Scientific Errors in the Hadith

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A common criticism of the Hadith, as with the Quran, is that they contain numerous scientific and historical errors, with no obvious attempts to differentiate their understanding of the natural world and historical events from the common folklore and misconceptions of the people living in 7th century Arabia. Modern responses typically appeal to metaphor, alternative meanings, or phenomenological interpretations of such hadiths. They also argue that the wording needed to be acceptable to people of its time. Critics typically argue that an all-knowing, perfect communicator would nevertheless have been able to guide the avoidance of statements in the Hadith that reinforced misconceptions of the time, caused future generations to have doubts about its perfection, and on a scale that critics contend is an overwhelming weakness.


Adam was a 90 foot giant

Hadiths state that humans were created in the physical image of Allah, were at first 90 feet (60 cubits) tall, and have been decreasing in height ever since. The oldest human remains found in Ethiopia (Lucy and Ardi) are, however, shorter than modern humans.

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "Allah created Adam, making him 60 cubits tall. When He created him, He said to him, "Go and greet that group of angels, and listen to their reply, for it will be your greeting (salutation) and the greeting (salutations of your offspring." So, Adam said (to the angels), As-Salamu Alaikum (i.e. Peace be upon you). The angels said, "As-salamu Alaika wa Rahmatu-l-lahi" (i.e. Peace and Allah's Mercy be upon you). Thus the angels added to Adam's salutation the expression, 'Wa Rahmatu-l-lahi,' Any person who will enter Paradise will resemble Adam (in appearance and figure). People have been decreasing in stature since Adam's creation.

[Islamic Science of Hadith]


The sun goes under Allah's chair

Narrated Abu Dhar: The Prophet asked me at sunset, "Do you know where the sun goes (at the time of sunset)?" I replied, "Allah and His Apostle know better." He said, "It goes (i.e. travels) till it prostrates Itself underneath the Throne and takes the permission to rise again, and it is permitted and then (a time will come when) it will be about to prostrate itself but its prostration will not be accepted, and it will ask permission to go on its course but it will not be permitted, but it will be ordered to return whence it has come and so it will rise in the west.

The sun prostrates

It is narrated on the authority of Abu Dharr that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) one day said: Do you know where the sun goes? They replied: Allah and His Apostle know best. He (the Holy Prophet) observed: Verily it the Sun glides till it reaches its resting place under the Throne. Then it falls prostrate and remains there until it is asked: Rise up and go to the place whence you came, and it goes back and continues emerging out from its rising place and then glides till it reaches its place of rest under the Throne and falls prostrate and remains in that state until it is asked: Rise up and return to the place whence you came, and it returns and emerges out from it rising place and the it glides (in such a normal way) that the people do not discern anything ( unusual in it) till it reaches its resting place under the Throne. Then it would be said to it: Rise up and emerge out from the place of your setting, and it will rise from the place of its setting. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said. Do you know when it would happen? It would happen at the time when faith will not benefit one who has not previously believed or has derived no good from the faith.

The sun rises between the horns of Satan

Ibn 'Umar reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Do not intend to observe prayer at the time of the rising of the sun nor at its setting, for it rises between the horns of Satan.

The sun sets in a muddy spring

Narrated Abu Dharr: I was sitting behind the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) who was riding a donkey while the sun was setting. He asked: Do you know where this sets ? I replied: Allah and his Apostle know best. He said: It sets in a spring of warm water (Hamiyah).

The moon has light

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "The sun and the moon will be folded up deprived of their light on the Day of Resurrection."

Eclipses occur to scare humankind

Narrated Abu Bakra: Allah's Apostle said: "The sun and the moon are two signs amongst the signs of Allah and they do not eclipse because of the death of someone but Allah frightens His devotees with them."

There are giant goats in space

Narrated Al-Abbas ibn AbdulMuttalib: I was sitting in al-Batha with a company among whom the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) was sitting, when a cloud passed above them.

The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) looked at it and said: What do you call this? They said: Sahab.

He said: And muzn? They said: And muzn. He said: And anan? They said: And anan. AbuDawud said: I am not quite confident about the word anan. He asked: Do you know the distance between Heaven and Earth? They replied: We do not know. He then said: The distance between them is seventy-one, seventy-two, or seventy-three years. The heaven which is above it is at a similar distance (going on till he counted seven heavens). Above the seventh heaven there is a sea, the distance between whose surface and bottom is like that between one heaven and the next. Above that there are eight mountain goats the distance between whose hoofs and haunches is like the distance between one heaven and the next. Then Allah, the Blessed and the Exalted, is above that

Earth rests on a cosmic whale

The following citation is taken from the Arabic version of Ibn Kathir’s Tafsir, since the English translation omits these traditions. Similar ideas are found in Tafsir Tabari, Al Qurtubi and in the tafsir attributed to Ibn Abbas.

