After reciting the Tashahud, Ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV(rh) recited the following verses of Surah Al-Nahl:
وَ اَوۡحٰی رَبُّکَ اِلَی النَّحۡلِ اَنِ اتَّخِذِیۡ مِنَ الۡجِبَالِ بُیُوۡتًا وَّ مِنَ الشَّجَرِ وَ مِمَّا یَعۡرِشُوۡنَ
ثُمَّ کُلِیۡ مِنۡ کُلِّ الثَّمَرٰتِ فَاسۡلُکِیۡ سُبُلَ رَبِّکِ ذُلُلًا ؕ یَخۡرُجُ مِنۡۢ بُطُوۡنِہَا شَرَابٌ مُّخۡتَلِفٌ اَلۡوَانُہٗ فِیۡہِ شِفَآءٌ لِّلنَّاسِ ؕ اِنَّ فِیۡ ذٰلِکَ لَاٰیَۃً لِّقَوۡمٍ یَّتَفَکَّرُوۡنَ
In the last few days I received such letters as a result of which I will say something about the bee and its miracles that God Almighty has revealed to it. There is also a deep connection in all this with the institution of Khilafat; and the writers perhaps have drawn my attention towards it for this very reason. It has been a long time since a sermon has been delivered on this topic and so this should now be discussed. Though the topic has been covered in the past, nevertheless it should be again set forth before the Jama'at by way of a reminder.
The translation of the verses which I have recited before you you is as follows:
And thy Lord inspired the bee, saying, ‘Make thou houses in the hills and in the trees and in the trellises which they build. Then eat of every kind of fruit and follow with humility the ways of thy Lord that have been made easy for thee’ There comes forth from their bellies drink of varying hues. Therein is a cure for men. Surely, that is a Sign for a people who reflect. [Surah An-Nahl, 16:69-70]
In this regard, I will first relate some ahadith. Then I will present scientific research that some people who have done regarding this matter. There is a narration in Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, that Hazrat Abdullah bin Amar bin Aas relates that he heard the Holy Prophet Muhammadsas saying, that ‘I swear by the Being, in whose hands is the life of Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, that surely the example of a believer is like that of a bee. It only eats pure things and indeed provides a pure thing. (Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal Musnad Al Makshirin min-us-Sahaba)
Another hadith is related in Sunan Ibn e Majah in this regard, and the same hadith is also found in Bukhari, that Hazrat Abdullah(ra) states that the Holy Prophetsas said, “Hold fast to two cures-honey and the Holy Quran”. (Sunan Ibn e Majah Kitab ul Tibb Babul Asl)
Most of the curative effects of honey are physical, while most of the curative effects of the Holy Quran are spiritual. Alongwith the physical curative effects, honey also provides a sort of spiritual cure too, but for those who reflect and ponder. So there are two things in it that you should hold fast to. There is a cure for all the spiritual diseases in the Holy Quran. And honey contains the cure for all types of physical diseases if research is done on it and all aspects of it are looked into carefully.
Hazrat Aisha(ra) relates in Bukhari in Kitabul At’ama that the Holy Prophetsas liked sweet things and especially liked honey.
This narration in Kitab ul Tibb, in Bukhari, is narrated by Hadrat Abu Saeed(ra). It is narrated that a man came to the Holy Prophetsas and said that his brother was suffering from diarrhea. The Holy Prophet told him to give him honey. So the man gave him honey to drink but came back and told the Prophet of Allah that he had made his brother drink honey but that his diarrhea had worsened. On this the Holy Prophetsas told him to give him honey. He gave him honey again and came back and reported that his diarrhea had gotten even worse. On this the Holy Prophetsas told him that Allah has told the truth but your brother’s stomach is telling a lie. Go and give him more honey. On this, he gave him more honey and he recovered. (Bukhari and Tirmizi Kitabul Tibb)
Now, something worth reflecting on is the fact that it is possible to cure many diseases with honey. But not all kinds of diseases can be cured with every kind of honey. Many studies have been published about this, about which the Holy Quran says that their colours are different and the flowers are different from which they suck the nectar. The places are different from where the flowers are found and those places have different effects and weathers which have different effects on the flowers or on the fruits, from which the bee sucks the nectar. Hence this is such a vast subject that the whole universe is accommodated in it. So, the subjects present in these two verses which I have recited are very vast indeed.
