How To: Revitalize your…Rice! ;)

Salam everyone 🙂

So I don’t think I’m the only person that has this problem. Or maybe I am if you’re not Arab lol. But my family always makes extra rice out of paranoia that we won’t have enough. (We always do Alhamdulilah)

I really dislike wasting food, I’m big on left overs and Tupperware usage, but not everyone appreciates that especially picky children! So I went ahead and reused the rice we had…here’s a great way to, it tastes awesome, and can be done in various ways!

1) left over rice
2) olive oil/or regular cooking oil
3) any drippings from what you’re making (I made baked fish, so I used that, and I use the drippings of baked chicken as well)
4) tomatoes (adds moisture and taste)
5) dill weed (smells awesome and fresh, great combo with anything lemony)
6)chipotle cube (1 is spicy enough for me!) (smash it if it’s not already)
7)half a lemon
8) a whole can of chicken broth or half a can depending on how much rice you’re making. (All this is good for 2 cups of Basmati rice)

Grab a deepish pan, heat your oil and lemon juice. Add the rice. Chop the tomatoes and add them in. Stir the rice frequently so it doesn’t burn.
Add chicken broth, drippings, and chipotle cube. Let that sit for 2-3 minutes. Then sprinkle some dill weed over it all and stir. If you like Asian fried rice, you’d want to let your rice fry a little adding more oil. But for my purposes I left it fluffy.

Hope that helps! Inshallah, better than feeding your disposal and starving your wallet 🙂

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Friday Message | The Preserver

BeautifyourUmmah

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

‘Do they not see the birds above them with wings outspread and [sometimes] folded in? None holds them [aloft] except the Most Merciful. Indeed He is, of all things, Seeing.’

(Surah Al-Mulk 67:19)

Each bird that flies in the air, does so in the protection of the Most Merciful. He has given each bird the form and structure by which it became able to fly. He has taught each bird the method to fly. He has made the air obey the laws by which it became possible for the heavier than air bodies to fly in it, and He upholds every bird in the air, otherwise the moment Allah withdraws His protection from it, it drops to the ground. This is not confined only to birds, but whatever exists in the world, exists because of Allah’s keeping and guardianship. He alone provides the means necessary for…

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“He/She is WAY Too Pretty for You!”-Undermining Al-Musawwir

So I don’t know if this saying is a part of the marriage conversations of guys, but it sure is between girls, and the women that talk about marriage to you. “Don’t marry someone better looking than you, it just looks bad for you!” “Omg he is WAY too handsome for her! and she is way to pretty for him!”

-_- like really?? What the hell are people gonna say when I get married inshAllah? 

I understand where this idea of having to be aesthetically pleasing while sitting on your fancy wedding lodge, but I feel that first off, whom you fall in love with shouldn’t be based on their physical appearance, and definitely should not be a reason to marry them and spend the rest of your life with. You’ll wake up to this person every morning, go back to sleep with them, see them in their ridiculous tie he insists on wearing, or her dark circles from being tired all the time. You see this girl looking her best some days, and other days an emotional wreck, maybe she’s prego or you annoyed her. You’ll see this guy wearing his fave color shirt that you despise, cause blue looks better on him to you, you’ll see him never shaving in order for the Sunnah but dang you don’t appreciate touching a sejada (carpet) or feeling prickly. Ultimately, someones looks are not in their control. They were fashioned this way by the Creator, who is Perfect in all ways. The Best artist. He continuously works on us everyday, making us taller, thinner, darker skinned, bigger eyes, longer hair, or even a better smile. (Thank Allah (swt) for helping us all get out of toothless stages!) Or for creating amazing orthodontists to help your smile look even better. He is the one that is in control, it is all from Him. Humans try to define what is beautiful, what looks great on us, what turns someone on/off. I want to meet the bastard that invented the word “perfect.” Was he/she talking about a girl or a guy? or their lunch? A sandwich can most definitely be perfect. Whatever that means. 

