Archive for June, 2016


I’m sure you have noticed that I am blogging a little less these days, which is mainly due to the long hours of fasting, as well as being kept busy with work, food preps and taking time for quick naps!

One of the biggest parts of Ramadan when fasting is prayer – not just the five times a day worship, but other forms of prayers as well. Fasting is not enough on its own, for a lot of Muslims there is no point starving yourself of food all day if you do not understand spiritually why you are doing this, and how it can help us. It is this which makes our fast more meaningful, and also more likely to be accepted by God as something truly offered in Ramadan

Unfortunately, in today’s busy society, we all have pretty lives – I know my sisters and I all have full-time jobs and household responsibilities which can take up a lot of our time, and even in the long hours of Ramadan, we find ourselves busy. We also find ourselves tired, running on less sleep and low energy which can make it more difficult for us to make sure we put some time aside for ibadah and prayer.

My goal this month has been to spend more time reading the Quran, as well as looking at the English translated copy I have, which I have always enjoyed reading because of the detailed background it gives to so many stories. It’s ironic, when we were all little and learning our letters, being taught the Quran by our father, we were never that appreciative and we always tried to hide from our lessons or fall asleep in them (me!). These days, when we want to do these things, we feel like we just have no time for it, let alone free time to ourselves. We all try to set goals for ourselves every Ramadan – but meeting them can be a little bit of struggle. Equally, a lot of women who aren’t fasting due to pregnancy, or nursing children, or even busy mothers who keep fasts but are unable to pray, often feel guilty because they feel their contribution isn’t enough – I think I can agree with those who say that raising your child and nurturing them is a form of worship to God, and that feeding and looking after your family shouldn’t be underestimated.

I’ve been lucky enough this year, however busy I have been, to be helped a lot by my husband, who often takes the time to cook after work, or clean around the house (he still doesn’t pick up his coffee mugs though), which leaves me with more free time. I’ve been making an effort to make more time for prayer and looking a small duas that I can incorporate. As we enter the last ten days of Ramadan, each night becomes more special, and even though I’m pretty sure I’ll get busier (that Eid shopping won’t get done by itself!), that special atmosphere in the air, that sense of camaraderie will make it more of a reason to take the time to count our blessings : )

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The hubster and I were wandering around London town a few days ago, and found ourselves in this peaceful spot, the beautiful river bank alongside Camden Lock, with serene floating boats moored at the edge against pretty cafes and restaurants. We managed to make the most of the warm evening and enjoy the gorgeous view for a while (until we got hungry and ran off to have a meal!)

I love finding spots like these around London which don’t feel like London – serene, beautiful spots which take you away from the ordinary moments and give a little peace for the day to think about things : )

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One of the things I really loved about Norway when travelling to the different towns was how beautiful the architecture was, particularly the doorways in the buildings. I managed to snap a few pictures of each doorway which stood out to me, and there were plenty! Each door had it’s own memorable decor and embellishment which looked gorgeous, and each seemed to have a story of it’s own : )

 

I thought I’d post a quick chicken and potato curry recipe that we made yesterday, which I thought would be quick and easy to throw together! I’m looking to be more creating with recipes this Ramadan, so will post any new dishes I make!

Cook Thangs

Ingredients:

  • Chicken (we used half a kilo)
  • 4-5 potatoes
  • 3-4 tomatoes
  • 1/4 spoon of chilli powder (use more or less according to your preferences)
  • 1/2 spoon of salt (use more or less according to your preferences)
  • A pinch of saffron
  • Pinch of garam masala
  • Pinch of black pepper (optional)
  • 3 cardamoms seeds
  • 3-4 green chillies
  • 1 tsp of mashed garlic paste
  • 1 tsp of mashed ginger paste

Method:

