Truffles Healing the Eye
By: Dr. / Zaghloul El-Naggar
Sa'id ibn Zayd (A.S.) narrated that Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said:
“Truffles are like manna. Their water is healing to the eye”.
Explanation of the Hadith
"Truffle" is any of the various fleshy , ascomycetous , edible fungi , chiefly of the genus Tuber , that grow underground on or near the roots of trees to a depth that reaches almost 30 cm . They are usually found in groups of 10 to 20 nodules in the same spot in the soil. These nodules are spherical or spheroid in shape, soft and vary in color form white to gray, brown and black and have a pungent odor. Truffles grow in the deserts of the Arab and Islamic countries, from Mauritania in the west to Central Asia in the east. They grow in different environments that vary between deep sand, shallow pebbles and stones. They mostly flourish after the thunderstorm seasons, and that is why the Arabs called them "girls of thunder".
There are many types of truffles of different shapes and colors. They grow in the upper layer of the soil. We become aware of their existence through fissures in the soil, which appear in two vertical directions at the time of their growing. If the nodules are not collected, a type of extremely fine dust forms inside them. When the dust sac bursts, its content disperses throughout the soil. Moreover, this dust starts growing by the end of October, which is characterized by rain accompanied with thunderstorms. The contents of the sacs start to grow into fine fungal threads, which, by Allah's Will penetrate into the tissue of the roots of other plants growing in the same area, and grow as parasites on these roots, until they are fully grown as completely swollen nodules.
Truffles constitute an important source of protein among the desert plants. The composition of their nodules is as follows:
77% water and 23% other substances. These substances include 60% hydrocarbons, 7% fats, 4% fibers, 18% proteins, and the remaining 11% are in the form of ashes that remain after its burning. Seventeen amino acids have already been recognized in the proteins present in the truffles.
When the Prophet (PBUH) describes the truffles as being of the manna, this actually implies that they grow by the Will and Grace of Allah as they are not cultivated by man. Moreover, they require neither seeds nor water to grow. The only interference by man in this process is to exert effort in their gathering. As for the other description given by the Prophet (PBUH) that “ Their water is healing to the eye ” , Ibn Sina mentioned that Muslims , in response to this hadith , used to boil its water , cool it and then use it as eye drops . Dr. al-Mu`taz al-Marzuqi, an Egyptian Ophthalmologist, tried to study this hadith in the light of modern science, and reached very important results.
He found that the water of truffles prevents the occurrence of fibrosis in cases of eye trachoma. Truffles stop the formation of the fibrous tissue in the infected area. Experiments have proven that the application of the water of truffles in the treatment of trachoma has led to an enormous drop in the formation of lymphatic cells resulting from this inflammation, which may lead to opacity of the cornea. Trachoma is a chronic contagious inflammation from which most inhabitants of the Arab world, the Mediterranean region and others all over the world suffer. The complications resulting from this disease may lead to total blindness. Trachoma with its various complications is found to be completely responsible for more than 25% of the cases of blindness in areas where the disease is widespread. Very often, trachoma is also accompanied by spring ophthalmia, which increases fibrosis in the infected area. Experiments carried by Dr. Al-Mu`taz Al-Marzuqi have proven that the water of truffles remarkably reduces the occurrence of fibrosis in the eye cornea, through stopping the growth of the cells which form the fibers, equalizing the chemical effect of the trachoma poisons and inhibiting the unnatural growth of the cells of the conjunctiva, because most of the complications of trachoma occur because of fibrosis of the cornea that are cured by the water of truffles.
Here arises the logical question: How could the Prophet (PBUH) reach such scientific facts fourteen centuries ago? Here we realize the value of these scientific signs in Allah's Book and the Sunnah of His Messenger (PBUH) in calling for Allah's Religion especially in the age of science and technology. These scientific signs constitute a way by which we can face the western trial to wipe out our Islamic identity under the cloak of slogans such as the New World Order and International Legitimacy. For sure, they are extremely far away from legitimacy and order. There is no refuge from their cruel materialistic attack but belief in the greatness of the Glorious Qur'an and the truthfulness of the seal of Allah's Prophets and Messengers, and our ability to adhere to his guidance and convince others of it. Surely, there is nothing beyond Allah's Ability and peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and his companions.