" The Arabic word for Watermelon as mentioned
in the Hadith is 'Batikh' or 'Bittik'
Among the fruits that the Prophet (sallallahu aliyhi wassallam)
liked were grapes and watermelons. (Abu Dawood) "
A Health and Islamic Perspective
Although watermelons can now be found in the markets
throughout the year, the
season for watermelon is in the summer when they are sweet and of
the best quality.
Originating in Africa, watermelons were first cultivated in Egypt
testaments to their legacy were recorded in hieroglyphic painted on
The fruit was held is such regard that it was placed in the tombs of
Egyptian kings. It is not surprising that watermelon played such an
role in this country, and subsequently in countries in the
since water was often in short supply in these areas, and people
upon watermelon for its thirst-quenching properties.
Watermelons were brought to China around the 10th century and then
Western Hemisphere. In Russia, where much of the commercial
watermelons is grown, there is a popular wine made from this fruit.
In addition to
Russia, the leading commercial growers of watermelon include China,
and the United States.
If you have ever tasted a watermelon, it is probably no surprise to
this juicy, refreshing fruit has this name. Watermelon has an
water content, approximately 92%, giving its flesh a crumbly and
texture and making it a favorite thirst-quenching fruit.
As a member of the Cucurbitaceae family, the watermelon is related
cantaloupe, squash and pumpkin, other plants that also grow on vines
ground. Watermelons can be round, oblong or spherical in shape and
green rinds that are often spotted or striped. They range in size
from a few
pounds to upward of ninety pounds.
While we often associate a deep red-pink color with watermelons, in
there are varieties that feature orange, yellow, or white flesh.
watermelons have seeds that are black, brown, white, green or
yellow, a few varities
are actually seedless.
Watermelon is not only great on a hot summer day, this delectable
thirst-quencher may also help quench the inflammation that
contributes to conditions like
asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer, and arthritis.
watermelon is actually packed with some of the most important
Good source of vitamin A: Vitamin A has many roles in promoting
health. It helps your eyes see normally in the dark, promotes the
growth and health
of cells, and protects against infection by helping to maintain
and tissues. It also is involved in hearing, taste, growth and
development of fetuses. A two-cup serving of watermelon provides 20
percent of the
recommended daily intake for vitamin A.
Good source of vitamin C: Like vitamin A, vitamin C has many
in the body. Probably vitamin C's most well known role is as an
protecting body cells from damage by free radicals. Studies have
cell damage by free radicals may lead to chronic health problems,
cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants, such as vitamin C, appear to
effects of free radicals. Vitamin C is also required for the
maintenance of collagen, it boosts the body's ability to fight
helps keep capillaries and gums healthy. A two-cup serving of
supplies 30 milligrams of vitamin C.
Provides potassium: Although the scientific reasons are not fully
foods high in potassium may help protect against high blood
Potassium also helps regulate fluids and mineral balance in and out
of body cells,
aids in muscle contraction, and helps transmit nerve impulses.
and vegetables are among the best sources of potassium, including
which has approximately 350 milligrams per two-cup serving.
Contains lycopene: Watermelon contains 15 - 20 milligrams of
antioxidant that may help reduce the risk of cancer and other
diseases, per two
cup serving. Found only in select fruits and vegetables, lycopene,
C, neutralizes cell-damaging free radicals. A study conducted by
at Harvard University found that men who consumed lycopene-rich
tomatoes and tomato products had a much lower risk of developing
specifically prostate cancer.
Ninety-two percent water: Staying properly hydrated is extremely
particularly during the hot days of summer. While plain water and
beverages provide a significant amount of most people's fluid
food, especially fruits and vegetables, also provide a substantial
Watermelon is 92 percent water by weight, the highest percentage of
Low in calories - yet, filling: A two-cup serving of watermelon has
calories. However, as a result of its high water content, watermelon
Low in fat and cholesterol free: Among its other health benefits,
is naturally low in fat and cholesterol free. Research suggests that
moderate in fat and cholesterol promote health and may aid in the
certain chronic diseases.
How to Select and Store Watermelons:
The best way to choose a flavorful melon is to look at the color and
of the flesh, which should be a deep color and absent from white
it features seeds, they should be deep in color.
Oftentimes, however, we do not have this liberty when purchasing
since it is more common to buy a whole, uncut fruit. When choosing a
watermelon, look for one that is heavy for its size with a rind that
smooth and that is neither overly shiny nor overly dull. In
side of the melon should have an area that is distinct in color from
the rest of
the rind, displaying a yellowish or creamy tone. This is the
place that was resting on the ground during ripening, and if the
fruit does not
have this marking, it may have been harvested prematurely, which
negatively affect its taste, texture and juiciness.
Watermelons should be refrigerated in order to best preserve their
taste and juiciness. If the whole watermelon does not fit in your
refrigerator, cut it into pieces (as few as possible), and cover
them with plastic wrap
to prevent them from becoming dried out and from absorbing the odors
Tips for Preparing Watermelon:
Just a reminder... Always wash the outside of a watermelon with tap
before you cut it open. This is important to prevent the spread of
might be on the outside surface to the interior of the melon. Due to
size, you will probably not be able to run it under water in the
Instead, wash it with a wet cloth or paper towel.
Depending upon the size that you desire, there are many ways to cut
watermelon. The flesh can be sliced, cubed or scooped into balls.
delicious to eat as is, while it also makes a delightful addition to
a fruit salad.
Jam, sorbet and juice are some nutritious and delicious things you
with watermelon. While many people are just accustomed to eating the
flesh of the watermelon, both the seeds and the rind are also
A Few Quick Serving Ideas:
Watermelon is a wonderful addition to fruit salad. In Asian
roasted watermelon seeds are either seasoned and eaten as a snack
food or ground up
into cereal and used to make bread. A featured item of Southern
cooking, the rind of watermelon can be marinated, pickled or
Watermelon is not a commonly allergenic food, is not included in the
list of 20 foods that most frequently contain pesticide residues,
and is also not known to contain goitrogens, oxalates, or purines.
Islamic Perspective: Some Hadith regarding
The Arabic word for Watermelon as mentioned in the Hadith is 'Batikh'
Among the fruits that the Prophet(sallallahu aliyhi wassallam) liked
were grapes and watermelons. (Abu Dawood)
I saw the Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah eating
watermelon with dates. ( Narrated Anas bin Malik(radhi yallah anhu)
- Tirmizi) Prophet Muhammad(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) liked
grapes and watermelon. ( Abu Dawood)
Prophet Muhammad(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) used to eat
watermelon with fresh dates. (narrated Ayesha(radhiyallahu anha) -
The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah said,
'Eating watermelon before meals washes the stomach and removes its
diseases (Ibn Asakir)
Prepared by AL-Islaah Publications from
1. Medicinal Plants of Prophet Muhammad- Dr. M.I.H.
Farooqi ( www.khatoons.com
2. Seven wonders of watermelon By Pat Kendall, Ph.D., R.D. Food
Human Nutrition Specialist, Colorado State University.