Monday, October 14, 2013

Happy Eidul Adha Al Mubaraq

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On this day of Hajj which is the day of Eid-ul-Adha or the day of sacrifice, millions of Muslims around the globe, whether in Hajj or not, will be commemorating the event of the trial of Ibrahim and his son Ismail and will be offering their sacrificial animals or Udhiya and Qurbani, following the example of their forefather Ibrahim alaihi-s-salam.

This day by far is the most blessed and virtuous day of the entire year. The Messenger of Allah(pbuh) said:

(إنَّ أَعْظَمَ اْلأيَّامِ عِنْدَ الله تبارك وتعالى يَوْمُ النَّحْرِ ثُمَّ يَوْمُ الْقَرِّ)

“The best day with Allah is Yawm-un-Nahr, the day of sacrifice and then Yum-al-Qarr (the day that follows, when the pilgrims reside in the camps of Mina for worship).” (Ahmad, Abu Dawood and an-Nasa’iee)

It is considered so virtuous because of the amount and variety of acts of worship offered on that day by the millions of pilgrims and Muslims around the world.

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Eidul Adha falls on the 10th day of the 12th month (Dhul Hijjah) of the Islamic calendar. This is the day when the pilgrims gather in Makkah by the millions, after having completed many of the essential rites of Hajj, out of ihram and out of the restrictions that go with ihram.

Ihram (which consists of two unstitched pieces of white cloth for men and any modest dress for women) symbolizes kafan, the white sheet in which the dead are wrapped in preparation of burial. The restrictions associated with ihram further reinforce this symbolism. When a pilgrim wears ihram on or before the 8th of Dhul Hijjah he or she symbolically passes to the OTHER SIDE (of the grave) and when on the 10th of Dhul Hijjah he or she comes out of ihram it is like a return to THIS SIDE. At this point the rest of the Ummah which had stayed behind on THIS SIDE joins the pilgrims through the festivities of `Eid Al-Adha.

Thus Eidul Adha is linked with Hajj, the "fifth pillar" of Islam just as Eidul Fitr is linked with fasting, the "fourth pillar". But unlike Eidul Fitr which marks the end of fasting, `Eidul Adha does not mark the end of Hajj, which continues until the 12th or 13th of Dhul Hijjah, two or three days after the start of `Eidul Adha. `Eidul Adha is a kind of joining in Hajj by those who could not make it to Makkah.

This "joining in" is done in two ways.

First, through Eid prayers. Just as the pilgrims have gathered in Makkah for remembering Allah in various ways, so also the rest of the Muslims gather in large numbers in their own cities and remember Allah through special prayers.

Second, through sacrificing an animal. Just as many pilgrims (i.e. those that perform Hajj at-Tamattu`, one of three types of Hajj) sacrifice an animal on 10th, 11th or 12th of Dhul Hijjah, so also the Muslims the world over perform sacrifices on one or the other of the same three days. All other rites of Hajj are bound with specific places, e.g. Tawaf with the Ka`bah and Sa`ei with the hills of Safa and Marwah. But getting together and remembering Allah through prayers and Takbirs (calling 'God is greater than anything else) and making sacrificial offerings is not so bound to any place. So the Muslims all over the world "join in" Hajj through these two types of actions.

Nahr,(sacrifice) as we all know, commemorates the exemplary manifestation of obedience and love shown to God by the prophet Ibrahim when he bowed to God's command and prepared himself to sacrifice the dearest thing he had in his life, his son Ismail. Such surrender to the will of God and love for Him is expected not just of prophets but of all believers, since all believers are expected to be "Muslims", meaning those who surrender their wills to God and all believers are expected to "love God most of all" (2:165). Nahr is meant to remind us this stage of Islam and iman (inner conviction), if not to make us strive to reach it.

Nahr also commemorates the mercy and love that God showed to Ibrahim when He stopped him before he actually sacrificed his most beloved son. This mercy and love of God for prophet Ibrahim is a manifestation of the mercy and love that He has for man generally and Nahr celebrates it.

I hope the above overview of Eidul Adha or Yawm-un-Nahr, the day of sacrife has shed some light on what is Eidul Adha. On this auspicious day, I'd like to wish my Muslim friends and relatives a happy and joyous Eidul Adha. May Allah bless us all with the best of characters in the footsteps of the prophets and grant us all understanding and wisdom of the people of the middle path, for indeed Allah forbids extremism.

I leave you with a quote:

"Modesty begins in the heart, travels through the mind, and is shown on the body. All three aspects of humility are totally necessary: sacrifice, submission, and physical modesty." - Abdel Rahman Murphy

Assalamualaikum and take care of yourselves.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Penang Mee Curry/Mee Kari Penang

Penang mee kari photo 7c1a81aa-04c4-4d35-814b-d058035edc49.jpg
photo: Penang Mee Curry

Assalamualaikum and hi to my Readers,
Today's dish is called Penang Mee Curry, a very popular street hawker food originating; as the name indicates; from Penang. The dish requires patience to get the best gravy. Why not try this dish for the coming Eidul Adha, which is in a few days time.So here's the video.

Masakan untuk hari ini ialah Mee Kari Penang. Makanan warung jalanan yang amat popular berasal dari Pulau Pinang. Cubalah hidangan ini di Eidul Adha nanti yang tidak beberapa hari lagi.

