Reflections on the Medical Miracles of the Holy Quran

Reflections on the Medical Miracles of the Holy Quran

Medical References at the shadows of Surat Al Kahf

The Quranic chapter 18 : “The Cave” (Al Kahf) was revealed to answer few questions which the mushriks (unbelievers) of Makkah, had put to the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in order to test him.. One of the questions was : Who were “the Sleepers of the Cave” ? The disbelievers of Makkah were told that the story of the Sleepers of the Cave was a clear proof of the creed of the Hereafter, as it shows that Allah has the power to resurrect anyone He wills even after a long sleep of death as He did with the Sleepers of the Cave (they slept over 300 years) .

Allah the Almighty says in this chapter : “Then We smote their ears in the Cave many years.” (18 : 11)

فَضَرَبْنَا عَلَى آذَانِهِمْ فِي الْكَهْفِ سِنِينَ عَدَدًا [ سورة الكهف 11].

The sense of hearing is a physiological one that does not stop functioning at the time of sleep (the sleeper can wake up at a nearby sound). As the 8th cranial nerve (which passes in the inner part of the ear) has two divisions: one for hearing and the other for equilibrium (position and movement of the head). In the case of Cave Sleepers the physiological function of both hearing and equilibrium did stop, therefore, the Quranic verse uses the expression “Smote their ears..” rather than their hearing.

The other bodily functions were veiled, and the eye did not see though open : “You would have thought them awake, as they lay sleeping” (18: 18).

وَتَحْسَبُهُمْ أَيْقَاظًا وَهُمْ رُقُودٌ ۚ [ سورة الكهف 18].

And their muscles did not move, although they were alive: “While We turned them now to the right, now to the left” (18:18)

وَنُقَلِّبُهُمْ ذَاتَ الْيَمِينِ وَذَاتَ الشِّمَالِ [ سورة الكهف 18].

Their shape did not change although many years elapsed as they did not notice real changes on their faces when they woke up: “They said: ’We have tarried a day, or part of a day ” (18:19)

قَالُوا لَبِثْنَا يَوْماً أَوْ بَعْضَ يَوْمٍ [ سورة الكهف 19].

Their conditions as such are like that of preserving organs through cooling to cause metabolic inhibition, which is used extensively in the medical field to preserve donated organs (heart, kidneys, cornea, etc) before transplantation into another body. Therefore, the sun inclines towards the right when rising up and towards the left when setting down, so that it will not strike them, while they are in a gap in the cave:

“And you would have seen the sun, when it rose, inclining from their Cave towards the right, and when it set, passing them by on the left, While they are in a gap therein, Such are among the Signs of Allah” (18:17),

وَتَرَى الشَّمْسَ إِذَا طَلَعَتْ تَزَاوَرُ عَنْ كَهْفِهِمْ ذَاتَ الْيَمِينِ وَإِذَا غَرَبَتْ تَقْرِضُهُمْ ذَاتَ الشِّمَال وَهُمْ فِي فَجْوَةٍ مِنْهُ ذلك من آ يات الله [ سورة الكهف 17].

So, coolness in this gap in the Cave away from the heat of the sun that did not touch them, was sufficient to inhibit bodily metabolism for the preservation of their bodies all this long period. Had they been only asleep, they would have needed water and food to survive, and would have been awaken by the need to urinate after some hours. But Allah inhibited all their biological functions and preserved their bodies in a living shape. So, He said; “You would have thought them awake, as they lay sleeping”.(18: 18),

وَتَحْسَبُهُمْ أَيْقَاظاً وَهُمْ رُقُودٌ [ سورة الكهف 18].

and did not say; “You would have thought them dead, as they lay sleeping”, as the sign of awakening is ‘eye wink’. Allah preserved their eyes from blindness through blinking, as the eye if kept closed for a long period of time will be blind, because the optic nerve will shrink and die, and if it is kept open, the cornea will be affected with corneo-xerosis, and blindness. Therefore, this rare status of theirs would have aroused terror, if seen, as they were not alive or dead. They were asleep, yet their eyes were blinking: “Had you observed them surely you would have turned your back on them in flight, and been filled with terror of them.” (18:18)

لَوِ اطَّلَعْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ لَوَلَّيْتَ مِنْهُمْ فِرَاراً وَلَمُلِئْتَ مِنْهُمْ رُعْباً [ سورة الكهف 18].

