A Hadeeth on the fly

A Hadeeth on the fly

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I think most biologists here on this site will not consider my question below to be unfit for posting on Biology SE.

I came across this article about the hadeeth (a hadeeth is a saying of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)) on a fly:

"If a housefly falls in the drink of anyone of you, he should dip it (in the drink), for the one of its wings has a disease and the other has the cure of the disease." [Bukhari, vol. 4: 537].

where an attempt is made to show the truthfulness of the hadeeth with an experiment: they dip a fly into water in a petri dish wholly and partially in another petri dish and different kinds of bacteria appear in each petri dish. This experiment is carried out 3 times and results are different in each round. (Please, read that article thoroughly before answering) I want to know biologists' point of view on that experiment, i.e.

Do you believe this hadeeth based on the experiment? (i. e. do you consider it to be pseudoscience or not? If yes, please provide your proofs.)

Can pathogenic bacteria arise in such an impressive quantity in water just by dipping fly into water? If yes, could you explain how?

Do you agree with the notion in the hadeeth 'he should dip it (in the drink)?

Thanks very much for your answers in advance!

Rephrasing your question

Allow me to start by saying that I barely know the term Hadeeth / Hadith mean. Of course I have checked on wikipedia but its definition is vastly unrelated to any concept in science. I think it won't be necessary for me to use this term, I will use a more classical, scientific terminology. As I barely understand the term, I do not really understand your question phrased as

Do you believe this hadeeth based on the experiment?

I can however answer to the questions

Is this document a fair description of a natural phenomenon?

Is this document contribute to our understanding of a scientific phenomenon?

The answer to both of these questions are "absolutely not"!

Lack of methodology and definition of the expectation

The document is extremely unclear, provides a very poor description of the methods and does not provide any suggested interpretation of the results. After reading it several times, I have little idea what the treatments are.

Note that this document is not peer reviewed and does not follow an appropriate format (no introduction, no method section, just a religious quotes, a citation from the Quran and images with a vague legend). It is just a document that someone wrote and uploaded online.

As @BryanKrause perfeclty said in the comment below

[I]n science the burden is on the person making a claim to defend it and provide appropriate support - there is no point in proving a claim true or false if it lacks documentation of the methodology. Being poorly written in terms of lacking adequate description is hardly better than lacking any experiment at all

In short, this document does not make any contribution to our understanding of a natural phenomenon.

The claim is very unlikely to be true

The expectation implicitly suggested to be tested is something like (my own phrasing)

If a fly barely touch (with one wing only) the media, then the media will be full bacteria but if the whole fly (with both wings) touch the media then the media will remain clean.

This expectation is highly unlikely to be true. If it were to be true, it would probably lead to a major revision of our understanding of microbiology or of the biology of flies (whichever species is considered)! Also, there is no reason to expect that in some petri dish only one bacterial species would have invaded, while in another only another bacterial species. Also, the pictures don't really match what the species described IMO. Hence, if the authors claim that this document report the results of a scientific experiment (I am not saying they make this claim), then I very much think this is a case of scientific dishonesty or at least a case of very poor understanding of how to perform a scientific experiment.

Diseases and infections carried by house flies include, but are not limited to:

  • typhoid
  • cholera
  • dysentery
  • salmonella
  • anthrax
  • transmission of the eggs of parasitic worms

Of these, exactly zero have been shown to be cured or in any way influenced by flies in a positive sense.

And, of these, exactly zero have proposed mechanisms (however outlandish the claim) of treating or curing any one of the above-mentioned diseases.

To paraphrase, there does not exist a hypothesis, nor an experiment, nor evidence for the claim. It is entirely and scientifically unsubstantiated.

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

The quoted text above is not meant literally(!), it is a metaphor, the figure of speech in which a name or descriptive term is transferred to some object different from, but analogous to, that to which it is properly applicable.

Kid-friendly metaphor: "The classroom was a zoo." Does it make sense to perform an experiment aimed at determining number of monkeys, zebras, elephants, dolphins,… in the classroom? (No, it doesn't).

Further reading: writings on metaphysics and theory of art by Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy. There one can learn about what "figure of speech" is and why it is used in philosophical/theological texts.

Islam and Science

Among the many and diverse matters discussed in or touched upon by Islamic scriptures are topics of direct or indirect scientific interest. These topics include reproductive science, embryology, cosmology, medicine, and a slew of other topics. While mainstream academic scholars and scientists have found the discussion of these topics contained in Islamic scripture to be unremarkable in its seventh-century context, in recent times, many traditional Muslim scholars and figures have argued that Islamic scriptures contains statements which not only adhere to but also predict modern science. Criticism of these ideas has been widespread and has even come from Muslim scholars themselves.

