Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Enough is Enough

I cannot for the life of me understand what makes someone who claims to be a Muslim want to hurt innocent people for their own political agenda. What makes someone believe that what they want is so important that they should kill another human being, who has nothing to do with their beliefs or their anger, to get what they want. What gives them the right to decide they have the right to take another life.
I'll tell you what it actually is:

It's ignorance.

Thinking you are well informed enough to kill someone who has done nothing to you is ignorance.

Believing that God wants you to kill someone who has done nothing to cause you harm is ignorance.

Reading a holy book like the Quran without fully understanding or studying the context but taking random quotes just to fulfill your agenda is willful irresponsible ignorance. 

Relying on someone who self proclaims they are holier than thou on information you have not personally read, seen, studied yourself and in the end die for is blind ignorance.

Yet we have people who continue to allow others to be brainwashed. 
So what should we do?

Educate
I once read online that the reasons why Hitler was able to get into power was because people wouldn't speak up. They assumed that someone would take care of the situation and it would be dealt with, and what happened? The worlds biggest genocide still left scars in the streets we walk on today. I implore all of you who browse through social media and the like to educate. Inform about Islam, and don't argue, just educate.

It is said that if you make fun of someone else's religion then they will make fun of yours. So please, be kind, be humble and don't insult. That way they will have no reason to attack you or if they want to they will get frustrated and walk away. The only way we can show what our religion is about is to inform. 

If we submit to what is said about Islam then their crowd will grow more and more and Muslims will continue to be a target. Tomorrow someone you know might get hurt, Allah forbid! Do not be silent any longer, educate. And hopefully if anyone is thinking of joining an extremist group, they will think twice as to what they are doing inshaAllah.

Just love, no hate. 

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Forms of Charity During Ramadan



Ramadan is a time of self-reflection and giving to those in need. However thanks to today's economy and government there are a lot of families that are left without much of a savings or any savings at all all year long. So what other things can we do to provide charity for those less fortunate?
Here are some great ideas to giving and increasing your blessings during this holy month of Ramadan.

Volunteer

Volunteering for a good cause is the best way to give selflessly. Volunteer at your local Mosque or old age homes. Give time to charities and functions that provide to those who are less fortunate or for special needs. There is always someone who needs a hand, all you need to do is ask!

Share a Meal

Sometimes we don't have time to give of ourselves because we have other responsibilities such as young children to look after or elders or whatever else. Another great way to give can be as simple as cooking a meal. When you cook for your family why not cook enough to treat your neighbours or friends with some food? Even giving so much as a few dates to those around you is a charity, and food always brings a smile to someone's face...unless you're a toddler lol. Food is also a great way to bond with those around you. You can always invite neighbours and friends to your home and let them know they are respected and appreciated.

Providing food

Other than sharing a meal you can also just provide food. For the needy and less fortunate why not donate some of those food items you never eat sitting in your cabinets and pantry? A lot of grocery stores have food donation boxes where you can submit non perishable food items. So how much does a can of beans cost? Even if it's just one or two items, it will mean the world to the person who receives it.

Give of yourself

Giving of yourself is always important. Spending time with your elders or your elderly neighbour or disabled neighbour is nothing short of significant to those who receive your love. Remember charity begins at home, so take care of your elders and see to their needs. Give them a massage or run a few errands for them, or even just sit and listen to them. Show them how much they matter and are a valuable part of the family. It's a great way to show your children how to be compassionate and responsible.

Charity always begins at home. So give to your relatives who have less than you and elders and make sure your family is happy always first, but don't let that stop you from trying to be your best and earning the rewards of Ramadan.

Do you have a form of charity that hasn't been listed here? Do share with us!

Masalamah

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Sweet Milky Vermicelli For Ramadan or Eid




My mother used to make this without milk, but when she made it with milk it was simply irresistible. The best thing about seviyan or sweety milky vermicelli is that you can add what you like to make it better such as nuts or cream. If you've never had it before, it will take a moment to get used to the stringy texture, but I'm sure the taste will make you come back for more.

So here's how I make it mixed with my mother's recipe.

Ingredients:

Milk  - 1 litre
Vermicelli - 200 grams
Sugar - 1/2 cup or to taste
Coconut Milk - 1/2 can
Cream - 1/4 cup (optional)
Raisins/Sultanas - 1/4 cup
Almonds blanched - 50 grams
Butter - 3 tbsps
Cardamom - 4 - 6 pods
Kewra - 1 tbsp

Start with adding butter to a medium sized pot and adding the vermicelli and opened cardamom pods.



 You can also use cardamom powder if you have it about 1/2 tsp should be enough, but add it after you add the milk. Stir constantly and fry the vermicelli till it changes to a brown colour and add the sultanas and almonds.



Give it a minute to fry with the vermicelli while you keep mixing it. Add in the milk and sugar. Sugar should be according to how sweet you like it so keep tasting and add more if you like, but start with 1/4 of a cup and go from there.



