Friday, 31 July 2009
How are you all? In good health and spirits inshaAllah :-)
I'm going through yet another non work productive day today. Blah. I'm surrounded by work that needs flicking through, yet need to implement a strategy to tackle the force that is a 15,000 word dissertation :| Buut, I know what I'm doing, I think, need to get my ass in firing fifth gear. I'm determined inshaAllah :-)
I've also been meaning to write about some odd randomness but can never find the right place to slot it in, think I've just found it.
Randomness No.1: My bestest friend from back in the school the school days, and some one I've known for something like 13 years, made my entire week yesterday when she emailed me and told me that she had been checking out this blog and was actually entertained by it! I don't know what she meant by that but I'm sure it can only be a positive thing, because that's just what she is, little Miss. Positive! What surprised me the most though, was when she said that my character/personality was something that was apparently the same on here as it is off this blog and in the real world. This sort of did surprise me as I wasn't expecting it. On the contrary, I was sort of expecting her to say "Fatty, what the hell has been going on? You've changed! What are you going on about?" But no. She could see me in the posts, and I'm glad :-) I'm also glad that I confessed to her about this blog. I was unsure if I wanted my anonymity to disappear altogether. One thing I was sure about though, was that I wanted to share all these things with her, just as I have been doing for all those years. Y'see, we now live 3 hours apart as opposed to 30minutes away when we both lived in the same town. We call each other every other week, msg each other, meet up in my home town when we can, but having this blog means that all those silly little things along with the more bigger things will now be shared. Beanie - I miss you and wish that you were here so we could have our fun little adventures, but alas, until then, get your little paws on your keyboard and sort yourself out with your own blog! I mean it! Do it! :-D
Randomness No.2: I've recently been waking up every morning and have started breakfast with fresh mangoes followed by bacon flavoured wheat crunchie crisps! And NO, I'm not preggers my dearies! I can't explain it. Soo odd. I really need to sort my fixation with bacon flavoured crisps - not gooood!Randomness No.3: I still feel like I'm 19 not a soon to be 24 year old. I can't be bothered celebrating my 24th this Sunday. Feels blah. Too much work. Don't need the extra food nor bothery.Randomness No.4: Hubs has given me another pet name. This one is sweetcorn. 'cos I heart sweetcorn. Yaa. Cute.Randomness No.5: Today is one year from when the hubs and I officially became hubby and wifey although we had an Islamic wedding on Xmas Eve 2007. Strange England.Randomness No.6: It suddenly dawned on me while I was cleaning up the bedroom that I had tucked away a container full of sugaring wax some weeks ago, that hadn't gone according to plan. I creeped up to pull it out from under my bed and there it was. Rock hard, with spoon in tow! I shall persevere!Okay enough already of this self indulgent randomness ramblings.
DEFINITION The word “sha’baan is derived from the word "shu'ba", which means branch and itself means consecutively escalating or undisturbed increase. The Arabs used to branch out during this month to look for water.
The Arrival of the Sha’baan moon brings with it numerous blessings. Just as the initiation of rainfall begins with "pitter patter" such blessings reach us in the same accord and fashion. These blessings progressively escalate throughout the month so that by the middle of the month they have reached a considerable amount, reaching their peak by the end of Ramadan.
Just as a farmer prepares for a fruitful harvest by harrowing his acreage so that the soil may readily retain water; in contrast our souls are geared by the presence of such blessings in Sha’baan effectively preparing us for a fruitful and completely advantageous Ramadan. The Holy Prophet (SAW) has said,
"Sha’baan is my month and Ramadan the month of Allah Ta'aalaa." [Daylami]
The month of Sha’baan is one of the meritorious months in the Islamic calendar and it is reported in an authentic hadith that the Holy Prophet (SAW) used to fast most of this month. Although these fasts are not obligatory, Sha’baan is the month immediately preceding the month of Ramadan, therefore some preparatory measures are suggested by the Holy Prophet (SAW) through his sunnah and his practices.