Translation of this whole hadith is that Naqqash reported having said about Abi Wajrah that he would use honey in his eyes as collyrium. There is no mention here regarding Abi Wajrah as to whether he was a companion of the Holy Prophetsas. But after this, there is another narration from a companion of the Holy Prophetsas which was narrated by A’ouf Bin Malik(ra), that when he[the Holy Prophetsas] got sick he said, “Bring some water because Allah the Almighty says وأنزلنا من السماء ماء مبارکا.
(Huzoor stopped here to explain an issue regarding the pause at the word mubarkan), that some reciters of the Holy Quran emphasize a lot that when the last word is recited then tanween should not be read. In this regard, the reciters have made rules so complicated which have no mention in the ahadith and according to the customs of the Arabs, it is better to stop where the reciters say to stop, to not read a tanween where it ought not to be read, but to emphasize on it too much, is also not permissible, because sometimes a person reciting is reflecting on the meaning and some small injunctions of tanween are forgotten. When he remembers then he does accordingly, hence to emphasize so much on that, that the meaning gets lost is not correct. Anyway, now I’ll mention the narration.
He said, “Bring water. Water was brought. Then he said, “bring honey because Allah says in the Holy Quran فیہ شفاء للناس. (that there is a cure in it for the people). Then bring olive oil, because it is extracted from a blessed tree. Then he mixed the water, honey, and olive oil. Then he drank it, and it so happened that he got completely cured of the disease for which he used it. (Hayatul hayawan al kubra lkmal addin Muhammad bin Musa aldmairi vol. 2 under word al asl)
Now I put forward some points about the discoveries of the scientists. In Europe, the first-ever written record about honey is found in a painting in a cave near the city Bicorp, of Valencia province of Spain. In which a man is shown collecting honey from a beehive. According to the experts, this painting is 7,000 years B.C.
(“The Hive and the Honey Bee” Edited by Dadent & sons publishers of the American Bee Journal 8th edition 1986)
There was a time when in Egypt and Syria i.e. in Syria and Iraq honey was also used for mummification of the dead bodies. A Muslim writer Abdul Lateef writes about the case of a child, whose body was preserved in a big jar of honey, and he was quite safe as he was, although he was mummified ages ago. (Encyclopedia of Religions and Ethics under Honey)
In ancient Egypt, the physicians also used honey to mummify dead bodies. During excavation, the honey jars were found from the tombs. The interesting thing is that after the passing of 8,000 years the honey was still good to be used for human consumption. So the scientists drank that honey and it was found to be undoubtedly good and was not bad at all. (Honey and Health page 18 published by Thorsons Publishing Group)
The experts say that there is a hill Changaralatao in Kazakhstan, the beehives which are found there, have a great effect on the healing of wounds of the hearts. It is great for avoiding a heart attack. Even after a heart attack, the honey of these hills is very potent in healing the wounds of the heart. A particular herb is found there, the name of which is zamizami koraboungi. The honey bee sucks the nectar of the flowers and fruits of that herb in order to have the aforementioned effects and I have left many details, but a lot of details have been given about how the scientist made the investigation; how many patients participated in the study and how many amongst them survived, and how many were those who were not given that particular honey and most of them died. (Soviet Union Magazine no. 11, 1989, Department office 103772 Mosco 3G sp 8)
On the subject of honey and wounds, Mr. P. J. Armo, of Christian Medical Center Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), who is an expert on the diseases of women, has explained his experiment in the issue of a magazine, Tropical Doctor, of April 1980, that a 25 years old patient had deep bedsores. That is to say: The patients who stay in bed on the same side for a long time, suffer from bedsores and its treatment is very difficult. Sometimes the patients die from bedsores instead of the original disease. He said that during his 25 years of experience, a girl was brought to him who had a deep internal disease and she also had bedsores. So he first used honey on her for the treatment of the bedsores. He thought she would get cured with it, but before her surgery, when he did again a complete checkup, to his surprise he found that her bedsores got cured and her original disease also disappeared and vanished completely.
