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Showing posts from 2016

All that's Sweet is not necessarily Sweeeeet

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Chocolate cake and macarons. Strawberry jelly, lemon cheesecake and cronuts. Who doesn't like sweet things? And it's all ok if handled in moderation. 
The issue comes in when we make this our objective, and spend too much money, time and effort on this. And when we dont know when and where to stop and go over any reasonable limits. This point is timely given the festive time of year when sweet indulgences are top of mind - and in full swing for most of us!


Abu Sa'id Khudri reported that Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said: "The world is sweet and green (alluring) and verily Allah is going to install you as vicegerent in it in order to see how you act..." Sahih Muslim Listening to the tafseer of Surah Maryam on YouTube, Shaykh Jangda explains the metaphor that Nabi Muhammad (May peace be upon him) uses for this world being "sweet" and "green":


We know that things that are sweet are not so good for us, but the allure is always there. It just tastes s…

Turkish Tales : Our First Grocery Shopping Trip

Salaams...Merhaba!

Here in Istanbul, a trip to the supermarket is not the most simple of events I'm afraid to say! Maybe in time it will become second nature, but for now it is a marked event requiring company, Google Translate and a plan for how to bring back the stuff that we buy (as we do not have a car due to logistics of driving here and generally no need).

We chose to go to our local Migros supermarket (a cool five minute walk away from home) and took a huge backpack to hold our purchased items. My hubby's basic Turkish saved us time as we look for rice, low fat milk and cereals in the smart supermarket. And for the rest of the things, we used our friendly Google Translate app to scan items on the shelves especially when distinguishing between tomato paste, tomato puree and chopped tomato (which by the way is a beautiful red and tastes like the fresh delicious tomatoes we enjoyed in Rome).

We didn't manage to find everything on our list such as condensed milk and br…

Towards Perfecting Prayer : how the nations before us went wrong

Listening to the tafseer of Surah Maryam, I was really touched by the lessons taught regarding the importance of salaah (prayer).
From Salaam Studios, Shaykh Jangda in a month long Intensive course on Surah Maryam on YouTube eloquently explained how the really bad nations before us that were involved in the worst of sins and evil deeds. It all started with them being neglectful of the prayer. Some scholars interpret being neglectful as being reducing the quality of prayer by rushing, or delaying prayer or just not going to the Musjid at all. Whichever way it was, it was surely all downhill from there. 
Why is that? Well he explains, if you can't be good to Allah ( ie  fulfill His rights), then how can fulfill anyone else's? It goes like this :
When you choose not to pray your salaah, you are in effect just looking after yourself. So then you stop feeling like helping other people as you are self absorbed with your own desires. That leads on to you interacting with bad people.…

Keeping teaching prayer and charity to my children IN HOUSE!

Salaams
Came across this whilst listening to the tafseer of Surah Maryam by Shaykh Jangda. Really interesting advice about this verse from the Quraan (19:55).
"He used to enjoin on his people Prayer and Charity, and he was most acceptable in the sight of his Lord"
This is referring to Ismaeel (son of Abraham May peace be upon them both) and we can learn from it the importance of us being the teachers to our own children and family about these two important pillars in Islam. It is not good enough to outsource this to someone outside- no matter how learned. These are fundamental practices in Islam that have so many benefits- such as learning discipline, time management, social awareness etc. If a child learns about prayer from outside, then he associates this very significant aspect of his life with that other than his own parents - and in many ways this is a loss to the parent-child connection. Therefore we should be the ones to teach our children basics like making wudu (abluti…

