What the Messenger of Allah ate


Pomegranate is from amongst the fruits that were honoured with a place on the dining mat of Allah’s Messenger صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم.

Pomegranates, fruits of ancient origin, possess trees as splendid as the fruits they bear, adorned with a multitude of flowers in diverse hues. The global landscape boasts over a dozen pomegranate varieties, with Pakistani pomegranates garnering noteworthy recognition.[1]

Its taste and characteristics

Pomegranates come in a variety of flavours: sour, sweet, or a combination of the two. Sweet pomegranates offer a refreshing taste, while the sour ones tend to be drier in texture. The blend of both flavours creates a harmonious and balanced taste profile.[2]

Allah Almighty mentions this distinguished fruit three times in His Book. In the first instance, He states:

وَّ جَنّٰتٍ مِّنۡ اَعۡنَابٍ وَّ الزَّیۡتُوۡنَ  وَ الرُّمَّانَ

“And gardens of grapes, and olives and pomegranates”[3]

The pomegranate was mentioned at the end of this sacred verse, because although it nourishes and gives nutrition the same way other fruits do, it also functions as a medicine. This is why its mention was kept until last.[4]

Its second mention is:

      وَ ہُوَ الَّذِیۡۤ اَنۡشَاَ جَنّٰتٍ مَّعۡرُوۡشٰتٍ وَّ غَیۡرَ مَعۡرُوۡشٰتٍ وَّ النَّخۡلَ وَ الزَّرۡعَ مُخۡتَلِفًا اُکُلُہٗ  وَ الزَّیۡتُوۡنَ وَ الرُّمَّانَ مُتَشَابِہًا وَّ غَیۡرَ  مُتَشَابِہٍ ؕ        

 “It is He Who caused gardens to be produced; some spread out on the ground and some not spread out, and the date palm and crops in which are various kinds of foods, and the olive and the pomegranate; similar in some respects and unlike in others”[5]

For this verse, there are multiple explanations for what “similar in some respects” and “unlike in others” refers to. One of these is the similarity between the leaves of both the pomegranate and olive tree, despite their fruit differing in appearance and taste.[6]

The third verse:

                                                                                                                                           فِیۡہِمَا فَاکِہَۃٌ  وَّ  نَخۡلٌ وَّ  رُمَّانٌ (۶۸)

 “In them are ˹all kinds of˺ fruits, dates, and pomegranate.”[7]

Three hadith discussing pomegranates

This fruit is also mentioned numerable times in hadith, of which three are mentioned below. This should encourage the reader to begin consuming this distinguished fruit.

1.   Sayyiduna Jaʿfar b. Muhammad relates from his father, that the Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم once became unwell. Sayyiduna Jibrīl arrived with a plate of pomegranates and grapes, so the Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم ate from it.[8]

2.   The third Caliph of Islam, Sayyiduna ʿUmar b. al-Khaṭṭāb رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ explains how some Jewish people came to the Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم and said, “O Muhammad! Will there be (dry) fruit in Paradise?” He replied, “Yes, there shall be ˹dry˺ fruits, dates, and pomegranates therein.” They further asked, “Will the inhabitants of Paradise eat in the same fashion as the people of this world?” “Yes”, he explained, “In fact, double the amount.”[9]

3.   Sayyiduna Abū Saʿīd al-Khudrī رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ relates that the Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم announced, “I observed Paradise, and its pomegranates are like a camel upon whom a pack-saddle has been tied.”[10]

What did the righteous say about pomegranates?

As this fruit is found globally, and among both Arabs and non-Arabs, there are a multitude of accounts and statements regarding it attributed to the pious predecessors.

The fourth Caliph of Islam, Sayyiduna ʿAlī b. Abī ālib رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ said, “Eat pomegranates with its inner membrane, for this cleanses the stomach.”[11]

When eating pomegranate, the Companion Sayyiduna ʿAbdullah b. ʿAbbās رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُما would eat every single aril inside. When asked why, he explained, “I have learnt there is not a single pomegranate tree on Earth except it contains an aril from a pomegranate of Paradise, which is placed inside it to make it bear fruit. It is possible this is that very aril.”[12]

The Tābiʿī, Muhammad b. Sīrīn رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه said, “˹In terms of rank˺, the pomegranate is amongst the fruits as Jibrīl عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام is amongst the angels.”[13]

Its benefits

Pomegranate juice is delicious, agreeable upon the palate, and invigorates the body.[14]

Additionally, pomegranates regulate blood pressure, enhance memory, fortify bones, mitigate dehydration, support digestion, boost the immune system, prevent hair loss, promote hair growth and quality, and enhance visual acuity. It even helps with anaemia and a lack of blood in the body. By using it for 21 consecutive days, the paleness of one’s face can be removed. It is easily absorbed into the body and helps strengthen it.

The leader of Ahl al-Sunnah دَامَـتْ بَـرَكَـاتُـهُـمُ الْـعَـالِـيَـهْ also discusses pomegranates in his book Gharēlū Ilāj (Domestic Cures). He writes:

Blending dried pomegranate skin into fine pieces (around 6 grams worth) and ingesting this with fresh water helps treat bleeding piles. Sucking the pomegranate skin assists in remedying a cough.

One can take pomegranate flowers, dry them in the shade, grind them into fine pieces and fill a bottle/container with them. Rub this onto the teeth morning and evening. This will stop bleeding gums and stop teeth from moving in the gums.

Eat ripe pomegranate heartily with salt and black pepper. This will remove stomach pain.[15]

اٰمِیْن بِجَاہِ خاتَمِ النَّبِیّیْن صلَّی اللہ علیہ واٰلہٖ وسلَّم

[1] Tibb-i-Nabawī aur Jadīd Science, vol. 2, pp. 15 – 16 summarised

[2] Khazāʾin al-Adwiya, vol. 1, pp. 549 - 554

[3] Al-Quran, 6:99, Translation from Kanz al-Īmān

[4] Tafsīr Khāzin, Al-Anʿām, under verse no: 99, vol. 2, p. 41

[5] Al-Quran, 6:141, Translation from Kanz al-Īmān

[6] Tafsīr Khāzin, Al-Anʿām, under verse no: 141, vol. 2, p. 61

[7] Al-Quran, 55:68, Translation from Kanz al-Īmān

[8] Shar Zurqānī ʿalā al-Mawāhib, vol. 6, p. 500

[9] Durr Manthūr, Al-Ramān, under verse 68, vol. 7, p. 716

[10] Durr Manthūr, Al-Ramān, under verse 68, vol. 7, p. 717

[11] Musnad Ahmad: 23237

[12] ilyat al-Awliyāˈ, vol. 1, p. 398, raqm 1139

[13] ilyat al-Awliyāˈ, vol. 2, p. 311, raqm 2360

[14] Tafsīr Kabīr, Al-Anʿām, under verse no: 99, vol. 5, p. 86

[15] Gharēlū Ilāj, pp. 54, 58, 68, 90




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