THE MIRACLE OF HONEY
Your Lord revealed to the bees: “Build dwellings in the mountains and the trees, and also in the structures which men erect. Then eat from every kind of fruit and travel the paths of your Lord, which have been made easy for you to follow.” From inside them comes a drink of varying colours, containing healing for mankind. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who reflect. (Qur’an, 16:69)
Honey is a “healing for men” as stated in the verses above. Nowadays, apiculture and bee products have opened a new branch of research in scientifically advanced parts of the world. Other benefits of honey may be described as below:
Easily digested: Because sugar molecules in honey can convert into other sugars (e.g. fructose to glucose), honey is easily digested by the most sensitive stomachs, despite its high acid content. It helps kidneys and intestines to function better.
Rapidly diffuses through the blood; is a quick energy source: When accompanied by mild water, honey diffuses into the bloodstream in seven minutes. Its free sugar molecules make the brain function better since the brain is the largest consumer of sugar. Honey is a natural composition of sugars like glucose and fructose. According to recent research, this unique mixture of sugars is the most effective means to remove fatigue and increase athletic performance.
It can easily be seen from this information that honey has great “healing” properties. This is undoubtedly one of the miracles of the Qur’an Allah, Who is Exalted in Power, has revealed.
THE DATE AND ITS USES AS DESCRIBED IN THE QUR’AN
In a number of Qur’anic verses, the humble date is honoured as one of the blessings of Paradise. (Qur’an, 55:68) When this fruit is examined, it can be seen to have a great many important features. One of the oldest known species of plant, the date is today a food of preference not only for its delicious taste but also for its nutritious properties. New benefits imparted by the date are being discovered every day and has come to be used as a medicine as well as a food. These features of the date are noted in Surah Maryam:
The pains of labour drove her to the trunk of a date-palm. She [Maryam] said, “Oh if only I had died before this time and was something discarded and forgotten!” A voice called out to her from under her, “Do not grieve! Your Lord has placed a small stream at your feet. Shake the trunk of the palm towards you and fresh, ripe dates will drop down onto you. Eat and drink and delight your eyes…” (Qur’an, 19:23-26)”
- The nutritional value of dates stems from the appropriate mineral balance within them. The date also contains folic acid, a B vitamin of great importance to pregnant women. Folic acid (B9) is a vitamin which serves important functions in the construction of new blood cells and of amino acids, the body’s building blocks, and in cell renewal. The need for folic acid thus rises significantly during pregnancy and the daily requirement doubles. When folic acid levels are insufficient, red blood cells that are larger than normal but with lower functionality emerge, along with the symptoms of anaemia, appear. Folic acid plays a particularly important role in cell division and in the formation of the genetic structure of the cell and is the only substance daily requirements of which double during pregnancy. The date is exceedingly rich in folic acid.
- On the other hand, the long-term nausea and physical reactions that appear during pregnancy do so because of a lack of potassium. Levels therefore need to be reinforced. In the same way that the large quantities of potassium in dates are of great importance in this regard, they are also important in regulating the water balance in the body. Moreover, by helping oxygen to reach the brain potassium enables one to think clearly. In addition, it provides the appropriate alkaloidal features for body fluids and stimulates the kidneys to expel toxic bodily wastes. It helps bring down high blood pressure and the formation of healthy skin.113
- The iron contained in dates controls the synthesis of haemoglobin in the red blood cells and ensures an appropriate level of red cells in the blood. This is of vital importance in preventing anaemia during pregnancy and the development of the baby. Red blood cells play a role in keeping cells alive by carrying oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood. Due to dates’ high iron levels, a human being can meet his or her iron requirements by eating just 15 dates a day and will thus be protected from disorders arising from iron deficiency.
- The calcium and phosphate in dates are important elements for skeletal growth and balancing the body’s bone structure. The high levels ofphosphorus and calcium in dates protect the body against bone weakness and help reduce such disorders.
- Scientists also emphasise the way in which dates reduce stress and tension. Research by Berkeley University experts has revealed that dates contain high levels of vitamin B6, which strengthens the nerves, and magnesium, which is very important for the kidneys. A person can meet his magnesium requirement by eating just 2-3 grains of date a day.114
- The vitamin B1 in dates facilitates the health of the nervous system, assists the transformation of the carbohydrates in the body into energy and the use of protein and fats to meet the body’s needs. Vitamin B2 assists in the burning of protein, carbohydrates and fats for the provision of bodily energy and cell renewal.
- The body’s vitamin A requirement rises during pregnancy. Thanks to the vitamin A it contains, the date improves vision and bodily resistance and strengthens the teeth and bones. Dates are also especially rich in beta-carotene.115 Beta-carotene helps prevent cancer by controlling molecules that attack the cells.