It was said that Nun refers to a great whale that rides on the currents of the waters of the great ocean and on its back it carries the severn Earths, as was stated by Imam Abu Jafar Ibn Jarir. Narrated by Ibn Bashar, narrated by Yahya, narrated by Sufyan Al-Thuri, narrated by Sulayman Al-Amash, narrated by Abu Thubian, narrated by Ibn Abbas who related, "The first thing that Allah created was the pen and He said to it ‘Write’. The pen asked, ‘What shall I write?’ Allah said, ‘Write (the) fate (of everything).’ So the pen wrote everything that shall be from that moment until judgment day.

Then Allah created the "Nun" and He caused steam to rise out of which the heavens were created and the Earth was then laid flat on nun’s back. Then the Nun became nervous and (as a result) the earth began to sway, but (Allah) fastened (the earth) with mountains lest the earth should move ...

It was narrated by Ibn Jarir, narrated by Ibn Hamid, narrated by Ata’a, narrated by Abu Al-Dahee, narrated by Ibn Abbas who stated, "The first thing my Lord created, may He be Exalted and Glorified, was the pen and He said to it, ‘Write.’ So the pen wrote all that will be until judgment day. Then Allah created the Nun (the whale) above the waters and he pressed the Earth into its back.

Al Tabarani narrated the same hadith above (from the prophet Muhammad) who narrated from Abu Habib Zaid Al-Mahdi Al Marouzi, narrated by Sa’id Ibn Yaqub Al-Talqani, narrated by Mu’amal Ibn Ismail, narrated by Hamad Ibn Zaid, narrated by Ata’a Ibn Al Sa’ib, narrated by Abu Al Dahee Muslim Ibn Subaih, narrated by Ibn Abbas who stated that the prophet – may peace and blessing be upon him and his family - said, "The first things Allah created were the pen and the whale and He said to the pen ‘Write.’ The pen asked, ‘What shall I write?’ Allah replied, ‘Everything that shall be until judgment day.’ Then He said ‘Nun. By the Pen and by what they write.’ So Nun is the whale and al-Qalam is the pen" ...

Ibn Abu Nujaih stated that Ibrahim Ibn Abu Bakir was informed by Mujahid who said, "It was said that Nun is the great whale who is underneath the seven Earths." Furthermore, Al-Baghawy – may Allah rest his soul - and a group of commentators stated that on the back of this whale there is a great rock whose thickness is greater than the width of the heavens and the earth and above this rock is a bull that has forty thousand horns. On the body of this bull are placed the seven earths and all that they contain, and Allah knows best.


Saying "Allah willing" during sex guarantees a male child

Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "Once Solomon, son of David said, '(By Allah) Tonight I will have sexual intercourse with one hundred (or ninety-nine) women each of whom will give birth to a knight who will fight in Allah's Cause.' On that a (i.e. if Allah wills) but he did not say, 'Allah willing [inshaAllah].' Therefore only one of those women conceived and gave birth to a half-man. By Him in Whose Hands Muhammad's life is, if he had said, "Allah willing', (he would have begotten sons) all of whom would have been knights striving in Allah's Cause."


Stages of development

According to the hadith, the embryo spends 40 days as a drop of sperm, 40 days as a clot, and then 40 days as a piece of flesh. By contrast, modern science has revealed that by day 56 the fetus is essentially a complete, though tiny, human being with all organ systems in place, and all tissues developed.

Narrated 'Abdullah bin Mus'ud: “Allah's Apostle, the true and truly inspired said, "(The matter of the Creation of) a human being is put together in the womb of the mother in forty days, and then he becomes a clot of thick blood for a similar period, and then a piece of flesh for a similar period.”

Late sex assignment

The hadith also hold that the embryo is neither male nor female until after the clot phase is reached. By contrast, modern genetics has revealed that the gender of a baby is determined at the moment of conception.

Narrated Anas bin Malik: “The Prophet said, "Allah puts an angel in charge of the uterus and the angel says, 'O Lord, (it is) semen! O Lord, (it is now) a clot! O Lord, (it is now) a piece of flesh.' And then, if Allah wishes to complete its creation, the angel asks, 'O Lord, (will it be) a male or a female?”

Discharge order determines sex

The hadith state that the child will inherit the gender of that parent which 'discharges first' during intercourse. Modern genetics, by contrast, has revealed that the order of discharge does not affect the child's gender.

Narrated Anas: When 'Abdullah bin Salam heard the arrival of the Prophet at Medina, he came to him and said, "I am going to ask you about three things which nobody knows except a prophet: 1)What is the first portent of the Hour? 2)What will be the first meal taken by the people of Paradise? 3)Why does a child resemble its father, and why does it resemble its maternal uncle"

Allah's Apostle said, "Gabriel has just now told me of their answers." 'Abdullah said, "He (i.e. Gabriel), from amongst all the angels, is the enemy of the Jews." Allah's Apostle said, "The first portent of the Hour will be a fire that will bring together the people from the east to the west; the first meal of the people of Paradise will be Extra-lobe (caudate lobe) of fish-liver. As for the resemblance of the child to its parents: If a man has sexual intercourse with his wife and gets discharge first, the child will resemble the father, and if the woman gets discharge first, the child will resemble her."

