Story of Prayer

This is about the Night Journey & Ascension. In this night the Prophet (PBUH) led all the Prophets in prayer and ascended to the heavens the result of which, the five prayers were mandated obligatory on all Muslims. This falls on the 27th night of the Islamic month of Rajab which this year falls on May 5th starting tonight.  Even if there’s no obligation to celebrate this night, people still remember it.  The Night Journey started with the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) mounting an animal called Al-Buraq and going to the “farthest mosque” which is Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa.  This being the 3rd holiest site in Islam.  There He lead all the other prophets in prayer being the leader of the Prophets.  Afterwards He (PBUH) ascended to the heavens where He was given the mandate by God to pray.  As the story goes, He (PBUH) was told to pray 50 times and then as He left he spoke with Moses (upon whom be peace) who told Him (PBUH) that 50 is too much go get it reduced.  So He kept going back and forth between God and Moses getting it reduced up to 5 which was the final reduction because the Prophet was too embarrassed to go back again.  So there it was, the story of how we as Muslims began praying 5x/day.

I pass by this story every year and for some reason this year it’s resonating with me more.  Last week I went to Jummah with my dad and it was different from other Jummahs I’ve experienced.  After Jummah we went to the market and saw Muslims just hanging out and having lunch they way they do after prayer.  This simple act really made me feel at home in the community.  This made me feel proud of my community as a whole.  We went to a mosque that had a diverse community and I Love seeing the diversity and unity that resides within Islam.  You really see this through the community spirit of praying.  On this night we remember our community spirit as a whole as well as the reminder that prayer is also there if we are struggling with something in our lives and if we aren’t be thankful.  Prayer is one of the focal points of Islam and this is a part of how it began.  Thinking about this story makes me wish I could one day see the spot where the Prophet ascended to the heavens.  When I was in Makkah and Medina last year, I was reminded that these were the places where the Prophet stepped.  This is where it all began.  Days like these and days like Jummah where I can see the community at finest make me so happy and proud to be a part of this Ummah.  It gives me a sense of Home.

My Masterpiece

My Masterpiece

I make the most amazing pasta not gonna lie. I don’t usually brag, but food’s the rare topic that I do have to brag about. I don’t even do anything that difficult with pasta. It’s practically already ready I just add my own spices to the powder that’s already there.  I just take one of those suddenly salad boxes and follow the directions on the box for the sauce and THEN the masterpiece begins:

  1. Add these along with some black pepper to the bowl of sauce you just made from the box. A pinch of everything should do it. Note: If you’re making the one that calls for a half cup of mayo, don’t put a half a cup. A few table spoons and some milk should do it.


2. Cut up some veggies. Cut them up like about about inch in size. The tinier the better and crunchier the better.

3. Put them in bowl mentioned above and mix it all together. Use the cheese and fried onions later.


4. Bowl the noodles.


5. Put the noodles in the bowl and garnish with crushed up fried onions and some cheese and there you go, you have a masterpiece. You can also add meat like some crushed up turkey bacon bits or some fajita chicken that can be made with sliced up chicken breast that’s fried in various spices or a cut up boiled egg. I made this one with just raw veggies:

Finished masterpiece! 🙂

When I planned my day

I had quite a few things planned for today.  Whether or not they got accomplished is another story. I think thinking about planning is an accomplishment in itself. I had planned to go for a 30 minute walk today. I had also planned to write more on the topic of linguistic acquisition through the use of music.  I had created this thought that I would research language and music by day and blog by night.  Atleast I blog.  The one thing I’ve planned to do is write this blog post and not fail at it.  You see, lately many of my plans have turned into other plans or as we say, life gets in the way of an original plan. So for me I must say, taking things one step at a time is what I should’ve planned for today and I’m quite glad I was able to accomplish this one major part of my day which was to not fail at something.  I had planned to write a blog post on what I was going to do today and I will not fail. I had thought about eating breakfast and going for a walk. Atleast I ate breakfast. I had also planned to read a book.  The rest of my day consisted of not writing as I had planned, but atleast thinking about it. That brings me back to trying not to fail at something.  I felt that if I could do this one task that could start me on a path to another. I did not want to let anyone down that I had failed in the task of discussing my plan for the day. After my walk and reading I planned to shower (which I did-don’t freak out).  I had also planned on going for a drive around town.  I wanted to go grocery shopping to pick up some things I wanted to cook.  I was planning on going grocery shopping later in the evening.  Perhaps even though my day didn’t go as planned, this one accomplishment of discussing my day will set me on a series of productive days.  I’ve also just realized I’ve said the word “plan” way too many times.

