Monday, 28 September 2009

Food Fetish: Pickled Beetroot

So yum. Oh my God. So so so so so so deliciously mouthwatering, saliva inducing yum. I know it sounds like I've become more of a loopy Lou than before, but this stuff is seriously addictive! I'm just munching on a couple of slices right now even though it's lunch time! Sooo good!

Friday, 25 September 2009

For when one is stinking rich...

Note to self:
When you make it big and have more sense than money, this is what you spend your money on. Okay? Yurrp. Until then, look all you like but DO NOT touch the debit card!

Thursday, 24 September 2009

29 fasts+1 Eid.

29 fasts later, Eid finally descended down upon us. This Ramadhan was unlike no other and certainly different in every sense of the word. Hope you lovely readers celebrated Eid in the best of spirits with your beloved families like I did. My dad was and is still sorely missed, it's been a month exactly since he was last with us, but inshaAllah, he is now in the best of companies and at the highest station of jannah, ameen :-)

So hey, a big Eid Mubarak to every single one of you reading this. Hope you all made the best of it for this year. I've been super duper busy this week. I started work on Tuesday, day after Eid and have finished today for the week. Watch this space for more random ramblings on working life, heehee (I love it really!)
Much love


Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Is The Qur'ān A Shapeless Book? [article]

One of the long-standing objections levelled against the Qur'ān by its non-Muslim critics is that it appears to have no regular form or structure. It is said that its verses follow one another with little sense of interconnection and its sūrahs seem to have been arranged in a sequence based on the crude principle of diminishing length, the longest coming first and the shortest going to the end. Almost every sūrah, it is complained, is riddled with unsettling shifts of scene, address, and subject and one cannot with any amount of certainty predict what is going to come next. It is concluded that the Qur'ān is, at best, a remarkable compilation of unrelated passages, or a book of quotations. That though it is full of pearls, the pearls are lying in a promiscuous heap.

The actual words used by those who have raised this objection are much more stern and caustic. We will not quote them, partly because they may be found in any book written on the Qur'ān by any critic of Islam and partly because their pungency does not add to the gravity of the objection. We shall only note that new as well as old orientalists have made the point often and that for all the difference in their approaches to the Qur'ān, they are all agreed that the Qur'ān completely lacks anything of the kind of orderly arrangement. Some of them have actually tried to rearrange the Qur'ān either chronologically or according to some other self-devised principle.

The response of Muslim scholars to this objection has been, generally, concessive. They grant that the Qur'ān does not have the arrangement of a well-planned book, but then, they say, it was never meant to have one. The revelation of the Qur'ān, they point out, was completed in twenty-three years and during that period the Qur'ān dwelt on such a large number of diverse subjects that no act of compilation could have given it greater unity and coherence than that it now possesses. The Qur'ān, they say, dealt with the lives, activities, and problems of a whole nation for a long span of time and so any objection based on the concept of a research thesis is bound to be misplaced. Read the rest here.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Food for thought

Dear recipe writers and readers in general

Thank you to those of you who have been posting fab recipes for some really delish food for iftar and sehri. They really are so inspirational, and it's wonderful seeing a diverse range of recipes from all over the world especially during the month of Ramadhan. We're such a mixed fabulous bunch and there is so much to be learned from each and every one of us, if we want to that is. Remember, to learn is to share. Yaa, I think I just made that one up. So profound hey?! Hah :-P

Anyways, thanks to dear Aimie@The Knot, the hubs and I treated ourselves to a midnight indulgence (that's sehri to be precise actually) a few nights ago. Suffice to say, the recipe was great and the dessert was delishishousness, yeah, just like that (I think hunger is making me lose my marbles, just read the post title!).

Yumminess with Wall's vanilla ice cream.

Sweetness and Light

A boy after my own heart. I really do heart the source of these beautifully mesmerising images. How adorable. SubhanAllah.

