Monday, 31 October 2011

Cooking while Glorifying Allah (True Story)

Cooking while Glorifying Allah (True Story)


I will not keep it a secret that I am not the one of cooking fans, as I used to consider it as a waste of time and effort.

... When I got engaged, I discovered that my mother in law is one of those who spend most of their life time at the kitchen, moreover she loves to give variety to new kinds of food from time to time using different kinds of Arabic and western cooking books.

This matter – of course – used to make me worry because I thought that my fiancĂ©, after marriage, would compare between my cooking and his mother’s.

So when we have finished with all marriage arrangements and the marriage date was determined, my fiancĂ© noticed that I was delaying the wedding and every time I used to invent a different excuse so finally he came and asked me “you are delaying the marriage for a reason I do not know, what is it?” then I felt the matter is being discovered and I do not have anything to do but saying the truth, so I said “ frankly, I hate kitchen!” then he laughed in astonishment and told me “anyway I like simple kind of food and also I do not mind if I eat the same kind of each two days ” these words calmed me down and I did not delay the marriage any more, on the contrary after I got married I started feeling responsible for the house and all its matters which include the kitchen! So I told myself “you have to do your best in the kitchen even if your husband likes simple kinds of food”.

At the first day I entered my kitchen for cooking I asked God for help and trust on Him then I pleaded Him that my food would not come to be much less that of my mother in law. Then I started to cook and during that time I remembered--with God’s help-- some words of one of our sisters who was giving us lessons at the mosque during Ramadan and she said – God Rewards her—“the Arabian woman spends most of her life time at the kitchen, especially in Ramadan, which wastes much of this great month. Ramadan is like a scent flying away easily! So do not miss it in the kitchen and such kind of works, and if though why do not you mention God while at the kitchen? Has anyone of you tried to cook while she is glorifying Allah. It is an Arabic term and is the most correct name for the one true God (Almighty). The term 'Allah' is derived from Al-Ilaah and means literally 'The One','The God' or 'The One God'. ?!”

I felt I need to do that, not to take the opportunity of Ramadan—because we were in other month which I do not remember now—but for the hope that God Will Make my food tastes good!!

And I decided to start with saying God’s name before each step; starting with turning the fire on , passing through putting butter, then onion and garlic , then tomato and ending with turning the fire off.

The second time I asked myself why do not I say Surat Al-Ikhlas (the loyalty), after mentioning God’s name, during each step? I love this Surat very much, it is short and there are a lot of rewards with saying it too!!

So I have started doing that with God’s help and then, subsequently, God led me to glorify Him while the food is being cooked and during washing the dishes or cleaning the kitchen.

My husband’s reaction was to praise my food to the extent that he said my food has been better than his mother’s! —And of course I did not believe him then—because I am not the one who would pay much attention for the taste of food as long as it is fitting for eating and the salt is not too much, and I thought him saying that as a compliment, after all I was still new bride and such compliments are very normal. But I have noticed that he is repeating such words very often and this made me so happy but I never believed him and thought it is just encouraging from him especially when I discovered that he is one of the greatest fans when it comes to well cooked food , moreover he pays much attention to the way each kind of food is cooked, and thus he told me before marriage turned out to be encouragement, nothing more!!!

When I used to invite my mother in law to spend few days with us she used also to praise my food and I thought she was making a compliment as well. I have noticed that she used to spend her time with me at the kitchen while I was pleading her to have rest at the living room however she used to refuse. Because we were chatting with each other—I did not notice that she was watching my cooking till she asked me once about the method of cooking a certain kind of food and when I mentioned it she was surprised but I did not understand why till she called me once, after months from my marriage, to tell me “I adjure you to tell me the secret of your food taste” so I asked her if she is joking but she swore that she was not!!!

