made errors in the past:
First of all, I would like to recommend visiting the following site from Islamic Awareness which goes in depth about the history and compilation of the Hadiths: http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Hadith/.
Now as to the errors, we read in http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/7208 the following verdict:
“With regard to worldly matters: this happened to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). With regard to agriculture, medicine, carpentry, etc., he was like all other people. Allaah did not tell us that he was sent to us as a businessman or a farmer or a carpenter or a doctor. His mistakes in these fields are quite natural and do not impact on his Message at all.“
Many other statements from renowned Muslim scholars, of both old and current ones, exist in the article.
Personally, I only give my 100% of trust to the Noble Quran, because it is from Allah Almighty. Everything else is prone to containing errors and does contain errors. The Noble Quran is the one and only Book that contains no errors, and this is no mere statement from me. Science today has confirmed over and over and over that the Quran’s Scientific Statements are indeed in perfect harmony with Science.
For great details, please visit: The Overwhelming Scientific Miracles in the Noble Quran section to see the 10s of the confirmed Scientific Miracles that only science today could confirm, and which their knowledge was not known to man 1,500 years ago.
So what am I saying?
What I am saying is that when we hear a Scientific Hadith (Saying) from the Prophet of Islam, peace be upon him, we have to be very careful to not give it 100% of full trust and credibility due to the following reasons:
1- The Prophet did make errors in the past in some scientific fields as the scholars in the above article stated.
2- The Prophet was not Allah Almighty.
3- The Prophet at the end of the day was only a mere human, who happened to be Righteous enough to be Chosen by Allah Almighty to be His Messenger to us, Mankind. While this certainly makes the Prophet better than all of us, but at the end of the day, it still doesn’t make him a scientist. He still remains a mere human who knew some things and was ignorant about other things, just like all of us. Only Allah Almighty Knows all things.
Note: To those Christians who believe that Jesus Christ was GOD Almighty Himself, Jesus too made scientific blunders during his ministry. Please visit: The Scientific Absurdities in the Bible for great details. This is far worse to Christianity than it is to Islam, because while we do not consider Prophet Muhammad as the Creator of the Universe, but the polytheist trinitarian pagans do with Jesus Christ. Therefore, their entire polytheistic and paganistic faith would crumble into devastation when pointing out even an obvious and irrefutable single scientific blunder by Jesus Christ. This is indisputably true!
4- The Hadiths (Sayings) of the Prophet were officially compiled in the authenticated volumes, or the Sahih Volumes, around 200 years after his death. This means that it is quite possible, and highly probable, that many Hadiths that we have today are not in their original forms. They had been altered, either intentionally or unintentionally.
Note: Much of the writings of the Hadiths’ volumes were also written by the scholars’ students and their students. So definitely, the transmissions were prone to error, and they do contain errors. So if there is a scientific error in a given Hadith, it may not necessarily be from the Prophet. The Prophet could be innocent from the error.
5- There are 9 main Sunni Hadiths’ volumes (كتب السنة التسعة), and many others that are considered less authentic and trustworthy. These nine volumes are:
|The 9 main Sunni Hadiths volumes:
The Hadiths, in general, from these volumes and others, are divided into 5 categories:
There are also the Qudsi Hadiths, and these are divided between the Mutawatir and Ahaad Hadiths.
Qudsi or Qudusi Hadiths are ones that were inspired by the Holy Spirit (روح القدس). Qudus (قدس) means holy, and Rouh (روح) means spirit in Arabic.
4- The Hadith of the fly is not a Mutawatir one:
The Hadith of the fly is not a Mutawatir one. This can be verified in this link. We have no way of knowing the original words of the Prophet in this Hadith. But however, since we see great scientific evidence, from the articles that I’ve quoted above, that seem to go in almost perfect harmony with the Prophet’s Hadith, then I believe that we have strong evidence that suggests that the Prophet did indeed say this Hadith, since the knowledge about the flies carrying antidotes or anti-bacterials or anti-biotics was definitely not known to man, 1,500 years ago.
However, I am not sure about the dipping the fly in the drink part. I am not sure if this is scientifically right or wrong. I mean, if the fly is carrying malaria or some other disease on its body, then certainly dipping the fly in the drink or food will bring the disease to it. And if we do this with multiple or many infested flies, then we will have a big health problem. So, I am not sure if the dipping part is scientifically accurate or not. However, it is quite possible that this part was added by some latter narrator. It is possible that the Prophet said something along this line:
“Allah Almighty Created the fly with many wonders in it, one of which that it carries both the disease and the cure of that disease under its wings.”
The Prophet might’ve said it after Allah Almighty Revealed the Miracle of the fly’s digestive system in the Noble Quran. And it is possible that some people thought that why not dip the fly into our foods and drinks to get those cures. I am only speculating here, but I hope that you see that since the Hadith is an Ahaad one, then it is not possible to know what exactly the Prophet said, verbatim.
Science has confirmed that the fly does indeed carry antidote, and it does have useful functions that the human-body could greatly benefit from, such as the soldiers who used flies’ larvae to prevent bacterial infections.
The Hadiths above have a great deal of agreement with Science, and their knowledge was not known to man, 1,500 years ago. But however, there seems to be a questionable part about whether or not dipping a fly into the food could actually bring harm more than good.
Allah Almighty certainly always Knows best.