As Allah preserved their eyes through blinking, He also preserved their bodies from ulcers through constant turning: “While We turned them now to the right, now to the left” (18:18),

وَنُقَلِّبُهُمْ ذَاتَ الْيَمِينِ وَذَاتَ الشِّمَالِ [ سورة الكهف 18].

so that they would not be affected with pressure sores.

Pressure or bed sore in the lower back due to lack of movements in a paralyzed patient
Pressure or bed sore in the lower back due to lack of movements in a paralyzed patient
An international patent for Quranic eye drops !

  • Inspired by the shirt of Yousof (Joseph), an Egyptian Moslem scientist, unprecedently, managed to manufacture an eye drop to treat the cataract. How?
  • Allah the Almighty describes Jacob: “And he turned away from them, and said, ‘Ah, how great is my grief for Joseph.’ And his eyes turned white because of the sorrow that he chocked within him.” (12: 84)

    وَتَوَلَّى عَنْهُمْ وَقَالَ يَا أَسَفَى عَلَى يُوسُفَ وَابْيَضَّتْ عَيْنَاهُ مِنَ الْحُزْنِ فَهُوَ كَظِيمٌ [ سورة يوسف 84].

  • Whiteness, which is termed as cataract, affecting the eye is the opacity of the eye lens that prevents, partially or totally, the entry of light into the eye according to the degree of opacity.

Causes of Cataract:

  1. A direct trauma to the eye lens.
  2. High temperature.
  3. Different types of radiation or flaring light, causing what is termed “radiation cataract”.
  4. Opacity due to senile cataract, and diabetes mellitus that increases the concentration of fluids around the lens and absorbs its fluid, causing the presence of cataract rapidly.
  5. Severe grief causes the increase of adrenalin hormone which in turn causes increase of blood sugar, which is one of the opacity causes in addition to coincidence of grieving with weeping.
  • What Prophet Yousof (PBUH) did, through a revelation from Allah, was that he asked his brothers to take the shirt of healing to their father: “Go, take this shirt, and do you cast it on my father’s face , and he shall recover his sight; then bring me your family altogether.” (12: 93)

    اذْهَبُوا بِقَمِيصِي هَٰذَا فَأَلْقُوهُ عَلَىٰ وَجْهِ أَبِي يَأْتِ بَصِيرًا وَأْتُونِي بِأَهْلِكُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ [ سورة يوسف 93].

  • “So, when the caravan set forth, their father ( Jacob ) said, ‘surely I perceive Yousof’s scent, unless you think me doting’. They said; ‘By Allah, you are certainly in your ancient error.’ But when the bearer of good tidings came to him, and laid it (Yousof’s shirt) on his face, forthwith he saw once again. He said; ‘Did I not tell you I know from Allah that you know not?’ (12: 94-96)

    وَلَمَّا فَصَلَتِ الْعِيرُ قَالَ أَبُوهُمْ إِنِّي لَأَجِدُ رِيحَ يُوسُفَ لَوْلاَ أَن تُفَنِّدُونِ (94) قَالُواْ تَاللّهِ إِنَّكَ لَفِي ضَلاَلِكَ الْقَدِيمِ (95) فَلَمَّا أَن جَاء الْبَشِيرُ أَلْقَاهُ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ فَارْتَدَّ بَصِيراً قَالَ أَلَمْ أَقُل لَّكُمْ إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ مِنَ اللّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ (96) [ سورة يوسف 94-96].

Hence is the beginning and the guidance!

  • What healing could be there in the shirt of the Prophet, Yousof ?
  • After meditation, the Egyptian Moslem scientist, Dr. Abdul Basit Sayed Mohammed, did not find except sweat. He began to search the components of sweat. He immersed lenses extracted from traditional surgeries of cataract in the sweat. He found out that a state of gradual transparency is established in these opaque lenses.
  • The second question was: are all sweat components effective in such a case or is it only one of its components? He later realized that one of its main components was the urea (Goandin), and which could be chemically prepared.
  • Results of investigations on 250 volunteers revealed removal of cataract and restoration of sight for more than 90%.
  • So, inspired by the Surat of Yousof, the Moslem scientist Dr. Abdul Basit Sayed Mohammed of the National Centre of Researches in Egypt was able to manufacture an eye drop to treat the cataract, and obtained two international patents: The European International Patent in 1991, and the American Patent in 1993.
  • Allah the Almighty said; “And We send down, of the Quran, that which is a healing and a mercy to the believers.” (Israa/82)

    وَنُنَزِّل مِنْ الْقُرْآن مَا هُوَ شِفَاء وَرَحْمَة لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ [ سورة الإسراء 82].