Likewise, he mentioned concerning a 20-year-old patient who was suffering from a Laparotomy wound. All kinds of antibiotics like penicillin would not have any reaction to the disease at all. Then honey was used on a clean bandage. Then within two weeks, she went home with complete recovery, and no antibiotics were used. (Honey and Health by Laurie Croft pp 89. Thorsons Publishing Group Wellingborough. Northamptonshire Vermont1987)
Honey has amazing things in it for the cure of cancer as well. By the way, I want to mention here that these days there is madness on the doctors that they would like to change the genes and their characters. Recently a doctor in America experimented on a gene which was specially made with the help of scientific tools, with the result, he claimed that cancer gets cured with it. The news has just come that those doctors have died of cancer. All glory belongs to Allah, that whenever Allah wishes then sometimes the one who is an inventor of something is killed by the same disease. Anyway, experiments have been done on cancer which I am telling now.
There is a Sidney Farber Cancer Institute. I am going to tell you some of its experiments. They say that it was strange to note that the cancer ratio of the people who keep honey bees is very little as compared to others. A survey was done on 580 beekeepers who died between 1950-1978. The number of deaths due to cancer among them was so little that there were almost none. That is to say, it was so low that it is not even worth mentioning. (Honey and health by Laurie Croft pp98)
According to the allopathic experts the ulcer which happens during the cancer of an eye generally has no treatment. The research has been published by the experts of allopathic doctors themselves, that if the pure and best quality of honey is used to stain the eyes, it will irritate and sting the wound during the first two-three days and water continues to flow, but after that the stinging vanishes and the patient is completely cured and no any signs of cancer are left.
In the preparation of honey, the honeybee uses a material called Propolis. The honeybee itself gathers this from the trees by sucking a glue-like matter and rubs around the edges of its beehive. It anoints the cells with this matter inside of the cells to increase or decrease their sizes as needed. This has such amazing curative powers that scientists are wondering where this curative property comes from. It is gathered by the bee itself.
Its research started in France during an investigation that different flying insects spread the germs carrying them with their feet. They were astonished when they could not find any germs with the feet of honeybees. This is because of Propolis, which I mentioned before, that the honeybee prepares itself, rubs it around the cells of the beehive. It sits on its edge and then goes inside it and then comes out and sits on the edge of the cell again. So the absence of the germs on its feet is because of this.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih III(rh) was very fond of honey research. My attention towards its research is also the result of his training and attention that I was fortunate to have received. May Allah reward him. He told me about a lot of curative properties in the Propolis. I used it once during my stay in the office of Waqf e Jadid. I experimented on a patient. He used to come and always would cover his nose with a piece of cloth. I asked him why he always covered his nose with a cloth. Then he took off the covering and showed me his nose. To my astonishment, It was such a horrible wound that I cannot express in my words. The fresh blood could be seen in the nose. As I have said it was terrifying and he said this was the reason.
I started using homeopathic medicines on it but they were useless. Then I thought about Propolis, which I had obtained from Hazrat Khalifatul Masih III(rh). I told him to apply it to the wound of his nose. He came after a few days and his covering from his nose was absent. Nothing of that disease was left. So شفاء للناس is not only in honey but also in its adjoining materials.
There are different kinds of honeybees. One of them is a small honey bee Apis Florea which is found in South Asia. This is also called the Dwarf Honey Bee. The propolis also protects the honey from ants. The ants, when they proceed to a beehive, their feet get glued to it and they cannot proceed further.
In 1960 a report was published by Russian scientists that they have used honey for eczema. They made some special compounds of honey and experimented and said that the eczemas which did not get healed with any other medicine were healed with the compounds of honey. The Propolis which I am talking about is a chemically very ordinary thing and it is hard to believe that it would have such great curative matter in it. (The Hive and the Honey Bee pp. 235-237)
Hazrat Khalifatul Maseeh I(ra) used to tell a very interesting thing. ‘مختلف الوانہ’ (its different colors). Arabs have found 400 kinds of honey. Because it has 400 different names in Arabic. This is amazing and not just a chance. Glory to Allah the Almighty, that the Arabs had discovered 400 different kinds of honey. In the Arabic language, there are 400 names of honey which indicates that there are 400 different kinds.
