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Saturday, 14 August 2010

Know your dates

Which dates to eat?

There are many types of dates. The ones we usually see are dried black or brown dates. There are also fresh yellow and red dates which are more nutritious. The yellow dates are small and round, and sweeter than the red dates. The red dates are tart (kelat atau putik) and don't taste sweet at all. Both the yellow and red dates are available at TESCO in KB.

Ustaz Saibon Ismail (then Pejabat Agama Islam KB in 20110, now Jabatan Mufti Pejabat Sultan Kelantan in 2017) alerted us (Jemaah Umrah 2010) to the different types of dates and their uses. The dates are known by different names (Arabic rutab, tamar, etc) based on their colours and ripening stage. Rutab is fresh dates while tamar is dried dates.

Ajwa' are dates of the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. These are small black dates. Some are grown in India and some are grown in Saudi Arabia.


Different dates serve different purposes.


(1) BREAKING OF THE FAST

For breaking of the fast (Malay - buka puasa; Arabic - iftar), it is suggested to eat the yellow or red dates. If there is none of these, then eat the brown or black dates. The yellow or red dates are preferred over the brown or black dates.


(2) INFERTILITY PROBLEMS

For mothers, it is suggested that they take yellow or red dates for overcoming problems of infertility.


(3) MENSTRUATING WOMEN

For menstruating ladies, it is suggested that they take yellow or red dates for their health.


Fresh yellow dates are highly nutritious. Keep them refrigerated. 

Fresh red dates are highly nutritious. Keep them refrigerated. 

Cold fresh red dates. Keep refrigerated.


Update on dates, 4 June 2017:

WASHING DATES

It is advised that dried dates must be washed or rinsed prior to eating. They are covered with desert dust, dirt and sand.  

Dates come from date palms which grow in the desert where the winds blow strongly across the desert sands and date plantations. Dust gather on the dates.

When harvesting, the date bunches are recklessly thrown on the desert sand by the date palms. They are picked up and packed into boxes for selling and export. The dates are not washed before packing.

Wash the dates under running tap water and squeeze then lightly. Rinse last with plain cool boiled water or filtered water. Washed dates are shiny and with soft skin which tear easily. The flesh is also soft and easily falls apart. 

Wash the dates just prior to eating and eat them immediately after washing. Refrigerate any unused washed dates. Eat them at the next meal.


DATES HELP TO OVERCOME DIARRHOEA

Cholecystectomy is surgical removal of the entire gallbladder. I have had cholecystectomy done four years ago, but the dumping syndrome that ensued is wrecking me today. So searched for natural remedies. Two pieces of wholemeal bread is able to stop daily bouts of diarrhoea (3-5 times daily before 12 noon) under normal circumstances, but not during Ramadan fasting.

The Prophet has said that if you eat 7 dates a day, you won't suffer from abdominal ailments. To observe this statement in reality, I have tried taking dates after failing to stop diarrhoea for many days, even after I went to clinic. 

During the first week of Ramadan fasting (25 May - 3 June 2017), two pieces of wholemeal bread is insufficient and I was purging 3 times daily for no reason. Then I took 3 washed dried dates for iftar and a few more dates at sahur. After 1 week of Ramadan fasting, I no longer have diarrhoea even though I take a high-fat meal of fried catfish, fried rice, BBQ chicken and ayam percik with santan dressing. Santan dressing is a thick coconut milk dressing for roasted chicken.

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