Tuesday 19 November 2013

Mmmmm...Just One More

Our social lives seem to revolve around food at the moment, especially with Mum- and Dad-in-law going to Pakistan this week.  We've had numerous dinner invites from friends and family to say goodbye, five in the last two weeks and the odd occasion where we have invited people to dinner.

In itself this is rather lovely.  We've had the privilege of eating some glorious food and enjoying good company, with the added benefit of me not having to cook.  The only problem is my waist line hasn't taken too kindly to all of this indulging.

For most of my life I have been very slim.  I was privileged enough to think that conversations around dieting and losing weight were boring, nothing to do with me and if I am honest, a little below me. 

Four babies have taken their toll on my body.  I lost weight after each one, but found it a little harder each time and lost a little less each time.  I would still rather talk about a hundred things other than dieting and weight loss, but this is one of the things that preys on my mind.  Being heavier I have become aware of how different your thought patterns become when you focus on your body in this way – not as a beautiful piece of machinery that shows off your clothes to good effect, or gets you from one place to another very quickly, or is strong enough to keep going all day without running down.  Instead the focus turns to something that is flawed and needs fixing or changing.  Something that lets you down when your knees ache or you are just too tired to do more.  Something that has do be hidden in loose clothes so that no-one can see your “curves” which give away how lacking in discipline and will-power you have really been.

It has taken a life time of bad habits to get here: drinking very little water, but lots of full-fat lattes and fizzy drinks, eating lots of junk food and way too much meat and not enough fruit and vegetables.  In the past this wasn't a problem because I could eat anything I wanted and never seemed to gain any weight.

Then when my husband was in South Africa for two months earlier this year, I really gave myself permission to indulge and completely ignored the little voice that kept telling me to stop.  I would eat take-away every day, which locally means, burgers, chips, pizza and kebab rolls – all of my favourite things, with a free cola to complete the meal.

At some point I knew this was wrong and that I was going to make myself ill and had to start thinking more carefully about what I was eating.  But I thought about it, then didn’t act on it.  Or I would start and then give in at the first hurdle with the self-talk that justified the lapse:
-       Just this once
-       I need it
-       I deserve it
-       I'm fed up, I am going to have it
-       It’s been a long day
-       I’ll start eating sensibly from tomorrow, Monday, next week.

This post is a hard one for me, because my attitude has always been rather blasé, I have always joked about my weight gain and acted like I was not bothered, but after a while the nonchalant attitude doesn't ring very true any more.
All the excuses that I used to hear women make and think I would never be silly or lacking in self-awareness enough to make myself.

As the weight piled on, I would try to justify why it was okay (not really believing my words):
-       I've had four children (they didn't eat all that the pizza!)
-       I should learn to love myself as I am (even if it will make me will?)
-       Curves are good (curves, not unnecessary fat!)
-       The more of me the better (really?)

Pakistani food cooked right is beyond delicious.  It can also be very, very unhealthy.  Our diet is rooted in the same food we ate in the Punjab – wheat, rice, dairy and meat based.  But in the Punjab this was accompanied with vegetables, meat was rare and everything was organic and grown or reared locally.  People engaged in hard physical labour - all of my people are hard-working farmers and did not always get three solid meals a day.

We eat too much meat.  There are about ten halal butchers in the main road near me and catering to the Pakistani Muslim population, which should say something about our level of consumption.  I have been trying to enforce a rule in my home to make sure there are vegetables and salad with every meal.  But sometimes we end up with meat and just don’t have the energy to make anything else.

Of course we work hard – sitting at our desk all day, our minds and typing fingers busy, but our bodies atrophying into a mess of tired eyes, sore backs and slumped posture.  Hardly tilling fields and herding goats.

I am also part of the South Asian community which is a high risk group for type two diabetes which is caused by poor diet and lack of physical activity (South Asians over 25 are at risk compared to over 40 for the general population - source).  The NHS’s website says that reducing your body weight by about 5% and exercising regularly could reduce your risk of getting diabetes by more than 50%.

