Saturday, October 9, 2010

Back in Yanbu


We're back to Saudi, Allhumdulillah. We've been here for almost three weeks now. I've just been spending my time getting things organized. SubhanAllah! The thick layer of dust that greeted us when we walked in the house. Wow! And the jet lag...getting in to routine seemed to take forever. It's amazing, when I went back home, there was no jet lag for me. I was just so super excited and happy to be with family again. I did not want to waste that time sleeping. But,'s a different story altogether. Even Heemu's sleep was so messed up. Allhumdulillah, we're back to some sort of a routine.

It's happy hour for me. For once, in over three weeks, I have some 'me' time. Heemu is asleep and so is S. Tiring day for him today. But that means I have the computer all to sharing. ( Yes, yes, his work is more important than my blogging *rolls eyes*). And of course, Heemu wants to be a part of everything you are doing. Every time I sit at the computer, he's right there with me, wanting to climb on to my lap and type away. This generation I tell ya! I didn't even know what a computer was until I was a teen. And here, quoting my mother in law, "he's born on the laptop"!

The vacation went by so quickly. And with Ramadan, Allhumdulillah, the last month went by even faster. We all thought that the days are going to be long and tiresome. But with Allah's blessing, there was so much barakah in the days. Even the hot days went by so easily, Allhumdulillah. However, once the month ended, I was extremely saddened. I realized that these wonderful days, where the most of the community made the effort to come for prayers at the mosque, would be no more. The droves of people that showed up for taraweeh prayers and especially within the last 10 days, would not be seen till next year. In Ramadan you really feel a sense of community and belonging. Unfortunately, it doesn't last the whole year for some only to Fridays. Allhumdulillah for the 30 days of bliss. May Allah (swt) strengthen the iman of our ummah and make us righteous and pious Muslims for the whole year... for a whole lifetime, Ameen.

May Allah (swt) put barakah in all that you do for His sake.

Umm Heemu

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Homes Sweet Homes

Allhumdulillah! We're back in Canada. Actually, we've been here for just under a month now. I have been so busy with family and friends that I didn't even get a chance to open the blog. We've just been travelling back and forth between Richmond Hill and Waterloo with pit stops in Hamilton, Niagara Falls, Mississauga and other little towns. I can't believe that the month is almost over! Time goes by so quickly! SubhanAllah!

Heemu is more mobile and loves to touch everything. He loves to do everything (read: take over) you're doing. Be it eating, cooking, cleaning or blogging, he doesn't want to miss out on the action. For the past couple of months, I've had very brief moments with the laptop. Just checking e-mails, responding to some, checking the news, paying some bills...and then Heemu wants at it. So blogging took the backseat for a while. But Allhumdulillah, here I've lots of hands to keep Heemu busy or I can get back to the things I miss; like reading a book or doing my nails or like today, blogging. Allhumdulillah for the extra help. I am definitely going to miss it when I go back to Yanbu.

Ramadan is just a hop, skip and a jump away. May Allah (swt) give us all the strength and courage to make the most of this blessed month, Insha'Allah. They days are going to be long, but Insha'Allah, with Allah's help will get through it. It's always such an exciting time for me. It's like you're waiting for the arrival and beloved guest. Preparing and cleaning and cooking! It's such a blessed time. We should try to make the most of it, Insha'Allah. Don't forge to increase you ibadaats and make lots and lots of dua! May Allah accept our worships, Ameen!

Ramadan Karim!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Summer Daze

Allhumdulillah, just a little over a month before we go back home, Insha'Allah. We're missing the family. And as the weather gets from warm to boiling...the memories of mellow Canadian summers beckons us. How beautiful the days must be! It's funny, I talk to the family  and they say, 'It's so hot!" Oh? "Yeah, it's like 27C today!". Yeah and we only managed to reach a high of 44C in the afternoon.

After almost four months here, I finally discovered that you can actually borrow books from the little library at the gym that I go to. Allhumdulillah for that. And so I've spent my fasting days leisurely reading. The fasts are not so bad, Allhumdulillah. The days go by really quickly. I try to get the cooking done in the morning and whatever cleaning is needed is done after Isha. 

