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Archive for the tag “Ramadan”

Ramadan Offer: Win a Free Subscription with OSN!


We are super-excited to share this awesome giveaway with our very special Jeddah Blog readers.

Hold your breath and read on…

Have you ever wanted to have the freedom to watch what you like, when you like via 150 television channels?

OSN, the region’s leading entertainment network, is offering its customers the opportunity to enjoy 27 unmissable series for the whole family this Holy Month of Ramadan.

Click on the link below for a chance to WIN a 6 month subscription package with OSN, the Middle East’s leading entertainment network, in Ramadan.

Click here to enter the OSN

Competition

OSN’s new GeitItAll™ bundle offers ultimate access to all the best premium, not-to-miss Ramadan series, through OSN’s Plus HD Box that allows subscribers to record, pause and rewind live TV.

OSN’s extensive Ramadan line-up is also available on OSN Play and On Demand and will see the hugely popular Ottoman epic drama series Kösem Sultan, exclusive to OSN, starring award-winning actress, Nurgül Yesilçay.

Ard Jaw

Egyptian drama on OSN Ya Hala Al Oula HD also features an unbeatable line-up of talent that includes Karim Abdel Aziz in Al Zaybak; Ghada Abdel Razik in Ard Jaw and Donia Sameer Ghanem in Fi El Lala Land. Hayat Al-Fahd performs in gripping Gulf drama Rummana.

Fe Al Lala Land

Showing on OSN’s Alfa package will be a collection of fantastic Ramadan series. The line-up includes El Hisab Yigma’a starring Yousra and Khalsana Be Shaiaka starring Ahmed Mekky. A glittering line up of stars come together in Li Aala Sie’r featuring Nelly Karim, Ahmed Fahmy and Zeina, while Amr Saad and Reham Hagag are the leading duo in Wada’ Amni. Not to be missed is Halawt El Donia starring Hind Sabry and Dafer Abdeen and Harbana Minha with Yasmine Abd El Aziz.

Al Zaebak

For the ART series, fans can catch Taim Hassan in Al Haiba as well as Qanadeel Al Oshaq featuring the ever glamorous Cyrine Abdel Nour and La Totfi Al Shams with the popular Amina Khalil.

With OSN Series Link, viewers can take control of their entertainment, ensuring they never miss a moment – recording the entire series in just two simple steps. For more information, visit:  GetItAll™ Bundle and OSN Play.

Taking your Pet Abroad – the Complete Guide


Summer has already begun. Many people have left for vacation, and still more will be ready to head out to cooler pastures after Ramadan. If you would prefer your pet to stay in the Kingdom, then appropriate arrangements must be made. However, if you would like to take your pet along with you, then the idea of travelling abroad with your pet can be quite overwhelming. How much would it cost? How soon should I start processing the papers? Will my pet be onboard with me? What documents do I need?  With the long list of what might seem like a never-ending endeavour, Sonja Svensek sheds some light on what pet owners should do if they wish to take their pet abroad.

Check Whether your Pet will be Allowed to Fly with You

The first thing to bear in mind is that different countries have different rules and regulations regarding the import of a pet.  Check online what is required as rules do change. Note that some exotic animals will not be allowed into specific countries. Parrots for example cannot be brought into Saudi Arabia, and certain animals are prohibited into the EU. Once you have been informed of the countries’ regulations, check with the airline you are flying with to  enquire about cost and whether you can take your pet onboard with you. Generally pets (weighing no more than 6 kilos) can be taken on board with you on most airlines as long as its carrier meets the airlines standards and can be put under the seat in front of you. Some airlines will allow small dogs onboard with you too, but others will not. 

Import Permits

If you are travelling to Europe, countries will require a blood test which should be done at least 3 months before your departure. This is why planning ahead is key-which depends on the destination you are flying to. Some counties will not allow your pet entry unless you show proof of an Import permit which is obtained by a vet in the country you are going to. This means having to research a local vet to fill out forms and send you the original for you to sign via courier mail post. Alternatively you can have a friend or relative pick this up and meet you at the airport to present this import permit. If this is required by law, and you don’t have one, your pet will be held in quarantine until you can present one.

You will need to get your pet microchipped.

Health Certificates

For most countries, your pet needs to be micro chipped and a rabies shot needs to be recent usually within the last 6 months before departure.  A week before you travel, (and not before) you need to obtain a Health certificate from your vet which confirms your pet’s health and that it is fit for travel and that your pet doesn’t have any health issues which would stop it from being allowed into the country. A health certificate usually costs between SR 100-200 from your local vet.

Get the Go Ahead from the Ministry of Agriculture

Once you have the health certificate in hand, head to the Ministry of Agriculture with your pet. It is a new regulation where they require to see your pet. It is a relatively straight forward procedure where a MOA representative will stamp and issue you an Export permit. 24 hours before your flight, head to the customs department at the airport which will issue you with a final export approval. It is always a good idea to inform the airline you are flying with, that you are traveling with a pet, and on the day of your departure to head to the airport at least 3-4 hours prior to your flight to ensure that all goes smoothly.

Your pet may be allowed in the cabin with you.