So for me it’s time to face up.  I love junk food and food that is rich and tasty, but that doesn’t mean I should always get to eat it.  Permitting myself to eat so much rubbish has lead to my will power rotting away from disuse.  The least I can do if I can‘t respect my body is to respect my mind and stop making excuses.

So I am reviewing my attitude, identifying my trigger points for eating badly and trying to be thoughtful and realistic about how I deal with them.

My mental starting point will be:
-       This body is an amanah (trust) from Allah (SWT) for a short lifetime and we have a responsibility to take care of it until it is time to return it to the earth.
-       The purpose of this body is to worship Allah (SWT) and so we must keep it healthy enough to do its job – I find myself shortening my prayers because I get tired more quickly now.
-       I am 34 and a mother of four so I don’t need to aspire to look like a 17 year old any more.  I need to embrace the changes within myself as a natural part of the progression of life and the change from girl to woman and mother.  But that doesn't mean I should accept being unnecessary overweight and unhealthy.
-       My weight gain does not mean I am a failure and that I should hide away and be embarrassed of my appearance.  I still have the ability and will to improve my health and even if I find it hard and it takes a long time, that does not make me inferior to anyone.

My main trigger points are:
-       In the morning I don’t have breakfast and have an expensive latte later on in the morning.  Worse, I feel dull and miserable if I don’t get one.  So I will have to make sure I have an easy, light breakfast to short circuit my desire for the coffee.  I have also bought myself herbal tea to have at my desk.
-       I get bored by mid-morning and want to eat to occupy myself.  So I will have to be conscious of my work patterns and set my tasks for the day accordingly.  I also have to be honest and admit that although the hours, pay and some of the tasks suit me, this job is not for me.  I find the work tedious, unfulfilling and often pointless and I need to start working towards moving on to something I am passionate about and enjoy.
-       After lunch and dinner I crave some thing sweet.  I have stopped buying chocolate at home, but after lunch I pop down to the shop below my office and buy the biggest version of whatever I fancy.  So I will bring some fruit and if I still have to give in, it will be dark chocolate which doesn't disappear down your gullet as quick, the smallest version.
-       When I get home I am famished, I will eat anything.  If there are any chocolates, crisps or junk food nearby – I will take it.  So I need to have small snack available to stave off the hunger, sometimes I have an apple on the way home and that helps.
-       After I am home, I make late afternoon tea for my in-laws and something to eat – invariably friend or sugary.  Now that they are going back to Pakistan, I can avoid having anything unhealthy at this time.

Looking at this list it seems like the whole day is a trigger point!

Insh’Allah I won’t bore people to tears by turning this into a dieting blog, but I will track my progress in getting healthier and slimmer over the coming months and share anything that really helps.  I would love to hear from readers about what motivates them or what has worked for them in trying to get healthy and fit in the past.

Update - I wrote this last week and the action of facing up and being honest seems to have helped already.  I am not having crazy cravings and my day doesn't seem to revolve around food. I feel lighter and as if I have more energy.  Now I just have to stick to being a little disciplined insh'Allah.

Sparkly Party Invites

A friend asked me to make some invites to her pre-wedding party.  Her wedding is abroad and she wanted to have a get together that friends and family could come to.

Her only request was to use the nearest colour to plum I could find.  After sending her images of a few papers, she settled on these two burgundy designs from Papermania by Claire Curd (her signature Big One range).  I used A6 card stock.

I picked up the gems and peel-off lettering a few days earlier in a clearance bin at WH Smiths.

 As the design was fairly simple, it should have taken 1-2 hours for 28 cards.  Darling wasn't having it, so I had to sit on the strip of floor between my bed and my wardrobe, whilst she threw things at me.

I ended up doing the cards in stages whenever I could over two days:

I gave them to her today and she was really happy with the result thankfully.

Monday 18 November 2013

Recipe: Potato, Cheese and Onion Pie

2 packs of ready rolled puff pastry
4 small potatoes
2 onions
2 tablespoons of butter
400 grams ofgrated cheese (approx)
1 teaspoon of pepper
salt to taste

Melt the butter in a pan.  Dice the onions and add to the butter, saute until translucent, then set aside.

