Dates & Ramadan

What is Ramadan? 

Ramadan is a sacred month of the year that is celebrated by Muslims all over the world. According to India Times, approximately 1.6 billion Muslims around the world celebrate this sacred month each year. This month is important in Islamic culture because Muslims believe that during this month was when God revealed the to Prophet Muhammad the first verses of the Quran. In Arabic, that night is known as “Laylat al-Qadr.” Ramadan is seen as a time for celebration for Muslims where they spend time with family and observe their religion. For the ending of Ramadan families and friends celebrate for three days to break the fast and share meals and gifts with one another. 


Why do Muslims fast during Ramadan? 

Fasting is important during Ramadan because it is a time for Muslims to observe their religion with intention. During Ramadan most Muslims fast from dawn until dusk and use this time without distractions to strengthen their connection with God. According to India Times, “This fasting is known to strengthen one's relationship with God. Prayers, charity and generosity make the month even more pious.” During the time of fasting, Muslims do not eat or drink anything and use the time as reflection. Most Muslims starting around age 12 participate in fasting with their families. Before fasting at dawn starts, Muslims wake up early for prayer and eat before dawn. In the evening as dusk Muslims break their fast before sleeping. 


Why are dates important during Ramadan? 

Dates have been a popular food choice all over the world for years, but especially in the Middle East. Since dates likely originated from those regions and are greatly produced there, it makes them a staple food item for millions of Muslims during Ramadan. According to Muslim Aid, “The date was one of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) favorite and most desired food items.” Carefully breaking a fast is important for Muslims because they do not want to overeat, but still get the nutrients they need. Dates are a very popular choice for breaking a fast because of their amazing benefits for the body. When fasting the body loses energy, which is why it is important to replenish it when breaking a fast. Dates are known for being an energizing and tasty fruit, packed with great health benefits. The natural sugars found in dates are what give you energy after eating them. Another fantastic benefit of dates are the vitamins and nutrients you benefit from after eating them. These small, but super beneficial fruits are loaded with important vitamins as well as fiber, antioxidants, protein, magnesium, iron, potassium, and so much more! Muslims commonly choose these fruits to break their fast because by enjoying just a few of these dates they are making up for a lot of nutrients they might have missed throughout the day and need to replenish. Since dates are also a staple fruit of the Middle East this makes them easily accessible there, but they are also shipped all over the world. Dates are also considered to be part of the blessed prophetic diet, making them a common food choice of Muslims throughout the entire year, not just during Ramadan. 


In conclusion, dates are great! 

Whether they are used for breaking a fast during Ramadan or enjoyed throughout the year in delicious desserts, we can agree that dates are both tasty and full of health benefits. Dates are super easy to add to your diet and your body will thank you for all the nutrients. If you want to try breaking your fast with dates, or just try them as a sweet snack, we don’t think you will regret it! 




References:


TNN. (2018, May 18). What is Ramadan: brief about celebration & cultural events. Times of India. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/events/when-is-ramadan-festival-how-it-is-celebrated/articleshow/58891102.cms


Muslim Aid Media Center. (n.d.) The staple food item in Ramadan. Muslim Aid. Retrieved June 29, 2020, from https://www.muslimaid.org/media-centre/blog/dates-the-staple-food-item-in-ramadan/