A boy holds candy in his hand as he reads the Quran in a mosque during Ramadan, in Amman, Jordan on August 22, 2009. (REUTERS/Ali Jarekji (JORDAN RELIGION SOCIETY IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Quote of the day:

Do not ask Allah to guide your footsteps, if you are not willing to move your feet. ~ Unknown.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Laylatul Qadr - Night of Power [article]

The Dome of the Rock, or Masjid Qubbat As-Sakhrah, one of the holiest sites in Islam, is seen on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem through festive lights for Ramadan on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2009. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

On the blessings of Laylatul Qadr

The Night of Power is a very important occasion in Islam. Everyone is asked to live it and to enjoy it. This Night is a night of Mercy, a night of Blessing, a night of Peace and a night of Guidance. It is a night of Unification between the finite world of ours and the Infinite Universe of the Unseen. Anyone who is interested in attaining the Mercy of Allah will strive very hard to look for the Night of Power. Anyone who is interested in receiving the blessings of Allah on the Blessed Night will work very hard to enjoy the Night of Power. Anyone who is interested in attaining peace of mind, peace of body and peace in society, he has to look for this Night and to live it.

The month of Ramadan contains the most blessed month of the year, since it contains Laylatul-Qadr, the night when Allah (SWT) chose to reveal the Holy Qur’an.

“We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power. And what will explain to thee what the night of power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. Therein descends the angels and the Ruh (Jibrail) by Allah’s permission with all Decrees. There is peace until appearance of dawn” (Al- Qadr 97:1-3)

Worship performed in this night brings more reward than the worship performed in one thousand months. Allah also says about this powerful night in Surah Dukhan

“Ha. Mim. By the book that makes things clear. We sent it down on a blessed night (the Night of Al-Qadr) in the month of Ramadan. For We (ever) wish to warn (against evil). In that (night) is made distinct every affair of wisdom, by command, from Our Presence. For We (ever) send (revelations), as a mercy from Thy Lord for He hears and knows (all things).” (Surah Dukhan 44:1-6)

Salmaan (RA) reported that on the last day of Sha'baan the Messenger of Allah (SAW) addressed them and said

"Oh people, there comes before you now a great month, a most blessed month in which lies a night greater in virtue than one thousand months; (LAYLATUL-QADR). It is a month in which each day should be observed by fasting, this has been made obligatory by the Almighty Allah."

Abu Huraira related that the Prophet (SAW) said

“Whoever fasts during Ramadan with faith and seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven. Whoever prays during the nights in Ramadan with faith and seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven. And he who passes Lailat al-Qadr in prayer with faith and seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

In search for Laylatul Qadr

Allah (SWT) has hidden the knowledge of its occurrence from His servants out of mercy for them so that they can increase their actions in the search for it during these honorable nights, by praying, making dhikr, reciting the Qur’an and supplicating an so they grow and increase in the nearness to Allah (SWT) and His reward. Allah (SWT) also kept it hidden from them as a test for them to distinguish who amongst them struggles and makes an effort to find it and who is lazy and negligent. This is since whoever constantly strives for something, he will exert himself in his search for it and trouble himself in finding it and achieving it.

The signs of the Night of Al-Qadr include
1. The sun rises early in the morning without rays.
2. Rain may fall either during the night or during the day of that night.
3. During night the sky will be lightly foggy.
4. The sky will be slightly lighted without reflections and without rays.

Allah (SWT) discloses the time of the occurrence of the Night of Al-Qadr to some of His servants through signs and signals, which one is able to see, Just as the Prophet (SAW) saw its sign that he would be prostrating in mud on its following morning. So it rained on that night and he prayed the (following) morning (Fajr) prayer in mud [Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Saalih al-'Uthaimin in his book Majaalis].

Based on the saying of the Prophet (SAW), this incredible night falls in the last ten nights of Ramadan,

"Search for the Night of Al-Qadr in the last ten nights of Ramadan." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

And it falls in one of the odd nights more likely than on the even nights, based on the Prophet's (SAW) saying

"Search for the Night of Al-Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadan." [Al-Bukhari]

And it is closer to the last seven nights, based on the hadith of Ibn 'Umar (RA) that

“Some men from the Companions of Allah's Messenger (SAW) saw the Night of Al-Qadr in a dream during the last seven nights (of Ramadan). So the Prophet (SAW) said: 'I see that all of your dreams agree that it (the Night of Al-Qadr) is in the last seven nights. So whoever wants to search for it, then let him search for it in the last seven nights.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

And it is also based on the hadith in Muslim from Ibn 'Umar (RA) that the Prophet (SAW) said

"Look for it in the last ten nights. But if one of you becomes weak or is unable, then do not let the remaining (last) seven nights overcome him."

