…food…

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You who believe! eat of the good things We have provided for you and give thanks to Allah if you worship Him alone. (2:172)

…many bloggers comment on losing their ‘blog voice’…for me it’s not so much the ‘voice’ being lost as it mumbles and chatters away inside the old grey matter for hours on end rambling as though you all are there listening…it invades in the middle of the night when the fingers remain sleepy and do not want to be shaken from a semi slumber to get up to transcribe such nocturnal mutterings…and then when I may find a snippet of time to actually drag a post our of ‘draft land’ (this one has been loitering there for months)…a dead silence reigns…khair Alhumdulillah…so…this may sound somewhat ‘preachy’…or is it ‘preachie’…picture almiskeenah on a soapbox…with no excuses made for this topic of great seriousness…

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…FOOD…

…we all need it to survive…but how committed is our endeavour to live healthily and according to the Sunnah?…are we eating food or food-like products?…how responsible are we towards what food enters the home to feed the family…it is nourishing…prepared with Dhikr or fast and empty…full of ‘stuff’ with strange coded numbers…how remote from the source are the ingredients…the packaging???? how far has it travelled for your consumption…how much has the transportation added to increasing carbon footprints???…so many inter-related issues of vital consequences to the fragile ecosystem…

…our brain weighs three pounds and has one hundred thousand miles of blood vessels winding around and around…wiring it…it contains more connections than there are stars in the Milky Way!!!!!…it is the fattest organ in the body…and right now could be suffering without you having a clue…who cares? are we so weak we cannot rein in our screaming nafs?…

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…this speck has always been conscientious re health…with long ago dabbles at so many styles of eating…fruitarian, vegan, wheatgrass juicer, fully raw…strict vegetarian for decades…but now add fish to that…a carnivore never…this latest journey of discarding the so-called basic staples came from a serious scare facing the loved one in the house…notching researching ‘food’ to even higher levels…and with incredible eye-opening discoveries…please make the time to watch Wheat Belly and the Sugar Pandemic for a start…

…wake up bells are clanging in earshot of so many friends of late…heart attacks (1)…diabetes (startling predictions for Saudi Arabia)…obesity…to name the major ailments humans face today…leading to an unprecedented reliance on prescription drug/s of some synthetic nature …the pharma giants gleefully grabbing our money…but then that’s another story for another time…Insha’Allah…while so often the simple answer is a change in diet…an awareness of what the danger substances are…and a willingness to give them the flick…or at least lessen the reliance on them…

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they are the dreaded white poisons

…refined salt, sugar, refined white flour, rice, milk…(consult Shaykh google for more details)…what quantities of these so called ‘staples’ lurk in your pantry??? what daily quantities are consumed in your household? how willing are you to trash them NOW???

…these poisons are so prevalent in the greatest quantities in the average daily intake of food…a frightening reality for us all but more so for the children in our care…who become ‘addicted’ to these poisons at the hands of us, their parents/carers…who in turn try to say they cannot change what they give children because ‘they like it’ or ‘they will perform/whinge’ or ‘it suits our busy lifestyle to eat fast food’…on and on are the mantras heard…

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…one cringes at the scenes in the courtyard of Masjid Nabawi…mothers arrive with children clutching huge bags of sugary junk or salty/chilli chips or chocolate bars or artificial flavoured drinks or packets of empty food value biscuits…(and don’t get me started on the wrappers, empty cartons/containers etc nonchalantly flung aside) rarely does one see sliced apple or cubed cheese or nuts for the older children…and with Zamzam readily available who needs cans of fizzy muck…(how many sugar cubes do you consume/feed your children?) …Alhumdulillah at least dates are often seen to be consumed by many…and are a regular feature to passed around…

…one also cringes in the aisles of the hyper markets here…entire stores stocked with the worst so called ‘food’ items…with a tiny section set aside for supposed health foods…which contain other nasties such as aspartame…

…we have the Qur’an and Sunnah and we have access to Prophetic Medicine to begin a journey to adapting healthier eating routines within our homes…before it is too late…