Boarding the Plane

If flying with Saudi Airlines, the check-in counter will direct you to the appropriate counter to pay for your pet and obtain an additional form which they will help you fill it out. Saudia Airlines charges SR 480 for a cat which is their standard fee however this could be subject to change. Generally cats do not travel well. So it is advised not to feed your cat on the morning of your flight.  Regardless of whether your cat is in the cargo hold or with you in the cabin, have a cloth over the carrier so your cat doesn’t get even more stressed by seeing all the people and movements around. Also ensure your cat carrier has a label with your name and address on it.  If you know your cat will act very stressed and constantly meow and cause disturbances, you might want to consider a mild tranquilizer before travelling. Check with your vet first.

Disembarking

Once you arrive at your destination, no matter how tempting it is to let your pet our of its carrier, only do so in the safety of your home. Give them time to adjust.

Should I ask the Vet to take care of all the Paperwork?

Some vets offer the service of taking care of all the paper work for you at high cost between SR 1500-3000 when you can do so for free if you plan ahead and manage your time in advance. Do seek your vets advice to assist you whenever possible as they can talk you through what is required and when. Its also beneficial to join animal welfare organization groups online where you can network with people who have been through the experience and could give you first hand advice and tips on making it easier for you. Some say certain airlines are better at handling pets than others, so it’s suggested to get advice from those who have flown with their pets abroad.

Give yourself Time to Plan

You hear many stories of people happily travelling with their pet around the world on numerous occasions. The bottom line is you CAN travel with your pet, just do a little research beforehand to learn what is needed and plan ahead.  If time is not on your side, you can ask a veterinary clinic to assist you with boarding your pet and arranging the papers and flight arrangements to send you your pet via cargo hold. Some people have used a relocation agency to take care of all papers which can be helpful for those who don’t have time, but be warned that this service can be quite costly.

Though it might seem like a long process to get your pet’s travel documents sorted, if you plan ahead and make the necessary arrangements well in advance, you will lower any risk of having missed something important that is needed for your pet to travel.

For further information you might find the following articles helpful:

 General information and useful tips about travelling with your cat

 If taking a pet to the United Kingdom

 If travelling with your pet to the States 

Join PIN Care group to network with fellow pet travellers

Ramadan Recipe – Crispy Chicken


We wish Ramadan Kareem to all of our readers!

Ramadan is a blessed and holy month, a time of worship, contemplation, self-reflection and of submission. However, it is also a month of sharing and caring, community and festivity.

In addition to focusing on our fasts and our prayers, at the end of the day we look forward to breaking our fast. Jeddah Blog will be bringing you some exciting new recipes, and our first contribution is from Asma and Aisha, two sisters with a passion for food, who blog at Jet Set Eat. Their unique Crispy Chicken recipe uses traditional Ramadan ingredients of samosa leaves and kunafa dough, but in a very different way.

Do try the recipe and let us know how it turns out.

Crispy Chicken

Crispy Chicken Recipe for Jeddah Blog

Crispy Chicken

Ingredients

500g boneless chicken, cut into 2 inch long strips.

2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

2 tbsp garlic paste

2 eggs

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp tandoori masala powder

Chilli flakes (optional)

1 tbsp white pepper powder

1 pinch red edible food colour

Salt to taste

3 tbsp refined flour

2 tbsp cornflour

Thinly sliced samosa leaves or kunafah dough (hair)

Oil to deep fry

 

Directions

1. Marinate the chicken in sweet chilli sauce, garlic paste, eggs, soy sauce, tandoori masala, chilli flakes, white pepper, red colour and salt for 2 hours.

2. Mix refined flour and cornflour in the chicken marinade and leave for 15 mins.

3. Spread the samosa leaves or kunafa dough (hair) on a plate and roll the marinated chicken in it. Press well with hands so it sticks to the chicken.

4. Heat sufficient oil in a wok and deep fry the chicken until crisp and cooked from inside. Serve with your favourite sauce.

You can follow Jet Set Eat on Instagram: @jet.set.eat

Jeddah is Buzzing in the Lead Up to Ramadan


As Jeddah’s weather has begun to heat up with temperatures hovering around 36C or 97F, so has the atmosphere in Ramadan.  With Arab schools out for the year and most international schools wrapping up this week (Conti still has a week to go), Ramadan is about to go into full swing. Delina Partadiredja from amuslima.com writes today’s guest blog on the current excitement and anticipation of Ramadan, and gives us lots of practical tips on what to do if one is not fasting, what to be aware of especially during Ramadan and how to take advantage of certain goods available only in this festive month.

Ramadan in Jeddah 2015

A wide variety of dates become available during Ramadan.

The Islamic months are based on the Lunar calendar, so the time of year when Ramadan falls changes from year to year, moving back 11 days each year.  This year we are very thankful that although it will be a long and hot day, our children will be able to enjoy Ramadan without the burdens of school and the unbearable heat.

While around the city, several large supermarkets around Jeddah, in anticipation of Ramadan have already started the festivities.  Large signs greet shoppers with Ramadan Kareem and Ramadan Mubarak wishing customers a blessed fast. Colourful ornaments fill the stores and shopping areas.  You should take a moment to enjoy these beautiful decorations!

