Archive for September, 2009

Impromptu American Cookies

// September 29th, 2009 // 3 Comments » // Blog

Well, they're probably not American cookies, per se. But the whole culinary experience has been American-ish.

First off, I had a 'mad' craving for summit sweet after dinner – but horror of horrors: no decent chocolate in the house. What to do? I suddenly came up with the idea that I would make raw cookie dough. Them US peeps seem to be crazy about the stuff, and actually buy it in packs ready-to-eat, so I thought it must be worth a go – especially as I have all the ingredients in the house from ‘Īd-cookies/" target="_blank">last week.

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A Safe Space

// September 28th, 2009 // 4 Comments » // Blog

I've noticed that I refrain from commenting on several blogs, even my regular reads, because I don't deem them 'safe'. I don't mean that I fear being tagged by intelligence services (I don't think I'm controversial enough for that; though Allāh knows best), rather, I just don't feel comfortable speaking up, for one reason or another.

I wonder, do people feel the same on my little corner of the web? I don't think I have enough readers to warrant attention from Islamophobes and general nasties. But there are many other reasons to be timid.

Which sites to you feel safe on and why? Do you do anything special to welcome and reassure your readers?

Speaking of fear, last night I had a mini-panic attack that took me a while to overcome. I was already emotionally vulnerable as I had been suffering minor illness for several hours.

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Eid in the Square 2009

// September 26th, 2009 // 4 Comments » // Photos

This is the fourth year that Trafalgar Square has been used to host post-Ramadan festivities for London's Muslim community.

Even so, today was only my first time experiencing '‘Īd in the Square'.

I did have a good time; but I attribute that more to the gorgeous weather, and the wonderful company I was blessed with.

The event itself was 'alhamdulillah': a good effort, but I'm not sure that I will return next year. Though I did like the fact that there were plenty of non-Muslims walking about, checking the stalls, and generally mingling in.

I guess it's good for us to be seen enjoying ourselves, with our families and loved ones, i.e., Muslims can haz fun!

Click here to view the rest of the photos from ‘Īd in the Square 2009

Eid = Mendhi Time

// September 26th, 2009 // 4 Comments » // Photos

Mendhi is the Hindi word for 'henna'. I am quite bad at applying it to myself, but I still have a go anyway, usually around ‘Īd time, like tonight. Here is an example of what is known in the industry as, “the squiggly finger”. Okay, maybe not…

The dried henna has now been removed; we'll see how dark it turns out, inshā’Allāh. I don't usually do anything special, like apply henna oil. Mainly because my design is so childish, that I'd like it to wear out as quickly as possible!

Is the ‘Īd-Mendhi association an S.E.Asian thing, or do Arab/ African/ etc sisters apply it at this time of year too?

An Inspirational, Must-See TED Video

// September 23rd, 2009 // No Comments » // Blog

I've been watching a few of the latest-release TED videos the past few days, mainly because I know once I download them, it'll be a while until I actually get round to viewing them. I posted links to a couple on my Twitter stream yesterday, but I decided this video deserved its own blog post, to become a part of my permanent archives, inshā’Allāh.

It's only six minutes long, and you must watch it now!

At age 14, in poverty and famine, a Malawian boy built a windmill to power his family's home. Now at 22, William Kamkwamba, who speaks at TED, here, for the second time, shares in his own words the moving tale of invention that changed his life.

Don't you feel inspired? And also, flippin' grateful for every, little thing? I am so amazed my his initiative. Bravo, young man! Māshā’Allāh.

I love Science even more now.

Don't waste the good feeling: donate to Muslim Hands education fund, so more young people can have access to the basic materials they need to succeed, inshā’Allāh.

My Favourite iPhone Apps

// September 23rd, 2009 // 7 Comments » // Blog

This post is dedicated to sister Ammena: owner of a brand-spanking new iPhone. You lucky gal, māshā’Allāh. :)

I reckon that I've had my iPod Touch for a couple of years now, and in that time I have discovered some great applications – and some terrible ones! But let's stick with the goodies for now, shall we?

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Workshop on How to Teach Qur’an to the Blind & Visually Impaired

// September 21st, 2009 // 2 Comments » // Blog

The following was forwarded to me by e-mail. Please pass it on! Also, please contact the organization directly for more information, or if you wish to mirror their work in your own locality, inshā’Allāh.

