Prophet Muhammad's Hadith of the Fly is
confirmed by Science:
The sections of this article are:
1- The Prophet's Sayings. 2- The Scientific Proofs.
3- Renowned Islamic Scholars state that the
Prophet made errors in the past. 4- The Hadith of the fly is not a Mutawatir one.
The Prophet's Sayings:
Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, made a remarkable statement about the
flies carrying antidotes:
Narrated Abu Huraira: "Allah's Apostle said, "If a fly
falls in the vessel of any of you, let him dip all of it (into the vessel) and
then throw it away, for in one of
its wings there is a disease and in the other there is healing
(antidote for it) i e. the treatment for that disease."
(Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 71, Number
Narrated Abu Huraira: "The Prophet said "If a house fly
falls in the drink of anyone of you, he should dip it (in the drink),
for one of its wings has a disease
and the other has the cure for the disease."
(Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, Number
The Scientific Proofs:
The following articles are from non-Muslim Western sources.
The surface of flies is the
last place you would expect to find antibiotics, yet
that is exactly where a team of Australian researchers is
concentrating their efforts.
Working on the theory that flies must have
remarkable antimicrobial defences to survive rotting dung, meat and
fruit, the team at the
Department of Biological Sciences,
Macquarie University, set out to identify those
antibacterial properties manifesting at different stages of a fly's
"Our research is a small part of a global
research effort for new antibiotics, but we are looking where we
believe no-one has looked before," said Ms Joanne Clarke, who
presented the group's findings at the
Australian Society for Microbiology Conference
in Melbourne this week. The project is part of her PhD thesis.
The scientists tested four different
species of fly: a house fly, a sheep blowfly, a vinegar fruit fly
and the control, a Queensland fruit fly which lays its eggs in fresh
fruit. These larvae do not need as much antibacterial compound
because they do not come into contact with as much bacteria.
Flies go through the life stages of larvae
and pupae before becoming adults. In the pupae stage, the fly is
encased in a protective casing and does not feed. "We predicted they
would not produce many antibiotics," said Ms Clarke.
They did not.
However the larvae all
showed antibacterial properties (except that of the
Queensland fruit fly control).
As did all the adult fly species, including
the Queensland fruit fly (which at this point requires antibacterial
protection because it has contact with other flies and is mobile).
Such properties were present on the fly
surface in all four species, although antibacterial properties occur
in the gut as well. "You find activity in both places," said Ms
"The reason we concentrated on the surface
is because it is a simpler extraction."
The antibiotic material is
extracted by drowning the flies in ethanol, then
running the mixture through a filter to obtain the crude extract.
When this was placed in a solution with
various bacteria including E.coli, Golden Staph, Candida (a yeast)
and a common hospital pathogen, antibiotic action was observed every
"We are now trying to identify the specific antibacterial
compounds," said Ms Clarke. Ultimately these will be
Because the compounds are not from
bacteria, any genes conferring resistance to them may not be as
easily transferred into pathogens. It is hoped this new form of
antibiotics will have a longer effective therapeutic life.
Department of Pharmacy
Practice, College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis,
MN 55455, USA.
Some species of
calliphorid blowflies lay their eggs in wounds; their larvae develop
by feeding on the tissue, and the infection is known as myiasis or
fly-strike. But wounds, from whatever cause, are frequently
contaminated with bacteria - many o f which can spread in the
bloodstream causing septicaemia and/or toxaemia. For example, wound
contamination with Clostridium welchii - leading to 'gas gangrene' -
was a frequent cause of death amongst battlefield casualties. It is
from such situations that early observations were made on the
beneficial effect of some blowfly larvae in limiting the bacterial
infection of wounds.
Indeed, some military surgeons would deliberately infest wounds with
blowfly maggots in order to prevent bacterial complications.
Now, a century or two later, the search for new antibiotics had led
researchers back to these early observations, and in this article,
Gory Erdmann describes progress in understanding the antibacterial
action of blowfly maggots.
PMID: 15462958 [PubMed]
males transfer antibacterial proteins from their accessory gland and
ejaculatory duct to their mates Purchase the full-text article
References and further reading may be available for this article. To view
references and further reading you must purchase this article.
O. Lung1, a, L. Kuoa and M.F. WolfnerCorresponding Author Contact Information,
a, E-mail The Corresponding Author
Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics,
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853,
Received 7 July 2000;
accepted 25 October 2000.
Available online 8 March 2001.
The male fruitfly, Drosophila melanogaster,
transfers to his mate proteins that increase his reproductive success by
causing changes in her behavior and physiology.
Here we show that among the
transferred proteins are ones with antibacterial activity. We
performed Escherichia coli overlay assays of native PAGE or renatured
SDS–PAGE of reproductive tissue extracts of wild-type or transgenic males
deficient in accessory gland function. We detected a 28 kDa male accessory
gland-derived protein and two ejaculatory duct-derived proteins all with
antibacterial activity. Based on its gel mobility and tissue of synthesis,
one of the ejaculatory duct proteins is likely to be andropin, a
previously-reported 6 kDa antibacterial peptide. All three proteins are
transferred to females during mating. Therefore, they could assist in
protecting the male's reproductive tract
and, after transfer to the
female, the female's reproductive tract or eggs against bacterial infection.
Since seminal fluid proteins are transferred before the sperm, these
antibacterial proteins may also protect sperm from bacterial infection.
