There is no doubt that olive oil takes its accreditation from Quraan & Hadith.
In Quraan Kareem, Allah Ta’ala Exemplified His Noor with the olive tree
يُوقَدُ مِن شَجَرَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ زَيْتُونَةٍ لا شَرْقِيَّةٍ وَلاَ غَرْبِيَّةٍ يَكَادُ زَيْتُهَا يُضِىءُ وَلَوْ لَمْ تَمْسَسْهُ نَارٌ
[النور : 35]
“Lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east (i.e. neither it gets sun-rays only in the morning) nor of the west (i.e. nor it gets sun-rays only in the afternoon, but it is exposed to the sun all day long), whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself), though no fire touched it” (24:35)
وَشَجَرَةً تَخْرُجُ مِن طُورِ سَيْنَاء تَنبُتُ بِالدُّهْنِ وَصِبْغٍ لِّلْآكِلِينَ
Also a tree springing out of Mount Sinai, which produces oil, and relish for those who use it for food.
وفى الترمذىِّ وابن ماجه من حديث أبى هريرة رضى الله عنه، عن النبىِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قال:
Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah narrated that Abu Hurairah Radi Allahu Anh related that Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alayhi Wasallam said:
كُلُوا الزَّيتَ وادَّهِنُوا به، فإنَّه من شَجَرَةٍ مُبَارَكةٍ
“Eat the Zait and use it as an ointment because it is produced from a blessed tree”.
وللبَيْهَقِى وابن ماجه أيضاً: عن ابن عمر رضى الله عنه، قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم
Al-Bayhaqi and Ibn Majah narrated that Abdullah Bin Urnar Radi Allahu Anh said that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaho Alayhi Wasallam) said:
ائْتَدِمُوا بالزَّيتِ، وادَّهِنُوا به، فإنه من شَجَرَةٍ مُبَارَكةٍ
“Eat the oil (in curries) and use it as an ointment because it is from a blessed tree”.
The above Hadith quote the words “OIL produced by a blessed tree” which means that the only oil recommended by our beloved Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alayhi Wasallam for eating, cooking or massaging is the blessed Olive oil. It is a miracle that Allah Ta’ala has Exemplified His NOOR (light) with an olive tree.
It can be eaten as raw or used for cooking & frying.
The word ائْتَدِمُوا is derived from the Arabic word إدام Idaam which means curry ائْتَدِمُوا thus means that Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam advised to cook the curries in the blessed olive oil.
Narrated by Tirmizi in the book of Shamail, on the authrity of Anas Bin Malik Radi Allahu Anh that “Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam would escessively put the Zait (olive oil) in his head & beard, (and because of that, he would keep a small piece of cloth called QINA’A under his cap), and his Qina’a was full of the oil, like the clothes of an oil miller”.
Olive Oil properties:
- Zait (Olive Oil) is hot and wet in the first degree.
- The quality of oil depends on the tree that produces it.
- For instance, the best type of olive oil is that squeezed from ripe olives while oil from unripe olives is cold and dry.
- Red olives produce oil that is between these while black olives produce hot and wet oil.
- Olive oil helps against poisons, works as a laxative and rids the body of worms.
- Old olive oil leans more towards being hot and decomposing.
- When olive oil is blended with water, it becomes less hot, milder, and thus more beneficial. All kinds of olive oil soften the skin and slow the aging process. The salty water blended with oil helps burnt skin against blistering. It also strengthens the gingival.
Imam Zahabi’s research on Olive Oil (700 years ago) is the best in this world. People in those times never had the concept of extra virgin, Virgin OR Pomace Oil, they only extracted the oil & used it (after filtration) for cooking, which interprets that Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the best.
Imam Zahabi wrote:
- Zait Zaitoon Al-Infaaq is the one which is extracted from un-ripe (green) olives & its nature is cold & dry.
- Olive Oil which is pressed from ripe olives is moderately hot & wet natured.
- As the olives ripen, more is the heat obtained in the oil.
