Did the Prophet allow urine to be drunk?
Please explain the following hadith:
“Narrated By Anas bin Malik: Some people from the tribes of ‘Ukl and ‘Uraina came to Allah’s Apostle and embraced Islam and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! We are owners of livestock and have never been farmers,” and they found the climate of Medina unsuitable for them. So Allah’s Apostle ordered that they be given some camels and a shepherd, and ordered them to go out with those camels and drink their milk and urine. So they set out, but when they reached a place called Al-Harra, they reverted to disbelief after their conversion to Islam, killed the shepherd and drove away the camels. When this news reached the Prophet, he sent in their pursuit (and they were caught and brought). The Prophet ordered that their eyes be branded with heated iron bars and their hands be cut off, and they were left at Al-Harra till they died in that state.”
When we attempt to understand a hadith, we ought to do it in the light of the Quran, Sunnah, other ahadith, and common sense. To attribute a statement to the Prophet, alaihissalaam, it is not enough that it is found in a book of hadith. Ahadith were collected by humans and even if they did as best as they could, to collect them properly, there is every likelihood that mistakes could have crept in them.
The fact that the prophet allowed urine to be drunk is something one cannot normally justify. I would, therefore, say that the hadith has either mentioned urine by mistake or there is something missing in the context that we don’t know. However, our religion teaches cleanliness and there is no reason that the apparent meanings of this hadith be accepted.
The punishment mentioned in the latter part of the hadith is in accordance with what has been mentioned in the Quran for the criminals who challenge the authority of Allah and His messenger, and create mischief on earth. Verse 33 of surah al-Maidah (5) says, “Those who do war against Allah and His messenger and create mischief on earth, their punishment is nothing but that they be killed mercilessly, or crucified …’. The crime committed by people who were subjected to such punishment was indeed very serious and amounted to creating mischief on earth. I am, therefore, not surprised that they were punished in the manner this hadith mentions it.