Monday, 26 December 2011

Dates in the Holy Qur'an & the Sunnah of the Prophet & AJWA DATES


Thanks To : Arab News ,   Saudi Arabia


The date fruit and tree were dear to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the word "date" is mentioned in the Holy Qur'an more than 20 times.
While the date palm tree is called "nakhl," the fruit is called "tamr" in Arabic.
The date palm, mentioned more than any other fruit-bearing plant in the Qur'an, is a symbol often associated with Islam and Muslims. Throughout the month of Ramadan, dates are a common ingredient in the Muslim diet.
The Prophet said: "Break your fast by eating dates as it is purifying," (Ahmad).
On the basis of this Hadith, Muslims insist on breaking their fasts with dates. However, in another Hadith, the Prophet  said, "If you have a date, break your fast with it, if you don't have it, break the fast with water as it is purifying." (Abu Dawood)
According to another Hadith, "The Messenger said: Ajwah dates are from Paradise ." (Al-Tirmidhi)
Ajwah is one of the excellent varieties of dates grown in the Madinah region.
In Surah Maryam of the Holy Qur'an, Allah provided Prophet Isa's (peace be upon him) mother Maryam (peace be upon her) with fresh dates when she was experiencing discomfort and pain during the final stages of her pregnancy.
"Shake the trunk of the palm toward you and fresh, ripe dates will drop down onto you." (Surah Maryam: verse 25)
The significance of the date palm as a source of nutrition and sustenance is evident in the statement narrated by Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him): "The Prophet said there is a tree among the trees which is similar to a Muslim (in goodness), and that is the date palm tree." (Bukhari)
In another Hadith, the Prophet stressed the importance of dates as a major food item, saying, "People in a house without dates are in a state of hunger." (Muslim)
The excellence of date palms is also referred to in the following verse of the Holy Qur'an: "And in the earth are tracts (diverse though) neighboring, and gardens of vines and fields sown with corn, and palm trees — growing out of single roots or otherwise: watered with the same water, yet some of them We make more excellent than others to eat. Behold, verily in these things there are signs for those who understand." (Surah Al-Raad, verse 4)
The date is also referred to in the Holy Qur'an as one of the blessings that would be offered in Paradise .
In several traditions the Prophet ate dates with some other fruits and vegetables. "Abdullah ibn Jaafar, may Allah be pleased with him, said the Messenger ate cucumbers with dates." (Al-Tirmidhi) According to two other traditions recorded by Al-Tirmidhi, the Prophet ate dates with watermelon or muskmelon.
The Prophet also taught his disciples that the date was not only an antidote to poison but also an effective defense against black magic. "Whoever eats seven dates of the High Land of Madinah in the morning will not be hurt by poison or sorcery on that day." (Bukhari)
"Rubay bint Mu'awwidh ibn Afraa said: 'I took a plate of fresh dates and small cucumbers to the Messenger. He gave me a handful of jewelry, or a handful of gold.'" (Al-Tirmidhi)
In another Hadith, the Prophet exhorted the believers that "you should defend yourselves from the hellfire even with a piece of date."
It has also been reported that the Prophet used to put chewed dates or honey into the mouths of newborn babies.
Reference to the palm tree could also be seen in chapter Qaf, Al-Shuara and Al-Nahl of the Holy Qur'an. In early descriptions of the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah, historians state that the leaves of the date palm were used as a roof covering.

Prophet Muhammad's [PBUH] favorite dates, Ajwa is black soft dates fruit from blessed land of Madinah Monawara . They are delightfully soft and with very fine white lines.


And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm tree. She said, "Oh, I wish I had died before this and was in oblivion, forgotten." But he called her from below her, "Do not grieve; your Lord has provided beneath you a stream. And shake toward you the trunk of the palm tree; it will drop upon you ripe, fresh dates. So eat and drink and be contented. And if you see from among humanity anyone, say, 'Indeed, I have vowed to the Most Merciful abstention, so I will not speak today to man.'" (Maryam – 23:26) 


The Prophet [PBUH] said, "He who eats seven Ajwa dates every morning, will not be affected by poison or magic on the day he eats them." (Sahih Bukhari: Vol 7, Book 65, Number 356) 

The Prophet said, "If somebody takes seven Ajwa dates in the morning, neither magic nor poison will hurt him that day." (Sahih Bukhari: Vol 7, Book 71, Number 664) 

Aisha reported Allah's Messenger [PBUH] said, "The Ajwa dates of Aliya (village near Madinah) contain heating effects and these are antidote in the early morning." (Sahih Muslim: Book 23, Number 5083) 


Dates contains calcium, sulfur, iron, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, copper, B6 & other vitamins, folic acid, proteins, sugar and are rich in natural fibers which contribute to healthy body and mind. 

