Foodie

Peri Peri Roast

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Ingredients: (for marinate)
1 whole medium chicken (legs tied and gutted with skin)
2 tbsp greek yogurt
2 tbsp tomatoe puree
2 tbsp Peri Peri cooking spice (panache or nandos marinade sauce)
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp tandoori masala
1 tsp chicken spice (packet or jar)
1 tsp mixed herbs
1 tsp ground salt and pepper
1 tsp Aromat
Squirt of lemon juice
1 heaped tbsp ginger and garlic paste

Method (for marinade):
1. Make cuts into the chicken breast and any other meaty areas so to increase the surface area of the chicken. Mix all the ingredients above and slather all over the chicken including the inside.
2. Cover and put the chicken to marinate in the fridge at least overnight.

Ingredients (for roasting and basting):
50g butter (olive oil can be used for a healthier option)
Chopped red onions (optional)
Chopped sweet peppers (optional)
Chopped spring onions (optional)
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp peri peri spice
1/2 tsp tandoori masala
1/2 tsp of Nandos spice rub or lemon pepper
Sprinkle of dried herbs

Method (for roasting):
1. When ready to cook take out the marinated chicken from fridge and let it become room temperature whilst you make the basting sauce. Place it on a roasting tray and preheat the oven to gas mark 6.
2. (Basting sauce) Melt the butter in the microwave. Then add the rest of the spices above and mix together.
3.  Cut the vegetables you would like to roast with the chicken and place them around the chicken. Now pour from a jug or use a brush to cover the chicken and the vegetables in the spiced butter. Sprinkle with dried herbs.
4. Place the chicken in the oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Do not cover. Make the spiced butter again and every 15 minutes to half an hour, take out the chicken and brush it over the whole chicken.  Sprinkle a tiny bit of Nandos chicken rub on top each time.
5. Once the chicken appears crispy on the outer skin layer, check the inside with a knife and then leave to rest for about 10 mins with foil very loosely placed on it. Serve with chips and restaurant style lamb ribs.

Enjoy x

Love from Khuzzy B

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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 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 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 🌼

Fast With Your Heart – Lesson Four

Foodie Lesson 4 –  Special Ramadhan Series –  ‘Fast with your heart’

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

Good Morning Foodies

Today’s lesson is going to be short and sweet inshaAllah.

Allah says in Surah Ra’d “Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest”. This tells us that to find happiness is only through Allah. If you feel sad remember Allah and if you feel happy remember Allah.

This can be done through dhikr and murakabah. Dhikr is to mention Allah with your tongue such as repeatedly saying Allah or SubhanAllah.

Murakabah is to stop your life. Be at a standstill, sit down and think about Allah, His names, His creations and the blessings He has given to us. It’s surprising how beautiful life looks after Murakabah, when you realise Allah’s presence is everywhere.

There was once a scholar who broke his tasbeeh when asked the reason to why he did that, he said ‘why should I count the times I remember my Lord when I can’t even begin to count His blessings upon me.’

This is not to say you can’t use a tasbeeh to achieve a certain goal of dhikr in the day such a 100 durood shareefs. But sometimes it’s more beautiful to do dhikr as part of our daily life. When we go up the stairs say Allah Hu Akbar and when we come down to say SubhanAllah. When we walk to the shop or bus stop or work… Alhamdullillah alhamdullillah alhamdullillah. It’s something we can also teach our children also inshaAllah.

Finally I will leave you with this beautiful quote from the Quraan. We often feel like we have more problems then good in our lives. Or we might even just be feeling the tiredness that comes with the fasting day. Just remember… “Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship”.  (Surah Baqarah)

Smile! We are Muslims! Alhamdullillah.

May Allah keep us happy always through His remembrance and love of His religion. Ameen

🌼 Happy 4th Ramadhan 🌼

Fast With Your Heart – Lesson One

Foodie Lesson 1 –  Special Ramadhan Series –  ‘Fast with your heart’

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

Introduction

Allah swt owns the heart we  hold inside of us. He is the creator of it and so it belongs to Him alone. He, the Almighty, knows our heart’s condition with all its flaws and all its goodness. And He the All Knowing knows exactly what the heart needs to be pure; on the straight path of Islam, racing towards Jannah.

This is what the Quraan and Sunnah teach us. They are a prescription for our heart, a remedy to fill it with light. That is why often we find the commands of Allah such as the hijab and the acts of circumbulating the Kaaba for example are not always in cohesive with the logic of the human mind. But He is the All Wise and knows what is best for us even if we don’t have a clue about how covering ourselves or doing tawaaf might make our hearts brighter. They do. And that is a fact.

But this is the beauty of Islam. We follow our Lord because we believe Him even if we can’t understand the reason behind His orders. He is the truth. Islam is perfect and we are not. But that’s not a bad thing, Allah knowingly created us as humans with flaws. We can’t feel bogged down by the mistakes we make. The bad deeds we do may make our heart hard but there is a way back to Allah no matter how great the distance we may have put between Allah and ourselves.

Allah swt says in the Quraan  “Say,  my servants who have  harmed yourselves with your own excess. Do not despair of God’s mercy. God forgives all sins; He is truly the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.’ (Surah Az-Zumaar).

Therefore in this series we will talk about this blessed month of fasting inshaAllah and how we can fast with our hearts so to become more spiritually attached to our Maker.

The word spiritual can often sound divine like something spooky but it simply means to have a relationship with Allah so that within ourselves we have a smile when we think of what Allah means to us.

As today’s intro has been very long I will make the lesson itself short inshaAllah.
Today is the first day of Ramadhan, a month in which a Muslim is obliged to fast. But fasting does not simply mean to stop food and drink from entering our stomach but it is to stop bad from entering our hearts. So today let’s try not to swear or speak badly of someone, or snap at someone. Let’s try to direct our minds towards remembering Allah even if it means lying down and thinking of His beautiful creation. Think of something; a bad habit or a sin we do everyday and cut it out today. Concentrate on not doing it today, then tomorrow and then the day after. Small steps can still cross great distances.

Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said
“fasting is a shield; so when one of you is fasting he should neither indulge in obscene language nor should he raise his voice in anger. If someone attacks him or insults him, let him say: “I am fasting!” (Muslim)

Oh Allah let fasting be shield for us. Let it shield our hearts from that which you do not like and let it remain on our hearts even when this beautiful month leaves us! Ameen

🌼 Happy 1st Ramadhan 🌼

Sausages in a Blanket

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Ingredients:
2lb mince
Handful of coriander
Salt
Pepper
2 tsp garlic and ginger paste
4 tsp tandoori powder
2-3 tsp cumin powder
Green chillies to taste
1-2 onions (diced and water squeezed)

Method:
1. Put the mince in a blender for a few minutes. Then add the spices and further blend. 
2. Take out the meat and make into sausage shapes.
3. Then place on a baking tray with a less than a few tbsp of boiling water.
4. Cook in a preheates oven for 15-20 mins. Leave to cool.
5. When cool wrap in puff pastry and now they are freezer suitable or bake fresh.

Enjoy x

Love from Foodie Zeynab Kalang

Garlic Sauce

Ingredients:
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp garlic paste
Drop of lemon juice
Pinch of salt
Pinch of red chilli powder
1 tbsp mayonnaise

Method:
1. Boil all the above ingredients together. Serve with chips or salad

Note: You can add cheese on top of your garlicky chops and grill till it melts.
Enjoy x

Love from Foodie Ayesha Kasu