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Friday, 19 September 2014

10 verses from Al Baqarah prevent the shaytaan from entering the house.

Ibn Mas'ud (radhi Allahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam) said, "Whoever recites 10 verses from Surah Al Baqarah in a night, then the shaytaan will not enter the house that night until the morning approaches; four from its beginning (1-4), Ayah ul Kursi and the two verses after it (255-257) and the three verses at the end (284-286), the first of which is 'And to Him belongs whatsoever is in the Heavens..'", and in another narration, "neither shaytaan or anything that he dislikes will come near him nor his family that day, and it [Al Baqarah] is not recited upon a madman except that he comes to [his senses, i.e. he recovers from his illness]."

Al Daarimi and Al Tabaraani in Al Mu'jam al Kabir. Al Haythami said in Al Majma' Al Zawa'id that the narrators in the chain are upright.



and 284-286;

Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Adhab of sneezing and yawning.

The Prophetic Sunnah mentions both sneezing and yawning and emphasises the importance of the sneezer praising Allah. If he/she is heard praising Allah by someone, they should respond with "YarhamukAllah" - May Allah have Mercy on you.

Yawns should be suppressed as best as possible and they should be covered with a hand over the mouth.

Sneezing and Yawning from the authentic narrations;

Allah loves sneezing and dislikes yawning. If someone yawns, he should put his hand over his mouth.

Abu Huraira (radhi Allahu anhu) narrated that the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam) said, "Allah loves sneezing but dislikes yawning, so if anyone of you sneezes and then praises Allah, every Muslim who hears him (praising Allah) has to say Tashmit to him (respond with YarhamukAllah). But as regards yawning, it is from satan, so if one of you yawns, he should try his best to suppress it, for when anyone of you yawns, satan laughs at him."
Sahih Al Bukhari Book 78, Hadith 250.

The etiquette between the one who sneezes and his companion.

Abu Huraira (radhi Allahu anhu) reported Allah's Messenger (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam) as saying, "When one of you sneezes, he should say: "Praise be to Allah in every circumstance," and his brother or his companion should say: "May Allah have mercy on you!" And he should then reply: "May Allah guide you and set right your affairs."
Sunan Abi Dawood Book 43, Hadith 261. Sh Al Albaani (rahimullah) classed the isnad as Saheeh.

And also;

Sneezing loudly is not from the Sunnah.

Abu Huraira (radhi Allahu anhu) narrated that when the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam) would sneeze, he would cover his face with his hand or with his garment, and muffle the sound with it.
Jami at Tirmidhi Book 43, Hadith 2969. Graded as Hasan by Darussalam.

And also;

Replying to the one who has sneezed and praised Allah is one of the rights that one Muslim has over another Muslim.

Abu Huraira (radhi Allahu anhu) reported Allah's Messenger (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam) as saying, "Six are the rights of a Muslim over another Muslim." It was said to him: Allah's Messenger, what are these? Thereupon he said, "When you meet him, offer him greetings. When he invites you to a feast, accept it. When he seeks your council, give him, and when he sneezes and says "All praise is due to Allah," you say Yarhamuk Allah (may Allah show mercy to you), and when he fails ill, visit him, and when he dies, follow his bier (funeral procession)."
Sahih Muslim Book 39, Hadith 6.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Pearl Barley and Vegetable Soup Recipe.

Asalaamu alaikum warahmatullaahi wabakatu all,

Barley was the grain most frequently consumed by the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam). It is full of vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Ibn Al Qayyim (rahimullah) suggested that the broth in which barley is boiled is more nutritious than its flour. Barley broth helps against coughing and throat roughness, stimulates the body to remove waste, cleanses the stomach, quenches the thirst and extinguishes heat. It also provides comfort and has a decomposing quality.

Ibn Al Qayyim (rahimullah) said regarding making barley water to drink that the barley should be boiled in 5 times its own amount of water in a clean pot. It should be placed on a low heat and cooked until only two fifths of the mixture remains. Then remove the cooked barley grains and use the remaining water as required.

