Sausage Pasta Bake

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Ingredients:
8-10 sausages or kebabs cut into chunks
Onion sliced
Jar of pasta sauce (tomato and basil)
300g (1/2 -3/4) packet of pasta
Ginger and garlic paste
Green chillies to taste
Coriander powder
Cumin powder
Salt to taste
Chilli powder to taste
Freshly chopped parsley or coriander
Fresh basil
Whole mozzarella cheese ball
Vegetables (optional –  carrots, courgette or peppers)

Method:
1. In a pot fry the frozen or fresh sausages in oil for about 4-5 minutes until brown.
2. Now add the chopped onions to the oil and cook till softened. Add the jar of pasta sauce, 1/2 the jar full of water and all the spices. Simmer on low heat till bubbles. Then chopped parsley or coriander.
3. Boil pasta separately, then drain and add to the sauce. Mix together. Empty into a ovenproof dish.
4. Dot the sausage pasta with chunks of mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle some fresh basil. Grill for few minutes until cheese melts.

Note: For a healthier option cook the sausages or kebabs in the oven.

Enjoy x

Love from Foodie Ayesha

Holiday Pilau

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Ingredients (all fresh):
2 tomatoes
2inch piece of ginger
2 pieces of fresh garlic
Bunch of spring onions
Bunch of coriander leaves and stalks
1 green pepper
4 small new potatoes
2 handfuls sweetcorn
5 handfuls rice
1 tsp curry powder
1-2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Method:
1. Chop roughly and blend together the tomatoes, spring onions, coriander, ginger and garlic.
2. Heat a little butter or oil in a pot and add the blended ingredients. Add salt and spices and let it cook till mixture darkens slightly.
3. Then add finely chopped pepper, sweetcorn and cubed potatoes and cook till potatoes are 70% cooked.
4. Then add the washed rice and the same amount of water as there is rice plus a quarter more. Not too much. Taste and add salt if needed.
5. Let this cook on high heat for a few minutes and then on low heat for about 15 mins. Once cooked garnish with chopped herbsa and serve warm with mint chutney.

Enjoy x

Love from Foodie Khuzzy B

Fast With Your Heart – Lesson Fifteen

Foodie Lesson 15 –  Special Ramadhan Series –  ‘Fast with your heart’

In the name of Allah the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy

Today’s lesson is an extract from Sheikh Ibn Taymiyyah’s book ‘Diseases of the Heart and their Cures’:

“The  hearts  are  three  types:

(i) The correct heart that is secure from all desires that oppose the command of Allah and His prohibitions, and it is secure from all doubts that contradict what He informs. Just as it is secure from worshipping anything else besides Allah and from seeking judgement from any person other than His Messenger.

(ii) The dead heart, this being the opposite of the correct heart containing no life, neither knowing its Lord nor worshipping  Him.

(iii) The heart that has some life but also has a defect. So it contains love of Allah, faith in Him, sincerity and trust towards Him from those things that are essential to it remaining alive.  It also contains the love of vain desires and preference for them, despicable morals and manners from those things that cause it to die, and it is continously wavering between these two conditions.

So the first type of heart is the living, humble, soft and gentle heart. The second is the dry, harsh and dead heart. The third is the heart which is diseased, it can either be made secure or have its destruction sealed.

All of the diseases of the heart are founded upon desires and doubts. The life of the heart and its illumination is the cause of all good to be found in it and its death and darkness is the cause of all evil to be  found in it. The  heart can never be alive and correct except  through cognisance of the truth, loving it and preferring it to everything else. There can never be any happiness, joy or correction for it, unless it makes its  sole object  of worship and desire Allah alone. This can never be perfected except through  purification of heart,  repentance, and its relinquishing itself from all types of false love and despicable manners. This can never be  attained except through striving hard against one’s soul that incites towards  evil, and bringing it to account and combating the satans from among  the  jinn by holding fast to Allah; knowing their plots and objectives, and safeguarding oneself from them through remembrance of Allah, the Exalted, and  seeking refuge with Him from them.”