For those who are new to Jeddah, or are staying in Jeddah for the first time during Ramadan, you may be wondering what is different about this month in comparison to other months on the Islamic calendar. Ramadan (pronounced Ramzan in the Indian subcontinent) is the month where Muslims around the world abstain from food and water from dawn until dusk.  This is the time of abstinence, forgiveness, repentance and patience.  As this is a blessed time, many Muslims from around the world are interested to come for Umrah (the small pilgrimage) to enjoy fasting and praying in Makkah and Madinah.  You may find there is an influx in traffic and visitors from around the world so when venturing out be sure to wear cool clothes, pack water, ice, and wear comfortable shoes.  You may also want to check with the local mosques to find out when prayer starts and ends so that you may avoid traffic.

As a non-Muslim who is not fasting, what should I do?

  • As a mark of respect, please eat and drink indoors and in the confines of your home. Individual muslims usually do not mind if you eat or drink in front of them while they are fasting, but it is considered respectful not to do so.
  • You may want to shift shopping hours to after dhuhur time (around 1pm) mostly until 11 pm where you will find more people and shops open during this time
  • Some of the best dates and sweets are to be found during this time so stock up!
  • This is the time to shop for clothes and other cool things. — You may want to check out deals here
  • For those who are Muslim this is a great time to complete your Umrah.  You may want to check out this travel group.

Heads up!

  • There are many cool items that are for sale only during the time of Ramadan.  These include beautiful lanterns from Egypt.  The cost will vary but averaging around SR 200 + per piece.  Why not join in on the festivities and get one for your own home!
  • As Ramadan is a fasting month, the demand for food actually increases exponentially which in turns drives up the cost of food.  Prices are expected to increase by 30% for typical groceries. For example: SR 5.95/kg is already SR 7.95/kg, lemons were SR 5/kg but now are SR 11/kg, potatoes were SR 3.95/kg and have now become SR 4.95/kg. Meat will see a price hike of about 15%.  You may want to hold off on buying Camel meat as there has been a recent outbreak of MERS affecting camel meat.  The Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) is working hard to put a cap on rising food prices. You can check out prices here

Finally, we at amuslima.com wish you and your family a blessed, safe and relaxed Ramadan.

An Evening in the Company of Nouman Ali Khan


Well-known and loved Islamic speaker Nouman Ali Khan was in Jeddah last week and spoke to a select audience at a local mosque in the run up to Ramadan. JB reader Zainab binte Shahid and Jeddah Blog writer Haris Ali were lucky to be present among the listeners, and they sent us their reviews of the event.

Eloquent and charismatic, Nouman Ali Khan.

Haris Ali

Being Nouman Ali Khan’s biggest fan (I graciously share this position with a several hundred million or so other Muslims), it felt surreal to walk into the lecture hall of the Islamic Education Foundation, and to see the Islamic Speaker in the flesh – in front of my eyes. It is difficult to explain; he surpassed my expectation in terms of his personality, sense of humour and warmth. Witnessing the Ustadh standing at the Mimbar, ready to deliver his speech on the topic of Ramadan, in my heart indeed, I felt I knew him personally.

His judiciously crafted words and the trustworthiness and sincerity in his voice was just the same as I had heard in his YouTube videos in my free time. After listening to his lectures online, I was so keen to understand and apply the concepts in my life, and to strengthen my Ibadah and Yaqeen.  I felt a greater insight into comprehending the meaningfulness of Allah Almighty’s words in the Qur’an, and the explanations of the Qur’anic stories were given so clearly and authentically, that any person would be keen to listen. These are the attributes that have lead a great many hearts young and old – to their settlement, in a world filled with so many unsettling questions.

Nouman Ali Khan speaking about Islam

Nouman Ali Khan speaking to the gathering at the IEF Centre.

Soon into the talk I realized that throughout my run of listening to the Ustadh speak, I had always been so moved by his knowledge and eloquence in Islamic Principles, true Muslim character, and how the Muslim community in particular must act with each other and with those outside it.

He spoke particularly on the occasion, about giving proper Da’wah to non-Muslims, inviting them to Islam through justice and reason, as Islam was a gift to us by our Lord, the Creator, and so it is our duty to respectfully and honestly propagate the True Word of the Merciful Creator, the Eternal to those who are but lost and in a deep abyss of darkness. The Ustadh conveyed, that we need not have endless resources, but only the assurance in our hearts from the Lord, Most Merciful to truly convey the message. As he quoted the Prophet Moses in the Quran, faced with the difficult task of confronting the cruel and self-important tyrant, the Pharaoh:

رَبِّ اشْرَحْ لِي صَدْرِي وَيَسِّرْ لِي أَمْرِي وَاحْلُلْ عُقْدَةً مِنْ لِسَانِي يَفْقَهُوا قَوْلِي

Rabb-ishrah li sadri, wa yassir li ‘amri, Wah-lul ‘uqdatam-min-li-saani, Yaf-qahuu qawlii

O my Lord! Open for me my chest (grant me self-confidence, contentment, and boldness); Ease my task for me; And remove the impediment from my speech, so they may understand what I say
[Surah Ta-Ha; 20:25-28]

It was indeed a wonderful speech Mashaa’Allah, from Nouman Ali Khan (may Allah grant him and his family Paradise), telling us not to solely focus on ourselves this coming Ramadan the most blessed month of the Qur’an’s revelation, but to spread the brilliant message of Islam, and that is not difficult to do so, as we are in desperate need to ask Allah to ‘open our chests’ and so our task shall be made easy for us Inshaa Allah.