- Massaging by Olive Oil strengthens the hairs (prevents hair loss) & organs, & massaging the body slows down the AGING.
- Drinking Olive Oil helps against poisons, cleanses the stomach, relieves stomach pains & kills the intestinal worms.
- All the cooking OILS weaken the stomach except Olive Oil, and Oil from un-ripe olives is the best in this concern.
Also narrated by Ibn Al Jauzi:
- Ilqamah Bin Amir said “You have the Olive Oil, eat it & massage with it as it is the best for PILES”.
- It was also narrated that whoever uses Olive Oil for massaging, Shaytaan never comes close to him / her”.
- Someone said that Olive Oil is the Tiryaaq for Fuqaraa, which means that it removes the POVERTY (by bringing the blessings in house & by keeping the body away from diseases).
- Green Olives are cold & dry, best as a food, strengthen the digestion, ignite the libido, & prevent the formation of gaseous vapors.
- Black Olives are hot & dry, create black bile & are difficult to digest.
- Salted Olives are good against fire burns.
- Chewing Olive leaves is beneficial for mouth ulcers, oral thrush, skin irritations, bacterial infections, Urticaria & sores.
Cooking with Olive Oil
As per the advice of our beloved prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam, we should cook our curries in olive oil.
Olive oil has been used for thousands of years and is one of the cornerstones of the healthy Mediterranean diet.
Olive oil is great oil for cooking.
- The blessed oil increases the digestibility, especially with vegetables that create burping / belching such as broccoli, cauliflower & cabbage.
- Strong flavoured olive oils can be used for frying fish or other strong flavoured ingredients.
- A mellow late harvest Mission variety oil could be used in baking a cake.
- Olive oil has a high smoke point, 410 degrees F, and doesn’t degrade as quickly as many other oils do with repeated high heating.
- Use a variety of healthy vegetable oils when preparing food and incorporate a good extra virgin olive oil when you want its health benefits and wonderful Mediterranean flavour.
There are some myths which have recently circulated about olive oil.
Olive Oil Myths:
Olive oil loses its benefits when heated (Myth)
Excessively heating olive oil will evaporate the alcohols and esters which make up its delicate taste and fragrance. Heating olive oil will not change its health aspects, only the flavour. Use a cheaper olive oil which doesn’t have much flavour to begin with if you want to fry with it, add a more flavourful olive oil after cooking or at the table.
Heating or cooking oil will make it saturated or a trans-fatty oil (Myth)
As far as making a saturated fat, according to Dr. A. Kiritsakis, a world renowned oil chemist in Athens, (Book – OLIVE OIL FROM THE TREE TO THE TABLE -Second edition 1998), all oils will oxidize and hydrogenate to a tiny degree if repeatedly heated to very high temperatures such as is done in commercial frying operations. Olive pomace oil and virgin olive oil are both highly monounsaturated oils and therefore resistant to oxidation and hydrogenation. Studies have shown oxidation and hydrogenation occurs to a lesser degree in olive oil than in other oils. But in any case, the amount of hydrogenation is miniscule and no home cook would ever experience this problem.
The large refinery-like factories which take unsaturated vegetable oil and turn it into margarine or vegetable lard do so by bubbling hydrogen gas through 250 to 400 degree hot vegetable oil in the presence of a metal catalyst, usually nickel or platinum. The process can take several hours. You cannot make a saturated product like margarine at home by heating olive oil or any other vegetable oil in a pan. Changing a cis-fat to a trans-fat does not occur on a home stove.
Cooking in olive oil diminishes the nutritional value of the food (Myth).
Heating food will break down its nutritional value. High heat such as frying is worse than moderate heat such as steaming, which is worse than eating vegetables raw. It is not the cooking oil per se, but the high heat of frying. . Most nutritionists recommend lightly steaming vegetables or eating them raw. A touch of a flavorsome olive oil added at the table will add taste and healthful anti-oxidants. Such is the “Mediterranean diet” which has been shown to help prevent coronary disease and have other health benefits.