The Islamic Bulletin
The Islamic Bulletin
DATES - Rich in Proteins & Vitamins
Muslims generally break their fast by eating dates. Prophet
Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is reported to have said,
anyone 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.”
The Prophet used to break his fast by eating some dates before
offering Maghrib prayer, and if ripe dates were not available,
he used to substitute them with some dried grapes. When these
too were not available, he used to have a few sips of water,
according to some reports.
Modern science has proved that dates are a part of a healthy
diet. They contain sugar, fat, and proteins, as well as important
vitamins. Hence the great importance attached to them by the
Dates are also rich in natural fibers. Modern medicine has shown
that they are effective in preventing abdominal cancer. They
also surpass other fruits in the sheer variety of their constituents.
They contain oil, calcium, sulphur, iron, potassium, phosphorus,
manganese, copper, and magnesium. In other words, one date
is a minimum of a balanced and healthy diet.
Arabs usually combine dates with milk and yogurt or bread,
butter and fish. This combination indeed makes a self-sufficient
and tasty diet for both mind and body.
Dates and date palms have been mentioned in the Holy Quran
20 times, thus showing their importance. The Prophet likened
a good Muslim to the date palm saying,
“Among trees, there
is a tree like a Muslim. Its leaves do not fall.”
Sayyidah Mariam (the Virgin Mary) had dates as her food when
she felt labor pains and during confinement. They are definitely
the “Crown of sweets,” and ideal food which is easy to digest,
and within half an hour of taking it, the tired body regains a
new vigor. The reason for this is that a shortage of sugar in the
blood is the main factor that makes people hungry and not an
empty stomach as is often assumed.
When the body absorbs the nutritional essence of a few dates,
the feeling of hunger becomes appeased. When one breaking
the fast with dates takes some other food afterwards, he cannot
eat much. It would seem that breaking the fast with dates then
helps one avoid excessive eating.
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 on one hand and reduces the bleeding after the
delivery on the other.
Dieticians consider dates as the best food for women in con-
finement and those who are breast-feeding. This is because
dates contain elements which assist in alleviating depression
in mothers and enriching the breast-milk with all the elements
needed to make the child healthy and resistant to disease.
The Prophet has emphasized the importance of dates and their
effectiveness in the growth of the fetus. He has also recommend-
ed they be given to women.
Modern dietary institutes now recommend dates to be given to
children suffering from a nervous nature or hyperactivity.
The Prophet has also recommended dates as a medicine for
heart troubles, according to some reports. Modern science has
also proved the effectiveness of dates, in preventing diseases
of the respiratory system.
Ayisha (R.A.), used to prescribe dates for those suffering from
It is now well-known that a fall in the level of the sugar in the
blood and low blood pressure are among the causes of giddi-
ness. She was also reported to have used dates combined with
cucumber to treat her over-slim condition. She said “they’ve
tried to fatten me giving me everything. But I did not become
fat. Then they fattened me with cucumbers and ripe dates and
Ayisha was quite correct. As we now know that one kilogram of
dates contains nearly 3,000 calories which alone are sufficient
to supply the minimum daily requirements of an active man
for one full day.
Dates are rich in several vitamins and minerals. When the level
of trace elements falls in the body, the health of the blood vessels
is affected leading to an increased heart-rate and a consequent
inability to perform its function with normal efficiency.
As dates are also rich in calcium, they help strengthen the bones.
When the calcium content in the body decreases, children are
affected with rickets and the bones of adults become brittle
Dates are also important in keeping up the health of the eyes.
It is quite effective in guarding against night-blindness. In the
early years of Islam, dates were served as food for Muslim
warriors. They used to carry them in special bags hung at their
sides. They are the best stimulant for muscles and so the best
food for a warrior about to engage in battle.
The Prophet used to combine dates with bread sometimes.
At other times he mixed ripe dates with cucumbers, or dates
combined with ghee. He used to take all varieties of dates, but
he preferred the variety called ajwah.
In the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah and the Holy Haram in
Makkah, large quantities of dates are supplied by generous
people on all days of Ramadan.
The miracle of the virgin conception of Mary, as depicted in the Qu-
ran, is a clear example of God’s absolute power and His domination
over the happenings of the universe. The immense significance of
this miracle is that it involved a physiological phenomenon taking
place which could not have occurred under the normal working of
the laws of nature. By discarding the natural process whereby male
and female unite to produce an offspring God demonstrated His
absolute power and domination. This was to convince mankind that
creation need not necessarily follow the rules of cause and effect
or be subjected to it. For God has the capacity to ordain a thing to
be and produce effects without prerequisite engendering causes.
Here, God is involved with four different processes of creation to
demonstrate that the reproduction and perpetuation of the human
species can be fulfilled without the necessity of physical contact
between male and female or their participation, if He so ordains.
These four processes are namely:
- the creation of Adam from dust;
- the creation of Eve from Adam (or female from male);
- the creation of mankind through the union of male and female;
- the birth of Jesus from a female without being touched by a male.
Thus has God accomplished the four kinds of creation of the hu-
Although birth and reproduction have been ordained to occur in
accordance with the union between male and female, the fruitful-
ness of any such union rests with God’s will and providence. About
this divine will, the Quran says:
“Unto God belongs the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth.
He creates what He will. He bestows female (offspring) upon
whomHe will, and bestows male (offspring) upon whomHe will.
