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).