Nouman Ali Khan, inspiring generations.

Zainab binte Shahid

Assalam O Alaikum. My dream, no our dream just came true!! Our Beloved Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan aka NAK was here in Jeddah, and by the grace of Allah I got a chance to visit one of his lectures. Approximately one thousand people attended the event and the whole crowd was excited; I even felt butterflies.

As for those who aren’t familiar with Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan’s work, he is the founder, CEO And lead instructor at Bayyinah Institute, in Dallas.

He discussed topics regarding Ramadan, Dawah and our relationship with the Qur’an with the reference of Surah Taha and Surah Al-Kahf and their linguistic miracles.

He first told the story of Musa (a.s.) which is in Surah Taha. When Musa (a.s.) was sent to the Pharaoh to deliver the message of Allah (swt), Musa (a.s.) was worried that he would be unsuccessful due to the weight of the duty, but he took refuge in the vast grace of his Lord.

“(Moses) said: O my Lord! Expand me my breast;

   Ease my task for me;

   And remove the impediment from my speech.

   So they may understand what I say:” Surah Taha(25-28)

We learn from his story that we should always seek help from Allah in any difficult situation rather than seeking it from the people.

Ustadh Nouman also gave an example from our Prophet’s (saw) life. Princes used to come from Egypt to learn from the Prophet (saw). So when one came in to the Prophet’s congregation wearing those expensive clothing and jewels, seeing the poor people with torn clothes, he refused to sit with them, so Allah (swt) revealed to the Prophet (saw):

“And keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance. And let not your eyes pass beyond them, desiring adornments of the worldly life, and do not obey one whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance and who follows his desire and whose affair is ever [in] neglect” Surah Al Kahf:28

He (swt) tells the Prophet (saw) not to even look at him and not to even turn his eyes and be with those who call upon their Lord.

Suppose if a man comes to your charity and gives you a big cheque to donate for a masjid, but says I don’t believe in zakat. You may think to yourself that if you engage in discussion with him to teach him about zakat, you won’t get the cheque. You might decide to set religion aside for ten minutes and and take the cheque and teach him later. But no, you can’t do that, not even temporarily. We should not choose the world over Allah. The lesson we learn from this is that we should not prefer worldly resources, rather use the Book of Allah as a resource and seek the company of the believers. Never to compromise Allah when it comes to worldly desires.

His suggestion on making Ramadan productive: choose a surah (chapter) of about 2-3 pages. Find a lecture on it online and recite it day by day and eventually you will start understanding it. By the end of Ramadan you will be one surah closer to Allah.

Everyone was given a free book “Basic Dawah 101” courtesy of the organisers, written by Ryan Fawzi Arab.

Summer Camps 2015


As we do each year, Jeddah Blog is compiling a list of Summer Camps and activities for 2015. If you are organising a camp and would like us to publish the details, please do get in touch with the details.

My Creative Ramadan Summer Camp

Dates: 21st June – 7th July, 3 days per week: Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday

Time: 12-3pm

Price: SR1200

Ages: 3-7 years

Islamic Hour, Jewelry Making, Arts & Crafts

Ballet – Irish Tap, Cooking, Organic Gardening

Dress-up Story Time and Organic Snacks provided!

Ages 8-15 years:

Islamic Hour, Jewelry Making, Ballet-Irish Tap – Interpretive

Cooking, Organic Gardening, Sewing

Contact 0594846200 or email motion.boutique.jeddah@gmail.com

Summer of Therapies

summer of therapies Hope Center

.

Glitter Workshop – 10 Days of Creativeness

For ages 5 years or above.
5 exciting projects. Craft material for each student is included in the package.
Mornings 10am- 12pm
Location: al Hamra, Jeddah
Fee: SR 100
For further details contact 0536330616

glitter workshop

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Ramadan Volunteering Food Distribution Program


volunteering in Ramadan

 Seeking to do good works this Ramadan?
 Wish to give back to the community?
 Looking to volunteer your time for a worthy cause?
 Are you a teen seeking to get involved in social programs? 
 Need community hours for High School graduation and University admissions?

Look no more!

Get Involved with Jeddah’s Premier Volunteering Program for Social Work. The International Community in Jeddah is currently recruiting teens to volunteer for food their Ramadan Food Distribution Program.

Who can participate?

 Adult
 Teens
 Minimum Age 13 years
 Males and females

Days and Times
 1st Ramadan to 30th Ramadan
 4:30 – 6:30 pm daily

Meeting Point
‣ Volunteers will be notified once they have registered.

Distribution Districts
‣ Volunteers will be dispatched in groups under the supervision of a team leader. There will be eight locations as follows: South of Jeddah, Ruwais, Ghulail, Karantina, Gurayat and Balad.

 Certificates to all International Community in Jeddah volunteers stating volunteering hours can be arranged upon request.

