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Crosscurrents is our award-winning radio news magazine, broadcasting Mondays through Thursdays at 11 a.m. on 91.7 FM. We make joyful, informative stories that engage people across the economic, social, and cultural divides in our community. Listen to full episodes at kalw.org/crosscurrents

Bay Area Muslims get their dates for Ramadan

Hana Baba
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Ramadan is here and Bay Area Muslims have begun their fast from food, drink , and yes even water — from sunup to sundown. For Muslims, the fast is a private act of worship with deep meaning. For some it means contemplating God, extra prayer, increased charity and study of the Quran. And when the sun goes down, it’s time to eat and drink, with meals that include savory dishes and delectable treats. We try to get in our veggies and fruits.

But there’s one fruit that reigns supreme in this month — the date — that dark, soft and sweet Middle-Eastern fruit of the date palm. Many Muslims around the world break their fast with dates, before they indulge in the evening meal, following the advice of the Prophet Muhammad. Dates are mentioned in the Qur’an 22 times, including in the revered story of Mary who was nourished by the dates of the palm tree under which she birthed Jesus Christ.

Last week, Muslims were doing their Ramadan shopping — including me. The Bay Area is full of shops where I could find dates, but on this day, I go to Aladdin Gourmet in San Mateo.

This story aired in the March 11, 2024 episode of Crosscurrents.

Hana Baba is host of Crosscurrents, KALW's weeknight newsmagazine that broadcasts on KALW Public Radio in the San Francisco Bay Area.