Figs In Islam: Health Benefits, Use & Quran Mentions

Khadija Ahmed

July 12, 2023
Fresh figs lined up inside a mosque, symbolising Quranic nutrition in Islamic tradition

One of the main fruits in Islam is the date, a nutritionally-dense superfood that Muslims around the world heavily consume during the month of Ramadan.

But did you know that the fig also has symbolic weight in Islam and is mentioned in the Quran? More recently, it has also been linked to many health benefits, bridging science with religion.

What's so good about figs? 🤔

Figs are well reputed to be a good source of several essential minerals; including magnesium, manganese, calcium, copper, potassium, and Vitamin K. They are rich in dietary fibre and provide a host of beneficial antioxidants.

Where are figs mentioned in the Quran? 📖

"By the fig and the olive, And [by] Mount Sinai, And [by] this secure city [Makkah], We have certainly created man in the best of stature." (Quran, 95:1-4)

Though the specific meaning behind the oath of the fig and the olive in Surah At-Tin (The Fig) is subject to different interpretations, the consensus among Islamic scholars is that it signifies the importance and sacredness of these fruits. It is mentioned just once in the Quran and it happens in this short Surah.

Majestic fig tree in the middle east

Are figs mentioned in any hadith? 💬

Relating to the above Quranic verse, it was narrated by Al-Bara bin Azib that:

"The Prophet would recite: By the fig and the olive for Isha." [Jami` at-Tirmidhi 310]

In Sunan an-Nasa'i 1001 the narration goes even further:

"The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was on a journey and he recited: 'By the fig and the olive' in the first rak'ah of isha'. "

Again we can see the importance of the mention or oath that Allah makes. It was known that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) would eat other fruits like dates and it's only known to us these days how beneficial they really are for us.

What are the health benefits of eating figs? 💪

  1. They're rich in fibre: Figs are high in fibre, providing 2.9 grams per serving of two small fresh figs. Dietary fibre aids digestion and can help manage weight and lower cholesterol levels.

  2. They're full of antioxidants: Figs are rich in antioxidants, which neutralise harmful free radicals in the body and fight oxidative stress, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

  3. They're great for bone health: Figs are a good source of calcium, which is crucial for bone health. They also contain magnesium, another essential nutrient for bone health.

  4. They manage heart health: The fibre in figs helps reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood, reducing the risk of heart disease. The potassium in figs helps control blood pressure, as it lessens the effects of sodium.

  5. They're great for digestive health: The natural enzymes in figs can help aid digestion, making them a good choice for those with digestive issues.

  6. They help you sleep: Figs are rich in magnesium making them an effective sleep aid. Magnesium helps neurotransmitters in your brain to relax.

How to get your fix of figs 🥗

Figs are a healthy and versatile ingredient that can be incorporated into a variety of dishes. You can enjoy them fresh as a snack, cut them up and add them to salads, or even bake them into cakes and bread (fig pudding, anyone?) given their natural sweetness. It's also possible to get powdered fig in dietary supplements.