Allah cure our hearts and the spiritual  diseases we may have within them. Allah bring us closer to Him and make our hearts full of happiness as a result. Ameen

🌼 Happy 27 Ramadhan 🌼

Fast With You Heart – Lesson Fourteen

Foodie Lesson 14 –  Special Ramadhan Series –  ‘Fast with your heart’

In the name of Allah the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy

Today’s lesson is about making Ramadhan resolutions. We have possibly only three days to go before Eid alhamdullillah! It’s so exciting and sad at the same time- to say goodbye to the best month of the year. The Eid and holiday preparations have already begun for some of us. However we also need to prepare ourselves for our next life by adorning our hearts. Allah truly is Al-Wahaab, The Giver of Gifts as He has granted us Ramadhan, Eid and inshaAllah some realisation in the past weeks that we need to strive hard to become better Muslims.

So just as we had started Ramadhan with aspirations and goals for what we wanted to achieve in Ramadhan, we need to make some short-term goals to work on for the rest of the year. Here are some steps to working towards creating your own Ramadhan resolutions 📕:

#1 Contemplate on your strengths and weaknesses and create a list of goals. Allah says in Surah Takwir, “where are you going”? This is what we need to ask ourselves. Where do we want to go in life? What changes do we want from ourselves? From our heart? We ultimately would like to go to Jannatul Firdaus. But smaller steps need to be made towards it; our routines and lives are all diverse so our goals will be also diverse. Think about it and write down the small and large changes you would like to achieve. Be positive! Don’t put yourself down!

#2 Annihilate the bad habits first. On your list of goals before introducing any new goals in your life such as studying the Quraan, first we have to get rid of the bad habits we already have, such as watching a lot of television or backbiting. Scholars say that true Taqwa (god-conciousness) requires from us to stop the bad we do. The heart is like a cup, the more we empty out the bad, the more space there is to fill it with good.

#3 Concentrate on quality not quantity. When Allah talks about the scales on which our deeds will be weighed on the day of judgement, He states that those with ‘heavier’ good deeds will be the successful ones. Allah does not say the one with the ‘most’. So it is better for us to improve what we already do in terms of good deeds- quality over quantity. If we fulfill our fardh salaahs in a rush and without full concentration, how about we try to pray more calmly with utmost focus.

#4 Don’t limit yourself to just conventional worship. Salaah and other obligatory acts are the most important good deeds. Nonetheless we all have career goals or personal goals such as paying off debts or signing up for a course or losing weight or simply being kinder to our parents. These goals are important too because Islam is a way of life. We are Muslims 24 hours a day, not simply when we pray. Islam teaches us to pay off our debts, to be healthy, educate ourselves and socialise positively. If we have the intention to be good people whilst carrying out these personal life goals then they can be a means of reward for us too, as long as they are within the teachings of Islam.

#5 Be realistic. These goals don’t have to be achieved by next Ramadhan. Some goals you may be able to achieve sooner or later. The importance lies in making the effort continuously even if it may be small. Scholars state that it takes forty days to rid ourselves of a bad habit and to introduce a good one firmly. For every forty days set one goal such as fulfilling every salaah with full concentration or not lying everyday for those forty days and inshaAllah it’ll become a permenant thing in our life. We must always evaluate how much we can do whilst being honest with our capabilities and responsibilities.

#6 Finally but most important is make dua to ask Allah to help us. Dua is priceless and has the most value in the world, if it helps you to attain your goals. Allah loves those who try and ask Him for his help. The Prophet SAW said ” If the servant draws near to Me a hand span, I draw near to him an arm’s length; and if he draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw near to him a fathom’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I come to him running.”  (Bukhari).

So are we ready to take that first step towards change inshaAllah? We can’t continue to live our lives without change. It’s a endless journey but has so many rewards we can pick up as we go along. Remember there is no room bigger than the room for improvement.

May Allah give us the ability to change our lives to become closer to him, no matter how long it takes or how little our efforts, so that we are the best we can be when we leave this world. May Allah accept our efforts, no matter how minute and let it be a way for us to achieve His pleasure. Ameen

🌼 Happy 26 Ramadhan 🌼

Fast With Your Heart – Lesson Thirteen

Foodie Lesson 13 –  Special Ramadhan Series –  ‘Fast with your heart’

In the name of Allah the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy

My apologies for the lack of lessons.

InshaAllah this series will have a total of 20 lessons.

Today’s matter of the heart I wish to discuss is about loving others. We all believe as Muslims that the best way to live our lives is in accordance to the Quraan and Sunnah. The Quraan is a perfect guide and the behaviour, habits and speech of the Prophet SAW are a true reflection of the Quraan. The way the Prophet Muhammed SAW ate, drank, talked, walked, smelt, laughed, worshipped, socialised and even loved his family; all form a beautiful example for us to follow. Allah enable us to be those who follow the Quraan and Sunnah inshaAllah.

