The Importance of Dates in the Quran and Sunnah

All praise and gratitude be to Allah SWT. May Allah SWT grant us the privilege to fast and worship Him in this Ramadan.

The Importance of Ramadan

Ramadan is a month of blessings, mercy, and forgiveness. Ramadan is a life opportunity for a Muslim to earn the pleasure of Almighty Allah SWT. Many, who passed away, do not have this privilege. In Ramadan a Muslim must sincerely turn back to Allah SWT and seek to attain piety (“Taqwa”). Therefore, a Muslim should use this month to cleanse his or her sins, to rid of bad habits, and to acquire a good character. One must multiply his or her virtuous deeds. He or she must practice patience, forbearance, and good conduct as the reward for these attributes is paradise (Jannah).

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ {183}

183. O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqûn (the pious – see V.2:2).

The prophet Muhammad PBUH said:

The month of Ramadan is coming upon you, a blessed month indeed. Allah required you to fast this month, and in this month the gates of heaven open, and the gates of hell close, and the satans are chained. There is a night in this month that is worth more than one thousands months, and anyone who is deprived of the blessing of this night is truly deprived.”

“Anyone who fasts with true Eman and expecting the reward from Allah, Allah SWT shall forgive all his/her sins.”

“Allah SWT Says: All the deeds are for the son of Adam, every good deed shall be rewarded ten times up to seven hundred times, except the fasting It is performed solely for my sake and I shall reward for it. The son of Adam leaves his desires, food, and drink for my sake.

“The person who fasts feels joy twice: He is happy when he breaks the fast and when he meets his Lord. The smell of the mouth of the person that fasts for the sake of Allah is more beloved to Allah than the smell of musk.

The Status of Dates in the Quran

Allah SWT stresses the importance of palm trees and dates in the Holy Quran:

وَفِي الأَرْضِ قِطَعٌ مُّتَجَاوِرَاتٌ وَجَنَّاتٌ مِّنْ أَعْنَابٍ وَزَرْعٌ وَنَخِيلٌ صِنْوَانٌ وَغَيْرُ صِنْوَانٍ يُسْقَى بِمَاء وَاحِدٍ وَنُفَضِّلُ بَعْضَهَا عَلَى بَعْضٍ فِي الأُكُلِ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ {4}

“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.” (Surah Al-Raad, verse 4)

Allah SWT directed Mary PBUH (the mother of Jesus PBUH) to eat fresh dates during the last phases of her pregnancy.

وَهُزِّي إِلَيْكِ بِجِذْعِ النَّخْلَةِ تُسَاقِطْ عَلَيْكِ رُطَبًا جَنِيًّا {25}

“Shake the trunk of the palm toward you and fresh, ripe dates will drop down onto you. So eat and drink and be glad, and if you see any human being, say: ‘Verily! I have vowed a fast unto the Most Beneficent (Allâh) so I shall not speak to any human being this day.'” (Surah Maryam: verses 25-26)

The holy Quran also mentions that believers will be offered dates in paradise.

The Status of Dates in the Traditions of the Prophet PBUH

The prophet Muhammad PBUH stressed the significance of eating dates:

“If you have a date, break your fast with it, if you don’t have it, break the fast with water as it is purifying.” (Abu Dawood)

“Break your fast by eating dates as it is purifying,” (Ahmad)

“ Ajwah dates are from Paradise.” (Al-Tirmidhi). Ajwah a variety of dates grown in the Madinah region in Saudi Arabia.

“There is a tree among the trees which is similar to a Muslim (in goodness), and that is the date palm tree.” Narrated by Ibn Umar (RA). (Bukhari)

The prophet PBUH often ate dates as a fruit or in combination with other fruits and vegetables

Abdullah ibn Jaafar, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated: “the Messenger ate cucumbers with dates.” (Al-Tirmidhi). In other narrations of Al-Tirmidhi, the Prophet PBUH ate dates with watermelon or muskmelon.

“Rubay bint Mu’awwidh ibn Afraa said: ‘I took a plate of fresh dates and small cucumbers to the Messenger. He gave me a handful of jewelry, or a handful of gold.’” (Al-Tirmidhi)

The Prophet PBUH stressed the value of dates in one’s diet:

 “People in a house without dates are in a state of hunger.” (Sahih Muslim)

The Prophet PBUH stressed the medicinal properties of dates:

“Whoever eats seven dates of the High Land of Madinah in the morning will not be harmed by poison and sorcery on that day.” (Bukhari)

The Prophet PBUH used to place a chewed date or honey in the mouth of a new born baby.

Virtues of Giving Charity and Feeding People

Allah SWT says in the holy Quran:

“The likeness of those who spend their money for Allah’s sake, is as the likeness of a grain (of corn), it grows seven ears, every single ear has a hundred grains, and Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala multiplies (increases the reward) for whom He wills, and Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala is All-Sufficient for His creatures needs, All Knower” [Surah Baqarah 2: 261]

The Prophet PBUH said:

“you should protect yourselves from hellfire even giving a portion of a date in charity.”

“Whoever gives iftar to one who is fasting will have a reward like his, without that detracting from the reward of the fasting person in the slightest.” Narrated by Zayd ibn Khaalid al-Juhani.

“Whoever feeds a fasting person will have a reward like that of the fasting person, without any reduction in his reward.” (Ahmad and Al-Nasai) and authenticated by Sheik Al-Albani as sahih.

“Allah, the Most Blessed and High, said: O son of Adam, spend. I will spend on you. Reported by Abu Hurayrah (RA) [Sahih Muslim ]

The Prophet (PBUH) was the most generous amongst the people, and he used to be more so in the month of Ramadan when Gabriel visited him, and Gabriel used to meet him on every night of Ramadan till the end of the month. The Prophet used to recite the Holy Qur’an to Gabriel, and when Gabriel met him, he used to be more generous than a fast wind (which causes rain and welfare). Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas (RA). [Sahih Bukhari :: Book# 31 :: Hadith# 126]