'Nobody knows what is in the womb'

The hadith state that 'nobody knows what is in the womb'. Modern technology, however, has enabled doctors to look into the womb in great detail.

Narrated Ibn 'Umar: Allah's Apostle (p.b.u.h) said, "Keys of the unseen knowledge are five which nobody knows but Allah . . . nobody knows what will happen tomorrow; nobody knows what is in the womb; nobody knows what he will gain tomorrow; nobody knows at what place he will die; and nobody knows when it will rain."

Babies cry at birth because Satan touches them

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “When any human being is born. Satan touches him at both sides of the body with his two fingers, except Jesus, the son of Mary, whom Satan tried to touch but failed, for he touched the placenta-cover instead.”
Narrated Sa`id bin Al-Musaiyab: Abu Huraira said, "I heard Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) saying, 'There is none born among the off-spring of Adam, but Satan touches it. A child therefore, cries loudly at the time of birth because of the touch of Satan, except Mary and her child." Then Abu Huraira recited: "And I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from the outcast Satan" (3.36)
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "When any human being is born. Satan touches him at both sides of the body with his two fingers, except Jesus, the son of Mary, whom Satan tried to touch but failed, for he touched the placenta-cover instead."

Birth marks are caused by the evil eye

Narrated Um Salama: that the Prophet saw in her house a girl whose face had a black spot. He said. "She is under the effect of an evil eye; so treat her with a Ruqya."

Yawning is from Satan

The hadith state that Satan causes people to yawn. By contrast, modern science has revealed that yawning occurs when one's blood contains an increased amount of carbon dioxide.

“Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "Yawning is from Satan and if anyone of you yawns, he should check his yawning as much as possible, for if anyone of you (during the act of yawning) should say: 'Ha', Satan will laugh at him."

Satan sleeps in one's nose at night

Abu Huraira reported: The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) said. When any one of you awakes up from sleep and performs ablution, he must clean his nose three times, for the devil spends the night in the interior of his nose.

Oversleeping is caused by Satan urinating in one's ear

Narrated 'Abdullah : A person was mentioned before the Prophet (p.b.u.h) and he was told that he had kept on sleeping till morning and had not got up for the prayer. The Prophet said, "Satan urinated in his ears."

Non-Muslims have and use seven intestines

Ibn 'Umar reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying that a non-Muslim eats in seven intestines whereas a Muslim eats in one intestine.
Abu Huraira reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) invited a non-Muslim. Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) commanded that a goat be milked for him. It was milked and he drank its milk. Then the second one was milked and he drank its milk, and then the other one was milked and he drank its milk. till he drank the milk of seven goats. On the next morning he embraced Islam. And Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) commanded that a goat should be milked for him and he drank its milk and then another was milked but he did not finish it, whereupon Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: A believer drinks In one intestine whereas a non-believer drinks in seven intestines.

Women are deficient in intelligence

The hadith maintain that women are less intelligent than men, the reason given or this is that as a punishment for Eve's transgressions in the garden and 'betrayal of her husband', Allah decided to make women menstruate, suffer pregnancy, and lose out on intelligence. Modern science, however, has revealed no such universal deficiency in women's intelligence. Indeed, some of the smartest and most accomplished people in the world are women (e.g. Patricia Crone).

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri The Prophet said, "Isn't the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?" The women said, "Yes." He said, "This is because of the deficiency of a woman's mind."
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Were it not for Bani Israel, meat would not decay; and were it not for Eve, no woman would ever betray her husband."
His Lord called out to him: Adam, is it from Me that you are fleeing? Adam replied: No, my Lord, but I feel shame before You. When God asked what had caused his trouble, he replied: Eve, My Lord. Whereupon God said: Now it is My obligation to make her bleed once every month, as she made this tree bleed. I also must make her stupid, although I created her intelligent (halimah), and must make her suffer pregnancy. Ibn Zayd continued: Were it not for the affliction that affected Eve, the women of this world would not menstruate, and they would be intelligent and, when pregnant, give birth easily.

Spinal bone does not decay

The hadith state that the 'spinal bone' does not decay. Modern science, by contrast, has revealed that where as the rate at which different types of bones decay differs, all bones do in fact decay.

Abu Huraira reported so many ahadith from Allah's Apostle and amongst these one was this that Allah's Messenger said: There is a bone in the human being which the earth would never consume and it is from this that new bodies would be reconstituted (on the Day of Resurrection). They said: Allah's Messenger, which bone is that? Thereupon he said: It is the spinal bone.

Some translations of this hadith opt for "coccyx" instead of "spinal bone".

Different races are made of different types of earth

The hadith state that the different races are made of different types of earth. Modern science, by contrast, has revealed that racial differences arise from genetic differences. Modern science has also revealed that humans are not made of dirt or clay.

Narrated Abu Musa Al-Ash'ari: that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: "Indeed Allah Most High created Adam from a handful that He took from all of the earth. So the children of Adam come in according with the earth, some of them come red, and white and black, and between that, and the thin, the thick, the filthy, and the clean."