Amongst the odd nights in the last seven nights, it is closest to the twenty-seventh night due to the hadith of Ubay Bin Ka'ab (RA) who said

“By Allah, I know which night it is. It is on the night that Allah's Messenger (SAW) commanded us to perform the Night Prayer. It is on the twenty-seventh night.” [Muslim]

The night of Al-Qadr is not specified to one fixed night throughout all the years. Rather, it constantly changes. So one year it could occur on the 27th night for example and on another year it could occur on the 25th night, according to Allah's Will and Wisdom. What directs us to this is the Prophet's (SAW) saying

"Look for it (i.e. the Night of Al-Qadr) when there remain nine nights, when there remains seven nights, or when there remains five nights (i.e. 21st, 23rd and 25th respectively without mention of the 27th)."

Al-Hafidh Ibn Hajr said in Fath-ul-Bari "the most strongest opinion is that it is on an odd night in the last ten nights and that it constantly changes."

11 things to do on Laylatul Qadr

Watch this and learn like I did!

Ramadhan close-up [article]

Salaam readers

I've been meaning to write a post on Ramadhan in general for some time now but more specifically regarding the Night of Power, or Laylat al Qadr. So at long last it is here. I hop
e you find it as informative and inspiring as I did, also please excuse me if it is some what sparse. I've copied and referenced what I have found personally useful.Refs for both posts. Jzk.

Officers of Malaysia's Islamic authority use a telescope to perform "rukyah", the sighting of the new moon of Ramadan, in Teluk Kemang, south of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on August 20, 2009. Muslims scan the sky at dusk in the beginning of the lunar calendar's ninth month in search of the new moon to proclaim the start of Ramadan, Islam's holiest month during which observant believers fast from dawn to dusk. (REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad)

The word “Ramadan” is derived from "ramadha" which literally means "intense heat". There are a number of possible reasons for such a name including
  1. When the Islamic months were enforced the month of fasting coincided with the summer months of intense heat

  2. The second reason which has been mentioned is that due to fasting the temperature within the stomach increases, again the element of heat is a factor behind the actual naming of this month

  3. It has also been said that "RAMADHAA" is one of the names of Allah (SWT). If that is the case then the month has acquired the name due to the fact that Allah (SWT) burns away accumulated sins and eliminates then from the list of unlawful deeds. Once again the burning sins cannonades "HEAT". However, it should be acknowledged that this reasoning is not wholly reliable

The month of Ramadan is a season of divine blessings, a month of purification and it is meant for annual renovation of inner-spiritual qualities. It is a golden opportunity for every Muslim to strengthen their imam, purify the heart and soul and remove the effects of sins. During this blessed month fasting is obligatory on all able-bodied Muslims and it is a time to maximize the acts of worship, minimize all mundane activities and refrain from all forms of sin. It is also recommended that one performs Umrah once on any one day of the month as this is a sunnah of the Holy Prophet (SAW).


  1. Hasan (RA), the grandson Holy Prophet (SAW) was born on the15th of Ramadan, three years after Hijri
  2. The Holy Qur'an was revealed on the 27th night of Ramadan from the "Lauhe Mahfooz" (the 7th heaven) to the 1st heaven
  3. The first battle in Islamic History, the Battle of Badr, took place on the 12th of Ramadan in the year 2 AH
  4. Victory of Makkah took place on the 18th of Ramadan in the year 8 AH
  5. Sawdah (RA) married the Holy Prophet (SAW) in year 10 AH
  6. Zainab Bint Khuzaima's (RA) married the Holy Prophet (SAW) in the year 3 AH

On some of the benefits of Ramdhan

  • Allah said in the Qur'an in Surah Al-Baqarah

"Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur'an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong)."( Al-Baqarah 2:185)