This was a surprise for me and I started thinking deeply to find out the reason but I could not find any but mentioning God’s name and surat Al-Ikhlas and sometimes glorifying God so I told her: “do you want the truth?” she said “sure” then I told her the aforementioned , she was surprised but she seemed as if she did not believe me, I noticed the next time she visited us that she was watching me while cooking to make sure of what I had told her!! And when she believed she told me that she “is doing the same thing now” and that she started noticing a progress in her food taste too!!!.

The funny thing about this matter is that I do not hate cooking or spending time at the kitchen anymore, especially when I play a cassette there; in the kitchen, to listen to Qur'an,the final immaculate revelation sent to mankind from God (Allah) Almighty and different kinds of religious lessons. Subsequently the time I am spending at the kitchen has become amusement and I do not feel the pass of time except after finishing with everything.

Not only that but also—with God’s help—I am not confined to cook just the ordinary dishes but also baking foods like cake, pizza, and sometimes making jars and pickles to the extent that my friends and relatives did not believe that when they knew!!!

Glory to Allah that mentioning Him has secrets we do not know, but such ignorance dose not prevent us the amazement of such secrets. So Glory to you God how great you are!!!!

Monday, 24 October 2011

What a Woman gets from Submission


Monday, 24 October 2011 00:00
Photo by Lucie Debelkova |

WE’VE seen the numerous ahadith (sayings of the prophet) about a woman’s obligation to obey her husband. You’ve probably read about her obligation to respond to her husband’s needs and the punishment for not doing so and maybe you begin to wonder, “What about me? What do I get?”
Well, the reward is great (in this life and the next). The prophet (peace be upon him) said that the reward for obedience to the husband and fulfilling his rights is equivalent to jihad (struggle for the sake of Allah).[1] But what if the words ‘obey’ and ‘submit’ don’t exactly motivate you?
Let’s take a step back and imagine a world in which people do things based on nothing else but how they feel (not much different than the world today).
If I love you, that should be enough because when I love you, I’m nice to you, I forgive you, and I’m even willing to do a little extra to maintain your happiness.  You’re good to me and I’m good to you…No problem! You give me rights and I’ll give you yours, with pleasure! But what happens when you make me mad and I don’t feel so loving, nice or forgiving, or worse - I just want revenge? That’s excusable because you hurt my feelings, right?
What happens if it’s the other way around? What if I make my husband mad and then he doesn’t feel like going to work to support me anymore? Well, that’s different, you say, because that’s obligatory.
In the first verse of the chapter entitled “The Women” of the Qur'an, Allah says what means, “And fear Allah, through whom you demand your mutual rights”. This means that, in a successful marriage, the husband and wife give each other their rights because Allah commands them to, not because they feel like it or even because they love each other.
In verse 34 of the same chapter, Allah describes righteous women as being obedient. But what does that do for the woman? If you look at ahadith instructing men on how to treat their wives, what is interesting is that they encourage kindness, mercy, and forgiveness. But when you look at ahadithinstructing women, they are about obedience, submission, and respect.
Allah tells us,
"And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought." (Qur'an, 30:21)
So when a woman is respectful and obedient, guess what that does to the husband – it creates affection and mercy for his wife. And when a husband is kind, forgiving, and understanding…you guessed it – the wife feels affection and mercy for her husband.  And both husband and wife feel tranquility and fulfillment. Subhanallah.
Look at any of your relationships, be it with your children, spouse, or coworker, and think about the last time he or she did something nice for you. It warmed your heart and you may have even enjoyed doing something nice in return.
On the other hand, it can be hard to give someone their rights when we didn’t get the treatment we thought we deserved. The reality is sometimes people will hurt your feelings. And sometimes, they won’t even apologize. But the peace comes when you give them their rights regardless. You let go of your demands and expect your reward from Allah.  You feel a sweet peace knowing you are doing the right thing.
In fact, this is how Allah, The Most Merciful, is with us. We fall short of giving Him his rights, but Allah blesses us still.
So how can we get more out of submission?
Give with a smile