Coitus interruptus, the 'pull-out' method of contraception has no effect

These hadith state that men should not pull out of their slave/captive girls to prevent pregnancy, as God has already decided who will come into existence. While apologists might argue there is pre-destination in this (see: Qur'an, Hadith and Scholars:Predestination), this would essentially render all actions pointless in this context, including whether they pulled out or not. However this method (coitus interruptus) is a clearly statistically proven method of reducing the chances of pregnancy,[1] hence why it was recognised long before modern birth control methods, making this an erroneous statement that would not be accepted in modern medicine.

Narrated Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri: that while he was sitting with Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) he said, "O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)! We get female captives as our share of booty, and we are interested in their prices, what is your opinion about coitus interrupt us?" The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Do you really do that? It is better for you not to do it. No soul that which Allah has destined to exist, but will surely come into existence.

See also Sahih Bukhari 3:46:718, Sahih Bukhari 5:59:459, and Sahih Bukhari 9:93:506. More are listed in Qur'an, Hadith and Scholars:Al-'Azl

Meat would not decay if not for Bani Isra'il

Microbial growth, oxidation and enzymatic autolysis are the three basic mechanisms responsible for the spoilage of meat. In addition to lipid oxidation and enzyme reactions, meat spoilage is almost always caused by microbial growth, which has existed essentially since animals with 'meat' began[2] (this is hundred of millions of years before humans even appear,[3] let alone Jews, and completely unrelated to humans). Yet Muhammad states the cause of this is due to Israeli's/Jews.

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "But for the Israelis, meat would not decay and but for Eve, wives would never betray their husbands."
Hammam b. Munabbih said: These are some of the ahadith which Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) narrated to us from Allah's Messenger (ﷺ), and one of these (this one): Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said: Had it not been for Bani Isra'il, food would not have become stale, and meal would not have gone bad; and had it not been for Eve, a woman would never have acted unfaithfully toward her husband.

Geology and Meteorology

Nile and Euphrates flow from heaven

Narrated Abbas bin Malik: ...So when I went (over the seventh heaven), there I saw Abraham. Gabriel said (to me), 'This is your father; pay your greetings to him.' So I greeted him and he returned the greetings to me and said, 'You are welcomed, O pious son and pious Prophet.' Then I was made to ascend to Sidrat-ul-Muntaha (i.e. the Lote Tree of the utmost boundary) Behold! Its fruits were like the jars of Hajr (i.e. a place near Medina) and its leaves were as big as the ears of elephants. Gabriel said, 'This is the Lote Tree of the utmost boundary) . Behold ! There ran four rivers, two were hidden and two were visible, I asked, 'What are these two kinds of rivers, O Gabriel?' He replied,' As for the hidden rivers, they are two rivers in Paradise and the visible rivers are the Nile and the Euphrates.'...

Thunder is an angel driving clouds

Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: "The Jews came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and said: 'O Abul-Qasim! Inform us about the thunder, what is it?' He said: 'An angel among the angels, who is responsible for the clouds. He has a piece of fire wherever that he drives the clouds wherever Allah wills.' They said: 'Then what is this noise we hear?' He said: 'It is him, striking the clouds when he drives them on, until it goes where it is ordered.' They said: 'You have told the truth.' They said: 'Then inform us about what Isra'il made unlawful for himself.' He said: 'He suffered from sciatica, and he could not find anything agreeable due to it (to consume) except for camel meat and its milk. So for that reason he made it unlawful.' They said: 'You have told the truth.'"

Mountains were planted to stabilize Earth

The Prophet said: “When Allah created the earth, it started shaking. So He created the mountains, and said to them: ‘Upon it’ so it began to settle. The angels were amazed at the strength of the mountains, so they said: ‘O Lord! Is there among your creatures one who is more severe than the mountains?’ He said: ‘Yes. Iron.’ They said: ‘O Lord! Then is there anything among your creatures that is more severe than that iron?’ He said: ‘Yes. Fire.’ S they said: ‘O Lord! Is there anything among your creatures that is more severe than fire?’ He said: ‘Yes. Water.’ They said: ‘O Lord! Is there anything among your creatures that is more severe than water?’ He said: ‘Yes. Wind.’ They said: ‘O Lord! Is there anything among your creatures more severe than wind?’ He said: ‘Yes. The son of Adam. He gives charity with his right hands, while hiding it from his left.’”

The heat of noon rises from Hell

Narrated Abu Sa'id: that Allah's Apostle said, "Pray Zuhr prayer when it becomes (a bit) cooler as the severity of heat is from the raging of the Hell-fire."

No one knows when it will rain

The hadith maintain that no one knows when it will rain. Modern technology and meteorology, however, have enabled humans to predict the weather.

Narrated Ibn 'Umar: Allah's Apostle (p.b.u.h) said, "Keys of the unseen knowledge are five which nobody knows but Allah . . . nobody knows what will happen tomorrow; nobody knows what is in the womb; nobody knows what he will gain tomorrow; nobody knows at what place he will die; and nobody knows when it will rain."

