HM King Mohammed VI, Commander of the Faithful, accompanied by HRH Crown Prince Moulay El Hassan, chaired Thursday at Rabat Royal Palace, the sixth religious lecture of the holy month of Ramadan.
This lecture was delivered by professor Abdelwahab Zayed, goodwill ambassador of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) under the theme “palm trees in Quran and Sunnah”, drawing on Quranic verse: “And shake toward you the trunk of the palm tree; it will drop upon you ripe, fresh dates. So eat and drink and be contented. And if you see from among humanity anyone, say, ‘Indeed, I have vowed to the Most Merciful abstention, so I will not speak today to [any] man.”
At the beginning of his lecture, professor Abdelwahab Zayed recalled that Moulay Hassan Dakhil had been asked by the inhabitants of Sijilmassa, in the southeast of the Kingdom, in the 7th century AH, to come to Morocco to bless their date production, a wish that was fulfilled by the Almighty.
In this regard, he highlighted the continuity of the Sovereign’s High concern for the palm plantation sector, giving his high instructions for the planting of 3 million of the best varieties of date palms in the Kingdom’s important oases, now in the top 10 worldwide in this field with an area of more than 60,000 ha including 7 million date palms.
On the religious level, the lecturer pointed out that the date palm is synonymous in the Quran of the good word, rooted in the hearts of faithful believers, adding that this tree is also mentioned in the Sunnah each time as an inexhaustible source of benefits.
Therefore, he went on, more than 20 Quranic verses cite the date palm sometimes to exalt its nutritional virtues, sometimes to highlight its beauty and splendor, just as the Sunnah has valued this fruit and cherished its virtues for health.
Regarding the nutritional intakes of dates, he stressed that the Quran and Sunnah have insisted on their benefits to relieve great fatigue, for example in the event of fasting or pregnancy, referring to the case of Maryam.
This finding, he noted, is supported by the results of several contemporary scientific studies that focus on the significant nutritional and energy contribution of dates, compared to other food products, in that they are rich in carbohydrates, which are a major source of the energy needed by the human body to carry out its various vital activities.
Dates are also rich in glucose and fructose and fibre for digestion, unlike other complex carbohydrates such as starch, or fat and protein, he said, adding that dates also contain high levels of mineral salts and essential vitamins for the proper functioning of the human body such as potassium, sodium, zinc, magnesium and cobalt.
Dates, he went on, are also a major source of vitamins, including vitamin A, essential for growth, and other vitamins that promote blood circulation and heart protection and repel cancer diseases.
The lecturer also highlighted the therapeutic properties of dates for the treatment of several diseases, to facilitate childbirth, given their richness in iron and antioxidants, and to combat kidney disease.
At the end of the lecture, Abdelwahab Zayed handed HM the King a set of books. They are:
1- Glossary of biotechnology for food and agriculture (with CD-ROM)
2- Palm fruits: type, weight, circulation and care after harvest
3- Date palm cultivation technology
4- Al-Shajara Al-Mubarakah “the blessed tree” (Conference of ministers of Agriculture of date producing countries, 09 March 2019)
5- Al-Shajara Al-Mubarakah “the blessed tree” (Khalifa International Date Palm Award And Agricultural Innovation)
6- Siwa Oasis Egypt
7- Proceedings of The Sixth International Date Palm Conference
8- Proceedings of The Fifth International Date Palm Conference
9- Glossary of biotechnology for food and agriculture
10- Date Palm Cultivation
At the end of the lecture, HM the King was greeted by several foreign religious figures.