SHAFAQNA | by Nasibeh Yazdani – The Date is a well-known symbol of Ramadhan; as, traditionally, it is the customary food for breaking the fast.
During Ramadhan, the far-flung Muslim communities of the world are unified by one food: the date, one of the earliest cultivated crops and an ancient icon of the Middle East, where the thick-trunked date palm is a symbol of hospitality, rest and peace, Smithsonian Magazine reported.
Muslims all over the globe partake in a great variety of dishes and recipes for using the date, and many varieties are quite tasty eaten pitted and whole. The Times article quotes a cook and blogger who says that having an Iftar without dates would be like Thanksgiving without a Turkey.
The date is a great source of quick energy and nutrients so it makes a perfect food for someone who hasn’t eaten for a number of hours, according to Heimsath Architects.
The Date has a special place in Islamic history and cultures. Indeed, Muslims consider date palms and their fruit are sacred. In Arabic, the word for date palm is “Nahle” and its fruit is called “Tamr.” The Quran mentions dates 23 times, according to Daily Sabah.
In Surah Maryam of the Holy Quran, Allah (SWT) provided Prophet Isa’s (A.S) mother Maryam (S.A) with fresh dates when she was experiencing discomfort and pain during the final stages of her pregnancy.
“Shake the trunk of the palm toward you and fresh, ripe dates will drop down onto you.” (Quran 19:25)
The excellence of date palms is also referred to in the following verse of the Holy Quran:
“And in the earth are tracts (diverse though) neighboring, and gardens of vines and fields sown with corn, and palm trees — growing out of single roots or otherwise: watered with the same water, yet some of them We make more excellent than others to eat. Behold, verily in these things there are signs for those who understand.” (Quran 13:4)
The date is also referred to in the Holy Quran as one of the blessings that would be offered in Paradise. In the Hadith, a collection of sayings attributed to the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), it is recorded that he used to break his fast with either a few fresh or dried dates or a sip of water. If there were no dates on the Iftar table, he began with water, salt or olives. This nice tradition has continued and became a common well-known custom among all Muslims.
A cure-all fruit
There are many health benefits associated with eating dates, especially during Ramadhan. They are rich in natural sugars and so raise blood sugar levels almost immediately after fasting, helping to rebalance the body’s systems. The high carbohydrate content slows the digestion process, leaving you feeling fuller for longer, islam.ru mentioned.
Dates are an excellent source of important nutrients such as fiber, sugar, magnesium, potassium , carbohydrates, iron, phosphorous, copper and calcium .They contain vitamin A and numerous B-complex vitamins necessary for building healthy body tissue and muscle. So taking advantage of the benefits of the fruit during Ramadhan is very important.