…Insha’Allah we all seek alternatives, which are sweet and yummy, to these white poisons and make efforts to nourish and respect our bodies…especially those of our children, the flag bearers of this Deen who need the best for a healthy and nutritious mind body and spirit…

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…oh and what to do with this beautiful compost here in Madinah al Munawwarah…sadly it is thrown out with all other rubbish…breaks my innate gardening heart…a past life of semi self sufficiency with goats,sheep, bees, fertile composting heaps and lush crops has been sacrificed to be in this City of Radiance and Light…but how simple a recycling venture could be if only *backing could be established… educating and encouraging the blessed neighbours of our Beloved Rasul SallAllahu alaihi wasallam to be aware of health issues, sustainable ecological living. the of role of permaculture in greening of deserts leading to local organic food production farms…there is one Organica but they are limited in the supplying mainly to Jeddah…and Abazeer is a reasonably stocked health food outlet in Jeddah…

…Insha’Allah we can all work towards truly eating of ‘the good things’ Allah Ta’ala has bestowed upon us…Ameen…

JUMA’AH MUBARAK!

…links that have assisted the transition to abandoning the white poisons for us…(note: these are not specifically Islamic sites so contain photos, but ingredients are Halal)

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I quit sugar

All good is from Allah Ta’ala whereas mistakes are from this humble speck. May Allah Ta’ala Bless all readers, bringing you all closer to Him and His Rasul SallAllahu alaihi wasallam.  May He accept our humble efforts and grant us the capacity to be good and do good. Ameen.

…creativity::three…

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…this three part series began months ago…creativity one  creativity two…it has taken months to rummage in the draft file to finally post…so much happens in between time…Alhumdulillah for rummaging…

…a story of a brilliant photographer and a bint with a passion for learning the art…she attended a lecture given by Sidi Peter Sanders in her home town of Melbourne where he spoke at the Islamic Museum of Australia…first four images and text by Bint Asiyah…JazakiLlahu khaira for sharing and seeking your forgiveness for taking so long to assemble this post…

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Peter Sanders is a great photographer. And I say this with no exaggeration.

He is internationally recognized as one of the world’s leading photographers of the Islamic World.

And being an amateur photographer myself, I think you’d understand the excitement that ran through me after mummy said,”Asiyah! Peter Sanders is coming to Melbourne!”

The Peter Sanders Photography exhibition was held on Friday night, 8th May 2014 at the Islamic Museum of Australia, which in its self is a stunning establishment and a pride for Australian Muslims.

We arrived a little late. Sidi Peter was about halfway through, but the bit we did get to see and hear compensated our late arrival anyway. The stories behind each shot really brought out the beautiful meaning of each photo. It was like a walk with Peter through his memories…from  to Madinah to China.

I came to the conclusion at this exhibition that even though ‘A photo is worth a thousand words’ no matter how fascinating the shot is, you’ll probably have a few different thoughts about the meaning of the photo or maybe just one, for instance, with poetry you may get the feel of the poem…but you can never be sure of the true drive of the artist behind the art. It can be this or that. And it being the first photography exhibition I’ve been to, it was a wonderful realization.

I also found it eye opening when peter Sidi Peter mentioned that “People should be known by their excellence, not by their religion. We don’t call an artist who happens to be Buddhist “A Buddhist Painter”. He’s just an artist who happens to be a Buddhist.” And that it was a modern thing in the Muslim world to identify “Muslim” when it comes to artists who happen to be Muslims. Muslims should be artists, without having to bring their faith to the surface, or making the world spot the fact that they are Muslim.

It was pleasing to hear Sidi Peter talk about how some photographers go into this sort of meditation zone, oblivious to their surroundings when they bring the camera in front their eye. This is exactly how I feel and hearing it from a professional photographer was inspiring, as it solidified the purpose of the art to me. He was saying it made him wonder and understand how war photographers manage/survive in the midst of bullets and shell fires.

