Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Eid & "eidiquettes"

Although Eid was on Monday, I thought it was necessary to make a post based on Eid. For those who may not know, Eid- ul fitr is the first day of the next Islamic month after Ramadan, and so marks the end of the month of fasting. It's a day of celebration and often described as a festival.
The Prophet SAW said:
 "Every people have a festival and this[ referring to Eid ] is our festival"
This explains the celebratory nature of the day, and so many people set off to celebrate their eid.

But what does a Muslim typically do on Eid?

There are many things to do to celebrate Eid, as long as their within Islamic bounds there is much choice. However there are certain customs followed on Eid day to stick to the Sunnah (teachings and ways) of the Prophet SAW. 
  • It is recommended that one does ghusl (a whole body ritual bath)
  • One would wear the best of their clothes as  
 This is related by ash-Shaf'i and al-Baghawi. Al-Hassan as-Sibt says: "The Messenger of Allah ordered us to wear the best clothes we could find for the two Eids and to apply the best perfume we could find and to sacrifice the best animal we could find (on Eid ul Adha [the other eid] )." *1*2
  • Before leaving  for the Eid prayer, one should eat something; the sunnah specifically mentions dates.
"The Prophet would not go out on the Eid ul Fitr until he had eaten an odd number of dates." This is related by Ahmad and al-Bukhari.
  • Praying the Eid prayer.It is recommended that every Mulsim makes an eid prayer somewhere, at sometime so that they can "witness the good and the supplications of the believers" and feel that sense of community that is at its highest throughout the  whole year.  The sunnah is to pray in an open space, rather than in the mosque when performing the eid prayer. This year, the local mosque finally got the council's permission to and so we were able to. Otherwise, the community would pray in the mosque. Additionally, this prayer is different to the other five obligatory daily prayers; for example the call to prayer wouldn't be made. *3
  • Another sunnah is taking two different routes, to and from where you prayed the Eid prayer. Abu Hurairah says: "When the Prophet went to salatul Eid, he would return through a different route." This is related by Ahmad, Muslim, and at-Tirmidhi.
After the Eid prayer is when you're free to do whatever it is that comes under your interoetation of 'celebrate'. Its good to call your family who may be distant, and give gifts to family and friends to strengthen relations, also eating is a good thing:

Ahmad and Muslim record from Nubaishah that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "The days of tashriq (i.e., the days in which the Eid is celebrated) are days of eating and drinking and of remembering Allah, the Exalted."
I spent my Eid at my local mosque's 'Eid the park'. This is a term normally used to describe a fun fair set up for Eid day, especially for the children to optimise the fun element of the day. I'm not really a theme park person, but I still enjoyed myself. It was really nice seeing my younger sisters and friends having fun on rides, moreover seeing the whole community having fun together.

(The weather wasn't helpful but that's expected of London and the UK.)

For my Muslim brothers and sisters out there, I pray that Allah accepts our fasts of Ramadan, and Eid Mubarak!


Just if this whole format was unclear, this is how a typical Hadith- a saying of the Prophet -  would be laid out. In pink you have the companion that narrated the Hadith initially, who scholars would trace the Hadith back to. In blue the actual words of the Prophet SAW from which the teaching is derived. In yellow the last people who categorise the hadiths and determine validity and other technical stuff. I literally copied and pasted the hadiths so some may not have the beginning or the end.

*2 I have a love-hate relationship with clothes, but Eid day should be a love day. I loved what my mother hurriedly made me for Eid. Traditional lace peplum blouse, with a skirt. On a love day I tend to want to take photos. I definetly took photos:

Were these natural shots? Half-so, but I know I'm such a poser for a camera at times so maybe

selfies : 

The last one (this one) is that popular pose, had to do it!
*3 Eid day is a day to be punctual. If you're not punctual normally be so on Eid day especially if you have to catch an early prayer before going to work. Many prayers are done my one mosque community just so you have choice- once an hour from 7 to maybe 11, but this year only two occurred because we assumed everyone would make the 10 o'clock in the field. Wrong! People were strolling in 20 minutes late,delaying the prayer because the imam pitied them,  and thus getting us soaked in the early morning showers. I was slightly annoyed, but in retrospect it was quite funny, no one got hurt, and it was a loving thing to do. Despite unpunctuality being bad, the whole thing manifested that sense of community  that is so imminent on Eid. Lovely.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Henna/mehndi madness

Eid is fast approaching- either tomorrow or Tuesday- and so as the custom follows a lot of people are out to get their henna/mehndi done*1.

I have always loved henna;the intricacy in some designs are just beautiful, but It seems this year henna has become increasingly popular as stars like Rihanna indulge in the trend. Below are some pictures of henna designs I like:
The henna inspired tattoo was a definite improvement to whatever Rihanna tried before.*2

This was popular on twitter. Creative and pretty
Pretty sure the jewel in the middle is just for the photo and doesn't actually stay there. The detail is great here
Black henna is great for people who are darker, lovely and bold.

The henna cuff is a new popular trend, very nice though especially with the finger detail.

I don't know how to describe this other than amazing. I've come to realise that good nails aid the look. 

Borders of the hand and feet are cute.