However Islam allows us to have preferences within the fold of Islamic rulings. We are all very diverse in what we like to eat, where we like to shop, who we wish to marry, how we socialise, taste in clothes, choice of shampoo even… The list goes on. A lot of our preferences are associated with our culture, where we live and the people around us. For example a high percentage of elder Indian people like to eat curry and chapatti for dinner but a large percentage of the youth today prefer lasagna over curries. We allowed to have these preferences in our lifestyle and leisure choices.

It’s not necessary for us to have the exact same human preferences as the Prophet Muhammed SAW, like travelling by camel, because we have cars and planes now. Islam appreciates that our tastes differ. Although scholars do say that adopting true love for the Prophet SAW can make us more inclined to enjoying dates & honey, as it was his favourite food. To want live like our favourite people is also part of human nature. But Allah knows us best as our creator and celebrates the fact that He created us all with differences in Surah Ar-Rum:

“Among His (Allah’s) signs are the creations of the heavens and the Earth, and the differences in your languages and colours. In that are signs for all people”.

The fact that we are all different (the billions that live now on earth, the gazillions before us and the amount that’ll come after us) is a sign of how amazing Allah is; a reflection of His power. No two people are the same in personality or preferences. SubhanAllah!

However we must bear in mind that there are dark shades of ‘living with preferences’ that can endanger our relationship with Allah and harden our hearts.

#1 The first of which is to give preference to what we want to do, with no reflection of what Allah wants from us. Allah does not need us to worship Him, he has millions of angels that already do so. But we worship Him to complete our faith and be of those who are close to him and inshaAllah become the dwellers of Jannah. For example some people may prefer to eat chicken over vegetables. That’s reasonable. But if we visit somewhere with no halaal chicken available, we can no longer prefer to eat the chicken over the vegetables, as Islam orders is to eat only halal meat. Alhamdullillah this is something we may not even think twice about – changing our preference to abide by Islam. Nonetheless it’s not always clear cut –  sometimes we have to step back from our actions and think are my choices taking me to Allah or away from Allah, especially with so many new lifestyle choices we make every day. Allah says in Surah An-Nisa:

“Nay, you prefer the life of this world; but the Hereafter is better and more lasting”.

Ultimately we are living for the next life and not this. Our preferences do have to have some sort of direction towards pleasing Allah.

#2 The second way in which our preferences can bring our imaan down is when we push them onto others. We may prefer one food to another, one clothes brand to another, one imaam to another, one kind of routine for our kids to another… Our habits are all so diverse. For us to push something that is not clearly directed from the Sunnah onto another person is not a show of good Akhlaaq (character). We can’t deny anyone the right to be their own person even if their preferences seem ridiculous in our eyes. Allah says in Surah Al Hujurat: “Oh you who believe! Let not any nation laugh at another nation: It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former).” An example of this maybe found in our interactions with others. We all want to help those suffering around the world but it is possible for us to do so in different ways. Some people may hold charity events, some people may boycott a certain zionist brand, some people may donate money and some people may simply make dua or change their lives for the better. It is not up to us to judge how much or how little people are doing for a cause, as we don’t actually know what they are doing behind closed doors or their hearts intentions. Opinions differ and all the above actions hold goodness. But it all comes down to whatever people prefer. Preference is a privilege. We can give advice to others but then we have to respect their decisions.

The Prophet SAW said “I have been not sent to curse people but a mercy to all mankind” . (Muslim)

If the most perfect of creation never cursed someone, despite outrageous lifestyles of some the people of his time, then what right do we have to look down on others who have different preferences to ourselves. Mercy and compassion is the key inshaAllah.

Allah make us of the merciful and kind so we can learn to live in harmony with others. Allah guide us to become better Muslims who respect the decisions and lives of others. Ameen

🌼 Happy 25 Ramadhan 🌼

Fast With Your Heart – Lesson Twelve

Foodie Lesson 12 –  Special Ramadhan Series –  ‘Fast with your heart’

In the name of Allah the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy

Today I want to talk a little about the Prophet Ibrahim AS. He is mentioned in the Quraan 69 times –  truly a special role model from the legacy of Islam.

When Prophet Ibrahim AS built the Kaabah with his son, Ismaeel AS, one scholar says, he must have stepped  back and thought wow! Just like when we see the tallest skyscrapers  today, the Kabah was the skyscraper of that time. It must have looked so magnificent standing alone in the desert.