"With regard to worldly matters: this happened to the
Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). With regard to
agriculture, medicine, carpentry, etc., he was like all other people. Allaah did
not tell us that he was sent to us as a businessman or a farmer or a carpenter
or a doctor. His mistakes in these
fields are quite natural and do not impact on his Message at all."
Many other statements from renowned Muslim scholars, of both
old and current ones, exist in the article.
Personally, I only give my 100% of trust to the Noble Quran,
because it is from Allah Almighty. Everything else is prone to
containing errors and does contain errors. The Noble Quran is the one and
only Book that contains no errors, and this is no mere statement from me.
Science today has confirmed over and over and over that the Quran's Scientific
Statements are indeed in perfect harmony with Science.
What I am saying is that when we hear a Scientific Hadith
(Saying) from the Prophet of Islam, peace be upon him, we have to be very
careful to not give it 100% of full trust and credibility due to the following
1- The Prophet did make errors in
the past in some scientific fields as the scholars in the above article
2- The Prophet was not Allah
3- The Prophet at the end of the
day was only a mere human, who happened to be Righteous enough to be Chosen by
Allah Almighty to be His Messenger to us, Mankind. While this certainly makes the Prophet better than all of us, but at the end of the day,
it still doesn't make him a scientist. He still remains a mere human who
knew some things and was ignorant about other things, just like all of us.
Only Allah Almighty Knows all things.
4- The Hadiths (Sayings) of the
Prophet were officially compiled in the authenticated volumes, or the
Sahih Volumes, around 200 years after his death. This means that
it is quite possible, and highly probable, that many Hadiths that we have today
are not in their original forms. They had been altered, either
intentionally or unintentionally.
5- There are 9 main Sunni
Hadiths' volumes (كتب السنة التسعة), and
many others that are considered less authentic and trustworthy. These nine
The 9 main Sunni Hadiths volumes:
Sunan Abu Dawud.
Sunan Ibn Maja.
The Hadiths, in general, from these volumes and
others, are divided into 5 categories:
Hadiths - Those are ones that exist multiple times in
a single volume and they exist in many or all of the Hadiths'
main 9 volumes. Those are the strongest and the best
Hadiths. They were common knowledge to the people, 1,500
years ago, and the people had successfully passed them down from
generation to generation.
The Ahaad or Hasan
Hadiths - Ahaad is derived from Ahad, which means
Absolute One, and the latter is one of
Allah Almighty's 99 Divine Attributes. Hasan
means good. Both refer to the same Hadiths, and they are
Hadiths that have complete good, solid and trustworthy people in
their chain of narrations, but they were not narrated by
The Da'eef Hadiths -
They are the weak Hadiths. Da'eef means weak in Arabic,
and a da'eef Hadith is one that is not Mutawatir and not an
Ahaad or Hasan one. It is one that has questionable
narrators in its chain. They were either unknown, or they
were people who had a history of questionable integrity.
The Hadith could be true and it could be false. It is
considered weak and doubtful. Most Muslim Scholars reject
the Da'eef Hadiths.
The Maw'qoof Hadiths
- They are also called Maq'too'a Hadiths.
Maw'qoof means stopped, and Maq'too'a means "is cut" in Arabic.
These are Hadiths that have gaps or missing links
in their chain of narrators. They too are considered weak
and very doubtful. Most Muslim Scholars reject the
Hadiths - They are ones that are suspicious.
They appear, based on their text and other factors, to be
fabrications that were invented on the mouths of the Prophet
and/or his companions. Almost all of the Muslim scholars
reject these Hadiths.
There are also the
Qudsi Hadiths, and
these are divided between the Mutawatir and Ahaad Hadiths.
The Hadith of the fly is not a Mutawatir one:
The Hadith of the fly is not a Mutawatir one. This can be
verified in this link. We have no way of knowing the original
words of the Prophet in this Hadith. But however, since we see great
scientific evidence, from the articles that I've quoted above, that seem to
go in almost perfect harmony with the Prophet's Hadith, then I believe that we
have strong evidence that suggests that the Prophet did indeed say this Hadith,
since the knowledge about the flies carrying antidotes or anti-bacterials or
anti-biotics was definitely not known to man, 1,500 years ago.
However, I am not sure about the dipping the fly in the drink part. I
am not sure if this is scientifically right or wrong. I mean, if the fly
is carrying malaria or some other disease on its body, then certainly dipping
the fly in the drink or food will bring the disease to it. And if we do this with multiple or many
infested flies, then we will have a big health problem. So, I
am not sure if the dipping part is scientifically accurate or not.
However, it is quite possible that this part was added by some latter narrator.
It is possible that the Prophet said something along this line:
"Allah Almighty Created the fly with many wonders in
it, one of which that it carries both the disease and the cure of that disease
under its wings."
The Prophet might've said it
after Allah Almighty Revealed the Miracle of the fly's digestive system
in the Noble Quran. And it is possible that some people thought that why
not dip the fly into our foods and drinks to get those cures. I am only
speculating here, but I hope that you see that since the Hadith is an Ahaad one,
then it is not possible to know what exactly the Prophet said,
Science has confirmed that the fly does indeed carry antidote, and it does
have useful functions that the human-body could greatly benefit from, such as
the soldiers who used flies' larvae to prevent bacterial infections.
The Hadiths above have a great deal of agreement with Science, and their
knowledge was not known to man, 1,500 years ago. But however, there seems
to be a questionable part about whether or not dipping a fly into the food could
actually bring harm more than good.