Monday, September 29, 2008

A Ramadan Menu

Asalam Alaykum, Wow can you all believe that Ramadan is almost over? Let's make something yummy these last few nights to share with our families. Here is a great menu of mine that you all should try.

Appetizers: Zucchini Fritters

Main Course: Shish Barak

Salad: Fattoush

Dessert: Elegant Chocolate Torte

Go ahead and click the links to view the full recipes on my blog!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Blogging Ramadan

The Ramadan Kareem blog had its start about 2 years back on a friday the 22nd of september 2006, It was based on an Idea by fellow bloggers who wanted to come together and have a common meeting place where they could share ideas, recipies and experiences from around the world about Ramadan. This was one of the first Ramadan Kareem related blogs where many people from different geographic locations and faiths came together to form a vibrant and harmonious community. I can proudly say that we have come a long way from our humble start and have come together in the way that we had imagined. Along the way we have gained more bloggers from around the world who share in our quest to educate the world about Islam in general and Ramadan in particular. We not only have muslim bloggers who are sharing their faith with the world but we have bloggers from other faiths who teach and learn at the Ramadan Kareem blog. This blog has been both entertaining and educational for all of us and we hope to continue on our mission in spreading the blessings of ramadan to everyone. This would not have been possible without the collabaration of the numerous bloggers who have participated actively by contributing and commenting on posts. I would also like to thank the visitors of this site who keep coming back and appreciate and encourage us to do what we have been doing.

A day of Ramadan in Palestine

Guest post by Traveller Within

September 22, 2008 - Ramadan 22, 1429.
The Mesaharati – المسحراتي
Ramallah, 3:09 am, exactly one hour before Fajr prayer time. Outside, amidst the Quran reading for Qiyam prayers, I hear a drum – DumDumDum-DumDum. DumDumDum-DumDum.
The Mesaharati – that very old tradition, of a man passing through the streets, with a drum waking up people to get the late-night meal, the suhoor, before the fasting day begins.
I thought the Mesaharati no longer existed!!
I jump on the roof through my kitchen window, as I hear the drumming and chanting getting louder.
Instead of the old man in a funny outfit we grew to imagine, it was 2 guys my age with a drum, looking like a 2-man marching band. Very cheerful chaps, really, and besides the very traditional chant of "Wake up, sleeper! Praise the One God!" they also come up with their own chants, including "catch the good month before it goes away!" and "you're going to be hungry!"
I chase them down the street in my pajamas, chat a minute with them – they still have a long round to go! – and take a photo.
Iftar at the Aqsa mosque
I was buying some things by the Old town in Jerusalem before sunset. When I heard the call for prayer I went to do Maghrib in the Aqsa.
There's something about Al-Aqsa – because Muslim countries citizens seldom can go to Jerusalem, and because people from the West Bank are not allowed into Jerusalem without the occasional and rare permit, people who go to the Al-Aqsa are the Jerusalemites, mainly Old City residents, giving the mosque the feel, despite its grand religious and historical significance, of a neighbourhood mosque.
As I head into the mosque I am stopped by the Israeli soldiers who get their fun out of harassing people like myself, and I am forced to unwrap the posters I bought for their viewing pleasure. I eventually get into the Haram-al-Sharif – late – but catch the prayer. Pfiou!
As soon as the imam ends the prayer there's a loud stampede, people RUNNING out of the mosque and heading to western side of the mosque.
Turns out – there's a daily iftar taking place by the Aqsa, every day. By the time I finish there are rows of people – three, four hundred people - sitting and eating the meals donated by the mosque-goers.
I join in, get two juicy dates. I leave past the people sitting on the floor and exit the compound, past the Israeli soldiers sipping warm sahlab.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Observing Ramadan - The Big Picture -

The following is a link to a wonderful news story in photographs its worth a visit.

Observing Ramadan - The Big Picture -

Posted using ShareThis

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What to do in the Last Ten Days of Ramadan?

