Abu Rayyah Objects to the Appetite of Abu Hurayrah

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Abu Rayyah Objects to the Appetite of Abu Hurairah


On page 54, Abu Rayyah states under the title, “the appetite of Abu Hurairah”:


لشخصية ابى هريرة نواح كثيرة منها نهمه الشديد ومن اجل ذلك كان-كما علمت- يتكفف الابواب و يستنكف الناس و هذا النهم كان له ولا ريب اثر بعيد فى حياته و قد لازمته هذه الصفة طول عمره…

Abu Hurairah had a pitiable and lamentable personality. One quality of that nature was his huge appetite. It is for this reason that—as you know—he would beg at the doors of people and annoy them. There is no doubt that this appetite had a far-reaching consequence in his life, and this quality remained with him for his entire life.


On page 55, under the title, Sheikh al Mudirah, he asserts:


و كان ابو هريرة يلقب بشيخ المضيرة وهو صنف من الطعام كان مشهورا بين اطعمة معاوية الفاخرة و قد نالت هذه المضيرة من عناية الكتاب و الشعراء ما لم ينله صنف اخر من الطعام و ظلوا يتندرون بها و يغمزونه قرونا طويلة من اجلها. و اليكم بعض ما كتبوه فيها قال الثعالبى في كتابه “ثمار القلوب فى المضاف و المنسوب” ما يلى: شيخ المضيرة: كان ابو هريرة على فضله و اختصاصه بالنبى مزاحا اكولا و كان يدعى الطب فيقول اكل التمر امان من القولنج و شرب العسل على على الريق امان من الفالج و اكل السفرجل يحسن الولد و اكل الرمان يصلح الكبد و الزبيب يشد العصب و يذهب الوصب والنصب و الكرفس يقوى المعدة والقرع يزيد فى اللب و يرق البشرة و اطيب اللحم الكتف و جواشى فقار العنق والظهر وكان يديم اكل الهريسة والفالوذج و يقول: هما مادتا الولد, و كان يعجبه المضيرة جدا فكان ياكل مع معاوية

Abu Hurairah was given the nick-name Sheikh al Mudirah. It is a famous type of food which was among the prime dishes of Muawiyah. This Mudirah caught the attention of writers and poets more than any other type of food. They have always been amused by it and they have mocked him due to it for many centuries. Here are some of their comments regarding it; al Tha’alabi says in his book, Thimar al Qulub fi l-Mudaf wa l-Mansub, “Sheikh al Mudirah, Abu Hurairah, despite his virtue and special relationship with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was a jovial person who ate a lot. He also claimed to have knowledge regarding the field of medicine. He would say, ‘Eating dates prevents colic, drinking honey with saliva prevents paralysis, eating quince beautifies the child, eating pomegranate treats the liver, raisins strengthen the nerves and alleviate discomfort and tiredness, celery strengthens the stomach, gourd increases the intelligence and clarifies the skin. The best meat is that of the shoulder and the area around the vertebrae in the neck and the back. He would always eat harisah and faludhaj (delicacies and deserts) saying, ‘They are the sources of children.’ Al Mudirah was also very appealing to him. He would eat it with Muawiyah.”


Our comment: The Imams and scholars of hadith have laid a basic principle, i.e. the books of history and language cannot be relied upon as sources of ahadith. The amount of tales and fabrications found in these books cannot be overlooked. That is why a hadith should only be quoted from a book of one of the reliable Imams upon whose knowledge in distinguishing between authentic and unauthentic reliance can be placed.

Narrations such as the above are to be found in abundance in books of language. Neither are they authentically narrated from their sources, nor do they make sense. They are added into such books which have no purpose but to kill time, occupy the bored person and entertain the reader. It is inappropriate to add these books to an academic discussion. Adding it to a book which supposedly discusses the history of the Sunnah, and using it to disparage a great scholar, or rather, a great Sahabi who was praised by the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the first and best generation of Muslims is something that is foreign to the idea of a research, according to both former and latter-day standards.[1]

His accusation against Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, that he would eat excessively and that he claimed to have knowledge regarding the field of medicine is not something that is confined to him. The greatest problem and catastrophe is that this applies to the Imams of the Ahlul Bayt as well, to the extent that they authored a book called Tibb al A’immah (Health: According to the Imams). These aspects of medicine and health form part of the jurisprudence of the Shia. I will quote their narrations shortly.

