Does Depression Have Any Herbal Medicine in Islam? (8)

frankincense Frankincense

From the Viewpoint of Medicine

Frankincense (Boswellia papyrifera (Del.) Hochst) is a plant which has healing effects on anxiety. Frankincense is an aromatic substance which is derived from Indian frankincense tree. To use pleasant flavor of frankincense, it is usually put in fire.

Frankincense can be also derived from other trees such as pine and fir, but Indian frankincense which is red has the highest quality. Other kinds of frankincense are white.

In Arabic, frankincense is called “labaan”, “leibanon”, and “shajara Al-labaan” refers to the frankincense tree. Old physicians believed that the frankincense can strengthen the memory, and has anti-inflammatory effects.

According to the conducted studies, the reliving effect of frankincense on anxiety has been proved among rats and human; for example, Moussaieff et al. reported the anti-anxiety effect of frankincense among rats, in vitro; in another study, Burns et al. evaluated the effect of aromatherapy with frankincense among pregnant women during delivery. Results of the mentioned study showed that using frankincense causes reducing the pain and anxiety among pregnant women during delivery.

 From the Viewpoint of Islamic Texts

It has been cited from Imam Ali (AS) that: “the Holy Prophet (SAW) said: tooth brushing, fasting, reading Quran, eating honey and the fir (frankincense), eliminates forgetfulness, strengthens the memory and also relives mucus”.

The mentioned hints are a drop of vast ocean of Quranic and Islamic narrations which have been achieved. But, regarding what is the relation between herbal medicine, treating depression, and Islamic lifestyle, it is noteworthy that, the Islamic lifestyle comes true when man, family, and the society, in the position of Islamic utopia, feel relaxed.

Therefore, the main factor of Islamic lifestyle principles should be recognized. The present text was conducted to “evaluate the effect of herbal medicine on depression” which is one of the main factors of Islamic lifestyle.


Does Depression Have Any Herbal Medicine in Islam? (7)

honey Honey

From the Viewpoint of Medicine

Honey is very useful for pregnant women. Eating two teaspoons of honey daily causes development of embryonic nervous system. To relive tiredness, nothing is more effective than having honey with apple vinegar; accordingly mix three teaspoonful of apple vinegar with a cup of honey and daily drink two teaspoonful of this mixture.

Honey relaxes the nerves and is a moderate laxative. Honey reduces the arthritis pain and, in continuous using, relives it. It is recommended to the heart patients to drink a glass of water mixed with some teaspoons of honey and lemon juice, before going to bed. This drink is beneficial for people who may suffer from insomnia.

From the Viewpoint of Islamic Texts

“Our lord revealed to the bee: ‘build your homes in the mountains, in the trees, and in what they are building. Eat every kind of fruit, and follow the easy ways of your lord. ‘From its belly comes forth a drink (honey) of many hues in which there is healing for people. Surely, there are signs for thinkers”.

Imam Ali (AS) says: “honey can heal all diseases and illnesses. There is no disease and infection in honey. It reduces the mucus and purifies the soul”.

The Holy Prophet (SAW) says: “what a nice drink is honey! It protects heart and relives the coldness of chest”.


Does Depression Have Any Herbal Medicine in Islam? (6)



 From the Viewpoint of Medicine

Squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) is antidepressant. Physicians believe that squash is useful to cool the temper; and also strengthens and refreshes the soul. It opens the closed sweat pores, relaxes the inflamed stomach, treats jaundice, and also cures hot tempered fever. People who suffer from insomnia will have good sleeping with eating squash. Squash revitalizes the mental and physical power of a person who has passed the first half of his life, and gives his cells a new life.

From the Viewpoint of Islamic Texts

Imam Sadigh (AS) states that: “squash increases intellectual power and the vitality of brain cells. It can also be useful, to relive colic”.

Holy Prophet (SAW) says: “if you wanted to cook something, use plenty amount of squash, because it exhilarates joyless heart”.

