Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Where I'm meant to be

  It feels so good to be home again. My tiny little home where we can unwind and relax in. Just the two of us. My husband and I live a very simple and kind of boring life it seems. I like boring and simple. While I was extremely happy to visit my family and spend a lot of time with them I felt out of place. I felt as if this wasn't my life or where I should be. It sounds strange but I felt like I was becoming disconnected from Islam for the week. I kept up my prayers as best I could, but I felt strange having to excuse myself at "random" times. My family doesn't keep me from Islam but at the same time doesn't encourage it either. The lifestyle they live is perfectly fine-but not the lifestyle I want. I wish my family could experience the sheer joy of Islam that I do. We have small discussions but we don't push it too far. To me religion is personal and one should feel it in their heart. If you don't feel it in your heart then  there is no purpose.  Islam is so beautiful and perfect in every way Alhamdallah. I just wish others could see and feel the way I do. I am so happy to have embraced Islam and that Allah(swt) has blessed me with the most supportive husband in the world. He helps me strive to be a better Muslim everyday.   

And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought. Surat Ar Rum {30:21} The Nobel Quran

Monday, July 1, 2013

Fresh from the garden

While our visit to Michigan has come to an end, and I'm pleased to be taking back some wholesome goodness. My mom has a beautiful backyard garden with herbs, fruit trees, vegetables and plants growing abundantly. We picked mint, rhubarb, basil, parsley, tomatoes, flowers, and even a few weeds that grew in our path. There is nothing sweeter after a hearty meal then a cup of fresh picked mint tea to unwind with. Growing your own food-even it it's just herbs is so rewarding. My mom has such a green thumb and a passion for gardening that I hope it rubs off on me in my garden someday. I don't have a yard in New York, so coming here and just relaxing in her backyard was so peaceful. Inshallah I will have the space or small patch of grass to grow on. The duties, and responsibilities that come along with a garden can encourage an individual to be more patient, reliable, or to simply see the fruits of their labor that Allah (swt) has placed here for us to enjoy.

The Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) has said, "If any Muslim plants any plant, and a human being or an animal eats of it, he will be rewarded as if he had given that much in charity."

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Yumminess in Dearborn!

    My husband and I are visiting our families in Michigan for the week. First on the agenda was an old routine of breakfast at our favorite Arabic bakery. They make the most delicious Lahme Ajeen! It's gooey, juicy and all around yummy. We love to go very early, before the sun is even out, when all the windows are steamed up and the bread is fresh fresh fresh! In East Dearborn every other store is a bakery or food establishment of some sort. It's mostly Lebanese, but it has a mix of all the Middle Eastern flavors too.
    Aside from the authentic home cooked meals there are the many well stocked shops for any Arab household. You can take your pick at a favorite Shisha shop, pick out a nice Hijab, and grab a box of sweets that are a little taste of heaven. All on the same block might I add. 
   If anyone is in the Detroit area you must take a 5 minute drive down Warren Avenue. You will not be disappointed with the wonderful community of neighbors and friendly faces. 

"And hold fast, all of you together to the rope of Allah, and do not seperate." 
Surat Al Imran  {3:103} The Nobel Quran

Friday, June 21, 2013

Leaving behind the old traditions

   Every year for the Forth of July holiday my uncle has a huge get together at his house in Michigan. He has a nice in ground pool with a beautiful backyard in the country. When I was younger all my cousins and I would go swimming for hours and spend the entire day in the sun. The tradition is passed on with the next generation of kids swimming and yelling,"CANON BALL!" and girls vs boys contests. Each year the size of the party increases with more and more people joining the family, more babies than the last, and more friends of friends being invited. Everyone brings a dish to pass, and a type of meat for the grill. It is a wonderful time for the family to relax and enjoy each others company in the summer heat.
    It wasn't until after I embraced Islam did I try to pull back. I immediately stopped swimming, and just hung around the adults and watched from the sideline. I did however start to become aware of the fact that I was the only one who cared about my situation. My family was very supportive of my decision to be a Muslim but at the same time they are not going to rearrange their whole lives for my needs. For example, when I got married I was gifted a brand new set of pots and pans-nothing haram has ever touched those pans. But I can't say the same for the grill used at the barbecue. It has seen a lot of pork on it, along with hamburgers, steak, chicken, ribs, and hot dogs. That's what you do at a get together right? I had to basically only eat from dishes that I knew were vegetarian or sweets. Aside from the food situation there was the alcohol. Nobody would get wasted but it did seem like everyone over 21 had a beer in their hand. I wasn't drinking so I didn't think it was a big deal. I started to think about when I have kids (Inshallah). Do I want them exposed to that? Do I want them to think it's ok for men and women to lounge around half naked with a beer in their hand? Even though everyone is related and were all family it's not appropriate for my 30-year-old brother to see his 16-year-old cousin in practically her underwear. That is not the message I want my kids to take in. That is the hardest part about becoming a better Muslim. I had to leave the old traditions and memories behind in order to focus on the new beliefs and ways of how I want to live my life. Nobody said transitioning would be easy. My husband didn't want me involved in family functions like that. At first I was upset and didn't want to hear his reasons. But as I grew into my role of a Muslim I understood better. A way for me to still stay in contact with my family and not totally leave them behind is Skype or FaceTime. I get to see them at these functions but without the actual indulging in the activities. I also try to go and visit them while there isn't anything really going on.
     I hope that whether or not you have your families support, you always respect them. Pray for them and try to help them have a better understanding of Islam and the path that you're on. It is such a beautiful path that everyone should see.

