Thursday, August 28, 2008


The spiritual washing up before prayer "wudu" is a natural part of every Muslims life. We pray 5 times a day, and ideally would do the washing up also 5 times a day.
Its refreshing, mood changing and just wonderful. Water "Mayyah in Egyptian Arabic" brings life, Allah mentions in the Quraan that anything alive comes from water. I experienced this myself recently when I was sprouting the fava beans, All I did was soak them in water and cover them in a damp towel for a couple of days, and miraculously the dry lifeless bean became alive and vibrant and started sprouting subhanAllah. Farmers experience this everyday, its just a miracle.

Why am I writing so much about water, is because water is a great blessing, and we waste this blessing everyday when cooking, washing and specially when making wudu, which is something us Muslims do several times everyday.

The sunnah way of washing up before prayer is to use as little water as possible.
I saw a video once of the great scholar Sheikh Murabat Al Hajj making his ablution. I was shocked at how little water he used and how abundant the water seemed and sufficed washing up most of his body. He used maybe half a pitcher filled with water, and that was sufficient. I tried to follow his footsteps which is originally the footsteps of the prophet but I was lazy and just did what most Muslim do. Took the easy way and splashed water all over from the tap, It seems more convenient, I don't have to go fill a pitcher and a plastic tub under me and wash myself that way 5 times a day, it just seemed like too much work. My lower self is weak. what can I say.
But here's a suggestion, Instead of turning on the tap all the way, just turn it to the minimum, and turn it off when there's a big gap between washing body parts, like when washing the face or washing the feet. some people even leave the water on while taking off their socks and then bring their feet up to the basin, what a waste. the least we can do it prepare ourselves for washing up before we head to the basin and turn on the water to waste.

Here are other tips for saving water:

*When showering turn off the shower head when soaping up, or lathering up your hair.
*When washing dishes, rinse the gunk off the dishes first, then turn off the water while soaping the dishes up, then turn it back on for rinsing.

Any more ideas on how to save water are welcome.

This is a good month to start a new habit, and definitely a good month to appreciate water, I am quite thirsty now, and am savoring every drop of water I wasted.

May god forgive our sins.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Greetings of peace everyone.
We are back from our short visit to the east coast. It was wonderful, and as expected our new niece is beyond adorable, she loves listening to music played by her dad on the piano, and is hugged by her parents in the sling all day long, what a great life:)

I really loved the east coast, it was lush and mysterious since you can't see much from all the giant trees, but every once in a while you pass a spot where you can peak more into whats beyond the trees. It's also very special being by the ocean. The water is freezing but rejuvenating, it makes you feel truly alive. My little girl was shivering with excitement when we went swimming, as soon as her tiny body would hit the cold water she'd scream with laughter and say cold, pointing out the obvious, I would then agree and scream with her as we plunge deeper into the water.

We also went for a short hike like walk and picked wild blueberries and ate them off the shrubs, all in all it was very special and peaceful. Allah is truly the most beautiful.

On a different note, here's the promised bean memory soup. I checked with mom, and she said it was exactly how I made it, good memory taste buds:)

boil the desired amount of sprouted beans in water with salt, pepper, cumin, olive oil, and 1 table spoon lemon juice.
Serve hot with pita bread and enjoy.

Have a great end of summer everyone.


This was written as soon as I came back from Maine but I only had time to post it now.

I just wanted to add to this and wish everyone a blessed month of Ramadan, May Allah accept our fasting and prayers.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A sprouted bean update

I checked early on the beans coz I couldn't wait, plus was super curious. The good news is YAY it worked! I have successfully sprouted some beans. The bad news( well for me, great news for my mom) is my mom left for Omra" the small pilgrimage" and I forgot to ask for the recipe.

So here's what I am going to do.

I am going to make the soup dish from my memory, I mean how hard can it be.

Here's what I'll do InshaAllah:

Boil beans in a little bit of water with salt, pepper,cumin and olive oil. Squeeze lemon juice when serving along with whole wheat pita bread.

Tom I'll let you know how it turned out.

Lets all make a group prayer. I waited a long time for this.

( Btw: did you know that fava beans are really good for menopause,They are the most estrogen-dense food known. When sprouted, they become far more so, 3-30 times more, they're great for hormone replacement).

Ok I am off now, will maybe update how the memory soup turned out when I come back from the east coast.
Oh yea we're off for a short family visit to meet a very special new person (My daughters newest cousin) and then off to Maine for a short vacation.

Have a great week every one.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Sprout and the bean

The weather in Chicago these days is unseasonably pleasant, I am so thankful for this blessing especially with the extra load I'm carrying.

This post is about a childhood memory that I am currently trying to recreate in my kitchen.

My mom used to make us sprouted fava beans soup, which I really loved when I was a kid. For some reason my mom never made it for years. So naturally I totally forgot about it until about a couple of days ago. I got this (I'm going to call it a pregnancy craving just 'cause I can) for sprouted fava bean soup, just like my mom used to make us.

I checked my pantry and found that I had bought dried fava beans about a million years ago( which makes it in my dictionary of time about one year old)
So I figured, why not sprout some beans and get the recipe from mom.

So I caught mom online, had a nice chit chat, and brought the soup memory up, for my luck Umm Ahmad ( our old doorman's wife) and currently my friend was over and told me how to sprout some beans.
To make the story even longer and I'm totally blaming it on my placenta brain, I forgot how to sprout the beans, so I looked it up online because I am so cool and modern that way.
and here's what I came up with.

Its a song by Joanne Newsom called sprout and the bean, love it.

But really here's the recipe for how to sprout some beans:
Soak beans in water for a day.
after it has absorbed most of the water and doubled in size drain, rinse and cover for 3 days in a wet breathable cloth in a dark room.
Supposedly when you open it, the beans should have sprouted.
I'm still in day one of the cloth cover so I'll update you.

My next post should be the sprouted fava bean soup recipe.