Abdul Malik Mujahid

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

We can provide some useful advice on how one could spend the last ten days of Ramadan, especially as these days are very special in the life of every Muslim. In fact, every day is special for Muslim, as long as he is always mindful of Allah in all what he does; every day Muslim gets increased in piety and draws closer to Almighty Allah. But these days of Ramadan are highly special in the sense of their falling in one of the most blessed months of the year; the month of Ramadan, the month of the Qur’anic revelation. May Allah Almighty help us get closer to Him in this month and may strengthen our faith in Him in a way that Satan will not be able to drive us away from His Path, Ameen.

Laylatul Qadr (the Night of Power) is described in the Qur’an as, {better than a thousand months}. [Surah Al-Qadr: 3] Any action done on this night such as reciting the Qur’an, remembering Allah, etc. is better than acting for one thousand months which do not contain the night of Qadr.

Allah's Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) used to exert himself in devotion during the last ten nights to a greater extent than at any other time.

The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said: "Whoever prays during the night of Qadr with faith and hoping for its reward will have all of his previous sins forgiven."
[Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Abu Hurairah].

Here are some tips of things we can do on the Night of Power and the time before and after it:

1. Take a Vacation for Allah

We take a break from our jobs for almost everything in life. Why not this time to focus on worshipping and thanking our Creator.

If this is not possible at least take a few days off if you can. This can make it easier to stay awake at night to do extra acts of worship, not having to worry about getting to work the following day. This will also make I`tikaf easy.

2. I`tikaf

It was a practice of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, to spend the last ten days and nights of Ramadan in the mosque for I`tikaf.

In I`tikaf one makes a spiritual retreat in the mosque all the time, performing various forms of dhikr (the remembrance of Allah), like doing extra Salat, recitation and study of the Qur’an. One does not go outside the mosque except in case of emergencies. I`tikaf of a shorter period of time, like one night, a day or a couple of days is encouraged as well.

3. Make This Special Du'a

Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said: I asked the Messenger of Allah: 'O Messenger of Allah, if I know what night is the night of Qadr, what should I say during it?' He said:

اَللَّهُمَّ اِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ ، تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي

Allahumma innaka 'affuwwun tuhibbul 'afwa fa'fu 'anni' "

'Say: O Allah, You are Oft-Pardoning and You love to pardon, so pardon me.'"
[Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and at-Tirmidhi].

4. Recite the Qur’an

Perhaps one can choose Surahs or passages from the Quran which one has heard in Taraweeh this past Ramadan to recite.

On attending a class for Qur’anic recitation, this is a great time to put one’s knowledge into practice.

5. Get Your Sins Wiped Out

Abu Hurairah quoted Allah’s Messenger as saying: “Whoever stands (in prayer) in Laylatul Qadr while nourishing his faith with self-evaluation, expecting reward from Allah, will have all of his previous sins forgiven.”
[Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim].

6. Evaluate Yourself

Ask yourself those questions that need to be asked. Do an evaluation of where you are and where you are going. Let this evaluation lead you to feel happiness for the good you have done and remorse for the bad you have done. This latter feeling should make it easier to seek Allah's sincere forgiveness when invoking Allah and supplicating to Him in these blessed nights.

7. Make Long, Sincere and Deep Du'as

One of the best times to do this is during the last part of the night.

Abu Hurairah (radiAllahu anhu) quoted the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) as saying: “When the last one-third of the night remains, our Lord, the Glorious One descends towards the lower heaven and proclaims: Is there anyone supplicating to Me, so that I grant his supplication? Is there anyone begging of Me for anything so that and I grant him his wish? Is there anyone who seeks My forgiveness, so that I forgive him?”
[Sahih al-Bukhari, Muslim]. This means for instance, waking up one hour before Suhoor (pre-dawn meal) time to invoke Allah for anything and everything is something recommendable. This can be done using the Du`as (supplications) recorded in the Sunnah, but one is also allowed to say Du`a in one’s own language, with sincerity and conviction.

