This month, we spent a lot of time in our balcony garden where we planted Fenugreek seeds, sprouted green onions, and potted fruit and roses to bloom in the months to come. It was a heartwarming experience to see how our toddler grew to love these plants and explore their beauty as she cared for them every day.
As a new parent, I have had the incredible opportunity and luxury of being able to go on several religious trips with my family, الرب رؤوف. Including a KUN safar trip and Umrah.
While deciding to go on these trips, there are always several factors that an adult, especially a parent evaluates before committing themselves to what is to come. Some include:
can we afford it?
will we get the time off from work?
can i handle the physical demand of travel?
am i in the right frame of mind for my ‘ibādah?
will we get the visa?
have i got my affairs in order so that i may take a break to go on this trip?
With all these personal challenges to consider, never once did it occur to me the petty things that i would have to endure from other people of shared faith. This plea is to the men and women who attempted to break my intention of having the most incredible experience with my family at some of the holiest of places on earth.
“Keep your child quiet, I’m trying to sleep!”
I live in southern US, and in order to be able to afford the prices for travel, we often book flights with points which always extends travel times. As prepared parents, we had watched YT videos on how to prepare for long flights with an active toddler, read blog posts and spoke with numerous people all over the world for advice, I am confident that what we experienced during our flight was nothing short of a miracle. Sleeping during take off and landing (mostly) and playing or laughing during the day-time flight. I can not tell you how incredibly grateful i am that my child had such a pleasant experience flying so long a distance (+/-30 hours). We spent a couple of hours playing & laughing when we were flying during the day when a passenger complained that we were too loud while he/she was trying to sleep. To the person who complained, and the flight attendant who passed the message, I would like to tell you ‘It’s day-time. Read a book, play a game, watch a movie or put on some headphones.’
“Take that Pacifier away from your child, it is very bad!”
My child is not one that sleeps a lot. It is a struggle for all of us. In an attempt to stay sane, I had decided to give my child the pacifier to help her sleep and also give me a break from either nursing her for hours on end or being paralyzed with confusion on what to do with a child, obviously exhausted, but not able to fall asleep. Though it took many attempts, it worked. With that, my husband and i finally got to rest, even for a few hours at a time. We got to eat a meal in peace. We saw a calmness come over our child. That was the beginning of Binky. In no way shape or form was i willing to get rid of this during what would be the third and longest trip internationally she would have experienced in her life to a world where our routines would be disrupted all the time and she would be among masses of huge crowds all around her with no ability to be physically free to roam as she pleases. To all the men and women who judged my parenting choices and my child because of Binky, I would like to tell you, ‘You don’t know us, you don’t know our story. If you have nothing positive to say then we have nothing to talk about.’
“If you want to go home with your child alive, then leave this place immediately!”
To the woman who was standing with me in front of Baab e Kaaba who said the above statement to me, I understand that what you meant and what you said did not align. I forgive you for the hurt that I felt when I heard those words from you at that place and in that moment. ‘May Allah SWT grace you with the tongue that speaks only well wishes’.
A friend of mine recently attended an event where a Panjatan Pak Salawat nu thaal was presented. Below are the photos she took. I cant decide which is more amazing, the menu, the execution or the photos!
Sieve flour and baking powder, then add to it 1 tsp. of the cumin seeds. Set aside.
Beat butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Add the remaining 1 tsp. of cumin seeds, black pepper and half of the beaten egg. Beat well to combine.
Add the flour into the butter mixture gradually and fold using a spoon at first then use your hands to gently mix into a smooth dough. Do not over-knead as this will make the cookies hard instead of crumbly. If the dough needs a bit more flour, add a tsp. at a time.
Refrigerate the dough for about 20 mins wrapped in cling film.
When ready to use, pre-heat the oven at 180 C. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Roll out the dough into a circle, you can dust some flour lightly on the work surface or roll between two pieces of cling film. The thickness should be about quarter inch. Cut out rounds or whichever shape you prefer.
Place on the baking tray, then using a fork, pierce a few times on each cookie. Once all are done, brush the reserved half egg on the cookies and bake until golden, for about 12-15 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then store in an airtight container.
250 – 400g beef on bone, cut into medium size pieces
11/2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 green chilies, finely chopped
1 red onion, sliced
3 cups water
2-3 tbsp whole wheat flour (or all purpose flour)
1½ cup milk
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick, 3 inch
7-8 black peppercorns
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
Handful of mint
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil the mutton with the water, ginger garlic paste and green chilies in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes or until tender. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, boil the meat in regular pot until meat is tender.
Strain the stock and keep the meat aside. In a deep bottom pan, add oil and whole spices. Once they start to sizzle, add the flour and roast it on low flame till its light browned and add the milk. Whisk well.
Add in the stock and meat, 8-9 leaves of mint, season with salt and pepper and let it simmer for 15 minutes, till its slightly reduced and thickened.
Top its with lots of chopped mint and lemon juice.