The blessed companion Anas (RA) reported that the Holy Prophet was asked
“Which fast is the most meritorious after the fasts of Ramadan” he replied “Fasts of Sha’baan in honour of Ramadan”
The blessed companion Usama ibn Zaid (RA) reported that he asked the Holy Prophet (SAW)
“O Messenger of Allah (SAW), I have seen you fasting in the month of Sha’baan so frequently that I have never seen you fasting in any other month” he replied “That (Sha’baan) is a month between Rajab and Ramadan which is neglected by many people. And it is a month in which an account of the deeds (of human beings) is presented before the Lord of the universe. So I wish that my deeds be presented at time when I am in a state of fasting”
Ummul Mu’mineen ‘Aishah said
“The Holy Prophet (SAW) used to fast in the whole of Sha’baan.” I said to him “Messenger of Allah (SAW), is the month of Sha’baan your most favourite month to fast?” He said “In this month Allah (SWT) prescribes the list of the persons dying this year. Therefore, I like that my death come to me when I am in a state of fasting.”
In another tradition she said
“The Holy Prophet (SAW) would sometimes begin to fast continuously until we thought he would not stop fasting, and sometimes he used to stop fasting until we thought he would never fast. I never saw the Messenger of Allah (SAW) fasting a complete month, except the month of Ramadan, and I have never seen him fasting in a month more frequently than he did in Sha’baan.”
In another report she said
“I never saw the Messenger of Allah (SAW) fasting in a month so profusely as he did in the month of Sha’baan. He used to fast in that month leaving only a few days, rather, he used to fast almost the whole of the month.”
Ummul-Mu’mineen Umm Salmah said
“I never saw the Messenger of Allah (SAW) fasting for two months continuously except in the months of Sha’baan and Ramadan.”
These ahadith indicate that fasting in the month of Sha’baan, though not obligatory, is so meritorious, that the Holy Prophet (SAW) did not like to miss them. It should be kept in mind that the fasts of this month are for those persons only who are capable of keeping them without causing deficiency to the obligatory Ramadan fasts. The Holy Prophet (SAW) has also forbidden Muslims from fasting one or two days prior to the commencement of Ramadan. Abu Hurairah reported the Holy Prophet (SAW) said,
“Do not fast after the first half of the month of Sha’baan has gone.”
According to another report, the Prophet (SAW) said,
“Do not precede the month of Ramadan with one or two fasts.”
In essence, the Holy Prophet (SAW) himself used to fast most of the month of Sha’baan, because he had no apprehension of weakness or weariness before the month of Ramadan. As for others, he ordered them not to fast after the 15th of the month for the feat that they would lose their strength and freshness before Ramadan started and as a result would mot be able to welcome the month with enthusiasm.
The notion of fasting on the 15th day of this month with is referred to as “shabee baraat,” and standing in voluntary prayer during the night, is an innovation which has no religious significance associated with it.