Boil the potatoes whole with the skin on.  Once cooked through, remove from the water, remove the skins and mash to a coarse consistency.

Beat the two onions.  Add the potatoes, cooled onions, the grated cheese, pepper and salt and mix well.

Unroll one of the packs of the pastry and use to line a baking tray.

Spread the cheese and potato mixture over the sheet of pastry evenly.  Then layer the other sheet of pastry over the mixture (you can use a knife to gently score a pattern if you wish, but don't cut too deeply through the pastry).

Bake in an pre-heated oven at gas Mark 7 for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden.

Serve with chips or in our case to guest with tandoori chicken for a contrast.

Saturday 16 November 2013

Kids Activities: Maps Exhibition

As it gets darker and colder and the days get shorter it feels like there are less options to keep the kids busy and they spend more time cooped up indoors with the levels of squabbling and complaining go up.

This means that I am grateful for anything local that can distract them, such as this exhibition in our local library of maps of the local area.  The maps were of the counties of Essex and Kent where they meet London (basically my part of the world).

This one is a Mappa Mundi or Medieval map.  It is in Latin so I have no idea what it says or what the place names are.

This one is Blome's map of Essex and is dated 1679:

This one was created by Christopher Saxton in 1576 during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I on the order of her chief advisor.

This one was created by John Chapman and Peter Andre in 1777 and unlike the others is to scale.

Other than this there were some modern maps which showed the area in more detail including one which showed where hundreds of German bombs had fallen in the area during World War Two, which the kids found really fascinating.

There were also some other curious exhibits which were not to do with the maps but relevant to the local area.  This dress is a replica on one kept in a local mansion.

This house which had Little Lady and me fascinated was a replica made by a local lady called Jan Gilham of the house she had been born in.

From this viewpoint, it looks so realistic to me.  Almost as if I am standing in from of a look house.

The house was split into layers so that you can see inside.  I liked that the artist had placed her family inside.

There was also this replica of a World War Two bunker of the type that families built in their back gardens.  The boys were fascinated, with Little Man saying he'd love to have one of his own to sleep in.

Wednesday 13 November 2013

In-Laws Going Back to Pakistan

I have been so busy this week which has left me exhausted and craving some down time. My in-laws have been here since June and have been helping with my children during the summer holidays and whilst I and hubby are at work.

In the past I have struggled to get on with my mum-in-law at times, but over the years we have both mellowed and learned to live with each other and not let little things irritate us. This means that this year we got on well and our home was peaceful and the household fairly well-managed. I have also been grateful for the love and patience I see them show to the children, especially the way both mum- and dad-in-law are besotted with Darling.

Dad-in-law has re-created our garden: replacing some of the beds with tiles, putting up fences which he created from wooden pallets he took apart, renewed the guttering and levelling where half of the garden was a step higher than the other half. Despite my initial scepticism at the mess that was being made, the garden is clean, neat and feels much bigger. I am looking forward to filling it with flowers in spring and creating a lovely place to sit in the evenings insh’Allah (garden pics to follow when I can get out during our short daylight hours.

Mum- and dad-in-law are going back to Pakistan this week to spend the winter in Lahore and preparations and packing have been in full swing. We've been making numerous shopping trips, mostly on the bus because I don’t drive and hubby despairs of shopping with his parents. I found out why this week when they annoyed each other so much that they had a fight in Debenhams and then again in Marks and Spencer:

Dad-in-law: “You didn't want me to come anyway!”
Mum-in-law: “No I didn't!”
Dad-in-law: “You would rather have left me at home”
Mum-in-law: “You take too long and you keep wandering off”
Dad-in-law: “I liked the one in the last shop, this is too expensive!”
 Mum-in-law: “That one was the wrong size, just get this one!”
Dad-in-law: “I don’t want this one!”
Mum-in-law: “Well it’s not for you, so we’re getting it!”