8. Have Iftar with the Family

If you've spent Iftar time on weekdays in your cubicle at work alone with a couple of dates, now is the last few days you'll have this Ramadan to spend with your family. Use it wisely.

9. Take the Family to Taraweeh

Have your spouse and kids missed Taraweeh most of Ramadan because you weren't there to drive them to the mosque, which is too far away to walk to? If so, do all of yourselves a favor and bring everyone for Taraweeh in these last ten nights.

10. Attend the Du'a After the Completion of the Qur’anic Recitation

Almost all the mosques where the Imam aims to finish an entire reading of the Qur’an in Taraweeh prayers in Ramadan will now be approaching the end of the task in these last ten nights. They may try to end on one of the odd nights and read the Du`a’ at the end of reading the Qur’an. Attend this particular night's Taraweeh prayer with your family. See if you can attend different mosques’ Taraweeh prayers the night they finish reading the Qur’an.

11. Finish Reading a Book on the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam):

Read about the Prophet's life, which can increase your love for him and Islam by seeing how much he struggled for Allah's sake. It may inspire you to push yourself even harder during these last ten nights. This community is built on sacrifice.

All these are just some hints on what is recommended for a Muslim to do in during the last ten nights of Ramadan. May Allah Almighty accept our worship and devotions.

Friday, September 19, 2008


1 pound canned chick-peas (drained)
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 1 cup breadcrumbs or fine bulgur
1 teaspoon ground coriander or cumin
1 teaspoon dried hot peppers
1 teaspoon garlic powder
vegetable oil (for frying)

1. Combine chick-peas with onion. Add parsley, lightly beaten egg and spices. Mix in blender. Add breadcrumbs until mixture forms a small ball without sticking to your hands. Form chick-pea mixture into small balls about the size of a quarter (one inch in diameter).

2. Flatten patties slightly and fry until golden brown on both sides. Drain falafel balls on paper towels. Serve individually with toothpicks as an hors d'oeuvre or as a sandwich filling with chopped tomato, cucumber, radish, lettuce, onion, hummus and/or tehina inside pita bread.

Yields: 24

For more Ramadan recipes check out my blog.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


a rabbi and imam and a priest yesterday gathered in yaffo israel to share a huge iftar with hundreds of arabs and jews together.. it was amazing.. the religious leaders spoke about our similarities and our harmony and the need to teach our children of our brotherhood throughout schools everywhere.. it was a beautiful night.. i felt lucky to be there and to share that evening with my wonderful neighbours..

feel welcome to attempt to hear the poorly recorded speeches :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Roasted Cornish Hens with Pomegranate-molasses glaze

Pomegranate molasses is a popular Lebanese product however I will let you know that it took a year of searching before I found it. I had given up when I just happened to pass by it in a Lebanese market. I am sure you could substitute it with pomegranate juice and a molasses mix though.

1/3 cup pomegranate molasses
1/3 cup extra -virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 Cornish hens, rinsed and patted dry
1 onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, smashed
Cooking spray for the broiler pan
1 lemon cut in half
Butter for brushing on top of cooked hens
Kosher salt and pepper for sprinkling on top of cooked hens

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the pomegranate molasses, oil and pepper. Place each hen in a sealable plastic bag. Divide the marinade, garlic and onions evenly between the two bags. Refrigerate over night, turning occasionally.

2. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Coat a broiler pan with cooking spray, set aside.

3. Remove hens from the plastic bags, letting excess marinade drip off. Place the hens on the pan, breast side up, and tuck the wing tips under the body. Fill each cavity with half the lemon and onion slices.

4. Transfer to the oven, and roast until the hens are golden and cooked, about an hour, rotate pan half way through. Remove from the oven, brush butter on tops then sprinkle kosher salt and pepper over tops.