A significant event that occurred during this month was the change in the direction of salat. Bukhar reported that Al-Bara said the Prophet prayed facing Bait-ul-Maqdis in Jerusalem for sixteen or seventeen months but he wished that his Qiblah would be the Ka'ba. Allah (SWT) revealed the following Qu’ranic verses
“Verily! We have seen the turning of your (Muhammad's (SAW)) face towards the heaven. Surely, We shall turn you to a Qiblah (prayer direction) that shall please you, so turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid- al-Harâm (at Makkah). And wheresoever you people are, turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction. Certainly, the people who were given the Scriptures (i.e. Jews and the Christians) know well that, that (you’re turning towards the direction of the Ka'bah at Makkah in prayers) is the truth from their Lord. And Allah (SWT) is not unaware of what they do.” (Al-Baqarah 2:144)
The Holy Prophet then offered 'Asr prayers (in his Mosque facing Ka'ba at Makkah) and some people prayed with him. A man from among those who had prayed with him, went out and passed by some people offering prayer in another mosque, and they were in the state of bowing. He said, "I, (swearing by Allah (SWT),) testify that I have prayed with the Prophet (SAW) facing Makkah." Hearing that, they turned their faces to the Ka'ba while were still bowing. Some men had died before the Qiblah was changed towards the Ka'ba. They had been killed and we did not know what to say about them (i.e. whether their prayers towards Jerusalem were accepted or not). So Allah (SAW) revealed
“And Allah would never make your faith (i.e. prayer) to be lost (i.e. your prayers offered (towards Jerusalem). Truly Allah is Full of Pity, Most Merciful towards mankind.” (Al-Baqarah 2:143)
1. "Qibla" the direction to be adopted within salaah, was reverted back to the "Ka'aba" in Makkah (after being converted to Baitul Muqaddas in Jerusalem for a short period of time). This took place two years after Hijrion the 15th of Sha’baan
2. Fasting in the blessed month of Ramadan was made compulsory in the year 2 AH on the 25th of Sha’baan
3. Hafsa (RA) was joined in matrimony with the Prophet (SAW) in 3 AH
4. Hafsa (RA) took leave from this world in 45 AH
5. Hussain (RA), the grandson of the Prophet's (SAW) was born, four years after Hijri on the 5th of Sha’baan
6. The Battle of Banu Mustaliq took place in Sha’baan during which, the "Aayah of Tayammum" (purifying with sand before salaah) was revealed, in the year 5 AH
7. The daughter of the beloved Prophet (SAW) Umme Kulthum (RA) took leave from this world, in the 9 AH
Article ref here.
Tuesday, 28 July 2009
I've been away for a little while, up north visiting my family. You may remember me posting about my dad's health a while back. Although he had been making a slow and gradual recovery mashaAllah, his health is still quite unpredictable and unstable, so much so infact that my mum had to urgently return from desh (that's Bangladesh btw) last week. With the cancer being very aggressive this time round, he is having to take steroids to keep him going and to make him feel better. I was really worried that he'd be quite down with it all but alhamdulilah, he is so strong! He wants to get better and inshaAllah he will! Just one day at a time. I'm back in my marital home right now and do check up on him from time to time but just wish that I could change things to be with him and my family. While I was up there, I cooked my dad many things that impressed him and the rest of my family very much - mostly because while I was unmarried and at home, I was the laziest bug in town! I'm soo glad I could do something to make him happy! Oh how I love my dad!
Monday, 20 July 2009
For the first time EVER last week, I set about to make home made pakoras for a final get to together with some uni pals. My friend had asked me to bring along some "traditional" food and after a little deliberation, I decided that taking fish and chips to a party, that too on public transport would not be the best choice and so I opted to make some pakoras instead - and guess what!? They came out fantastic alhamdulilah. I was soo soo so happy with how they came out, especially since I had no help in preparing it and only had my older sister's wise recipe words that she shared with me on the phone. Anyway. It is very simple so I'd recommend you all to try it out when the weather is damp and you want something spicy and warm :-)
And btw, for those of you who don't have the faintest about what a pakora is, click here to find out a little more about the deep fried snack!
4 medium potatoes - peeled, thinly sliced and then sliced again in quarters
1 medium onion - sliced into quarters
1 medium/large tomato - chopped
1 small bunch of coriander - chopped
1/4 tbsp of turmeric
1/2 tbsp of chilli powder
1 tbsp of coriander powder (dhaniya powder)
1 tsbp of cumin powder (jeera powder)
Chilli-flakes - add as much/little as you desire
Some plain flour (have no measurements as I just guessed - sorry!)
A little corn flour (have no measurements as I just guessed - sorry!)
Some water for mixing.
Oil for frying
Okay. Here are the instructions:
- Pour vegetable oil/cooking oil into a fryer and leave to warm up on the lowest heat setting.