Here is a very brief presentation of the authentic ahadith narrated from the Ahlul Bayt who narrates from the grandfather. Mustadrak al Wasa’il reports from ‘Abdullah ibn Sinan who reports from Imam Jafar Abu ‘Abdullah rahimahu Llah:


شكا نبى من الانبياء الى الله الضعف فقيل له اطبخ اللحم باللبن فانهما يشدان الجسم قال قلت هى المضيرة قال لا ولكن اللحم باللبن الحليب

One of the Prophets complained to Allah about weakness. It was said to him, “Cook meat with milk, as this strengthens the body.”

I asked: “Is this al Mudirah?”

He replied: “No, meat with milk is al Halib.”[2]


Sulaiman al Jafari reports from Imam al Baqir:


نعم القوت السويق ان كنت جائعا امسك و ان كنت شبعانا هضم طعامك

What a wonderful provision is al Sawiq, if you are hungry, it fills you, and if you are satiated, it digests your food.[3]


السويق ينبت اللحم و يشد العظم

Bakr ibn Muhammad reports from Abu ‘Abdullah al Sadiq rahimahu Llah, “Al Sawiq harnesses the flesh and strengthens the bones.”[4]


السويق طعام المرسلين او قال النبيين

It is reported from Abu ‘Abdullah al Sadiq rahimahu Llah, “Al Sawiq is the food of the messengers or Prophets.”[5]


Mustadrak al Wasa’il reports from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:


من اكل سبع تمرات عند منامه عوفى من القولنج و قتلن الدود فى بطنه

Whoever eats seven dates before sleeping will be protected from colic and it will kill the germs in his stomach.[6]


Ibn ‘Umair reports from one of our scholars that Abu ‘Abdullah al Sadiq rahimahu Llah said:


الجزر امان من القولنج والبواسير و يعين على الجماع

Carrots prevent colic and haemorrhoids, and they assist in intercourse.[7]


‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu said:


عليكم بالقرع فانه يزيد فى الدماغ

Keep eating gourd as it increases the intelligence.[8]


It is reported from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu:


اكل التفاح نضوح المعدة مضغ اللبان يشد الاضراس و ينقى البلغم و يذهب بريح الفم اكل السفرجل قوة للقلب و الضعيف و يطيب المعدة يزيد قوة الفؤاد و يشجع الجبان و يحسن الولد اكل احدى و عشرين زبيبة حمراء فى كل يوم على الريق يضعف جميع الامراض

Eating apples moistens the stomach, chewing gum strengthens the molars, cleans the phlegm, and eradicates bad breath. Eating quince strengthens the heart and the weak. It helps the stomach, increases the strength of the heart, makes the cowardly brave and beautifies the foetus. Eating twenty-one raisins on an empty stomach weakens all illnesses.[9]


The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:


كلوا السفرجل فانه يزيد فى الدهن و يذهب بطخاء الصدر و يحسن الولد

Eat quince, as it increases the intelligence, removes heaviness of the chest, and beautifies the child.[10]


Sayyari reports from the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:


عليك بالهندباء فانه يزيد فى المساء و يحسن الولد وهو حار يزيد فى الولد الذكور

Hold onto wild chicory, as it lengthens the evening, beautifies the foetus, and it is hot in nature, so it increases the chances of having male children.[11]


Tibb al A’immah reports from Jabir al Ju’fi — Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al Baqir — his forefathers — Amir al Mu’minin:


كلو الكمثرى فانه يجلى القلب

Eat pear as it brightens the heart.[12]


Wasa’il al Shia has a chain to the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:


ما من رمانه الا وفيها حبة من الجنة قال فانا احب ان لا اترك منها شيئا

Every pomegranate has a seed from Jannat in it, thus I do not like to spare any seed from it.[13]


Mu’alla ibn Muhammad reports from Abu ‘Abdullah al Sadiq rahimahu Llah:


من اكل سفرجلة على الريق طاب ماءه و حسن ولده

Whoever eats quince on an empty stomach, his sperm will be of a good quality and his child will be beautiful.[14]