There are many benefits of breastfeeding , some of them will be discussed here :

For the mother:

  • Protects against post-partum uteritis.
  • Helps stop bleeding resulting from delivery, thus preventing loss of extra blood..
  • Helps uterine restore normal size and place quickly after delivery.
  • Prevents the recurrence of pregnancy with a rate of more than 98%, without contraceptives.
  • Protects the lactating mother against breast and uterine cancer.
    1. For the baby:

      • Breast feeding protects the baby from viral infections, as it contains immunity agents.
      • It protects against food allergy, as it is free of protein that causes such kind of allergy, and which is usually found in extracted and manufactured cows milk.
      • It prevents shortage of calcium in the baby’s blood, thus helping to construct strong bones.
      • It returns with spiritual and psychological benefits to the baby, as it helps build a well composed, righteous and straight personality, and strengthens the spiritual and passionate links between the baby and the mother.
      • As revealed in a research published in Pediatric Clinics of North America in February 2001, the mental abilities of babies who receive breast feeding from their mothers are stronger and higher than otherwise, and the longer the period of breast feeding, the higher the mental abilities are.
      • It was shown that mother’s milk also provides protection against cancer. After showing that the incidence of the lymph cancer observed in childhood was nine times greater in formula-fed children, they realised that the same results applied to other forms of cancer. According to the results, mother’s milk accurately locates the cancer cells and later destroys them. It is a substance called alpha-lac (alphalactalbumin), present in large quantities in mother’s milk, that locates and kills the cancer cells. Alpha-lac is produced by a protein that assists in the manufacture of the sugar lactose in the milk.
      • In addition to some practical benefits of breast feeding. The milk is always ready with steady and appropriate heat, fresh, sterilized, digestible and saves money and time !
      • Researchers indicated that breast feeding alleviates the baby’s fear of needle pricks and helps as analgesic during painful operations such as circumcision.
      • A new theory emerged in the recent years indicating that the protein in cows milk can cause a biological reaction that destroys the pancreatic beta cells excreting insulin. This theory is supported with the high rate of the presence of cow milk proteins in the serum of children with diabetes in comparison with study group of non-diabetic children. 

      But why is it that cows milk causes this harm before the second year, and then disappears after this period?In a study conducted in Finland in 1994 and published in Auto-immunity Journal, the authors state that the protein of cow milk passes in natural form through the lining membrane of digestive system which is not yet fully grown. As the enzymes of the digestive system cannot break the protein into amino acids, the protein of cow milk enters as a complex protein and works as a catalyst to produce immunity agents in the body of the child.

      New references reveal that enzymes and the lining membrane of the digestive system and kinetics of digestion and absorption do not attain complete function except in the second year after delivery.

      Breast feeding
      Many studies stress on breast feeding in the first two years

      In a very accurate scientific reference, the Quran determines the period of lactation with almost two years. In verse 14 of Surat Luqman: “And We enjoined on man concerning his parents- his mother bore him in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning was in two years.” (31:14)

      وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنْسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ وَهْنًا عَلَىٰ وَهْنٍ وَفِصَالُهُ فِي عَامَيْنِ [ سورة لقمان 14].

      It is understood that lactation for two years is not a must, but a complete period; “Mothers shall breastfeed their children for two whole years, for such as desire to complete the term ” ( 2:233)

      وَالْوَالِدَاتُ يُرْضِعْنَ أَوْلاَدَهُنَّ حَوْلَيْنِ كَامِلَيْنِ لِمَنْ أَرَادَ أَن يُتِمَّ الرَّضَاعَةَ [ سورة البقرة 233].

      Miracle of honey !