Heemu is more mobile now. He's doing this dragging, slithering, crawl-type forward movement. It's given him the ability to get to places where he shouldn't be, like near the wires. Rolling is still a favourite past time... he managed to roll off the bed the other day. Talk about a wake up call! His upper two teeth are pushing out. I am looking forward to a toothy smile, Insha'Allah.

I've finished my shopping and almost finished my packing for the return trip. Can you tell I'm excited? I don't like leaving things for the last minute. I think I'll wait till it's exactly a month left to start the countdown Insha'Allah! 

Friday, May 21, 2010

Random Acts of Kindness and Love

We went to Medina this weekend. Allhumdulillah, it was a really good trip. Usually we just take a day trip, this time we decided to spend the night. I love going to Medina, it's always nice to see Muslims from all over the world in the Prophet's (pbuh) city. The different attires reflect the diversity of our Ummah. It's always a pleasure to see our fellow brothers and sisters from all over the world.

Walking around with a baby, you're exposed to a different treatment from others. Some one will help you up or down the stairs. Others will give your baby a little pat on the head or a brush on the cheek. And some even give kisses. And others offer candy (he's too young to enjoy it so I happily indulge!). These beautiful interactions show the kindheartedness of our ummah. Of course, Ibraheem, being a very friendly baby, loves to socialize and soaks in all the attention he's getting.

 I guess mostly when they see him, people are just thinking about their own families, kids and grandkids back home. But it's really nice of them to encourage his inquisitive stares, random smiles and ooohs and aaaahs. It's times like these that you feel a sense of belonging and pride for the ummah. The united front of a global family, where the children are treated like your own. No one is afraid to reprimand a child hanging a little too close to the railing and to smile and nod at another who's curiously observing (and touching) his surroundings.

 A friend said that she finds the people of Medina to be very gentle and kind. Why wouldn't they be? They're living in and visiting the home of the very man who was the epitome of kindness. Just the humility of being in the same place where the Prophet (pbuh) once lived, is enough to humble any heart.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Crazy Urges

I have a new crazy urge, I wanna learn how to sew. My mom is an excellent seamstress (in my humble opinion) she's been making all sorts of dresses since I was a baby. Even now, she's sending me some summer suits, JazakAllahu Khairun Mamma. When living at home, I never bothered to learn this important skill from her. She would sew, I would take care of the housework and study. Enjoying a brand new suit (much to my dad's chagrin  and later, my hubby-ji's : "you already have so many, why are you wasting?" they say-true... but they clearly don't understand the female mind (luv you Pa-Jaani..please continue reading my blog in spite of this new post...please!) in exchange for washing some dishes and brooming...not a bad trade off!

Now, I have this urge to sew. I wanna make these really nice designer, modest outfits and present them to the world. My new attempt at expressing my creativity (or lack there of). This comes after my urge to crochet (I've sort of mastered the chain thanks Umm Humza!), knit (still trying to figure out how to hold the needles ) and bake designer cakes (don't even bother to ask how I mutilated the brownies today!). But, Insha'Allah, over the summer, I'm going to make a special effort to learn something from Mama. Even if it's how to put a thread in a needle...

P.S. I over exaggerate, I can do that  the thread into a needle thing...err..most of the time

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Greater then a Mother's Love

Ibraheem had a cold the last couple of days. Coughing with phlegm, runny nose, fever and crankiness, he had it all. It was his first, so it was very hard on him…and more so for me.  It was hard for me to see my baby suffering. Unable to tell me where it hurt or what I could do to make it better, his helplessness made me cry. I am told that for new  mothers, the first bout of sickness is very, very tough. It's very true, I experienced it firsthand.

It's amazing how much love and tenderness a mother shows to her child, especially when he/she is sick.  The constant waking at night to check his fever, to pull the blanket a little higher, to comfort him with your touch, to ensure he's eating properly, giving medication on time…and then after all that, questioning whether what you've done is enough. Or is there something more you could do to make his aches and pains go away.

