I hope that you can provide me with a scientific answer – if such knowledge is available – about the saheeh hadeeth about drinking camel’s urine. May Allaah reward you.
The hadeeth referred to by the questioner is a saheeh hadeeth, in which it says that some people came to Madeenah and fell sick. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told them to drink the milk and urine of camels, and they recovered and grew fat. In the story it also says that they apostatized and killed the camel-herder, then the Muslims caught them and executed them. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (2855) and Muslim (1671).
With regard to the health benefits of drinking the milk and urine of camels, they are many, and they are well known to the earlier generations of medical science and they have been proven by modern scientific research.
Ibn al-Qayyim said:
The author of al-Qanoon (the Canon) – i.e. the doctor Ibn Seena (Avicenna) – said:
The most beneficial of urine is the urine of Bedouin camels which are called najeeb. End quote.
Zaad al-Ma’aad (4/47, 48).
In the Emirati newspaper al-Ittihaad (issue no. 11172, Sunday 6 Muharram 1427 AH/5 February 2006) it says:
One of the most important things for which camels are raised is their milk, which is efficacious in treating many illnesses, including hepatitis, and the digestive system in general, various types of cancer and other diseases.
In an article by Dr Ahlaam al-‘Awadi, which was published in al-Da’wah magazine, issue no. 1938, 25 Safar 1425 AH/15 April 2004 CE, about the diseases which can be treated with camel’s milk, as proven by experience, it says that there are many benefits in camel’s milk. There follows some of what was said in the article by Dr. Ahlaam:
Camel’s urine is efficacious in the treatment of skin diseases such as ringworm, tinea and abscesses, sores that may appear on the body and hair, and dry and wet ulcers. Camel’s urine brings the secondary benefits of making the hair lustrous and thick, and removing dandruff from the scalp. Camel’s milk is also beneficial in treating hepatitis, even if it has reached an advanced stage where medicine is unable to treat it. End quote.
In the al-Jazeerah al-Sa’oodiyyah newspaper (issue no. 10132, Rabee’ al-Awwal 1421 AH) there is a quotation from the book Al-Ibl Asraar wa i’jaaz (The camel: secrets and wonders) by Darmaan ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez Aal Darmaan and Sanad ibn Mutlaq al-Subay’i:
As for camel’s urine, the book suggests that it has numerous uses which are beneficial for man. This is indicated by the Prophetic texts and confirmed by modern science … Scientific experiments have proven that camel’s urine has a lethal effect on the germs that cause many diseases.
Among the uses of camel’s urine, many women use it to wash their hair, to make it longer, and to make it lighter and more lustrous. Camel’s urine is also efficacious in the treatment of swelling of the liver and other diseases such as abscesses, sores that appear on the body and toothache, and for washing eyes. End quote.
Prof. Dr. ‘Abd al-Fattaah Mahmoud Idrees says: With regard to the benefits of camel’s urine in treating disease, Ibn Seena said in his Qanoon: The most beneficial of urine is the urine of the Bedouin camels known as najeeb. Camel’s urine is beneficial in treating al-hazaaz, and it was said that al-hazzaz is a pain in the heart caused by anger and so on. Camel’s urine, especially the urine of a young she-camel – is used as a cleansing substance to wash wounds and sores, to make the hair grow, to strengthen and thicken it and to prevent it falling out, and it is used to treat diseases of the scalp and dandruff. In a Master’s thesis by an engineer in applied chemistry, Muhammad Awhaaj Muhammad, that was submitted to the faculty of applied chemistry in the al-Jazeerah university in Sudan, and approved by the Dean of science and postgraduate studies in the university in November 1998 CE, entitled A Study of the Chemical Composition and Some Medical Uses of the Urine of Arabian Camels, Muhammad Awhaaj says:
Laboratory tests indicate that camel’s urine contains high levels of potassium, albuminous proteins, and small amounts of uric acid, sodium and creatine.
In this study, he explained that what prompted him to study the medicinal properties of camel’s urine was what he had seen of some tribesmen drinking this urine whenever they suffered digestion problems. He sought the help of some doctors in studying camel’s urine. They brought a number of patients and prescribed this urine for them, for a period of two months. Their bodies recovered from what they had been suffering from, which proves the efficacy of camel’s urine in treating some diseases of the digestive system.
It also proves that this urine is useful in preventing hair loss. He says:
Camel’s urine acts as a slow-acting diuretic, but it does not deplete potassium and other salts as other diuretics do, because camel’s urine contains a high level of potassium and proteins. It has also been proven to be effective against some types of bacteria and viruses. It brought about an improvement in the condition of twenty-five patients who used camel’s urine for dropsy, without disrupting their potassium levels. Two of them were cured of liver pain, and their liver function was restored to normal levels, as well as the tissue of the liver being improved. One of the medicines used to treat blood clots is a compound called Fibrinoltics which works by changing a substance in the body from its inactive form, Plasminogen, to its active form, Plasmin, in order to dissolve the substance that causes clotting, Fibrin. One of the components of this compound is called Urokinase, which is produced by the kidneys or from the urine, as indicated by the name “uro”.