- Peel and chop the potatoes and onions and put in large mixing bowl.
- Chop the tomatoes and coriander and then add to the mixing bowl.
- Now begin to add all the dry spices and then mix with the veg.
- Then add some plain flour. Put enough in to just cover the veg and no more.
- Break an egg and mix with the mixture.
- Now add some cornflour. The amount you use should be much less than the plain flour amount. The cornflour will add a crunch to the batter!
- If the batter begins to get dry, add some warm water and mix again. The batter should not be too runny nor too dry and the veg should have a batter that just clings on.
- Keep mixing until you are satisfied with the consistency.
- Now add the salt and chilli flakes as per your taste and mix.
- Once happy with the mixture, pour a tablespoon of mixture into hot oil (on a low heat) and deep fry.
- Once cooked, remove from the fryer and drain the excess oil onto a kitchen towel plate.
Friday, 17 July 2009
Why not talk these things with the people in your actual life, why bother blogging at all? Why do we spend time writing a post, checking out other's and interacting with them? Is it the anonymity we love? The global connection? The sharing with like minded people? I think for me, it's a bit of all these things, plus other thing which I've failed to articulate. See, for me, writing here on my blog, keeps my mind focused, even in times of complete cloudiness, as it's an outlet for me to communicate my thoughts/feelings/ideas at a time sometimes inconvenient for the people in my life, for whatever the reason may be. Aaaand, not to mention, coming across some really great blogs belonging to sisters all over the world has a certain element of fabulosity about it ;)
How about you? What made you blog in the first place? Can you imagine a blog free world for you? Drop us a line :-)
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
Apologies in advance for this next "woe be me" full of pathetic self pity post. See, I've been feeling kinda run down and tired recently, sort of dragged through the bush backward tired. And before any one begins to even feel any sympathy for me, I assure you, my lethargicness is not due to over doing anything on the work front, none whatsoever. In fact, for the past few days, I haven't so much as glanced over my dissertation as I seem to have an inability to manage my time. It's as though all work related stuff is plagued; that's how bad my none existent work ethic attitude has become. I have instead, shtoopitly allocated much of my time to blog- FB-forum and general web browsing, not to mention playing Tetris and other wonderfully distracting games :| Baaad, very very VERY bad I know, since my deadline for this final piece of work is at the end of August, sort of round the same time as Ramadhan. (Note to self: Get a move on FATTY!)
So, to eradicate this feeling of being a slacking seventeen year old (and apologies for the huuge generalisation here!) and to retun to being a grown up TWENTY THREE year old, I shall swiftly move on, get a grip and get down to business. Yessir. Ahuh.
Not a minute before spicy sausage pasta though! Hehee.
Much love x
Monday, 13 July 2009
Looking back at yesterday, it dawned on me that most of my entire day centred on FOOD! I don't know why I'm acting surprised since this is a typical weekend thing for the hubs and I when we spend time at home during a weekend. From morning to 'til dawn, food is one thing that keeps coming up in our conversations in our daily attempt on planning our menu's for the following week. Of course, we just become distracted by going off on a tangent, which yeah, you guessed it, is *still* food related! Heeehee...
Anyway, here are a few snaps of some of the yummy grub we munched through yesterday:
The Bolly (?!) seekh kebab meal was hubby's doing, for he *is* the grill man around our ways ;) The raita with onion, cucumber and tomatoes was my creation; and the mouth watering but fiery apricot chutney was my MIL's offering! The chutney was just soo delicious - I would have no trouble living off this for the rest of my life! Mmm mmm! You're probably wondering, fiery apricot chutney - wth?! Did I not mention my love for hot HOT fiery food? Well, this chutney was mouth hurting HOT and tear inducing HOT as MIL upon my request, added lots of crushed red chillies to a mixture of garlic, coriander and apricots! Yum!