Baseera Institute will be launching on 16-20th Oct, 2009, inshā’Allāh. It is a charity dedicated to teaching the quraan to the blind and visually impaired, and is set on a similar model to Madressa Noor in South Africa.

Inshā’Allāh we will be holding braille workshops for people who wish to teach quraan to the blind and visually impaired from 16-20th Oct, 9am-5pm.

If you know anyone who is blind or visually impaired who wishes to study the quraan then bring them along, or if you are generally interested in our charity project come down.

I have attached the poster with all the details to this email [see below]. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.

We also have a group on facebook ”Baseera Institute”. If you have not already done so please join and I will send you regular updates.

Click poster to enlarge.

Eid-ul-Fitr: Prayers in the Park, Pt III (or maybe Pt IV?)

// September 21st, 2009 // 8 Comments » // Photos

Well, I think this is the third time I prayed ‘Īd salat in the local park. ‘Īd-in-the-park/" target="_blank">First time, second time… hmm, the blog seems to think 'three' too. Looks like I missed out on park Eiding in 2008… I believe I prayed one ‘Īd at Whitechapel mosque, as it was raining… but where did I pray the second one? – complete blank – Gah! [Update (23/09/2009): After discussing the matter with SimSim, we remembered that we prayed at East London Mosque on both Eids in 2008. Alhamdulillah & huzzah for the relief!]

Anyway, one thing you'll hopefully notice from the pics below is that I actually took a decent camera with me this time, and did not rely on the crummy camera in my phone (which is good, as I still use the same handset as I did back in 2007!). Please click on each image to see the full-size copy. [Flickr archive]

Don't Start Without Me!

Don

Straighten the Rows: the men line up for the prayer.

Straighten the Rows: the men line up for the prayer.

Imam gives the Khutbah

Imam gives the Khutbah: Not the most effective design for a partition. ;)

Higher Daddy!

Higher Daddy!: A father pushes his child on the swings during the khutbah.

The brothers sit and listen to the imam.

The brothers sit and listen to the imam.

The kids quietly play!

While the kids quietly play! The advantage of holding prayers in a playground. :)

Playground Springs

Playground Springs: I have no idea why they have these little fountains and showers in the kiddies

Curious Child

Curious Child: All the kids were fascinated by the sprinklers... though I

So there you have it: another ‘Īd in the park; another step closer to establishing a personal ‘Īd tradition, inshā’Allāh.

Where did you pray today?

On Rivalry

// September 17th, 2009 // 5 Comments » // Blog

“Bear in mind that the present life is just a game, a diversion, an attraction, a cause of boasting among you, of rivalry in wealth and children.” Qur'an 57:20

I don't think I ever really appreciated the sense of rivalry that Allāh mentions in the above verse (and elsewhere in the Qur'an), until very, very recently. I'm talking, the last two months or so. It sort of crept up over me, maybe because nearly every singleton in my life has suddenly gotten married, with other newly weds having babies, that I feel somewhat left behind in the personal life department.

A few years ago, I was on a quest to get married – but it was more like an adventure; one that I shared with friends and cousins. Alhamdulillah, one by one, my travelling companions left for the next stage of their journey, and we waved them off happily, so secure in our knowledge that we, too, would be moving ahead very soon.

Returning to the present, it seems that I am one of the few passengers left behind in the waiting room, wondering why my train is running so late. Shouldn't it have been here by now? Did I miss it? Maybe I read the timetable wrong?

And worst of all, I've become one of them. You know… the 'older' unmarried women, that the younger unmarried women use to make themselves feel better: “Oh, at least I'm not as old as so-n-so”. They become so shocked when they hear my marital status combined with my age. That is, until they realize the expression of disapproval at their tactlessness on my face, and try to cover it up with: “Oh, it'll happen soon, inshā’Allāh”. Yes, thank you. I feel totally reassured now.

Anyway, believe it or not, I'm not complaining about my fate. And if I did, I wouldn't be complaining to you. Rather, I wanted to share how one's perspective on the Qur'an changes with new life experiences. Now I actually feel the sting of rivalry in my heart from time to time. But the verse above reminds me of the bigger picture: it's only a game, Mehzabeen. So be a good sport, and play it well.

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