Winter is on its way in many countries so here is my recipe for mixed vegetable soup with pearl barley. This easy to make healthy soup is delicious enjoyed with a slice of homemade bread spread with a small amount of ghee.

1 cup pearl barley, soaked for a minimum of 10 hours in enough clean water to cover, drained.
5 cups of boiling water
4x vegetable stock cubes
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion roughly chopped
3 celery stems, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Mixed vegetables of your choice - I used diced carrots, sliced green beans, sliced celery stalks, peeled potato cut into chunks, sweetcorn and courgette. You can add swiss chard, turnips, swede, cauliflower, spinach, butternut squash chunks etc.
1 carton/tin of chopped tomatoes in their natural juice.
Salt, pepper and spices to your taste.

Firstly heat the oil in a pot, add the onions, garlic and celery. Cook while stirring until the mixture turns translucent. There is no need to brown it.

Then add all the other ingredients. Bring to the boil, then cover the pot with a lid, lower the heat down to minimum and cook for 55 mins to 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Simmering soup. The aroma in my kitchen was amazing :)

The barley grains will swell and soak in a lot of the water. Be sure to add more water if the mixture becomes too thick during the cooking process.

Then it is ready to serve. This soup also freezes really well so you can enjoy it anytime.

White-stemmed swiss chard beet is a preferred vegetable to add in barley soup, particularly for the convalescing.

Umm Al-Mundhir (radhi Allahu anha) narrated that "The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam) entered upon me, while 'Ali (radhi Allahu anhu) was accompanying him, and we had a cluster of unripe dates hanging." The Messenger of Allah began eating from them, whilst 'Ali also wanted to eat from them. She said, "The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam) said to 'Ali, 'Stop, stop, for you are still recovering.' So 'Ali sat and the Prophet ate." She said, 'I made some chard and barley [soup] for them, so the Prophet said, 'O 'Ali eat from this, for indeed it will be more suitable for you.'"
Jami at Tirmidhi Book 28, Hadith 2170. The isnad is hasan (Darussalam).

It was also narrated that Sahl Ibn Sa'd (radhi Allahu anhu) said, "We used to be happy on Fridays. We had an old woman who would take the roots of chard beet and put them in her cooking pot, and she would add grains of barley. When we had prayed [Jummu'ah], we would visit her and she would bring it to us and we would be happy on Fridays because of that. We would not eat lunch or take a nap until after Jummu'ah, and, by Allah, there was no fat in it."
Bukhaari and Muslim

Reference to Healing with the Medicine of the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam). Darussalam 2003. Page 286.

Further info on Barley's benefits -

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Ibn Al Qayyim: Figs are excellent for cleansing.

Figs are a blessed fruit by which Allah Azzawajal takes an oath in the Revelation;

"By the Fig and the Olive."

[At Teen 95:1]

Ibn Al Qayyim (rahimullah) said, "Because figs were not known in the Hejaaz or Madinah, they are not mentioned in the Sunnah, but Allah the Exalted swore by them in His Book, because of their great benefits. The correct view is that what is sworn by here is the well known regular fig."

Sheikh Muhammad Mahmoud 'Abdullah says that oaths in the Qur'aan are of two types; either because of the virtue of the object, or because of its benefit. Swearing by figs and olives is because of their benefits to people. They serve as drink, food, healing and condiments. They are mentioned together because they bring complete benefits. Figs plus olives form complete nourishment which supplies man with all that he needs of nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

Ibn Al Qayyim (rahimullah) said that the best kind of fig is the one with a white skin; it clears sand from the kidneys and bladder [reducing the risk of the development of stones] and protects against poison. It is the most nourishing of all fruits. It is good for clearing the throat and chest, cleanses the liver and spleen, and purifies mucus from the stomach. Dried figs are nourishing and good for the nerves.