Najd earthquakes are accompanied by Satan's head

Narrated Ibn 'Umar: The Prophet said, "O Allah! Bestow Your blessings on our Sham! O Allah! Bestow Your blessings on our Yemen." The People said, "And also on our Najd." He said, "O Allah! Bestow Your blessings on our Sham (north)! O Allah! Bestow Your blessings on our Yemen." The people said, "O Allah's Apostle! And also on our Najd." I think the third time the Prophet said, "There (in Najd) is the place of earthquakes and afflictions and from there comes out the side of the head of Satan."


There are no infectious diseases

'Ibn Mas'ud narrated: "The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) stood among us and said: 'One thing does not infect another.' So a Bedouin said: 'O Messenger of Allah! If a camel gets mangy glands and we leave it at the resting place of camels, then all of the camels get mange?' The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said: 'Who caused the first to get mange? There is no 'Adwa nor safar. Allah created every soul, so he wrote its life, its provision, and its afflictions.'"

Leprosy and Leukoderma only appear on Wednesdays

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar said: “O Nafi’! The blood is boiling in me, find me a cupper, but let it be someone gentle if you can, not an old man or a young boy. For I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say: ‘Cupping on an empty stomach is better, and in it there is healing and blessing, and it increases one’s intellect and memory. So have yourselves cupped for the blessing of Allah on Thursdays, and avoid cupping on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Have yourselves cupped on Mondays and Tuesdays, for that is the day on which Allah relieved Ayyub of Calamity, and He inflicted calamity upon him on a Wednesday, and leprosy and leucoderma only appear on Wednesdays, or on the night of Wednesday.”

Looking at the sky during prayers causes blindness

Narrated Anas bin Malik: The Prophet said, "What is wrong with those people who look towards the sky during the prayer?" His talk grew stern while delivering this speech and he said, "They should stop (looking towards the sky during the prayer); otherwise their eye-sight would be taken away."

Loving things causes deafness and blindness

Narrated AbudDarda': The Prophet (pbuh) said: "Your love for a thing causes blindness and deafness".

Fever is caused by the heat of hell

Narrated Nazi': Abdullah bin 'Umar said, "The Prophet said, 'Fever is from the heat of Hell, so put it out (cool it) with water.' " Nafi' added: 'Abdullah used to say, "O Allah! Relieve us from the punishment," (when he suffered from fever).

Sinning blackens the heart

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah said: “When the believer commits sin, a black spot appears on his heart. If he repents and gives up that sin and seeks forgiveness, his heart will be polished. But if (the sin) increases, (the black spot) increases. That is the Ran that Allah mentions in His Book: “Nay! But on their hearts is the Ran (covering of sins and evil deeds) which they used to earn.” [83:14] (Hasan)

Water is not polluted by dead dogs, menstrual clothes, etc.

Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar: The Prophet (peace be upon him), was asked about water (in desert country) and what is frequented by animals and wild beasts. He replied: When there is enough water to fill two pitchers, it bears no impurity.
Narrated AbuSa'id al-Khudri: The people asked the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him): Can we perform ablution out of the well of Buda'ah, which is a well into which menstrual clothes, dead dogs and stinking things were thrown? He replied: Water is pure and is not defiled by anything.
Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: One of the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) took a bath from a large bowl. The Prophet (peace be upon him) wanted to perform ablution or take from the water left over. She said to him: O Prophet of Allah, verily I was sexually defiled. The Prophet said: Water not defiled.

Cleansing with dirt

Narated By 'Abdur Rahman bin Abza : A man came to 'Umar bin Al-Khattab and said, "I became Junub but no water was available." 'Ammar bin Yasir said to 'Umar, "Do you remember that you and I (became Junub while both of us) were together on a journey and you didn't pray but I rolled myself on the ground and prayed? I informed the Prophet about it and he said, 'It would have been sufficient for you to do like this.' The Prophet then stroked lightly the earth with his hands and then blew off the dust and passed his hands over his face and hands."

Chess is like the innards of swine

Buraida reported on the authority of his father that Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: He who played chess is like one who dyed his hand with the flesh and blood of swine.


Prophecies about Muhammad

The hadith maintain that Muhammad was mentioned in the Torah and that Muhammad would not die until he made "straight the crooked people". However, Muhammad is not mentioned in the Torah, and crooked people appear to have persisted.

Narrated Ata bin Yasar: I met `Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`As and asked him, "Tell me about the description of Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) which is mentioned in Torah (i.e. Old Testament.") He replied, 'Yes. By Allah, he is described in Torah with some of the qualities attributed to him in the Qur'an as follows: "O Prophet ! We have sent you as a witness (for Allah's True religion) And a giver of glad tidings (to the faithful believers), And a warner (to the unbelievers) And guardian of the illiterates. You are My slave and My messenger (i.e. Apostle). I have named you "Al-Mutawakkil" (who depends upon Allah). You are neither discourteous, harsh Nor a noisemaker in the markets And you do not do evil to those Who do evil to you, but you deal With them with forgiveness and kindness. Allah will not let him (the Prophet) Die till he makes straight the crooked people by making them say: "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah," With which will be opened blind eyes And deaf ears and enveloped hearts."