But we forget sometimes, that all that occurs is from Allah (SWT). There is hikmah  in everything, big and small, significant and insignificant, that is way beyond our comprehension. And even this, the sickness of a child and the mother's care, has some hikmah and opportunity for betterment that we're unable to identify. I've come to realize that there is only so much I can do, for everything is in the hands of Allah (SWT).  I can pray for Him to help me be a good wife, a loving mother, a dutiful daughter, a caring sister, a dear friend and most importantly a pious Muslimah; however, the ability comes from Him.   And so I prayed, and I did my job as a mother and He took care of the rest. His mercy and love has no bounds; His caring does not falter when there is shortage of sleep or abundance of fatigue. And when I dose off, He's still there, along with the angels, taking better care of my baby. 

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Have I got food on my niqab!!!

It was a lovely day today. Partly cloudy with a nice cool breeze. After spending an hour doing some intense work out, we decided to give little Ibraheem an outing. We took him to the beach, it was such a beautiful day...the perfect day to enjoy an ice cream cone ( I saw a kid walking around with one and my worked out body craved for one too; so much for the work out). So being the 'your wish is my command' type of a hubby that S. can be sometimes, he kindly walked to the little hut and bought two strawberry-vanilla cones. Oh, how yummy they looked.

 As S. passed the cone to me, I started to panic. How am I supposed to eat this cone in public while wearing a niqab? Did I mention it was a beautiful warm day? The cone started melting and trailed slowly down my fingers. I had to eat it fast. I lifted my niqab and slipped the cone underneath, generously smearing the fabric of my niqab with the delicious cream. A couple of licks, and I realized there was no way I could do this with dignity. I took a seat at the bench, and tried to quickly work my way through the cone, which was now dripping pink and white on to my all-black abayah (oh so visible!) My hubby, seeing the condition I was in, quitely commented "for once, you're more of a klutz then I am" (oh? was it that obivious?). I quickly finished my cone, most of which was shared with the fabric of my niqab and some with my abaya (how generous I am, I share with my clothing!), and rushed as fast as I could to the nearest bathroom. I washed my niqab and wringed  it as best as I could. Allhumdulillah, it was a lovely, warm day and the niqab dried pretty quickly.

Later that night, S. got a call from one of his colleagues.
"Saw you at the beach today!"
S.: "Oh, yeah we were there for a bit"
"Yeah we were going to come meet up with you, but you were heading the other way."

They must have seen my mad dash to the bathroom...ooooh..niqab and ice cream cone not a very good combination indeed!Never, ever again  will I indulge in public! Next time when I have a craving, I'll make sure to take my niqab in to consideration!

Monday, April 12, 2010

My Cup of Tea

Recently (like in the past two days), my love for tea has renewed. I used to be a big tea person before marriage. Thanks to Mama, I would drink at least three, steaming mugs a day. However, after the wedding, the addiction just sort of faded away. S. isn't big on tea, he's more the cappuccino type. A Medium french vanilla from Timmies.

The other day, I had some friends over for a potluck and decided to make some tea. Right after having asked everyone if they would like some, I realized I didn't have any milk (real smart, huh?). I did what any good hostess would do, I improvised. I had some evaporated milk on hand so I decided to use that instead. And boy, did that tea taste good. The next day, I found myself making a cup of tea in the middle of the afternoon, rationalizing that I had to use up the left over milk. But when I added "evaporated milk" to the grocery list, I knew I was hooked.

So here I am, my third cup of tea for the day in hand and am thoroughly enjoying it. It's just not the drinking, I enjoy making the tea as well. Heating up the water to a light boil, adding a cracked cardamom, then the tea bag. As the bag releases it's colour and the water comes to full boil the smell of the tea is so tantalizing. And then you add the milk to get that beautiful creamy colour, and let the mixture come to a slow simmer. It's such a soothing task. But as I take that first sip, I'm reminded of those moments of sharing a cup of tea with Mama and Aunty (after the wedding). It would be just our time, to sit and chit-chat. The last 8 months or so, I spent with my husbands parents, Aunty and I would have our cup of tea in the late afternoon. It was downtime after the morning chores and before the dinner rush. We would enjoy some chocolate chip cookies or whatever sweet snack was at hand with the tea.

