When we look at Ramadan, we often look at it as a month of restriction and simplicity. Whilst this may be true, if you examine deeper you will see just how much Ramadan is a month of great provision. In this month we see through our restriction from food and drink, and through our concerted effort to abstain from the haram, we are given so much more. We are learning to train our hearts and minds to make Allah the centre focus of our lives. We commit to fasting from dawn to sunset. We commit to guarding our eyes and our tongues from that which displeases Allah. Whilst we honour our spiritual needs, we can often neglect our physical needs.
Often times we abstain from food and drink, only to be excessive in our food consumption as we break our fast. We have to understand our bodies have rights upon us, and we have the opportunity to not only cleanse our hearts but also our physical bodies by eating that which is good for us.
In the Qur'an, Allah mentions several ayaat about fruit. We have compiled a list of some of the fruits mentioned and some of the benefits. It is important in this blessed month that we strive to eat good, wholesome food. We hope some of the fruits highlighted will inspire you to use them and with the right intention, can be a means of reward for you too.
The Book of Allah provides spiritual healing for believers, a social remedy for society and even a physical cure for ailments. Allah says in the Qur’an:
This is mentioned three times in the Qur'an. The Prophet (PB) said pomegranates strengthen digestion. It is known as one of the fruits of paradise. The peel of the pomegranate is known to calm diarrhoea caused by any digestive problems. They are known as a super food, as they contain high levels of antioxidants good for a healthy heart.
Grapes have great hydrating elements, which are good for increasing moisture in the lungs. They help with overcoming constipation. They have key nutrients that help them with eye health. They also help with the secretion of milk which helps with mothers who are breastfeeding thus they are recommended to drink grape juice.
Allah told Maryam (as) to eat them during childbirth and the Prophet (PBUH) recommended we break our fast with them. Dates are great energy boosters as they contain natural sugars like glucose, sucrose and fructose. Have an odd number of dates immediately for Iftar and while you pray Maghrib they will prepare your body for the rest of your meal and also prevent overeating.
In the Qur'an, Allah takes an oath by the Olive tree, referred to as a ‘blessed tree’. They are known for lowering blood pressure as well as a preventing heart disease. They contain a significant level of antioxidants that can prevent against cancer. Eat some fresh olives upon breaking your fast.
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Figs have a good source of various vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre. They are most popularly used to prevent constipation and improve the digestive system. Figs also help improve the heart’s health, preventing heart diseases in the long run through its omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These benefits will help greatly, specifically for the stomach during Ramadan!
Pumpkins are full of health benefits that can shape towards maintaining our fasts with ease. Consuming pumpkin helps towards maintaining a healthy heart as well as preventing cancer with its large amount of antioxidants and cancer-protective properties. Pumpkins also help to lower blood pressure and improve sleep, helping you to relax and unwind after long fasts.
This isn’t a fruit, yet has multiple benefits just like the fruits mentioned. Honey has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, beneficial for wounds or poor skin conditions. Honey strengthens the immune system and regulates blood sugar levels. Ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders can be reduced with the use of honey, as well as the risk of certain cancers and heart diseases. Consuming honey regularly thus can have immense benefits when maintaining our fasts.
The nutrients in banana peels can help fight acne. They also help improve digestive health. Through history many people have used the peel of the banana to treat acne prone skin by gently rubbing over the acne. Bananas have also shown evidence of improving insulin sensitivity.
May Allah nourish our hearts the way He nourishes our bodies with the provision of food and drink, may we find our efforts truthful and yielding much fruit that will benefit us in this life and the hereafter ameen.