Don’t just give your husband his rights like a robot. The prophet told us to love for your brother what you would love for yourself. Maybe we can say we really wouldn’t care if our husbands gave us our rights with a reluctant attitude, but it does make it nicer when rights are given with love. So, smile when you serve him dinner. Adding kindness will soften his heart and shows him that you care, and will in turn make cooperation enjoyable.
Don’t meddle in his affairs
When your husband comes home from a business meeting and he tells you how everything went, don’t criticize everything he said or didn’t say and tell him he’d better call the guy back and correct things, and then ask the next day if he did. Let go of control. Sometimes people try to control things because they are either afraid they won’t get what they think they deserve or they think things will come out wrong. Respect yourself by respecting your choice of a husband. You will feel liberated once you are no longer keeping tabs on everything and you have put your trust in Allah.
Put his needs before your own
Maybe your idea of quality time on the weekend is watching the kids play on the playground while the two of you sit on a blanket on the grass, but he wants to relax at home after a stressful week at work. You want to go Wednesday because it’s too crowded on Thursday. Take a deep breath and compromise. Let him relax at home and take you and the kids on a different day. The kids will have fun either way.
Don’t belittle small acts of kindness
Imagine if someone consistently showed carelessness toward your acts of kindness.  It would make you want to stop giving. When he gives in to your requests, purely just to make you happy (or to make you quiet), don’t act like it’s not enough (because you want him to actually want to do it, not just do it because you want him to) and don’t complain if he doesn’t do it the same way you would. Accept it and be grateful anyway. If you don’t, he may think, “I did what she wanted and she’s stillnot happy.” So if you ask him to help you clean the table after dinner and he uses the wrong sponge, just relax and say, “Thank you”, and don’t think, “Next time, I’ll just do it myself!”
Dress up
It is easy for us to get comfortable and not put any effort in to our appearances until we are in the company of other sisters but our friends shouldn't be the only ones who see us and our homes look nice. When you dress up on the weekend and your husband gives you a confused look and asks if he forgot you had to go out today, surprise him and say, “I did it for you.” It will make you feel good too!
Weigh your grievances
Ask yourself, “Do I have a right to complain about this? Is it worth a potential argument? Is there a way to say this so I can get my feelings across while keeping the peace?” Consider the boy who cried wolf.  If you complain about every little offense, your husband will become immune and won’t take your feelings seriously when it is in fact important. Also, think about the good things first. Sometimes thinking about all of the good things your husband has done lessens the need to complain about what he hasn’t. If you really do need to address an issue, choose the right time. Don’t start as soon as he walks in the home from a long day at work.
Don’t nag
Have you ever noticed how happy you are with your husband when he’s doing everything right, but when you didn’t get what you wanted, how quick you are to show your disappointment? Before you find yourself preparing to tell him for the second time that the kitchen sink is leaking, go make dua and ask Allah.  Don’t think it’s too insignificant to make dua for. This will make things less stressful for both of you and it also helps us to take a step back and remind ourselves to trust Allah, accept the outcome, and really understand that He is in control of everything.
It’s easy to want our husbands to forgive us quickly when we have something we need from them. If you start thinking, “I said sorry already, can’t he just get over it? I need to go run some errands”, stop yourself. Give his feelings the same attention you would want. When he messes up and you are still upset the next day, you wouldn’t want him to say, “Look, I apologized already, its not a big deal”.  So the next time your husband makes a mistake, forgive him instead of adding it to your list of things he hasn't done right and make dua for him. Resentment hurts so “Let go and Let God” and don’t remind him about it throughout the next week.
Give a little and you’ll get a lot inshallah! Umm Salamah said the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Any woman who dies and her husband is pleased with her, will enter Paradise." (Ibn Majah)….A lot of reward for a little work!
Challenge: Today, seek out a small act of kindness from your husband, even if it isn’t exactly how or what you wanted. Imagine what things would have been like had he not done it. Keep that in mind and give a heartfelt ‘Thank you.’

