Explaining the Hadith Regarding Healing the Sick With Dust and Saliva

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: If you could provide some explanation for this hadith to me, I would be grateful. I didn’t understand what the “dust of our earth” and the saliva meant.

‘A’isha said that when a person complained to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, of some illness or had a wound or an injury, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, would say, doing this with his forefinger, (and Sufyan ibn ‘Uyayna the transmitter would place his finger on the earth and then raise it and say), ‘In the name of Allah, the dust of our earth combined with the saliva of some of us by which our sick are healed by the permission of our Lord.'” [Agreed upon]

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.

The ‘dust of the earth’ is literally the dust of the earth. Likewise, the saliva is literally intended in this narration (hadith).

Some of the scholars mention that the reason the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) put some spittle on his blessed finger and then put it in the earth is that the coolness of the earth would help to alleviate the pain.

Nawawi relates that some held the dust to be specifically that of Madina due to its blessing (baraka), and the saliva to be that of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace). [Ibn Hajr al-`Asqalani, Fath al-Bari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari]

And Allah knows best.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani