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...

  • Sports Israeli Soccer Team Faces Prospect of International Ban

    Israeli Soccer Team Faces Prospect of International Ban

    The Israel National soccer team could be facing a World Cup ban, and other soccer sanctions, unless it alleviates travel restrictions and increases field access for Palestinian players and coaches. The head of the Palestinian Football Association is pushing for international soccer’s governing body, the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA), to issue a ban on Israel competing internationally, claiming Israel’s restrictive travel for Palestinians is equivalent to a form of oppression. “It’s not only the athletes,” Jibril Rajoub explains. [...]

    Read more →
  • Beliefs and concepts Book Reviews Jewish Author of ‘Eat to Live’ Dishes on Health Care, Nutrition, Disease Prevention

    Jewish Author of ‘Eat to Live’ Dishes on Health Care, Nutrition, Disease Prevention

    JNS.org – While the national debate on “Obamacare” rages on past the recent March 31 sign-up deadline, bestselling Jewish author Dr. Joel Fuhrman says the “current disease care model of what we call ‘health care’ cannot possibly be sustained.” “There is simply not enough money available to support a system in which the lion’s share of expenditures is devoted to acute care, with virtually nothing being spent on preventive medicine, i.e. health care,” Fuhrman says in an interview. “To make [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity ‘Tears of Color’ Art Exhibit Shows Struggles of Israelis With Eating Disorders

    ‘Tears of Color’ Art Exhibit Shows Struggles of Israelis With Eating Disorders

    JNS.org – “This is how I want to be—without fear. Independent. I want to be like a bird. I want to spread my wings.” So reads part of the description beneath one of the 30 paintings on display until the end of May at the ZOA House in Tel Aviv. The collection represents the first-ever art exhibit of its kind: an exhibit created entirely by Israelis in treatment for eating disorders. Dubbed “Tears of Color,” based on one of the [...]

    Read more →
  • Beliefs and concepts Book Reviews Overprotective or Loving? Daughters Reflect on Jewish Mothers in New Anthology

    Overprotective or Loving? Daughters Reflect on Jewish Mothers in New Anthology

    JNS.org – Rachel Ament noticed that she and her friends often shared humorous anecdotes that were typically variations on a theme: overprotective, worrying Jewish moms who smothered them with love. That included Ament’s own mother. “My mom is probably every Jewish stereotype scrunched into one,” the Washington, DC, resident tells JNS.org. “At the root of all these stereotypical, worrying, overprotective moms, is love.” A social media writer for Capital One, as well as a freelance writer, Ament decided about three years [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Commentary ‎Kosher Lust: Love is Not the Answer (REVIEW)

    ‎Kosher Lust: Love is Not the Answer (REVIEW)

    Kosher Lust, by Shmuley Boteach (Gefen Publishing House, 2014). You really do want to find something positive to say about Shmuley Boteach. He is a phenomenon; very bright, an articulate bundle of energy and self-promotion. Anyone who has the chutzpah to describe himself as “America’s Rabbi” deserves ten out of ten for effort. I believe that along with most Chabad alumni, official and unofficial, he does a lot of good and is a sort of national treasure. In this world [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Theater Hollywood’s Revisiting of Passover’s Exodus Story a Part of Throwback ‘Year of the Bible’

    Hollywood’s Revisiting of Passover’s Exodus Story a Part of Throwback ‘Year of the Bible’

    JNS.org – In a throwback to the golden age of cinema, Hollywood has declared 2014 the “Year of the Bible.” From Ridley Scott’s Exodus starring Christian Bale as Moses, to Russell Crowe playing Noah, Hollywood is gambling on new innovations in technology and star power to revisit some of the most popular stories ever told. “It’s definitely a throwback to the 1950s and early ’60s,” Dr. Stephen J. Whitfield, an American Studies professor at Brandeis University, told JNS.org. Starting with The [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Jewish Giant’ Headlines New York Jewish Museum Exhibit

    ‘Jewish Giant’ Headlines New York Jewish Museum Exhibit

    Eddie Carmel, dubbed “The Jewish Giant” by American photographer Diane Arbus, is the centerpiece of a new exhibit opening April 11 at The Jewish Museum in New York. Arbus met Carmel, who was billed “The World’s Tallest Man,” at Hubert’s Dime Museum and Flea Circus in 1959 but waited until 1970 to photograph him at his parents’ home in the Bronx, according to the museum. The son of immigrants from Tel Aviv, Carmel posed for Arbus with his head bowed to [...]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Disney Hit ‘Frozen’ Gets Passover Themed Makeover With ‘Chozen’ (VIDEO)

    Disney Hit ‘Frozen’ Gets Passover Themed Makeover With ‘Chozen’ (VIDEO)

    A Passover themed cover of hit songs Let It Go and Do You Want to Build a Snowman? from Disney’s Frozen has attracted tons of media buzz and a cool 65,ooo views on YouTube within days of going online. The work of Jewish a capella group Six13, the track is aptly named Chozen. We are celebrating “our freedom, our favorite festival, our fabulous fans, and aspiring Disney princesses everywhere” the group said. The Chozen music video tells the story of [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.