Holy Prophet (SAW) willed Ali (AS) that: “O Ali! Eat squash since it improves your intelligence and intuition”.

Also He told Ali (AS) that: “eat squash, because it causes good temper and brightens the face. It is the food for me and for the previous messengers”.



Does Depression Have Any Herbal Medicine in Islam? (5)


From the Viewpoint of Medicine

Pear (Purus communis) is a kind of fruit which is antidepressant and contains: hydroquinone, glycosides, phlorizin, sugars, organic acids, minerals, vitamins, pectin, invertin, asparagine, and its seeds contain amygdaline. Previously, physicians believed that pear is laxative, thirst and bile lifter, blood pressure reducer, and bladder irritation reliever; and prescribed its leaf to prevent diarrhea, and also healing the wounds.

In addition to vitamins and the mentioned minerals, pear contains sugars, acids, invertin, sparine, and different kinds of pentoses. Pear is rich in sugars, pectin, tannin and high amounts of minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, sodium and magnesium. Potash with tannin collects uric acid, and relives joint pains. Phosphorus provides psychological balance. Sodium facilitates the absorption of nutrients, and magnesium repairs fibrous tissue of nervous system.

Pear leaf contains glycosides, hydroquinone and phlorizin, hence it is relaxing, diuretic and also useful to treat diarrhea, hypertension, insomnia, neurological disorders, migraine, renal and bladder disorders.

Pear has specific aroma and essence which is analeptic. Pear relaxes the nervous people, regulates the function of endocrine glands, and purifies blood, strengthens kidney function, stimulates sluggish bowels, and also relives sore throat, general weakness, anemia and tuberculosis.

Pear is joyous and antidepressant and cleans the stomach, strengthens the heart, and relives the internal disorders; it is also an eye booster, and beneficial to treat diseases which reduce body power such as anemia and general weaknesses.

From the Viewpoint of Islamic Texts

Imam Ali (AS) says: “eating pear brightens the heart and, according to Lord order, relives the mental problems”.

Imam Sadigh (AS) says: “eat pear which brightens the heart and relives the mental problems according to the order of Lord”. He also states that: “pear cleans the stomach and strengthens it, and it is similar to “quince”. Eating pear after meal is better than before breakfast.

Imam Sadigh (AS) recommends that: “anyone who has grief in his heart should eat the pear after meal”. It has been cited from him that: “anyone who feels pain in his heart should eat pear”; this Holy Imam also says: “pear cleans and strengthens the stomach, and has the same properties of “quince”. It is better to eat pear after meal rather than before it. Anyone who feels heavy should eat the pear after meal”.


Does Depression Have Any Herbal Medicine in Islam? (4)


From the Viewpoint of Medicine

Grape or grapevine (Angire), (Vitis vinifera L,V. Sylvester’s Gmel), is a fruit which has miraculous effect on mental health. Traditional physicians had considered different benefits for different parts of grapevine.

Grape purifies blood, relieves constipation and gastritis; and also treats whooping cough, anemia and gout. Generally, grape is useful to treat lung diseases. Leaf of grapevine is astringent, gastric tonic and diuretic. Sour grape juice also relives thirst and weakness. It also treats jaundice and obesity.

Grape juice revitalizes physical weaknesses, and facilitates blood circulation. Grape juice helps digestion of fermented substances of stomach, and is also beneficial for liver and kidneys; treats indigestion, hemorrhoids, gout, heart and biliary diseases; relives bloat, and also prevents incidence of tuberculosis and cancer. Grape is rich in vitamin A, B, and C, and can relieve the pains caused by fever.

 From the Viewpoint of Islamic Texts

Grape is one of the most delicious fruits that God has created. Hence, it has been repeated in Holy Quran in singular (Inab) and plural (Enab) forms eleven times.

Imam Sadigh (AS) says: “a Messenger of God complained to Him because of his grief. God recommended him to eat grape”. It has also been cited from this Holy Imam that: “grape strengthens the nerves, relives the fatigue, exhilarates man and eliminates grief and sorrow (depression), and also said: “eat grape to get rid of grief”.