Bridal henna is always a show-stopper, so so beautiful. It must take patience, and a lot of skill from the artists, it's amazing work.

Imagine smudging this after this was done. Lol

All the way up her leg, Lovely. 

Henna+lace was a great idea. Dainty look of the feet here

The bangles and hand pieces are a bonus to the beautiful henna here.

As creative as one can be there are limits, the image below is the reason why I say so:

I saw this and said "ew" . Louis Vuitton is all good and great but not as a henna design. Did he create your hand or do the henna maybe? Just unnecessary. 

I like the colour of henna dyed hair; it brightens the hair and makes it look more alive *3. I've been wanting to do dye my hair with henna for a while but I have been discouraged by the scare stories (chunks in hair faking out,hair being overly dry and damaged etc), which I can't afford to happen to my hair. Maybe I'll research it to it more, in the meantime though I'll gaze at images like these and hope.

Below is an image of henna done by a friend. It was so beautiful the camera does it ill-justice.

Nonetheless henna is something I really like and would so much love to be able to do for myself and others. 

Teach me how to do henna? Do my henna pretty, pretty please?

Side notes 

*1 is it henna, or mehndi? I think it's an Arab vs Indian thing, and is not so serious, but recently I've been confused as to what to say. I grew up with henna, and so 'henna' is etched into my brain, but Indian friends around me say mehndi and so I'm left with two names for the one thing.

*2 Rihanna is one of the testimonials I'll use to never get a tattoo. Religious reasons of not permanently altering/ damaging the body aside, tattoos will forever be a no-go purely because of their permanence . I love how for a week or two- maybe more- you can have one design,  then switch to another. If your design fails, you have more than a second chance. However with a tattoo it's game over from the word go, and you'll forever have the design there on your body. I'm the type of person who'll get one, and then the next day will wake up and think " why on earth did I do this?". I'll then regret the fact I did it so why bother? Laser removal would then be a pain and the whole process a waste if time and money. A definite no.

*3 Ironic how hair is actually dead and not alive at all. The expression is a familiar one so I used it. You knew what I meant.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Wanderlust Wednesday: Italia

( First, I want to make it clear that I'm aware its not Wednesday. This post was for yesterday, and I liked the alliteration so I kept the post title)

I have a number of places that I'd like to travel to, but this weeks wanderlust post is dedicated to Italy.

Why Italy?

I've been to Italy one or twice before, but I don't quite remember when, or where. All I remember is the warm climate, the beautiful blue of the sea, the sun glowing, and a McDonald's branch that we must
 have been to...(no idea where that memory came from). Either way, this single memory of the place has me wanting to go back and experience it all over again.

Every country has features about it that makes it individual. For me, the Mediterranean aspect of the country makes Italy a place to go. The colours that you associate with the place are bright but not too vibrant, attracting people like myself to the country. Some colours include the Mediterranean blue- , the bright red, yellow, white, greens and that dusty, beige colour that are all found in the food and the environment. I am a person who is quite visual, and so this is an influencing factor.
 Additionally, I love how the culture of the country has kept even through modernisation of the place making Italy a place that is distinct amongst other European countries. There are several landmarks to visit, but above that even the streets and houses have a distinct taste of Italy in their design; the integrated culture in the landscape makes Italy such a beautiful place.

If I ever got the chance I would definitely go with a group of friends, about for or five of us - probably for a European break of some sort. I would need to go with people who would fully take on the role of being a tourist, and would want to embrace the Mediterranean vibes and culture, this means taking lots of photos (with a high quality camera*1) like these below:


Naples somewhere...I think
I love photos like this but how to people get up there?)

Love these colourful buildings

Gondola riding would be a great way to travel through Venice, despite the fact that I dislike water -travelling, I think it would be a great experience.
Gondolas through Venice

Again, how did the photographer get up here? Lovely photo though

Leaning Tower of Pisa
Taking a funny photo like this would be an absolute must. Who wouldn't do this at the Leaning Tower of Pisa? 

The birds... they will have to go, but Duomo di Milano is definitely one for a the photos.
Other than the landmarks and architecture, another reason why Italy is a desirable destinations is the food.*2 I would make sure that my friends and I eat as much of their food as possible; delicacies from the local markets, and restaurants as many nights as possible. Fresh pasta, fresh pizza, fresh salad, Italian cheese, fresh fish dishes, and ice-cream!*3 I would take pictures of those too because they certainly add to a holiday experience. 


Cute, and yummy again
This is sweet, a restaurant like this would be a nice place for a lunch
I can just imagine this piping hot and soft when cut...yum one more
Love a bit of prawns, this spaghetti dish looks good
I think these are oysters? Never had them but I think they would be nice in this dish
oysters again, with a bit of prawn and pasta
 Cheesy..literally lol
Recently, I kindled my like for cheese after a long period of avoiding it *4. Cheese-tasting, as odd as it sounds, would be something to do.

Whatever is in this salad looks good, a yes from me

Again, a yes from Sawda
Salad would be necessary because I would eat quite a bit. It balances the diet out too.*5

Love the fruit within the ice cream.

I would have several scoops for dessert, like this.
An Italian IceCream parlour would be on the list of places to go

Take me to Italy? Pretty, pretty please?