Imagine that you were living before the time of the prophet SAW. Divine scripts have foresaid the coming of the seal of prophethood. So everyone keen to know where he would come. What were the signs and the probable place? Hazrat Salmaan Farsi r.a. heard it from a monk: ‘’..the last prophet would emigrate to a land whereby there would be volcanic rocks and lot of date palm trees…’’(Baihaqi) Hence dates take an emblamatic nature for the prophethood of Rasouloullah SAW.
Allah Ta`ala has prescribed fresh rutab dates to Hazrat Mariam a.s. at time of delivery(19:25). And know that the blessed tree mentioned in the holy Qur-aan is the date palm tree: ‘’Have you not considered how Allah presents an example, [making] a good word like a good tree, whose root is firmly fixed and its branches [high] in the sky?’’(14:24) It is reported in Bukhari that the beloved prophet SAW was presented to eat from the heart of a palm tree whereby he asked: ‘’Which tree that its leaves does not fall and is wholly as beneficial to others like the muslim?’’ Abdullah bin Umar r.a. knew the answer, but ashamed, he kept quiet. The beloved prophet SAW then said: ‘’The date palm tree!’’. In fact every single part of a date palm tree can be useful to us. Like a muslim is anchored with imaan and benefit others with da`wat and good manners, the date palm tree anchors in the ground and extend its shades to anyone coming near.
The coir or the fibres taken from the trunk of the date palm were used to fill the leather pillow of the beloved prophet SAW. Know that it is sunnah to drink nabeez of dates. The preparation is done by soaking unpitted dates in water for one night in a covered untensil. Then in the morning, press the dates and drink the water.
Know that before the mimbar, the beloved prophet SAW used to lean against the trunk of a date palm tree. At the site of Masjid An Nabawi SAW, there were date palm trees. They went cut off and their trunks became the pillars of the masjid. The roof of the masjid was date palm branches and the carpet was pure soil! Refer to the hadith of lailatul qadr where the beloved prophet SAW made sajdah in mud.
To start life, the beloved prophet SAW used to chew some dates and then make the tahneek or put a piece of chewed dates in the mouth of the new born baby as the first meal! The beloved prophet SAW used to consume fresh dates(rutubs) or any dates and also water as iftaar.(Abu Dawood) He said also: ‘’Dates are really a good meal for sehri!’’(Abu Dawood).
And know that when for months there was no food in the houses of the prophet, then the prophet Swalallahou `Alaihi Wasallam and his family would feed only on dates and water for months!(Bukhari)
In fact in virtue of dates, the beloved prophet SAW said:
عَنْ عَائِشَةَ أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ لَا يَجُوعُ أَهْلُ بَيْتٍ عِنْدَهُمْ التَّمْرُ مسلم
‘’That household that has dates will not face famine.’’(Muslim)
So sunnah to put the dates on the menu of your Iftaar, sehri, breakfast and a starter for all menus!
Furthermore, know that rutabs are freshly ripe dates. The beloved prophet SAW used to like rutab lot and consume them at iftaar.
Tamr means not fresh, but darken dates that can be stocked. Normal dates are all tamr.
The virtue of Ajwa dates excel to other dates as per the sayings of the beloved prophet SAW. The beloved prophet SAW said: ‘’Ajwa date is from paradise.’’(Tirmizi) He also said: ‘’One who consume 7 Ajwa dates in the morning, he will be protected from poisons and witchcraft.’’(Bukhari) And the ‘’Ajwa of farms ‘Aliya(place in Madinah) has got cures it.’’(Muslim)
Also reported in Abu Dawood that the beloved prophet SAW prescribed a sahabah suffering from heart or cardiac disease to take seven Ajwa dates with pits. Then crush them all together with their pits to make a paste. Then mix with water as a medication to be taken daily.
That is why the best items you may bring from Umrah are ZamZam water and Ajwa dates.
Except for sickly people, diabetics and conjunctivitis(soared eyes), the sunnah of dates is as good daily at home, during travelling and during famines.
Since rutab dates are hot in nature, the beloved prophet SAW used to accompany dates with cucumber and watermelon.
If you have a garden, then do plant one two date palm trees as the beloved prophet SAW did plant date palm trees with his mubarak hands. And bring dates in our life even after Ramadhaan as it is sunnah to eat dates all year round.
And finally know that tasbeeh is not bid`ah as sahabas used to keep date pits for their tasbeehs. The hadith hereunder mentions that our mother Safiyya kept 4000 date pits to complete her tasbeeh. (Mustadrak hakim):
حدثنا علي بن حمشاذ العدل ، ثنا هشام بن علي السدوسي ، ثنا شاذ بن فياض ، ثنا هاشم بن سعيد ، عن كنانة ، عن صفية رضي الله عنها قالت : دخل علي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وبين يدي أربعة آلاف نواة أسبح بهن ، فقال : « يا بنت حيي ما هذا ؟ » قلت : أسبح بهن ، قال : « قد سبحت منذ قمت على رأسك أكثر من هذا » قلت : علمني يا رسول الله ، قال : « قولي سبحان الله عدد ما خلق من شيء » . « هذا حديث صحيح الإسناد ولم يخرجاه . وله شاهد من حديث المصريين بإسناد أصح من هذا » المستدرك للحاكم