I’ve met and seen couples that are beautiful together. Like totally eye pleasing. I swear he was handsome, and she was “beautiful” and in turn everyone said they were perfect  for each other. As if that’s really the only reason they liked each other. (maybe they’re dumb enough to, never got to know them) but if you’re smart and are decent human being, you’d find and appreciate cliche qualities like sense of humor, intelligence, cooking skills, sweetness (nothing wrong with them by the way) and you’d find something that connects you both, gives you a sense of chemistry, where he needs you for certain aspects of his emotional being, or she needs you to complete her sentences, or understand her without having to say a word. (boy mind reading would be great, but God help what man would attempt to read mine! lol) The point is, I personally feel that there is always someone out there for us, another piece that adds on to ourselves, not “completes” us. Because you are complete. Allah (swt) gave you the necessities to live, a beating heart, a brain that controls all functions of your body that you still have to study about in school. Our existence is not in our control. We don’t tell our bodies when to digest food, or our hearts to start beating. We don’t have a switch in our backs that can turn us off for the day. (THAT would be amazing though wouldn’t it? But if you’re married, you’d probably be sneaking around each other to fix that problem for the day 😉 Or if you’re somewhat morbid like myself, you’d find ways to turn off and mute idiots that you come across on the daily. And as imperfect as I am, people would want to turn my switch off sometimes. Goes both ways lol.

I honestly also feel that it is so demeaning to say “She’s too pretty for him, he’s lucky!” what??? There are people out there that like things other than looks or money or social status. Bottom line, she is happy with him, and he is happy with her. To undermine someone’s new found love is ridiculous. If you really are happy for the sister or brother then you wouldn’t say that. If you’re not happy for them, then don’t say anything at all. Keep your intentions to yourself, and try to fight this jealous or boredom within you. It kind of worries me, and makes me feel bad for the people these women are talking about, and compare themselves to. Even girls my age do it. It worries me because I don’t want people that I’ve known all my life to say this about me, or my husband. Its not that I don’t care about their opinions of him for me, but I’m not gonna be asking “Don’t yall think hes cute?? Hes cute right??” yeah. no. I’ll most likely be worried if they don’t like his mannerisms, or his lack of practice of Islam. (No lie, though, I am a girl so I probably would rub in my girls faces that he’s cute and works out and blah blah wears this color to match my mud brown eyes….you get the jest).

God in Islam has MANY adjectives used to attribute His characteristics (99) that we as Muslims know of, and can barely wrap our human minds around. The purpose is to help us understand, to better know our Creator. Because we are human, we do doubt and ask questions. I know if someone was telling me to believe in all Encompassing God then I’d want to know what He’s like.

One of the 99 names is Al-Musawwir, The Fashioner (of shapes, people, things etc.) He is the one who shapes us in the womb, adding legs, eyes, developing skin, apoptosis (or cell death) in order for us to have fingers, and two split legs etc. A process which can be found explained already in the Noble Quran:

Thinketh man that he is to be left aimless?

Was he not a drop of fluid which gushed forth?

Then he became a clot; then (Allah) shaped and fashioned

And made of him a pair, the male and female.  Is not He (Who doeth so) able to bring the dead to life? 

75: 35-40

or even better:

Verily We created man from a product of wet earth;

Then placed him as a drop (of seed) in a safe lodging;

Then fashioned We the drop a clot, then fashioned We the clot a little lump, then fashioned We the little lump bones, then clothed the bones with flesh, and then produced it as another creation

So blessed be Allah, the Best of creators! 

23:12-14

How amazing! He explains to us how He began to Create us, and then continues to do so once we leave the womb, and go through various physical, and mental developmental stages that scientists and doctors are still trying to study. Granted, Allah (swt) wants us to learn and research, but all is further proof of how amazing He is subhanAllah. 