Reflecting on it, I don't think that it's the actual tea (although the caffeine kick does help the grogginess), so much as the memories it brings back. The wonderful times spent with the two most important women in my life. A remembrance of all the conversations and discussions we would have. And a deep longing to return and make some more memories with them while indulging in a cup of tea. (Insha'Allah)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Story of the One-Eyed Mother

Son's Statement:
" My mom only had one eye. I hated her"... she was such an embarrassment. She cooked for students & teachers to support the family. There was this one day during elementary school where my mom came to say hello to me. I was so embarrassed. How could she do this to me? I ignored her, threw her a hateful look and ran out.

The next day at school one of my classmates said, "EEEE, your mom only has one eye!" I wanted to bury myself. I also wanted my mom to just disappear. So I confronted her that day and said, " If you're only gonna make me a laughing stock, why don 't you just die?!!!"My mom did not respond...I didn't even stop to think for a second about what I had said, because I was full of anger. I was oblivious to her feelings.

I wanted out of that house, and have nothing to do with her. So I studied real hard, got a chance to go to Singapore to study. Then, I got married. I bought a house of my own. I had kids of my own. I was happy with my life, my kids and the comforts. Then one day, my mother came to visit me. She hadn't seen me in years and she didn't even meet her grandchildren. When she stood by the door, my children laughed at her, and I yelled at her for coming over uninvited.I screamed at her, "How dare you come to my house and scare my children! GET OUT OF HERE! NOW!!! "And to this, my mother quietly answered, "Oh, I'm so sorry. I may have gotten the wrong address," and she disappeared out of sight.

One day, a letter regarding a school reunion came to my house in Singapore. So I lied to my wife that I was going on a business trip. After the reunion, I went to the old shack just out of curiosity. My neighbors said that she died. I did not shed a single tear. They handed me a letter that she had wanted me to have.

Mom's Letter:
"My dearest son, I think of you all the time. I'm sorry that I came to Singapore and scared your children. I was so glad when I heard you were coming for the reunion. But I may not be able to even get out of bed to see you. I'm sorry that I was a constant embarrassment to you when you were growing up. You see........when you were very little, you got into an accident, and lost your eye. As a mother, I couldn't stand watching you having to grow up with one eye. So I gave you mine. I was so proud of my son who was seeing a whole new world for me, in my place, with that eye."

With my love to you, Your mother.
This one made me cry. We take our parents and family for granted, especially our mothers, SubhanAllah.  Just so you know, I love you all (especially Aunty and Mamma)! May Allah (swt) bless you with health and iman (Ameen).

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple and Sincere)

I got this in the mail today: 

Wedding of Hazrat Fatimah (Radi'Allahu Anha) :

Fatimah (Radi'Allahu Anha) is the youngest daughter of our beloved Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam). Out of all the children, she(R.A) was the most beloved to him(PBUH). Hazrat Muhammad(PBUH) said, "The Queen of the ladies in Jannat is Fatimah(R.A)." Hazrat Muhammad... also said, "Fatimah(R.A) is part of my body. Whoever grieves her, grieves me."

When Fatimah (Radi'Allahu Anha) reached the age of fifteen, proposals for her(R.A) marriage began to come from high and responsible families. But the Prophet (PBUH) remained irresponsive.

Ali (Radi'Allahu Anhu), who was 21 at the time, says: "It occurred to me that I should go and make a formal proposal, but then I thought, 'How could this be accomplished, for I possess nothing.' At last, encouraged by the Prophet's kindness, I went to him and expressed my intention to marry Fatimah (R.A). The Prophet (PBUH) was extremely pleased and asked, 'Ali! Do you possess anything to give her in Mahr?' I replied, 'Apart from a horse and an armour I possess nothing.' The Prophet (PBUH) said, 'A soldier must, of course, have his horse. Go and sell away your armour.'"