This went on for a bit with people glancing over; I had to rush off to the queue to pay so they didn't see me laughing.

They are finally packed with their last minute shopping (yesterday after work) mostly done and are now in the phase where they start getting stressed as they try to work out how they are going to take double their luggage allowance through customs (I suspect there will be bags coming back).

Yesterday morning I was fasting (I still have some to make up for last Ramadan when I was pregnant) and prayed that I could share my evening meal with someone to earn some blessings, but fully expected a quiet meal. Hubby came home from the dawn prayer at the masjid and told me he had nominated me to cook for a group of visitors from Pakistan who were staying locally to engage in dawah work. I did the shopping during my office lunch hour and mum-in-law made some of the food during the day. I rushed home after work and picked up a few more ingredients and made the rest of the meal. We split it into three portions and sent one to the masjid, one to the ladies in the dawah group (or jamaat) who were staying at a local house and kept some for ourselves.

A little while later guests started arriving: my dad, uncles, an aunt, various cousins. They were here to say goodbye and hand over various items (camera, mobile phones, laptop) for loved ones in Pakistan, which caused more angst and hand wringing and curses to Pakistani International Airways for their weight limit.

I was serving dinner until about 9pm and the guests were here until about 10pm. The food just stretched to all of the guests and Alhamdulillah, I was so happy that we shared our evening meals with loved ones.

This morning, I am creaking. I have dragged myself into work which is restful in comparison and I am slumped in my chair waiting for 4pm when I can leave the office. This evening we are attending a lecture from the dawah group at 6pm, followed by visits to two families who have returned from hajj, who my mum-in-law wanted to see before she goes back. Probably more guests too.

Tomorrow they are going back to Pakistan, so I have taken the day off to do the school run and possibly go with them to the airport. Friday I am going to drop the kids off and spend the day in bed…..maybe….there is the party invitations a friend has asked me to make, articles to write, a newsletter to get out for Feroza, the box of beads under my bed calling me...

Monday 11 November 2013

Preparing to Fast for Ashura

My apologies - after posting I found out this morning from the masjid that today is the 8th not the 9th of Muharram.  The 9th will be tomorrow on the 12th of November.

Tomorrow is the ninth day of Muharram in the Islamic calender. The month of Muharram is one of the sacred months for Muslims and one of the good deeds we can engage in is fasting for two consecutive days out of the three days between the ninth to eleventh of the month. The tenth day is known as Ashura and commemorates the day that Moses led the Israelites from Egypt to their freedom:

It has been reported from Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him), that, “When the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) reached Medina, he found the Jews fasting the Day of `Ashura’, so he asked them, ‘What is this day you are fasting?’ They said, ‘This is a tremendous day. Allah saved Musa and his people on this day and drowned Pharaoh and his people. Musa fasted it out of thanks, so we fast it too.’ The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said, ‘And we are more deserving of Musa than you are.’ So he fasted this day, and ordered that it be fasted.” [Bukhari (2004) and Muslim (1130)]

Ibn 'Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both) said: "I never saw the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) so keen to fast any day and give it priority over any other than this day, the day of 'Ashura', and this month, meaning Ramadan."[Bukhari, 1867]

I usually plan to fast on this day, but often forget or fail to wake up for the pre-dawn meal and then find it too difficult to fast (although the days are currently very short). So this post is partially a reminder to me and also to encourage anyone who may have forgotten or not realised that Ashura is approaching.

My husband was reading out to me the benefits of fasting on these days and it really inspired and encouraged me, so I thought it would be worth sharing:

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: 'The best of fasting after Ramadhan is fasting Allah's month of Muharram.' " [ Muslim, 1982]

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "For fasting the day of 'Ashura', I hope that Allah will accept it as expiation for the year that went before." [ Muslim, 1976]
Abu Qatadah reported: A man came to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and he said, “What is your view about fasting on the day of Arafat?” The Prophet said, “I consider it with regard to Allah that it expiates the sins of the previous and upcoming years.” The man said, “O Messenger of Allah, what is your view about fasting the day of Ashura?” The Prophet said, “I consider it with regard to Allah that it expiates the sins of the year.” [Ahmad 22115]

It has been reported from Abd Allah ibn `Amr ibn al-`As (Allah be pleased with him), that “Whoever fasts `Ashura’ it is as if he has fasted the entire year. And whoever gives charity this day it is like the charity of an entire year.”

