Marham-i-Isa, The Mother of all Ointments


In the late 1970's I attended an annual convention of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam. A Pakistani member of that community was selling an ointment called "Marham-i-Isa," or, "Ointment of Jesus." He said that this ointment was used in Pakistan and India, espeically in areas where there were limited medical facilities. He explained that the ointment had incredible curative properties.

In Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's book, Masih Hindustein Mein, translated into English as Jesus in India (1890), he mentioned that this Marham-i-Isa is believed to be the very ointment that was used to help heal the wounds of Jesus Christ after the crucifixion. He further claims that this ointment had been recorded in standard medical books of various countries, including Europe, over the centuries:

"A piece of evidence of great value with regard to the escape of Jesus from the Cross, which no one can help admitting, is a medical preparation known as Marham-i-Isa or the 'Ointment of Jesus' recorded in hundreds of medical books. Some of these books were compiled by Christians, some by Magians or Jews, some by Muslims...Investigations show that in the beginning the preparation came to be known as an oral tradition among hundreds of thousands of people. Then they recorded it.

"At first, in the very time of Jesus, a little after the event of the Cross, a pharmaceutical work was compiled in Latin, in which there was a mention of this preparation along with the statement that the preparation had been prepared for the wounds of Jesus. Next, this work was translated into several languages, until, in the time of Mamun-al-Rashid, it was translated into Arabic...

"...eminent physicians of all religions -- Christian, Jew, Magian, or Muslim -- have all mentioned this preparation in their books, and have stated that it was prepared for Jesus by the disciples. A study of books on pharmacology shows that this preparation is very useful in cases of injuries due to blows or falls, arresting immediately the flow of blood; and as it also contains 'myrrh' the wound remains aseptic.

Before reproducing Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's list of some of these books, it should be mentioned that Swami Ramatirtha, a Hindu, also mentioned the use of Marham-i-Isa in India:

"Again, the people of India have a kind of magic ointment which is called the 'Christ Ointment' (Malam-i-Isha), and the story which the people, who prepare this ointment, tell is that this ointment Christ used to heal his wounds after he came to life and that ointment really heals all sorts of wounds miraculously." (As taken from Journey into Kashmir and Tibet, by Ansupti Dasgupta and Kunja Bihari Kundu)

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad produced what he claimed was just a small sample of the hundreds of books in history that had mentioned the Ointment of Jesus. He offers the name of the book, the author, and the volume number and page number where available.


Qanun, by Shaikh-ul-Rais Bu Ali Sina, Vol. III, page 133.
Sharah Qanun, by Allama Qutb-ud-Din Shirazi, Vol. III.
Kamil-us-Sanaat, by Ali Bin-al-Abbas Al-Majoosi, Vol. III, page 602.
Kitab Majmua-i-Baqai, Muhammad Ismail, Mukhatif az Khaqan by Khitab pidar Mohammad Baqa Khan, Vol. II, page 497.
Kitab Tazkara-i-Ul-ul-Albab, by Shaikh Daud-ul-Zareer-ul-Antaki, page 303.
Qarabadin-i-Rumi, compiled about the time of Jesus and translated in the reign of Mamun al-Rashid into Arabic, see Skin Diseases.
Umdat-ul-Muhtaj, by Ahmad Bin Hasan al-Rashidi al-Hakim. [Ghulam Ahmad says: "In this book, Marham-i-Isa, and other preparations have been noted from a hundred, perhaps more than a hundred books, all these books being in French."]
Qarabadin, in Persian, by Hakim Muhammad Akbar Arzani -- Skin Diseases. Shifa-ul-Asqam, Vol. II, page 230.
Mirat-ush-Shafa, by Hakim Natho Shah -- (manuscript) Skin Diseases. Zakhira-i-Khawarazm Shahi, Skin Diseases.
Sharah Qanun Gilani, Vol. III.
Sharah Qanun Qarshi, Vol. III.
Qarabadin, by Ulwi Khan, Skin Diseases.
Ilaj-ul-Amraz, by Hakim Muhammad Sharif Khan Sahib, page 893.
Qarabadin, Unani, Skin Diseases.
Tuhfat ul-Momineen, on the margin of Makhzan-ul-Adwiya, page 713.
Muhit Fi-Tibb, page 367.
Aksir-i-Azam, Vol. IV, by Hakim Muhammad Azam Khan Sahib
Al Mukhatab ba Nazim-i-Jahan, page 331.
Qarabadin, by Masumi-ul-Masum bin Karam-ud-Din Al-Shustri Shirazi. Ijala-i-Nafiah, Muhammad Sharif Dehlavi, page 410.
Tibb-i-Shibri, otherwise known as Lawami Shibriyya, Syed Hussain Shibr Kazimi, page 471.
Makhzan-i-Sulaimani, translation of Aksir Arabi, page 599, by Muhammad Shams-ud-Din Sahib of Bahawalpur.
Shifa-ul-Amraz, translated by Maulana Al-Hakim Muhammad Noor Karim, 282.
Kitab Al-Tibb Dara Shakohi, by Nur-ud-Din-Muhammad Abdul Hakim, Ain-ul-Mulk Al-Shirazi, page 360.
Minhaj-ud-Dukan ba Dastoor-ul-Aayan fi Aamal wa Tarkib al-Nafiah lil-Abdan, by Aflatoon-i-Zamana wa Rais-i-Awana Abdul-Mina Ibn Abi Nasr-ul-Atta Al Israili Al-Harooni (i.e., Jew), page 86.
Zubdat-ul-Tabb, by Syed-ul-Imam Abu Ibrahim Ismail bin Hasan-ul-Husaini Al-Jarjani, page 182.
Tibb-i-Akbar, by Muhammad Akbar Arzani, page 242.
Mizan-ul-Tibb, by Muhammad Akbar Arzani, page 152.
Sadidi, by Rais-ul-Mutakalimin Imamul Mohaqq-i-qin Al-Sadid-ul-Kazrooni, Vol. II, page 283.
Hadi Kabir, by Ibn-i-Zakariya, Skin Diseases.
Qarabadin, by Ibn-i-Talmiz, Skin Diseases. Qarabadin, by Ibn-i-Abi Sadiq, Skin Diseases.

Ghulam Ahmad explains:

"These books have been mentioned here by way of illustration. Learned people, especially physicians, know that most of these books, in times gone by, were taught at important places of learning under Muslim rule; even scholars from Europe studied them. It is a fact, and there is not the slightest exaggeration about it, that in every century there have been millions of people who have been acquainted with these books; hundreds of thousands of them have been studying them from end to end.

"I can assert that not a single person from among the learned people of Europe and Asia has been ignorant of the names of at least some of the books in the above list. When Sapin and Qastmonia and Shantrin had universities, Bu Ali Sina's great Qanun, a great medical work in which there is set out the prescription of Marham-i-Isa and other books such as Shifa and Isharat and Basharat pertaining to science, astronomy and philosophy, were eagerly studied and learnt by the Europeans. Likewise, works of Abu Nasr Farabi, Abu Raihan Israil, Thabit bin Qurrah, Hunain bin Ishaq, and Ishaq etc -- all luminaries of learning -- and translations made by them from Greek were also taught. Translations of their works would certainly be found to exist in Europe even today. As Muslim rulers were keen patrons of medicine, they prepared translations of good Greek works."