1 - Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that a woman once came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said, "O Messenger of Allah, verily, I am the messenger of the women to you. And there is no woman among them except that she desires for me to come out to you. Allah is the Lord of men and women, and He is their God. And you are the Messenger of Allah to men and women. Allah prescribed Jihad for men. If they gain (spoils of war), they become rich, and if they become martyred, they are written with their Lord as being alive, and they are provided for. So what is equivalent to those deeds of obedience that they perform?"
He (peace be upon him) said: "Obedience of their husbands and knowing their rights. And there are few among you who do that."
--Reported by Ahmad adn At-Tabarani in Al-Kabir. With the exception of Husain, who is trustworthy, the narrators of this Hadith are the narrators of As-Sahih. 

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The Big Bang Weddings : How Grand Are Our Weddings? Part II by Nisaar Y. Nadiadwala

Ponder into this Qur'anic verse...Surah Araf ch 7.. verse 157..
The Prophet releases them from their heavy burden and from  yokes..... Nikah that were supposed to be a simple affair has become a yoke on the community.
 Our weddings are like Big Bang theory. Like the big exploision that blew particles in every direction and went on stretching its space, our big bang weddings  have exploisions that blow our money in all the directions, Haldi- Mehdi, Expensive make ups, Multi cuisine receptions, Wedding coats and Dresses for entire family, lavish invitation cards... the list keeps on stretching like the universe afterthe Big Bang Theory...
A Muslimah, who is the daughter of a very rich man, was getting married so she insisted that her wedding be simple, and she argued profoundly and courtesly with  her  mother and it went on for days till she got her point across. Through out her discussion, her argument was simple and straight :"Why should my father celebrate my departure in a grand manner?"  The parents smiled. The Islamic daughter's insistance saved more than half a million Indian Rupees of her father.
Moral of the story ? Most of us give up to the pressure of parents and other elders of the famiy, instead of talking to them with respect and politeness. If we be little firm towards deen our parents will also get inclined inshallah.
A few months back a friend of mine invited me to his wedding and waleema. It was more like an event than like a wedding. It was an event in actual term. There was an event manager, staffed with an anchor who was giving a running commentary of  the activites going on there along with jokes and all. I found it strange like a TV reality show. At times it becomes uncomfortable for us to respond at that time. It was then that I was introduced to a new trend in weddings.
People are handing over their wedding management to event planners.
Marriage is a big Industry. A new industry of around $11, growing at 25 percent annually
The Indian and Pakistani weddings are famous worldwide.
Even the poor wants to imitate this grandeur in his own way.
Years ago, a young  man,who worked with at my uncle's grocery shop in a small village, was getting married. He asked for a loan of ten thousand rupees in those days. It was ten times of his salary. My uncle explained but in vain.  The young man borrowed money from his relatives and friends and in few years he had to sold of his house to repay his debt.
There are  thousands of young Indians and Pakistanis who go out of their way to ceberate their wedding on things which are enjoyed for only few hours. This has promoted even the banks to come out with loans for weddings, as they say in Gujarati.. Where ever there are greedy people, frauds and cheaters  don't go hungry...
The minimum budget for a wedding ceremony is $34,000, say wedding planners, while the upper-middle and rich classes are known to spend upward of $2 million. (The average American wedding costs $26,327.) This doesn’t include cash and valuables given as part of a dowry.
 Yesterday's Times of India reported that the British Muslims spend a lot on stage decoration and Mehdi ceremony ! With the medhi artists and make up artists charging around 300 to 500 pounds , weddings are getting expensive globally as average Asian wedding in UK costs around 40 -50 thousand pounds equivalent to 30 laks of Rupees !!
Two years ago The Time Magazine had pubished an article  The Big Fat Indian Wedding Grows Bigger and Fatter   (,8599,1653427,00.html#ixzz1b1F8xq3Z) showing how much money Indians spend on their wedding.
The article did not have any moral or lesson except that it spoke big  and loud about such marriages.
In a lay man's language it glamourised  and encouraged such marriages.
A group of Sikh leaders called for a July 28 meeting of representatives from New Delhi’s more than 400 Sikh gurdwaras, or temples, to discuss ways to rein in over-the-top weddings… the Sikh leaders said the deluxe wedding trend puts an unfair burden on the  brides’ families, who traditionally pay for the parties.
I wait for the day our Masajids also call such meetings and rein our expenditures in weddings.. with no malice towards any one who is getting married in near future.....Mean while
Author : Nisaar Nadiadwala speaks and writes on socio-educational issues from Islamic Perspective. He can be reached at

