Sharia-Medicine: Egyptian Clinic Treats People with Camel Urine Per Prophet’s Advice

October 5, 2012 1:19 am 3 comments

An Egyptian TV show. Photo: Screenshot.

A recent Egyptian TV program showed how Islamic Sharia law’s many prescriptions do not merely clash with modern-day concepts like free speech and religious freedom, but even with medicine and science.

On September 16, popular TV persona Wael El-Ibrashi hosted Dr. Zaghlul al-Naggar, a prominent Islamic thinker and Chairman of Egypt’s Committee of Scientific Notions in the Quran, on the topic of medical science and Islam. Inevitably the idea of drinking camel urine as a form of therapy—first proposed in the 7th century by Muslim prophet Muhammad—came up.

Not only did Dr. Naggar promote this practice, but he made the staggering announcement that right now in Egypt a medical center in Marsa Matrouh actually specializes in treating people with camel urine, all in accord with the prophet’s advice.

Other Egyptian thinkers joined the show via satellite, including Khaled Montaser (who earlier exposed the Islamic world’s “inferiority complex“). At one point, while delineating how science and medicine work, Montaser reminded that urine is where all the body’s toxins are carried out, asking “so, shall we drink it for health?” Naggar simply responded with arrogance: “I am older than you and more learned than you: you are not going to teach me; I will teach generations of people like you.”

Staunch secularist Sayyid al-Qemany—whose strong support for rationalistic thinking and the separation of religion and state caused Egypt’s Islamic establishment to pronounce him an apostate infidel—also joined the show via phone, deploring the very idea that drinking camel urine could heal people.

Referring to Naggar’s announcement that there is a clinic specializing in treating people with camel urine as a “catastrophe” that only indicates how far Egypt has sunk, Qemany called on Egyptian health officials to verify if such a medical center truly exists, saying this is a serious issue involving the health of Egypt’s citizenry.

Naggar tried to defend the “salutary benefits” of camel urine by arguing that European pharmacies produce a medicine that contains female urine (possibly a reference to HCG). Qemany replied that such medicines are not based on drinking crude urine but are synthetic, exclaiming, “does this mean I should go drink my wife’s urine?!”

An exasperated Qemany concluded by offering a compromise. He suggested that Nagger, whose PhD is in geology, should lead an expedition to Mecca and Medina and somehow try to extrapolate the urine of Muslim prophet Muhammad, and use that to heal people instead of camel urine, sarcastically adding, “surely the urine of the prophet—peace and blessings upon him—is better than camel urine?”

Dr. Naggar simply shook his head, saying such talk was inappropriate.

In fact, both ideas—drinking camel urine and drinking Muhammad’s urine—are traced to the prophet’s own words, and, accordingly, are aspects of “Sharia-medicine.” In a canonical tradition, Muhammad once told some men who were sick “to drink the milk and urine of camels, and they recovered and grew fat,” that is, they were healed (more information on this practice can be found in a modern-day fatwa in the English language aptly titled “The Benefits of Drinking Camel Urine.”)

Likewise, Egypt’s Grand Mufti, Ali Gomaa, once wrote that drinking Muhammad’s urine was considered “a great blessing.

All of this sheds light on the totalitarian nature of Sharia law, which treats, not just the Quran, but canonical hadiths, or traditions and sayings of Muhammad—which is where both urine-drinking ideas appear—as sacred and not to be questioned. Saudi Arabia’s highest Islamic authority until he died in 1999, Sheikh Bin Baz, held that the earth was flat and that all scientific evidence otherwise was a “Western conspiracy,” simply because Quran 18:86 claims the sun sets in a pool of mud, suggesting that the earth is flat.

The greater lesson for non-Muslims is that, if Islam’s most prominent thinkers—the many ulema, muftis, sheikhs, and “Islamic thinkers” like Naggar himself—tenaciously cling to Islam’s teachings even when they defy objective science (not to mention grossly defame Islam), surely they must cling to those other ironclad teachings that deal with “subjective” matters, from freedom of religion and freedom of speech, to hostility, jihad, and subjugation for the infidel.

At one point in the debate, Qemany made this connection when he likened the mentality that would give sick people camel urine to drink, to the mentality that attacked U.S. embassies and killed people. In both cases, blind obedience and/or fanaticism is at work—and all to Muhammad’s words, which advocated drinking camel urine for health no less than they banned mockery of the prophet.

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

3 Comments

  • I wish westerners would stop judging. None of you have even begun to study camel urine, but you’re all sure it is worthless treatment.

    If I said, some tree bark was valuable you would likely claim the same. Not realizing that aspirin was discovered from tree bark in Amazon.

    Silly Americans, not drinking Camel urine will destroy your healthy and bring your nation to its knees,

    • It’s funny how you would never call the west silly when they develop almost all of the modern medicines you use.

      Or when they develop the latest treatments for cancer, and fixing everything from your heart to the brain.

