ramadan mubarak 2013

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Greetings everyone, I hope you’ve all had a good weekend! Ramadan (Muslim fasting month) is dawning fast upon me and Muslims across the world (commencing tomorrow or Wednesday), I am so looking forward to it, Inshallah! Alhamdulillah, this year is rather special to me as I’ve had the great opportunity to attend several religious talks in mosques over Birmingham and London. These talks have definitely uplifted my spirits in more ways than one, I now feel fully recharged to welcome Ramadan! I blogged about my Birmingham trip last weekend in my previous post, this one is of my London visit the weekend just gone. My family and I were in the boroughs of Harrow and Hounslow in West London for the talks, but we also popped by the borough of Southall for a quick spot of shopping to pass the time.

It’s been a hectic weekend for sure especially for my little ones (with the long distance travel and summer heat of 28c) but we have benefited immensely and for that we are truly grateful. As usual I’ve selected a series of photos below so that you’re able to share my experiences. I shall be rather busy in this holy month of Ramadan, hence I don’t think I will be blogging much at all. I hope all my readers and followers will continue to visit my blog though, I now have 135 posts so that should keep you well occupied till I return to the blogging world after a month, Inshallah! Once again I would like to wish all fellow Muslims Ramadan Mubarak, have a blessed and fruitful month ahead! To the rest of you out there, take good care till we meet again!

we are in London!

we explored the area

the Harrow mosque in the background

my son in the picture now, fruits slightly pricey here

greetings from Harrow!

ready to go to the mosque now

entering the Harrow mosque compound

I feel like I’m back in the East

my girls got changed and performed their prayers before the talk

my girls got changed and performed their prayers before the talk

we came out just before dusk

off to our hotel for the night

off to Southall the next morning

absorbing the sound, sight and smell

transported to the East again

papa, please could I have that pink phone?

we need more dates for Ramadan, papa

common sight in every corner

ambling along

all that glitters!

the famous Asian sweet shop

halal food everywhere

ice-creams a must on a hot summer’s day!

fascinating sight

I just love this buzzing place! Ramadan Mubarak everyone!

I just love this buzzing place! Ramadan Mubarak everyone!

At Hounslow Mosque for another talk before heading home

 

ramadan mubarak 2012

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We’ve been fasting for almost a week now, how time flies! Although it’s a very long fast for us this year in England (18 hours), we’re able to complete each fast without too much difficulty (despite the current heat wave), that is the blessing of fasting in this holy month of Ramadan. Try fasting at any other time in the year (according to the Islamic calendar), it would not be quite as easy! I won’t attempt to write further on fasting in Ramadan, as I found a lovely enlightening post by one of my favourite fellow bloggers, the sweet couple Aneesa and Faraaz in Korea. Please read their Ramadan entry below to get a better insight on the topic (especially those who aren’t exposed to many regular Muslims like us), they’ve summed it well!

Ramadaan, Recovery & Recognition.

I just want to add how much I miss the Ramadan Bazaar (street vendors selling food for breaking fast) which mushrooms in every corner back in my homeland Malaysia during this fasting month. I’ve included several images of such Bazaars below to share with you (courtesy of Google images). I just love the buzzing atmosphere, when it comes to the food however, caution must be exercised, as some cuisine might look better than it tastes! It’s best to buy from sellers you are familiar with or those with a flock of customers queuing or hovering about. The last thing you want is to end up with a lousy meal or worse still a bout of bad tummy after a whole day’s fast! The last time I went to a Ramadan Bazaar was back in 2006, I sure do miss it! I hope someday I will be able to spend Ramadan in my homeland again, Inshallah (God willing)!

Although there’s no Ramadan Bazaars here in England, we’re still very blessed when it comes to food for breaking our fasts, as we often exchange dishes with our Muslim neighbours and friends (time for me to polish up my cooking skills really!). We also attend gatherings with friends where we break our fast together and share our food. It brings us closer to each other and cultivates generosity within ourselves. For the past week we’ve had all sorts of wonderful cuisines from our Indian and French neighbours, as well as our Pakistani and Indonesian friends. My children always look forward to the last hour before we break our fast, for I will either send them to deliver my home cooking to the neighbours, or we will hear the doorbell ring with some bearer of a delicious dish! Praise be to God for his many blessings! I leave you now with a couple of my children’s favourite Ramadan songs in Arabic, they insisted that I share them here on my blog. In the meantime, I’m off to see what to cook for Iftar this evening, Ramadan Mubarak to all Muslims who are fasting! 🙂

ramadan ramblings 3

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Honour the past. Live in the present. Create the future.