Figs are regarded as one of the richest fruits in vitamins; especially A, B1, B2, C and Carotene. They also contain high amounts of iron, calcium and copper. These minerals are particularly good for those affected by anaemia because they assist with the production of haemoglobin in the blood.

Reference - Healing with the Medicine of the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam). Darussalam.

Figs have a hot temperament and such fruits are better partners with yoghurt than acidic fruits like berries. Here is my recipe for fig lassi with honey and for this recipe I have used Black Bursa figs which have a purple skin because white figs are not available where I live. It is still a healthy and nutritious drink to serve to your family and guests.

Fresh figs are delicate and highly perishable. Try to pick the fruit on the same day as you are planning to serve it, also preserve it/freeze it on the same day of its purchase.

Fig [Anjeer] Lassi - serves 2-3

Freshly made fig lassi. SubhanAllah, look at it's beautiful colour.

2 cups of yoghurt, homemade yoghurt is best.
7 large ripe figs, washed and chopped roughly. You can peel them if you wish.
Crushed ice or chilled water from the fridge.
Pure honey to sweeten to your taste.

Put the figs, honey and a small amount of water in the blender and blend until it forms a smooth paste. Add the yogurt and remaining water/ice and blend until smooth.

Figs with honey in the blender. I have kept the skins on this time.

Encourage your children to get into the kitchen to help you make this drink, explaining to them how Allah has mentioned this delicious fruit in His Most Exalted Revelation, it is held in high esteem and is also available for the righteous in Jannah.

Serve it straight away to them garnished with chopped fruits, like more figs, apples or pears.


Saturday, 28 June 2014

The Drinks of the Holy Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam).

Asalaamu alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatu and Ramadhan Mubarak to all :)

In this post I wanted to share with you some of the drinks which were consumed by the Holy Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam) in his lifetime.

I would recommend everyone to introduce much more of these simple but delicious drinks to their daily diet and the diets of their families seeking the Shifa of Allah and to trade out the Pepsi, Coca Cola and fruit squashes which are loaded with sugars, preservatives, chemicals and artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners have been linked to a wide host of serious illnesses like cancer, premature death and they also have a detrimental effect on the development of the unborn foetus - click here.

There are four primary drinks mentioned by Anas (radhi Allahu anhu) and substantiated in the Saheeh Hadeeth;
"I served drink to Allah's Messenger (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam) in this cup of mine: honey, nabeez, water and milk."
Sahih Muslim Book 23, Hadith 4982.

Make a small change by giving these drinks to your family at Sehri and Iftaar, and then be encouraged to continue after Ramadhan insha'Allah.

Water and Zamzam Water.

Drinking water helps maintain the balance of body fluids. Your body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature. All of these are kept in harmony by drinking adequate amounts of pure water. Health experts recommend to drink anywhere between 1litre and 2 litres daily, depending on your level of physical activity and the weather.

There are many narrations regarding the drinking of water so I will not list them here but there are some important Sunnahs to follow regarding the etiquettes of drinking.

Drinking from the mouth of the water skin [bottle] is forbidden.

By drinking directly from the bottle, germs and contagious viruses contaminate the water and are passed onto the next drinker. We must be careful not to cause harm to another Muslim. Tipping up a bottle to the mouth may be considered as lacking humility, so by taking water in a cup and sitting down to drink with three breaths, it is more healthy, humble and modest.

Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (radhi Allahu anhu) narrated that "I heard Allah's Messenger (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam) forbidding the drinking of water by bending the mouths of water skins, i.e., drinking from the mouths directly.
Sahih Al Bukhari Vol. 7, Book 69, Hadith 530

Not breathing into the drinking vessel and not drinking from a chipped vessel.

Abu Qatada (radhi Allahu anhu) narrated that the Allah's Messenger (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam) said, "Whenever anyone of you drinks water, he should not breathe in the drinking utensil, and whenever anyone of you goes to a lavatory, he should neither touch his penis nor clean his private parts with his right hand."
Sahih Al Bukhari  : Vol. 1, Book 4, Hadith 155
And in another narration in Abi Dawood;

Abu sa’id al-Khudri narrated that the Apostle of Allah (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam) forbade drinking from the broken place (of a cup) and blowing into a drink."
Book 26, Hadith 3713. Classed as Sahih by Sh. Al Albani (rahimullah).