The Holy Prophet (SAW) says: “raisin is a nice foodstuff which strengthens nerve”, he also states that: “eat raisin because it relaxes the temper, strengthens the nerve, relives the weakness, and makes man good-hearted”.

In this regard, the Messenger has said: “eat raisin, because it makes you good-tempered, purifies the soul, and relives grief and sorrow”. It has been cited from him that: “eat raisin, since it eliminates bile, quenches the mucus, strengthens the nerve, relives weakness and fatigue, makes you good -tempered, purifies the soul and relives sorrow (distress)”.

Imam Ali (AS) says: “raisin strengthens the heart, relives illness; breaks heat, and exhilarates the soul”.

In this regard, he states that: “anyone who daily takes 21 raisin grains early in the morning, God relives all his diseases and pains”.


Does Depression Have Any Herbal Medicine in Islam? (3)


 From the Viewpoint of Medicine

Pomegranate (Punica granatum) is a fruit with healing effects on anxiety. Since the minerals of pomegranate juice are combined with organic substances, they are absorbed rapidly, and help healing rickets, anemia, and neurasthenia.

Besides, it strengthens body and can be used in this regard. Nutritionists believe that: “pomegranate purifies blood, produces suitable substances for the body, vitalizes the nerves, relieves nervous tensions, opens skin sweat pores, relaxes bowel, helps urine flow and improves liver function.

It also cures jaundice, spleen disorders, heart palpitations, soothes severe coughs, and relieves voice hoarseness, brightens the face, hydrates body and kills stomach worms”.

Different studies have shown that this fruit contains flavonoids, saponins, and tannins. These compounds may be effective against CNS disorders. Kumar et al. in the study on the effect of prescribing alcoholic extract of pomegranate seed on CNS (central nervous system) in rat, showed that different doses of this extract has anxiolytic effects.

 From the Viewpoint of Islamic Texts

The eighth Imam, Imam Reza (AS), says: “feed your children with pomegranate, because it helps them to attain puberty earlier.”

The Messenger (SAW) says: “anyone who eats one complete pomegranate, God brightens his heart for forty nights”. He also says: “eat pomegranate because there is no place for its seeds in stomach, except that it brightens heart and exorcises the devil from heart”.

Imam Ali (AS) says: “it has been considered in any seed of pomegranate which is placed in the stomach, a life for heart, brightness for soul, and the illness (cripple) for the devil which is called “obsession” will be kept away for forty nights .

Imam Sadigh (AS) says: “anyone who eats pomegranate keeps the obsession devil away from himself”.

In this regard, Imam Reza (AS) also says: “suck sour and sweet pomegranate, because it gives you more power and purifies your blood”.


Does Depression Have Any Herbal Medicine in Islam? (2)


From the Viewpoint of Medicine

“Quince” is a fruit which has useful effects on reduction of anxiety, from the viewpoint of experimental medical sciences and Islamic texts. Since “Quince”, (Cydonia oblonga Miller) is rich in sugars, tannin, malic acid, pectin, and also vitamin A and B; it has many therapeutic effects such as being a laxative, anti-inflammatory, antitussive, heart tonic, astringent, relaxing, anti-diarrhea.

Drinking a teaspoon of brewed leaf of quince with honey or blooms of bitter orange in the morning, treats anger. Also, drinking brewed leaf of quince treats different kinds of coughs. Drinking 30 mg/L brewed blooms of quince, treats coughing. Mix of this drink and brewed blooms of bitter orange is a good sedative.

 From the Viewpoint of Islamic Texts

In this regard, different narrations from Holy Prophet (SAW) exist. For example, “eating quince relieves chest heaviness”. Also, he says: “eat quince to refresh your soul. God has chosen no prophet, except that He has fed him with quince from heaven and has given him the power of forty men”. The Holy Prophet said: “if anyone of you feels heaviness in his chest, eat quince”.