Dr. Abdul Hadi Kusi writes in his book “My Hajj e Baitullah”, that Hazrat Khalifatul Maseeh III(rh) was very careful about his diet, because he was diabetic. He did not like to use any medications and would try to control it himself strictly with his diet. However, he would use one spoon of honey in his tea. So, Kusi sahib says that I asked, “What is the story behind why you use honey?” He replied with fatherly affection smiling, “Dr. sahib, when I take one spoon of honey, I think that I should say Ahamdolillah 2,000 times.” Why did he think about 2,000 times? Because, before this little food came onto his table, 2,000 honey bees laboured and worked day and night to prepare it. How many honey bees struggle to prepare one spoon of honey? How many flights does it make? Hazrat Khalifatul Maseeh III(rh) said so while making use of every spoonful of honey, we should be saying Alhamdolillah, 2,000 times .. that this is Allah’s Greatness, that He has made countless servants in this world for us like this.
There is an interesting narration from Syed Abdul Hayye Shah Sahib. He says that Hazrat Khalifatul Masih III(rh) was going to London to attend the Deliverance from The Cross Conference. During those days his article about “Marham-e-Isa” [the Ointment of Jesus] was published in the monthly magazine “Ansarullah.” Huzoor called him and inquired whether there is any involvement of the honey bee in the preparation of the “Marham-e-Isa”? He answered that in the preparation of Marham-e-Isa, there is no involvement of the honey bee and replied that in 12 ingredients of Marham-e-Isa, honey is not included. But soon after that, he realized his mistake, because when he pondered on the ingredients again, he found that all the ingredients of Marham-e-Isa, are mixed in the wax of the beehive, then in this way the effect of healing is transferred into the Marham-e-Isa from it. He said that when he mentioned this to Huzoor, his face lit up, and said, "now the problem is solved.”
The Promised Messiah(as) says:
“It is important that a distinction be made between the law bearing revelation and the non-law bearing revelation. Rather in this distinction the revelation which comes to the animals should also be taken into account. Now consider that it is written in the Holy Quran that و اوحی ربک الی النحل, (and your Lord revealed to the honeybee) so, according to you, has the revelation to the honey bee now stopped or is it continuing?....... Thus, if the bee's revelation has not yet stopped, then the revelation which comes to human beings how can that have become discontinued?” (Al-Badr, vol.2, number 33, of September 4, 1903, p 258)
The Promised Messiah(as) says that:
“The physicians have written that all sweet things produce putrefaction, but honey is not of them. Experiments on mangoes etc and other fruits are done, by keeping them in honey, they do not become rotten. They remain the same for years.”
The Promised Messiah(as) was also very fond of doing experiments. Since honey is mentioned in the Holy Quran, he made an interesting experiment which no scientist had ever thought of, that once he put an egg in honey, to see what happens. He says, “that the white of the egg became very hard like a stone.” That is to say, so hard, that even after hitting it very hard with something it would not break, but inside, the yolk was just the same. (Al-Badr, vol. 3, number 7, p 3. February 1904). So what are these properties? We can not understand them yet, this is the experiment of the Promised Messiah(as).
Now look, in honey, apart from the sweetness of the natural fruits, there are natural minerals present also. Among them are Aluminum, Barium, Beryllium, Iodine, Iron, Potassium, Magnetism, Calcium, Sodium, Chlorine, Phosphorus and Sulphur and many other chemical compounds are also in it. In all these things there is an extraordinary curative effect and they are present in very small quantities, so it is their sort of Homeopathic effect and these medicines work in a reactive manner. As far as acids are concerned, it has Apple acid, Lemon Acid, Lactic Acid, Tarchic Acid, and Oxalic Acids, etc.
Vitamins are also present in it. They are B1, B2, B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin H, Vitamin B, J, and Carotene. Likewise different kinds of Hormones are also present in honey.
Now, there is a whole universe in it for research. The research is done by those who do not believe in the Holy Quran, but they don’t know that the Holy Quran has mentioned this amazing system in these two very short verses.
Now listen about the part of the Queen and the male and the female honey bees, which are the workers. This is also amazing. Only the Queen lays eggs. It lays eggs just in one day in such quantity that its whole weight is equal to the weight of its eggs. Although it's very big and its food is only royal jelly, it does not eat anything else. Honey bees specially make royal jelly and present it to the Queen.
Now, look at how the Law of nature or Allah’s system is working. The physical inheritance is not applied here at all. Otherwise, the offspring should also be like the mother, but they are not. A strange thing which they have found is that in the jaw of queen bee there are sharp teeth, whereas there are no teeth in the jaws of other bees. And from their birth to death, they do not have any teeth.