 Let the vermicelli cook in the milk for about 15 mins then add in the cream and coconut milk. Give it five more minutes and add the kewra. Turn off after the vermicelli has absorbed the milk well enough that you can see it without stirring.



You can add whatever dry fruits you like instead of the ones listed. Most people like almonds but pistachio or hazelnuts if you like. Also raisins are popular but again its up to you if you even like raisins.

Serves 8

Monday, 29 May 2017

Sehri Smoothie For Ramadan



This Ramadan will have some of the longest days of the year for fasting, and it's a good idea to refrain from fatty and oily foods this time around if you haven't started doing so already. Oily foods may give you the impression that you've filled up, however after a few hours those hunger pangs will return and we all know we don't need the extra calories! Here's a great slow energy releasing smoothie that is sure to taste great as well as keep you going all day long.

Healthy Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Peanut Butter - two tablespoons
Banana - 1
Honey or Maple Syrup - 1 - 2 tablespoon
Instant Oats - 1/4 cup
Milk - 1 1/2 - 2 cups
Cocoa powder - 1 tbsp (optional)

Method:

Throw it all in the blender and mix! These are approximate measurements so keep it light and runny or thick and creamy according to your own tastes. Also add honey or maple syrup to the sweetness you desire or leave it out if the banana is sweet enough for you!
Nuts are a great energy releasing food as well as oats. I have to credit my husband to this recipe because sometimes when he would leave home without having a proper breakfast he learned to make up his own recipes in the little cafe we used to own downtown. Sometimes it would be all he'd have all day! I would say he's an expert when it comes to food, although he rarely applies his ideas to our own kitchen lol.

Another thing I like about smoothies during Ramadan is because I tend to get a lot of heartburn and having a nice cool milky drink helps to soothe the burning sensation a lot. So do enjoy and let me know what you think inshaAllah.

Xx

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Welcoming Ramadan



The month of fasting has finally arrived and all the busy mothers and fathers across the globe are getting prepared for fasting and self-reflection. If you're a mom you've probably thought ahead when it comes to iftars and sehri and even Eid preparations in general, and if you're a dad you probably thought about self-reflection and setting a good example for your kids if you haven't already. 

I've been thinking a lot about how I wanted to welcome the holy month of Ramadan for a while now as I now have two little girls who will look up to me for guidance and memories that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives inshaAllah. I can't say I've done a great job so far lol, but Allah (swt) knows I'm trying.

The first thing I did was try to explain to my four year old what Ramadan was and what it means to be a Muslim during this month. In my own childhood I have no idea how I learned about Ramadan, but I do remember a few things my parents used to do to make the atmosphere feel special. For example my father would turn on the Quran on the cassette recorder or put on some religious music especially during sehri while it was still early and dark outside. It really brought out a magical and spiritual atmosphere in the house when it was still so quiet outside and everyone else was asleep.

So as I explained about how mommy and daddy would not be eating because it was a special month where Allah (swt) has asked us to reflect on those less fortunate and try to do good my daughter was absolutely fascinated with the concept. I can't tell you how happy it made me to see my daughter take interest in something I said, especially when it came to Islam! Alhamdolilah, it brings hope to my heart that she'll be alright in the future.

As we neared Ramadan I was reminded of how my daughter acted when she learned about Christmas at school. She was so excited in the anticipation of Christmas even though we don't celebrate it in our own home. One of the other few things that set the atmosphere of a holiday coming up is decorations. Last year we went to a friends house for Eid and they had actually made the effort to put up decorations they had made up in their own home. So this year I decided that I would put up some decorations with my daughter. We sat together and made up paper chains and a moon covered in yellow tissue paper balls. I was so happy to see her enjoying it and getting messy with the glue. I was also happy to see that I was the first to give her this experience as she hadn't done any of these activities in her nursery yet. So score one for mom...hurray!

Lastly my daughter did express her interest in keeping a fast with me, but considering how young she is I told her it wasn't necessary, but if she so wanted to she could practice for a few hours with me if she liked. I am not enthused about getting her up in the early hours of the morning, I know how cranky she can be if she doesn't get her sleep. I was able to avoid the situation anyhow as she wasn't much impressed with the breakfast menu I had thought up. She doesn't much like eggs lol.

My husband will take on the task of teaching my daughter what he can, retrieving books about Ramadan especially geared towards children and keeping up with prayers and good deeds during this holy month. At least I hope that's how it'll go...we shall see how much my little one can keep up with!

InshaAllah, I think the best thing my parents did for me is that they never pushed or pressured religion on me, rather than show me how beautiful it was by practicing it themselves. I especially take my hat off to my mother who not only had to practice but also manage four little rascals into keeping in line.

Well as we proceed into the early days of Ramadan, I wish you all the very best of this month and inshaAllah I hope Allah (swt) opens all our hearts into giving to those who need it most and open our arms into embracing good deeds and trying our best to keep onto the straight path inshaAllah and ameen.

Ramadan Mubarak everyone!



