The Prophet (ﷺ) knew their importance and shared them with the world
Dates: fruit of the date palm, fruit of the Prophet (ﷺ) and an important fruit to Muslims all over the world. Dates are a staple in any Muslim household, one that we all know and love – but do you know the importance of eating dates in Islam?
Dates or the date-palm are mentioned in the Qur’an 22 times, which is more than any other fruit tree, so we know their significance is rooted deep in Islam. The Prophet (ﷺ) knew of their benefits, and greatly 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.
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.
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 date 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.
- A strong source 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, which are good for bone health
- Potassium, which helps support the nervous system
- Fluorine, which helps fight tooth decay
- Iron, which helps with anaemia
- 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.
Eating dates during pregnancy can help ease labour pains, and help promote a healthy delivery for the baby. 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. 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.” – Alhamdulillah!
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!