The significance of Ashura as stated in Ghunya li-Talibi Tariq al-Haqq by Sayyidina Abdul Qadir al-Jilan iis as follows:

1. The repentance of Prophet Adam (Allah’s blessing be upon him) was accepted by Allah
2. The ship of Prophet Nuh (Noah) (Allah’s blessing be upon him) came to rest on a mountain called Al-Judi.
3. Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) (Allah’s blessings be upon him) was born on this day.
4. He got the title Khalil-ullah (friend of Allah) on this day.
5. The fire in which Prophet Ibrahim (Allah’s blessings be upon him) was thrown by the king Namrud become cool and means of safety for Prophet Ibrahim, by the order of Allah.
6. Allah delivered Prophet Ayub (Job) (Allah’s blessings be upon him) from distress and he was restored to prosperity.
7. By the Grace of Allah, Prophet Yunas (Jonah) (Allah’s blessings be upon him), after being swallowed by a huge fish (whale) for forty days, was casted out on the shore.
8. Prophet Mussa (Moses) (Allah’s blessings be upon him) got victory over Pharaoh.
9. Prophet Suleman (Solomon) (Allah’s blessings be upon him) was made a king to rule over mankind, Jins, Animals and the air.
10. Prophet Idris (Enoch) (Allah’s blessings be upon him) and Prophet Issa (Jesus) (Allah’s blessings be upon him) were lifted up alive.
11. Imam Hussain (Allah be pleased with him), the grandson of our beloved Prophet, got martyred at Karbala in Iraq.
12. The day of resurrection and judgement will take place on this day (Ashura)

If you found this useful please remember me and my family in your duas.

Picture of the Day: 11.11.13 - Armistice Day

I saw this giant poppy outside our local town hall.

I shared my thoughts about remembrance day in this post from 2008.

This year was the same.  I thought about my grandfather and his brother who fought for the British in Burma during World War Two.  I thought of my husbands great-grandfather who fought in Italy during World War One and his uncle who was one of five brothers who fought during World War Two.

“The Punjabi Musselman was regarded as the backbone of the old Indian army, and constituted about a third of the British Indian Army. Known for their reliability, they were steady men who could be depended on to carry out any task at hand.” (Military Historian Major Gordon Corrigan - source)

Men who came home and carried on with their lives, their families unable to comprehend what they and gone through.

Then I thought of the young men who have fought in the conflicts of today: Iraq and Afghanistan.  Thousands of innocent civilians dead, terrible words like collateral damage which should never have been used to demean human beings.  

With the last of the veterans of the First World War now gone, I wonder will be ever learn?   

Happy Muslim Mama (11011.2008) - For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today
Muslim Winners of the Victoria Cross

From left to right: English Muslim World War I Heroes: Gunner Azeez Leadon, Private Mubarak Ballard, & Gunner Basheer Camp (image source)

"Dulce et Decorum Est " (Wilfred Own 1893 - 1918)

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys! -- An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under I green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, --
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Thursday 7 November 2013

Storing Your Miswak or Tooth-Stick

I wrote two years ago about my experience of using the miswak or tooth stick and the benefits I gained from this amazing sunnah (practice of our beloved Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wasallam). 

Although it is a great and beneficial sunnah, it's one that has been fairly neglected in parts of the world and we who have been raised in the West are fairly unfamiliar with it.  It's one thing to want to practice the sunnah, even knowing the benefits and reward of it, but another knowing how.

It took me a little bit of time to get used to the taste and get the hang of chewing the dry, hard stick to make the end soft and broken down like a brush and then to scrub my teeth and gubs with it.