      Allah the Almighty says;

      “Your Lord revealed to the bees: “Build dwellings in the mountains and the trees, and also in the structures which men erect. Then eat from every kind of fruit and travel the paths of your Lord, which have been made easy for you to follow.” From inside them comes a drink of varying colours, containing healing for mankind. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who reflect” (16: 68)

      وَأَوْحَى رَبُّكَ إِلَى النَّحْلِ أَنِ اتَّخِذِي مِنَ الْجِبَالِ بُيُوتًا وَمِنَ الشَّجَرِ وَمِمَّا يَعْرِشُونَ (68) ثُمَّ كُلِي مِنْ كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ فَاسْلُكِي سُبُلَ رَبِّكِ ذُلُلا يَخْرُجُ مِنْ بُطُونِهَا شَرَابٌ مُخْتَلِفٌ أَلْوَانُهُ فِيهِ شِفَاءٌ لِلنَّاسِ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لآيَةً لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ (69)”””” [ سورة النحل 68-69].

      • Although honey is one of the most important products of the bee, yet it is not the only product. Honey wax, propolis, nectar, bee toxicant are cases in point of other products that proved by experimental science to be of medical benefits.
      • Honey has more than 80 materials of sugar vitamins and 15 materials of sugars, particularly fructose, glucose, minerals, amino acids and about 5% of unclassified materials.
      • “containing healing for mankind” is an explicit verse indicating that honey is a treatment as well as a nutrient.
      Miracle of honey
      Miracle of honey
      • Alleviating inflammation of cornea if used locally on the eye.
      • An antibiotic if used locally in situ of wounds and burns, and it is used for healing of wounds :
        • When used in treatment of wounds, thanks to its ability to absorb moisture from the air, honey facilitates healing process and prevents scarring. This is because honey stimulates the growth of epithelial cells that form the new skin cover over a healed wound. In this way, even in case of large wounds, honey may eliminate the need for tissue transplantation.
        • Honey stimulates the re-growth of tissue involved in the healing process. It stimulates the formation of new blood capillaries and the growth of fibroblasts that replace the connective tissue of the deeper layer of the skin and produce the collagen fibres that give strength to the repair.
        • Honey has an anti-inflammatory action, which reduces the swelling around a wound. This improves circulation and thus hastens the healing process. It also reduces pain.
        • Honey does not stick to the underlying wound tissues, so there is no tearing away of newly formed tissue, and no pain, when dressings are changed.
        • Thanks to its aforementioned antimicrobial property, honey provides a protective barrier to prevent wounds becoming infected. It also rapidly clears any existing infection from wounds. It is fully effective, even with antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. Unlike antiseptics and antibiotics, there is no impairment of the healing process through adverse effects on wound tissues.
        • Some studies showed that honey is a good treatment against the hospital infection bacteria "superbugs" (MRSA) .
      • As honey does not accommodate bacteria, this bactericide (bacteria-killing) property of honey is named "the inhibition effect." There are various reasons of this anti-microbial property of the honey. Some examples are: the high sugar content that limits the amount of water microorganisms need for growth, its high acidity (low pH) and composition which deprive bacteria from nitrogen necessary for reproduction. The existence of hydrogen peroxide as well as antioxidants in the honey prevent bacteria growth.
      • Antioxidant: Everyone who wants to live a healthier life should consume antioxidants. Those are the components in cells that get rid of harmful byproducts of normal metabolic functions. These elements inhibit destructive chemical reactions that cause spoilage of food and many chronic illnesses. Researchers believe food products rich in antioxidants may prevent heart problems and cancer. Strong antioxidants are present in honey content: Pinocembrin, pinobaxin, chrisin and galagin. Pinocembrin is an antioxidant that merely exists in the honey.
      • A treatment for gastric and duodenal ulcers, as honey decreases the secretion of hydrochloric acid to a normal rate, thus helping to heal such ulcers and alleviate the related pains and reduce resultant cases of vomiting and colic. For the treatment to be effective, honey should be taken dissolved in warm water one or two hours before meals.
      • A treatment for involuntary urination at beds. Such a disease that could often be a result of psychic or neurotic cause. So, if the child is given one small spoon of honey before sleeping, this will have a positive effect, as honey is sedative for the nervous system, thus helping the cyst to relax and expand during sleep. Concentrated sugar also helps to absorb water from the child body.
      • It supports blood formation: Honey provides an important part of the energy needed by the body for blood formation. In addition, it helps in cleansing the blood. It has some positive effects in regulating and facilitating blood circulation. It also functions as a protection against capillary problems and arteriosclerosis.
      • A treatment for colds, flu and pharyngitis.
      • A treatment for cases of chronic hepatitis, as honey increases the liver stock of the glycogen material through the increase of blood glucose, thus helping the liver to function properly and relieve it from more burdens.
      • A treatment for insomnia and a sedative for nerves, as it contains some sedative and tonic substances as sodium and potassium at a reasonable rate such.
      • A treatment for alcoholic poisoning. Honey is one of the main nutrients prescribed in hospitals and clinics of alcoholic addicts, as it protects the liver from alcoholic poisoning. Fructose and vitamin B group in the honey helps oxidize the alcohol remaining in the body.
      • A treatment for cough.
      • In cosmetics, a mixture of honey with lemon and glycerin is considered of the best old medical prescription for the treatment of skin cracking and roughness, the inflammation and wounds of lips, sun stroke, and dermal pigments. Many ointments and creams contain honey as a main element for the treatment of skin diseases.
      • A treatment for muscular spasm of sportive exercises or facial spasms and eyelids muscles, which disappear after having one big spoon of honey for three days after each meal.
      • Many researches have been done to look at the benefits of natural honey .. !

