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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ramadan: Dates so sweet

Dates (Photo by abcdz2000)
It is said that Muhammad broke his fasts with dates so sweet that Muslims around the world continue this tradition each Ramadan evening.

Miracles of the Qur’an cites a number of scriptural passages in which the fruit of the date palm is highly praised.  Qur’an, 55:68 praises this fruit as “one of the blessings of Paradise.”  In Surah Maryam (Qur’an, 19:23-26), Mother Mary is experiencing excruciating labor pains as she gives birth to Baby Jesus.  This passage reads:  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…”

In Shake the Palm Tree, Um Yusuf as-Siddiq recounts the story of  “The Muslim and the Date-Palm Tree.”  In it the Prophet compares the date-palm tree, “the leaves of which do not fall,” to Muslims.  Sheikh Ibrahim Dremali concluded that Muhammad said this because Muslims will bring benefits “wherever they are and at any given time.”  The Sheikh also emphasized that every single part of the tree is beneficial “from the roots to the leaves to the dates.”

The dates are particularly beneficial after a fast because of their nutritional value.  The easily-accessible fructose and dextrose in dates quickly raises post-fasting blood sugar levels.  According to, dates are also rich in dietary fiber, tannins, antioxidant flavonoids, Vitamin A, iron, potassium, pyridoxine, calcium, manganese, copper and magnesium.


Copyright July 18, 2012 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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