Zobair asked: “O Messenger of God! What are the benefits of quince?” the Holy Prophet (SAW) said: “it gives relaxation to heart, generosity to miser, and braveness to coward!” It has also been cited from him that: “eat quince, because it strengthens the memory, relieves the heaviness from chest, and makes the child beautiful”.

Imam Sadigh (AS) said: “Jafar ibn Abitaleb was at the presence of Holy Prophet (SAW), a quince was given as a gift to the Prophet. The Prophet cut a piece of that and gave to Jafar, Jafar refused to eat, the prophet said: “take and eat; because it gives conscious to heart and makes the coward brave”.

It has been cited from Messenger (SAW) that: “eating quince empowers the weakened heart, cleans the stomach, improves the courage, makes the coward brave, and makes the child beautiful”.

Imam Baghir (AS) also said: “quince relieves the grief of stricken”.

In this regard, Imam Ali (AS) says: “I came to the Prophet while he had a quince in his hand. He started eating and gave me a piece of it, and said: O Ali, eat it which is a gift from my Lord for me and you. Ali (AS) says: when I ate that, I found it very tasty and delicious. Then, the Prophet said: O Ali! Anyone who breaks his fast with quince for three days, his mind will be opened; his patience and knowledge will expand, and will be safe from tricks and deceptions of the devil”.

Imam Ali (AS) also says: “eating quince strengthens the heart, cleans the stomach, refreshes the soul and relieves fear.


Does Depression Have Any Herbal Medicine in Islam? (1)

 applee Apple

 From the Viewpoint of Medicine

Apple (Mauls domestica Borkh) is among the fruits which their joyous effect has been confirmed in medical science, and has been used to encounter anxiety.

In Islamic texts also the healing effect of the apple has been approved. Apple is a fruit from paradise full of Vitamins A, B and C, and also K which is used as a medicine in natural treatments or naturopathy, to prevent many diseases. Apple is a fruit full of vitamin B. Hence, it is very important for mental relaxation. It is recommended to nervous people to drink a glass of fresh apple juice daily adding some rose water. Eating an apple before going to bed can lead to better sleeping. Eating at least 3 apples a day reduces the risk of heart attack death. Its herbal tissue can reduce 16% of clogging of arteries.

Apple is a symbol of love, fertility, friendship, beauty, happiness, health, wisdom, pleasure and intensity. Apple boosts brain power; therefore it is useful for people who do intellectual works. Generally, since apple is rich in phosphor, it improves the nerves and brain. Being rich in phosphor, apple improves the nerves and helps sleeping; it means that apple can eliminate insomnia caused by daily angers and also through strengthening the intestine can help nutrient absorption and accelerates it. Sour apple cannot feed the nerves and brain by its sugar like sweet apple, and probably, like coriander, consumes a part of glucose. Besides, apple gives the heart fast happiness and joy. Effect of apple on heart is because of its potassium which affects heart faster than other organs.

Recently physicians have reported that eating apples strengthens and refreshes heart, brain and liver, and smelling it is beneficial for people who suffer from asthma and asphyxia. Smelling an apple causes blood pressure reduction. Brewed skin apple which has been sweetened with some honey, is a relaxing drink. Eating raw apple also has relaxing effect on nervous system. In addition to vitamin B group, some other elements of apple such as magnesium, and phosphorus have relaxing effects on nerves. Sweetness of apple and chewing it cause expansion of contracted facial muscles.

 From the Viewpoint of Islamic Texts

Imam Baghir (AS) said: “if you want to eat an apple, first smell it, and then eat it”, he believed that it caused pains leave the body. Today, this method is being used in aromatherapy.

It has been cited from Imam Ali (AS): “apple heals: toxicity, spell, demented, body dominant phlegm; and there is nothing faster than the effect of apple”.

Imam Sadigh (AS) said: “eat apple, because it reduces the inside temperature, makes the temper cool, and treats fever”. He also said: “if people knew about the benefits of apple, to treat patients they never used any medicine except apple”.

