Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Culinary Skills

goddessOn jack's last day of school, he was asked to bring either real food or junk food or beverages to share with his friends. Zachary is somewhat like me, who likes to think beforehand what others would bring and thus not to bring the same.

So rather than make things easy for his mother by picking cake or donut or crisps and the likes that I can easily buy, he chose his favourite food that he was very sure to be a hit among students. Something his mother cooks very well.

Proudly he told his teacher he will bring Indomie Mee goreng!

This is an insult to my (diminishing) culinary skills!

I brought spaghetti instead.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Shower Together

We had to collect water now because the rising temperature makes the pipe water too hot to shower if you take a late shower. And do beware when you wash the pee in the midst of noon for the water may scorch you.

Jack was giggling with Sya one day when he saw the collected water.

But Sya being the must-tell-everything-to-Ibu told me what they were giggling about. Jack has this crazy theory that he is sure that Ibu and Ayah is taking shower together in the tub. More giggle giggle.

Well what do you, it is a sunnah for husband and wife to take a shower, I told them as a matter of factly.


Oh really? Giggle giggle.

Narrated 'Aisha:

The Prophet and I used to take a bath from a single pot called 'Faraq'.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Demo Masak-Memasak

Sometime before the exam, my tajweed approached me and asked, "Can you cook fried rice." I answered an affirmative yes. "Can you give me the recipe?" she asked. I answered, "Sure. I can give you now." She said, on the next class Insya Allah.

We departed, but then she turned around and asked, "Better still. can you show it to me?"

"You mean, cook it in front of you?"
"Yes please."
"Insya Allah after the exam"

So today was the day. All the nine of us in the class gathered in my teacher's kitchen, each cooking up something.
One Indonesian cooked mee goreng (mee kuning yang dia buat sendiri)
The other indonesian folded murtabak and fried it there.
Another Malaysian cooked up the fillings for popia and roll it up and spring it after frying it.
My British friend made cupcake. Which was a cheat. Cupcake is a universal food I told her. She must do Shepherd's pie and the likes. But she was excused because her cupcake was delicious. Not sweet and has soft glitters fairy like.
My Pakistani friend cooked up Briyani. I didn't know that it was that easy.
My indian friend made baked chicken Kurma.
My libyan teacher made Libyan salad. The Libyans, according to her, eat loads of chilies. So her salad has chilies and also cheese. What a combination : fried brinjal, tomato, olives, cheese and chilies. Entah-entah dia makan steak pun dengan chilly macam ada sesetengah orang tu.
Yours truly fried up fried ricelah. Apa lagi? An easy peasy cuisine that most of you make for breakfast because you had leftover rice, they thought was so hard to do. My teacher diligently copied everything i made. But I did tell her, in Asian cooking things are "agak-agak and campak-campak".

I enjoyed my time today. First of all this is not something often that we do. We don't gather every week for a morning coffee which I get tremendously restless if there are invites even if it is every week. But Alhamdulillah I don't get invited that much anymore even though, thanks to FB, I do know that morning coffee activities are still going on. LOL!

The other thing is we shared common interest and common goal - the deen and to improve our quran recitation and understanding. The thing that made us envy another is because her recitation has improved, Allahuma Bareek, and that we must catch up. But the envy made us love each other more and we are happy for each other. And when we spend time together, the conversation tend to revolve on our lessons and future undertakings. When we do talk about someone, we are careful that the conversation does not lead to gheebah. We are always cautious.

And I love that. I get tired going to places when there was so much talk and I go home forgetting my verses. The thing is, it is not even the others, it is me who talk too much.

Alhamdulillah for such beautiful companionship.

Anyway cerita pasal masak-masak and agak-agak, check out this video of Gordon ramsay's Great Escape in Malaysia. As vibrant as he is, I like to think I am more of nigella lawson kind of person. And nigella lawson does not swear.

Gordon Ramsay in Malaysia from Joseph Teo on Vimeo.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Seeker of the Truth

Qadr Allah, I bumped into some hadith that I read to Sya today concerning a story of a man who seeks for the truth. Qadr Allah the timing of the story was most apt.

The story today, my friends, is about ZAYD bin 'AMR bin NUFAYL.

Zayd bin 'Amr bin Nufayl stood at a distance from the crowds watching the Qurays as they celebrated one of their festivals. He saw the men with their heads wrapped in turbans of teh finest silk, struting along in costly Yemeni cloaks. he could also see the women and children in gaily coloured robes and exquisite jewelry. he looked at the livestocks being driven by the wealthy people, who had even decorated their animals before bringing them to be slaughtered before the idols.

Zayd stood with his back against the wall of the Kaa'bah and said:
"People of Quraysh! the sheep are created by Allah. He brings down rain for them so that they can drink, He brings forth the grass in the pasture so that they can eat their fill, and then you slaughter them, but not in His name. What an ignorant people you are!"