Or He mingles them, males and females, and He makes barren
whom He will...” (Qur’an Al-Shura 42:49-50)
God tells believers not to succumb to despair or confusion if they fail
to account for causes and effects, because ultimately it is He alone
that determines all causes and their effects as He wills, regardless of
laws or norms. With this knowledge at hand, the believer is better
prepared to confront the upheavals of daily life with greater confi-
dence in God’s providence and omniscience. This faith rekindles his
heart and soul with renewed hope. The thought of unaccountable
happenings occurring is no longer disturbing or frightening. Once this
faith takes root in the believer’s heart, the true believer firmly holds
the conviction that God is capable of ordaining happenings and events
in isolation of their due causes. This unwarranted despair is referred
to in the Surah of the Family of Imran (Al ‘Imran), wherein God says:
“(Remember) when the wife of ‘Imran said: My Lord! I have
vowed unto You that which is in my womb as a consecrated
(offering). Accept it fromme. Lo! (You, only You) are the Hearer,
the Knower. And when she was delivered she said, My Lord! I
am delivered of a female...” (Qur’an Al ‘Imran 3:35-6)
The sentence “I am delivered of a female”, spoken by Imran’s wife,
indicating her disappointment that the child born was not a male,
illustrates the kind of despair which we are cautioned not to let in-
filtrate our faith in God and His wisdom. Imran’s wife had pledged
to offer her unborn child to the service of God and had, therefore,
felt certain that He would give her a son who, in her reckoning,
would be better able to serve Him. This was an unfounded belief to
which God replies:
“(God knew best of what she was delivered).
The male is not as the female.” (Qur’an Al ‘Imran 3:36)
In this verse, God again cautions us not to judge His decrees and plans
in terms of our imperfect knowledge and logic. In all divine acts is a pur-
pose that might not be obvious at the time of their actual manifestation.
This verse also corrects the misconception that males are superior to
females in the service of God or in fulfilling His purpose. Hence came
the reminder that ‘The male is not as the female.’ In other words, the
daughter Imran’s wife had given birth to was much more worthy than
any son she could have wished for. God alone knew what the great
significance of the birth of this female child to mankind would be.
In preparing Mary for her predestined role, God planned that she
should be offered by her mother to His service in the temple. Her
spiritual education began by being instilled with faith in God’s
power to make things happen independent of their natural causes.
She was given evidence of this when He provided her with food
that was unlike any found on earth and with fruit out of season.
Despite many divine signs, however, Mary continued to doubt the
possibility of a miracle conception, asking Gabriel, who had come
to announce to her God’s will:
“How can I have a son when no mortal has touched me, neither
have I been unchaste?” (Qur’an Maryam 19:20)
To reinforce her faith and reassure her of His almighty power, God
said to her through Gabriel:
“So (it will be). Your Lord says: It is easy for Me. And (it will be)
that We may make of him a revelation for mankind and a mercy
from Us.” (Qur’an Maryam 19:21)
What God was saying to Mary was “Do you wonder at what is hap-
pening to you after all that you have seen of My limitless power?”
Another Verse (3:49) tells us that Jesus was given the power to “heal
him who was born blind, and the leper, and raise the dead by God’s
leave”. In other words, the true healer was God Himself. He was,
likewise, the One who gave life and took it. On the other hand,
we have the second class of miracles which Jesus could perform
spontaneously, using the divine powers already vested in him. Unlike
the former class, God revealed to him the secrets of these (latter)
miracles and gave him access to His knowledge regarding them.
Thus, although he was given the power to revive the dead, neither
he nor any other Prophet was given the secret of life and death.
Despite the miracles that demonstrated the power of the Absolute
and the support it gave Jesus from the moment he was born until his
death, the Israelites rejected his message and refused to believe in
his God. They seemed to alienate themselves further from God and
began to plot against him and cast doubt about his message, exactly
as they had previously done to Moses. Even when they seemed to
have rid themselves of the attraction of the material world, their
faith did not last long and they always regressed to their old ways
and the worship of matter, as is stated in the following verse:
“But when Jesus became conscious of their disbelief, he cried:Who
will be helpers in the cause of God? The disciples said: We will be
God’s helpers. We believe in God, and bear witness that we have
surrendered (unto Him) [are Muslims].” (Qur’an Al ‘Imran 3:52)
Thus Jesus began to look for true believers and supporters when he
discovered that all the miracles and evidence he brought the Israelites
could not weaken their deeply-rooted corruption and love for the
material world. In seeking disciples to carry on his message after his
ascension, Jesus was showing his despair that the Israelites would never
see the light of truth, that they would ever cease to fight his religion.
He put all his hope in spreading his message tomankind in his disciples
and the few supporters who truly believed in his God, and began to
teach them the content and purpose of his divine message. He ex-
plained to them the commands and injunctions contained in his mes-
sage and made them pledge to spread it throughout the whole world.
Indeed the message of Jesus was an embodiment of the limitless
power of God’s will, which was manifested throughout Jesus’ life. It
showed itself most vividly when God revealed to Imran’s wife that
He alone knew best why she should give birth to a girl. The same
divine power showed itself in providing Mary with food unlike any
other. Finally the immaculate conception and birth of Jesus, his
ability to speak and defend his mother when he was but a few days
old gave further evidence of the Almighty will of God.