BY OYEWUNMI KAFAYAT OLASEYI
Dates are fruit from the date palm, the fruit of the Prophet (ﷺ), and a popular fruit among Muslims around the world. Dates are a staple in any Muslim home, and we all know and love them – but do you know why dates are so important in Islam?
Dates, or the date-palm, are referenced in the Qur’an 22 times, more than any other fruit tree, indicating that its importance in Islam is well-established. The Prophet (ﷺ) was well aware of their benefits and enjoyed eating them. He enjoined people around him to follow in his footsteps. He would accept them as gifts and inform his ummah about the benefits of eating dates in Islam.
When the Prophet (ﷺ) compared date palms to Muslims, he was indicating that the believer is strong in his faith and unyielding in his allegiance to Allah (SWT). Like the leaves and branches of the date palm reaching for the sun, the believer is continuously reaching out to Allah (SWT). The date palm and the fruit it provides can aid in the nourishment of the land, just as the Muslim ummah can aid in the nourishment of Islam by disseminating and following Allah’s (SWT) word.
The Prophet (ﷺ) compared the date-palm to the believer, but he also recommended that Muslims consume dates for their health benefits. In the Prophet’s (ﷺ) knowledge, he recognized that eating dates in Islam would benefit Muslims worldwide.
“He who eats seven Ajwa dates every morning will not be afflicted by poison or magic on the day he eats them,” he is alleged to have claimed. [Bukhari]
Dates are high in vitamins and minerals that can help us stay healthy, and seven dates per day is the ideal serving amount to keep our bodies in good physical shape. These delicious fruits, which are high in fiber, antioxidants, and are cholesterol-free, can help to enhance your immune system and safeguard your body. Dates are high in protein and Fibre, which helps to reduce constipation and lowers the risk of heart disease. B1, B2, B3, B5, A, C, K, and D vitamins, as well as selenium, manganese, copper, and magnesium, are all beneficial to bone health. Potassium, which aids in nervous system support, fluorine, which aids in tooth decay prevention, iron, which aids in anemia prevention, and natural sugars are all beneficial.
The Qur’an also mentions how dates can be beneficial to our health, it help to reduce pregnancy and birth discomfort. in (Surah Maryam), When Maryam (AS) was pregnant with Isa (AS), she was in excruciating pain, therefore Allah (SWT) told her to eat dates to relieve the pain.
The pains of labour drove her to the trunk of a date-palm. She [Maryam] said, “Oh if only I had died before this time and was something discarded and forgotten!” A voice called out to her from under her, “Do not grieve! Your Lord has placed a small stream at your feet. Shake the trunk of the palm towards you and fresh, ripe dates will drop down onto you. Eat and drink and delight your eyes.” [Qur’an, 19:23]
Dates can help alleviate labor pains and support a healthy birth for the baby if eaten throughout pregnancy. Magnesium can help sooth cramps and muscle spasms during pregnancy, Vitamin K can promote blood clotting and good bone health, and potassium can help regulate blood pressure. Folate found in dates can help foetal spinal cord development, Magnesium can help sooth cramps and muscle spasms during pregnancy, Vitamin K can promote blood clotting and good bone health, and potassium can help regulate blood pressure. The benefits of eating dates in the late stages of pregnancy are confirmed in an article published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, which states that dates “have been found to favourably impact the result of labor and delivery without harmful effect on the mother and child.”