Plague in Medina

The hadith maintain that Medina is plague-proof. However, several plagues and pandemics have inflicted Medina. For instance, Jeddah, Mecca, and Medina were swept by the Third Plague Pandemic in 1898.[4]

Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "Neither Messiah (Ad-Dajjal) nor plague will enter Medina."

Muslims are the last people to arrive on Earth

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "We (Muslims) are the last in the world, but will be foremost on the Day of Resurrection."
Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "We (Muslims) are the last (people to come in the world) but (will be) the foremost (on the Day of Resurrection)."

Failed eschatological predictions

These hadith state judgement day will fall at least within the generation after Muhammad's lifetime.

When would the Last Hour come? Thereupon Allah's Messenger (way peace be upon him) kept quiet for a while. Then looked at a young boy in his presence belonging to the tribe of Azd Shanu'a and he said: If this boy lives he would not grow very old till the Last Hour would come to you. Anas said that this young boy was of our age during those days.
A bedouin came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and said, "O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)! When will The Hour be established?" The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Wailaka (Woe to you), What have you prepared for it?" The bedouin said, "I have not prepared anything for it, except that I love Allah and his Apostle." The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "You will be with those whom you love." We (the companions of the Prophet (ﷺ) ) said, "And will we too be so? The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Yes." So we became very glad on that day. In the meantime, a slave of Al-Mughira passed by, and he was of the same age as I was. The Prophet (ﷺ) said. "If this (slave) should live long, he will not reach the geriatric old age, but the Hour will be established."

The next hadith states it will not be established until Muslims fight the Jews, which appears to have happened since even during it's inception against the Jewish Tribe of Banu Qurayzah (see: The Massacre of the Banu Qurayzah), with more Islamic-Jewish violence throughout history, such as the 1033 Fez massacre, 1066 Granada massacre and 1834 looting of Safed. As well as ongoing Israel-Palestine battles - yet 'the hour' has not been established.

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. "O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him."

Year of the Elephant (and the battle's location)

The following hadith, rated sahih (authentic) by Darussalam, states that Muhammad's birth (in 570CE)[5] was in 'The Year of the Elephant', a year when the Ka'ba in Mecca was allegedly nearly attacked by King Abraha of Yemen (and miraculously stopped by God), along with other traditions.[6]

Narrated Al-Muttalib bin 'Abdullah bin Qais bin Makhramah: from his father, from his grandfather, that he said: "I and the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), were born in the Year of the Elephant" - he said: "And 'Uthman bin 'Affan asked Qubath bin Ashyam, the brother of Banu Ya'mar bin Laith - 'Are you greater (in age) or the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ)?'" He said: "The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) is greater than me, but I have an earlier birthday." He said: "And I saw the defecation of the birds turning green."

These traditions give context to the Qur'anic story found in surah 105, Surah of the Elephant,which by itself lacks basic details to understand what is being referred to, in such a way we can assume the initial audience was already familiar with the full story.[7]

This appears to be an distorted version of a real event with the dates changed to fit the hagiographical biography of the Islamic prophet, to 'foreshadow' and highlight the year as being important, as more contemporary and sound evidence places Abraha's expedition of Central Arabia notably earlier, and not to Mecca itself; as historian of ancient Greece, Rome and the Near East, Glenn W. Bowersock notes:

They may possibly explain a dramatic, even desperate move that the king made only a few years after the Mārib conference. In 552 he launched a great expedition into central Arabia, north of Najrān and south of Mecca.

An important but difficult inscription, which was discovered at Bir Murayghān and first published in 1951, gives the details of this expedition.10 It shows that one of Abraha’s armies went northeastward into the territory of the Ma‘add tribal confederacy, while another went northwestward towards the coast (Map 2). This two-pronged assault into the central peninsula is, in fact, the last campaign of Abraha known from epigraphy. It may well have represented an abortive attempt to move into areas of Persian influence, south of the Naṣrid capital at al Ḥīra. If Procopius published his history as late as 555, the campaign could possibly be the one to which the Greek historian refers when he says of Abraha, whom he calls Abramos in Greek, that once his rule was secure he promised Justinian many times to invade the land of Persia (es gēn tēn Persida), but “only once did he begin the journey and then immediately withdrew.”11 The land that Abraha invaded was hardly the land of Persia, but it was a land of Persian influence and of potentially threatening religious groups—Jewish and pagan. Some historians have been sorely tempted to bring the expedition of 552, known from the inscription at Bir Murayghān, into conjunction with a celebrated and sensational legend in the Arabic tradition that is reflected in Sura 105 of the Qur’an (al fīl, the elephant). The Arabic tradition reports that Abraha undertook an attack on Mecca itself with the aim of taking possession of the Ka‘ba, the holy place of the pagan god Hubal. It was believed that Abraha’s forces were led by an elephant, and that, although vastly superior in number, they were miraculously repelled by a flock of birds that pelted them with stones. The tradition also maintained that Abraha’s assault on the ancient holy place occurred in the very year of Muḥammad’s birth (traditionally fixed about 570). Even today the path over which Abraha’s elephant and men are believed to have marched is known in local legend as the Road of the Elephant (darb al fīl).

