Category Archives: eid

Flashback to Eid ul Fitr 2017 – strawberries & sawine

My posting has indeed been sparse this year, but I was going through my photos and voila – we have a post. Sister H ever so often has specials on imported strawberries, blueberries & cherries. This year, these played a major role in our Eid ul Fitr celebrations – part of the usual impromptu potluck buffet for the post-Eid salaat, part of the food gifts for various friends. I think BD baked a pineapple upside down cake or three, but memory is a little hazy on that part this year. Sawine (boiled and sweetened and spiced vermicelli pasta) is part of my Trinidadian heritage. Each year at Eid ul Fitr, my mother, whose culinary extents were limited by herself but whose flavours remain my favourite, cooked up and distributed pots of sawine to the neighbours on our street. Elaichi (cardamom), clove, raisins, sweetened milk (condensed milk), and the vermicelli. And at every Muslim home sawine was a given, and expected. Some added finely chopped nuts, some boiled with the fruits, some put out individual little bowls of the fruits & nuts so that you could garnish to your taste. My middle maternal uncle made the sawine in his house. My children expect it, and sporadically over the years, I have been prescient enough to obtain it and prepare it. Nowadays, you can purchase already parched sawine in the supermarkets in Trinidad. (Already parched (or is it patched?) sawine means that some ghee or butter or oil has been heated in a wide bottomed pot, the elaichi and sawine added and sauteed, then removed from the heat, allowed to cool, and bottled until ready to boil on Eid morning. Ah ha – it is toasted, or braised!) This year, I had to check with my Trini sources on what to add as my trusty Naparima Girls’ High School cookbook (the staple of Trini cooks:)) suggested cinnamon sticks – I did not remember that as an ingredient my mother added, and she either forgets or pretends to forget her recipes since she has happily given up cooking since my father passed away. And neither of us could get to her recipes – handwritten from her two extremely domesticated friends who wrote down the recipes for her when she moved to live independently of her parents – and which are kept in a clasp purse in one of the kitchen drawers.

So this year, Mum brought up a packet or two of already parched sawine, and I proceeded to prepare one on Eid morning. So BD, NoS, Youngest and I, partook of the sawine, and probably Aunty D. too. I added strawberries (now you see the link between Sister H’ specials and my post, don’t you?:). Enjoy. (I see that some cooks add grated ginger to the parching process as well – may try that – and we use a thicker (as if that were possible) vermicelli than the rice vermicelli or mung bean vermicelli. Some trivia – vermicelli is Italian for ‘little worms’, is thinner in diameter than spaghetti, is sometimes referred to as angel hair. Some cultures include sago in the sawine mix as well.

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Eid ul Adha – isn’t a son always a son?

There is a sister amongst us who has been having challenges with Islamic precepts & concepts. And ever so often, her queries compel me to read a little more.

During the first few days of Dhul Hajj, she posted a picture of verses from Genesis from a non-King James version of the Bible. In it, Ibrahim a.s. is commanded to sacrifice his son. Nowhere in the version which she posted did I see mention of that son’s name. Or whether he was firstborn or not. She interpreted it to mean the son of his ‘lawful’ wife. Various interpretations of the Bible speak to the son, Isaac, Mount Moriah, and one interpretation speaks to the firstborn son.

Surah 37 ayah 100 to 107 of Al Qur’an say:

100.  Oh my Lord, grant me a righteous son.

101. So, We gave him the glad tidings of a forbearing boy.

102. And, when he (his son) was old enough to walk with him, he said: “O my son! I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you. So look what you think!” He said: “O my father! Do that which you are commanded, if Allah wills, you shall find me of the patient.”

103. Then, when they had both submitted themselves, and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead;

104. We called out to him: “O Ibrahim!”

105. “You have fulfilled the dream!” Verily, thus do We reward the doers of good.

106. Verily, that indeed was a manifest trial.

107. And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice

(Surah 37 speaks of Nuha.s. and Ibrahim a.s.)

All of the faiths agree that Ismail a.s. was the firstborn son of Ibrahim a.s.

Some say that Mt. Moriah is in Jerusalem, others say the Moriah is Marwah in Mecca as in one of the hills Marwah to and from which Hajra r.a., mother of Ismail a.s., ran in her search for water for her babe.