So, Ali (R.A) went and sold his armour to Uthmaan (R.A) for 480 Dirham and presented it to Rasulullah (PBUH). Bilaal (R.A) was ordered by the Prophet (PBUH) to bring some perfume and a few other things and Anas (R.A) was sent to call Abu Bakr(R.A), Uthmaan(R.A), Talhah(R.A), Zubayr(R.A) with some companions from the Ansaar (R.A).

When these men arrived and had taken their seats, the Prophet (PBUH) recited the Khutbah (sermon) of Nikaah and gave Fatimah (R.A) in marriage to Ali (R.A). He announced, "Bear you all witness that I have given my daughter Fatimah(R.A) in marriage to Ali for 400 Mithqaal of silver and Ali has accepted." He then raised his head and made Dua saying, "O Allah, create love and harmony between these two. Bless them and bestow upon them good children." After the Nikaah, dates were distributed.

When the time came for Fatimah (R.S) to go to Ali's (R.A) house, she was sent without any clamour, hue and cry accompanied Umm Ayman (R.A). After the 'Isha Salaat, the Prophet (PBUH) went to their house, took permission and entered. He asked for a basin of water, put his blessed hands into it and sprinkled it on both Ali (R.A) and Fatimah (R.A) and made Dua for them.

The sovereign of both worlds gave his beloved daughter a silver bracelet, two Yemeni sheets, four mattresses, one blanket, one pillow, one cup, one hand-grinding mill, one bedstead, a small water skin and a leather pitcher.

In this simple fashion, the wedding of the daughter of the leader of the worlds was solemnised. In following this Sunnah method, a wedding becomes very simple and easy to fulfill. "

We are so involved in doing things that conform to the rules of society, often times falling into haraam. Weddings today consist of expensive halls, with costly food, decor, and big cakes ( I had it all except for the latter).  All those people we invited and the many that we couldn't, are all a distant memory. There are only a handful that we're still in touch with. So much of the focus is on the big day, however, it's the rest of the days that matter the most. All those people, for the pleasures of whom we do all these 'wordly' preparations, just eat, wish you well, give their gift and go home. "The bride looked pretty, the food was too spicy... I'm so tired"...and that's it, it's all forgotten. All that preparation...for what? I wish that weddings would be like that of Fatima (RA), such simplicity and beauty.

Does the amount of money spent on a wedding, reduce the anxiety the bride feels? Does it lessen the bittersweet pain of the brides' parents as they give away their precious daughter? Does the pain lessen if she travels in a stretch limo or an antique from the 60's? Is the groom less nervous in an expensive tux or following the lead of a marching band? Does the sincerity of the guests dua's and well wishes for the couple lessen if there are no more then 20 dishes at the open buffet? Does anyone remember the smell of the fresh flowers strewn all over the ground as the bride made her entrance? Given enough time, do the guests remember what colour the bride wore? Many years later, when sitting in a rocking chair, with her grand-daughter in her lap, will the bride recall the minuscule details of her wedding day? Or will she share the memories, experiences and wisdoms gained from the many years of a beautiful marriage with the man that Allah (SWT) had ordained for her? Forget 'many years later', I can't even remember the colour of the napkins at...what was the name of that wedding hall? May Allah (SWT) guide us and forgive us (Ameen).

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Allhumdulillah for the Small Things

The weekend has come and gone. Allhumdulillah it was a good one. I fasted on Thursday, surprisingly it was a very easy fast. The day sped by very quickly, and in the evening R. invited us for dinner. May Allah reward her for preparing such a yummy meal. I'm going to put the veggie recipe on here, Insha'Allah. Friday, we were just chilling at home. It's very rare that we get some 'free' time as a family. There is always so much going on, especially with S. But the moments, we get, however short, should be cherished. May Allah grant us peace and tranquility in our lives (Ameen).

