بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Enlargement of The Heart
1. The Benefit of Dates
Mujãhid narrated in sunan Abu Dãwoud that Sa’ïd said: “God’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم visited me during a sickness I had, he placed his hand between my nipples, and I felt its cool blessings in the organs that lie within the chest wall. He then commented: ‘You are suffering from enlargement of the heart (Arb. maf’oud). Call for al-Hãrith bin Kaladah. He practices medicine. Ask him to take seven dried Medina dates (‘ajwa), crush them with their seeds to form a medicinal compound, and let him massage your chest with their paste.'”
Medina dates have extraordinarily rich medicinal properties*, and the Prophet’s prescription of seven dates for this particular treatment has subtle spiritual value that can only be understood through faith. It is related in the two books of correct Propheti traditions (sahïh), that the father of Sa’ad bin Abi Waqqãss reported God’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم as saying: “Whoever takes seven dates of the plantation of ‘Aliya for his morning breakfast will suffer from neither poison nor witchcraft for that day.” (Bukhãri)
Dates are hot in the second degree and dry in the first. Some hakïms consider dates to be moist. Dates are an excellent nutritional food and particularly for those who are accustomed to them in their basic diet such as the dwellers of Medina, among others. Dates provide necessary dietary supplements in cold climates though they are more beneficial for the dwellers of hot climates. The stomachs of the dwellers of cold climates are hot, and the stomachs of the dwellers of the of hot climates are cold. This explains why the dwellers of the Arabian peninsula, Yemen, Ta’if and neighboring climates of hot climate, for example, tolerate excess hot foods such as honey and dates, and why they relish hot condiments and spices in their meals, adding to their food nearly ten times the amount customarily used in countries of cold and moderate climates; and in comparison to the dwellers of cold climates, they eat hot peppers and ginger and snack on their by-products in the same way others eat sweets. In fact, such diet agrees with them because their stomachs remain cool while the heat of their bodies rises to the surface of their skin. This is similar to wells and natural springs, wherein the water is cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Similarly, one’s stomach can digest coarse food in the winter it may not be able to burn up in the summer.
Hence, the dwellers of Medina, for example, depend greatly on dates for food in the
same way others may depend on wheat. From dates, they draw their needed energies and basic supplements. Medina’s dates of the date palms (phoenix dacti lifera) of ‘Ãliya are the best of varieties, and they are blackish in color, big, sweet and fleshy. They also have gained the blessedness of being planted by God’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم himself. Dates are considered food, medicine, as well as fruit. They agree with most people, increase sexual strength, and produce no harmful or indigestible waste matters as do several fruits. Instead, for a frequent user, dates prevent putrescence of humors (akhlãt) and their corruption.
Perhaps this prophetic saying deals particularly with the dwellers of Medina and their neighbors. Hence, it is possible that the agricultural products of each land provide critical medicine for its own dwellers. Should the same plant be sown in another area, it may not produce the same aforementioned nutritional values or medicinal effects. This will be due to the type of earth, water and air. In fact, there are as many varieties of soils as there are people, and each soil produces the necessary nutritional food needed by its people. Several types of plants may be edible in some lands while they are considered poisonous in others, or perhaps some plants may be medicine for some people yet food for others.
*Dates are rich in minerals and vitamins A, B, and D. Nutritional values in dried dates can reach near 85% to include: 78.0% hydrocarbon, 2.5% protein, 3.0% glycerides, and 1.5% minerals. Dates are rich in alkaline mineral salt that balance the acidity of meat, eggs, and bread. The nutritional components in moist dates are typically as follows: 30% water, 65% sugar, 2% protein, and 1% gelatin. Nutritional values of its sugar are double those of regular sugar.