Dates – The Popular Food Item In Ramadan
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: When one of you is fasting, he should break his fast with dates; but if he cannot get any, then (he should break his fast) with water, for water is purifying.
Dates are a highly popular food item worldwide, thanks to their nutritional properties that provide energy for extended periods. Muslims, in particular, consume dates throughout the year, with their popularity reaching its peak during Ramadan. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had a particular fondness for dates, and Muslims today regard them as part of the blessed prophetic diet. While opening the fast with dates is not mandatory, it is something preferred, as it is one of the habits and practices of the last prophet (pbuh).
There are many types of dates available, but Ajwa dates are the most noteworthy due to their amazing qualities. They are soft and delicate with a fine texture, and are cultivated in abundance in Saudi Arabia, particularly in the city of the Prophet (pbuh), Madinah al Munawwarah. The Ajwa date is mentioned in the Hadith, making it one of the foods recommended in the Sunnah. According to one Hadith, having seven Ajwa dates every morning can protect an individual from poison or magic.
During Ramadan, Muslims make an effort to open their fasts with dates according to the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). It is customary to consume dates at the time of Iftar, although it is not mandatory.
Ahadeeth related to dates:
Narrated Salman ibn Amir: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: When one of you is fasting, he should break his fast with dates; but if he cannot get any, then (he should break his fast) with water, for water is purifying.
Sunan Abu Dawood – Book 13 Hadith 2348
Narrated Anas ibn Malik: The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) used to break his fast before praying with some fresh dates; but if there were no fresh dates, he had a few dry dates, and if there were no dry dates, he took some mouthfuls of water.
Sunan Abu Dawood – Book 13 Hadith 2349
Narrated Anas bin Malik: Allah’s Apostle never proceeded (for the prayer) on the Day of ‘Id-ul-Fitr unless he had eaten some dates. Anas also narrated: The Prophet used to eat odd number of dates.
Sahih Al-Bukhari – Book 15 Hadith 73
Narrated Sad: Allah’s Apostle said, “He who eats seven ‘Ajwa dates every morning, will not be affected by poison or magic on the day he eats them.”
Sahih Al-Bukhari – Book 65 Hadith 356
Jabir b. Abdullah reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Do not mix fresh dates and dry dates, and grapes and fresh dates for preparing Nabidh. (Nabidh is a drink traditionally made from fruits such as raisins/grapes or dates.)
Sahih Muslim – Book 23 Hadith 4898
Narrated Anas ibn Malik: The Prophet (peace be upon him) held a wedding feast for Safiyyah with meal and dates.
Sunan Abu Dawood – Book 27 Hadith 3735