South African National Halaal Authority (SANHA)
Cow Urine & Dung in Ayurvedic Medicine  
JULY 2011 : Shawaal 1432

Ayurveda is a traditional, natural system of medicine originating in India some 6000 years ago developed by seers (rishis) through centuries of observation and experimentation. Hinduism and Buddhism have been an influence on the development of many of Ayurveda's central ideas. Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that when literally translated means “science of life” or “practices of longevity.”

Ayurveda emphasizes the prevention of disease, rejuvenation of our body systems and extension of life span by treating the root cause and not the symptoms. It is based on the idea that disease is due to an imbalance or stress in the individual's consciousness, Ayurveda encourages certain lifestyle interventions and natural therapies to regain a balance between the body, mind, and the environment. Today, Ayurveda is gaining popularity in the western world. The most commonly practiced Ayurvedic treatments in the west are massage, dietary and herbal advice.

There is a deep-rooted mistaken belief and misconception that Ayurvedic medicines are exclusively of herbal origins. This is far from the truth as the ingredients range from a mixture of plants, metals, minerals, animal ingredients exclusively or a combination of them. One of the greatest Ayurvedic physicians “Charak” has written about the properties of different animals meat. That includes birds, goats, pigs, deer, duck, cow, buffalo and many more .The use of crab meat to boost one's lungs, the use of liver of different animals for treating anemia and even the use of blood of goat in conditions like leukemia.

Ayurveda believes that nothing is useless in this world and hence utilize a wide variety of items such as eggshells, ox bile, cow dung, testicles of cat species used in a preparation called ‘jungbadaster’, stag horns in ‘mrigsinghbasma’ and widespread use of ‘cow urine’. With up to 40 ingredients going into a preparation and many of them a “trade secret”, labeling on small bottles becomes impossible and no reliance can be placed on it.

Is all Ayurvedic medication Haraam (unlawful, forbidden)?

To make lawful (Halaal) and unlawful (Haraam) is the right of Allah Ta’ala alone. SANHA however, presents relevant information to enable the making of an informed choice in keeping with one’s religious responsibility and individual accountability. In the case of Ayurvedic medication, it does not possess the knowledge, expertise and resources to issue a blanket ruling for every ayurvedic product. Each item will have to be evaluated on a case specific basis.

Muslims must be guided by the teachings of the Glorious Quraan. In Chapter Al A’raaf, Verse 157 it is stated:

"Those who follow the Apostle, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own (scriptures),- in the law and the Gospel;- for he commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil; he allows them as lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them from what is bad (and impure)…."

The Prophetic teachings further guides us to “Leave that which is doubtful and partake of that which is free from any doubt.”


Your Duas, constructive comments, criticism and feedback is truly appreciated
View in printable pdf View in pdf