Mar 27, 2010

It's finger-lickin' good!

When we talk about Islam and Science, we can find 3 groups of people:
  • The ones who are too eager to match any quranic verses or hadiths to scientific facts
  • The ones who reject the very idea of comparing scientific facts with quranic verse or hadiths
  • The ones between them
It's not deniable that matching quranic verses or sunnah with scientific facts is a noble act. It simply proves that Islam is compatible with modern science, thus making it more convincing to non muslims, especially those who really rely their beliefs on scientific facts like doctors or scientists.

But the trend nowadays has become uncontrollable, making people so eager to match them unconditionally, which can lead to a serious problem when a certain scientific fact is proven wrong. Especially when we know that scientific facts are subjected to major changes as the technology becomes more advanced.

One of the most popular issues that has been brought up for many many years that i want to highlight this time is about licking your fingertips after eating.

I couldn't agree more when people said that it's one of the sunnahs to lick your fingertips after you've had your meal, as it was done by the Prophet himself. But to attribute it to science with no proof is just unacceptable.

They say that there is a type of enzyme that is present at your fingertips that helps you to digest your food better in your gastrointestinal tract. And they came with some proofs that foods go bad faster if you were to touch it with your bare hands.

If it's true, then what is the name of the enzyme? We have literally thousands of different types of enzymes in our body, and every single of them has a specific name and specific action. But surprisingly this so-called 'enzyme' has no name with no specific function, and any reliable references are nowhere to be found.

In fact, some doctors might even tell you that the habit of eating with one's hand can transmit botulism and some other problems, especially when your hands are unhygienic with dirt trapped underneath your fingernails.

Well, if you must do this, please, respect the discipline and etiquette of science. Even scientists themselves don't bring their hypothesis to public unless with clear scientific findings and proofs. Or at least, don't make up stories or facts in order to impress people.

I read an article somewhere written by Dr. Danial Zainal Abidin explaining the wisdom behind licking your finger, but i personally think that his explanation is way more acceptable than this so-called explanation. He explained that it's because every single particle of food gives considerable amount of energy after being processed in our body. So by licking our finger, we are maximizing the energy intake as well as minimizing the energy lost as much as possible.

Acceptable, isn't it?

So in a nutshell, my advice is, please be careful in writing, spreading or even believing in something that is not accompanied by strong scientific evidence and then attributing it to Islam, because as much as we wanted to prove to the non-muslims that our Quran and Sunnah are parallel to the modern science, we have to beware of the consequences that might affect Islam when the so-called fact is somehow proven wrong. Wal'iyazubillah.

Ever heard of the expression: It's finger-lickin' good! ;)