When you need a quick snack

Kebabs are a great snack. There are lots of things you can do with them.  You can  make them into a fajita or wrap them in a piece of bread or eat them plain.  Here I’ve fried up two beef kebabs which were kind of spicy and topped them off with pico de gallo and mozzarella cheese. I also added hummus. All on tortilla bread.  Personally I like the beef kebabs better than the chicken. You can either get the kebabs from the frozen section of a grocery store or make them on your own using ground beef/chicken and a series of spices. Any drink can be on the side.  Great for when you’ve got a long work day like I did! Enjoy!FullSizeRender (2)

5 minute mango lassi

Mango lassi is one of my favorite drinks. It’s best in the summer time, but I could honestly drink it all day, everyday.  Lassi is a south Asian drink that originated in Punjab and has many variations.  Generally it’s made with milk and yogurt, but my favorite is with mango. I’ve also found that it can consist of several ingredients like honey and sugar and salt, but the kind I make doesn’t take very long and has fewer ingredients. You could even add saffron and almonds, but I don’t think that’s necessary. It tastes amazing!


First start out with getting mangoes or mango pulp whichever one you have greater access to is fine. If you have mangoes use about 3-4 sliced up (I generally don’t measure, just to taste). For this I used about a half or even a quarter of container of mango pulp. Add milk and yogurt and mango to a blender.  Again, for the milk and yogurt it’s really to taste but a few tablespoons of yogurt and about half a cup of milk should do it. Also take 3 cardomom pods and add the seeds to the blender and then blend it all for five minutes.  You can also check after you’ve blended it to see if you need more milk or yogurt.  For me, it definitely depends on taste. Add ice to crush in the blender as well.  You can also add water to make it not as thick.  This is a quick and easy drink that is delicious! There’s nothing else that needs to be added.  There is no sugar necessary!

Finished product!

One type of sandwich

More sandwich ideas are to come. Even though I’m obsessed with fried food, I may throw in the occasional healthy option. For example wheat bread is better for you than white. I’ve also put olive oil mayo instead of regular mayo because it said it had 50% less fat. Let’s see how it tastes on this sandwich with cheese & slices of chicken or turkey whichever is preferred.  This is a good light lunch.


10 frustrations people with disabilities face every day

This is just something I came up with a while back. I’ll soon be posting a part 2.

Sure, you think you know about the potential issues people with disabilities face. And maybe you know a little about mobility or accessibility issues. But you probably don’t realize even a fraction of the issues people with disabilities, whether hidden or visible, face on a regular basis.

People living with disabilities – whether hidden or visible – have hopes, dreams and frustrations just like everyone else. There are many struggles people with visible and hidden disabilities go through. I don’t claim to know every single thing everyone with a disability experiences, but these are a few I know inside and out.

10. Pretty much everything in the workplace.


Every school or job setting is supposed to be handicap accessible. Like, legally. It’s not just a nice-to-have, so get it together.

Oh, and just because someone is disabled, doesn’t mean he or she can’t do the job better than other candidates. Hello! It’s called the ADA. Learn your legislation.

9. The many joys of traveling.


Going through airport security is such fun! Add waiting for imaginary help to arrive, and trying to dealing with disabilities while pushing down a crippling fear of flying…such hella fun, indeed.

8. Feeling like you’re being ignored.


If a person is physically disabled, it doesn’t mean they’re also deaf. Chances are they can hear you loud and clear.

And if they are deaf – don’t act as if they can’t understand what’s going on.

7. Feeling like you’re slowing people down.


Yes, I can move faster than you if I wanted to. Why don’t you try keeping up? Which brings me to my next point.

6. Being mistaken for physically incapable rather than just lazy.


It’s not that I can’t get up…sometimes I just don’t want to.

5. Being teased and taunted.

tina fey.gif

This is a serious issue for people of all ages who have disabilities, whether they are visible or not. Everyone deserves to be treated with kindness and respect. Period.

Not only is it frustrating, but it’s hurtful. Don’t be a bully.

4. People who think they know how it feels.

Tom & Ben.gif

If someone without a disability says something like “I know it must be hard” or “I know what it’s like”…chances are they don’t. Don’t be patronizing. And Yes, Ben & Tom-especially Tom- will periodically appear in quite a few of my posts.

3. People are way too easily impressed.

pat on head.gif

Just because a person is capable of driving a car or checking their mail doesn’t mean they’re an inspiration to humanity. Seriously. Rethink your condescending standards.

2. Contradictory stereotypes at every turn.

monster's inc.gif

Societies seem to have a set view on people with disabilities: either that they can’t do anything, or everything they do is some sort of inspiration. That gets old, and confusing, fast.

1. Relationships are tricky.


My friends treat me like everyone else, so much so that they barely even notice my disability sometimes for which I am very grateful. But while they can see me for who I am, in certain cultures, potential spouses or even their parents can’t get past that barrier, let alone feel up to traversing these challenges with you.

