Benefits of fruits and vegetables
A priceless gift for the fast-observing people
Maulana Muhammad Nawaz Attari Madani
(Graduate of Jami’ah-tul-Madinah, Mahnamah Faizan-e-Madinah, Karachi)
As science progresses, it continues to unlock the benefits and wisdom behind ritual worship in Islam. Undeniably, every type of worship in Islam correlates with human nature and benefits both the physical and spiritual needs of human beings. Sometimes these benefits may not be immediately apparent but nevertheless, they exist.
Fasting from dawn till dusk is one such act of worship. As a direct result of abstaining from food and drink for one apparently experiences physical weakness. Allah Almighty has created such blessings that not only control this weakness but also provide energy quickly. Take the date as an example; the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said about it, ‘When you break the fast, do so with a fresh date or a dry date as it is a blessing, and if you don’t find it, then use water as it is a purifier,’ (Tirmizi, vol. 2, p. 162, Hadith 695).
For the post-dusk meal (Iftar), the blessed practice of the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was to begin with fresh dates before Salah, but if they were not available, then with dry dates, and if they were not available either, then with a few handfuls of water. (Abu-Dawood, vol. 2, p. 447, Hadith 2356)
Hakeem-ul-Ummat, Mufti Ahmad Yar Khan Na’eemi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه writes: From this sequence, we learn that breaking the fast with fresh dates is very good but if they are not available, then with dry dates. Dates are readily available in the marketplaces during Ramadan. People typically buy them and send them to Masjids. The origin of all this is the aforementioned Hadith. (He further states:) He صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم would not break his fast with bread, rice, or any lavish food. Some people break their fast with a cigarette refuge is with Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ. Something pure should first enter a fasting person’s mouth; a cigarette is foul-smelling, and breaking the fast with it is also harmful to health. (Mirat-ul-Manajih, vol. 3, p. 155, summarised)
Dates have been mentioned approximately twenty-three times in the Holy Quran. It also has the honour of being the most favourite fruit of the final Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. The histories of Islam recall that the blessed companions رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُم would not only eat dates during normal circumstances, but they sufficed only on dates due to a scarcity of food during battles.
Despite the wealth of benefits that fasting entails, it certainly takes a toll on the body but dates quickly replenish lost calories and provide a source of immediate energy because they are packed with vital vitamins, minerals, and amino acid as several studies have confirmed. Beyond the context of fasting, dates have many health benefits and help with issues such as low blood pressure, paralysis, Bell’s palsy, and even migraines. At times, one suffers from a lack of blood due to a lack of nourishment, which results in one needing something at the time of Iftar that will fulfil this deficiency. There is nothing better than a date for this purpose. During the Prophetic era, a meal of parched grains known as Sattu and dates used to be a staple for soldiers. (Khajoor ki tehqeeq, p. 53)
Eating half-ripe and old dates at the same time is harmful. Consuming grapes with dates, mixing raisins or dry raisins with dates, eating dates and figs together, eating excessive dates in a state of weakness straight after recovering from an illness, or eating dates whilst suffering from an eye ailment is harmful. Do not eat more than 58 grams of dates at one time. When eating old dates, open them up and check them from inside, because sometimes they contain small insects, therefore clean them before eating them.
Ameer-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat دَامَـتْ بَـرَكَـاتُـهُـمُ الْـعَـالِـيَـهْ advices: Do not discard the pits of dates from Madinah Munawwarah زادَھَا الـلّٰـهُ شَرَفًا وَّ تَعْظِیْمًا. Instead, place them in a respectable place or in a river. If possible, grind them into small pieces and put them into a small box that sits in your pocket, consuming the pieces as a snack and gaining its blessings. Whenever anything belonging to any part of this world enters the atmosphere of Madinah, it belongs to Madinah. Therefore, the devotees of the Prophet revere it. (Faizan-e-Ramadan, p. 119)
May Allah Almighty enable us to appreciate His bounties and make us His grateful servants.
اٰمِیْن بِجَاہِ النَّبِیِّ الْاَمِیْن صَلَّی اللہ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلہٖ وَسَلَّم
(Note: Use foods only after consulting with your doctor. This article has been checked for Islamic accuracy by Hakeem Muhammad Rizwan Firdaus Attari)
A Gift from the Prophetic Court
3 Ramadan marks the passing away of Mufti Ahmad Yar Khan Na’eemi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه. With this relevance, a faith-enlightening account is presented below: Mufti Ahmad Yar Khan Na’eemi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه had selected a very expensive pen to use when writing his exegesis of the Quran which he would not use for any other purpose. Describing the incident, he writes: I liked a pen in a shop of Madinah Munawwarah but despite my desire to have it, I did not purchase it due to the price. I kept thinking in my heart that I only have the privilege of being here because I was granted permission by the blessed prophetic court; If I receive that pen from the prophetic court then it will be a most generous gesture. It was perhaps the same day or the next day when I finished offering praying Zuhr in Al-Masjid-e-Nabawi when a person came to meet me. Putting his hand in his pocket, he said, ‘I have a gift for you.’ He took his hand out and placed the gift in front of me. It was that expensive pen, yet I had not spoken to anyone about it. I was certain that my plea had been heard in the court of the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم which is why I received what I desired. After this, he said, ‘This pen is only for writing the exegesis of Quran…’ Now, when I sit to write the exegesis with this pen, such discussions enter my mind that I am left astonished. (Halaat-e-Zindagi, Hayat-e-Saalik, p. 147, summarised)
(To learn more about Mufti Ahmad Yar Khan Na’eemi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه, read, ‘Faizan-e-Mufti Ahmad Yar Khan Na’eemi’).