His uncle, al Khattab, father of 'Umar b al Khattab, came forth, slapped him, and said, "May you perish! We have heard this foolish talk from you and tolerated it long enough. Our patience has come to an end."

Then al Khattab called upon some of the cruder members of his tribe, and incited them to assault Zayd. They attacked him, and were so determined in their attempts to harm him that he fled Makkah and took refuge in the mountain of Hira'

Zayd met up with Waraqah bin Nawfal, Abdullah in Jahsh, Uthman al harith and Umayyah bin Adul Muttalib. They discussed how teh arabs strayed into polytheism and Zayd said to his companions, "I swear by Allah, you know that your people are in error, and that they have deviated from the religion of Abaraham and gone against it. if you wish for salvation, you must find for yourselves a religion that you can believe in."

The four men went to scholars of the jewish and the hristian faiths, as well as others, seeking the pure religion of Abraham. Waraqah bin Nawfal became a Christian. Abdullah bin Jahsh and Uthman bin al Harith found nothing which satisfies them. Asfor Zayd bin Amr bin Nufayl, he had a story.

"I studied Judaism and Christianity, but turned away from them, because I found they did not satisfy me. I traveled far and wide, seeking the faith of Abraham, until I reached Syria. Then I heard of a monk who had knowledge of the scriptures, so I sought him out and told my story. he said to me,
"I see that you seek the religion of Abraham, O brother from Makkah."
"Yes," I answered.
He told me, "You are searching for a religion which does not exist today. return to your country, for Allah is going to send a prophet from your own people who will revive the religion of Abaraham. If you are still alive, then commit yourself to it."

Zayd hastily headed back towards makkah, in search of the promised prophet. While Zayd was still traveling, Allah began to send revelation of truth and guidance to His Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasalam. Zayd never reached him, for he was attacked by a band of highway on the road to Makkah. As he breathed his last, Zayd realised that he would never have the joy of seeing the Messenger of Allah, he prayed,

"O Allah! If you must deprive me of this blessing, do not deprive my son Sa'id."

It was the will of Allah to answer the supplication of Zayd, for as soon as the prophet sallallahu alaihi wasalam began to call people to Islam, Said bin Zayd was one of the first people to believe in Allah and the message of His Prophet. It came as no surprise to others, fo Sa'id had grown up in a family which rejected the deviation of teh Quraysh. Sa'id has been raised by a father who had spent his life searching for truth, and had died running after the truth.

Zayd b Nufayl was not alone among the Arabs. There were a few others like him who worshipped Allah alone, followed the way of the Messengers, and eschewed the ways of polytheism. Likewise, there were still some Jews and Christians who remained steadfast on their religion.

All of those people were strangers in their times, living in a world of confusion, contradiction, and division. Indeed, Zayd's own uncle, Khattab ibn Nufayl, was one of his main tormentors, despising him for not worshipping his tribes idols or eating the meat that they slaughtered.

He also never participated in killing girls during the time when it is most common practice among the quraysh.

This is one of my favourite stories of a seeker of the truth.

While we are at awe of their steadfastness of their natural disposition (fitrah), how do we handle ourselves when we are already handed the truth in a silver platter?

Portraits - from the Lives of the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad - Adul rahman al basha

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar:

The Prophet met Zayd ibn `Amr ibn Nufayl in the bottom of (the valley of) Baldah before any Divine Inspiration came to the Prophet. A meal was presented to the Prophet but he refused to eat from it. (Then it was presented to Zayd) who said, "I do not eat anything which you slaughter in the name of your stone idols. I eat none but those things on which Allah's Name has been mentioned at the time of slaughtering."

Zayd bin `Amr used to criticize the way Quraish used to slaughter their animals, and used to say, "Allah has created the sheep and He has sent the water for it from the sky, and He has grown the grass for it from the earth; yet you slaughter it in other than the Name of Allah." He used to say so, for he rejected that practice and considered it as something abominable.

Narrated Ibn 'Umar:

Zayd ibn `Amr ibn Nufayl went to Sham, inquiring about a true religion to follow. He met a Jewish religious scholar and asked him about their religion. He said, "I intend to embrace your religion, so tell me some thing about it." The Jew said, "You will not embrace our religion unless you receive your share of Allah's Anger."

Zayd said, "'I do not run except from Allah's Anger, and I will never bear a bit of it if I have the power to avoid it. Can you tell me of some other religion?" He said, "I do not know any other religion except the Hanif."

Zayd enquired, "What is Hanif?" He said, "Hanif is the religion of (the prophet) Abraham who was neither a Jew nor a Christian, and he used to worship None but Allah (Alone)."

Then Zayd went out and met a Christian religious scholar and told him the same as before. The Christian said, "You will not embrace our religion unless you get a share of Allah's Curse."