Tuesday, 23 May 2017

New Eid and Ramadan Gift Ideas

The holy month of Ramadan is upon us and Eid will be just around the corner too. A lot of Muslims have started to catch on to this growing trend of giving Eid gifts to their close friend and loved ones for the holidays.My girls are starting to understand religion now and I've thought about ways I can help them understand special occasions such as Ramadan and Eid. 
Although Eid was easy enough to celebrate, Ramadan is a little more difficult to explain to a 4 year old. I've seen some mums decorate their homes like most people do during Christmas, and I think it's a great way to bring the festivities in your home. So as I get ready with signs and decorations, here are a few gifts I've created for my shop for Ramadan and even Eid!


Hijab Pin Gift Packs

I've created a few gift packs filled with beautifully designed hijab pins. There are seven packs of different colours to choose from and they come at a great price. This is the perfect sort of gift to give a friend who has just starting off wearing hijab or to someone who loves collecting hijab pins like I do! Find them in the shop by clicking here or on the pictures!



    


 Tasbeeh

Tasbeehs are a great present for those who are rigorous in keeping up with their salat especially elders and parents. I remember I was gifted a tasbeeh from my mother-in-law when I first got married and a copy of the Quran from my father-in-law may Allah (swt) have mercy on his soul. Religious gifts are really the best gifts to give to parents as they do know how to cherish them. Here's my version of tasbeeh available to purchase.



 Jewelry Sets

Headpieces have become popular among the ladies especially for special occasion. I've made a version of head piece that can also be used as a necklace to also go along with a matching bracelet or hand harness. It serves as a ring and bracelet all in one. Both pieces are absolutely beautiful and would make a beautiful present for a loved one or close friend! Check it out below!



 Headpieces

There is no shortage of headpieces in my shop as well! You can purchase headpieces for any occasion. I have simple ones and really intricate ones and hijab tikas as well. Take a gander at a few of the pieces you can purchase in the shop or click on the newest one below.



Hijab Pin Cushions

I've finally been able to get some pin cushions in my shop. I've been trying to figure out how to get something that would both look exquisite and serve it's purpose. I ended up having to make them myself, but I'm really pleased with how they turned out. I hope you like them too. Here are my versions of hijab pin cushions perfect for the lady who has a collection of hijab pins and can never find them in the same place! 



There's lots more to be seen in the shop but these are the newest items I recently put up. They are all great for gifting or purchasing for yourself. I hope you find something for someone special in my shop and I would love to hear some more ideas of great Eid and Ramadan gifts to give. 

Take care

Masalamah

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Tribute To My Mother



Although it is a little late, it's never too late to talk about mom!

We all always say that our mom is the greatest, however do we ever think back on how many sacrifices they make just trying to help us as we form our own lives? My mother is an expert at sacrificing. She sacrificed so much so that I got so frustrated with her sacrificing that I tried to get her to stop.
However that was impossible, and even today she still won't stop!
That's the miracle of my mother. She just keeps giving of herself no matter of the consequence. Even when she knows she won't get anything out of it, she still goes on giving. I'm sure there are a lot of women like that. Allah (swt) bless em!
My mother not only got married at the tender age of 16, she had to leave her homeland and travel to another country without knowing anything about that country on her own. My father wasn't their by her side when she finally went to go live with him, he was a complete stranger to her. Living in a foreign country not even knowing the language at the time. Above all that as soon as she arrived she was trained to be 'the good wife' and be a partner for life to this man. I have no idea how she did it!

Amazingly still is the fact that she raised four kids with my father without the help of anyone, because really there was no one there to help her, or give her advice. I have two myself now and I have no idea what I'm doing, however now we have social media and Skype so I can just call my mom when I want just to get advice. However she had nothing! No internet, no health visitors or relatives or anything. I can't imagine how she did it.

Aside from all that she had an unfortunate marriage where not only did my father never lift a finger to help her, he only lifted his fist when it suited him.  Still she stayed with him until the end. Only now she has started to live her life to the fullest, and she deserves to. Now she goes to school to finally learn some English, she volunteers to help out new immigrants learn about the culture and laws about the country and she does sewing part time to earn a bit of pocket change. She has tried to work but working has been a bit hard on her old bones. Still, her ambition is through the roof, and shes still trying to figure out how to drive as well! All of her friends consider her like a mother figure, and she considers them her own as well. Which makes me a bit jealous and grateful at the same time. It's really weird! LOL.

She sacrificed so much that she allowed me to choose my own life partner so that I wouldn't fall into the same life as her. Instead of pushing me to marry out of honour and pride, she let me find someone who was right for me. Considering the traditional cultural world we come from it was quite a shocker for my relatives when they saw that I had chosen my own other half.

There's no one like my mom that I have ever met, but I know all moms have sacrificed a lot for their children, Allah (swt) bless all the moms out there, especially mine!

Love you mom, I hope we won't be so far apart for long inshaAllah.

Take care
Masalamah