Seventy sicknesses

An Analysis of the Hadith: “Whoever Begins His Meals with Salt Will Be Saved From Seventy Diseases”

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An Analysis of the Hadīth:
“Whoever Begins His Meals with Salt Will Be Saved From Seventy Diseases”

By Muntasir Zaman


In the Name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

[Summary: This Hadīth has been reported Marfū‘an – from the Messenger of Allāh (peace and blessings be upon him)new1 – on the authority of four Sahābah: ‘Alī, Anas, Sa‘d ibn Mu‘ādh and ‘Ā’ishah (Allāh be pleased with them). However, all of these narrations have been heavily criticized, such that they cannot even collectively corroborate one another. Furthermore, it has been reported Mawqūfan – from a Sahābī- as a statement of ‘Alī (Allāh be pleased with him), but this report is also unreliable.

After analyzing the Ahādīth, we present the Fatwa of Muftī Rashīd Ahmad Ludhyānwī in this regard, who says that it is incorrect to regard this etiquette as a Sunnah.

Thereafter, we discuss the issue of authentication, and in what context a jurist’s citation of a Hadīth will be regarded as authentication of it. Finally, we discuss how the jurists cannot be blamed for mentioning this unreliable narration in their books, as the science of Hadīth was not their specialty.]


Several leading jurists, such as Burhān al-Dīn al-Bukhārī [d. 616 AH] from the early jurists and Ibn ‘Ābidīn [d. 1250 AH] from the later ones, have stated that the etiquette mentioned in the Hadīth in reference is a Sunnah.[1] Ibn ‘Ābidīn even alludes to the Hadīth in his comment, “Not only is it a Sunnah, but it also contains the cure for seventy diseases.”[2]

Before discussing whether it is correct to regard this etiquette as a Sunnah, let us first analyze the authenticity of the Ahādīth in this regard.

Analysis of the Hadīth Read the rest of this entry »