After this Allah asked him to call people to do pilgrimage to this newly built holy site of Islam. And so he did so and Allah made it that his voice was heard far and wide, further than the human voice could ever reach. This is why we say Labbayk when we go for our pilgrimage today. It means ‘I am present’ –  an answer to Ibrahim AS’s call.  

The reason why I have mentioned this is because from that day till the day of judgement the Kabah will always be a symbol of Islam. It is a place we all yearn to visit and so it holds a special place in the heart of a Muslim. Allah take us all to visit this blessed place. Ameen.

Allah says in Surah Al Hajj “And whoever honors the symbols of Allah – indeed, it is from the piety of hearts.”

Therefore to honour the Kaabah is a sign of a heart which is full of an awareness of Allah.

However some scholars also say that the symbols of Allah not only include the houses of Allah or masjids but it can be anything that reminds us of Allah; such as a picture of the Kabah, or a framed Quraanic ayaat or haeeeth, or a tasbeeh, or a book about islam or even scholars themselves. They must all be honoured- treated with respect and revered.

I don’t know about you all but it dawned on me when I heard about this that some of our parents, our grandparents and great grandparents have always had this quality. They would honour any small thing that reminded them of Allah. Be it a Azaan alarm clock or one of those plastic cameras, full of pictures of the haramain, bought for little children from Makkah as gifts. They never threw them or abused them. The Quraan is always kissed and put down gently. The scholars are always obeyed without abuse, questioning and judging. The love they had for the Quraan and Sunnah always seemed so strange when we were young. But it was true love.

Despite the lack of access they had to Islamic knowledge in their own language, like we have in English today, they acted upon this Quraanic ayaat. It’s quite beautiful thinking of the sincerity of their faith and we find it surprising but we can learn from them above all, that the symbols of Islam are to be honoured and respected, for us to have pure faithful hearts. Makes me think of my late great grandmother. She showed me what love for Islam really is.

Allah bless our elders, those who are with us; with good health and happiness and those who have left us with light in their graves and Jannatul Firdaus. Allah help us to understand what it means to honour the symbols of Islam and love everything that reminds us of Allah. Ameen

🌼 Happy 16th Ramadhan 🌼

Fast With Your Heart – Lesson Eleven

Foodie Lesson 11 –  Special Ramadhan Series –  ‘Fast with your heart’

In the name of Allah the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy

My apologies for the lack of lessons the past week.

Today I want to talk about shukr. Shukr has many meanings; gratitude, loyalty, thankfulness, devotion etc.

For a lot of us the past few days have been tough. The emotions, the sorrow, the fear for our brothers and sisters in Palestine. You might have found yourself putting yourself in the shoes of the Palestinians and it makes our hearts ache at the oppression they have to endure?

It is only through the mercy of Allah that we have not been chosen to be tested like the people of Palestine or Syria or Bosnia. And this makes me grateful.

We often think shukr is to be found in saying alhamdullillah or thanking Allah with our tongue. But action is also required from us to show our gratitude. When someone does us a huge favour, do we simply say thank you and move on? In return we buy gifts and go out of our way to do something for them. This is a show of good character and MashaAllah a brilliant good deed.

However do we extend the same etiquette when it comes to Allah, The Provider and The Protector? We fulfill our Islamic obligations alhamdullillah but do we go out of our way for Allah? That extra mile for the one who never stops doing us favours.

To show someone we love them we commit actions solely for them. And so the key to shukr is devotion to Allah.

Ibn Qayyim says there are two types of people who do shukr:

#1 Shaakir –  The one who is thankful for what is in front of him/her and for all the blessings that come their way, like food, freedom, shelter, health, family and most beautiful of all, our faith – to be Muslim is such a blessing. Allah has guided us when so many are misguided.

#2 Shukoor – This is the one who is thankful when a difficulty comes their way. But how is it possible to be thankful in a bad situation? It’s about looking beyond that one bad thing to see that everything else is okay. If we lose our job or break a leg… Alhamdullillah for good health otherwise. If we miscarry a child or lose a loved one… Alhamdullillah we have the rest of our family. It’s not easy. It’s heart-breaking at times. But turning to Allah is the only means of psychological consolation for us. No swearing or ranting or blaming on others will heal us.