The dean of the Faculty of Medical Science in the Sudanese al-Jazeerah university, Professor Ahmad ‘Abd-Allaah Ahmadaani, has discovered a practical way of using camel’s urine to treat dropsy and swelling in the liver. Its success has been proven in treating those who are affected by these diseases. He said in a seminar organized by the al-Jazeerah University:
The experiment began by giving each patient a daily dose of camel’s urine mixed with camel’s milk to make it palatable. Fifteen days after the beginning of the experiment, the patients’ stomachs grew smaller and went back to their normal size.
He said that he examined the patients’ livers with ultrasound before the study began, and he found out that the livers of fifteen out of the twenty-five were in a cirrhotic state, and some of them had developed cirrhosis of the liver as the result of bilharzia. All of the patients responded to treatment with camel’s urine, and some of them continued, by their own choice, to drink a dose of camel’s urine every day for a further two months. At the end of that time, they were all found to have been cured of cirrhosis of the liver. He said: Camel’s urine contains a large amount of potassium, as well as albumen and magnesium, because the camel only drinks four times during the summer and once during the winter, which makes it retain water in its body so as to preserve the sodium, and the sodium causes it not to urinate a great deal, because it keeps the water in its body.
He explained that dropsy results from a deficiency of albumen or potassium, and the urine of camels in rich in both of these.
He suggested that the best type of camels for using the urine as a remedy are young camels.
Dr. Ahlaam al-‘Awadi, a specialist in microbiology in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, supervised some scientific papers that dealt with her discoveries in the usage of camel’s urine for medical treatment, such as the papers by ‘Awaatif al-Jadeedi and Manaal al-Qattaan. During her supervision of the paper by Manaal al-Qattaan, she succeeded in confirming the effectiveness of using a preparation made from camel’s urine which was the first antibiotic produced in this manner anywhere in the world. Concerning the features of this new product, Dr. Ahlaam said:
It is not costly, and it is easy to manufacture. It can be used to treat skin diseases such as eczema, allergies, sores, burns, acne, nail infections, cancer, hepatitis and dropsy with no harmful side effects.
And she said:
Camel’s urine contains a number of healing factors such as antibiotics (bacteria that are present in it, salts and urea). The camel possesses an immune system that is highly equipped to combat funguses, bacteria and viruses, because it contains antibodies. It may also be used to treat blood clots and fibrinolytics may be derived from it, and it may be used to treat dropsy (which is caused by a deficiency in albumen and potassium, as camel’s urine is rich in both). Camel’s urine may also provide a remedy for abdominal complaints, especially those of the stomach and intestines, as well as asthma and shortness of breath. It caused a noticeable reduction in patients’ sugar levels. It is a remedy for low libido, and it aids in bone growth in children and in strengthening the heart muscles. It may be used as a cleansing agent for cleaning wounds and sores, especially the urine of young she-camels. It also helps the hair to grow and become strong and thick, and it helps to prevent hair loss and baldness, and can be used to treat dandruff. Camel’s urine may also be used to combat disease by using bacteria extracted from it. It was used to treat a girl who was suffering from an infection behind the ear, that was accompanied by pus weeping from it and painful cracks and sores. It was also used to treat a girl who was unable to extend the fingers of her hands because of the presence of so many cracks and sores, and whose face was almost black with pimples. Dr. Ahlaam said:
Camel’s urine may also be used to treat the digestive system and to treat some cases of cancer. She stated that the research that she had undertaken on camel’s urine proved that it was effective in destroying micro-organisms such as fungus, yeast and bacteria.
Dr. Rahmah al-‘Ulyaani, who is also from Saudi Arabia, carried out tests on rabbits infected with bacteria in the colon. She treated each group of rabbits with a different kind of medicine, including camel’s urine. There was a noticeable regression in the rabbits that were treated with other medicines, except for camel’s urine, which brought about a clear improvement.
Majallat al-Jundi al-Muslim, issue no. 118, 20 Dhu’l-Qa’dah 1425 AH; 1 January 2005 CE.
Allaah calls upon us to ponder the creation of the camel, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Do they not look at the camels, how they are created?”
This pondering is not limited to the outward form of the camel, or even to the inner workings of its body, rather it also includes that which we have discussed here, which is the benefits of the urine and milk of the camel. Modern scientific research is still discovering for us many of the wonders of this creature.
And Allaah knows best.