Contact Person
 Ally Durvesh: 0599998894

Eid ul-Fitr in Jeddah


In a day or two, depending on the sighting of the moon, Ramadan will be over, and Eid celebrations will be in full swing. Eid ul-Fitr, (Festival of the Fast) marks the end of the month of fasting for Muslims. For most of us in Jeddah this will mean three days of celebrations with family. For expats it may be quite different as they will be spending time away from family back home.

https://jeddahblogdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/4131c-eid_mubarak.jpg

The most popular greeting heard will be ‘Kul ‘am wa antum bikhair’ meaning ‘May every year find you in good health”. The easier greeting regardless of one’s native language is ‘Eid Mubarak’ or ‘Blessed Eid’.

Zakat-uk-Fitr rice Jeddah Saudi Arabia

Rice can be bought for distribution to the needy.

In case you are wondering about the stalls selling bags of rice popping up all over Jeddah, these can be bought and distributed to the needy as ‘fitrah’, or the charitable amount which is obligatory for Muslims to give to the needy before Eid ul-fitr so that they may also participate in the festivities of Eid. Fitrah is also known as ‘fitrana’ or ‘zakat ul-fitr’. This article gives details on the Zakat ul-fitr and its calculations.

Whether resident or expat, teen or adult, we would love to know how YOU plan to celebrate Eid this year. Leave a comment and let us know.

YIG Ramadan Volunteering Food Distribution Program


YIG Ramadan Volunteering Food Program

  • Seeking to do good works this Ramadan?
  • Wish to give back to the community?
  • Looking to volunteer your time for a worthy cause?
  • Are you a teen seeking to get involved in social programs?
  • Need community hours for High School graduation and University admissions?


Look no further – Get Involved with YIG: Jeddah’s Premier Volunteering Program for Social Work

Who can participate?
-Adult
-Teens
-Minimum Age 13 yrs
-Males & Female

Days and Times
-1st Ramadan to 30th Ramadan
-4:30-6:30 PM Daily

Meeting Point
Daily at Park Hayyat, Jeddah

Distribution Districts
Volunteers will be dispatched in groups from Park Hayatt under the supervision of a team leader.

Locations

8 locations, South of Jeddah, Ruwais, Ghulail, Karantina, Gurayat, Balad

Certificates to all International Community in Jeddah volunteers stating volunteering hours can be arranged upon request.

Contact Persons

For more information, visit the Event page.
Mohammed: 0566714188
Ally Durvesh: 0599998894

Karimah’s Guide to a Healthier Ramadan


KARIMAH NUTRI CARD texcorrect For the very first time, I am not only thrilled to introduce our newest guest contributor to Jeddah Blog, but also totally in awe of her life story. Karimah bint Dawoud is the author of Amazon best-selling cookbook Heavenly Bites, the Best of Muslim Home Cooking and is winner of the Gourmand award Paris, France for the best Arab Cookbook of 2013.  Karimah is a Muslim Chaplain and Clinical Nutritionist who converted to Islam almost 14 years ago in her search for the truth. She was a fashion model and makeup artist in London, Paris, Munich and Zurich.

Karimah is a recently qualified clinical nutritionist, and is studying for her Master’s degree in Islamic Studies in the UK. She is a mother and a grandmother, and strongly believes that we can grow old gracefully by giving our body its rights, which includes healthy food and gentle regular exercise.

Heavenly Bites - Karimah bint Dawoud“I was  surprised and honoured that  Jeddah Blog liked my cook book post and would like to make links with my sisters across the desert sands”, says Karimah. “I love Saudi Arabia and the lovely friendly people mashallah. I went there to do my umrah, and inshallah I will come again to do health workshops and consult with individuals and companies on optimum nutrition.”

In this blog post, Karimah takes nutrition during Ramadan to the next level, and leads us through an optimum nutrition schedule during this month of fasting.

WELCOME RAMADAN!

Alhamdulillah, all praise is due to Allah, the Creator of the heaven and earth and everything in between. As the month of  Ramadan is moving backwards through solar calendar once again, Ramadan begins in the heat of summer, longer days and shorter nights. And this year, inshallah, God willing, the days are going to be even longer. It’s the perfect time to take our deen, our Islamic lifestyle to another level, that includes nutrition.

SAY FAREWELL TO FRIED FOOD

It’s time to say good bye to junk foods, toxins and bad habits. Fried foods are essentially junk food in comparison to an Islamic “halal and tayyib” diet.I  know that some cultures think they wouldn’t be able to live without fried pakoras or samosas, especially at iftar time, however these fried foods do nothing for you except indulge your taste buds.

We need to think about quality a bit more and embrace a more global healthy diet. Food studies reveal that fried foods damage your body and brain in many ways. They clog arteries and lead to strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, inflamed joints, heart attacks, aneurysms and blood pressure. This is no surprise when most corn oil and rape seed oil(canola)is GMO, contain pesticides and more toxic than soya oil.[1]

PURIFY THE BODY, ILLUMINATE THE SOUL

Islam is a complete religion for the mind body and soul. We have been gifted  with an amazing body. Alhamdulilah, praise God.

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith (volume 7.book of wedlock, hadith 127).

Narrated `Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al−`As: Allah’s Apostle( Muhammad) said, “O `Abdullah! Have I not been formed that you fast all the day and stand in prayer all night?”  I said, “Yes, O Allah’s Apostle!” He said, “Do not do that! Observe the fast sometimes and also leave them (the fast) at other times; stand up for the prayer at night and also sleep at night. Your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you and your wife has a right over you.”[2]

It is clear from the above hadith, that our body has rights over us.