Obviously, the expedition of 552 cannot be the same expedition as the legendary one, if we are to credit the coincidence of the year of the elephant (‘Ām al fīl) with the year of the Prophet’s birth.12 But increasingly scholars and historians have begun to suppose that the Quranic date for the elephant is unreliable, since a famous event such as the Prophet’s birth would tend naturally, by a familiar historical evolution, to attract other great events into its proximity. Hence the attack on Mecca should perhaps be seen as spun out of a fabulous retelling of Abraha’s final and markedly less sensational mission. This is not to say that it might not also have been intended as a vexation for the Persians in response to pressure from Byzantium. But it certainly brought Abraha into close contact with major centers of paganism and Judaism in central and northwest Arabia.
Bowersock, G.W.. The Throne of Adulis: Red Sea Wars on the Eve of Islam (Emblems of Antiquity) (p. 115 - 117). Oxford University Press.


Camel urine as medicine

Narrated Anas: The climate of Medina did not suit some people, so the Prophet ordered them to follow his shepherd, i.e. his camels, and drink their milk and urine (as a medicine)

Black cumin cures all diseases

Hold onto the use of the black seeds for in it is healing for all diseases except death

The wing of a housefly can cure disease

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

Eating 7 dates can cure poison

Narrated Sad: Allah's Apostle said, "He who eats seven 'Ajwa dates every morning, will not be affected by poison or magic on the day he eats them."

Drinking honey cures diarrhea

Narrated Abu Said: A man came to the prophet and said, 'My brother has got loose motions. The Prophet said, Let him drink honey." The man again (came) and said, 'I made him drink (honey) but that made him worse.' The Prophet said, 'Allah has said the Truth, and the abdomen of your brother has told a lie."

Medicinal value in cupping

Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah: that he paid Al-Muqanna a visit during his illness and said, "I will not leave till he gets cupped, for I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "There is healing in cupping."

Scorpion stings can be cured by a spell

Narrated Imran ibn Husayn:The Prophet said: No spell is to be used except for the evil eye or a scorpion sting.

Spells cure acne

Narrated Ash-Shifa', daughter of Abdullah: The Apostle of Allah entered when I was with Hafsah, and he said to me: Why do you not teach this one the spell for skin eruptions as you taught her writing.

Truffle water cures eye disease

The hadith maintain that water from truffles cures eye diseases. A singular Muslim scientist has published a paper that concludes that "water of truffles prevents the occurrence of fibrosis in cases of eye trachoma".[8] There is no other scientific evidence that truffle water heals any number of eye diseases, of which there are more than a hundred known varieties, each having a different pathophysiology.[9]

Narrated Said bin Zaid: I heard the Prophet saying, "Truffles are like Manna (i.e. they grow naturally without man's care) and their water heals eye diseases."


Monkeys stone adulterers

Narrated 'Amr bin Maimun: During the pre-lslamic period of ignorance I saw a she-monkey surrounded by a number of monkeys. They were all stoning it, because it had committed illegal sexual intercourse. I too, stoned it along with them.

Black dogs are devils

The hadith maintain that black dogs are devils. Scientific research, by contrast, has shown that melanin, the pigment that causes darker shades of flesh, gives a foraging advantage, is heritable through a dominant gene, and is unrelated to anything having to do with demons.

Abu Dharr reported: The Messenger of 'Allah (may peace be upon him) said: When any one of you stands for prayer and there is a thing before him equal to the back of the saddle that covers him and in case there is not before him (a thing) equal to the back of the saddle, his prayer would be cut off by (passing of an) ass, woman, and black Dog. I said: O Abu Dharr, what feature is there in a black dog which distinguish it from the red dog and the yellow dog? He said: O, son of my brother, I asked the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) as you are asking me, and he said: The black dog is a devil.

Crowing and braying is caused by demons

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "When you hear the crowing of cocks, ask for Allah's Blessings for (their crowing indicates that) they have seen an angel. And when you hear the braying of donkeys, seek Refuge with Allah from Satan for (their braying indicates) that they have seen a Satan."


