Nabeela Vadi – Cii Radio | 10 Rabi ul Awwal 1437/22 December 2015
As the summer season has us drumming to our watermelons to pick the best one, we should also know that eating of melon is not just a summer joy, but a sunnah too.
Aisha radiyallahu anha says, “Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam ate watermelon with fresh dates.”
What a bonus! We can enjoy the blessings of summer and earn ourselves the reward of a Sunnah and a healthy body.
In South Africa, we know three different types of melons;
1. The Watermelon : With a pink-red flesh and black or white seeds, this melon can be sweet treat and is best enjoyed cold.
2. The Sweet Melon : With a green outer shell, this melon has a light green inner flesh and is firm enough to hold when sliced, but soft when eaten.
3. The Spanspek or Cantaloupes: The flesh is orange and has white seeds and the shell is covered with a design of brown lines.
“Eating watermelon before meals washes the stomach and removes its diseases.” (Ibn Asakir)
Benefits of Melon
- Reduces risk of kidney disorders
- Helps prevent heat stroke and cancer
- Aids in lowering blood pressure
- Helps lower blood sugar levels in diabetics
- Protects eyes from macular degeneration
- Effective in repairing damaged tissues
Contains Vitamin A, C and Thiamin and Minerals; potassium, magnesium and manganese. Watermelon is 92% water.
- Reduces risk of diabetes
- Boosts immune system
- Prevents macular degeneration and cataracts
- Reduces bad cholesterol and blood pressure
- Helps to prevent lung, oral, colon and breast cancer
- Aids ineliminating constipation and other gastrointestinal issues
- Lowers risk of developing coronary heart diseases and hearts attacks
Spanspek or Canteloupes
- Protects skin against harmful toxins that prematurely age the skin
- Relieves symptoms of stress and anxiety
- Beneficial for maintaining healthy eyes
- Boosts immune system
- Reduces risk of gastrointestinal conditions
- Helps to prevent kidney related diseases
- Aids in improving insulin metabolism
- Helps to reduce risk of cancer
- Helps to reduce inflammation and prevents arthritis
Choosing the best melon
Choosing a melon can be tricky. The best indication is scent. Smell the melons and buy only those with the sweet aroma of the fruit. A good melon should feel heavy for its size and be free of bruises, cracks and mold. Also, the belly button should have no trace of stem. Ripe melons are firm, with a slight give of the skin. Look for a spot on the melon where it rested on the ground, a telltale sign the melon ripened on the vine, not in a warehouse.
Storing: Place room-temperature melons in the refrigerator to chill before eating. Melons store best fairly warm but taste most refreshing when chilled. Before serving, wash the outside of the melon thoroughly with running water, then dry with a paper towel. Cover the cut surface of leftover melon with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to two days.
The best watermelons are those that have seeds; they are more juicy and flavoursome.
Hadith from Shamaail Tirmidhi on melons
Aisha radiyallah anha reports that, “Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam ate watermelon with fresh dates.”
In Tirmidhi and other narrations, in explaining this, Sayyidina Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam also said, “The cold effect of one removes the heat of the other, and the heat of one removes the cold effect of the other.”
Anas radiyallahu anhu says, “I saw Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam eat together musk-melon and dates.”
Some ulama have translated this also as watermelon’ instead of musk-melon, the reason being, as in the first narration, here also the cold effect is intended. But it is clear that musk-melon is meant here. The reason for eating dates is also that it gives the melon a sweeter taste. It is not necessary that one’s benefit be gauged everywhere. It is possible that this is due to some other benefits. According to this humble servant the eating of watermelon with dates has its own benefit and that is to create evenness in the effect of both, so that it becomes mild. The eating of musk-melon with dates has its own benefit and that is that if the melon is insipid and tasteless, many a time, due to it being insipid sugar is mixed before it is eaten. Therefore it is not necessary to give the same reasons for both watermelon and musk-melon.