Greetings again everyone! More ramblings from me! 😉 Ramadan seems to inspire me in more ways than one, my blogging ideas certainly materialise with such ease too! My mind and heart are filled with many sweet memories; of past Ramadans, of the wonderful people I’ve met throughout my 45 years of living, who’s touched my life in different ways. I feel very blessed indeed to have many warm memories to carry with me throughout my brief worldly existence.

I want the same for my children, I hope when they get to my age (God Willing), they can also look back and smile at the beautiful memories they have, at the lovely people they’ve met. I can certainly speak for my first born. My son grew up with these 3 charming brothers, they’ve known each other since they were little. But just under a decade ago, their parents (our good friends) decided to migrate to the UAE. My son was devastated, he really loves the boys like his own brothers, especially since he hasn’t got any!

But life goes on as they say, people move on. Nonetheless, these friends of his return to England almost every year to see him, much to his joy and happiness. He remains very dear to their hearts! When I shared the video clip by Native Deen in my previous post, I was reminded of my son’s friends, I always treat them like my own. I’ve known them since they were in their nappies! They are almost as tall as their dad now (6 footer), but they are such gentle giants in character and personality just like their dad too. Their mom, one of my dearest friends in the West, will always have a special place in my heart. She is one amazing lady! Today of all days (when I was thinking of them all) she contacted me to wish me Ramadan Mubarak, they are all in America at the moment for a month’s visit. She also mentioned they will be visiting England before the end of the year!

I know my son will be over the moon when I announce it to him after he returns from school. Ramadan is about strengthening those special bonds again, don’t let it be a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind!’ To all my friends, family, relatives and acquaintances out there, I hope you know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers especially in this blessed month. I wish you peace, blessings and every happiness with your loved ones. We’re almost half-way through Ramadan now, time does fly! Till next time, take very good care everyone! ❤

my son with his 3 special friends and their younger brothers

another of my simple Iftar

My current favourite song! Alhamdulillah for the all beautiful memories and people in my life. Beauty is peace, peace is my faith!

ramadan spirit

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As mentioned in my previous post, Ramadan (the Muslim fasting month) is just round the corner. We have about a week left to go, but the Ramadan spirit can already be felt even here in England. This was what we experienced in Birmingham, the second largest city in the UK, which has one of the largest Muslim population in the country. Many of the areas there remind me of back home! We had the pleasure of visiting Birmingham again over the weekend, we were there mainly to attend a talk at a mosque. Some sort of spiritual upliftment is necessary in preparation for the blessed month dawning soon. However, we also took the opportunity to do some shopping to stock up for Ramadan. We’ve always enjoyed shopping there, simply because there’s more variety and we’re able to find many Eastern foods and goods that we like. Therefore it was a fruitful weekend in Birmingham indeed for us as you can see from the photos I’ve selected below.

Anyway, Ramadan is a time for me to increase my faith with acts of worship, a holy month to be cherished. It is a time of spiritual reflection and self-improvement, time to take stock and become a better person. Hence, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all Muslims across the world Ramadan Mubarak. And to family, relatives, friends and acquaintances reading this post, I hope you will remember my family and I in your prayers in this blessed month, as you will be in mine. To the rest of my readers and followers, take good care for now and keep smiling wherever you are! Count your blessings! 🙂

(Come share our Birmingham experience!)

outside a supermarket

let’s choose some fruits!

let’s get a melon too

dates for Ramadan

these ones are good papa

my girls

let’s stock up

let’s load the car first

off to another store

huge pots!

some new plates?

papa’s favourite aisle

girls looking at henna cones

more stuff outside

let’s get some new scarves

off for a bite to eat

clothes store

halal food everywhere

our favourite restaurant

my girls gazing across the street

people watching

my lil one

my family

off to the mosque now

hubby and I

 

eid mubarak

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RAMADAN HAS COME AND GONE, NOW IT’S TIME TO

WISH YOU EID MUBARAK / SELAMAT HARI RAYA AIDILFITRI / HAPPY EIDUL FITR

PEACE AND BLESSINGS ALWAYS!

MAAF ZAHIR BATIN

 

©iStockphoto.com/DistinctiveImages

 

HAVE A LOVELY DAY WHEREVER YOU ARE, DO SHARE MY HAPPINESS TODAY THROUGH THIS SONG!