By Maulana Sulayman Kindi & Tib-e -Nabi
Many people eat pumpkin out of love for Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم). This is based on the Sunnah established from Ḥadīth, such as the following narrated by ʾal-ʾImāmʾal-Bukhārī:
أنس بن مالك يقول إن خياطا دعا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لطعام صنعه قال أنس فذهبت مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فرأيته يتتبع الدباء من حوالي القصعة قال فلم أزل أحب الدباء من يومئذ
ʾAnas said, “A tailor invited Allāh’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم for a meal which he had cooked. So I went with Allāh’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم and saw him plucking the dubbāʾ from around the edges of the platter. So I always loved dubbāʾ since that day.” [Chapter of plucking from the edges of a platter if your companion does not dislike it].
Reliable contemporary dictionaries, such as Almaany, suggest both “pumpkin” and “gourd” as English translations for dubbāʾ. Both are scientifically fruits (having seeds). They are botanically related, both are under the classification of Cucurbita, yet they are obviously distinct fruits. In seeking to be as close to the Sunnah as possible, which of the two would be the better translation?
In their commentaries on the above narration, giants of the science of Ḥadīth, such as ʾIbn Ḥajar and ʾān-Nawawī (Allāh’s mercy be upon them both), discuss issues of etiquette, Sunnah, the correct pronunciation of dabbāʾ yet contrary to their usual attention to detail, neither ʾImām makes an effort to clarify which fruit is applicable to the Ḥadīth. This is not surprising when one considers that in that time and place only one of the two fruits existed. There was no need to clarify between a known fruit and one which the Arabs heard never seen to that point.
The Tree of Yūnus (peace be upon him)
Before turning to the historical evidence, we do have access to a detailed description in the Islāmic sources, which provide further clarity. In his commentary, ʾIbn Ḥajar narrates from Nasāʿī that Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “It is the tree of my brother, Yūnus.”
ʾIbn Kathīr describes the tree as follows in his commentary:
“It grows quickly. It gives shade due to its large leaves and that it rises. Flies tend to stay away from it. Its fruit is excellent nutrition wise. It is eaten raw and cooked, the flesh and shell is also edible. It is an established fact that Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) loved dubbāʾ and plucked it from the edges of the platter.”
From this description is would be clear that the tree which “rises” and is shady, must be bottle gourd (calabash/ Lagenaria siceraria) which grows as a vine, not pumpkin which grows on the ground and does not give shade.
1. In Quran it is called as YAQTEEN (يقطين) (means a plant without branches) means it is creeper.
2. In English it is called as Pumpkin.
3. In common language it is called as Kaddu.
4. In Hadees, Pumpkin is called as Kar’a (القرع) and Dubba (الدباء).
5. Round Pumpkin is called Dubba & elongated Pumpkin is called as Kar’a.
Many scholars consider bottle gourd (dudhi) as Dubba & Kar’a, but many consider pumpkin (Kaddu), we can consider both pumpkin & bottle gourd, , but pumpkin refers more stronger than bottle gourd. Bottle gourd is lauki (Dudhi). So we should eat both, and both are considered as Sunnah, Though Allah Ta’ala knows better.
Quranic reference of it: –
1. In Chapter 37 (Sura) As-Saffat verse no. 139 to 146. In these verses the story of Prophet Yunus (عليه السلام) is told & Yaqteen is mentioned as climbers like tree.
Translation: And we caused to grow over him a tree, a gourd.
Prophetﷺ’s guidance about pumpkin (القرع) and (الدباء): –
A Feast: –
1. Narrated Anas Bin Malik رضي الله عنه that, a tailor invited Rasoolullahﷺ to a meal which he had prepared. I went with Rasool Allahﷺ to that meal, and the tailor served Rasoolullahﷺ with barley bread (خُبْزًا مِنْ شَعِيرٍ) and soup of gourd (دُبَّاء) and cured meat. I saw Rasoolullahﷺ picking the pieces of gourd from around the dish, and since then I have kept on liking round pumpkin (الدُّبَّاءَ)
[Bukhari: 5439; Book. 70; English vol. 7; Book. 65; Hadees. 350]
Nabi صلى الله عليه وسلم had a slave (gulam) to whom (respected) Nabiﷺ had freed, this slave became a tailor & invited (respected) Nabiﷺ for a feast.
Liking of Pumpkin: –
2. Hazrat Anas Bin Malik رضي الله عنه says that Nabiﷺ liked (حب) long pumpkin (القرع) very much.
[Ibn Ma-jah: 3427; Book. 29, English vol. 4; Book. 29; Hadees. 3302]
Dubba (Pumpkin) used to increase the food: –
3. Narrated by Hakim Bin Jabir رضي الله عنه that his father said: “I entered upon the Nabiﷺ in his house, and Heﷺ had some of this round pumpkin (الدُّبَّاء), I asked ‘What is this?’ Nabiﷺ replied ‘This is long pumpkin (الْقَرْعُ), it is round pumpkin (الدُّبَّاءُ) we augment our food with it”.
[Ibn Ma-jah: 3429; Book. 29; English volume. 4; Book. 29, Hadees. 3304]
4. Jabir Bin Taariq رضي الله عنه says that “I attended the assembly of Rasoolullahﷺ & I observed, they were busy cutting round pumpkin (الدُّبَّاءُ) into pieces, I inquired ‘What shall be made of this’, Heﷺ replied, It will be add in our food.
[Shama’il Muhammadiya: 161; Book. 26, English Book. 25, Hadees. 152]
Benefits & merits of Pumpkin: –
5. Hazrat Anas Bin Malik رضي الله عنه says that Nabiﷺ said that round pumpkin (الدباء) increases the intelligence, brain function & increases brain strength.
[Kanz al-Ummal: 28277]
6. Hazrat Ataa Bin Ribah رضي الله عنه says that Rasoolullahﷺ said that long pumpkin (القرع) is present for you, which increases the intelligence & strengthens the Brain (الدماغ).
[Shobul Imaan: 5547]
7. Hazrat Wasila رضي الله عنه says that Nabiﷺ said that long pumpkin (القرع) is present for you, which increases the intelligence (الدماغ) and lentils (masoor daal) (العدس) is also present for you, which was eaten by more than 70 Prophet of Allah Ta’ala.
8. Hazrat A’isha رضي الله عنها said to father of Hazrat Hashsham Bin Arwah رضي الله عنه that Nabiﷺ said to her that whenever you cook dry meat add round pumpkin (دباء) in it because it strengthens the heart which is effected with (قلب الحزين) inferior complex.
[Ibne Qayyim vol.1; page. 308]
9. Hazrat Abu Talut رضي الله عنه says that I went to Hazrat Anas Bin Malik رضي الله عنه & he was eating long pumpkin (القرع) & he said long pumpkin (القرع) is from such a plant to which I like very much because it is loved very much by Rasoolullahﷺ.
[Tirmizi: 1849; Book. 25; English volume no. 3; Book. 23, Hadees. 1849]
May Allāh guide us to the Sunnah, in its love, knowledge and implementation.