The month of Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and it is observed by Muslims all over the world as a month of Sawm (fasting). It begins immediately upon the end of the eight month of the Islamic calendar and it lasts for 29 to 30 days, depending on the sighting of the moon.
During this month, all Muslims fast from an hour or so before sunrise to little after sunset. Many people break their fast by drinking coffee, milk, and light foods and so on. But according to the words of Prophet Mohammed ﷺ “when one of you is fasting, he should break his fast with dates, but if he cannot get any, then he should break his fast with water as that is very purifying.”
Importance of Dates
The date is a fruit that is reach in sugar, fiber, minerals, phytonutrients, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, and other small amounts of protein as well as fat. It is one of the best foods to break your fast with as it is easy to digest. Your body’s glucose levels usually decreases due to the long day fast; so eating dates help increase the glucose levels in your blood back to normal. This helps in satisfying your hunger sensation while also helping to prevent you from eating too much food.
Why do Muslims Break Their Fast with Dates?
- First of all, dates have a very special pace in Islam as it was one of the most frequently eaten foods by the Prophet Mohammed ﷺ especially during Ramadan. Therefore, a tradition of following the footsteps of the Prophet Mohammed ﷺ, Muslims tend to also break their fast with dates.
- Secondly, breaking your fast with dates is a Ramadan tradition. Breaking one’s fast with dates and praying only after Iftar are both mentioned in the Hadith of the Holy Prophet Muhammad ﷺ . According to Hadith, the messenger of Allah ﷺ would break his fast with ripe dates before he would pray. If those are not available, he would eat dried dates and if that was also not available, he would drink some water.
- Dates are rich in sugar and nutrients and so much more and they help to increase the glucose level of your body after the long day fast. By eating dates, blood sugars travel more quickly to the liver, where they are quickly converted into energy for the body’s use.
It is common practice to pray after breaking the fast with dates and before eating a heavier meal, as the interval gives the body time to metabolize the dates and water that have been consumed and to start the digestive processes of the stomach that has been resting all day.