The Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera) is a tree that is most often mentioned in the Qur’an. It shows that this palm tree is a special tree for human life.
The references in the Qur’an are in fact also confirmed by various hadiths of the Prophet, whether it is in the context of the palm tree’s blessing, starvation prevention, or as a source of treatment of various diseases.
Various modern research has proven that dates lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, hypertension, diabetes, lowering LDL cholesterol, etc. Consuming dates is also good for breastfeeding mothers because dates play a role in improving the quality of breast milk.
Today, the palm tree is misunderstood as an Arabian plant, while actually in Indonesia and Thailand (which have hot climates), thousands of acres of dates have already been planted. These countries are becoming a date exporter of the world in the future – and now their dates farms are ready to harvest!
In date palm production, Indonesia is still very far behind from Thailand – if there is still no attempt to move, Indonesia certainly will be a date importer after Thailand, following other fruits such as durians.
In Indonesia, the palm tree is merely a hobby and lifestyle plant. Many people thought that this tree cannot grow well and bear fruit in Indonesia. The very massive date production in Thailand should have become evidence, and this doubt should not exist anymore.
It is true that actually we still be left behind, and we there are many things yet to be learned. The nursery process using seeds has been done successfully and even has been spread, but unfortunately, nurseries using seeds still cannot directly identify the gender of the palm tree. This means that they have to wait for the flowering for about the next seven years to know which one is male and which one is female. Then from this point, we can crossbreed the male and female flowers.
Still, it is better late than never, considering we do not only need the fruits of the palm trees, as even the male pollen can be great ingredients for healthy supplementary foods.
Moreover, the palm tree is also specifically mentioned in the Qur’an (Surah 36:34) as the tree that can emit a spring or even stream a creek (Surah 19:24). That means that the date palm farms could be a solution to the conservation of springs as a source of living on this earth.