The fasts have been good. Unfortunately, I've only been able to do two. I decided I would do it every other day, as I get really, really drained. The body is not used to it, and I don't want to risk getting sick. Plus, I go to the gym everyday, although I try to slow down the workout on the days of the fast, I am wiped out at the end of the day. I've started my homeschooling too, Allhumdulillah. So all that combined, plus cooking and a very active and demanding baby (Masha'Allah), I just can't seem do it everyday. Insha'Allah if I aim to keep at least 10 fasts a month, then I should be good. May Allah bless me with the strength (Ameen).

As I said, I've started homeschooling. It's the child of a family friend of ours. The school he goes to has it's summer vacation from April to June. They will open back up in July when the rest of his family is vacationing in Pakistan (silly, is it not?) So they've kindly given me the opportunity to school him. Masha'Allah he's a good kid and is very kind towards Heemu ( the most important thing for me, I don't wind a child who will bully my baby or be a bad influence on him). May Allah bless me with the guidance to teach this child well and arouse in him the love of deen (Ameen).

Insha'Allah I will do weekly posts about our homeschooling adventure!

Till then, Ma'a Salaama

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Make-up Fasts - Day 1 of 30

Today is my first make-up fast. I was unable to fast the whole month Ramadan 1430 as Ibraheem was born on the 7th of Ramadan. I thought before Ramadan rolls around again, Insha'Allah, I should make up my missed fasts. I had some frozen paratha and a fried egg for sahoor. Quick and convenient! This is my first fast in a while, I hope the day goes well, Bi-idhnillah!

I am going to add a new page to the blog about **drrrrrum rrrrroll** cooking. Yeah! My favourite pastime. I'm always on the hunt for new and fun recipes to try. Eating the same food day-in and day-out can get pretty boring. I'm not as adventurous as I used to be pre-Ibraheem, but Insha'Allah keeping a page on the blog will motivate me. Feel free to send some new and interesting recipes my way, I'm pretty much open to anything that doesn't move on my plate unless I'm the one moving it!

It's the weekend, Allhumdulillah. S. is very busy with some courses he's taking online. I wanted to go to Mecca or to Medina this weekend, but he's got some due dates coming up. Without having to run around so much on the weekend, Thursday and Friday are the best 'working' days for him. You know it would be so much easier if they would just let the women drive here. (But then I think of the crazy way the people drive here and I thank Allah that I'm not behind the wheel, Allhumdulillah!) The man wouldn't be as bombarded with running errands all the time. In Canada, I would just take the car and do whatever outside work that I have to do. Groceries, doctors's appointments, shopping, visiting etc., I didn't have to wait for S. to chauffeur me everywhere. It worked out well, I could do my thing (window shopping) without him making faces and checking his watch every minute (can you tell he enjoys it?). And he would get some 'me-free'( free time for himself and time away from me lol) time. But here, I feel sorry for the guy. He works from 7 to 2pm and then has to take me to the gym, pick me up, run whatever errands that need to be done, give his due time to the baby (baby is very demanding of attention from Baba) and do his 'homework'!  May Allah bless him with health and the strength to continue doing all that he does. May Allah put barakah in everyones' days, Ameen.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

How time flies..

SubhanAllah! Heemu is now 7 months old Masha'Allah. It seems like yesterday that he was born. I miss the days of being able to cuddle with him and snuggle him hours on end. Now, he just struggles too much. He's getting  all 'independent'. He wants to be on the floor, rolling and slithering all over the place. He likes to get under things; under his rocking chair, under the office chair, under the centre table, under anything he can fit under. He took one of his toy rings and managed to slide under his chair and was hammering away at it. I looked at him and a picture of a mechanic at work came to mind.

We've been here in Yanbu for about three months now. Time has flown by very quickly, Allhumdulillah. Many ask what it is that I enjoy most about being here. Hands down, it's having the ability to be able to go to Mecca or Medina whenever we get the time. However, added responsibilities at work for S. don't allow the Mecca trip to happen too often. But Allhumdulillah, I'm happy with whatever I can get. I am no better then most who long to make this journey. May Allah accept their prayers and call them to His sacred place, Ameen.