1 Answer 1

This hadith does not specifically show that Sulaiman (AS) had flying horses since the Prophet (SAW) didn't say anything to confirm it.

However, Sulaiman (AS) was given much more amazing powers than just flying horses. Allah says in the Quran:

And to Solomon [We subjected] the wind - its morning [journey was that of] a month - and its afternoon [journey was that of] a month, and We made flow for him a spring of [liquid] copper. And among the jinn were those who worked for him by the permission of his Lord. And whoever deviated among them from Our command - We will make him taste of the punishment of the Blaze. (34:12)

He had control of the wind and control of the Jinn!

Furthermore, under his command were beings who could carry a throne thousands of kilometers in the blink of an eye:

Said one who had knowledge from the Scripture, "I will bring it [the throne] to you before your glance returns to you." And when [Solomon] saw it placed before him, he said, "This is from the favor of my Lord to test me whether I will be grateful or ungrateful. And whoever is grateful - his gratitude is only for [the benefit of] himself. And whoever is ungrateful - then indeed, my Lord is Free of need and Generous." (27:40)

I would not be surprised at all even if Sulaiman (AS) was given horses that could fly because he was given things much more amazing than that. It is an extremely weak argument critics of Islam use if they use this. Allah is all-Powerful and He certainly does not lack the ability to create flying horses and much more than that.

On Rabbits and Rumination – Answering-Islam’s Incompetence

I challenged the Christian apologist “Orangehunter” (from Allan Ruhl’s blog) to comment on the scientific errors in the Bible, and used the example of Leviticus 11:6, which claims that rabbits “chew the cud”. The act of “chewing the cud” refers to rumination. I discussed why this is a scientific error in my article “Science in the Bible and the Quran: Searching the Holy Texts for Evidence of Scientific Knowledge” (see the link below). “Orangehunter” responded (eventually) by posting a link to the infamous “Answering-Islam” website, claiming that it clarified the issue. Upon reading the relevant section, I immediately discovered an error in the article, which only goes to show the incompetence of the AI pseudoscholars. The part of the article (see the link below) which not only exposes AI but also the Bible is the following:

“[r]abbits go through a process called refection wherein they take their dung and chew on it in order to get at the remaining partially digested food. In this way, rabbits are able to get the most nutrients possible from the food they digest.”

So, according to AI, rabbits “chew” their “dung”, a process called refection. The problem is that this statement is only partially correct, and thus partially incorrect. While rabbits do engage in refection (also called caecotrophy), they do not “chew” the dung (more appropriately called “caecotrophes”). As stated in the book “Nutrition of the Rabbit” under the chapter “Feeding Behaviour in Rabbits” (for the full citation, see my article):

“[h]ard pellets are voided, but soft pellets are recovered by the rabbit directly upon being expelled from the anus. To do this the rabbit twists itself around, sucks in the soft faeces as they emerge from the anus and then swallows without chewing them.”

I had actually already pointed this out in my original article, which was published a few years ago. Had “Orangehunter” bothered to read it (perhaps he was scared to), he wouldn’t have made this blunder by appealing to the discredited work of “Answering-Islam”. So, the conclusion is still the same. The Bible erroneously refers to rabbits as animals that “chew the cud”. Even if we could forgive the confusion between actual rumination and refection, the Bible still falsely claims that a rabbit “chews” the cud. It simply does not. And Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) knows best.

Islamic science has come to this pitiful end (P.Z. Myers takes down "The Hadith on the Fly".)

I think this is a job for the myth busters, i am submitting this to the discovery channel :).

I wil love you forever if you get them to test it!!

I'm glad this bullshit scientific advice has been debunked, but whyɽ he have to bash Arabs and "sanitary habits of Arabians"? I have never ever encountered an Arab, Muslim or otherwise, actually following this hadith and dipping the goddamn fly back into the drink. I'm willing to bet neither has any of you.

This bothered me, too. He was probably referring to 7th-century Arabians, but he should have qualified it (just like atheists often talk about Bronze age Hebrew myths when they're criticizing the Torah.)

When you show this to Muslims they will:

(1) Say you misinterpreted it, and also say that you don't know Arabic and Arabic gets mistranslated into English

(2) Deny the Hadiths saying that the Quran is the official Holy book

(3) Re-interpret it saying that there were metaphors in there

I have asked about this hadith and most people have given me links to studies on houseflies. They see some connection in those studies to the hadith and this has strengthened their belief in the "miracle of Islam"

(4) That was a special kind of fly (no ID). Oh yeah, and that species is extinct. )

anytime i post a fatwa about something that contradicts a poster, i get told im lying :(

I had forgotten about this hadith. Hilarious.

Has r/islam ever explained this hadith? I genuinely want to know what the alternative explanation is.