Child Birth: Eating dates eases the pain of childbirth, helps produce milk for nursing mother and also prevents blood loss after childbirth. 

Healthy Heart: Eating dates daily can protect against atherosclerosis, a major cause of heart attacks and strokes. 

Prevents Cancer: Modern medicine has shown dates are effective in preventing abdominal cancer. 


There are also imitationed and inferior quality dates sold as "Ajwa dates." Authenticate Ajwa are Madinah Monwara and have very fine white lines on the them (see below picture). 


Therapeutic value is not just folklore

Thanks To : Arab News ,   Saudi Arabia


The value of dates as food has long been known and a simple analysis establishing them as a source of protein, glucose, vitamins and minerals is fact. Far less of an established fact is the folkloric record of their medicinal properties.
As with many folk practices, the medicinal lore of the date was compiled from patient observation perhaps over generations, hearsay and accumulated knowledge passed on through successive generations. That by no means invalidates the knowledge or indeed the efficacy of the fruit or its decoctions and derivatives.
Modern science does not change the value of what the date may or may not do, but can isolate the active ingredients and identifies them so that they might be identified, their medicinal attributes logged and perhaps manufactured. It answers the question of questions; Why?
A particularly good example of the eventual explanation of a long established custom is the tradition among Muslims parents to put a piece of well-chewed date or other available sweet fruit in the mouth of a newborn baby.
Muslims do this following the recorded practice of the Prophet (peace be upon him). The practice followed for religious or cultural reasons, however, has a solid foundation in scientific fact that the followers of tradition could not have known about.
The practice was well known. Abu Buradah reported from Abu Musa, who said: "I had a newborn baby; I took him to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who called him Ibrahim. The Prophet chewed a date then he took it and rubbed the inside of the baby's mouth with it."
Placing a sugary substance in a newborn baby's mouth was believed to reduce pain and the heart rate of the child, for example during the procedure of heel-pricking and circumcision.
In 1995, the British Medical Journal (No 6,993, June 10, 1995) published a study carried out in the postnatal ward in the Leeds General Infirmary in England . It confirmed the practice had repeatable and direct effects that confirmed the traditional belief that a sugary substance in a newborn's mouth reduces crying and probably the perception of pain.
Dates have a very high sugar content with Deglet Noor dates weighing in at a hefty 63.3 percent, about the same as the average hard candy. Depending on the species and the soils it grew in, the sugar breakdown has been established as about glucose, fructose and sucrose content as 32, 32.7, and 8.2 percent respectively for the date fruit.
A Medjool date for example contains 31,954 milligrams of fructose per 90 gram serving, according to In effect, three dates can supply up to 20 percent of your daily-recommended intake of fructose, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
The Leeds research paper reported that 60 healthy infants of one to six days old in a double blind randomized and placebo controlled trial were given two milliliters of placebo and various dilute sucrose solutions placed on their tongues two minutes before the heel prick test. The observers measured the length of time the child cried after the heel prick.
There was, the researchers noted, "a significant reduction in overall crying time and heart rate after three minutes in the babies given 50 percent sucrose as compared with controls. This was maximal one minute after heel prick in the 50 percent sucrose group and became statistically significant in the 25 percent sucrose group at two minutes. There was a significant trend for a reduction in crying time with increasing concentrations of sucrose over the first three minutes."
They concluded that the concentrated sucrose seemed to reduce crying and that it might be a "useful and safe analgesic for minor procedures in neonates."
Some of the more widespread and less well empirically researched remedies the date supplies range from the remedy of potassium deficiency, dates have a relatively high level of potassium, through its efficaciousness as a cure for kidney stones to its use as an aphrodisiac.
The tannin in dates is said to act as a cleansing agent for intestinal trouble, and in the form of an infusion, decoction, syrup or paste, is administered as a treatment for sore throat, cold, and bronchial catarrh.
The list of conditions influenced by the administration of the date or its derivatives is long and at the fringes journeying into the realms of fantasy, with claims of curing venomous snake bites to cures for alcoholism. With the wealth of folkloric tradition that surrounds the date, it might be a rich seam of as yet undiscovered empirical fact and as such would be worth exploring.
They are, whatever the myths that surround them, a fine food source, easily digestible and a source of a good selection of sugars, proteins and trace elements.
The truly remarkable thing is that a fruit as valuable, wholesome and simply as delicious as a date can grow in saline, poor quality soil and withstand arid conditions that would kill the vast majority of fruit bearing plants. And as the Arab proverb says: "Better a handful of dry dates and content therewith than to own the gate of peacocks and be kicked in the eye by a broody camel."
Says it all, really.

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