**Note to self: stop thinking about grub if you're serious about becoming 'healthier'**
Sunday, 12 July 2009
Hope that you're all good and well :-)
Lovely Lela from My Getaway has tagged me and although I kinda think I know how this works, bear with me please if I sound amateur, cos I am :-P
I traced the tag back to Sis Nisa and this is basically what I need to do:
To do the Honest Scrap tag... Here's the deal. Tell your readers 10 things about you that they may or may not know, but are true. Tag ten people with the award, and be sure to let them know they've been tagged (a quick comment on their blog will do). Don't forget to link back to the blogger who tagged you.
Okay, here goes:
- I'm a 23 year old, soon to be 24, British born Bangladeshi Muslim, not necesarily in that order, but hey that's a post for another day. I can speak Bengali, although it is pretty sub-standard and can manage to get by on needs basis. Queen, I hope this has answered the question you asked some days ago :-)
- I have a really bad sweet tooth, sort of literally. I love desserts, from various cuisines and absolutely adore chocolate. My love for desserts and sweets is so deep in fact, that I have at least two cavities to prove it. Yikes.
- I can be very optimistic about the situation of others, as in, I will always be hopeful for the best in matters concerning my nearest and dearest or indeed others, but I seem to take a negative stance when dealing with my own ishooes.
- Talking of shoes (hah, see what I did there!?), my other love of my life, besides the hubs of course, is SHOES. I love them. Love. Love. Love. Last time I counted I had over 50 pair, and this was waay back in 2006/2007. They are literally spilling out of my wardrobe and I just can't resist a hot pair of sandals/shoes.
- Focusing on wardrobe issues, I also have a passion for fashion, which I have nutured from my more youthful days, hehee. From hijabs to skirts, and bracelets to bags, I love it all - must be hijab friendly of course.
- I took part in my first ever national demonstration back in January this year and marched through London when the Israel Defence Force (IDF) blazed Gaza city and also attended another march in protest of Gaza thereafter. Soo glad that I did it.
- I am a secondary school (or high school) teacher of ICT and am currently on my way to completing and gaining, inshaAllah, a Master's degree in Education. The year really has gone by super quick!
- I love learning new things, although I do get bored rapidly quick! Cooking seems to have become my latest *thirrng*
- I hate CATS. Yes, you 'erd. I 'ate 'em and I shudder at the thought of bumping into one!
- And yes, that's my "Northern" lingo in No.9. Most of us northern Brits/English/Wareva sometimes forget to pronounce the letter 'h' and so are often the ridicule of many. I have lived oop north all my life and have only just spent this past year (Sep 2008-Pres) living down South :-)
The one's to be tagged though are:
Friday, 10 July 2009
The headscarf martyr: murder in German court sparks Egyptian fury
• Woman was stabbed 18 times during hijab trial
• Outrage at lack of media coverage fuels protestsIt was while Marwa el-Sherbini was in the dock recalling how the accused had insulted her for wearing the hijab after she asked him to let her son sit on a swing last summer, that the very same man strode across the Dresden courtroom and plunged a knife into her 18 times.
Her three-year-old son Mustafa was forced to watch as his mother slumped to the courtroom floor.
Even her husband Elvi Ali Okaz could do nothing as the 28-year-old Russian stock controller who was being sued for insult and abuse took the life of his pregnant wife. As Okaz ran to save her, he too was brought down, shot by a police officer who mistook him for the attacker. He is now in intensive care in a Dresden hospital.
While the horrific incident that took place a week ago tomorrow has attracted little publicity in Europe, and in Germany has focused more on issues of court security than the racist motivation behind the attack, 2,000 miles away in her native Egypt, the 32-year-old pharmacist has been named the "headscarf martyr".
[The rest of the article can be found here]
The Uyghurs are the indigenous people of Xinjiang and have been settled in the north eastern parts of China for centuries; the Hans are the majority ethnic group in the whole of China.