  • Warm some oil in a pan
  • Chop the onions (it’s up to you how big/chunky you prefer them) and cook in the pan until golden brown
  • Once they are brown remove from the pan and drain. leave the oil in the pan
  • Roast all of the spices together with the garlic and ginger paste and the cardamom seeds in the remaining oil for about 10-15 mins
  • Peel and chop the potatoes, wash the chicken pieces and chop the green chilli – we trimmed the chillies at the end and left them as whole pieces
  • Chop the tomatoes – again you can keep these chunky or blend these like we did. We also put the onions in with the tomatoes for a smoother sauce, but you can leave them chunky if you want a thicker sauce
  • Add the chicken pieces to the spices and cook in the sauce until half-cooked
  • Add the green chillies to the pan
  • Once the chicken is half-cooked, add the tomatoes and onions mix back to the pan
  • Add the chopped potatoes to the pan
  • Cook in the sauce for a little while
  • Add water to the pan and cook for a few minutes
  • Put the lid on the pan and let the steam cook the potatoes
  • Once the potatoes begin to go soft (about 15-20 minutes later) the dish is ready
  • Serve with rice or with naan/pitta/chappatis and enjoy.

I’m a bit late in posting this (only a couple of days late!) but I’d like to wish everyone a blessed month of Ramadan, full of good deeds, delicious food and a memorable month of fasting, prayers and charity.

I debated whether I should take part in the yearly Ramadan Journal challenge held by the wonderful Neelu who initially started a lot of bloggers doing this. I’ve taken part in previous years, but decided not to this year to focus on ibadah (prayer) and spending more time at home to make the most of the month rather than stressing about posting every day. As much as I always enjoy the challenge, I’ll be taking a break this year, although I will be continuing to post where I can!
However my elder sister will be taking part in the challenge so please do follow her progress!

In the meantime, here’s an idea of the beautiful sunsets we’ve been seeing lately. the sunshine has finally hit London and it’s made our skies all pastelly pink and blue. I’m off to break my fast soon, which we’ve been busying ourselves in the kitchen with, so enjoy the lovely summer that’s finally reached us and I’ll be posting again soon! : )

Ramadan Mubarak and may all of your duas be granted x

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“He took a few cups of love, He took one tablespoon of patience, One teaspoon of generosity, One pint of kindness. He took one quart of laughter, One pinch of concern, and then, He mixed willingness with happiness. He added lots of faith, and He stirred it up well then He spread it over a span of a lifetime, and He served it to each and every deserving person He met” – Mohammed Ali

Today I awoke to the sad news that the great Mohammad Ali, boxer, philanthropist and brother in Islam passed away during the night, sparking a wave of mourning which I’ve been reading all mourning – from fellow Americans, fellow Muslims, fellow Asians and African-Americans and sports enthusiasts.

“I am America. I am the part you won’t recognise. But get used to me – black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own. Get used to me.”

“There’s a Palestine that dwells inside all of us, a Palestine that needs to be rescued: a free Palestine where all people regardless of color, religion, or race coexist; a Palestine where the meaning of the word “occupation” is only restricted to what the dictionary says rather than those plenty of meanings and connotations of death, destruction, pain, suffering, deprivation, isolation and restrictions that the country has become injected with.”
― Refaat Alareer, Gaza Writes Back

Every year, Israel exports millions of pounds worth of dates to the world, which many people unknowingly buy and use to break their fasts. These dates are often grown in illegal settlements in the Occupied West Bank and the Jordan Valley, on land that has been stolen from Palestinians. By buying these dates, we are helping Israel to continue it’s illegal occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people. With your hard work, dedication and support the #CheckTheLabel campaign has grown significantly over the last 8 years.  The campaign has gone to the heart of the communities in cities and towns across the UK to ensure no one buys these dates.

When buying dates for Ramadan this year, please check the label and make sure they have come from free settlements and are part of a fair trade community. One of the biggest reasons we fast is to recognise and understand the suffering which unfortunate people undergo, and these fasts could be undermined if they are opened with food which becomes a symbol of oppression.

For more information, please visit this site.

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