He told a brief story of a photographer who had his camera shot… only after his camera dropped or was knocked by the force of the shot did he realize that it was a bullet and that it had gone through his camera.

So up until Peter Sanders mentioned the afore said, I didn’t know why I took photos or why I liked photography. But thanks to Peter, I’ve realized why I do. If you’re sincere about what you want to shoot you’re not just staring ahead or through your lens. It a peace of mind. And I believe that is what draws me to photography. It was also a good explanation about photographers and why they take photos..it goes beyond click click.

You don’t take a photograph, you make it  (Ansel Adams)

…jump from the Southern Hemisphere to Madinah al Munawwarah to the luxury Shaza Hotel (which is in the next block of hotels to be demolished. Crazy, as it is not that long ago that it was refurbished from the original hotel which took a few years to gut in preparation for the Shaza) where a gallery of Sidi Peter’s photography is seen throughout the elegant spaces…

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JUMA’AH MUBARAK!

All good is from Allah Ta’ala whereas mistakes are from this humble speck. May Allah Ta’ala Bless all readers, bringing you all closer to Him and His Rasul SallAllahu alaihi wasallam.  May He accept our humble efforts and grant us the capacity to be good and do good. Ameen.

…obscured…

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…the northern Jannatul Baqi fence…as many of you know there is a ledge which varies in height along the fence…in some places a few metres high but in others it is an easy step up so one can peer inside…

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…the Mubarak earth sends ripples down the spine…love surging through the veins…and powerful urges of yearning in the heart to be with all the blessed residents…look! can’t you see the gardens of the gardens of Paradise?…surrender the obscured within yourself…allow the emotions to feel the closeness of our Blessed Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam…and drift to that Day of Rising when he SallAllahu alaihi wasallam will appear from so near with his dearest of companions RadhiAllahu anhum…all gathering with Ahlul Bayt, thousands of illustrious companions, scholars, Awliya…

“The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) was sitting by a grave as it was being dug in Madinah [in al-Baqi’], when a man looked inside the grave and remarked, ‘What a wretched final resting place for a believer!’ So the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) replied, ‘What a wretched thing you’ve said [because a believer’s grave is a garden from the gardens of Paradise]!’ So the man said, ‘I didn’t mean that [about the grave itself]… I only meant a death in the way of God [far away from home, is better].’ So the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: ‘There is nothing like dying in the way of God, but there is not, on the face of this earth, a piece of land more beloved to me that my grave should be in, than this [Madinah].’ [He repeated that] three times.” [Malik, al-Muwatta]

source…with more details related to the virtues of supplicating for death in Madinah here

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…but now…this is how the view appears from the lower accessible ledges…obscured by the addition of a semi transparent sheet…similar to that has been attached to the Shuhadah site at Uhud…

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…a hazy blur…

…which, sadly, for many beckons the need to scribble names on these perspex panels…to prove they were there…to prove their time in this Dunya is not obscured?…certainly not obscured from the kiraman katibin or Allah Ta’ala the ALL-SEEING the ALL-KNOWING…

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…this is the view of BaituLlah from the lower section of the temporary Mataf ring…a patterned panel allowing one to view the Ka’abah while making Tawaf…

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…but notice the solid blank sections erected for several metres obscuring the view to the Hajra al Aswad and the Multazam door…

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…this is the ‘view’ now…

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…but not obscured is the Abraj al Bayt…

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…not even the place of Sajda on a prayer mat…

…regardless of how many may try to obscure aspects of our glorious Deen in this realm, we can always choose not to obscure our ‘view’ of the Ghaib and all that leads to Him Subhanahu wa Ta’ala…Ameen…fling aside all veils that obscure the truth…

Did We not expand your breast? (Qur’an 94:1)

All good is from Allah Ta’ala whereas mistakes are from this humble speck. May Allah Ta’ala Bless all readers, bringing you all closer to Him and His Rasul SallAllahu alaihi wasallam.  May He accept our humble efforts and grant us the capacity to be good and do good. Ameen.