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Ramadan 2016

Dates (Part 1)

During the month of Ramadan, dates are available abundantly. This is because
Muslims generally break their fast by eating dates. They try to follow the teaching Holy Prophet (S.A.W). In a Hadith it mentions, "If any one of you is fasting, let him break his fast with dates. In case he does not have them, then with water. Verily water is a purifier."

Holy Prophet (S.A.W) used to break His fast by eating dates before offering the Maghrib prayer, and if ripe dates were not available, he would substitute them with dried ones. When even these were not available, he used to have a few sips of water, according to some accounts.

Dates contain sugar, fat, and proteins, as well as important vitamins. They are rich in natural fibers and therefore eating them helps to fight many of the ailment with which we commonly suffer today. Modern medicine has shown that eating dates is effective in helping to prevent abdominal cancer.

Dates also surpass other fruits in the sheer variety of their constituents. They are the most wholesome food among fruits because of their hot and moist substance. Eating dates in the morning on an empty stomach kills intestinal worms and other parasites, for dates have an antidotal potency which inhibits their growth. They contain calcium, sulphur, iron, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, copper, magnesium, and volatile oils.

Dates and date palms are mentioned in the Quran twenty times, thus showing their importance. The Holy Prophet (S.A.W) likened a good Muslim to the date palm saying, "Among trees, there is a tree like a Muslim. Its leaves do not fall."

It is the fruit Almighty Allah provided for Sayyidah Maryam (R.A) when she felt labour pains and after she gave birth to Hazrat Isa (A.S) under the palm tree. Allah Almighty revealed to her the following Ayah:

"And shake the trunk of date palm towards you. It will shed fresh ripe dates upon you." (Irfan ul Quran Surah maryam, Verse 25)

Experiments have also shown that dates contain some stimulants which strengthen the muscles of the uterus in the last months of pregnancy. This helps the dilation of the uterus at the time of delivery and reduces postnatal bleeding. Dieticians consider dates the best food for breast feeding mothers. This is because dates contain elements that assist in alleviating depression and enrich the breast milk with the nutrients needed to make the child healthy and resistant to disease.