The Prophet SAW said “How wonderful is the affair of the believer? If something good happens to him, he is thankful for it and that is good for him. If something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience and that is good for him”. (Muslim)

The good that comes out of calamities is not always seen. When a mother gives a nasty tasting medicine to her child she does it because she loves him and knows it’ll make him better. Allah knows the needs of our heart and so we should be thankful for His medicine, no matter how bitter it may be, it is there to make us better.

So what steps do we take to be grateful to Allah:

#1 Look down and not up. Look at those who are less fortunate and don’t have as many blessings as you have in your life. It will not only push us to be grateful but it will make us happier. Sometimes we do find ourselves looking up. We think about how someone has more luxuries than us. However luxuries are not a reality. They won’t have something that isn’t necessarily materialistic but you have it in your life such as a kind family. We have to know what to be thankful of before we can be thankful so look around you and find the countless blessings.

#2 The extra mile. The Prophet SAW was once asked by his beloved wife Aisha RA in regards to his swollen feet with blisters. This was due to the lengthy prayer of the Prophet SAW in the night. “O Prophet of Allah, why do you undergo so much hardship despite the fact that Allah has pardoned for you your earlier and later sins?” He SAW replied “Shall I not prove myself to be a thankful servant? “(Muslim). We learn from this that we have to try harder to perform optional prayers, give more Sadaqah and recite & learn the Quraan more. Even if we took ten minutes out of our day to think of one blessing Allah has gifted us with today and pray a few ayaats. This is shukr. Remember no action is too small and no deed goes unrewarded.

#3 Be thankful to others. Islam is not a inclusive religion where religion is to be practiced by oneself to better oneself. Good Muslim are good to others. When is the last time we thanked others? Does it take a major favour for us to say the words thank you? We should try to express our gratitude to others through words of thankfulness and actions of loyalty. Thank your neighbours for always being extra quiet so not to disturb your newborn. Thank your child for being  good during iftaar time. Thank your father or husband for giving you a place to live and working hard for you. Thank your brother or sister for not being as annoying today or for just being there when you need them. A thank you, a gift or a card or simply a flower from the back garden can make someone day. Never forget to thank someone if they’re a non Muslim also; kindness towards them is not only essential for faith but can draw them towards the beauty Islam.

Allah says in Surah Az-zumar “Allah will give reward to the thankful.”

We can’t afford to be ungrateful when there is so much to be grateful for. Alhamdullillah!!  😆:)

May Allah SWT give us the understanding of shukr and make us of those who are alway grateful to him; shaakir and shukoor. Allah shower your mercy on our brothers and sisters suffering around the world and grant them freedom from oppression. Ameen

🌼 Happy 15th Ramadhan 🌼

Fast With Your Heart – Lesson Ten

Foodie Lesson 10 –  Special Ramadhan Series –  ‘Fast with your heart’

In the name of Allah the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy

Today I want to talk about Gaza in Palestine. We all know about the terrible atrocities taking place; hundreds of people (including children) are being massacred in an attempt to ethnically cleanse the region, displace the residing Muslims and so enable Israel to gain possessions of their ‘holy land’. I won’t go into statistics on the amount of casualties or the details of how people are being massacred etc. The situation across the globe is similar, where Muslims are being oppressed in every shape and form. We are Muslims- the people of the truth and we must stand up for what is right inshaAllah.

Before I begin to write down some of the ways we can help the Gazans and all the other Muslims being oppressed around the world, I want to mention the dangers of social media when spreading ‘awareness’ in regards to such issues. In my opinion (I am not a scholar- it is my human opinion and can and has been disputed by many), that we shouldn’t spread pictures of children and babies covered in blood and stone cold dead. Some pictures of the attacks on these people show the family grieving over them or siblings clutching on to them as they lay face down or in a stretcher. It is disturbing and heart-wrenching. And for me it’s an undignified way of spreading awareness because it can actually cause more harm than good. We don’t know the level of imaan a person may have who is going to receive our picture… Through this horrific image we may push people to think where is Allah? He allows children to go on being massacred? It can lead us to become despondent and hopeless. It is true, that a mother or father, brother or sister, uncle or aunt on seeing such a shocking picture may feel shocked into donating or passing on the message. However, it triggers something brutal inside, instead of something positive. We need to spread messages to help people understand Allah is of the highest knowledge- what He does is beyond our comprehension as He is All-Wise. He is more powerful than the soldiers of Israel and the superpowers that support them. They will all taste His wrath in this world or the next. Allah the Almighty has already granted these murdered children Jannat and gives glad tiding to their parents also. We mustn’t push people’s faith to its limits in pursuit of strengthening a plight. True strength is to be found in the Quraan and Sunnah, in supplication and so on. Not in hate. No good comes from hating the oppressors. We need to push others using positive action, not pushing others towards a negative reaction. I understand these pictures tell us the reality of what is happening but there are other ways to campaign and ask people to #prayforgaza. This is my opinion.

