Abu Dawood narrated that Sa’d said, “Once, I became ill and the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) came to visit me and placed his hand on the center of my chest until | felt its coldness in my heart. He then said:
“You are complaining from your heart. Go to AI-Harith bin Kaladah, from (the tribe of) Thaghif, for he knows about medicine. Let him take seven dates from AI-Medina, grind them with their seeds, and then give them to you.”
Dates in general and dried dates in particular, especially from Medina, possess tremendous qualities and are especially effective in treating heart ailments. Using seven dates is another quality that can only be known through revelation.
In the Sahihan it is narrated that Sa’d bin Abu Waqaas said, “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
“Whoever eats seven dates from the area of All-Aliab when he gets up in the morning, then no poison or magic would harm him that day.”
In another narration, the Prophet (ﷺ) said:
“Whoever eats seven dates produced between the two areas in Al-Medina that are covered with burned black stones in the morning, will not be harmed by poison until he reaches the night.”
Dates are warm in the second degree and dry in the first degree. Dates constitute a good type of nutrition, especially for those whose regular diet contains dates, such as the people of Al-Medina. Dates are the best type of food for the residents of hot and mild warm countries, more so than for the residents of cold areas who have an elevated inner temperature, whereas those in warmer areas have a colder inner temperature. This is why the people in Hijaz, Yemen, Tai’f, and similar areas, eat hot foods such as dates and honey.
They in addition use pepper and ginger in their food more than in other areas; sometimes tenfold as much. Some of them even eat ginger just as other people eat sweets. They transport these types of foods with them when traveling. As we have stated, these types of food are suitable for the residents of warm areas and do not harm them because of the lower inner temperature of their bodies. On a similar note, we should mention that well water becomes colder during summer and warmer during winter. Further, the stomach digests because thick (or complex) foods in winter are more than during summer.
For the people of Medina, dried dates are their staple like wheat is to other people. In addition, dried dates from the area of AI-Aliyah in Medina are one of the best kinds of dates because they are firm, delicious, and sweet.
Dates are a type of fruit that is used for their nutritional and medicinal value, being favorable foremost bodies, and for their role in strengthening the natural heat. In addition, dates do not produce harmful wastes or excrement such as the other types of foods and fruits.
Rather, dates preserve bodily wastes from being spoiled and rotting, especially for those used to eating dried dates. The Hadith we mentioned about dried dates [at the beginning of the chapter] is specifically for the people of Al-Medina and surrounding areas. It is a fact that the medicinal value of the herbs and plants that grow in certain areas is closely related to the quality of the air and the type of soil in those areas. A certain medicinal herb might be useful in its natural habitat, but not if it is grown elsewhere. The various lands differ in their nature and characteristics, just as people differ from each other.
Sometimes, a certain type of plant might be a regular staple in the diet in a certain area, while it is poisonous in other areas. Sometimes, certain remedies that people use in a certain land might be a regular staple for other people in another area, Some types of medicine might provide a cure for some illnesses for some people while curing other kinds of diseases for other people. Furthermore, there might be a beneficial cure in some areas that do not work in other areas.
Using seven dates has a spiritual and material significance. Allah has created seven heavens, seven earths, seven days”. in the week and made the creation of mankind pass through seven stages. In addition, Allah made the Tawaf seven circumambulations and the Sa‘ in addition seven trips between Safa and Marwah. In addition, the Jamrat are stoned with seven pebbles each and the Takbir during the Eid prayer is made seven times. In addition, the Prophet (ﷺ) said about young children, “Command him to pray upon reaching the age of seven.”
When the Prophet (ﷺ) was ill he ordered that water be poured on him from seven different water skins. Allah has, in addition, sent the destructive wind on the people of Aad for seven consecutive nights. The Prophet of Allah (ﷺ) asked Allah in supplication to test his people with a similar seven years of famine that the people of the Prophet Yusuf (Joseph) were tested with. Furthermore, when Allah gave the example of charity, He compared it to a grain (of corn); it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains. The ears of corn that the king saw during the time of Prophet Yusuf (Joseph) were seven, and the number of years during which the king’s people would farm the land was seven. Charity is multiplied seven hundred times, too much more. There are seventy thousand members of the Muslim Nation who will enter Paradise without questioning. The number seven has a special significance more than other numbers and only Allah has full knowledge of the wisdom behind choosing this number above other numbers. The statements that come from the Prophet (ﷺ) whose words are certainly true and divinely revealed, deserve to be believed in more and submitted to, without any hesitation or denial.
The dried dates mentioned in Hadith, are useful against certain poisons and only in some areas. We should state here that it is a condition that the sick person should believe that the medicine will help him so that his body accepts it and benefits from it. It is a fact that sometimes merely believing that the medicine will work helps cure some ailments, as many people have witnessed in this regard. When the heart accepts that a certain medicine carries the cure, the body will feel an elevation in its strength and in the instinctive heat that will help the body get rid of and extract harmful substances. On the other hand, sometimes an effective medicine fails to work because the patient does not believe that it will cure him, and consequently, his body neither accepts it nor benefits from it.
Even the Qur’an, which is the best, most beneficial remedy ever, both in this life and in the Hereafter, and which is a cure for every disease, will not benefit the heart that does not believe in its value as a cure and a remedy. Rather, the Qur’an only adds more disease to such evil hearts. There is no more effective cure for the diseases of the heart than the Qur’an, for it completely eradicates the ills of the heart, preserves the heart’s health and wellbeing, and defends it against all that might bring harm to it. Yet, most hearts ignore the Qur’an and do not believe in it, and thus refrain from using it. Instead, such people refer to other types of medicine that were prepared by their like from among mankind, thus preventing their hearts from benefiting from the Qur’an. Consequently, the symptoms that attack their hearts will persist and will expose their hearts to even more ailments. With the passage of time, both the doctors and the patients will get used to the medicines produced and prescribed by their like, leaders, or those whom they respect. In this case, disasters will accumulate and the diseases will become harder to cure. And the more they (those who ignore the Qura’an) use these medicines, the more strength they will add to the ailment.