   To make good contact with your blood relations and to be good to them is great in the Eyes of Allah the Highest

Monday, June 17, 2013

Roz. For a Yemeni, by an Italian

    I know that every cook has their own ways and techniques in the kitchen. This is how I cook rice for my husband. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

My ingredient list: Onion, carrots, cauliflower, garlic, jalapeno, tomato, slivered almonds, raisins, Basmati rice, and one Sazon packet.

For the rice, whatever kind of cup you are using just double the water to amount of rice you use. 1 cup rice, 2 cups water.

Dice the cauliflower and carrots into small chunks. Slice the onions into thin strips.

Fry sliced onions in oil until almost burnt brown

Add cauliflower and carrots and crisp them up as well.

Next add in the rest of the ingredients; slivered almonds, raisins, tomatoes, jalapeno, garlic, salt, and pepper.
Cook until everything is soft, and almonds are brown, about 2-3 minutes. When finished cooking, empty veggies into a bowl and keep on the side.

In the same pot stir uncooked, unwashed rice with about a tablespoon of oil. You want to coat each piece of rice.

Add your water and bring to a boil. As soon as it's boiling give the rice one quick stir and put the lid on. Turn heat down to low. (The flame should not be touching the pot.)

After all the water is absorbed into rice, about 10 minutes, sprinkle top with Sazon packet, put the lid back on, and turn off the flame. Let the rice rest for about 10 minutes with no heat.

Add your cooked veggies to the rice and stir together.

Bon Appetito!


  The Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) has said," No human ever filled a vessel worse than the stomach. Sufficient for any son of Adam are some morsels to keep his back straight. But if it must be, then one third for his food, one third for his drink, and one third for his breath."

Saturday, June 15, 2013

What's coming out of your speakers?

    Whenever I turn on the car the radio is on. My husband and I like having constant noise, even though we don't listen to it always. It is so easy to get sucked into the haram acts of this world, that we may forget how bad it can become. Songs nowadays are just one example. Our cars come standard with a radio and the music that comes out of the speakers. But we must choose what we put in our ears. There are so many beautiful Nasheeds written and even listening to Quran recitation, or Islamic lectures is more beneficial. My husband introduced me to a variety of poets that recite in Arabic and don't use any instruments. It is absolutely wonderful. We all should be hearing Quran more and truly listening to the message, not some auto-tune person singing about getting drunk in the club. The more people listen to these singers the more they want to be like them, look up to them, idolize them. The only person we should want to strive to be like is the Prophet Muhammad(P.B.U.H). He alone is who Allah(swt) chose. Why in the world wouldn't we want to be like that?!

The Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) has said "Most certainly, there will be in my Ummah people who will make lawful fornication, silk, liquor and musical instruments."

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Before it's too late

   Before it's too late, thank Allah(swt). Thank Allah(swt) for what you have; a mind, a home, your loved ones, Islam. Too often we get wrapped up in our daily lives and duties as humans that we forget to truly thank Allah(swt). Even as we pray 5 times daily that's not enough. Allah(swt) had given us everything in our lives and without him nothing would be possible.
  A young woman in the community past away this morning in her sleep. It's sad to say but why is it when we hear of someone else passing do we think of our own feelings and then remember to thank Allah(swt) for giving us another day? I'm sure not everyone feels the same but I know that we only have a limited time in this tested life and then we meet Allah(swt). Please make it count and say Alhamdulillah for whatever is in your current path.

 And remember when your Lord proclaimed, "If you are grateful, I will surely increase you in favor; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe." 
Surat Ibrahim [14:7]- The Nobel Quran