The body needs the right fuel, to run at optimum performance. Food that provides long, slow release energy as well as vital vitamins and minerals.

SACRED FOODS – NINE HOUR WINDOW

All foods mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah are beneficial for our health. They are “halal and tayib” meaning they are lawful and pure, whole meal, quality foods that complement the body.

They are fresh foods, full of sun-fired vitality. However the wrong combinations of healthy foods can be unhealthy. There is a difference of opinion about Food Combining theory between qualified nutritionists and vegan raw foodies whose business often depends on them justifying mixing fruits and nuts and vegetables, and scientists who are usually paid by Big Pharma and the processed food industry.

Islamically, we are allowed to eat meat. Meat is part of the food combining equation. With a little skill and know-how we can eat from all food groups. This year we are going to try something that seems radical. This is going to take a real shift for some of us .I know many Arabs eat through the night till fajr. That’s not new, however  I am going to introduce good nutrition and food combining into this 9 hour window in which we can eat. This 9 hour, healthy banquet is a long meal. Starting with fluid and more fluid, soups, starters and salad and then the main course at suhour. What, no dessert? No dessert! Let’s save that for Eid insha’allah.

BREAKING THE FAST

First and most important is water. Hydration is going to be the key factor in this year’s Ramadhan nutrition. We are going to have to monitor and regulate and force ourselves to drink. It is essential during this 9 hour window that we drink at least 2 litres/ 3 ½  pints of water .It can be broken down like this:

  • Iftar  500 ml water and dates, personally I will be adding a spoon of honey to my iftar water, not just for the energy but also for the healing anti-bacterial ,anti-fungal properties as well as much more.
  • Every hour after that 300ml/10oz water including suhour.

There is a wisdom in why we eat dates. They are sun-fired packages of high energy, multivitamin and minerals, mashallah. Educate yourself to love them, they are a super food.

Watery drinks do not include tea or coffee as these will deplete your body of  essential vitamins and minerals like magnesium. Magnesium helps the brain make the right connection. Coffee and tea also dehydrate you. If you must drink these things, then have an additional mug of water, and make sure you take a vegan multivitamin and mineral supplement.

There is a wisdom in why we eat dates. They are sun-fired packages of high energy, multivitamin and minerals. Educate yourself to love them, they are a super food.

Photo credit: Karimah bint Dawoud

Photo credit: Karimah bint Dawoud

FRUITS FIRST

Even if you must eat fried foods or soup at iftar, please make sure you eat Fruit First. Fruits are so special that they will be in paradise. The Holy Quran mentions fruits “ fakihah” as a generic term, in Arabic 14 times.[3]

1. And for them there is fruit, and for them there is what they ask for. [36:57]

2. Therein they will recline; therein they will call for fruit in abundance and drinks. [38:51]

3. Therein for you will be fruit in plenty, of which you will eat (as you desire). [43:73].

Banana, dates, grapes, figs and pomegranate are individually mentioned in other surahs (chapters).

Fruits are sun-fired foods that have a high water content as well as essential vitamins and minerals. Fruits digest quicker than vegetables, opening the digestive canal, providing energy, vitamins and minerals to the organs. Some people are more thirsty than hungry at iftar, so have water melon smoothie; agua fresca, with honey and lemon then have  another type of fruits smoothie. Melons are the quickest of fruits to digest, taking 20 minutes. Water melon can be blended or juiced including the skin and seeds which contains the minerals; magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, iron, potassium and copper. Essential!

Eat some sort of fruit salad, fruit juice or smoothie  after breaking  fast with water and dates. If time is not on your side, buy pressed fruit juice with bits, not smooth and not concentrate. If you are making it at home, smoothies are better than juices because they contain soluble and insoluble fibre. Fibre is good to combat constipation, encouraging elimination of toxins. It’s good for the digestion and the circulation systems of the body.

Keep the smoothies just fruits – no nuts, no dairy, no veggies.

Then pray Maghreb prayer. This will give your digestive tract time to open up, absorb these essential sugars, vitamins and minerals, and give you energy for the rest of the evening Insha’Allah. Sensible humans eat fruit salad for starter not dessert.

Photo credit: Karimah bint Dawoud

Photo credit: Karimah bint Dawoud

VEGGIE-LICIOUS

Remember to drink more water while you are preparing this next part of the meal.

Herbage is mentioned a few times in the Quran. Herbage can mean “the succulent part of herbaceous vegetation,”[4]  All edible plants are considered to be herbage.[5].

Surat  Az-Zumar Chapter 39, Verse 21

“Seest thou not that Allah sends down water from the clouds, then makes it go down into the earth in springs, then brings forth therewith herbage of various hues; then it withers so that thou seest it turn yellow, then He makes it chaff? Surely there is a reminder in this for men of understanding.”

After maghrib prayer, eat something veggie, healthy and tasty. Have high fibre salads with an amazing dressing and/or soup. Raw vegetables also have high water mineral and vitamin content. This is where you can also eat your starchy carbs. We can have vegetable curry and rice, whole meal pasta with zucchini and tomato sauce, rice flour pancakes (substitute soaked flax seeds for egg to bind), Mediterranean rice salad with scrumptious asparagus and  artichokes. Check out some vegan recipes.