The weather has been quite hot lately. We had two glorious days of cloud followed by one rainy day, Allhumdulillah for that. Oh how the city felt alive! It was as if the rain had washed away the sand from the streets and quenched the soils thirst. The air had a different scent, a lighter feel. The whole city's grime was washed away and everything shone anew. The people were happier, the kids laughter, more jolly and merrier. It was as if the people were waiting for this rain to refreshen them and quench their sun-dried days (and moods). Rain puddles could be seen all over the city. In our neighbourhood, the kids were 'sliding' through the water; a new pastime, a relief from the normal sunny day activities. What a change came about, SubhanAllah. Never before have I been more grateful for the rain. Allhumdulillah.

We discovered a new park this past weekend. It's still in the works. An artificial lake, with water fountains, some grass and palm trees has been structured in the middle of a very dry and sandy area of the town. It's very nicely built; a walking tracking borders the vicinity and a  carpeted gazebo for Salaah.(What more can you ask for?) We spent a nice evening there, it was quite windy, but very enjoyable. A lot of families were out with their kids. People like to bring their carpets and cushions as well as their thermos of 'shai' and some munchies. The parents sit and chit-chat while the kids run around having a blast. It was a nice outing for Heemu, he just wanted to roll around in the grass. Now if could just get those grass stains out of his clothes.

Friday, March 5, 2010

When life gives you apples, make apple cobbler!


I am making apple cobbler today. A couple of days ago, we had a one of S.'s colleagues and his family over for dinner. They brought us lots of fruit. We're only 2.5 people (Heemu only likes to take a little lick or suck of everything, so he's the .5) and we can't eat that much fruit. The bananas and oranges we finished, but the apples; two days of apples for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the end was nowhere near. So I decided to make apple cobbler. I can smell the cinnamon as I type. Baking is not my forte; I hope it turns out okay.

We went to Medina yesterday. We decided to take a day trip. The last time I went, in 2008, I was in a bus, exhausted from jet lag and travelling at night. Awake and travelling under the blazing sun this time, I acknowledged that the government did a really good job with the highways. It was such a smooth ride. The surrounding mountains, consisting dark brown and jagged rocks, were a magnificent sight. I pondered how the Muslims in the Prophet's (pbuh) time would have felt walking this terrain under the blazing sun. The two and an half hour journey at 140km/h (yes the speed limit here is like 200 km/h) for us, must have taken them days. Would I have been able to make that journey? One thing is for sure, I would have prayed for a lot of courage and strength from Allah (SWT). Allhumdulillah for cars with air conditioning.

We stopped at Badr along the way. They've made a mural on a wall near the battle ground with a map and the names of the shuhadah. Drive a little further and there is a little monument with the names of the shuhada listed on it. S. and I were impressed by their efforts and thought they should do similar things with other important places throughout the Kingdom. Create tourist stops where significant historical events took place and use the opportunity to educate the people and boost their tourism industry. It would be a great opportunity for da'wah as well. Imagine, being able to take a tour of all the important places during Prophet's (pbuh) time and having informed guides lead you through the history as you imagine yourself travelling back in time. *Sigh*...if only!

The crowd was pretty light in Medina. They've done a marvelous job with installing collapsible canopies in the courtyard that provide lots of shade. With a light, cool breeze, it's very comfortable to pray outside as well. Because, I couldn't take Heemu inside with his stroller, I prayed outside with a whole bunch of the other mothers. A saf of strollers, parked behind us. After lunch, we went shopping. Taybah market is the best place to shop for Abayahs and everything else, all under one roof. Walking through the market, my mind took a little journey back in time as I imagined this place in the Prophet's time. An open market, with the hustle and bustle of people under the sun, as they go about selling and buying. From out of nowhere, the Prophet (pbuh) grabs his companion from behind asking "who would buy this slave?". The laughter of the people as they share in the Prophet's (pbuh) little prank. How different the city would have been then?