Yields: 2 servings

Adapted from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook, The New Classics

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Going Well

Ramadan for the most part is going quite well in Pakistan. Since Ramadan started the weather has been quite a bit better then before. Also the electricity load shedding has been reduced from the previous 6-8 hours to a couple hours a days. Since Ramadan is almost half way over I have also noticed a spike in traffic in the hours after the Iftaar on account of people getting out more and starting to do their shopping for Eid! People have started setting up the traditional henna/mehndi, and curi/bangles stalls.

I am going to be away from my computer for a couple of days starting tomorrow and will be back with more news soon, in the mean time wish you all happy and fulfilling fasting and see you all soon.

Interfaith Iftar in Philadelphia

This is the third year that I have participated in an interfaith Iftar celebration here in Philadelphia. The idea sprung from a women's discussion group I started a few years earlier. Although the initial topics discussed revolved around race and ethnicity dentity formation, discussions often turned to interfaith issues. Regardless of the specific subject matter of the discussions, issues of contention always surrounded misconceptions, assumptions and lack of knowledge of the various spiritual tranditons represented. We initially organized an interfaith Lenten supper at a local Eastern Orthodox Church which took place on the Sunday of Forgiveness. We subsequently organized similar interfaith suppoers during Ramadan and Yom Kippur.

This year's Iftar was particularly powerful, as the focus was on forgiveness - from God, from each other and from ourselves!

Some of the things that emerged from discussions are:
  • Forgiving oneself is the first step to forgiving others
  • Open and honest communication is essential to asking and granting forgiveness
  • Forgiveness comes from inner peace, resulting from knoledge and acknowledgement of the inner self
  • Thhe Qu'ran calls uon people to know themselves and transform themselves before doing so with others.
Forgiveness and acceptance are fundamental tenants of Islam, Judaism and Christianity (as well as other non-Abramic faiths). Significant markers throughout our spiritual calendars are ideal moments to reflect on forgiveness in our own lives, as well as a time to put that forgiveness into action. A vital component to forgiveness is learning of each other's spiritual experiences and traditions. So, in that spirit, I would like to pose the following questions to the readers and other contributors to this blog:

What is the importance for you of sharing your experienced of faith with others?

In Peace,
Kathrin was born in Bad Hersfeld, Hessen, Germany in 1980. Kathrin currently works as a freelance grant writer and presents on cultural diversity and transnational race relations. She is passionate about strengthening relationships between Afro German and Black German communities in the United States and Germany, as well as facilitating cooperation and support among other groups who are working to eradicate racism and improve opportunities for all People of Color. She also works as a translator, project coordinator and development officer for the Black German Cultural Society, Inc., and currently serves on their Board of Directors. Kathrin speaks fluent German, loves to read, spend time with her family and friends, and travel.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

An Indian Iftar, Vegetarian Style

Asalam Alaykum today we will take a trip to India for our Iftar, follow me! MashAllah, I just love the way the kitchen smells when I am cooking Indian food. It is by far my favorite food. Today I thought I would lay a vegetarian menu out so that we have something for everyone, inshAllah.

Potato Fritters

Egg and Potato Curry

Paneer Peas Pulao

Vegetable Samosas

Aloo Mutter

Friday, September 12, 2008

An Arabic Iftar

Asalam Alaykum and Ramadan Kareem. I welcome you to enjoy an Arabic Iftar with me. Here are so amazing recipes to enjoy in your home.

Please click the link to the recipe!

Appetizer: Hummus

Drink: Saudi Champagne

Main Course: Chicken Mandy with Rice

Bread: Celebration Bread

Dessert: Coconut Basboosa

Ya Salam, now how good does this look? InshAllah you enjoy my pictures and recipes and as always if you have any questions what so ever let me know...

What is Ramadan to you?

