HADITH ON AJWA DATES AND SCIENCE
Few people especially missionaries’ quote the following Hadith:
Narrated Sa’d(R): The Prophet ﷺ said,"If somebody takes some 'Ajwa dates every morning, he will not be effected by poison or magic on that day till night." (Another narrator said seven dates). (Sahih Al Bukhari)
***And few hurled the challenge to take this simple challenge and eat 7 Ajwa dates and then drink poison and survive? ***
The unfortunate fact is that most people in our time think that just reading any translation of Hadith texts, they can lay hands upon, is quite enough to have a full grasp of it and they find themselves worthy enough to comment anything. The practice might have had some justification if Hadith or for that matter any classical Islamic text- was in some dead language hardly known to even the followers of the religion.
A basic principle in studying any historical narration is to understand the environment and context in which it originated. While it may not be possible to find details as to when and why was some particular words were uttered, another reasonable way is to see the complementing narrations before looking to reach a conclusion.
Sa’d told of hearing Allah’s Messenger ﷺ say, “He who has a morning meal of seven ‘ajwa dates will not suffer harm that day through toxins or magic.” Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith 5327 and Muslim, Hadith 3814
‘Aisha reported Allah’s Messenger ﷺ as saying, “The ‘ajwah dates of al-‘Aliya contain healing, and they are an antidote (when taken as) first thing in the morning.” Muslim, Hadith 3815
‘Aisha reported Allah’s Messenger ﷺ as saying, “The ‘ajwah dates of al-‘Aliya taken as the first thing in the morning, in the state of fasting; contain healing for all (kinds of) magic or toxins.” Musnad Ahmad, Hadith 23592
Al-‘Aliya is the named applied to some villages a few miles east of Medina.
Narrated ‘Urwah: ‘Aisha used to order to make a habit of or taking in regular intervals seven ‘ajwah dates, in the state of fasting for seven mornings. Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba, Hadith 23945
Now considering all these narrations it becomes clear that the benefits mentioned are for link to certain specifics.
1- It is about 'Ajwa dates from al-Aliya, a particular locality near al-Medina
FEW MORE POINTS:
The word actually used is "SUMM" which means, poison or toxin. The problem is some people think it is about instantly killing poisonous stuff. However the fact mention in Hadith that it benefits when taken as the first thing early in the morning and on regular basis itself establishes that it is about toxins, which are indeed poisonous and harmful to the body. Also see the following evidence.
Al-Mawarid Arabic-English Dictionary Dar el-Elm Lilmalayin, Beirut 1995 p.642
Ibn Qayyim in his Tibb al-Nabawi writes: "For the people of Al-Madina, dried dates are their staple like wheat is to other people. In addition, dried dates from the area of al-Aliyah in al-Medina are one of the best kinds of dates ... Dates are a type of fruit that is also used for its nutritional and medicinal value, being favorable for most bodies and for their role in strengthening the natural heat. Moreover, dates do not produce harmful wastes or excrement like other types of food and fruits. Rather, dates preserve the body wastes from being spoiled and from rotting, especially for those who are used to eating dried dates."(Healing with the Medicine of the Prophet, Translated by Abd el-Qader bin Abd el-Azeez, Dar al-Ghadd al-Gadeed, al-Mansoura (Egypt), 2003 p.121)
Another study reported the most prominent health benefits of dates: there are at least 15 minerals in dates, including selenium, an element believed to help prevent cancer and important in immune function, protein, containing 23 types of amino acids, some of which are not present in the most popular fruits, such as oranges, apples, and bananas. Unsaturated fatty acids include palmitoleic, oleic, linoleic, and linolenic acids. The study concluded that dates could be considered a nearly ideal food, with a wide range of essential nutrients and potential health benefit. Iron for your blood, fiber for roughage, vitamin A for your eyes, potassium for your heart, B-vitamins, tannins - these are just a few of the many nutrients in dates, making them one of the healthiest foods in the world. They have a noble history that healers have used through centuries for many of the same properties they're used for today.
Dietary fiber in dates helps to move waste smoothly through your colon and helps prevent LDL (bad) cholesterol absorption by binding with substances containing cancer-causing chemicals. The iron content, a component of hemoglobin in red blood cells, determines the balance of oxygen in the blood. Potassium, an electrolyte, helps control your heart rate and blood pressure. B-vitamins contained in dates, such as the carotenes lutein and zeaxanthin, absorb into the retina to maintain optimal light-filtering functions and protect against macular degeneration.
1- Effective in preventing abdominal cancer.
2- To prevents anemia.
Links: http://www.arabnews.com/news/466767, http://foodfacts.mercola.com/dates.html, http://naturalsociety.com/health-benefits-of-dates-7-reasons-eat-date-fruit/, http://www.indiaparenting.com/health/325_3792/top-10-health-benefits-of-dates.html,
These show that they have healing effect against heart ailment and problems of the stomach.
And we have scientific evidence that dates protect arteries and lower the risks of heart attack. Cholesterol that causes many heart problems itself is a toxin. Moreover some of the ingredients of the dates are protective against digestive system related problems, e.g. dietary fiber helps eliminate human intestinal toxic substances, researchers suggest.
The two things mentioned above are for dates in general and as clear from the Hadith reports the ‘ajwa dates from al-Aliya locality of al-Medina are even more beneficial especially in that particular environment.
With regards to toxins there is no doubt the dates are indeed curative. As to magic more research is possible however whatever is written above suffices to kill the skeptical notions about the Hadith. Those who doubt the Hadith have nothing to substantiate their view. We at least have fair amount of support in favor of our thesis.
The Hadith narrations say, 'ajwa dates from al-Aliya taken regularly as first thing in the morning breaking the fast -in spells of 7 successive days- is a cure against toxins, just as they are helpful as a preventive cure against heart and stomach problems.
While the explanation above is quite enough for any ardent and reasonable observer, And the brevity is to drink the “any deadly thing” and stay unhurt. This is what the Bible promises putting the words of Jesus(Peace be upon him): “They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (KJV, Mark 16:18)