Imam Reza (AS) said: “Holy Prophet (SAW) enjoyed looking at red apples”.


Does Depression Have Any Herbal Medicine in Islam?


Health is a religious value, and taking care of it is a responsibility of any Muslim. God has determined some healing agents for treatment. Healing herbs or herbal medicine are among these agents. In the current text by the help of Islamic texts and integrating them with new medical sciences, this healing power was introduced.

Anxiety disorder is one of the most common psychological disorders. Today, many people are anxious because of encountering different problems. Continuation of anxiety may cause disruption in the continuity of life. The present study was conducted to evaluate the effect of herbal medicine in the treatment of depression, which is one of the anxiety disorders, from the viewpoint of Quran.

In the ascendant religion of Islam, health has been introduced as a value with interpretations such as “greatest blessing, tastiest bestowed”, “the ignored and not appreciated blessing”, “earthly blessing, a blessing which without it there is no goodness in life, a blessing which man is incapable to thank, goodness in life, hidden assets, safety in life, capital of life” and tens of other phrases its description and importance have been mentioned.

Health is an important request which has been asked from God in the form of different prayers, and the way of asking this request has been taught to the believers. Perfect health (ideal) is a full, comprehensive, healing, and above all a developing health which involves health of this world and hereafter. It is normal trying to enhance such a valuable and basic blessing that is completely considered, approved and supported by happiness of both worlds. To achieve health, specific strategies, even as religious duties (lawful, unlawful, recommended, detestable and permissible), or as recommendations, guidelines, and in the form of religious principles, intellectual and underlying system of Islamic thoughts, and its social order have been predicted and provided.

In fact, no old or new ideology, and neither any theology as well as Islam, have provided the context of development, expansion and evolution for health and hygiene. Also, in this regard no executive guarantee (internal and external, religious responsibility, reward, world and hereafter punishment) exists. Giving an advantage to health in religion, and taking care of it is one of the important duties of Muslims.

Although Islam emphasizes on taking care of health, and believes that hygiene is prior to treatment, believes that God is the main healer and also regarding treatment has strict orders. Holy Quran has cited from Abraham (AS) that: “who, when I am sick, heals me”. This is obvious that: “God runs everything through its instrument”. Hence, to treat illnesses God has mentioned the healing factors. It has been cited that Muses (AS) got sick. The Israelites’ physicians came to him for treatment. The prophet did not accept them and said: “God will treat me!” Then, God told muses: “O Muses do you think that the healing properties of herbal medicine are intrinsic and independent? Of course it is not, but I organized the healing factors in plants”.

To discuss the topic of the present text, after explaining the concept of health and illness, the study evaluates the position of these concepts of Islamic teachings and Muslims’ responsibility in this regard. Then, the way of providing and protecting health and its strategies are mentioned. In the following, the applicable methods to achieve health are explained. It is noteworthy that, according to the purpose of creation, to provide the real happiness, man should consider both this world and hereafter requirements.

As mentioned in the eloquent litany of Imam Ali Ibn Al-Hussein (AS), being healthy in the world and hereafter is an appropriate request from God which needs conscious effort. Risk of getting sick or susceptibility to mental disorders exists in all communities and in all socio-economic levels. In this regard, depression and anxiety disorders are among the most common mental problems of different communities. These problems affect man, family and society. Depression is one of the main psychiatric disorders. At any point of the time, around 5-6% of people are depressed (point prevalence), and around 1% feel depression in their life. Drug therapy of mental disorders, is a scope of medical sciences which develops rapidly.

Although this group of medicines is highly secured and new medicines also have more specific effects, cause side effects such as resistance to medicines, and incidence of the sings of not using drugs when one suddenly stops using them. Since long time ago, Islam and Muslims have paid special attention toward the mental health. Roots of this attention may be found in Quran verses and hadiths of Ahl-e-bait (AS). Healing effect of Quran and its strategies to deal with mental pressures and providing mental health have raised the attention of many mental health researchers.