Photo credit: Karimah bint Dawoud

Photo credit: Karimah bint Dawoud

There is so much choice BUT no protein at his point. Look at this list of amazing veggies from Allah’s Bounty Store.

PLUS STARCHY CARBS

A wonderful Saudi recipe is mahshay djajj but a combination of meat and carbohydrates is unhealthy. Yes, I know you have survived this long as a race but just think how much more fantastic you would be if we took this to another level. All the fantastic spices and nuts and raisins in mahshay but a veggie version, stuffed sweet bell peepers  and save the chicken for suhour time. This is where you get to eat your starchy carbs; black, brown, red rice , whole meal bread ,whole meal barley, oats and pasta. White flour white sugar, white rice are all refined processed foods and should be avoided for optimum nutrition.

The Prophet Muhammad, salah la alaihi wa salem never ate white flour even though it was available. In this day and age every intelligent person should know whole meal grains are best.

Narrated Abu Hazim: I asked Sahl bin Sad, “Did Allah’s Apostle ever eat white flour?” Sahl said, “Allah’s Apostle never saw white flour since Allah sent him as an Apostle till He took him unto Him.” I asked, “Did the people have (use) sieves during the lifetime of Allah’s Apostle?” Sahl said, “Allah’s Apostle never saw (used) a sieve since Allah sent him as an Apostle until He took him unto Him,” I said, “How could you eat barley unsifted?” he said, “We used to grind it and then blow off its husk, and after the husk flew away, we used to prepare the dough (bake) and eat it.”  Sahih Bukhari and Tirmidhi .

This is the best time for your healthy oils.  Olive oil is sacred oil, once again mentioned in the Quran. Use olive oil  for cooking or salad dressings. Healthy oils are essential for good mental health, helping the brain make the right connection, joint mobility, lubrication of internal mucous membranes ,everything internal, even the cell walls need oil.

Keep drinking water, maybe add a little honey. Date nabeez  is a wonderful energizing drink to have during breaks in taraweeh. If you are going to sleep for a few hours, please drink water beforehand. Allow the previous food consumption at least 2-3 hours to digest before eating again but still drink water.

SUHOUR MORNING MEAL

This meal needs to be animal protein and vegetables but not starchy carbs like rice, pasta or bread for optimum nutrition. You could eat your mahshay chicken here but without the rice chicken with bamia or spinach would be great. Or you could have maqluba and once again eat the rice with veggies at iftar and the meat with veggie at suhour. I told you this was going to be a paradigm shift for us all.

Photo credit: Karimah bint Dawoud

Photo credit: Karimah bint Dawoud

Test show for the same calorific value, protein gives the most sustained energy. Meat takes 16 hours to digest. Animal protein is best at this time. In accordance with the Quran and Sunnah it’s best if the meat is halal and free range, free from growth hormones and antibiotics.

Animal protein contains a special iron called heme iron which is 15% more absorbent than non-heme (plant) iron. Heme iron actually helps the absorption of non-heme iron; therefore, it is a good idea to combine foods from the plant and animal kingdoms for the best balance and benefit. [6]

Photo credit: Karimah bint Dawoud

Photo credit: Karimah bint Dawoud

Iron is essential for the blood and transportation of oxygen round the body. Suggested meals are vegetable omelet and salad, Thai fish veggie soup, kofta in sauce and cooked spinach, grilled chicken and garlic beans, mince lamb and okra salad or lamb tagine with loads of cooked veg. These can be prepared earlier. I know it’s really tempting to eat starchy carbs like bread or rice with these meals, it’s a habit, a tradition, and it’s a pattern we need to break.

Starchy carbs need an alkaline stomach environment to enable the produce enzyme “amylase” to work.  The gastric enzyme “pepsin” is used to break down proteins; it cannot do so in an alkaline environment, the conflicting chemicals needed to breakdown these different food groups are disabled by the presence of the other, causing fermentation of the foods in the digestive tracts.[7] The knock on effect of this is bloating, heart burn, indigestion and wind. Worst of all, the optimum absorption of all the nutrients of the consumed food is inferior. Date nabeez is also good to drink at this time , providing pure sun-fired energy for the day ahead.

Please use the food combining chart, illustrating food groups combinations for  optimum nutrition and digestion. Optimum nutrition means optimum ibada, (worship).

And remember, “He who fails to plan, plans to fail”. May Allah make this Ramadan easy for us and a benefit to us all in this life and in Jannah, ameen.

Karimah blogs at Karimah’s Cuisina and  the muslim vegetarian, and is managed by http://www.1stwitness.co.uk

 

[1] http://www.creationsmagazine.com/articles/C126/Horowitz.html[onl;ine 13 th June 2014]

[2] http://muttaqun.com/files/PDF/sahih-bukhari.pdf      [online 13th march 2014]

[3] Quranic_Food.pdf.

