Friday 25 October 2013

Eid ul Adha 2013/1434: Day 1 - Unexpected Guests and Lots of Cake

I was saying to my husband a few days before Eid, how sad I was that we were having such a quiet Eid this year.  Literally just the household and no on else.  The rest of my family decided to celebrate Eid a day later or had other plans.

People are often so critical about Muslims being unable to agree which day they would celebrate Eid on, but rather than a theoretical issue to get on your high horse about, foe me it is very personal.  Most years we are faced with the prospect of celebrating Eid without my parents and siblings  and then joining them a day later.  The end up spending the day quietly when everyone else is celebrating and feasting.  It used to be an acrimonious issue in our family, but having realised that no one is about to budge, we have decided to come to a grudging acceptance.

I decided to make the most of Eid and keep it intimate and joyful with just the kids and my husbands parents.  We made sweet vermicelli (sevaiya) for breakfast, which is Pakistani tradition and I baked fairy cakes for the children, which had become our tradition and something which Little Lady now looks forward to doing with me every Eid.

I thought there was way too much (about 60 or so), but they barely lasted the day.

After this, I got down to the serious cooking.  My husband always reminds me that we should make big intentions for the purpose of pleasing Allah (SWT) and we should cook with the intention of feeding the whole Ummah.  I used to think this was strange, but agree with him now and try to be liberal in my measurements when I am cooking with the intention that whoever comes to our home is welcome to share our food.  This year I made the traditional foods in our home: pilau rice with peas, lamb curry, chicken and potato curry, mint chutney, two types of salad and tandoori chicken.

I managed to speak with my cousins before lunch and ended up inviting them to share lunch with us.  We were also joined by some other single cousins who don't have any parents or siblings here.  It made my day to have the company and conversation.

Eid day also happened to be Darling's first birthday.  Although we don't celebrate, it was still a nice thought that Darling was now one and Fashionista and her husband stopped by with some gorgeous cupcakes that she had made and decorated.

Soon after this, another set of second cousins who are also friends dropped by with their three children and we ended up inviting them to stay for dinner.

I had asked my parents, sisters, brother and sister-in-law and an uncle to join us for dinner, so soon we had a full house mash'Allah.

So despite thinking we would have a quiet Eid alone, we had virtually the whole family around at various times of the day.  We finished with cake which guests brought along.  I was absolutely exhausted from running in and out of the kitchen, just barely got the food to stretch to everyone, but very happy.

Eid ul Adha 2013/1434: Eid Preparations

I have been meaning to post my Eid pictures for the last few days but have simply been defeated by a mix of the housework and Darling trying to wrestle with my poor laptop every time I try to switch it on.

Over the years we seem to have developed some traditions for both of the Eids.  The afternoon before Eid, we had hardly prayed Zoher (midday prayers) and my dad-in-law wanted to know where the rice pudding was - he cannot get enough sweet food!  I and mum-in-law agreed to get started and at some time after Maghrib (evening prayer) got it onto the hob.  Then we cooked, and cooked and cooked the rice pudding for about three hours until you could stand your spoon up in it.  Exactly as my husband and in-laws like it.

I can tell you, guests and family were eating this stuff for the rest of the week.

Once the Eid rice pudding was cooked, the tandoori chicken marinaded and refrigerated, the onions diced, vegetables chopped and tomatoes pureed in preparation for the next day I was planning to do Little Ladies henna.

Luckily we have new neighbours and they are wonderful.  They came round in the evening and asked if they could do Little Ladies henna.  I didn't need to be asked twice.

My neighbours own henna was pretty good too:

Once I had the whole over-excited troupe in bed at last, I and hubby tag-teamed to create the Eid atmosphere for our kids.  While he blew up balloons and helped put up my decorations, I made the kids some treats.

I was inspired to make these by a version I saw in my local Islamic Impressions store, using these paper plates that said "Eid Mubarak" and some halal jelly sweets.  I was tempted to buy, but thought I would try making my own.

I used these colourful plastic melamine plates which I bought a few years ago to use for midnight feasts (eight for about £5, all in pretty colours, from TK Maxx).  I brought out my ribbons and the giant roll of cellophane I bought from a boot sale a few years ago and which is still going strong (We used this during my brothers wedding three years and and my sisters last year.  As I assured my sisters, we will probably be getting it out at my kids weddings too).