In a narration it has been cited that: “when people in the presence of Holy Prophet (SAW) called a man crazy, he said: this man is sick, and not crazy! Crazy is arrogant!”. Holy Prophet (SAW) called the crazy people sick and separated mental diseases from superstitions in the era that people believed that the body of crazy people is the place of devil and unholy ghosts, and tortured them brutally. Muslim physicians, who had learned medical sciences from the ideology of Hippocrates and Galen, followed the mental health according to Quran teachings and Islamic tradition.

For example, Ali Ibn Rabaan Tabari wrote the book “ferdows al-hikmah” in seven volumes. Ibn Ribn Tabari explained the most important medical and mental health issues in this book. Then, Muhammad Ibn Zakaria Razi wrote the book “Teb An-nofous” or “spiritual medicine” which is one of the most important books of mental health. Writing these medical books continued with difficulties, and in the present era they are published in the form of theses, journals, and scientific lectures, or presented as a result of experimental researches in scientific seminars.

Herbal medicine which is the oldest identified medical method to treat diseases and protect health emphasizes on the benefits of plants. Today, herbal medicine has gradually become more popular and the need for promoting the related awareness is perceived. On the other hand, in Islamic medicine, Hadiths and narrations the healing effects of herbal medicine have been noted repeatedly. According to the influence of these hadiths on beliefs, it is necessary to collect and use these references, scientifically and documentary. Healing effect of plants is the matter which can be perceived through using the ocean of Quranic information and spiritual knowledge of Holy Prophet and Alh-e-bait which are called in the present study as “Islamic texts”.

In this regard, new achievements of medical science can be integrated with spiritual conceptions. If this integration is done, a scientific angle of Quran, Holy Prophet and Ahl-e-bait will be discovered and another window of medicine, except experimental sciences, will be opened to the medical researchers and scholars. Also, herbal medicine helps people to be safe from damages of chemical drugs which have been achieved from experimental sciences; makes the treatment procedure easier, and passes through mere physical form and enhances supernatural sciences.

The present text was published according to the lack of complete and comprehensive reference about the healing benefits of herbal medicine from the viewpoint of Islamic medicine and comparing it with new references and new medical information; and also according to the high prevalence of depression and anxiety, the objective of the current study was to introduce the healing effects of the herbal medicine from the viewpoint of Islamic medicine and herbal therapy in the treatment of depression and anxiety. The present text will continue expressing the healing effects of the apple, quince, pomegranate, grape, pear, squash, frankincense, and honey from the viewpoint of Islam and medicine in future parts.

Is Vegetarianism Allowed in Islam (2)?

VegetarianismA major argument put forth by vegetarians is that an animal has to be slaughtered and this fear within the animal will adulterate it’s flesh and lower the charge in the energy of the meat, thereby causing harm to whosoever eats the meat (as documented earlier). However,  the Islamic method of slaughtering creates honor and reverence in the slaughter, and this act carries no traumatic frequencies that could unbalance the electrical matrix of the meat.

Surprisingly, Heistand and Coleman (1999) quote an experiment in which the frequency of energy contained within the carrot had a bigger change when pulled from the ground than a cattle beast’s energy change when slaughtered. This means that the carrot actually screamed louder than the cow.
The criticism of the slaughter of animals by the opponents of Islam is unreasonable. Animals have been created by the creator to provide food for the human beings. There is life in everything man or animal eats or drinks. Therefore, saving or sparing life is not possible. This is the law of nature. The very existence of life depends upon the proper consuming of life. Life in the lower stages of creation has been purposely created to be sacrificed to serve the survival of the species in the higher realm.

