Category Archives: Islam

4score but who’s counting?

 

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“The lifespan for my Ummah is from sixty years to seventy years and very few surpass this”

Some weeks ago, Aunt P who has been my class mate, my housemate, my spouse’s second mother, my colleague, my partner, my confidant, a prayer warrior, and most of all, my friend, passed that milestone of 80. In addition to her family sponsored festivities, BD, my mum and I took her out to tea at the seafront restaurant at Bougainvillea Hotel. Fruit tarts, smoked salmon & cucumber sandwiches, carrot cake, vegetable samosas, egg pinwheels, cheese & blueberry scones with clotted cream and jam. And Harney’s brand of teas!

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Perfect 10 sisterhood

 

Yesterday was Emancipation Day in Barbados. One of my sisters’ groups (that of Tea & Taqwa) organised a day out at the Perfect 10 beach house in Cattlewash on the East Coast of Barbados. Beach house in this instance was a quirky ground floor apartment filled with eye pleasing treasures (2 shown in the pix) on the opposite side of the coast road (many many steps up).

It was one of those soporific days, just overcast enough to not be stifling, and with enough zephyrs (that’s still not the right use of that word), to be a beautiful day out.

Sisters of all sizes, shapes, ages, hair styles and dresses assembled for a very relaxing outing with lots of food, some icebreakers that let us each learn something about each other, a talk on sisterhood in Islam, interjections on time management, invitation accepting,  anger management, and community.

Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Masood (radiallahu anhu) says that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
“Accept the invitation of he who invites you. Avoid declining a gift and refrain from annoying the Muslims.” [Muslim]

Amongst us were the progeny of various nations, a football coach, a makeup afficionado, a budding writer, a therapist, a baker/crafter mum, a du’a baby, a school secretary, several pursuers of knowledge in several avenues, soon to be mums. It was interesting how we defined ourselves by our ages, and our children. But also interesting to hear what we knew of our seatmates.

PS: Menu – veg rice, macaroni pie, plaintain, baked potatoes, garlic bread, pasta salad, potato salad, baked chicken, tossed salad, cole slaw. Mangoes, mango bars, cakes, brownies, and cookies.

In my veg rice were a mishmash of cuban rice & spanish rice- black beans, corn & sweet peppers, mushrooms, coriander, capers, tomatoes in tomato paste, cumin, garlic, onion, rice!

Finally – Eid Creations decor

A few years ago, I discovered Eid Creations online and slavered over their lines. I ordered & the dinner plates, dessert plates, napkins, paper lantern packs, Eid Mubarak swirls, & cupcake liners & tags, were delivered to BH. I’ve hung some of the lanterns & swirls and every year since have taken out the plates etc looked at them, and put them back. This year, they stayed out, and were put out to be used.

Sister N also gifted me with some ultra think LED string lights which were the perfect replacement solution for the LED candle in the huge blue vase (alas, no pictures to show). The blue lights atop the gate were the lights I bought for independence last year (our 50th) which we never got around to stringing.

Backyard Eid Barbecue

I know, it sounds weird. and I have a non-Muslim friend who is adamant that Eid should only be celebrated with Indian food. (To be fair, on Eid day, we did prepare at home lamb vindaloo, pumpkin, stir fried shrimp & paratha & dhalpuri.)

However, the following day, we hosted a very impromptu backyard Eid barbecue at home. Fortunately, our friends were all amenable to what were very last minute invitations:).

Our menu was uncomplicated – macaroni pie, potato salad, barbecued chicken. Friends brought a chicken, a green salad, cole slaw, & added to our servings of garlic bread. Another friend, Sister N, who is holidaying here on her annual retreat to Barbados, brought hot dogs & burgers, and buns. We were able to source homemade pizza to add to the menu as we had some vegetarians and milk-allergic invitees, as well as some lamb sausage – so an unbaked cheese pizza to which BD added the lamb sausage, a cheeseless chicken pineapple & onion pizza, and a vegetarian pizza. Homemade lemonade & sorrel, and Barbados’ Plus & Malt drinks.

The dessert table offered varieties of sweetmeats including BD’s baked goods, a Muslim friendly great cake & coconut bread from L, and oodles of other sweet baked goods. (And I have NO pictures of that central table, sob).

Guests came, and stayed. And even anti-social Youngest softened enough to invite a friend other than the one that BD invited for him without his consent. Alhamdulillah for a soothing relaxed blessed Eid ul Fitr with families and friends.

An impromptu iftar

No photos. Sigh.

So Sunday unfolded. Qur’an recitation was completed in taraweeh the night before at one of the prayer sites for taraweeh. So BH, NoS and Youngest had prayed taraweeh and joined in the fried rice, potato salad & barbecue chicken that was shared out to the congregants. We benefited (should that be spelt with a double t?) from the extra fried rice. BD & I had journeyed to Masjid e Quba to share in the iftar (similar menu but with a distinct Guyanese flavour) and stayed on for taraweeh.

Sunday morning, there was extra fried rice at home, I had purchased some watermelon the day before, and there was Sister W’s invitation to join her at home for iftar (a kinda potluck thing). It was sent out during the week, and no one on our group chat had responded. But I did on Sunday, but oops, having had no response, she had accepted her brother’s invitation to iftar that evening. Anyway, after some bumbles and fumbles, we agreed that Sister N (who’s on her annual visit from the US) and I would go over to Sister W for iftar. BH would kindly barbecue a chicken for us, and I would take the watermelon (chunked and chilled) and the fried rice, and Sister W would throw together a salad (her variations are seemingly endless). And an interested party (S) would also join us. The open invitation was extended to all of the sisters to join us and bring the meal which they would have eaten had they remained at home alone.

And lo and behold, Youngest invited himself over to Sister F’s home, and NoS tagged along. (Yes, I verified whether it was convenient, although every other member of my household reiterated that they are always welcome at Sister F’s). So they took chunked & chilled watermelon & tandoori chicken (may have been beef) pies that BD organised. (I was going to take along 4 to Sister W’s who was also doing veg samosas and pastries).

Well, sometimes there’s a plot twist. Sister W’s sister in law wasn’t happy that Sister W was no longer coming, and with a word or three there, and easy acquiescence by me, BH & I collected Sister N, Sister W and little M-R, and joined Sister W’s family for iftar. We took the watermelon & the fried rice but left everything else. And what a variety of foods awaited us – soft soft roti, lamb curry, chicken pasta salad, some kind of rice dish, Sister W’s pastries, samosas & chickpea salad (those are 3 separate things), a mango salad (drool), Sister N’s cornstarch fried chicken wings, BD’s confetti & chocolate chip & possibly custard cupcakes (that was interesting), chocolate cupcakes & ice cream. Stuffed I was. Dates, water, juices, soft drinks.

Interspersed with maghrib, isha & taraweeh in congregation.

Alhamdulillah to brothers and sisters who so willingly open their homes and kitchens.