      It was narrated by Al Bukhari and Moslem on the authority of Abu Saeed Al Khudari that A man came to the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and said, "My brother has some abdominal trouble." The Prophet said to him "Let him drink honey." The man returned to the prophet and said: “O Messenger of Allah! I let him drink honey, but it caused him more pain.” The prophet said to him; “Go and let him drink honey”. The man went and let his brother drink honey, then returned back and said; “O Messenger of Allah, it did not cause him except more pains.” The Prophet then said, "Allah has said the truth, but your brother’s abdomen has told a lie. Let him drink honey." So he made him drink honey and he was cured. 

      It can easily be seen from this information that honey has great “healing” properties. This is undoubtedly one of the miracles of the Quran Allah, Who is Exalted in Power, has revealed.


      Another interesting point regarding the female honey bee , Allah (SWT) says in the holy Quran :

      (Your Lord revealed to the bees: “Build dwellings in the mountains and the trees, and also in the structures which men erect. Then eat from every kind of fruit and travel the paths of your Lord, which have been made easy for you to follow.” From inside them comes a drink of varying colours, containing healing for mankind. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who reflect ) ( 16:68-69)

      وَأَوْحَى رَبُّكَ إِلَى النَّحْلِ أَنِ اتَّخِذِي مِنَ الْجِبَالِ بُيُوتًا وَمِنَ الشَّجَرِ وَمِمَّا يَعْرِشُونَ (68) ثُمَّ كُلِي مِنْ كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ فَاسْلُكِي سُبُلَ رَبِّكِ ذُلُلا يَخْرُجُ مِنْ بُطُونِهَا شَرَابٌ مُخْتَلِفٌ أَلْوَانُهُ فِيهِ شِفَاءٌ لِلنَّاسِ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لآيَةً لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ (69)”””” [ سورة النحل 68-69].

      In the honey bee colonies where each of the many bees is assigned a specific task, the only exception is the male honey bee. The males do not contribute to the defence of the hive or its cleaning, gathering food, or making the honeycomb and honey. The only function of the male bees in the hive is to inseminate the queen bee. Apart from reproductive organs, the males possess almost none of the features possessed by other bees and it is therefore impossible for them to do anything but fertilise the queen.
      The worker bees carry the entire load of the colony. Although they are females like the queen, their ovaries have no maturity. This renders them sterile. They have several duties: cleaning the hive, maintaining the larvae and the young, feeding the queen bee and the males, producing honey, constructing the honeycomb and repairing it, ventilating the hive and safeguarding it, gathering supplies like nectar, pollen, water and resin, and storing these in the hive. 

      In Arabic, there are two different usages of verbs. By means of the usage, it is possible to determine whether the subject is a female or a male. As a matter of fact, the translated verbs into English (underlined words) used for the honey bee are used in the feminine verb format in the Quranic verses. 

      Based on this, the Quran indicates that the honey bees that work in the making of the honey are females.

      We should not forget that it is impossible for this fact to have been known about the honey bees in the time of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Yet, Allah has pointed at this fact and shown us yet another miracle of the Quran.

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