Similarly, man has been created to sacrifice his self, which is dearest to him, to reach the higher realms of divinity or spiritual bliss. It is true that purposeless slaughter of animals is a waste of Allah’s bounty when it is carried out in contravention to the laws of the author of nature. Even for those who hold animals sacred, the surest way to show their concern is to slaughter them at the proper time, because one day they will be eliminated by death. Therefore, if an animal is to die anyway, it is better to use it for sustenance of human life, rather than letting it go waste. The merciful creator, therefore, has allowed slaughter of animals for the sustenance of human life.

In the days of ignorance, man sacrificed man to please his man-made gods. Islam stopped this practice. Instead, to keep alive the spirit of the intended sacrifice of Ismail by Ibrahim, to show his obedience to his Lord, sacrifice of animals has been prescribed. On the other hand, Islam prohibits purposeless killing of animals. As long as a haji is in ihram, he cannot kill even a mosquito. Hunting is not only forbidden during the hajj but also as a sport in ordinary life. Imam Ali, on his deathbed, asked his children to take care of the birds he had domesticated, or else to set them free. Once, a disciple of Imam Ja’far al- Sadiq killed some pigeons in exasperation. The Imam asked him to give one dinar in charity for every pigeon he had killed as expiation.

Once, the companions of Imam al-Hasan tried to make a dog run when the unclean animal came near them while they were having meals with the Imam. The Imam prevented them, began to eat one morsel himself, and gave another to the dog. He said:

I should feel ashamed if a creature of Allah looks at my food and I turn it away.

Allamah Taba Tabai (AR) writes:

Clearly, the system of creation, which has overall control on all the creatures, has ordained that man should get nourishment from meats, etc. Then it has guided the previous parts of existence towards it. It is the system, which has created in human beings the ability to get sustenance from both animals and vegetables. He has, in the front of his alimentary system, the teeth some of which are made to cut, the others to break, some to tear and others to grind. They are called canines, molars, premolars and incisors. Man is not like goat or cow, which cannot cut or tear apart, nor is he like the beasts of prey, which cannot grind or incise.

The faculty of taste with which his mouth is equipped finds the taste of meats pleasant. Then other organs of his digestive system likewise find the meats delicious and long for it. All this is a part of creative guidance, which proves that the Creator has given him permission to use and eat various meats. How can we separate this creative guidance from lawfulness of the work, which this guidance leads.

Islam is a natural religion. Its only aim is to revive the tracks of nature, which the human ignorance has obliterated. It is bound to declare lawful what the creation guides to and the nature decrees. Islamic Legislation revives this natural commandment. And in the same way, it restores other arrangements, which the Creator has ingrained in our nature. We have already mentioned that it confirms the decree of reason that one should abstain from such meats, which are harmful physically or spiritually. And, it strengthens the inner feelings by prohibiting what the normal human nature dislikes or feels aversion. These two principles ultimately are based on the Divine management of the creation. Islam has given credence to them. It has prohibited that which harms the growth of the body and has forbidden that which is injurious to the well-being of human society. For example, that which has been slaughtered in the name of other than Allah or that which has been obtained through gambling and dividing with arrows and so on, and it has prohibited those repulsive things which the nature abhors.

There is no doubt that mercy is a fine gift of Allah, which has been ingrained in the human nature and in many animals as well, as we have sometimes observed. However, the Creator has not given it the status that it should enjoy absolute power over all affairs, or should command unqualified obedience. The creation itself has not given the mercy free rein; otherwise, there would not have been in this world any trace of grief, disease, suffering and various types of tortures and oppressions.

Moreover, human mercy in itself is not like justice, inasmuch as it is not an absolute noble characteristic, which admits no restriction. Had it been so, then it would not have been proper to punish an oppressor for his oppression or to penalize a criminal for his crime; nor would we have been allowed to confront a transgression with similar action. If mercy means this, then the earth and all that is on it would perish. However, Islam has not neglected the demands of mercy altogether, because it is among the creation’s gifts. It has ordered us to deal with the animals with mercy. It has forbidden us to torture the animal at the time of slaughter. It does not allow dissecting the limbs of the slaughtered animal before it has died, nor is it allowed to skin it while it is alive.