The etiquette of drinking Zamzam.

If you are blessed to visit Masjid Al Haraam, then you should drink as much zamzam water as you can as per the following hadeeth.

It was narrated that Muhammad bin ‘Abdur-Rahman bin Abu Bakr (radhi Allahu anhu) said:
“I was sitting with Ibn ‘Abbas (radhi Allahu anhu), and a man came to him and he [Ibn Abbas] said: ‘Where have you come from?’ He said: ‘From Zamzam.’ He said: ‘Did you drink from it as you should?’ He said: ‘How is that?’ He said: ‘When you drink from it, turn to face the Qiblah and mention the name of Allah, drink three draughts and drink your fill of it. When you have finished, then praise Allah.’ The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam) said: ‘The sign (that differentiates) between us and the hypocrites is that they do not drink their fill from Zamzam.”
Sunan Ibn Majah Book 25, Hadith 3177. Graded as Hasan by the scholars at Darussalaam.

Regarding Standing and Drinking Zamzam -


Nabeez is nothing but dates or raisins soaked overnight in water. It was often prepared in a waterskin and presented to the Holy Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam) on the following morning.

A'isha (radhi Allahu anha) narrated that dates were steeped for the Apostle of Allah (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam) in a waterskin which was tied up at the top and had a mouth. What was steeped in the morning he would drink in the evening and what was steeped in the evening he would drink in the morning.
Sunan Abi Dawood Book 26, Hadith 3702. Classed as Sahih by Sh. Al Albani (rahimullah).

Choose organic dates and raisins where possible and make their Nabeez separately from each other.

Most raisins are sprayed with sulfur compounds which act as a preservative. Make sure you rinse them thoroughly before making Nabeez with them.

Find out more about Nabeez here.

Raw Milk.

It is the opinion of some of the pious predecessors that Milk was Rasool'Allah's most preferred drink but indeed Allah knows best.

Allah's Messenger (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam) said, "While I was sleeping, I saw myself drinking (i.e. milk), and I was so contented that I saw the milk flowing through my nails. Then I gave (the milk) to `Umar." They (i.e. the companions of the Prophet) asked, "What do you interpret it?" He said, "Knowledge."
Sahih Al Bukhari  : Vol. 5, Book 57, Hadith 30

Abdullah Ibn Abbas (radhi Allahu anhu) narrated that he was in the house of Maymunah. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam) accompanied by Khalid ibn al-Walid (radhi Allahu anhu) entered. Two roasted long-tailed lizards (dabb) placed on the sticks were brought to him. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam) spat. Khalid said, "I think that you abominate it, Messenger of Allah." He said, "Yes." Then the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam) was brought milk, and he drank (it). The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam) then said, "When one of you eats food, he should say: O Allah, bless us in it, and give us food (or nourishment) better than it. When he is given milk to drink he should say: O Allah! bless us in it and give us more of it, for no food or drink satisfies like milk."

Abu Dawood said: "This is the Musaddad's version."

Sunan Abi Dawood Book 26, Hadith 3721. Classed as Hasan by Sh Al Albani (rahimullah).

The importance of organic milk sourced from cattle fed on a 100% vegetarian diet.

Abdullah Ibn Abbas (radhi Allahu anhu) narrated that the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam) prohibited to drink the milk of the animal which feeds on filth.
Sunan Abi Dawood Book 27, Hadith 3777. Classed as Sahih by Sh. Al Albani (rahimullah).

Commercial dairy cattle which produce milk for the supermarkets are injected with hormones and vaccines. Their fodder is contaminated with chemical fertilizers and pesticides and these find their way into the meat and milk which we feed to our families. Always choose organic raw milk. If raw milk is not available in your country, organic milk is better than usual milk.