After asr, we made our way to Maktab Al-Jarir (Jarir Bookstore). Many people had recommended visiting it, and what a place it was. I felt I was walking into a Chapters or an Indigo. The place was overflowing with books of all genres, for all ages, in Arabic and English. They also sell computers and accessories, stationery, book bags, teaching aids etc. It's a wonderful place to get lost in. We were planning to go 'in and out', just grab what we needed (some Arabic workbooks) and out in five (minutes). But we spent a good hour and a half just browsing aisle after aisle. It's our new' must-make-a-stop when we're in Medina' place.

The apple cobbler turned out pretty good, Allhumdulillah. S. gave it his nod of approval. He's the one with the sweet tooth, so if he likes it then it's all good. Next time, I won't fret over having too many apples in the fridge just waiting to wrinkle away. Perhaps I'll make apple crumble.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Raising Children with Deen and Dunya |

Raising Children with Deen and Dunya |

A very good article, Masha'Allah. May Allah(SWT) give us all the strength and guidance to raise our children as pious Muslims (Ameen).

Monday, February 22, 2010

Abusive son-in-law ‘binned’ - Arab News

Abusive son-in-law ‘binned’

- Arab News

Now, this is what I call, 'taking the trash out' :) !

Stick to Being the Early Birds

Last week, all government schools were on holidays. The city was practically deserted. Many people took off to their home countries or were gone vacationing. I was reading  Arab News ( this morning, and Jeddah saw a huge rise in their sales. I guess everyone was out shopping in Jeddah. We were stuck at home, no car and we didn't want to venture out anywhere with a rental. Finally S. got his car on Saturday, the first day back from holidays. After isha, we decided we'd take a spin in the car and go for some groceries.

We went to Hyper Panda (it's the equivalent of Loblaw's or the Superstore) and the place was very crowded. The stores here shutdown about fifteen minutes before salaah and don't open until fifteen minutes after salaah. So, many people find it easier to just go shopping after Isha. They can shop leisurely without being rushed. To avoid the crowds, we usually like to go early morning before dhuhr or after dhuhr on the weekend. But because we'd been without a car for a few days, we found ourselves at a very busy Hyper Panda at 10pm. Save a few bumps and cart jams in some of the aisles, we finally made it to check-out. The lines were 15 to 20 carts long, and stretched out well into the aisles. It seemed like everyone returned from the holidays, late Friday night or early Saturday morning, and rushed for groceries first thing. All the registers were full, the cashiers just punching in numbers, and trying to get the lines moving as quickly as possible. We braved the crowd and finally found a spot in what seemed to be the shortest line. But seeing the 10 or so people in front of us, (you can't really tell because people like to butt in through the sides as well, it's not really an orderly line) with overflowing carts, and a quick look at the watch (it was almost 11:30pm) we decided we should just go home. I knew the city came alive after Isha, but I didn't imagine such a crowd at the store. Even on the busiest pre-holilday or post-holiday shopping in Canada, the lines aren't this bad. But in a city that has only two big supermarkets, Hyper Panda clearly being the hip n' happenin' spot because it's conveniently located in the mall, long line ups are the norm post-holiday. I guess we'll just stick to being the early birds and catch our cart full of worms on weekend mornings, while the city sleeps-in.

Back to Blogging

Assalaam-u-Alaikum All,

I am up and blogging again. A little push from some friends and I thought, why not? So here we are, our twosome is no more. Since the last entry, we left Yemen, went back to Canada, had a baby,Ibraheem (that was mostly me :D) and now we're back to the Middle East. Sajjad, Ibraheem and myself are here in Saudi Arabia, in a small city called Yanbu off the coast of the Red Sea. Sajjad is teaching English at YIC (Yanbu Industrial College) and I am at home with Ibraheem. The weather is quite hot under the sun, but the nights are nice and warm. Allhumdulillah for air conditioning. Ibraheem will be 6 months old on the 28th, Insha'Allah.
Wow, it really has been a long time since my last post.