The Prophet SAW said:
“Dhulm (opression) is of three types:
#1 A dhulm that Allah will never forgive
#2 A dhulm that He will forgive
#3 A dhulm that He will never leave alone

As for the dhulm #1 that He will not forgive, that is Shirk. Allah said, “Indeed attributing partners to Allah is a terrible injustice.” (Surah Luqman)

As for the dhulm that He will forgive, that is the injustices people commit upon themselves by not practising what their Lord commanded them to do (disobedience).

As for the opression that He will never leave alone, that is when the people oppress one another. It will not be left alone until everyone receives their right and justice from one another.
(Hasan)

Allah will help these oppressed people because Allah is the supreme justice of the universe and never turns back on His word.

So how do we help?

#1 Pray – Dua is the weapon of a believer; supplicate when we are fasting, before iftaar, after Taraweeh, after tahajjud, in witr, at sehri, when we commit a good deed… We can also pray qunoot-al-naazila (see end of post) and read salaatul hajat (special salaat for when in need).

#2 Give Time & Money – Give money to supporting charities and aid work. Give time to raise money, sign petitions, write to local MPs/politicians about how appalled we are by the situation and require of them to raise awareness in the media as our leaders. Send messages to media publications and outlets, writing ‘Free Palestine’ on money notes, wearing Palestinian merchandise, boycotting Israeli goods… The list goes on.

#3 Raise Islamic Awareness – Read about the history of Palestine and tell others about the sad happenings and the beautiful past of the home of the first Qibla. We should also include hadith/quraanic verses about Allah’s power and tell each other the best time to make dua, where to donate…

Allah talks about those who continuously offend him; such as the oppressors of our time: “they denied Our signs, so Allah seized them for their sins. Indeed Allah is severe in penalty. (Surah Aal Imran)

#4 Finally we must change ourselves. I advise myself first strongly that I need to change before I can seek change in the world. This world will always have darkness within it because it is not meant to be a paradise for the believer. We must seek light (noor) from our faith. Now is the time to hold tight to the Quraan and Sunnah, to improve ourselves in this blessed month and build a stronger relationship with Allah. The Ummah can only thrive if we turn to our Lord with a hope and desire to become better Muslims.

What are one of the first things we learn when we are young? The Kalimahs… If we read back on the translation (http://www.itsislam.net/basics/6_Kalimas.asp) of the articles of faith, we will see that they tell us exactly what the foundation of faith is… “I submit to your (Allah’s) will, I believe and I declare, there is none worthy of worship besides Allah and Muhammad SAW is His messenger.” We’ve got to submit and have faith… Be positive.

May Allah give us the true understanding of the purpose of the plight of the oppressed Muslims today. May He bring us to His light, accept our duas and show us victory as an Ummah. May He enable us to be proactive Muslims always. May Allah forgive me for any mistakes I have made in this lesson and give me sincerity in my few good deeds, if any. Ameen

Qunoot-al-Nazila
https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&ei=OUK-U4ejHYn-PP-QgaAO&url=http://www.teachislam.com/dmdocuments/145/Dua/Supplications/Qunut%2520al-Nazila.pdf&cd=13&ved=0CE0QFjAM&usg=AFQjCNFmi7R8Um6x3S_UMqI2NkGaZ94UTg&sig2=yz1abW0aNTEXoMsrCEW2gA

🌼 Happy 12th Ramadhan 🌼

Fast With Your Heart – Lesson Nine

Foodie Lesson 9 –  Special Ramadhan Series –  ‘Fast with your heart’

In the name of Allah the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy

Today is the last of the first ten days of Ramadhan. These ten days were the ten days of Mercy and so I would like to talk about the mercy of Allah.

What is Mercy?
The dictionary definition of Mercy is ‘compassion or forgiveness shown towards someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.’

We hear again again that Allah is Ar-Rahman and Ar-Raheem; the Lord of Mercy and the Giver of Mercy. So how far does the mercy of Allah extend?