Recipe for/Resepi untuk:
Penang Mee Curry/Mee Kari Penang

A) Mee and toppings/Mee dan bahan hiasan

400gm yellow noodle/mee
400gm rice vermicilli/meehoon
1 cup/cawan bean sprouts/tauge
3 pcs/keping chicken breast/dada ayam (boil and shred to small pcs/rebus dan carik2kan)
2 cups/cawan cockles/kerang (boil and remove flesh/rebus dan ambil isinya)
2pcs/keping fish cake (blanch and cut to small pcs/celur dan hiris nipis)
1 cup/cawan prawns/udang (shelled and boil/buang kulit dan direbus)

B)chilly oil/sambal minyak
refer to video on chilly oil in the Beginners' page
rujuk video mengenai sambal berminyak didalam muka surat Beginners.

chilly oil photo b281d902-1c38-4cdb-b97b-cfb93df53391.jpg
photo: Chilly Oil

C)Chilly paste/Cili Kisar
20 pcs/biji dried red chillies/cili kering (boil/rebus)
3 pcs/biji fresh chillies/cili merah
1 tbs/sb shrimp paste/belacan
5 pcs/biji shallots/bawang kecil
Blend all with 1/4 cup of water

D) Spices/Rempah
2 tbs/sb coriander powder/serbuk ketumbar
2 pcs/batang lemon grass/serai (cut into small pcs and pound or grind/tumbuk atau kisar)
1 in galaghal/lengkuas (cut into small pcs and pound or grind/tumbuk atau kisar)
6 pcs/biji candle nut/buah keras (pound/tumbuk)
3 tbs/sb brown sugar/gula merah
1 tbs/sb salt/garam
Mix all spices into the chilli paste
Adun semua rempah kedalam cili kisar

1/2 cup/cawan oil/minyak
6 pcs/keping dried tofu/tofu kering
40 pcs/biki fish balls/bebola ikan
1 litre prawn stock/air rebusan udang
2 cups/cawan thick coconut milk/santan pekat
1/2 cup/cawan dried prawns/udang kering (soak in warm water and grind/rendam dlm air suam dan ditumbuk)
kuah mee kari photo c3fdbc53-75f1-479f-9cc1-8cc0b7aef853.jpg
photo: Penang Mee Cury Gravy


1) Heat oil fry the chilli mixture unti oil separates
Panaskan minyak dan tumis sehingga pecah minyak

2) Add the pounded dried shrimps,fry for half minute or so
Masukkan udang kering yg sudah ditumbuk tadi,dan tumis lagi sekejap sekadar setengah minit.

3) Add a little bit of the stock,stir and add in the sugar and salt.Stir.let the sugar dissolve.
Masukkan sedikit air rebusan udang,garam dan gula.Kacau sehingga gula hancur.

4) Now add a bit of the coconut milk and a bit more of the stock and let it boil.
Tambahkan sedikit lagi santan dan air rebusan udang dan biarkan menggelegak

5) When the gravy boils add a bit more of the coconut milk and the stock. Let it boils and keep repeating the process until all the 2 cups of coconut milk and 1 litre of stock are finished.In the process don't close the pot. Stir constantly.
Bila kuah menggelegak masukkan sedikit lagi santan dan air rebusan udang.Biarkan menggelegak.Ulangi proses ini sehingga habis kesemua 2 cawan santan dan 1 liter air rebusan udang.Kacau selalu dan jangan tutup periuk.

6) Add the fish ball and dried tofu.Let it boils.Taste the gravy for salt and sugar.Ready to serve.
Masukkan bebola ikan dan tofu kering.Biarkan menggelegak.Rasa masin dan manis kuah.Siap untuk dihidang.

Suggested servings/Cara Menghidang
1) Place noodles and bean sprouts in a bowl.Pour in the gravy.Garnish with cockles,shredded chicken,prawns and fish cake.Serve the chilly oil in a separate small bowl/plate.
Letak mee dan taugeh didlm mangkuk.Tuang kuah.Hias dengan ayam,kerang,fish cake dan udang.Letak sambal minyak didlm mangkuk kecil berasingan.

Bon appetit.

Curry Mee photo 0b16872a-0245-4692-849d-f646195a0791.jpg
Photo: Penang Mee Curry

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Frankly I am quite troubled and at other times simply annoyed by the misconception of the word Jihad. Understandly the confusion and misconception are brought about by misinformation and at times pure ignorance.It's interesting to note how the word that involves the Muslims is being explained away by non Muslims like the media,Rabbis,preachers and Orientalists not to mention Sheikh Google etc. If we want to talk cars we speak to our mechanics, about our pets we speak to our vet.So why on earth can't we ask practicing Muslims and their scholars about Islam particularly Jihad.

Scholars have categorise Jihad into 13 categories and one of them is military. And that is apparently the one that's problematic to the western world.When we are oppressed and invaded, our home and lands are plundered and women raped and people are murdered we are told to do the honorable thing, i.e stand and fight.I don't see the problem there unless being a coward is honorable. You slap my right cheek,am not going to give you my left cheek and say,here have a go and enjoy yourself.
Even so Muslims are govern by the rules of engagement.Non-combatant,women,children,priests,places of worship are not to be harmed.We are told to seek peace and war should always be the last resort.Point to note, no militia groups or vigilantes are authorised to declare peace and war. Military Jihad has to be declared by the government of the day of the land that's being invaded or by it's allies if help are asked for.No rag tag group can do that.Having said that,I'd also like to point out that any actions that have caused civilian casualties by militia groups is therefore not Jihad.In addition, to commit suicide is strictly prohibited.We don't subscribe to Machiavellian's principle, the ends justify the means.
If you are intrested in the truth about Jihad, seek explanation from the right source. This topic is deep.Especially the one that pertains to the struggle of the Nafs within oneself.It's a lifelong struggle.By the way the word for military struggle is not Jihad, it's Qital. Nowhere in the Quran Jihad is refered to as Holy War. War in Arabic is Harb ul Muqaddasa. The Quran uses the term Qital to refer to the use of force as a conditional permissibility.
I have created a page on Jihad and it is my sincere hope that the page helps to lift the fog on this issue.

Assalamualaikum and peace.



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