The drones, which are the males, are also without teeth. Apart from that, they don’t have any sting. The queen has been endowed with it and can sting again and again for her safety, but the other bees which are also endowed by Allah the Almighty with sting can sting only once, and then they die because their sting draws some parts of their bodies on which their survival depends and after that they cannot live. Only the queen bee is the one that can sting again and again and is not harmed at all.
Now, look how many houses bees have to make in a hive. There are one thousand or more all kinds of worker bees present in one hive. Each cell of the hive is hexagonal. Each cell has six corners and the angles of the walls of all corners are amazingly equal. The scientists have researched and they wondered that they did not see any difference. The difference is only of zero, zero, zero, point something. It is amazing how they measured it! About the male bees, they say that they don’t have any sting and they cannot eat themselves but the bees help them to eat as a part of their service.
At the time of laying the eggs, the queen decides how many males are to be made and how many females, and all goes forward according to her decision. The general law of nature which works in the world is that whatever characteristics are of the mother and father, they are transferred to the offspring as well, but here it does not work. Only the queen’s decision works. How does she decide? No scientists can understand it.
Now I will talk about their communication system. They can give quite correct messages to each other, that is to say, that when they feel that the place of flowers where they used to suck nectar from, has scarcity, or if they have to make a new hive then the worker bees are sent out to search for the suitable place. When they come back they do a sort of dance in the hive and the other bees watch carefully the message which is being delivered. With the help of the dance they give the message that such and such place is the best for the hive; that place is situated at the distance of 275 feet; that is, in such and such a direction; if that is in the hills then to go up or low to find the place. In short, they tell everything with their dance.
The other strange matters in this, that they make a dance keeping their faces inside the hive. They turn round and then go back then again turn round and the other bees are looking at them so carefully to see what they are doing. They understand the message. If the fruits or flowers are very far then they make a dance in intervals, which means that the first flight will end then take the second flight then the third, and then the fourth. To show that the distance is very far where the fruits and flowers are available.
Another very strange matter is this, and the scientists have seen in the experiment that if there is complete darkness in the hive, not a single ray of light is entering the hive, even then the bees make such a dance that the other bees understand that message correctly. They conclude from this dance, what the message is, although it is not visible. Allah Almighty has bestowed upon them a special sight, which the scientists do not know of. After a great deal of research, they have to admit their defeat.
Another benefit, which is reaching the human beings from the bees and the senseless people do not know how much is connected to them, is that when the bees suck the nectar from the flowers, they also fertilize them. That is to say, the pollen sticking to the feet of the bees enter into the flowers to fertilize them. I don't remember what it is called in Urdu, anyway the process with which a child or a seed is produced happens. There are many other seeds as well which depend on the bees.
The research which scientists did only in America, then they found that the different kinds of fruits which are fertilized through the honey bee, their total price only in the USA is said to be 10 billion dollars. That is to say, honey bees help you by doing work worth 10 billion dollars. Moreover, onions, carrots, and radishes also depend on it. In the USA research is done only on fruits. it is also said, in the USA, that they work in the pollination of cotton also. Nobody knows but they are serving us quietly. Nobody understands and cannot imagine the unending favors of Allah Almighty. Allah has chosen the honey bee for this great service, this is not just an ordinary thing. Unusual benefits are connected with it.
I talked once before about the connection of honey bees with Khilafat, that is to obey an order, to obey a central figure, and the whole system is connected with it. This is found in the honeybee that the whole colony, 80,000 or more than that are obeying one commandment. A honey bee cannot live alone. A hive is essential for it. Therefore if a believer also is not connected with this Divine system to become one single body, he will have no standing. He can never remain alive alone spiritually.
So, I hope that by more consideration of this magnificent system, my dear ones, will benefit from it. As I said once before, you should do experiments yourselves also, because there are countless kinds of honey. There are different times, different effects they have, different colours they have, hints of all of them are given in the Holy Quran, but there is still a great need for detailed research. I hope that Insha Allah the Ahmadi researchers will pay attention to honey and will make deep research on it. Do not leave the research work just for the non-Muslims. This is a strane injustice that the Holy Quran should be setting forth the instructions and the non-Muslims should be the ones acting upon it.