بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Balancing One’s Diet as A Primary Preventive Medicine
It is related in the two correct prophetic traditions (Bukhari and Muslim) that ‘Abdullah bin Ja’afar said: “I saw God’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم eating fresh ripe dates with cucumber.”
The Benefits of Eating Fresh Dates and Cucumbers
It is essential to maintain good health by controlling one’s diet and balancing one’s intake of food and fruits. Creating equilibrium of food will dispel any harm they may contain, and optimize their benefits. Fresh ripe dates (Arb. ratib) are hot and moist in the second degree. They relieve symptoms of bad temperament of the stomach caused by low caloric value in one’s diet, and relieve the condition of cold-natured substances in the stomach. They also agree with the stomach, relieve intestinal malabsorption and correct weakness of digestion, as well as they rectify hot constitution of the body when combined with an oxymel* or with bitter pomegranate. However, ripe dates deteriorate rapidly. Fresh ripe dates also increase male’s seminal fluid and sexual power, though eating excessive ripe dates will agitate the blood, develop headache, obstruct blood vessels, develop ache of the bladder, increase thirst, and damage one’s teeth. On the other hand, cucumbers are cold and moist in the second degree. They quench the thirst and stimulate one’s energies even by their fragrant smell. They cool bad temperament of the stomach, balance gastrointestinal functions, and abate fever. When cucumber seeds are dried, ground, sifted and then emulsified, drinking such emulsion will quench the thirst, act as a diuretic, and relieve ache of the bladder, while brushing one’s teeth with ground dried cucumber seeds whitens the teeth, among other benefits.
Altogether, fresh ripe dates are hot and cucumbers are cold. Each one of them will compensate for the other, balance the body’s natural defenses, and smooth the digestive process. The bad effects of dates can also be neutralized by eating almond and poppy seeds. In fact, countering each bellicose substance with its opposite will balance it, nullify its malignancy, and bring forth its benefits. This is in essence the basis of the natural law of opposites, and this is the basis of medical treatment, the foundation of preserving a healthy and strong body, and moreover, it is the core of medical science. It is narrated in the traditions that ‘Aisha, God be pleased with her, said: “They nourished me with every type of food to gain weight, yet I did not put on any. They then added cucumber and fresh dates to my diet and that did it.” Thus, cold is treated with hot, hot with cold, moist with dry, and dry with moist. This will expel their harm and balance their effects. Similar to this theory is the prophetic guidance of mixing senna together with ghee and honey (sanüt) as a natural mild laxative, for the sanüt** balances the effects of senna leaves. All praises be to Allah, and may He shower His utmost blessings upon His Messenger, صلى الله عليه و سلم, who was sent to help rectify the conditions of the hearts, give guidance on maintaining good health, and to benefit everyone concerning their welfare in this world and in the hereafter.
*Oxymel: an Eastern preparation made of five parts of honey to one part vinegar.
**Cf. X Dryness of Temperaments, which should be posted soon inshaAllah.