  • Abu Huraira related that the Prophet (SAW) said

“If anyone omits his fast even for one day in Ramadan without a concession or without being ill, then if he were to fast for the rest of his life he could not make up for it.” [Bukhari]

  • Abu Huraira related that the Prophet (SAW) said that Allah (SWT) the Majestic and Exalted said

“Every deed of man will receive ten to 700 times reward, except Sawm (fasting), for it is for Me and I shall reward it (as I like). There are two occasions of joy for one who fasts: one when he breaks the fast and the other when he will meet his Lord.” [Muslim]

  • The last third of Ramadan is the time for the release from Hell-fire, as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said in the Hadith reported by Salman Al-Farisi:
"O people, a great and a blessed month is approaching you. In this month there is a night that is better than one thousand months. Allah has made fasting during its daytime obligatory and prayers at night commendable during this month. Whosoever will do a voluntary good deed during this month, it is as if he performed an obligatory good deed at another time and whosoever will perform an obligatory good deed, it is as if he performed seventy obligatory good deeds at another time. This is the month of patience and the reward of patience is Paradise. This is the month of kindness and charity. In this month the believer’s provision is enlarged. Anyone who will give food to a fasting person in this month, it will bring forgiveness for his sins, will save him from the hellfire and he shall have his reward without the person who is fed losing any of his reward….The first third of the month of Ramadan is the time for Rahmah (Mercy), the second third is for forgiveness, the third is for the release from Hellfire…"

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Pic of the day - Ramadhan 2009

A Pakistani Muslim arranges food stuff for Iftar, a time to break the fast, on the first day of Ramadan, as a child looks on at a mosque in Karachi, Pakistan on Sunday, Aug. 23, 2009. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

Hooow cute, and just how gigantic are those serving bowls! :-D

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Iftaar special

A short and small showcase of my latest culinary delights. I have to admit, I do feel like I've come a loooong way in this field as only last year, I was struggling to make anything edible for my first iftaari with the hubs and co. Seriously, we were living off shop bought stuff everyday when the MIL was away in 'desh, I thought I'd never learn! Feel kinda proud.

Yesterday's iftaar. Home made chicken ceaser salad with olives and grilled halloumi. Everything was either baked or grilled including the breaded chicken and croutons :-)

Today's iftaar. My first ever attempt at making sun blushed tomato hummus with fried red onions! T'was yum!

Here's how we wrapped it up. Home made falafels (mixture from a pack) with kebabs, halloumi and salad. Gorg.

And now I'm off to sleep so I can forget about the pounds! Heehee. Laters.


Fajr prayer in Malaysia. SubhanAllah.

P.S. How schweet is the date too!

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Robbed x2, punked x1

Salaam peeps

Wow, what a smashing start to the day the hubs and I had this morning! Lame I know :-P While I was over sleeping, tyring to catch some zzz's, I got a call from the hubs at 8.30 am saying that our car had been robbed! ROBBED!!! Before he could say anymore, I imagined glass on the floor, on the seat, glass, glass glass...but luckily there was none of that interesting televised like drama.

Unfortunately for the hubs, the one day he forgot to lock the car resulted in a thief opening the door and helping him/herself to our Tomtom (sat nav)! Fortunately though, it was just the inside of the car the thief was interested in and so our bikes kept on the side of our house were left unrobbed (a word?!) :| But guess what folks - it wasn't just our car that got robbed, oh no! My father in law's car also got robbed and now he too is one Tomtom short! That's two gone in one household! But unlike the hubs, my FIL is actually quite careless when it comes to looking after his things and never locks his car anyway so we were totally unshocked (if that's a word) when he broke the horrid news to my mother in law and I. Looks like the thief was on some sort of Tomtom rampage :|

Really makes me feel quite crap knowing that it was probably someone from the neighborhood who was keeping a close eye on us/our things and that we're still none the wiser as to who the culprit is. The gits! The hubs did say though, that some fingerprints were left on the windows so hopefully the police will be able to trace the chor (Hindi for thief) down, if the fingerprints aren't mine that is :S
Me a month before our Alistair Aygo got robbed! 'scuse the bushy brows and the over excited cheesy grin hah. I still can't drive btw. Hmph.

