Ramadan Mubarak 2018/1439

Ramadan starts today for all Muslims around the world. In the UK the days will be quite long and warm so I hope everyone who is fasting will take care and look after themselves as well as keeping an eye on others. I pray that this month is made easy for us and that we all make the most of these blessed days to break bad habits, create new ones, and seek and give forgiveness, charity and peace. Ramadan Mubarak.

Ramadan Mubarak 2017/1438

Ramadan has started this weekend all around the world for Muslims. In the UK the days are looking to be quite long and warm so I hope everyone is pacing themselves. I hope that everyone fasting during this special month makes the most of the days ahead to shake bad habits, create new ones and purify heart, body and soul.

Check The Label

Ramadan is fast approaching and in preparation many muslims buy dates that are traditionally used to open fasts at sunrise. A campaign which starts today and that I have been aware of and have supported for some time now, is one run by Friends of Al-Aqsa who remind us that when buying dates we should check the label to see where the dates come from, to ensure that we are not buying dates grown in illegal settlements such as West Bank or Jordan Valley. To do so would further oppress the Palestinian people who’s land has been stolen.

So those that are buying dates in the coming weeks please remember to #Checkthelabel.

Nelson Mandela “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians”.

For more information see here

Iftar

On Friday all my siblings, along with their families, came over for iftar. Iftar is the arabic word for ‘break fast’ and is the meal that we have when its time to open our fast during Ramadan. My sister’s decided to help out and bring along a dish or two to share. We had a whole range of foods and what was planned as small meal quickly became a feast.

Traditionally dates are eaten to open a fast but with a whole range of foods to choose from everyone found something they wanted to eat. There was some delicious, fresh exotic fruit, chicken sandwiches and creamy pasta, as well as my mum’s famous kebabs. There were also some slightly unhealthy but tempting options such as curly fries and samosas. Other foods to eat were chicken curry, chickpea salad and mango salad, and my sister-in-law’s succulent lamb chops. I would have taken more pictures but there came a point where I had to put the camera down and dig in.

For dessert we had a choice of refreshing mango milkshake, sweet jalebi and pretty cakes.

When we put everything down ready to eat we all had some of everything and were soon full to the brim. It was a nice evening with everyone sharing a much needed nourishing meal and good company. I look forward to Eid which isn’t far away now to enjoy another big meal together.

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Summer fruits

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This year Ramadan has fallen over the month of July, and whilst the days are long and getting hotter as the days pass, one thing we all look forward to are the delicious, mouth watering summer fruits that are prepared and ready to be eaten soon after we break our fasts, for some much needed refreshment. I think my favourite has to be the watermelon, what’s yours?

Ramadan Mubarak 2014/1435

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Ramadan Mubarak to Muslims around the world who are fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset and this year in England the days will be quite long as Ramadan is over summer, but I will try to make the most of it and take things a little slower than my usual hectic pace. I hope that everyone fasting during this special month makes the most of the days ahead to shake bad habits, create new ones and purify heart, body and soul

Cherry picking

I have recently been spending a bit of time in the garden as the temperature has soared in London to try and get some fresh air. Whilst there I have been eyeing up the neighbours cherry tree which I have watched become full of cherries.

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Here they are nearly ripe, and the photo was taken about a week or so ago but they still look so nice.

Luckily for us our neighbours are really lovely and seeing me in the garden they kindly said I could help myself to pick the cherries off the tree as they’d only get eaten by birds (there’s so many cherries, plus our neighbours, like us, are fasting so there’s only so much you can eat once the fast opens)

As they were now a deeper red and looked ripe and juicy I decided to pick some

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They look so great on the tree itself and great in photos. The red looked really crisp against the green leaves

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Here is what I picked, and there were loads more but I didn’t want to pick too many in case we couldn’t finish them

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And the verdict? They were absolutely gorgeous, they tasted really sweet and fresh and they didn’t have any blemishes at all. And best of all I know they were grown without any pesticides used. I’ll certainly be picking more when I get the chance.

We have a plum tree and a pear tree in our garden and as they become ripe over the next couple of months I’ll certainly be keeping an eye on them. I’d love to hear what others have growing in their back garden.