Is the identity of the son whom Ibrahim a.s. believed he was to sacrifice important? It isn’t important for the lesson of obedience to Allah s.w.t., it isn’t important for the story of Ibrahim a.s., it isn’t important for the tenet that mankind shall be tested by our Lord, it isn’t important for us to understand the love and faith which Ibrahim a.s., the Friend of Allah s.w.t, held in his heart. There are many miracles in the life of Ibrahim a.s.

On another note, Islamic tradition holds that it is Ismail a.s., the firstborn son of Ibrahim a.s., who was placed on the sacrificial altar, and whom Allah s.w.t. ransomed with a ram which had grazed for 40 years in Paradise and whose horns were kept in the Kaabah.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “When the rituals were enjoined upon Ibrahim, peace be upon him, the Shaytan appeared to him at the Mas`a and raced with him, but Ibrahim got there first. Then Jibril, upon him be peace, took him to Jamrat Al-`Aqabah and the Shaytan appeared to him, so he stoned him with seven pebbles until he disappeared. Then he appeared him at Al-Jamrah Al-Wusta and he stoned him with seven pebbles.

 It was reported that Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “A ram which had grazed in Paradise for forty years.”

Imam Ahmad recorded that Safiyyah bint Shaybah said, “A woman from Bani Sulaym, who was the midwife of most of the people in our household, told me that the Messenger of Allah sent for `Uthman bin Talhah, may Allah be pleased with him.” On one occasion she said, “I asked `Uthman, `Why did the Prophet call you’ He said, `The Messenger of Allah said to me,  “I saw the horns of the ram when I entered the House (i.e., the Ka`bah), and I forgot to tell you to cover them up; cover them up, for there should not be anything in the House which could distract the worshipper.” Sufyan said, “The horns of the ram remained hanging in the House until it was burned, and they were burned too.”

Most significantly, our Beloved Rasool s.a.w.s. performed both the Hajj and the qurbani during his lifetime and prophethood.

May Allah s.w.t. guide us and grant us beneficial knowledge.

 

Eid ul Adha 2016 – Part 7: The Takbeer continued

So, we talked about things we didn’t know earlier. Do you know the source of the takbeer which it is recommended that we say after each fard salaat during the day of Arafat and days of Eid ul Adha? Moulana Ahmed shared this in his lecture:

There are three components of the takbeer:

  1. Allahu akbar Allahu akbar : Jibreel
  2. La ilaha illa la wallahu abar: Ibrahim
  3. Allahu akbar wa lilla il hamd: Ismail

This was said when the animal appeared and the test was deemed successful.

 

Did you know?

You attend lectures, and you sometimes sigh that you’ve heard all this before. But have you really heard all of it before? Were your ears really listening? Was your heart really engaged?

Moulana Ahmed gave a very stirring lecture to the intimate crowd that turned up to listen to him. We all know the story of Ibrahim saws and the test to sacrifice his beloved son Ismail saws.

But did we know:

  • lease Whose daughter was Hajra r.a. (beloved mother of Ismail r.a.)? (Hint – that tribal leader to whom Ibrahim saws said that Saara r.a. was his sister in an attempt to protect against the man’s proclivities)
  • That Satan approached each of Ibrahim saws, Ismail saws, and Hajra ra in futile attempts to misguide them from the path of Allah swt? (Why do we stone at three stations at Hajj? Aha – is it because of Ibrahim only, or the three members of his family mentioned here?) (Note – when NoS was asked by Moulana if he was told by his father that he was to sacrifice him, NoS’ response was that father would need to move to Black Rock (the colloquial reference to the ‘mad house’))
  • Who was blindfolded – was it Ibrahim saws or Ismail saws?
  • Whose shirt was Ismail saws wearing when he lay to be sacrificed? And why? (Hint – consideration for his beloved mother and the grief she would face. Please note that hadith says that he asked for the shirt to be removed so that he could be shrouded in it.)
  • What destroyed Nimrod’s army? (Hint – chikV and dengue and malaria carrying little pests)
  • What afflicted Nimrod and what gave him ease? (Hint – footwear hurling – is this the source of middle eastern insults?)
  • Did Ibrahim saws curse his father or part from him in peace?
  • Did the angels cool the fire into which Ibrahim saws was catapulted?