Drinking Milk mixed with water is also from the Sunnah.

The authentic narrations highlight that milk mixed with water was presented to the Holy Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam) and his Companion and they both drank from it.

It was narrated that Jabir bin ‘Abdullah (radhi Allahu anhu) said: “The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam) entered upon a man among the Ansar when he was watering his garden. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam) said to him: ‘If you have any water that has been kept overnight in a water skin, then give us some to drink, otherwise we will drink by putting our mouths in the basin.’ He said: ‘I have water that has been kept in a water skin. So he went and we went with him, to the shelter, where he milked a sheep for him and (mixed it with) the water that had been kept overnight in a water skin. He drank from it, then he did likewise for his Companion who was with him.”
Sunan Ibn Majah Book 30, Hadith 3558. Graded as Saheeh by the scholars at Darussalaam.

It is from the Sunnah to rinse the mouth after drinking Milk.

Find out more about the health benefits of Milk here.

Honey syrup.

Honey syrup is nothing but honey mixed in water. You can vary the ratio of honey to water depending on your taste but always remember to use high quality raw organic honey which still has all the natural enzymes and minerals produced by the bees.

Occasionally give honey syrup to your children who are over 12 months of age instead of fruit squash or juice. Honey's natural enzymes will strengthen their digestive system and build their immunity. Also, it will not damage their teeth.

Don't buy your honey from supermarkets as they sell in vast quantities and there is a high risk of additives in the honey to bulk it out. Find your local beekeeper and buy direct from him/her. Fresh beekeeper's honey can usually be found at farmer's markets.

Locally produced honey is far better suited to your body and is arguably better assimilated because it is produced by bees who process the same pollen that you are exposed to. Over time, locally produced honey can actually cure hayfever by building up the body's exposure to the pollen which cause allergies.

Honey syrup is best made with cold water and drunk in the mornings, particularly on hot days. Let the water from the fridge stand for a short while so that it is not too cold. Vigorously mix the honey into the water with a whisk so that it dissolves.

A'isha (radhi Allahu anha) narrated that Allah's Messenger (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam) was fond of honey and sweet edible things and (it was his habit) that after finishing the `Asr prayer he would visit his wives and stay with one of them at that time. Once he went to Hafsa (radhi Allahu anha), the daughter of `Umar and stayed with her more than usual. I got jealous and asked the reason for that. I was told that a lady of her folk had given her a skin filled with honey as a present, and that she made a syrup from it and gave it to the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam) to drink (and that was the reason for the delay).
I said, "By Allah we will play a trick on him (to prevent him from doing so)." So I said to Sa`da bint Zam`a "The Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam) will approach you, and when he comes near you, say: 'Have you taken Maghafir (a bad-smelling gum)?' He will say, 'No.' Then say to him: 'Then what is this bad smell which I smell from you?' He will say to you, 'Hafsa made me drink honey syrup.' Then say: Perhaps the bees of that honey had sucked the juice of the tree of Al-`Urfut.' I shall also say the same. O you, Safiyya, say the same." Later Sa`da said, "By Allah, as soon as he (the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam)) stood at the door, I was about to say to him what you had ordered me to say because I was afraid of you." So when the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam) came near Sa`da, she said to him, "O Allah's Messenger (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam)! Have you taken Maghafir?" He said, "No." She said. "Then what is this bad smell which I detect on you?" He said, "Hafsa made me drink honey syrup." She said, "Perhaps its bees had sucked the juice of Al-`Urfut tree." When he came to me, I also said the same, and when he went to Safiyya, she also said the same. And when the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam)again went to Hafsa, she said, 'O Allah's Messenger (sallAllahu alayhi wassallam)! Shall I give you more of that drink?" He said, "I am not in need of it." Sa`da said, "By Allah, we deprived him (of it)." I said to her, "Keep quiet." '
Sahih al Bukhari - Vol. 7, Book 63, Hadith 193

More about Honey in Light of the Qur'aan and Sunnah - click here.


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