God-Given Super Powering with Purpose

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Just to share what I learnt in my family halaqa last week. We focused on the following Quranic Ayah (3:49): وَرَسُولًا إِلَىٰ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَنِّي قَدْ جِئْتُكُم بِآيَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ ۖ أَنِّي أَخْلُقُ لَكُم مِّنَ الطِّينِ كَهَيْئَةِ الطَّيْرِ فَأَنفُخُ فِيهِ فَيَكُونُ طَيْرًا بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ ۖ وَأُبْرِئُ الْأَكْمَهَ وَالْأَبْرَصَ وَأُحْيِي الْمَوْتَىٰ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ ۖ وَأُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا تَأْكُلُونَ وَمَا تَدَّخِرُونَ فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ And [make him] a messenger to the Children of Israel, [who will say], ‘Indeed I have come to you with a sign from your Lord in that I design for you from clay [that which is] like the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird by permission of Allah . And I cure the blind and the leper, and I give life to the dead – by permission of Allah . And I inform you of what you eat and what you store in your houses. Indeed in that is a sign for you, if you are believers. When…

Turkish Tales: Our First Meals

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Food plays an incredible role in any special event in our lives. So no wonder, our first meal in our new home is significant to us,  and kind of represents a big step in settling in.

Whats on the menu you ask? Something exotic like local specialties of kofte or borek? Perhaps a home classic like chicken? Well bearing in mind I'm still stocking up my kitchen and groceries are not as straightforward as back home (not everything in the supermarket is translated for starters) and I was exhausted from the trip over, the menu was simple but just right to hit the right notes Alhamdulillah!




For our very first dinner that we ate at home, we were lucky to have some homemade mum's grub from South Africa.


Nothing like urad dhall, mealie meal rotis and spicy carrot pickle to comfort and pick you up!
I also fried some okra ("bhinda") as its available in abundance here- the only real 'indian' vegetable really.

And we had extra food leftover for hubby to take to work for lu…

Turkish Tales : The Move

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Seven years ago I found myself blogging about my experience moving abroad to the UK from South Africa. I shared some of the challenges with our new place, work and the weather. This month I moved to Istanbul, Turkey, just on the other end of Europe!

When my hubby and I emigrated to England, UK, we did so after never visiting the place. We just went with our entire flat of belongings, some saved cash , new jobs and a firm determination that this was what we wanted for our future. We did have many chats with family and friends before that of course, weighing pros and cons of other countries, and for us UK came out tops.

I laugh when I look back at that move, because it the naiviety we had was totally overshadowed
by all the enthusiasm and excitement of new prospects. We did find the move challenging at first and now I realise it was because we were not totally prepared to face the new lifestyle, setup and culture of the new country. It wasnt because we didn't try to prepare...nor t…

8 lessons from life of Malcolm X that could change your world

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When I was 13 and in High School I had to do a speech on a well known figure. I came across a flyer at home on Malik el Shabazz (Malcolm X), and decided to do my speech on him. I was too young to fully appreciate the remarkable character and amazing story of Malcolm X. So 20 years later, (slightly!) more mature and having the opportunity to read the entire “Autobiography of Malcolm X” by Alex Healey, I’d like to share my remarkable experience in learning and understanding about this amazing individual that have had a huge impact on my worldview. ·


    These are some of the lessons that I took out from his story:

How we can use the remarkable characteristics of our brotherhood and unity as Muslims to creative a positive impression of Islam to the world.
Malcolm X was completely taken aback during his journey of Hajj (Muslim pilgrimage to Makkah) when for the first time he experienced equality and unity with people where race was not a criterion. He never knew that this was a possible. He …

Ramadan in the Workplace

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Salaams

We're in the swing of things this Ramadan, hopefully reaping the benefits of this blessed month as best we can!

This year I am not working at the office (I see my BodyTalk clients periodically at the clinic or at home via distance sessions). However I do recall my many years in corporate, fasting through the endless meetings, trying to not get distracted with the recipe emails sent to my Inbox and enjoying the occasional early afternoon nap in my car or in the First aid room!

I was fortunate to have colleagues and managers who were very understanding. That's part of the culture of Unilever I guess. I was able to adjust my (already quite flexible) schedule so I could leave a bit early, as especially in the UK with the long hours of fasting, you need some rest in the evening.

One thing that helped me to set things up with my colleagues was to explain upfront about our fasting month of Ramadan. I created this One Pager "Ramadan in the Workplace Guide" that was …