I’m not saying physical appearance is not important or relevant when picking someone to marry. There is initial physical attraction depending where you’re from, what standards you’re raised with for what is considered beauty, and your creation itself, what you are inclined to being attracted to etc. I just do not want anyone to feel bad about how they look, we all have our insecurities, but don’t let that refrain you from being thankful to Allah (swt). There are people with huge Arab noses, classic, and there are people with none (Literally, just two holes for breathing) Just a few years ago, my mother was showing me a picture of a gorgeous model from Venezuela, who was diagnosed with breast cancer. I am not one to judge why God gave her this challenge, but it did prove to me that looks are not everything, they are not things to flaunt about as if we were in charge of the doing. Learning to appreciate the physical, as well as the mental state of a person is important. I am a girl. Yes I know what it’s like to wear make up, I do not judge others for doing so because I know it’s wrong for myself, and for others, but girls have different intentions for things. So males, don’t be so harsh about it. You don’t know if shes wearing it only at home or she just happened to come out of an all girls party. Or her parents are not too strict about it, so she was raised feeling its okay. ORRR she feels that bad about herself. Bottom line, try not to judge people for their looks as well. Same with guys, you might find him looking sloppy but little do you know he just came from his job at Wataburger (only in Texas…ya’ll don’t know…). Or he normally dresses sloppy, but decided to look great on a day you’d see each other. YOU NEVER KNOW. Leave the judging to Allah (swt). Be yourself, and know  that He knows what’s in your heart and what your intentions are despite what people think or say of you. 

 

Also, mainly for the females out there. If you care too much about your physical beauty, constantly putting make up on, never giving your eyes a break or a chance for your skin to breathe, just know that not only are you damaging your natural looks by the chemicals, but you’re also challenging Allah (swt). You don’t want to use products that MAN made, to tell you how to look, or change your natural look. This proves nothing to Allah (swt). You will grow old, you will get crows feet and wrinkles. You will decay, and then death and even then you be reduced to nothing but worm food. Back to the clay that you were made from, in unison with the dirt and earth, back to a natural state where we belong. I visited the Muslim cemetery today with some friends, and it was a sobering fact to feel the earth I most likely will be under one day. Just a thought, but really does change perspective. 

 

I’m not sorry for ranting about this, but it hurt me to hear this stuff (and it wasn’t even about me) and I wouldn’t want anyone else to feel this way and I want us to think twice about what we say, because sometimes, we can be doing the hurt.

 

May Allah (swt) continue to fashion us the way He finds is best. What He finds beautiful is beautiful to me, and should be inshAllah for you too. 

 

P.s. LOVE IS BLIND. Once you find that special someone, you’re gonna find yourself thinking about them all the time, and you’re automatically going to feel and refer to this person as the most beautiful to YOU. So either way, I’m still gonna find this guy handsome in my eyes, and my eyes are all that matters right? And those metaphorical ones of God. If He made me look nice, than I sure hope I look nice on the inside. “Beautiful places, ugly people.” Keep your heart clean, real beauty shines through the physical. (girls, he’s hot but a douche, turned off, no longer good looking anymore 😉Image

 

Friday Message | Allahs Promise

BeautifyourUmmah

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

‘Satan threatens you with poverty and orders you to immorality, while Allah promises you forgiveness from Him and bounty. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing. He gives wisdom to whom He wills, and whoever has been given wisdom has certainly been given much good. And none will remember except those of understanding.’

(Surah Al-Baqarah 2:268-269)

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Rockets

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I saw you. I pretended to look indifferent cause I am on the inside but not on the outside. I don’t feel anything, it’s been years now. We’ve parted separate ways, like I asked for when I prayed.

It’s hard to force yourself to do. But it’s harder to force yourself not to feel.

I did exactly that.
I remember crying as I was so tempted to talk to you, you were at the palm of my hand, at the ready. And the thing is, despite however you felt about me, you’d respond.You wouldn’t give me a reason to hate you, or change my mind. Why did you do that?