I put some sweets in the plate and covered with cellophane which I tied at the top with an elastic band and then used ribbon to cove the elastic.  I added a sticker that said "Eid Mubarak" (I used the ones from this pack).

I really liked how the turned out and how quick they were to assemble.  The kids loved them too.

Monday 14 October 2013

Eid-ul-Adha 2013/1434: Eid Mubarak

Eid Mubarak everyone.  Taqabbal Allahu Minna Wa Minkum (May Allah accept it from you and us).

Eid Mubarak from Feroza!

The Month of Hajj 2013/1434: The Day of Arafat and the Last Sermon

I have posted this before, but the last sermon of our beloved Prophet (Sallahu Alaihi Wassalam), delivered on the 9th day of Hajj at the plain of Arafat, never fails to move me to tears. Every time I read it, I find something new in it and every time I read it, I marvel at the beauty, justice and sheer goodness in it:

“O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore, listen to what I am saying to you very carefully and take these words to those who could not be present here today.

O People, just as you regard this month, this day, this city as Sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your Lord, and that He will indeed reckon your deeds. God has forbidden you to take usury (interest), therefore all interest obligation shall henceforth be waived. Your capital, however, is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity. God has Judged that there shall be no interest, and that all the interest due to Abbas ibn Abd’al Muttalib shall henceforth be waived...

Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things.

O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under a trust from God and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste.

O People, listen to me in earnest, worship God, perform your five daily prayers, fast during the month of Ramadan, and offer Zakat. Perform Hajj if you have the means.

All mankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab; white has no superiority over black, nor does a black have any superiority over white; [none have superiority over another] except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves.

Remember, one day you will appear before God and answer for your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.

O People, no prophet or apostle will come after me, and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore, O people, and understand words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Quran and my example, the Sunnah, and if you follow these you will never go astray.

All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and it may be that the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness, O God, that I have conveyed your message to your people.”

Thus the beloved Prophet completed his Final Sermon, and upon it, near the summit of Arafat, the revelation came down:

“…This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My Grace upon you, and have chosen Islam for you as your religion…” (Quran 5:3)

I make dua that these words enter the hearts of all Muslims and that we all are blessed with the desire to implement with them.
My thoughts today are with my brothers and sisters in Arafat who will have spent the day with their arms raised in dua (supplication) and with hopes of their sins being forgiven. May Allah (SWT) accept their deeds and their dua's insh'Allah. Ameen.

The Prophet (Sallahu Alaihi Wassalam) said: "There is no day on which Allah frees more of His slaves from Fire than the Day of Arafat, and He verily draws near, then boasts of them before the angels, saying: ‘What do they seek?’” [ Hadith Muslim].

Spring Colours Eid Banner

This Eid I wanted to throw an Eid Party and was trying to think of a colour scheme.  I originally thought of a antique-y pastel theme with soft aqua, peach and grey shades - pretty and chic. Realistically my parties are always full of a large number of friends, many with crazy kids and the decor and food is demolished pretty quickly.  The shops are also selling nothing but Halloween and Christmas themes party goods.  In the end I went with a spring garden theme as this feels easier to replicate (I did wonder if I should have gone with an autumn k textured theme, but it was harder to find the right colours for things).

I used letters in the Arial Black font (approx size 250) in lower case and printed out the letters and then cut them out carefully.  I used plain, thick cardstock from DCWV spring theme for the banner penants.

I layered the letters onto patterned card and paper stock  and then the letters on top.  Then I glued them down onto the ribbon.  The ribbon I have used here I saved from a bunch of flowers because I liked the colour.  There were two pieces so I used an embellishment to cover where one ends and another begins.  

Then the fun bit - embellishing the pennants with flowers and leaves:

The ribbon was still not that long, so I trimmed the banner with ribbons in a handful of different colours to hang at both ends.

Cue handy assistants (who moaned that there arms were aching from holding the banners up).  We ended up with two - one that said Eid Mubarak and one that said Happy Eid.

Tuesday 8 October 2013

Feroza: Baby Arm Candy

We have just introduced a cute range of children's jewellery to our online Shop. I originally found these for my baby daughter and baby niece and everyone loved them. They are smooth with nothing that catches and seem to go beautifully with everything. We've been giving these as gifts and everyone just seems to love them.

They currently come in six colour-ways and you can purchase here.

If you want to purchase in time for Eid ul Adha in the UK please ensure you place your order by Thursday 10th October.

If you haven't already we'd love you to:

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