“Then through water We caused to grow for you gardens of date-palms and vines wherein you have an abundance of delicious fruits, and from them you derive your livelihood. And We also produced the tree which springs forth from Mount Sinai, containing oil and sauce for those that eat.”
(Al-Qur’ān – 23:19-20)
These verses from the Holy Qur’ān refer to God’s bounties, especially a wide variety of fresh and dry fruits in addition to dates and grapes.
Orchards and farms provide man with many forms of livelihood – fruits, grains, timber and much, much more. The words used in the verse 23:19 are minha ta’kulūn in which the pronoun minha is related to the word jannāt (gardens), rather than the fawākih (fruits). As for the word ta’kulūn, it does not simply mean that ‘people eat the fruits of these gardens’, it rather conveys the wider meaning of deriving a livelihood from them.
The tree springing forth from Mount Sinai alludes to the olive, the most important product in all the lands around the Mediterranean Sea. The olive tree lasts for one and a half to two thousand years. Olive trees live for so long that on the basis of the height and breadth of some in Palestine it is estimated that they date back to the days of the Prophet Jesus (peace be to him).
The olive tree is mentioned here in association with Mount Sinai. This presumably is because the original habitat of the olive tree is Mount Sinai which in turn is the most prominent place in that region.