So, the other thing then. Read the following very carefully:


This is amazing but creepy!

Think of a letter between A & W

Repeat it out loud as you scroll down

Think of an animal that begins with the letter

Repeat it out loud as you scroll down

Think of a person's name that begins with the last letter in the animal's name

Now count out the letters in the name using the fingers of the hand you're not using to scroll down

Take the hand you counted with and hold it out in front of you at face level

Look at your palm closely and notice the lines on your hand

Do the lines take the form of the first letter in the persons name?

Of course they flipping don't!! Now smack yourself in the head, get a life, it's Ramadhan so go do some Zikr!

Yes, I too got punked. Ishtoopit text message! Ishtoopit me! Shame on me. :-P

Friday, 4 September 2009

Small catch up

Salaam all & Ramadan Mubarak

Hope that you're all in good health iA.

As you may already know, this Ramadhan will be like no other for my family and I. What began with the entire family welcoming Ramadhan together, will now sadly end with one family missing, forever gone. It really feels like a part of our bodies has disappeared, incomplete and almost dysfunctional without it, or him rather. Yet, with Allah's rahmat and mercy, we continue to trod on. Determined to happily accept Allah's will as our fate as we believe in Him and His promise of the hereafter. InshaAllah only He can ease our pain and keep us on the right track towards Him and His beauty, Ameen. Thank you once again to all my dear sisters and readers who may or may not have stopped by to offer their condolences, really does offer comfort.

Well. Looks like we've almost reached half way in Ramadhan. It really has gone by super quick. Whilst catching up with other sister's blogs, I've come to notice how some of you make a short list of goals which you want to attain by the end of this glorious month. It made me realise how I haven't done the same and got me thinking of possibly doing one too. In short I think the following will be something of an achievement for me:
  1. Reading my prayers/salah on time.
  2. Doing more dhikr. Whether that's reading the Qur'an or tasbih, doesn't matter.
I did start off Ramadhan with the intention of completing the reading of the Qur'an but it doesn't seem very likely any more. I've had to take a female break and this has already impeded my reading. Not to mention the tonnes of work that has now piled up: dissertation plus preparing school work for my new job starting immediately after Ramadhan. Hmm, sounds like I'm making excuses right. :| We'll see inshaAllah.

So-oo-o. Tomorrow, as in at 1.00 am I will get to see the hubs after almost a week! He's driving from home to my mum's and should get here around 1ish, inshaAllah. Really looking forward to seeing him and getting his cuddles. Two weeks of staying at home every day has kinda regrettably put a strain on my relationship with my mum and sisters to the extent where I feel I need a break before it hits a lower low :| Women and hormones eh. I don't know when I'll be coming back to revisit, probably when things calm down and the dust has settled. A week maybe two, who knows.

Okay, well, before I begin ranting and raving I shall wrap this up in time. Have a great weekend ladies and make the most of this glorious month!


Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Duas please

I feel awkward writing this post so I'll try make it short.

Please make dua for my dad who breathed his last breath on 24th Monday, August at 5.45am. He had been battling with t-cell lymphoma since March this year but there was only so much even a strong soul like my dad could take. He left home on Friday to go to A&E and never came back.

Alhamdulilah, all my siblings and mum were around him every single day and he managed to leave the world with Allah's name on his lips. His janazzah took place on the same day and he was buried here in my home town around Asr time, following a packed janazzah full of all his local friends, pakistani and bengali.

It's a very difficult, testing and sad time for us all but with the Almighty's grace, we find consolation in the fact that Allah granted our's and our dad's wishes for him to leave the world peacefully with his family around him. We stopped asking for his hayaat ever since we realised that it would be selfish of us to ask the Almighty to extend his life when it was clear my dad was well on his way to the Almighty.

He passed away on the third ruza, on a Monday, the day our nabi was born. He was fortunate in several ways Alhamdulilah, it truly is amazing. InshaAllah he will be granted the highest level of jannah.

My family are coping relatively well, I think. Considering we've never had to deal with the death of a close family member before, I'd say our faith in Allah's master plan keeps us ticking. Please pray for sabr for my family.