Sunday, 12 July 2009

The Benefits of Dates.

Fresh ripe dates were the food Allah The Exalted provided for our Mother Maryam (on whom be peace) after she gave birth to 'Isaa (alayhisalaam) under the palm tree, as Allah says in the Qur'an;

"And shake toward you the trunk of the palm tree; it will drop upon you ripe, fresh dates."

Dates are considered one of the essential foods from the Sunnah and are prized in Middle Eastern culture for their sweetness and wholesomeness. They have the ability to metabolize quickly in the body, providing an essential energy boost for those who have been fasting all day.

It is recorded in the works of Imaam Al Bukhari (rahimullah) that Dates and Water where the only two foods available in the house of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) on most days;

Our Mother A'ishah (radhi Allahu anha) said to Urwa (radhi Allahu anhu), "O, the son of my sister! We used to see three crescents in two months, and no fire used to be made in the houses of Allah's Apostle (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) [i.e. nothing used to be cooked]." 'Urwa said, "What used to sustain you?" A'ishah said, "The two black things i.e. dates and water, except that Allah's Apostle had neighbors from the Ansaar who had some milch she-camels, and they used to give the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) some milk from their house, and he used to make us drink it."
Sahih Al Bukhari Volume 8, Book 76, Number 466

Foods which accompanied Dates in the meals of the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

There are a number of authentic Hadith which report that the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) sometimes ate dates with other foods. These foods are considered to be the best accompaniments for dates in terms of balancing their temperament and nutrients.

Fresh Ripe dates with [Snake] Cucumber.

Abdullah ibn Ja'far (radhi Allahu anhu) narrated that, "I saw the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) eating fresh dates with snake cucumbers."
Sahih Al Bukhari Volume 7, Book 65, Number 358

Dates with [Musk] Melon.

It is recorded that our Mother A'ishah (radhi Allahu anha) narrated, "The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) used to eat melon with fresh dates, and he used to say: "The heat of the one is broken by the coolness of the other, and the coolness of the one by the heat of the other.""
Classed as Hasan by Al Albani - Sunan Abi Dawood Book 27, Hadith 3827

Musk melon can be grown organically in the UK in a heated greenhouse or outside in the garden in a tunnel -

A drink of dates soaked overnight in water - Nabeez.

Nabeez is a drink made by soaking either dates or raisins overnight in water and it was provided for our Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) during his lifetime as reported in the authentic narrations. It's easy to make and nutritious and makes a great breakfast drink. More info can be found here -

Dates with Sawwiq [wholegrain barley flour].

It was narrated by Abu Burda (radhi Allahu anhu) that, "When I came to Medinah, I met Abdullah bin Salam (radhi Allahu anhu) and he said, "Will you come to me so that I may serve you with Sawiq (i.e. powdered barley) and dates, and let you enter a (blessed) house that in which the Prophet (sallallahu alahyi wasallam) entered?"...
Sahih Al Bukhari Volume 5, Book 58, Number 159

Occasions from Qur'an and Hadith relating to when dates were eaten.

As we can see from the above where Allah Azzawajal mentioned how Maryam (as) was provided with dates after having given birth, dates are a highly beneficial energy booster for new mothers.

Occasions from Hadith;

Before proceeding out for the Eid ul Fit'r Prayer [as a breakfast] - 
It was narrated by Anas bin Malik (radhi Allahu anhu) that, "Allah's Apostle (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) never proceeded (for the prayer) on the Day of 'Id-ul-Fitr unless he had eaten some dates. Anas also narrated: The Prophet used to eat odd number of dates.
Sahih Al Bukhari Volume 2, Book 15, Number 73

and also reported as Sahih in Jami` at-Tirmidhi Vol. 1, Book 5, Hadith 543

Dates should be shared with companions in a gathering, particularly if they are hungry - 
It was narrated by Jabala that "We were in Medinah with some of the Iraqi people, and we were struck with famine and Ibn Az-Zubair used to give us dates. Ibn 'Umar used to pass by and say, "The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) forbade us to eat two dates at a time, unless one takes the permission of one's companions." 
Sahih Al Bukhari Volume 3, Book 43, Number 635

For example, it would be a great blessing therefore to offer dates in the Mosque during Ramadhan at Iftaar for those who have prayed.

Dates for breaking the Fast - 
It was narrated by Anas ibn Malik (radhi Allahu anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) used to break his fast before praying with some fresh dates; but if there were no fresh dates, he had a few dry dates, and if there were no dry dates, he took some mouthfuls of water.
Classed as Hasan Sahih by Al Albani - Sunan Abi Dawood Book 13, Hadith 2349

The Sunnah is to consume an odd number [reported as 3 in Riyad As Saliheen, At Tirimithi] and in sha Allaah this is extremely beneficial for our health and should be practiced regularly because it helps not over-eating food at Iftaar time. The body processes the nutritional value of dates very quickly, preventing us from feeling the subsequent need to eat a lot.

Ibn Al Qayyim's commentary on dates.

Ibn Al Qayyim (rahimullah) said that eating fresh dates is particularly beneficial for people who have a cold temperament. They help to rectify a cold, stagnant stomach. But for those who have never eaten fresh dates before or are not used to it, it would cause more harm to start eating them frequently. Dates are beneficial in treating and preventing a number of different illnesses, including constipation, intestinal disorders, weight gain, heart problems, sexual weakness, diarrhoea and abdominal cancers.

In the Middle East, dates are consumed in a number of different ways; like mixing the paste of crushed dates with milk, nuts, yoghurt, or consuming it with bread and clarified butter.

The best dates are grown in the city of Madinah. They are generally sweeter and have a higher fibre content, which helps to provide an important energy boost at breakfast and normalise digestion. 

Dates are said to have the highest fibre content of all dried fruits and a daily serving of 20-35 grams of fibre in dates is recommended by the American Cancer Society. Dates are one of natures most highest sources of potassium; a mineral which is vital to the regular and healthy contractions of the heart muscle. Potassium is also required by the human body to balance the digestive system and nervous system.

It is also said that eating just one date each day guards against weakening eyesight for a lifetime.

The profound blessings of Ajwa' Dates.

Ajwa' dates are smaller and darker in colour and slightly less sweet than other varieties. Ma sha Allaah it is for this reason that I have personally found them more to my liking [easier to eat] than varieties which are larger and sweeter.

There is no doubt that the sand of Madinah where the Ajwa' date palm plantations stand even to this day is blessed and full of Shifa due to the sacred status of this city, and Saad bin Abi Waqaas narrated that God’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Whoever eats seven Medinah dates [Ajwa'] for his breakfast will suffer from neither poison nor witchcraft for that day.” (Bukhari and Muslim).

King Saud University researchers find Awja Date's cancer prevention properties -

Purchase Ajwa' dates in the UK -

1 comment:

  1. It is very comprehensive article on the benefits of dates. We can have an idea about the benefits and importance of dates. We should learn the benefits of dates and use them as we are guided in this article. Thanks


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