Treats during Ramadan and the Hajj
Date trees and palm oil trees come from the same family origin of plants – arecaceae or palmae. Even though it is from the same source, both of these plants provide different benefits from one another.
Dates receive the highest demands during the fasting month of Ramadan. The high sugar count is helpful for a fasting person. The same can be said during Hajj season. Dates and the zam-zam water are the sought souvenirs to be brought home. On the other hand, palm oil has an all-year demand for its versatility in processing foods and non-foods item.
Besides that, the durability of date trees are admired as they can flourish in a dry atmosphere and can last up to 60 years. Therefore, they are grown widely across the Middle-East. In comparison, oil palm is best grown in tropical regions to grow and it only has a lifespan of an approximate 25 years.
Other plants that belongs in the same family are the snakefruit trees, the metroxylon sagu, palm tree and others. The date trees are considered a blessed fruit among the Muslims as the family has been mentioned in the holy Quran multiple times.
A gift to humans
According to the General Manager of Kuiscell Sdn Bhd, Don Daniyal Don Biyajid, the date fruit is a food-sent gift to the Arabs. In accordance to the Sirah Nabawiyah, the date trees were grown bountifully across the Arabian Peninsula in the past while historically, the palm oil tree, which belongs in the same tree family was brought to our country from South Africa.
“The dates are one of the staple of our prophet,” says the celebrated personality. “This in fact is because the tree can be grown so bountifully in the Medina. Also, the trees were planted by the prophet himself. There are over a thousand type of dates that exist in the world but the Ajwa dates was his favourite. It is also known as the ‘Prophet’s Dates’ commercially worldwide. Don explains that the date trees thrive in Medina. There are three fruit valleys that provides the perfect irrigation. “One of the valley that were mentioned by the prophet is known as the Wadi Muthan. The irrigation is what gives the trees their fertility,” he says.
“Besides the valleys, the blessing and prayers of the Great Prophet Muhammad and The Prophet Ibrahim also plays a role. This was mentioned in the Surrah al-Baqarah, verse 126. Meanwhile, some other types of date was portrayed in Surrah Maryam, verse 25,” he continues.
The tale of Salman al-Farisi
“There are multiple stories that speaks of the date fruit. One of them is the story of Salman al-Farisi in regards of how he identified the last prophet which leads to his conversion to Islam. While travelling, Salman arrived at a farm that was owned by a Jewish farmer and decided to stay and build his career helping the farmer,” he begins.
“One day, he caught wind that the last prophet will arrive to Mecca from Medina on his pilgrimage. He then decided to meet with the prophet and he brought the dates that he had grown to be donated. After being handed the dates, the prophet gave the dates to his disciples who were accompanying him. He didn’t save a single one for himself,” he continues.
“On the very next day, Salman were to meet the prophet again. He brought some of his dates and they were to be given as a gift. This time around, the prophet took the fruits and ate some of them. He was then convinced that the very man in front of him is the real deal as said in the prophecy, the final prophet shall not receive donations but he is to receive gifts. He then converted to Islam,” according to Don.
“Different than the palm oil where there was never a sirah or hadith to tell the tale of the tree. However, if the prophet were to be sent in Malaysia, it’s not impossible that the oil palm would be as blessed as the date fruits,” he says with a chuckle. — The Health Plus
“The dates are one of the staple of our prophet, this in fact is because the tree can be grown so bountifully in the Medina. Also, the trees were planted by the prophet himself. There are over a thousand type of dates that exist in the world but the Ajwa Dates were his favourite.– Don Daniyal