I thought The Quran shouldn't be considered as a scientific document? As muslim apologetics spout every time something gets debunked lol

I thought The Quran shouldn't be considered as a scientific document?

Yes, however, it makes claims about biochemistry that are demonstrably incorrect.

well to be fair, the hadith is always going to be ridiculous considering it naturally comes under a lot more skepticism. the sad thing is, i bet if i actually told this to one of my muslim friends they would start doing it.

Whenever a theist tries to use Science for gain, he gets his fingers (and more) burnt.

I have had about 1 year of shit grade Biology and even i can see where they went wrong.

We did a test using spit/saliva from different animals to test. Her is the difference we had a TON of controls, tests, Variations and Documentation instead of this.

In summation i have more understanding of bacteria then people at Qassim University who study Medicin. That's SAD!.

Islamic scientist: Hadith revealed cure for AIDS

Islamic scientist claim Islam’s prophet Muhammad revealed the cure for AIDS, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute.

Hamas TV scientist Ahmad Al-Muzain says Bayer, the German drug giant that developed aspirin, got its treatment for AIDS from “Prophet Muahmmad’s Hadith About the Wings of Flies.”

Al-Muzain, a Palestinian expert on “Quranic science,” said during a program aired on Al-Aqsa Television Sept. 19 that the German company only confirmed what already had been revealed
by Muhammad.

Video of the statements is available on the website of MEMRI, which monitors Middle East media
outlets and interprets their reports.

“The prophet Muhammad said,

‘If a fly falls into your drink, you should dip it in the drink, and then dispose of the fly – because one of its wings bears a disease, and the other bears the cure.’” Al-Muzain is quoted saying.

Hadith are oral traditions of the words and deeds of Muhammad.

“This hadith was included in the Al-Bukhari collection,” Al-Musain said. “This hadith makes it absolutely clear that the Prophet Muhammad confirmed a clear scientific fact: If a fly falls into a vessel – before a person drinks from this vessel, he should dip the fly in his drink, before disposing of it. Then he should drink the beverage, because it won’t do him any harm. Why? Because one of the fly’s wings bears the disease, and the other one bears the cure.”

The scientist said, “In Germany, the church paid a very large sum of money to two scientists to disprove this hadith. Since this hadith appears in the Al-Bukhari collection, we cannot claim
that it is unreliable or anything, and so they thought that if they could prove that this hadith contradicts science, they would be dealing a devastating blow to Islam.”

Al-Muzain continued, “The scientists took samples from the wings of flies, and began to examine them, analyze them, and take samples from their surface, in order to expose what existed on each wing. The devastating result constituted a slap in the face. The truth was devastating, and it backfired on them. The two scientists reached an astounding conclusion. They said that on one of its wings, the fly carries a huge amount of different types of bacteria, which adhere to it when it lands on rotting pieces of food that it eats. As for the other wing, Allah has given the fly the great ability to carry antidotes to these microbes.”

Then he said Bayer “learned about this study, it derived great benefit from it. It established biological breeding farms, where they raised flies and extracted antibiotics from their wings – the strongest antibiotics in the whole world.”

“This antibiotic was made into a course of five pills, which is given to the patients, and it is used –believe it or not, my brothers – to treat AIDS patients. … How did they discover it? From this hadith,” he said.

“The only logical conclusion is that this science was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad by the Creator,” he said.


This hadith is in Sahih al-Bukhari. The Prophet (SAW) said:

"My example and the example of the people is that of a man who made a fire, and when it lighted what was around it, Moths and other insects started falling into the fire. The man tried (his best) to prevent them, (from falling in the fire) but they overpowered him and rushed into the fire. The Prophet (ﷺ) added: Now, similarly, I take hold of the knots at your waist (belts) to prevent you from falling into the Fire, but you insist on falling into it." (Sahih al-Bukhari)

It is also found in Sahih Muslim, Jami at-Tirmidhi, Sahih Ibn Hibban, and Musnad Imam Ahmad.

Geology and Meteorology

Nile and Euphrates rivers flow from heaven

Thunder is an Angel Who Drives Clouds to Specific Places

Mountains were Fixed into Earth to Prevent it from Shaking

Noon heat is from hell-fire

According to several hadiths, the scorching harsh desert heat is from hell when it rages.

No one knows when it will rain

This hadith says nobody knows when it will rain. This is false. We have weather forecasts which generally predict climate conditions correctly.

Earthquakes in Najd region are accompanied by the rising of Satan's head

Tag Archive for: genetic disease

I have a teacher who is an alim from the Deobandi school of thought. My understanding of disease was that Allah created germs and that many germs are the reason for the spread of disease as they can be passed on when in proximity of a sick person, by the will of Allah.

