Amina is not feeling very well today. She has caught a cold and she coughs. Mummy tells her: “What you need is a nice hot drink with honey. Let’s go and buy some honey, and you’ll see your cough will get better insha Allah.”
Amina and her mother go out to the supermarket. They stop in front of the shelf where the honey is.
“Oh, Mummy, there are all sorts of different colours!”Amina says excitedly. “Look, this honey is almost white, and this one is golden, and that one over there is brownish.”
“Yes, Amina”, her mum answers. “They are different sorts of honey. There’s clover honey, lavender honey, eucalyptus honey… and mixed wildflower honey.”
“But then, does honey come from flowers?”Amina asks.
“Come on, you know it doesn’t!” her Mum answers. “You know bees make honey. The bees fly from flower to flower to collect a fine powder called pollen and a liquid called nectar. And then they make the honey with their bodies. Since there are different sorts of flowers with different colours and smells, this produces different sorts of honey.
If the bees have been only on clover flowers, they make clover honey, which is almost white, like the one in this jar.
If the bees have been on lavender, as in the South of France, you get this nice golden colour. And if the bees go about on all sorts of wild flowers, they produce mixed wildflower honey.”
Amina asks: “And what colour is mixed wildflower honey?”
“Well, it depends on the flowers!” Mummy answers,. “Look, the honey in this jar is yellow, this one is brownish, and yet they’re both mixed wildflower honey.”
Amina thinks for a while and then she asks: “But who has taught the bees how to make honey?”
“Allah has taught them, darling”, Mummy explains. “When the bees make honey, they obey Allah.
Do you know Allah tells us about bees in the Quran? Listen to what He says.”
And then Amina’s Mum recites for her the verses from surat an-Nahl, “The bees”.
“And your Lord inspired the bees, saying ‘Take your habitations in the mountains and in the trees and in what they erect. Then, eat of all fruits, and follow the ways of your Lord.’ There comes forth from their bellies a drink of varying colours wherein is healing for men.”
(Qur’an – Surah Nahl l, 68-69).