From my understanding of what's been going on, the Uyghurs have for a while, felt threatened by the Han's growing presence in their indigenous state of Xinjiang. The number of Han's residing in the state has more than tripled from the early 1900's as the region developed enormously in the manufacturing sector. Many Uyghurs feel disgruntled about not prospering with the development of the state capital -Urumqi, and feel that the Government has not done enough for them to prosper both economically and politically in the economic boom.
The more immediate causes for the Urumqi riots seems to have manifested from this long history of mistrust between the two ethnic groups. Reports covering the reasons behind the riots breaking out are still unclear: two Uyghur factory worker deaths and the rape of a Han woman seem to be the two most common stories.
Whatever the immediate cause, things do not look good for the people living in Urumqi. Uyghur and Han people in their thousands are fleeing for their lives, leaving behind everything in the need of safety.
Angry Uyghur women have been compelled to protest on the streets, carrying pcitures of their husbands/sons/brothers/fathers as they fight for their voices to be heard, hoping to be reunited with their loved ones.
I just hope things settle down very soon as although the army's presence does seem to have brought a sense of calm amongst the riots, I doubt things will ever be the same again.
I don't really know what I'm supposed to do with it, but for now I'd like to thank fab Lela from My Getaway for presenting this award. How cute! :D
I would also like to show a little appreciation for all you bloggers on my blog list who have all in some shape or form, have encouraged me to keep this thing going, so thank you to you all!
For me, the three big do's the maxis does:
- It's a one piece garment, covering you from head to toe, okay, more like neck to ankle (minus the sleeves of course)
- You can style it up or down, i.e. wear with a shrug/bolero cardigan for arm coverage or a cute jumper/top giving to get a skirt/top look
- Fab crazy patterns, not to mention the great colours maxi dresses - what more do you need for the summer??
What do you make of the maxi? Love it or shove it? :D
Tuesday, 7 July 2009
Almost anyone and everyone who has been in living existence for the past few decades knows a little something about the legend that is Michael Jackson, either through intrigue, exposure or a mix of both.
The star that shot to the highest heights through his musical talent touched millions of ordinary people with his music as he made an astonishing and turbulent journey rfom rags to riches. Even from when I was a little kid, I remember how his music videos would electrify my living room with his superbly wacky dance moves and the infamous "aaW!". His influence was everywhere from his style (the permed hair-do's in the late '80s!) to his genius moonwalk - the man was a living legend. And he's gone.
I have just watched his final send off from start to finish and still can't believe he's gone for good. Whatever the controversy, whatever the accusations, I will always try to remember Michael for all the good he did for the world, and remember him fondly for all the reasons he made me laugh and smile as I grew up watching him perform his greatest hits on my TV screen.
RIP Michael. May Allah forever be in your heart, ameen.
Thursday, 2 July 2009
I know I haven't blogged in a long time, week maybe? It sometimes feels like a long time but then it also feels like I've never been away, yes I'm a lurker and wander around from time to time without updating my own blog! Too much has been going on since I last logged in to post. I travelled to my 'rents (a whole +3hr train journey from almost one end of the country to the other) last Friday to be there for my younger sis who was taken into hospital last week, suffering from abdominal pains. With my mum being abroad due to family business and dad being ill too, I just had to leave to be with them.
I am so grateful to Allah for blessing me with a very understanding husband and set of in-laws, who despite their own own troubles, encouraged and supported my decision to visit my family.
My sister's condition was very shocking and totally unexpected but alhamdullilah is doing much better since being given the diagnosis and appropraite medication. Please spare a thought for my sis and dad in your prayers :)
On a lighter note: IT IS BOILING! The weather has been superbly sunny and also HOT with temperatures reaching the thirties, even in the northern parts of England! The sunny weather hasn't put a stop to people (self included) complaining about the massive heat wave however! Yes, we (as in Brits!) will complain about the weather come rain or shine, thunder or snow! lol
And on that note, I'm off to grab me a cool lime squash!