The Prophet SAW said “Allah has one hundred parts of mercy, of which He sent down one between the jinn, mankind, the animals and the insects, by means of which they are compassionate and merciful to one another, and by means of which wild animals are kind to their offspring. And Allah has kept back ninety-nine parts of mercy with which to be merciful to His slaves of the Day of Resurrection. (Muslim).

Think of a situation where you would be most compassionate- when it comes to your mother, or your spouse, or your child. If ever they were about to be harmed would we not do anything we could to protect them. That is a show of the 1% of Mercy Allah has sent down to Earth. To think Allah is 99% MORE caring, kind and concerned, shows how merciful He the Almighty really is.

It is through His mercy we have been given the Quraan and Sunnah (The Prophet SAW is often called a Mercy to Mankind), as a guidance, so to make our lives purposeful. Without this blessing we wouldn’t be able to follow Islam as easily and enter Jannat in the next life. Allah has also sent Mercy through abundance of food and drink. Scientists say that this world can provide enough food to feed nearly three times the amount of people currently living on Earth. Therefore whether we commit our lives to obeying His command or not, Allah has provided enough food and drink for us all to live. Imagine a king or government who would grant a rebel of the system with the luxury of a home, food and drink, the ability to move freely etc. Allah’s mercy is so beautiful that even the one who disobeys Him extremely, He still blesses that person’s life in one way or another.

But we must not abuse His mercy. That is where the people of the past have failed and so were punished by Allah. The disbelieveing people of Nuh AS were called to believe in Allah for 950 years. And it was only then did Allah send His punishment upon them after many warnings by Nuh AS.

That is why it is important for us to have a balance; a sincere hope and wish for Allah’s Mercy as well as a fear of punishment whether it is in this world; on a large scale such as that of a flood or specific such as lessening of barakah in our finances or the next. Allah has the ability and right to punish us for the bad we commit and we should remember that and ask for His mercy.

The Prophet said, ever so beautifully: “No one’s deeds will ever admit him to Paradise.” They (companions) said, “Not even you, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “No, not even me, unless Allah showers me with His Mercy. So try to be near to perfection. And no one should wish for death; he is either doing good so he will do more of that, or he is doing wrong so he may repent.” (Bukhari)

“… and my Mercy embraces all things. ” (Surah A’raf)

May Allah shower His mercy upon us and protect us from any punishment or harm. May Allah give us the understanding of what it means that He is Al Jabbar AND ArRahman. Ameen

🌼 Happy 10th Ramadhan 🌼

Fast With Your Heart – Lesson Eight

Foodie Lesson 8 –  Special Ramadhan Series –  ‘Fast with your heart’

In the name of Allah the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy

Today’s lesson will be about wudhu. We all know what wudhu is; it is the action of cleansing before we read Salaah, the Quraan, Tawaaf etc. Before we commit to these special worships Allah asks of us to do wudhu. But have we ever thought about wudhu being a worship in itself? It’s a three-minute worship that has such blessing and bounties which I wish to share with you all today.

The Prophet SAW said “when a Muslim makes wudhu the sins he has committed come away from his hearing and from his sight and from his hand and from his feet, so when he sits he sits down having been forgiven.”

Wudhu doesn’t have to be done only when needed but to do wudhu after doing something wrong  or simply when we brush our teeth in the morning or after visiting the toilet can be a way of forgiveness for us.

Some of the virtues of wudhu are:

#1 The body parts washed in wudhu will be shining on the day of judgement. And because they will be shining the Prophet SAW will recognise us as part of his ummah. Also some scholars say the limbs you wash do tasbeeh on your behalf.

#2 A person who sleeps in the state of wudhu angels make dua for him; “Oh Allah forgive your servant for indeed he has retired to bed in the state of wudhu.”

#3 Wudhu has the ability to kill anger. Psychologically it lowers the temperature of the body and so calms a person down.

#4 If a person is in the same of wudhu and the angel of death comes then he will be rewarded for dying in the path of Allah.

#5 At the time of death the pain will be less severe.

#6 Allah safeguards a person as long as he/she in in the state of wudhu

There are many more benefits as well as scientific proof of the disease-preventing benefits of wudhu. Imaam Ghazali mentions that wudhu is light upon light. So next time we rush to do wudhu, we should take our time and do it properly because it’s such a blessed worship.

Allah give us the ability to become one of those He loves who is always in the state of wudhu and to pass away in the state of wudhu. Ameen

🌼 Happy 9th Ramadhan 🌼