Manna and Salwa
Fatwa No: 87966

  • Fatwa Date:14-6-2004 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 26, 1425
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Question

What type of food was Manna-was-salwa? Where did it used to grow and is there any of it in this present world? Was it sent down from the skies, and if so by whom?

Answer

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.

Al-Mann (A kind of sweet gum) and Al-Salwa (Quails) that Allah had sent down to the children of Israel is something which is differed upon regarding its meaning.

It is said that al-mann is a drizzle that descends from the sky on trees or rocks, becomes sweet and turns into honey, and dries like a gum. And it is said that al-Mann is honey, or a sweet drink.

It is also said that it encompasses all that Allah blessed his slaves (creatures) with, without any labour or harvest. It is reported in Sahih Bukhari and Muslim that the truffle is of al-mann that was descended upon Musa (Moses).

Al-Salwa is a bird that resembles the quail or it is the quail itself. It is also said that it is honey. The above is a response to the two questions, 'Where it grows and if there is any of it in today's world".

It is Allah who sent it down. As to whether it decended from the sky, Ibn Hajar said in Fath Al Bari: "… Ibn Abi Hatim reported from Ali Bin Abi Talha, from Ibn Abbas who said: "Al-Mann used to descend on trees and they ate from it what Allah wills."

It is also reported from Saeed Ibn Basheer, from Qatada who said: "Al-Mann used to descend on them like the descending of the snow, and it is whiter than milk and sweeter than honey."

Allah knows best.


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