Recently a sister asked an excellent question on the original post.  She wanted to know how I store it after I have used it.  A good question, because no one tells you how and you have to work it out as you go.

My husband buys the peelu wood miswak (same as the one before) and stores it back in the pack. 

 I use the olive wood type which come in small bundles without any pack.  I use it before I go to the bathroom and then leave it open by my mirror which has a shelf (nearest thing I have to a dressing table).  Thi suits me because I use it before every salah and at other times through the day when it occurs to me.  This won't suit everyone though because some people not think it is hygienic (I've had the baby chew on mine, so hygiene just goes out the window anyway).

Keeping it ope lets it dry out  a little and this may also help protect against a problem that Sister C mentioned in the comments of the original post - about her miswak getting mould.  I've never had this happen, but it could happen to someone else.

I've also come across miswak's which you can buy with pen like holders:

These should now be available in most Islamic shops and online Islamic retailers.

One other idea that I liked that my husband suggested, was to store the miswak in a travel toothbrush holder like the one below which is available from most chemists and supermarkets.

I think the best thing to do is to try a few ways and see which suits you best insh'Allah.

Ibn Umar (RA) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said:
'Make a regular practice of the Miswaak, for verily, it is healthy for the mouth and it is a Pleasure for the Creator (i.e. Allah is pleased with the Muslim who uses the Miswaak)'." (Bukhari)

"Abu Hurairah (RA) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: 'Was it not for my fear of imposing a difficulty on my Ummah I would have ordered that the Miswaak be used for every Salaat'." (Bukhari)

Hadhrat Ibn Umar (RA) says that many a time Rasulullah used the Miswaak as much as four times in a single night. Hadhrat Aishah (RA) narrates: "Verily, the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) would use the Miswaak before making Wudhu (ablutions) whenever he arose from sleep, whether it be during the night or during the day." (Abu Dawood).

"Shuraih (RA) narrates that he asked Aisha (RA): 'What was the first thing Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) did upon entering the house?' Aisha (RA) replied: 'Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) would use the Miswaak'." (Muslim)

If you are curious and want to find out more about the benefits of using miswak, how to use it and when, perhaps these reasons I have come across might encourage you to do some research:

1. Eliminates bad odour and improves the sense of taste
2. Sharpens the memory
3. Sharpens the intelligence
4. Eliminates slime (phlegm/mucus)
5. A cure for illness
6. Miswaak creates fragrance in the mouth.
7. Miswaak strengthens the gums.
8. Miswaak prevents tooth decay.
9. Miswaak prevents further increase of decay which has already set in the teeth.
10. Miswaak is a cure for headaches.
11. Miswaak assists in eliminating toothaches.
12. Miswaak creates lustre (Noor) on the face of the one who continually uses it.
13. Miswaak causes the teeth to glow.
14. Miswaak removes the yellowishness of the teeth.
15. Miswaak strengthens the eye-sight.
16. Miswaak is beneficial for the health of the entire body.
17. Miswaak assists in the process of Digestion.
18. Miswaak is a cure for a certain mouth disease known as Qilaa (This is stated in Hujjatul Baaleghah).
19. Miswaak clears the voice. This is stated in Tibbe-Nabawi.
20. Miswaak facilitates the appetite (Tibbe Nabawi).
21. Miswaak increases the eloquence of one's speech.
22. Miswaak (i.e. its constant use) will be a factor to ease the pangs of Death. The continuous use of the Miswaak makes it easy for the Rooh (Soul) to depart from the body when its appointed time arrives.
23. Miswaak increases the Thawaab (reward) of Salaat (prayer) from seventy times to four hundred times.
24. Miswaak is a factor which will earn higher ranks in Jannat for the one who uses it
25. The Angels sing the praises of the one who uses the Miswaak.
26. Use of the Miswaak displeases Shaitaan.
27. Use of the Miswaak graces one with the companionship of the Angels.
28. And, the greatest benefit of using the Miswaak is the attainment of Allah Ta'ala's Pleasure.