      When was the last time the arabs made any advanced in the medical field other than telling people to drink urine?

  • Empress Trudy

    See? They don’t need the west. Pull up the bridges and leave them to their own.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Book Reviews Commentary In ‘America in Retreat,’ a Real-Life Risk Board

    In ‘America in Retreat,’ a Real-Life Risk Board

    JNS.org – “Risk: The Game of Strategic Conquest,” the classic Parker Brothers board game, requires imperial ambitions. Players imagine empires and are pitted against each other, vying for world domination. Amid this fictional world war, beginners learn fast that no matter the superiority of their army, every advance is a gamble determined by a roll of the dice. After a defeat, a player must retreat. Weighted reinforcement cards provide the only opportunity to reverse a player’s fortunes and resume the [...]

    Read more →
  • Beliefs and concepts Sports Does Working Out With Other Jews Keep You Jewish?

    Does Working Out With Other Jews Keep You Jewish?

    JNS.org – For Daphna Krupp, her daily workout (excluding Shabbat) at the Jewish Community Center (JCC or “J”) of Greater Baltimore has become somewhat of a ritual. She not only attends fitness classes but also engages with the instructors and plugs the J’s social programs on her personal Facebook page. “It’s the gym and the environment,” says Krupp. “It’s a great social network.” Krupp, who lives in Pikesville, Md., is one of an estimated 1 million American Jewish members of more [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Sports Illustrated Profiles Orthodox NCAA Basketball Player Aaron Liberman

    Sports Illustrated Profiles Orthodox NCAA Basketball Player Aaron Liberman

    Sports Illustrated magazine featured an extensive profile on Orthodox-Jewish college basketball player Aaron Liberman on Wednesday.  The article details Liberman’s efforts to balance faith, academics and basketball at Tulane University, a challenge the young athlete calls “a triple major.” Sports Illustrated pointed out that Liberman is the second Orthodox student to play Division I college basketball. The other was Tamir Goodman, the so-called “Jewish Jordan.” As reported in The Algemeiner, Liberman started his NCAA career at Northwestern University. According to [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Cycling the Desert: New Israel Bike Trail Connects Mitzpe Ramon to Eilat

    Cycling the Desert: New Israel Bike Trail Connects Mitzpe Ramon to Eilat

    As the popularity of cycling continues to increase across the world, Israel is working to develop cycling trails that make the country’s spectacular desert accessible to cyclists. The southern segment of the Israel Bike Trail was inaugurated on Feb. 24 and offers for the first time a unique, uninterrupted 8-day cycling experience after six years of planning and development. The southern section of the Israel Bike Trail stretches over 300 kilometers in length and is divided into eight segments for mountain biking, [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Theater Forthcoming Major Action Movies Inspired by Jewish Comic Artist Jack Kirby

    Forthcoming Major Action Movies Inspired by Jewish Comic Artist Jack Kirby

    JNS.org – With the recent Oscars in the rearview mirror, Hollywood’s attention now shifts to the rest of this year’s big-screen lineup. Two of the major action films coming up in 2015—Avengers: Age of Ultron, which hits theaters in May, and the third film in the Fantastic Four series, slated for an August release—have Jewish roots that the average moviegoer might be unaware of. As it turns out, it took a tough Jewish kid from New York City’s Lower East [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity When Torah Teaches Life and Life Teaches Torah (REVIEW)

    When Torah Teaches Life and Life Teaches Torah (REVIEW)

    JNS.org – Rabbi Gordon Tucker spent the first 20 years of his career teaching at the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) and the next 20 years as the rabbi of Temple Israel Center in White Plains, N.Y. I confess that when I heard about the order of those events, I thought that Tucker’s move from academia to the pulpit was strange. Firstly, I could not imagine anyone filling the place of my friend, Arnold Turetsky, who was such a talented [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Oscars 2015: Reflecting on Love at First Sight

    Oscars 2015: Reflecting on Love at First Sight

    JNS.org – I’m in love, and have been for a long time. It’s a relationship filled with laughter, tears, intrigue, and surprise. It was love at first sight, back when I was a little girl—with an extra-terrestrial that longed to go home. From then on, that love has never wavered, and isn’t reserved for one, but for oh so many—Ferris Bueller, Annie Hall, Tootsie, Harry and Sally, Marty McFly, Atticus Finch, Danny Zuko, Yentl, that little dog Toto, Mrs. Doubtfire, [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Book Reviews Examining America’s First Foray into the Middle East (REVIEW)

    Examining America’s First Foray into the Middle East (REVIEW)

    At the turn of the 21st century through today, American involvement in Middle Eastern politics runs through the Central Intelligence Agency. In America’s Great Game: The CIA’s Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East, historian Hugh Wilford shows this has always been the case. Wilford methodically traces the lives and work of the agency’s three most prominent officers in the Middle East: Kermit “Kim” Roosevelt was the grandson of president Theodore Roosevelt, and the first head of [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.