Jafar ibn Muhammad — his father — his grandfather, ‘Ali ibn Hussain — his father — ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib:


اكل الدبا يزيد فى الدماغ

Eating pumpkins increases the intelligence.[15]


In the chapter regarding gourd, it is reported from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu:


عليكم بالقرع فانه يزيد فى الدماغ

Hold onto gourd as it increases the intelligence.[16]


From Abu ‘Abdullah al Sadiq rahimahu Llah:


خمس من فاكهة الجنة فى الدنيا: الرمان الامليسى و التفاح والسفرجل والعنب والرطب المشان

Five fruits of this world are from Jannat; pomegranate, apples, quince, grapes and ripe dates.[17]


Abu Rayyah and his ilk have accepted these narrations even though they were not satisfied with the narrations attributed to Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He might even prefer to eat pebbles and sand over that regarding which Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu is reported to have narrated. Sama’ah ibn Mahran from Imam Jafar rahimahu Llah:


اكل الطين حرام على بنى ادم ما خلا طين قبر الحسين من اكله من وجع شفاه الله

Man is prohibited from eating all types of sand except the sand of the grave of Hussain. Whoever eats it due to pain, Allah will cure him.


Muhammad ibn Sulaiman al Basri reports from his father who reports from Imam Jafar rahimahu Llah:


طين قبر الحسين الشفاء من كل داء وهو الدواء الاكبر

The sand of the grave of Hussain cures all illnesses and it is the greatest medicine.


Yunus ibn Zabyan reports from Imam Jafar rahimahu Llah:


طين قبر الحسين الشفاء من كل داء فاذا اكلت فقل بسم الله و بالله اللهم اجعله رزقا واسعا و علما نافعا و شفاءا من كل داء انك على كل شيئ قدير

The sand of the grave of Hussain is a cure for all illnesses. When you eat it, say, “In the name of Allah and with Allah, O Allah, make it plentiful sustenance, beneficial knowledge, and a cure from every illness. Undoubtedly, You are in full control of everything.”


Imam Jafar rahimahu Llah said:


ان طين قبر الحسين مسكة مباركة من اكله من شيعتنا شفاه الله من كل داء ومن اكله من عدونا ذاب كما يذوب الالية

The sand of the grave of Hussain is blessed. Whoever eats it from our Shia will be cured from all sicknesses, and whoever eats it from our enemies will melt just as the fat tail of a sheep melts.[18]


We wish all the best to Abu Rayyah, let him eat this sand and pebbles, maybe Allah will cure him from this illness which has befallen him.



NEXT⇒ Abu Rayyah Rejects that the Fasting of Ramadan Along with Three Fasts of Each Month are Equivalent to Fasting Throughout the Year

[1]Difa’ ‘an al Sunnah, pg. 100.

[2] Mustadrak al Wasa’il, 17/41.

[3] Wasa’il al Shia, 17/5, the chapters of the virtue of choosing al Sawiq over others.

[4] Ibid., 6/17.

[5]  Refer to Wasa’il al Shia, 17/9, pg. 9, 10, 11, 22, 23, 32, 45, 46, Bab Akl al Tharid, 49, Bab Istihbab Akl al Harisah, 101, 48, Bab Istihbab Akl al Kabab li l-Dayf al Quwwah, 31, 17/20, 21, 121, 122, Bab al Rumman, 141, 142, 143, 146, Bab al Hindba.

[6] Mustadrak al Wasa’il, 16/390.

[7] Ibid., 17/164, chapter regarding carrots.

[8] Ibid., 17/15.

[9] Ibid., pg. 16.

[10] Mustadrak al Wasa’il, 16/402.

[11]  Ibid., pg. 416; Hilyat al Muttaqin, pg. 373, 455.

[12] Tibb al A’immah, pg. 135.

[13] Wasa’il al Shia, 17/20.

[14] Wasa’il al Shia, 17/130, 131.

[15] Mustadrak al Wasa’il, 16/424-425, chapter regarding the gourd.

[16] Ibid., pg. 425.

[17] Wasa’il al Shia, 17/114.

[18] Wasa’il al Shia, 16/97-398.

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