Dates are fruit of the date palm, fruit of the Prophet (ﷺ) and one important to Muslims around the world. Do you know why dates are so important in Islam?
Dates or the date-palm are mentioned in the Qur’an 22 times, which is more than any other fruit tree, marking their importance. The Prophet (ﷺ) knew of their benefits, and enjoyed eating them. He fondly encouraged those around him to do the same. He would receive them as gifts, and share the benefits of eating dates in Islam with his ummah.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Amongst the trees, there is a tree, the leaves of which do not fall and is like a Muslim. Tell me the name of that tree.” Everybody started thinking about the trees of the desert areas. And I thought of the date-palm tree but felt shy to answer. The others then asked, “What is that tree, O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)?” He replied, “It is the date-palm tree.” [Bukhari]
When the Prophet (ﷺ) compared date-palms to Muslims, he was saying that the believer is strong in their faith and is unyielding in their devotion to Allah (SWT). The believer is always reaching out for Allah (SWT), much like the leaves and branches of the date-palm reach for the sun. The date-palm and the fruit it bears can help nourish the land, just as the Muslim ummah can help nourish Islam itself by spreading the word of Allah (SWT) and following His word.He who eats seven Ajwa dates every morning, will not be affected by poison or magic on the day he eats them - Bukhari Click To Tweet
The health benefits of eating dates in Islam
The Prophet (ﷺ) has likened the date-palm to the believer, but he has also encouraged eating dates in Islam for their health benefits. In the Prophet’s (ﷺ) wisdom, he knew that eating dates in Islam would help the wellbeing of Muslims everywhere. He was reported to have said, “He who eats seven Ajwa dates every morning, will not be affected by poison or magic on the day he eats them.” [Bukhari]
Dates are filled with many vitamins and minerals that can keep us healthy, and 7 dates a day is the perfect serving size to help our bodies maintain a good physical balance. Rich in fibre, antioxidants and cholesterol free, these sweet fruits can boost your immune system and aid in protecting your body. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Indeed in dates there is a cure” [Muslim], and we can see today – as the Prophet (ﷺ) taught us – that consuming dates helps support an overall healthy body and mind.
- High amounts of protein
- Fibre, which helps lower the risk of heart disease and prevents constipation
- Vitamins such as B1, B2, B3, B5, A, C, K and D
- Selenium, manganese, copper and magnesium, for bone health
- Potassium, supports the nervous system
- Fluoride, which helps fight tooth decay
- Iron, which helps with anemia
- Natural sugars
The Qur’an also tells us of how eating dates Islam can help with the pains of pregnancy and birth in Surah Maryam. Maryam (as) experienced strong pains during her pregnancy with Isa (as), so Allah (SWT) instructed her to eat dates to ease her discomfort.
“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]
Eating dates during pregnancy can help ease labour pains, and help promote a healthy delivery for the baby. An article published by the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, confirm the benefits of eating dates in the late stages of pregnancy, stating that the consumption of dates “has been shown to positively affect the outcome of labour and delivery without adverse effect on the mother and child.” – SubhanAllah!
Breaking your fast by eating dates in Islam
Ramadan is a very popular time to eat dates because the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “When one of you breaks his fast, let him break it with dates for they are blessed. If they are not found, let him break it with water for it is pure.” [Tirmidhī] Dates can be found on iftar tables all over the world during the Holy month of Ramadan for Muslim families to enjoy surrounded by their loved ones.
The Prophet (ﷺ) himself used to break his fast with juicy dates during Ramadan, or would drink water in place of them if they weren’t available. They energize the body and are easily digested, which is important for someone who had been fasting all day with an empty stomach.
Eating dates during Ramadan, or any time of the year, can help you feel closer to our Prophet (ﷺ) and our religion. Eating dates in Islam is a tradition that comes with many benefits and is one that future generations of Muslims in our global ummah will continue to enjoy!
This year, you can pre-order your dates for Ramadan from Penny Appeal Canada and enjoy the delicious flavour of juicy Medjoul dates from Palestine, while helping those in need. Purchasing these dates from Palestinian farmers will empower them! All profits from sales will also go towards our Feed Our World campaign, providing essential supplies to communities during Ramadan. Pre-order your dates today experience the benefits of eating dates in Islam and to help protect the Holy Land and those living there from harm.