Since Ramadan has started I have heard this very question numerous times. After pondering on it for some time I have to realize that Ramadan is so very much to all of us. As for me Ramadan is such a special time. Ramadan is the holy month that the Quran was sent to us so we should take this time to get to know our Quran. Allah (saw) has given us all a book of life, how very lucky we are. But yet I am surprised when I tell people that my Ramadan goal is to finish the entire Quran not one single person has ever read it entirely. Sadly this is the state our ummah is in this day and age. We all make time to watch movies or to read novels nevertheless we still can not seem to find time to read our Qurans, astagfurAllah even though we all know the many benefits we get from reading it.

Ramadan to me is a time when I am able to fast as Allah has commanded me to do so. During my fast I feel the struggle that the poor go through every day of their life and this alone makes me appreciate what Allah has bestowed upon me in my life, alhumdullah. During this time I am able to connect with every Muslim in the world that is fasting along with me. And during this time I am reaping the many awards that Allah gives us for obeying his awards.

Ramadan to me is a time that my family and I are able to have fatoor and iftar together. This is a time that we are able to be thankful to Allah for the food we have and a time for me to cook for the people that I love; I love these moments with my loved ones.

And lastly, Ramadan to me is a time to improve my Islamic knowledge something that we should all thrive for on a daily basis. We should all always read about our beloved prophets, our history and so much more. This is our duty as Muslims.

I urge you all to share with us what Ramadan is to you and how you celebrate this blessed month in your home/country. I leave you all with some beautiful words of Ramadan.

Aboo Umaamah said: I came to Allah’s Messenger (r) and asked, “Instruct me to do
something which will put me in paradise,” and he replied, “You should fast for there is nothing
equal to it.” When I came to him a second time, he said, “You should fast.”

"Many a one who fasts obtains nothing from his fasting but thirst, and many a one who prays during the night obtains nothing from his night prayers but wakefulness."

Allah's apostle said, "Fasting is a shield (or a screen or a shelter). So, the person observing fast should avoid sexual relation with his wife and should not behave foolishly and impudently, and if someone fights with him or abuses him, he should tell him twice, "I am Fasting." The Prophet added, "By Him in whose hand my soul is, the smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk." (Allah says about the fasting person) 'He has left his food, drink and desires for My sake. The Fast is for Me. So I will reward (the fasting person) for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lord of Ramadan

This is a wonderful Ramadan song and although it has been previously posted on Ramadan Blog I'm reposting the video for the benefit of our new visitors.

Ramadan in Pakistan

My absence from the blog has been due to me being on my farm for the past 15 days, this was the first time in my life that I have spent this long a time in a rural undeveloped area of the country, the experience was amazing and being there in Ramadan was an added experience.

The hospitality of the people in rural areas who can ill afford extravagant spending in times of crisis was exemplary. Unlike in cities people stay awake after sehri and spend their days working hard in fields sometimes staying out in scorching heat throughout the day to water their fields or spread fertilizers or chemicals. Yet in the evening people offer whatever they have to the ones around them. during my eight days of Ramadan in a small village I was invited to numerous iftars and attended a couple, although village life might not be as luxurious as city life and people might not have been rich financially they were rich in their offering to their fellow man and they were happy and content with their lives, sometimes experiences like these show us how much we have to thank God for all we have and how much we take for granted things that some people cant even think of having. Wish you all a very Happy and Blessed Ramadan, May God give us the strength and wisdom to accept what we have and try to help those less fortunate.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Ramadan starts in India

With the sighting of the moon on Monday evening, Ramadan starts in the Indian subcontinent from Tuesday 2nd September. Taravih Prayers started today evening and muslims were seen thronging the mosques to partake the blessings and grace Allah Almighty has proomised in this month.

"When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the Kingdom of Heaven are opened."

"Indeed as to the one who fasts, during the blessed moment of breaking the fast, this supplication will not be turned away by God."

- from the sayings of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him

May Allah Alighty grant us the blessings in this month. And make it a month of peace, patience and spiritual growth. Amen.