Dates have been a staple Middle East food for thousands of years. The date palm originated in the Persian Gulf over 6,000 years ago. Muslim Arabs spread dates in north Africa and into Spain, and they were introduced into California by Spaniards in 1765.
Fresh dates are a premium source of vitamin C. For Muslims, dates is a first meal when the sun sets in Ramadan encouraged by the Hadith. The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) ate dates with cucumber. The Palm tree is mentioned in the Qur'aan about 20 times.
The date palm is probably the most ancient cultivated tree in the world. Dates and date palms are mentioned in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic religions due possibly to the influence of Prophet Abraham (alaihis salaam), who was born and raised in the city of Ur, present-day Iraq, where date palms were grown.
The original Musjidun Nabawi in Madinah was built with mud bricks and palm fronds, the columns of palm trunks; the area where the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) is buried is still surrounded with decorated palm sticks. The houses of his wives were made of palm leaves, palm trunks and mud bricks.
Dates as part of daily meals of a woman before and after childbirth acts as a tonic for uterine muscles. Mariam (alaihis salaam) was told to eat of dates while giving birth to Jesus (Eesa) (alaihis salaam). (Qur’aan 19:25)
Dates played a significant role in early Islam and are a gift of Muslims to the world.