Dates can prevent cancer and are good for pregnant women
You have perhaps already known that breaking the fast with dates is the sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), but have you explored further why dates are foods of the sunnah? And why Allah (SWT) ordered Maryam the Mother of Isa (AS) in the Holy Qur’an Surah Maryam 19: 23-26 to shake the palm trunk and eat the fruit when she was in a weak condition during delivery? We as Muslims should know the benefits of dates for human health, as mentioned in a hadith:
Aisha (RA) said: The prophet (SAW) said: “Indeed in dates, there is a cure”. [Reported by Muslim (14/3) and Ahmad (6/152)].
Dates are fruits that grow from the family of Arecaceae palm trees of the genus phoenix. The scientific name of the date palm is dactylifera phoenix. Dates are believed to have originated from the land around the Nile and the Euphrates. The number of different types of palms alone are in the hundreds and are spread throughout countries such as Libya, Iraq, Sudan, Egypt, Turkey, Algeria, USA, Tunisia, Oman, Morocco, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel. Saudi Arabia itself has varieties of dates such as Ajwa, Al-Barakah, Khalasah, Medjool, Sag’ai, Sukkary, Sellaj, Safawi, Khudri, and many more.
Fresh dates have fibrous flesh, are soft and very sweet of taste. Dates contain simple sugars like fructose and dextrose that are easily digested and quickly recharge the body’s energy. Because of these characteristics, it is suitable for breaking the fast with dates because dates can replace the energy lost due to the body not receiving any food and water intake for a full day. Our body will be directly energized when breaking with dates because of nutrients contained in them.
Ripe dates contain about 80% sugar and the remainder consists of protein, fat and mineral products like copper, iron, magnesium and folic acid. Dates are rich in fiber and an excellent source of potassium as well. Five dates (about 45 grams) contain around 115 calories and is almost entirely composed of carbohydrates. Due to the high sugar content, when we consume dates it must be balanced by reducing sugar intake from other foods.
Saudi Arabia’s people are fond of Sukkary dates, perhaps because its texture is soft and very sweet of taste. Dates from Safawi and Ajwa are not too sweet and both are commonly found in Medina. As quoted from the daily Arab News, according to health experts, Ajwa Dates include many flavonoid glycosides, which have anti-oxidant properties. Beside anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory advantages, the sugar in Ajwa Dates consists of monosaccharaides that are beneficial for people who suffer from Type 2 diabetes. Ajwa Dates have also been discovered to have a cyclo-oxygenase inhibitory effect that is close to the commercial anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, Celebrex and naproxen.
Ajwa dates are also known as the Prophet dates and are mentioned in some of the following hadith because of the several benefits for humans:
Narrated by Saud; The Messenger (SAW) said, “If Somebody takes seven ‘Ajwa Dates in the morning, neither magic nor poison will hurt him that day.” [Sahih Bukhari, Book # 71, Hadith # 664 (also 663, 672)]
The Messenger (SAW) said, “Ajwa Dates are from paradise.” [Tirmidhi (2068) he said hasan Saheeh and it was authenticated by Shaikh al-Albaani]
Referring to eating seven Ajwa dates, the Messenger (SAW) said, “He will not be harmed by anything until he reaches the evening.” [Sahih Muslim (2047)]
A’isha reported Allah’s Messenger (SAW) as saying: “The ‘Ajwa’ Dates of ‘Aliya’ contain heating effects and these are antidote in the early morning.” [Sahih Muslim, Book # 023, Hadith # 5083]
Narrated Sa’d: The Prophet said, “If somebody takes some ‘Ajwa dates, every morning, he will not be effected by poison or magic on that day till night.” (Another narrator said seven Dates). (Sahih Bukhari)
Other benefits of dates include relief from constipation, bone health and strength, intestinal disorders, heart problems, anemia, sexual dysfunction, diarrhea, energy booster, and the promotion of nervous system health. Furthermore, consumption of 1 date per day will maintain eye health.
In a modern medical survey, it has been discovered that dates are useful in preventing abdominal cancer. Dates function as a useful tonic for all phase groups, and they may work better than traditional medicines. Dates are natural medication so that they do not give any negative side impacts to our bodies.
Based on a research study by Jordan University of Science and Technology in 2007-2008 on 69 women who consumed six date fruits per day for 4 weeks before their estimated date of delivery, when compared with 45 women who consumed none, it was found that the consumption of date fruit in the last 4 weeks before labour significantly reduced the need for induction and augmentation of labour and produced a more favourable, but non-significant, delivery outcome.