hema’s sphere

Archive for September, 2007

hold fast to the rope of Allah..

Posted by hema on September 23, 2007

i was going to write about the ‘sufi/salafi’ (so to speak) divide once, and then decided against posting it, in case it turned into yet another pointless internet debate(argument). whilst comments are temporarily off, let me just say this much: i got involved in it once when i was young and stupid(well, younger and stupider) and all it does it create animosity and suspicion. at the end of the day, the divides exist but we are all on the same side, so isn’t it just a waste of valuable energy having futile arguments? i’m aiming to take the good and leave whatever i disagree with, rather than trying to label people or place them in a sect.

which is why the Pledge of Mutual Respect and Cooperation Between Sunni Muslim Scholars, Organizations, and Students of Sacred Knowledge can only be a good thing. it’s signed by some of our most notable and respected scholars and teachers, including Abu Eesa, Yasir Qadhi, and Shuhaib Webb.

please show your support for the pledge by spreading the word. you can also endorse the pledge here


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shaheed alkawn

Posted by hema on September 22, 2007

as far as nasheed artists go, i can’t think of anyone who i like listening to better than this guy. his voice and lyrics are ….calming and always make me feel so peaceful. i found two videos on youtube.

this one i could listen to all day..

this one is from Amazing Allah, my favourite album. it’s just the first half, i have no idea what the second half is..

i couldn’t find anymore, but you can listen to samples from Amazing Allah here

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marking when fasting

Posted by hema on September 22, 2007

“this isn’t right. in fact, it’s just a mess. redo it”

i looked back at this comment on a full stomach and realised that might not count as positive marking.

note to self: change marking time to after traweeh prayers..

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good deeds and evil deeds

Posted by hema on September 21, 2007

Ibn Abbas, radiyallahu ‘anhu, reported that the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, related from his Lord (glorified and exalted be He):

“Verily Allah has recorded the good deeds and the evil deeds.” Then he clarified that: “Whosoever intends to do a good deed but does not do it, Allah records it with Himself as a complete good deed; but if he intends it and does it, Allah records it with Himself as ten good deeds, up to seven hundred times, or more than that. But if he intends to do an evil deed and does not do it, Allah records it with Himself as a complete good deed; but if he intends it and does it, Allah records it down as one single evil deed.”

[Al-Bukhari & Muslim]

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ramadan recipes

Posted by hema on September 17, 2007

and time saving tips when cooking.

(i got it done in time! i’m so glad i finished before ramadan! i did start it beforehand and i’ve been added to it in bits. i still need to add some recipes, so keep checking back but i have linked on to other recipes for now)



fruit– there is a good reason for having fruit on an empty stomach rather than as desert. i’ve forgotten why, so you’ll have to take my word for it! put it out af iftari time instead of fried food. if fruit is the only thing on the table at that time, people will eat it!

salads! make it interesting and experiment with adding different dressings. try egg salad or lightly grilled chicken with salad (rocket leaves work really well with grilled chicken) add herbs to low fat yoghurt and use it instead of mayonaise.

fruit chaat– i never used to like the idea of spices in fruit, but i’m coming around to the idea now. you can buy fruit chaat mixes to make it easier



i made one …
(i have no idea why it’s blurry. even my camera likes habiba’s trifle better!)

and habiba made one..

you see, there is a reason why i think she is the most creative person i know, mashAllah.

i can’t really eat trifle due to my custard phobia (i’m pretty certain that is a legitimate phobia to have)but love making it because it’s so easy. simply add layers of custard, jelly, fruit(optional), cake (optional) and cream.
*tip-use dried milk instead of cream as a healthier alternative
*use tinned custard and fruit to save time. (i think you would be forgiven for doing that during ramadan at least!)
* decorate using strawberries and choclate( you might need practice to get it habiba perfect. i just stuck them on:(
(why is this in italics? WHY WON’T IT CHANGE BACK)
I’m going to go do some marking and come back and hope it’s sorted itself out.

