Hadith Database – Hadith on the Prophet’s Urine
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم
“…Umm Ayman…said: ‘‘One night the Prophet got up and went to a side to urinate in the bowl. During the night, I rose and was thirsty so I drank whatever was in it and I did not even realize what it was. In the morning, He said, ‘Oh Umm Ayman! Throw away whatever is in the bowl’. I replied, ‘I drank what was in the bowl’. He thereafter smiled as such that His teeth appeared and said, ‘Beware! You will never have stomach pain.’’
Source: Tabarani Kabir 20740, Mustadrak al-Hakim 6912, Dalail al-Nubuwwah li-Isfahani 355.
Explanation: Apparently, this hadith has been making the rounds on the Internet. Some Muslims have been claiming that this hadith is authentic and that the Prophet’s urine was pure and could cure stomach pain. Meanwhile, non-Muslims have picked up on this foolishness and have begun to run with it, mocking Islam and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the process.
As shown above, this hadith is found in the compilations of At-Tabarani, Al-Hakim, and Al-Isfahani, but neither of the two Sahihs (i.e., Sahih Bukhari or Sahih Muslim). This fact does not mean that the hadith is automatically false, but it is an appropriate starting point. It is strange that this hadith is not mentioned in either Bukhari or Muslim, and yet the hadith about the Prophet encouraging some visitors to drink milk mixed with camel urine as a medicine (another hadith which Islamophobes love to abuse) is found in both (as well as other compilations like Tirmidhi). One may ask why the latter hadith is mentioned but not the former. Furthermore, one may ask why the Prophet didn’t just encourage the visitors to drink some milk mixed with his own urine, instead of the urine of camels. This shows that there are no logical reasons to accept this hadith, as it contradicts what we know from more established ahadith.
Another reason why this hadith is of questionable authority is the fact that other, more authoritative (sahih) ahadith clearly show the Prophet’s teachings regarding hygiene and protecting oneself from exposure to urine:
“Hakam or Ibn al-Hakam on the authority of his father reported: The Prophet (ﷺ) urinated; then he performed ablution and sprinkled water on the private parts of his body.”
One has to wonder why the Prophet felt the need to perform ablution after answering the call of nature if his urine was pure.
In addition, the text of the hadith itself makes very little sense. It should be noted that the Prophet urinated in a bowl at night, and in the morning, asked Umm Ayman to throw it out. If he believed in the curative properties of his urine, then why did he ask Umm Ayman to throw it out in the first place? Clearly, there is something strange with this hadith.
As it turns out, this hadith has been graded as “weak”, and the reason is one of the narrators, Abu Malik Al-Nakha’i. According to Waqar Akbar Cheema’s excellent analysis of this hadith, many scholars regarded Al-Nakha’i as “weak” or “rejected” (matrook). Cheema also points out that Al-Hakim mentioned another narration:
“…which simply says that [the] bowl was there and not a word about someone drinking it or Prophet, may Allah bless him, commenting on it.”
This makes sense since, as already mentioned, there are other ahadith (see footnote #4) which mention that the Prophet had a bowl which he used for urination, and that was not unusual, although Cheema quoted another scholar who graded the ahadith from Abu Dawud as weak as well (although Al-Albani graded it as “hasan sahih).
As for the compilations themselves, none of them are on the same level of authenticity as Sahih Bukhari or Sahih Muslim. Thus, each hadith in their individual compilations must be analyzed thoroughly. As far as the scholarly critiques of these compilations, we present here some brief information. Regarding At-Tabarani’s Kabir, also known as Mu’jam Al-Kabir, Dr. Jonathan Brown explains that “mu’jams”:
“…were books of hadiths in which the author chose a certain theme and then provided as many hadiths as possible to demonstrate the breadth of his hadith corpus within that theme.”
In other words, the purpose of a mu’jam was not to include only those ahadith that had been thoroughly tested for authenticity, but rather to include any hadith which was appropriate for the selected “theme”. The same can be said of the Dalail al-Nubuwwah of Abu Nu’aym al-Isbahani. As Brown explains:
“…these various monographs were unconcerned with assuring the authenticity of the hadith they contained.”
Regarding Al-Hakim’s Al-Mustadrak, Brown notes that while Al-Hakim had attempted to follow the requirements of Bukhari and Muslim, the reality was that:
“…Al-Hakim’s methods of authentication fell far short of his two predecessors. […] According to al-Dhahabi, only half of the Mustadrak’s contents were actually authentic. The other half was of dubious reliability.”
It is not a coincidence that the hadith in question is only found in those compilations which were not as thoroughly authenticated as those of Imam Bukhari or Imam Muslim.
 We know from other ahadith that the Prophet kept a bowl under his bed that he would use for urination (Sunan Abu Dawud, 1:24; Sunan An-Nasa’i, 1:1:32). According to Al-Albani, the hadith in Abu Dawud is graded “hasan sahih”.
 A “weak/da’if” hadith is not necessarily shunned automatically, but it is not on the same level as a “hasan/good” or “sahih/authentic” hadith.
 Jonathan A.C. Brown, Hadith: Muhammad’s Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World (Oxford: OneWorld, 2009), p. 50.
 Ibid., p. 37.
 Ibid., pp. 106-107.