Muslim graves widen, non-Muslim graves constrict

Anas b. Malik reported Allah's Apostle having said: When the servant is placed in his grave and his companions retrace their steps arid he hears the noise of the footsteps, then two angels come to him and make him sit and say to him: What you have to say about this person (the Holy Prophet)? If he is believer, he would say: I bear testimony to the fact that he is a servant of Allah and His Messenger. Then it would be said to him: Look to your seat in the Hell- Fire, for Allah has substituted (the seat of yours) with a seat in Paradise. Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: He would be shown both the seats. Qatada said: It was mentioned to us that his grave (the grave of a believer) expands to seventy cubits and is full with verdure until the Day when they would be resurrected.
Abu Hurairah narrated that: The Messenger of Allah said: "When the deceased - or he said when one of you - is buried, two angels, black and blue (eyed_ come to him. One of them is called Al-Munkar, and the other An-Nakir. They say: 'What did you used to say about this man?' So he says what he was saying (before death) 'He is Allah's slave and His Messenger. I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger.' So they say: 'We knew that you would say this.' Then his grave is expanded to seventy by seventy cubits, then it is illuminated for him. Then it is said to him: 'Sleep.' So he said: 'Can I return to my family to inform them?' They say: 'Sleep as a newlywed, whom none awakens but the dearest of his family.' Until Allah resurrects him from his resting place.""If he was a hypocrite he would say: 'I heard people saying something, so I said the same; I do not know.' So they said: 'We knew you would say that.' So the earth is told: 'Constrict him.' So it constricts around him, squeezing his ribs together. He continues being punished like that until Allah resurrects him from his resting place."

Gate to Heaven on Earth

Muhammad stated that Allah created a huge gate of repentance to the west (in the direction of Sham, or Syria) and that it will remain open till the Day of Judgement. Despite our near-universal mapping of the Earth's surface and detailed knowledge of the bodies in the solar system, no such gate has been discovered.

Zirr bin Hubaish said:“I came to Safwan bin Assal Al Muradi to ask him about wiping over the Khuff, so he said: ‘What has brought you, I Zirr?’ So I said: ‘The desire for knowledge.’ So he said: ‘Indeed, the angels lower their wings for the seeker of knowledge, out of pleasure with what he is seeking.’ So I said: ‘Indeed there is some doubt in my chest concerning wiping over the Khuff after defecation and urination, and you were a man from the× Companions of the Prophet, so I came to you to ask you: Have you heard him (ﷺ) mention anything concerning that?’ He said: ‘Yes, he used to order us, that when we were travelers’ - or - ‘in travel, to not remove our Khuff for three days and nights except, from sexual impurity, but not from defecation, urination, and sleep.’” He said: “Have you heard him mention anything concerning love?” He said: “Yes. We were with the× Messenger of Allah on a journey when a Bedouin with a loud voice called upon him (saying): ‘O Muhammad!’ So the Messenger of Allah responded to him with a voice similar to him (saying): ‘Come.’ So we said to him: ‘Lower your voice for you are with the Prophet, and you have been prohibited from this.’ He said: ‘By allah, I will not lower (my voice).’ The Bedouin said: ‘A man is with whomever he loves on the Day of Judgement.” So he did not cease talking with us, until he mentioned a gate in the direction of the west with the width of seventy years journey - or a rider would travel its width - for forty or seventy years.” Sufyan (one of the narrators) said: “In the direction of Ash-Sham, Allah created it the Day He created the heavens and the earth, open - that is, for repentance. It shall not be locked until the sun rises through it.”

Humankind's sin blackened the Black Stone

Ibn Abbas narrated that: The Messenger of Allah said: "The Black Stone descended from the Paradise, and it was more white than milk, then it was blacked by the sins of the children of Adam."

See Also


  1. Pull Out Method (Withdrawal). WebMD article. Medically Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on August 08, 2022. Written by Stephanie Langmaid.
  2. Iulietto, M. F., Sechi, P., Borgogni, E., & Cenci-Goga, B. T. (2015). Meat Spoilage: A Critical Review of a Neglected Alteration Due to Ropy Slime Producing Bacteria. Italian Journal of Animal Science, 14(3).
  3. New Oxford study sheds light on the origin of animals. University of Oxford. 2023.
  4. Welford, Mark. "6". Geographies of Plague Pandemics: The Spatial-Temporal Behavior of Plague to the Modern Day. Routledge. ISBN 1315307413, 9 April 2018. 
  5. Muhammad | Britannica
  6. See for example: Tafsir Jalalayn on verse 105:1 (Al Jalalayn / Jalal ad-din al-Maḥalli and Jalal ad-din as-Suyuti. Published in 1505.) Or a much more in-depth look at the traditions in Tafsir Ma'arif al-quran (on surah 105) written by Pakistani Islamic scholar Mufti Muhammad Shafi (1897–1976).
  7. As noted by Angelika Neuwirth: On the basis of more recent studies, a concrete foreknowledge among the hearers can be assumed as certain: Uri Rubin (1984), on the basis of a critical assessment of the traditions, has pointed to the resonance in Q 105 of the defeat of Abraha, who was said to have been forced to withdraw from the area around Mecca achieving nothing, and leaving the sanctuary miraculously spared, a turning point in the position of the Meccans on the peninsula (on this, see also Sinai 2009: 59–74). Neuwirth, Angelika. The Qur'an: Text and Commentary, Volume 1: Early Meccan Suras: Poetic Prophecy (p. 61). Yale University Press.
  8. Zaghloul El-Naggar, "Truffles Healing the Eye" (archived), 
  9. See here