Inspired by my question "Why isn't it cow meat prohibited when it is said to cause sickness?" I ask this:

عليكم بألبان البقر و سمنانها ، و إياكم و لحومها ،فإن ألبانها و سمنانها دواء و شفاء ، و لحومها داء
... The milk of the cow contains healing, its fat is a medicine, and beware (iyyakum) of its meat, which causes sickness.

What does iyyakum mean in this hadith?
I am familiar with it to mean "Beware!". I.e iyyakum an tafa'alu hada! (beware of doing this!) In Arabic, iyyakum is used as a warning and prohibition, see here 1, 2, 3. But it seems it also might be used as a "nasiha, advice", according to the context. But in this context, it seems a bit hard to distinguish.

Then of course it also could mean "and to you" but that is not relevant in this context.

  • 2
    If this should be closed because iyyakum is an Arabic word, then maybe the hadith-interpretation tag should be deleted? All hadith interpretations first interpret what the Arabic hadith and its words means, in their context. Because I am not looking for the Arabic meaning of the word iyyakum, which is clear because I have already explained what the word might mean. Rather I am looking for an interpretation of the word in this hadith. I.e does it mean iyyakum as a prohibition or as an advice? or something else?
    – Kilise
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 14:43

2 Answers 2


The word indeed means Beware.

The hadith itself is said to be Dha'if , according to Ibn-Uthaymin. and others , like Az-zarkashi , As-sakhawi , and Ibn-Hajar as mentioned in ajurry.com.

There is a Hadith ,in Sahih alBukari, mentions that the prophet , peace and blessings be upon him, has sacrificed cows on behalf of his wifes.

Al-Albani , who said that the hadith with (iyyakum) was Sahih, answered that it means : Don't eat too much of it. [paragraph 12].

Ibn-uthaymin rejected that, and wondered how can cow meat be "a sickness" even-though it is Halal in the Quran?

Al-halimi, said that this hadith is specifically for people of Hijaz, Since their cows meat are solid/dehydrated

and Allah knows best.

  • Thanks for answering. However I am not asking if the hadith is daif or not. As mentioned in my linked question I know that some scholars consider it hasan (see albani for instance) while others consider it daif.
    – Kilise
    Commented Aug 19, 2017 at 16:38
  • you are welcome. It means warning. Beware. see: shamela.ws/browse.php/book-6965#page-841 books.google.com.tr/…
    – Butarek Hd
    Commented Aug 19, 2017 at 16:48

Afaik beware or be warned or alarmed is the correct translation.

Brother if it were a Saheeh Hadith we would have given it some thought thats why the process of saheeh and dahief exists aka Tadween ul Hadith.

Even though if it waere Saheeh almost all of meat consumed back in the day was either salted meat or dried meat people in the moderen world call it meat jerky and this process of storing meat goes back a century or more in case of Arabs and this tradition still exits. Unfortunately the hadith in question is not decriptive enough to tell us which meat fresh or dried or eitherway so we cant be sure enough to debate on it and thats probably what Shieukh thought.

Allah knows best as he is all knowing and all seeing.

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