[4] 0xford dictionary.http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/herbage[online 13th june 2014]

[5] http://www.faculty.ucr.edu/~legneref/botany/vegetab.htm

[6]Karimah Burns. http://www.islamawareness.net/Nature/existence.html

[7] http://www.naturalnews.com/025651_food_protein_foods.html

Arabian Jewel Embrace Culture Initiative: Ramadan Nights in Balad


Come, come whoever you are… expat, bedu, merchant or royal…

Balad’s enticing yearly Ramadan Festivities await you. Experience Ramadan by visiting Balad with your friends and family on the day(s) of your choice.

Historical Balad Cultural Initiative

Photo credit: Helmy Saggaf

Dates

1-RAMADAN EXPERIENCE
Daily 1st Ramadan to 20th Ramadan
10pm to 2am

2-EID EXPERIENCE
Daily 25th of Ramadan to 5th *Shawwal
10pm to 2am

Location: Historic Balad District (please see map)

Please note:

1) This is not a guided tour.

2) No charges, no entry fee, no tour fees. This is open to ALL at NO COST.


Come, come, whoever you are,
Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving.
It doesn’t matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vows
a thousand times.
Come, yet again, come, come.
(Jalauddin Rumi)

Arabian JewelThank you to Arabian Jewel in cooperation with Jeddah’s Heart, for bringing us this event. You can visit the event page for further details.

*Shawwal: month following Ramadan.

Make a Date with Talah Al Jood, the Ultimate Date Store in Jeddah


Few fruits can boast the historical significance, cultural heritage and nutritional benefit of the Dactylifera – more commonly known as the date! The sweet crop of the Phoenix is thought to have originated in the lands of Iraq, and known to be cultivated in Eastern Arabia circa 6000 BCE. Truly a magnificent plant, the Phoenix Dactylifera – for evidence shows it has been around for at least 50 million years. Dates are one of the most popular food items in the Makkah region, but also in the whole of Saudi Arabia and the Arab World. They are available in most markets, with many names and in various forms. From sweet and gooey Sukkary dates to larger fruity Anbary dates, simpler varieties to the most expensive Ajwah dates from Madinah there are endless choices to discover and sample.  You will find pastries filled with dates, date bars, even McDonald’s offers a date pie as an alternative to its apple pie! Explore, if you wish, the rich varieties and flavours of this special fruit. They can be found in many vendors’ shops and supermarkets, yet as a personal recommendation; I suggest a trip to Talah Al Jood. By far, Talah has dates of the most delicious flavour and superior quality in the whole of Jeddah. In addition, their customer service is truly unparalleled. Upon entering the store, customers are greeted and served piquant dates – completely free of charge – to dip into a rich chocolate fountain. Also, a cup of the finest Arabic coffee to accompany your chocolate date – poured fresh from the Dallah. Inside, a vast variety of dates awaits, ranging from as low a price as SR35 per kilo, upwards. Staff are friendly and extremely generous with their samples, and offer whatever the customer may ask to try. If you feel at all adventurous and are keen to excite your taste buds beyond just the fruit, try their caramel dates, dates with coffee beans (a coffee explosion in your mouth), cappuccino dates, pistachio dates, dates packed with hazelnuts, rolled in sesame seeds, filled with chocolate, covered in chocolate and many, many more. They even sell confectionery (I spied a round ‘chocolate panda’) and tiny bite-sized crunchy deserts. Date cakes are also on display. My personal favourites are the delectable caramel kind and the distinctively delightful coffee dates. For relatively small orders, dates can be packed in gift boxes or gift plates, however for larger orders; parties or corporate buyers: Talah has a variety of elaborate arrangements. There are many branches of this irresistable store, but the one I visit most frequently is the branch on Sari Street (from Prince Sultan Street, head past Jarir, and it’s on the right-hand side). It’s a definite must-visit for anyone living in Jeddah. If you’re an expat, try taking some home with you. There will surely be dates to satisfy every palate. What’s your favourite date? Be sure to tell us in the comments, happy date-shopping!

Ramadan Nights at Athr Gallery


Athr Gallery presents a live calligraphy performance, a calligraphy workshop and a group exhibition this Ramadan.

Strokes In Dialogue
Two master calligraphers
Wang Dongling & Samir Sayegh
In a live calligraphy performance
Tuesday, 23rd of July, 2013 at 10.00 PM Read more…

Iftar at the Red Sea in Jeddah


We are a few days into Ramadan, and we asked readers to send in their experiences of the month of fasting in Jeddah. In this blog post, Delina Partadiredja from aMuslima.com writes to Jeddah Blog about her very personal experience of Ramadan in Jeddah, describing the ambience of Ramadan for families at the Corniche. Read more…

Ramadan 2013


Jeddah Blog wishes its readers Ramadan Kareem. May this Ramadan bring you peace and prosperity, good health and wealth, and brighten your life forever.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.” [Bukhari]

This is a great opportunity to do good deeds and Muslims strive to better themselves in this holy month. Charity is increased, extra prayers at night are performed in the mosque and visits to Makkah and Madina are undertaken.

Let us know what YOU will be doing this Ramadan. What extra deeds do you aim to do? Do you exchange foods with your neighbours? or help the needy?

Meanwhile, here’s a fun Ramadan quiz created by our Quizmaster to test your basic knowledge of this month. Why not do this quiz with your children. It’s a great opportunity to teach them about the essentials of Ramadan.

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