But my teacher said that this is incorrect and that the hadith “There is no contagion [of disease]” means that illness or sickness is only inherently from Allah, and that germs or genetics have zero part in it. Likewise he was of the opinion that it is not Islamic to take baseless precautions against disease, as the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, ate with a leper out of the same bowl, and that no explicit Islamic commandment exists to warn the believers of something harmful about diseases being passed on. (The ahadith about dipping the fly, visiting the sick, and eating fallen food off the floor – which I believe and follow, but don’t see it in-conflict with my current understanding of Allah controlling who gets sick or not – lending strength to his argument).

The only exception he said would be against leprosy, citing the hadith “flee from the leper,” but even that according to him, quoting Ibn Hajar, was so that someone with weak faith would not lose faith if he were to get infected.

He has not studied biology so I’m not able to explain how genes are inherited. Hence I cannot adequately frame my question with regards to diseases being passed down through genes, but he applies the hadith “there is no contagion [of disease]” to these as well and says the doctor saying “because it runs in your family” is something they have to say, and not necessarily the truth of the matter).

I believe that the Qur’an and Sunna cannot be in conflict with science, so I hope you will be able to explain this to me fully. Is there another school of thought on the matter? How do we explain this hadith in light of the scientific evidence of inherited diseases and infectious diseases?

The sunna of Allah in the world is that matters are normatively correlated to their respective causes. Accordingly, the basis would be that accepting the causation of contagious illnesses or genetic disorders is not at all in conflict with our tenets of faith (‘aqida).

Realities: Tawhid and Moral Responsibility

The believer is always looking at the world with two eyes: the eye of divine oneness (tawhid), and the eye of moral responsibility (taklif). The result of the former is the recognition that Allah alone is the sole doer, and none besides at every moment, He is the only Creator and Sustainer. As for the latter eye, it is the appreciation of the “causal” relationships between things of this world, and responding to them in an appropriate manner.

The tradition (hadith) in question is reported on the authority of our Master Abu Huraira (may Allah be well-pleased with him) in which he said the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “There is no contagion [of disease]. There is no bad omen. There is no reincarnation as a bird. There is no worm in the stomach.” (Bukhari

Imam Turibishti explained the interpretation of this tradition by speaking about the hadith corpus as an organic whole. He noted that the Lawgiver does not intend to negate realities understood medicinally, in this case, but to negate the independent nature of such realities. What this does is that it allows us to affirm the divine creative act for every single thing. Hence, it is true to say that germs and other microscopic organisms don’t intrinsically, nor necessarily, make another person sick.

Taking the Means

Yet, at the same time, other traditions explain to us how to take the means to avoid difficulties from matters which have a correlation and relationship to harm. For instance, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) instructed to avoid the leper, and when a leper sought to pledge allegiance to him physically, he had him return his hand to himself.

Having said that, there were other scholars who held fast to what is explicitly stated in this and other traditions. Given what we now know about the nature of the world, germs and the like, it would seem that a such a position is, practically, somewhat untenable to hold.

The upshot, then, is to appreciate the reality of Allah’s creating, the total dependence of creation upon their Creator, and the fact that there is a sunna in the cosmos whereby one thing leads to the other, by Allah’s creating the former, the latter and the relationship between them. (Qari, Mirqat al-Mafatih Sharh al-Mishkat al-Masabih)

Print is Dead Book

A Textbook of Hadith Studies provides an academic introduction to the Hadith, or the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, which are second only to the Qur'an (Koran) in their authoritativeness within Islamic tradition. Suitable for university courses and all serious students of Islam, the topics surveyed include Hadith methodology, Hadith literature, the history of Hadith compilation and documentation, and the methods of Hadith criticism (al-jarh wa al-ta'dil) and classification. Mohammad Hashim Kamali, born in Afghanistan in 1944, was a professor of Islamic Law and Jurisprudence at the International Islamic University in Malaysia, and dean of the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC) from 1985–2007. He is currently chairman and CEO of the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies, Malaysia. He is also on the international advisory boards of eleven academic journals published in Malaysia, the United States, Canada, Kuwait, India, Australia, and Pakistan. Professor Kamali has addressed over 120 national and international conferences, and has published sixteen books and over 110 academic articles. His books include The Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence, Freedom of Expression in Islam, and Islamic Commercial Law: An Analysis of Futures and Options.

Watch the video: Hadith about house fly when it falls into your vessel, dip it and toss it away - Assim Al Hakeem (July 2022).


  1. Langundo

    It still that?

  2. Conn

    It absolutely not agree with the previous phrase

  3. Olaf

    I join. All above told the truth. Let's discuss this question.

  4. Kafka

    Nicely written, I liked it.

  5. Kegal

    Cool You could say it blew my brain!

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