At iftar time, the Prophet breaks his fast with few fresh or dried dates or a sip of water.
Muslims consider date palms and their fruit as sacred. In Arabic, the word for date palm is "nahle" and its fruit is called "tamr." Dates, a fruit that grows in tropical and dessert climates, have an important place in Middle Eastern, West African and North African cultures, as they mostly grow in these regions.
Dates are a staple on iftar tables during Ramadan even Prophet Muhammad's iftar table always had dates. At iftar time, the Prophet breaks his fast with few fresh or dried dates or a sip of water. According to him, a faithful Muslim resembled a date palm and ate dates with bread. He advised eating fresh and dried dates together because he believed that the devil feels discomfort when an individual lived long enough to be able to consume both the fresh and dried versions of a fruit.
The importance of dates is not peculiar to the holy month of Ramadan alone For instance, distributing dates instead of candy during Mevlid recitations in Hijaz was a tradition and the most precious gifts brought by pilgrims from Mecca are "zam-zam" water and dates.
Prophet Muhammad also planted a date tree and recited an abundance of prayers. He said that those who eat seven dates on an empty stomach in the morning will be protected from any poison and ill-wishes.