Slowly Ramadan, the holy month, is coming to an end. During this month, in every household in Oman in general and especially in Salalah, before the Farj prayer – the morning prayer – between the very beginning of dawn and sunrise, and before the Maghrib prayer – soon after sunset until the disappearance of the twilight – for breaking the fast, dates are served. Till today, the date palm is “the most enduring symbol of the Sultanate’s rich heritage, alongside the trusty camel, the vitalizing falaj and other long-cherished aspects of traditional Omani life.”
It was Prophet Mohammed who installed the tradition of eating dates during Ramadan. In the book ‘ Medicinal Plants, In the traditions of Prophet Mohammed, of Dr. M.I.H. Farooqi, one can read that the Prophet said: “Truly the Ajawtt ( date variety) is an excellent and complete food, and if some butter is added to it, then its completeness is perfected.” (As-Suyuti).
In the book ‘Plants of the Qu’ran of Dr. M.I.H. Farooqi, one can read: “Many fruits and fruit bearing plants have been mentioned in the Qu’ran, but it is the date palm that finds maximum reference. According to an old saying in Arabic, the uses of date palm are as many as the number of days in a year. This is true as the date palm has varied uses. Its wood is used as a building material, and the big leaves are used as fans, ropes, sticks, mats. The date-stone when soaked and powdered, is rated as a good cattle feed. The fruit is not only sweet and delicious but is one of the best-known nutritious diets for mankind. It is assumed that the domestication and cultivation of date palm started 6000 to 8000 years back in Mesopotamia. Because of the beauty and elegance, date palm gardens are an exquisite sight. Most of the poets of Arabia, Africa and even Europe have described the palms in their well-known poems. Homer, in his epic Odyssey, has used the word Tamar to represent beauty. Similarly Chaucer and Shakespeare have also mentioned date palms in their writings.”