Breakfast Egg sandwich

So I basically made a heart attack on a plate the other day.  It was probably super bad for you, but tasted oh so good.  I basically made an omelette with the same spices I used for scrambled eggs, but I cut in half. I then fried slices of turkey bacon and hash browns.  I put one piece of the omelet on a piece of bread and then topped that with hash browns and turkey bacon and  a slice of cheese.  You can use one piece of bread or two to make it a whole sandwich or just a piece of toast.  Also, add pico de gallo. I didn’t add it that time, but I want to because it’ll make it amazing.  Melt the cheese a little bit, but not too much.  The other piece of omelet can be on the side with extra hash browns.  This can honestly be made into two meals for people who like or dislike bread in their breakfast.  It can also be served with or without turkey bacon.  Here’s a pic without the pico de gallo.  I will post more pics of food masterpieces later.  The pico de gallo should be on top of the turkey bacon or hash browns.  If it’s any consolation, turkey bacon I’ve heard is better for you than regular bacon besides the fact that I can’t eat regular bacon anyway, turkey bacon looks like it has less fat. So it was Sort of healthy 😛 hahabreakfast sandwich.jpg

FullSizeRender (1)

Recipes part 1

I’ve decided I want to come up with an American Halal restaurant. I haven’t decided what it’s going to be called and nor have I entirely decided on the menu.  The problem is I just make what I’m craving at that moment.  The idea sprung up with my latest obsession with turkey bacon. Turkey bacon is basically the best thing in the world on any type of food.  I decided there needs to be an American Halal restaurant because all the Halal restaurants I’ve ever been to my entire life have only ever been either Middle Eastern or Desi. Honestly if you want to bring people together in this country, food is the way to do it.  Besides, I’ve had a HUGE pet peeve when it comes to food. I’ve heard people say they like “Islamic food”.  Well, what exactly is Islamic food?  For me it’s food that simply is halal (or zabiha if you keep zabiha-that’s a whole other discussion) and doesn’t have any pork or alcohol in it.  A pizza can be Islamic food as long as it meets that criteria.  Islamic Food DOES NOT have to strictly only be Middle Eastern or Desi food.  That’s one of the main reasons I want to have turkey bacon in my imaginary restaurant.  I also want it so that I can have a place to eat and not have to worry about what has pork and what doesn’t.  So far I’ve started with breakfasts. I’m thinking I will post a series of blogs for breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas and maybe even holiday ideas.  These foods will be only slightly spicey to combine a sort of Desi flavor with American foods, just so I can add the fusion and some dishes may not. I haven’t decided.  I’m also obsessed with all things deep fried. I Really want deep fried food. Besides the fried food, to make myself feel slightly better turkey bacon is better for you anyway because it has less fat so not only would I get the halal factor, it can be for anyone if they choose the less fatty option.  Fried food is only an option, but a good one in my opinion. 😛

First breakfast recipe will be posted here:

Scrambled eggs

Beat 2 eggs and add green onions, green chilies that are smashed up super tiny, salt & pepper and a series of other spices. I used this Garlic and Herb spice and a little bit of red chili powder if I want. It really just depends right now. You can add various spices like you don’t really need red chili powder.  Garlic and Herb should do it or just Garlic Powder-anything Garlic is amazing. Put that aside.

Take turkey bacon slices and cut them into bits or if you can find turkey bacon bits use those and fry those.

Then add hash browns to that mix and fry that and then add the eggs and some cheese.  Fry it all together, not separately and it is DELICIOUS.  Mix it all together so the eggs get scrambled.

You can also turn that into an omelette if you want. I have found that cooking it all together is better than frying eggs and hash browns separately because it gets cold. I don’t add milk or anything to the eggs.

I am a culinary genius and I’ve only just now figured this out. I cook what I want.


Historical Tolerance

So I watched a movie called, “The Physician” with my sister a while back. It’s loosely based off the story of Ibn Sina. For anyone who is not aware, Ibn Sina was a great scientist of Islamic History. Yes, I said it, great scientist of Islamic History. People from all over came to study from him as well as many other scientists and philosophers of the Age. I could honestly write a book on forgotten Islamic History if I tried.

As I watched the film that’s all I thought about. I kept thinking to myself if people would just study the scientists and philosophers of Islamic History, the world could be a better place.  These topics have been taken for granted.  I want to write a story about a girl who time travels to the time of the Islamic scholars and learns from them, particularly the female ones.  There’s much that can be learned if it’s just remembered.

Take this picture for example.  This is the main scene that struck out in the entire movie for me.  This shows a Muslim teacher with his Christian and Jewish pupils working together to save a life.  In the world we live in today, this message means a lot.  Given recent events in the news, Muslims have already stressed enough that the actions of a few don’t determine the whole and quite frankly I’m sick of making that announcement.  All I will say is that at one point Muslims, Christians and Jews learned together and it’s time they all remembered their history.  It’s time for people to look into the good in the world.  Even the other day I saw a video about this fire fighter in Pakistan that teaches poor Muslim and Christian kids in a park.  These are the types of people we need to look to for a proper example about how humanity should treat one another.