Sunday, 16 October 2011

How Grand Should Our Weddings be ? By Nisaar Y. Nadiadwala

Ever since I have written a few notes on Youth , career and marriages, many

readers often ask me how much should they spend on their wedding.
Some even inquire if it is alright to bow to family pressure if they spend lavishly on the reception (hosted by the bride’s father) and umpteen items on the menu of waleema.  What if our parents can afford the lavish reception (again hosted by the bride’s father)?
    Well there is no upper limit in the hadith as far as the number of invitees in the waleema  are concerned.
One of the son in law of the Prophet was Uthman bin Affan r .a. He married two daughters of the Prophet (pbuh) one after the death of another, and was one of the richest man among the sahaba.  The man who sponsered huge expenditure of one third of the entire Islamic army in one of the battles yet he did not invite the same men in either of his waleema except a handful !
Some thing worth to be noticed.
Abdul Rahman bin Auf r.a. did not invite the Prophet (pbuh) in his weddingand the Prophet did not feel bad about it. Many of us may find this very strange because in our times being invited to a wedding has become a status and previledge.
Our marriages are becoming more complicated. Even a middle class person energetically thinks about the numbers of dishes to serve in his daughter or son’s marraige. Preparations begin months ahead. Expenditure behind the preparation itself runs high. ” So what ? we can afford it ” Comes a common reply. Right. We can afford it.. but if we refer back to the hadith that states that no person will be allowed to move from his place on the day of Qiyamah till he gives the account of where did he spend his money as well. Even if it is your Halal earnings yet it would be required to justify his expenses..
Now  use this hadith as a parameter..Go through the list of the menu of the Reception. 1, 2, 3…6…10….! Chinese, Italian.. Moghlai… count the variety of salads…Just have a look at the stock of ice cream.. I dont mean to say that having ice cream or distrbuting ice creams is haram but look at the way the Ice creams scream in our marraiges.
Consider this.. last week there were news about increase in the rates of milk in Mumbai.. the  house wives who objected increase in the rates of milk, the same house wives are fond of buying icereams worth four times the rates of milk. In Mumbai, one litre of milk costs around a dollar ie. 48 INR,  but one kg of  branded ce cream  costs around 200 /INR i.e. 4 Dollars!
The  AgroMinistry of India say that the ice cream industry is worth 15 billions Rupees in India,  and 40 percent of that ice cream is consumed in the west ern India. From Ahemadabad to Mumbai Ice creams float like foams over sea. In our marraiges ice creams have become a staple food. The rates of ice creams in wedding are quoted higher like the other items in the venue.
How many weddings take place in Mumbai every year?   There are no less than500 wedding Halls in Mumbai alone which cater to higher middle class. How many marriages take place in these halls every year?
In Mumbai Karachi.. in Lahore… keep counting how many guest push down ice creams into their throats after eating chicken tandooris, biryanis, noodles, sikh and shami kebabs….Just one assemble the rest of the expenditure you plan to have in your wedding and think how many days will it  take you to give the accouts to Allah and justify it?
So how grand should your wedding be? Before you answer to your own self, know that there is no grandeur like simplicity.. See you in your wedding….Assalamualaikum..
Author : Nisaar Nadiadwala speaks and writes on socio-educational issues from Islamic perspective. He can be reached at