Fig, divine fruit

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One of the most sacred plants ever for the whole of humanity, with celebrations that go from East to West, crossing faiths and places as far apart from each other as ever. The fig tree has managed to establish itself in these millennia as one of the plants most closely related to the divine, so much so that it even has a surah of the Quran dedicated to him.

Mediterranean origins

The origins of this plant are to be found in Asia Minor, in particular in Caria, a region known in antiquity for the imposing Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world. Certainly, however, this tree was already present for some time in Palestine, so much so that its remains are earlier than those of wheat and spelled, some of the oldest cereals ever. It is no coincidence that the fig is one of the 7 species mentioned in Deuteronomy as indigenous to Israel, which immediately clarifies its importance and weight in everyday life. However, the Greeks will spread this fruit throughout the Mediterranean, making it one of the most loved and honored species in human history since ancient times.

fig tree
A fig tree

Over time it was brought to every corner of the globe, so much so that today there are very few places where it is absolutely not present. However, the largest producers in the world remain in the Middle East, with Turkey, Egypt and Morocco absolute protagonists for the number of specimens produced each year.

In connection with faith

By virtue of its taste and the absence of seeds, the fig has assumed, with the passage of time, an increasingly central role also with regard to religion, becoming one of the most present plants ever in the 3 monotheistic faiths. In fact, it is even present in Genesis, where it becomes the first garment ever for Adam and Eve, as soon as they are expelled from the earthly Paradise. Furthermore, over time the fig tree has also taken on a metaphorical value, identifying itself with the believer and, more generally, with the pure man.

fig tree
Surat At-Tin, vv.1

Value traced also in the Quran, in which the 95th sura, called Surat At-Tin, “Fig Surah” is also dedicated. In addition there are several hadiths (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad) in which the various qualities are celebrated, including the prevention of gout and hemorrhoids. The fruit is then reported as heavenly, as it does not contain seeds inside, a very rare case in nature. Finally, it is particular how the sacredness towards this plant is not limited to the Mediterranean, acquiring an even greater weight in India. It was right under a specimen of sacred fig tree, later called Sri Maha Bodhi, that Siddhartha Gautama will reach enlightenment, thus becoming Buddha.

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