Zayd replied, "I do not run except from Allah's Curse, and I will never bear any of Allah's Curse and His Anger if I have the power to avoid them. Will you tell me of some other religion?" He replied, "I do not know any other religion except Hanif."

Zayd enquired, "What is Hanif?" He replied, Hanif is the religion of (the prophet) Abraham who was neither a Jew nor a Christian and he used to worship None but Allah (Alone)."

When Zayd heard their Statement about (the religion of) Abraham, he left that place, and when he came out, he raised both his hands and said, "O Allah! I make You my Witness that I am on the religion of Abraham."

Narrated Asma bint Abi Bakr:

I saw Zayd ibn `Amr ibn Nufayl standing with his back against the Ka'ba and saying, "O people of Quraish! By Allah, none amongst you is on the religion of Abraham except me." He used to preserve the lives of little girls: If somebody wanted to kill his daughter he would say to him, "Do not kill her for I will feed her on your behalf." So he would take her, and when she grew up nicely, he would say to her father, "Now if you want her, I will give her to you, and if you wish, I will feed her on your behalf."

~ Sahih Bukhari

From 'Aa'ishah radhiallahu `anha that the Messenger of Allaah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam said, "I entered Paradise and I saw that Zayd ibn `Amr ibn Nufayl had two levels." [Saheeh al-Jaami as-Sagheer, 3/141, no.3362 . Ibn 'Asaakir]


Listen to audio about Zayd bin Amr bin Nufayl. About the first 8 minutes is about him. The rest are other relevant seeker of truth Waraqah bin Nawfal and Salman al Farsi.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

End of the Academic Year

foodIt's the end of the academic year for me here.

Sad to say, I have to inform you that I didn't do too well in my arabic nor in my online class lesson - bulugh Maram. I did fairly well on both my theory tajweed exam and the memorisation. Alhamdulillah.

I am such a clutter brain and was feeling overwhelm nearly all the time. I feel that I could not concentrate on learning ad remembering facts. Allah Musta'an.

Apa-apa pun exam dah over. I can't wait for the K@FA class to be over. I spent long hours writing the notes for the children. We do use the book but I take pity on them because I think many of them could not grasp the english in the book. Each time I tire or feeling overwhelm and feeling like I need to do something else for myself and I would say, "Agghh why bother!" But then, I just can't teach when I think they would not understand. May Allah put barakah on my time. How other successful people can do so many things and achieve so much? Maybe they don't blog and they don't facebook. Hmm

Feeling like i have so many things to do for this coming holiday. So many projects that I am thinking of. Do I have that discipline?

OK anyway, end of the year. So many parties to attend. So many presents to give. Of which none can be the best of reward to all the teachers who have been teaching us. The best of reward for them will be from Allah alone. May Allah reward them in abundance.

I am trying to perfect my pavlova. Still not there yet. So waiting for another party when I can whipped up another pavlova until I am satisfied or I tire. I hope the former comes first.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

One Seven Year Old in the House

jackBefore I put up this post, I read up his progress that I put up in the blog. Of course no one else reads it as diligent as the mother, but I just want to say perhaps I am glad that I have some form of snapshot of him recorded. Perhaps the only reason to stay on blogging huh?

The other thing is, after reading him in his past years, I think he has not changed much. He is still the baby. He is still sensitive. He sobs when he is sorry. I still carry him around (relatively less because he is getting heavier and longer.) He is growing in height but not in waist size because he is still wearing his two year old jeans and shirts.

He talks more in relative to the previous years. He would try to explain somethings and get always get sidetracked on a point. I remember he refused to speak to any authoritive figure like a teacher before, but now he would talk. At least that is what the teacher told me. In front of me, when asked by anyone, he would shy away.

His grasps in maths is doing fine. But I must say, he does not seem to worry about homework and prefer to be carefree. So much so, I was called by the teacher because he missed doing his homework. And I also missed some of his exam dates.

Subhanallah! I need more hours and octopus' hands maybe.

Last year he has memorised up to al adiyat and now he got to Suratul Buruj. Hmmm. Should I drill him harder?

He is closest to his sister and the two of them would be quietly away doing some project in the kitchen usually some fruit juice or something. Sya would be the head chef and jack the sous chef. I would usually catch them when Jack is cutting up some fruits, sometimes hurting himself when he is using the peeler, while Sya is doing the finishing job which includes presentation. But Sya also gets her hands dirty by creating some strange food that I do not know of. Then they two would set up the table and wait for us while we taste their incredible cocktail of mixed fruits and baked apple shreds on mcvities.

Jack would get enthusiastic when he talks with Haziq about a game strategy or game characters. I have no inkling to this conversation at all. What language are they speaking really?

He is a happy child. Perhaps i should delete all that I have written here and just write this instead "He is a happy loved child."

May Allah make him a righteus person and a reward for me in the Hereafter.


After writing this I can't wait to pick him up from school and press his nose. My favourite past time on him.