Safarjal (The forgotten fruit)

This fruit has amazing health benefits.

The Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him) said: ”Eat Quince for it sweetens the heart and Allah has not sent any Prophet as his messenger without giving him Quince of the garden to eat, for that quince gives him the strength of at least 40 men”! 

(Ibn Maja)

The companion Talha (Allah be please with him), said:” I visited Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) who had a quince in his hand, he offered it to me, saying “take this O Talha and eat it, for it is a tonic to strengthen the heart, lifts ones spirit, satisfies ones desire for food, dissipates uptightness of the chest and softens the heart”

(narrated by al-nisai, in Ibn Maja)

Ibn Al Qayyum (r.a) mentions the Quince as being a fruit of benefit in his work entitled Tibb-an-Nabawi and in their states that the nature of Quince is cold and dry and that it benefits the stomach and its preserve benefits the heart.

He said that all varieties of this fruit quench the thirst, stop vomiting through the reduction of nausea, increase the excretion of urine, benefit in treating ulcers of the stomach. Eating a quince after meals softens the stomach, acts as an drying agent, abates yellow bile in the stomach and prevents gases resulting from eating from rising upwards to the chest or brain. Also said eating a quince before a meal renders it a strong astringent (in that it dries up secretions). He said its best to consume quince broiled or cooked with honey (preserve).

Ibn Qayyum (r.a) has also said: Quince taken as a preserve, strengthens the stomach and heart, acts as a tonic for the heart, dissipates uptightness of the chest and opens blood passages.

Applying as an ointment made of quince its arrests perspiration, sustains the veins and strengthens the stomach.

Out of season, this out of shape apple looking fruit, is virtually impossible to find let alone in season during the winter months between mid October and late January. With such a small time window, i would recommend buying them and placing them on a tray in a cool dark place with such suffice for up to 2 months thereafter it would be best to cut, dice and freeze. I find them more available at inspired fruit markets or farmers markets. It is very sad, that such a blessed fruit has been forgotten. The fragrance of quince will enhance any home, bringing warmth fresh and delightful tones; it falls in the middle, between an apple and pear, being from the same family and is fragranced more towards an apple.

The trees grow in a slightly wild manner with twisted branches, wavy and out of shape. In late spring the trees blossom, with an ever plesant fragrance from white, pink flowers, which unfortunately don’t last long. In Northern parts of Europe the fruit never really ripen to be eaten raw, but is perfect to make into delicious preserves. In the years of making this beautiful preserve I have had all but compliments of its addictively delicious taste.

Quince in its early days

Quince is known to have come from the Caucasus Mountains, a very hostile environment with hot summer months and merciless winters. But this hardy tree strived there in the fertile soil at the foothills of this region, turning out ripe and tasty fruit. They’ve been used in especially Turkish, Dagestan, Persian, Islamic cooking for over 2500 years. Greek history also mentions of this fruit being used at weddings and ceremonies and medicinal use. The romans also liked quince especially for its medicinal use, In fact the fruit was used around the world and reached most areas.

Peeling and cutting a quince isn’t easy, due the skin and fruit being very hard in its raw state. One should exercise caution. It isn’t a fruit that commonly eaten raw, but it can be. However one that is better cooked and eaten as a preserve has great benefits according to Hakim’s (natural medicine physicians), it is mentioned in works of Muhammad Akili, Ibn Qayyum (r.a), Imam Suyutti (r.a) and many more renowned Islamic health scholars.

The seeds of Quince fruit are like gemstones to traditional medicine, ground down and a teaspoon boiled in milk or water is very beneficial for dry throats and dryness of the windpipe, trachea, dry coughs etc.

Quince as a Tonic Preserve

I have had the pleasure of making organic jam, tagine’s and cakes, but the most precious is the Quince Preserve’s; one type of preserve i make in season contains very rare and highly sought after organic ingredients, such as raw organic honey, pure gold flakes, and pure deer musk as well as other organic ingredients. It is absolutely ‘beautiful’ in taste and aids strength particularly during or after illness, when one realising the Prophet (peace be upon him) recommended this blessed fruit, it becomes even more tastier. In earlier times, making a quince preserve with honey was often seen as rare and a treasurable experience as an expensive cuisine. As aforementioned, in the works of Ibn Qayyum Al Jawaziyah (r.a) Quince is best eaten as a preserve. Imam Suyuti (r.a) mentioned in his book Medicine of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that quince scented with Ambergris is even more powerful.

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