We were so young now that I think about it. I’ve matured since then, I’ve backed off, I’ve deleted you. Now I see you approximately once a year. You’re too shy to say anything to me, too shy to give a hi or a look back. Like I’m better than you. Like I’m too good for you to talk to now, because I’ve “matured” because I’ve gotten “religious” because I’m “smarter”

It could be those things. Or distance. And years of never messing with each other. Making sarcastic comments or calling each other names.

I remember you took my journal out of my backpack, and began to flip the pages that contained your images in poetic cheesy phrases. You got a pen and pretended to write all over it. You saw me mad, and thought it was funny. I wanted my journal back. But at the same time, deep inside me, I was hoping you’d flip to a certain page, and read a few words that would silently register in your mind without me having to say anything. Even though you already knew. You forced that out of me as well. I tried to cover my feelings. I remember you walking into the room and me thinking “WHY DID I WEAR THIS UGLY OUTFIT”

You got the pen and with your grip you busted it. All over my face and favorite scarf. I got out of the car to wash it all off. You followed me and said that I still looked nice. And I told you: “oh now you say that”

And you froze in awe at the sight of my awareness between us.

I remember you, me and everyone playing football in my backyard. I had to wrestle the ball from you. Wrestle.

I can’t believe I did that.

I remember we went to the store, and our moms were ahead of us and didn’t pay attention to you pushing me in a cart. Like we were seven or something to do that. You let me roll down and I almost hit a car. But you “saved” me. You were actually scared for me, that I was going to get hurt. I worried about the car.

I see you once a year and I shy away from saying anything. I put you on the spot for doing the same, how hypocritical of me. I wonder if you ever thought about where I was, or where I was going to go. I did. About myself and about you. You’re off the rails in some things, but you have such a good and big heart. I know that for fact because little birds speak of you even when I’m not there.

I have different standards now, I’m not the same as I was. But man, a little piece of me would take you in a heart beat if it meant that we would grow for the better. But I don’t know if that chance will come. I hope it doesn’t because I think I deserve more than that. I deserve not to be lead on. I deserve to have someone who’s gonna grow with me, even if I’m the teacher. But I don’t want to teach you forever.

Rockets because that’s how I felt around you. Rockets because that’s your team, rockets because you were there and gone, rockets because I shot up without you. And I’ve never been better. Sometimes I feel like I’m falling but it’s into other things. Other feelings other people other causes that you probably wouldn’t understand.

I felt I needed to give you an ode because everyone is worth one. Even if they did you more damage than good.

Meet people in …

Meet people in such a manner that if you die, they should weep for you, and if you live, they should long for you.
-Imam Ali (AS)

Reevaluate your friends. If they aren’t doing anything to positively impact your life or they just suck then rethink who and what matters most. Your heart and time are precious things. And I see this when visiting the Muslim cemetery in my city, I knew some people and we go and pray for them. While there are others that passed and community had no idea they existed. Be good to people, pray for others, and always include Allah (swt) somehow in your conversations. It’s okay to be silly and chat with your girls, but Remembrance or Dhikr should be there with you, in your mind and heart. Your company makes a huge difference in your life, and YES you can be friends with non-Muslims. There is no such ayah or verse that says otherwise. In fact, part of your duty as a Muslim is to branch out to those who are not Muslim, as well as those who are but need a little help. For anything. 

 

Know yourself, and your limits with people. In the end, you’ll only take two things with you to death:

1) your deeds

2) Remembrance from people (and how you dealt with them/their duas)

Friday Message | Paradise

BeautifyourUmmah

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

‘And give good tidings to those who believe and do righteous deeds that they will have gardens [in Paradise] beneath which rivers flow. Whenever they are provided with a provision of fruit therefrom, they will say, “This is what we were provided with before.” And it is given to them in likeness. And they will have therein purified spouses, and they will abide therein eternally.’

(Surah Al-Baqarah 2:25)

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