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Dates - the wonder-fruit -
Posted By:jasmin On 10/15/2008

 

Dates - the wonder-fruit - Daily News of October 13, 2008

It may come as a surprise to many that the AlQuran, the holy book of the Muslims has a chapter named Mariam (chapter 19) after the mother of Jesus.

It talks of her miraculous conception as follows:

Relate in the Book (the story of) Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place in the East.

(16) She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them: then we sent to her Our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects. (17) She said: "I seek refuge from thee to (Allah) Most Gracious: (come not near) if thou dost fear Allah." (18) He said: "Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord (to announce) to thee the gift of a holy son." (19) She said: "How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?" (20) He said: "So (it will be): thy Lord said `That is easy for Me: and (We wish) to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us':

it is a matter (so) decreed." (21) So she conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place. (22) And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree: she cried (in her anguish): "Ah! would that I had died before this! Would that I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight!" (23) But (a voice) cried to her from beneath the (date palm-tree):

"Grieve not! for thy Lord hath provided a rivulet beneath thee; (24) "And shake towards thyself the trunk of the date palm-tree: it will let fall fresh ripe dates upon thee. (25) "So eat and drink and cool (thine) eye.

And if thou dost see any man say 'I have vowed a fast to (Allah) Most Gracious, and this day will I enter into no talk with any human being.' " (26) At length she brought the (babe) to her people, carrying him (in her arms) they said: "O Mary! truly an amazing thing hast thou brought. (27) "O sister of Aaron, thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a woman unchaste!" (28) But she pointed to the babe.

They said: "How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?" (29) He said: "I am indeed a servant of Allah: He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet; (30) "And He hath made me Blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live; (31) "(He) hath made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable; (32) "So Peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)"!

(33) Such (was) Jesus the son of Mary: (it is) a statement of truth, about which they (vainly) dispute.*

(Incidentally, if anyone is interested in obtaining an English translation of the Quran, they can get one free by calling Almuslimaath on 2736577)

It is noteworthy that Allah had asked her to eat the dates for childbirth. It is found that this wonderful fruit has oxytocin, a hormone which assists in childbirth by making the uterus contract systematically. Not only that, fresh dates is a premium source of vitamin C and are fat free, cholesterol free, and are a good source of fiber. Dates also contain Vitamin A1, B1, B2, B3, B5, C, 10 essential minerals and more than 20 different amino acids, helping us digest and assimilate carbohydrates easier and control blood sugar levels and fatty acids content in our bodies.

Since the sugar in it is a combination of sucrose and fructose it is perfectly safe for diabetics too.

The selenium in it lowers the risk of cancer and heart diseases, as well as helps us keep our immune systems healthy.

As a single date contains around 23 calories, this very low calorie count and the huge amount of healthy substances in dates make them one of the best nutrition sources for a diet plan menu.

Dates are the number one remedy to eradicate anemia from our blood. It's high fiber content helps in bowel motion and also prevents bowel cancer.

Prophet (sal) asked us to give chewed dates to newborn baby and science has found that it helps the child to overcome hypoglycemia so that it can face the new environment better. Prophet (sal) also said "Indeed in dates there is cure" (Muslim).

During Ramadan, Muslims have been eating a lot of dates since it is sunna (recommended in the religion) to break fast with dates. Since it has the correct amount of nutrients, it sustains the blood sugar very well. Many of my friends and I have been fasting during Ramadan, which means staying without food or water for 12 hours at a time, for more than 5 years, just by taking three dates and a cup of coffee or tea with or without milk for sahar(early morning meal). Some of them are diabetics on medication too, but did not find any discomfort.

Like the coconut tree, every part of the date palm tree, the trunk, leaves, the flower and the fruit - all are useful to man in different ways.

Even the seeds can be ground and roasted, to make what is known as 'date coffee' which makes a delicious drink. It can be also be mixed with wheat flour to make bread.

Many Arabs survived for months or years on dates and milk of camel or goat milk which substituted the low fat content.

What with the rising Cost of Living, may be we all need to look at this miraculous fruit more appreciatively and not only consider eating more of it, but also planting it in Sri Lanka. Whether our soil and weather are suitable to grow the date palm tree is to be seen. If it does, may be we will find the solution for poverty in this simple plant.




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