You might wonder what Zaytouna means! It refers to the olive tree, mentionned several times in the Holy Qur’an as one of Allah’s wonders, containing cures for many diseases, in addition to the nutritional value of its fruits and oil. Amongst others, it is said olive oil helps cure arthritis, leprosy, pleurisy, burns, haemorrhoids and ulcers. Surah Tin (95) starts with Allah swearing on the fig tree and on the olive tree: “Wa Tini wa Zaytoun!”. Several ahadith also refer to olive oil: “Anoint yourself with olive oil, for it is from a blessed tree” says one narration, reported by Ibn Umar. Used on the skin and hair, it delays ageing and works well as a moisturizer and a lubricant.A few drops on the hair will help tame them and make them shiny.
It was also widely used as a medicine in traditional societie: massaging olive oil on the chest can help with throat pains and colds. Earaches can be cured by applying warm oil on the outside of the ear with a bit of cotton. Abu Huraira reported a hadith stating that olive oil contains a cure for seventy disease.
The olive tree is thus very versatile and is a symbol of peace and wisdom. It is also often associated with Palestine, reknowed for its delicious oil, and the tree has come to represent Palestinians’ courage and endurance in the face of adversity.
It is a staple in Mediterranean food, where it is considered healthier than other cooking oils: the best olive oil comes from Italy, Tunisia or Spain. I personnaly get mine from Morocco straight from the souq, in big bottles to last me for month, so that I can make sure that it is pure and that nothing has been added to it. Muslim Hands are running a scheme to plant olive trees in Palestine, for those looking to make a sadaqah.