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19 March 2020

Olive Oil - A Nutritious Wonder From the Qur'an and Sunnah!

Safa Faruqui
Olive Oil - A Nutritious Wonder From the Qur'an and Sunnah!

Olives are a truly amazing and blessed fruit! They are mentioned in the Qur'an six times, as well as being alluded to a seventh time in Surah Yusuf, so it's time to start paying attention to their nutritional, medicinal and cosmetic benefits!

Let's start by learning about what the Qur'an and Sunnah say about olives!

How does Allah talk about olives in the Qur'an?

Firstly, Allah mentions olives several times when He is talking about the blessings He has sent us.

The Qur'an contains many passages about the good food Allah has put on this earth for us, and how He sends down rain from the sky to bring this delicious food out of the earth. In some of these passages, Allah specifically mentions olives as one of the foods He has provided:

'And He it is who causes gardens to grow, [both] trellised and untrellised, and palm trees and crops of different [kinds of] food and olives and pomegranates, similar and dissimilar. Eat of [each of] its fruit when it yields and give its due [Zakat] on the day of its harvest. And be not excessive. Indeed, He does not like those who commit excess'. (Qur'an, 6:141)

In this beautiful passage, Allah draws our attention to how much variety we have in our diet. (Side point: even if we limit our focus to olives, there are literally hundreds of varieties out there, all of them with a unique appearance, taste and texture. SubhanAllah!) Then He tells us to eat of His provision, make sure we fulfil our Zakat and not to be excessive in our diet.

'And [We brought forth] a tree issuing from Mount Sinai which produces oil and food for those who eat'. (Qur'an, 23:20)

Here, Allah mentions using olive as an oil as well as a food. We'll come back to the Sunnah benefits of olive oil in a bit!

Secondly, Allah goes on to say that olives are not just food - we should reflect on them as well!

The fruits which we grow and eat - and He mentions olives specifically - are not only our provision, they are also signs for us:

'He causes to grow for you thereby the crops, olives, palm trees, grapevines, and from all the fruits. Indeed, in that is a sign for people who give thought'. (Qur'an, 16:11)

'And [We produce] gardens of grapevines and olives and pomegranates, similar yet varied. Look at [each of] its fruit when it yields and [at] its ripening. Indeed in that are signs for a people who believe'. (Qur'an, 6:99)

Olives are truly an amazing sign from Allah. For example, they are absolutely packed with nutrients! Olives contain copper, calcium and sodium, which are all essential to a healthy diet. They are rich in antioxidants, including Vitamin E, oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol and oleanolic acid - all of which are hard-to-pronounce plant compounds which have many health benefits. Black olives are also a good source of iron.

The list goes on! They are truly an amazing super-food that we should not miss out on!

Whenever we enjoy the blessings Allah has provided us, we should take the time to reflect on how they are His signs. So much goodness has been packed into a single fruit, Alhamdulillah!

Thirdly, Allah uses olives as a way to describe His Light in the Qur'an:

SubhanAllah, Allah literally used the example of olive oil as a way of illustrating His own Light – what an honour!


How does Allah talk about the blessed olives of Masjid Al-Aqsa in the Qur'an?

As we have seen, olives and olive oil are mentioned several times in the Qur'an - but the olive trees of Al-Aqsa have a particularly high status. These olive trees are so blessed that Allah actually swears by them in the Qur'an!

'By the fig and the olive, and by Mount Sinai, and by this secure city [Makkah], We have certainly created man in the most excellent of forms…’ (Qur’an, 95:1-4)

Qatadah, Ibn Zayd and others said of the olive sworn by here, ‘It is the Masjid of Jerusalem’ (Ibn Katheer), meaning Masjid Al-Aqsa.

Because the olives grown within Masjid Al-Aqsa have such a high Qur'anic status, they are seen as truly priceless and thus they are never sold. Instead, their oil is always gifted - mostly to the poor families who live in Jerusalem.

Alhamdulillah, we are delighted to tell you that we have been given some of this priceless olive oil, so we can gift it to the most generous donors who gift light to Masjid Al-Aqsa! This olive oil is from the trees grown within the Sacred Masjid Al-Aqsa itself.

We are super-excited to be able to offer this olive oil to you, because of this hadith:

The Prophet (saw) was asked, ‘If one of us cannot visit it [Al-Aqsa], what should we do?’ He (saw) said, ‘Then he should make a gift of some oil to be lit therein [in its lamps]. For indeed the one who gifts this to it, will be like the one who has prayed therein’. (Ahmad)

Thus, whoever gifts oil (i.e. light) to Masjid Al-Aqsa has earned the reward of praying there. And now, with this exclusive offer - if you gift light to Masjid Al-Aqsa, Al-Aqsa will gift oil to you! It's a neat parallel and we're delighted to be a part of this beautiful Sadaqah Jariyah.

How did the Prophet (saw) use olive oil?

So…what should you do with the premium olive oil you're about to receive?

In his book on Prophetic medicine, Ibn Al-Qayyim encourages the use of olives and their oil. The Prophet (saw) said, 'Eat the oil (of olives) and use it on your hair and skin, for it comes from a blessed tree'. (Tirmidhi)

We've already discussed the nutritional benefits of olives. Olive oil also great cosmetic benefits!

  1. It moisturises your hair and reduces scalp irritation, which helps reduce dandruff.
  2. It contains omega-3 fatty acids which make your hair thicker.
  3. It improves the blood circulation in your scalp. Healthy circulation = healthy hair follicles = healthier, softer, thicker hair = olives are truly amazing!
  4. Olive oil may prevent premature again and sun damage to skin, because it contains so many antioxidants. Remember to only use a couple of drops at a time - excessive olive oil won't be helpful!

Please be careful whenever you're applying products to your hair or skin. It is not medically advisable to use olive oil on skin that is particularly dry, sensitive or prone to eczema. As always, please apply a small amount of oil to a small area of skin or hair first, to test the effect, and don't use it if you have a bad reaction to it. Safety first!

We also have a tip for making the blessed olive oil go a longer way - mix it with standard olive oil! This is akin to mixing Zamzam water with ordinary water, thus holding onto the barakah for longer.

We hope you enjoyed this article about the amazing nature of olives! Don't miss out on our exclusive offer of olive oil from Masjid Al-Aqsa - stocks are limited!


Muslim Hands UK

Established in 1993, Muslim Hands is an aid agency and NGO helping those affected by poverty, conflict and natural disaster in over 20 countries worldwide.