cheesecake-baba’s very easy chocolate cheesecake recipe can be found here. warning: you will gain a few pounds just by looking at it!

mango mouse- simply add a tin of mango puree to whipped cream and erm.. that’s it! you can add fruit juices as well like lemon juice and orange juice. garnish using chopped nuts and mint leaves if desired.

jelly with fruit. i like jelly because it’s so funny. i don’t know why but it just is! add chopped fruit to the jelly before it’s set. see here if that didn’t make sense. it’s a great way to get children to eat fruit without realising.

frozen yoghurt is a great alternative to ice cream.

things to do with honey

add to drinks, such as hot milk, instead of sugar.

have it on toast.

use in recipes like flapjacks instead of golden syrup

honey and lemon chicken

in porridge, on pancakes

things to do with dates

date cake! date loaf. date scones

main meals
stirfries– use instand noodles with chicken and vegetables. see here for other time saving tips for chinese food.

pasta-quick and easy, use fresh vegetables for a healthy option.alternatively, some pasta sauces have vegetables in them which can be quite handy. or use tinned tomatoes and lots of oxo cubes and soy sauce.

boil rice instead of making pilau sometimes. it’s so much healthier. my favourite meal ever is rice with lentils and lots of salad.

roast or gril food instead of frying it.

switch to brown bread and/or flour and use cooking oil instead of butter.


water! for me, cofee makes me very thirsty so i have to have about 2 glasses before and 2 after, and i drink about 3 cups of coffee a day, so i think i’m ok with my water intake for now! always have a glass of water before you start eating.

fruit juices, fruit smoothies- it may be a good time for me to go back on my word and try iMuslim’s green smoothies

mix drinks together to keep it more interesting. i like vimto with coke. if you’re going to give fzzy drinks to children then dilute them with plenty of water or fruit juice.


if you’re the type that can’t face food in the morning, thenbtry drinking fruit smoothies.

i like to have nesquick flavoured milk. it’s supposed to have extra nutrients, plus it tastes nice.

if you can face food, then the best type to have is brown bread, cereal. i would explain why, but my sisters visibly cringe everytime i try to talk science so i’ll leave it. but eating foods that are high in fat or sugar will actually make you more hungry during the day(not to mention thirsty)

time saving tips in the kitchen

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life lessons 3:friendship

Posted by hema on September 16, 2007

today has been a strange day for me, and even though this post will probably make no sense to anyone else, i felt compelled to write this down. for me, it’s going to be one of those posts i’m going to want to keep looking back on to remind myself of how i felt today.

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ramadan mubarak

Posted by hema on September 13, 2007


i hope everyone who began fasting today got off to a good start. as Ymiss   and Mishypointed out, it really did feel like ramadan yesterday when the debate about moonsighting started.

posting during ramadan will be sporadic at best, if i can find anything remotely useful to say or link to, and comments will be off for now.

May Allah swt forgive our sins and enable us to get the most out of this blessed month.

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life lessons 2:forgiveness

Posted by hema on September 10, 2007

people will let you down, people will betray you, people will behave in ways you never thought possible.

forgive them anyway.

because life is too short to carry around all that bitterness. in the end, you only have to worry about your own conduct.

Posted in life lessons | 17 Comments »

how not to teach

Posted by hema on September 7, 2007

i have so many of these tales, it would be impossible to fit them in one post. i think for now i’ll just focus on the blunders i’ve made this week, so as not to depress myself too much

1- student waves and asks a question in the corridor

me: remind me which one of my classes you take?

student: the one we just had. you were talking to me for about half an hour!


me: you’ve not done your homework? who’s your personal teacher?

student: you

(i have around 300 new students and they all look the same! and it’s really hard to recognise new students out of context)

2- i wear a radio aid which is connected to the hearing aid of one of the students. it basically drowns out all the background noise and the voice of whoever is wearing it is all he can hear. you’re only supposed to switch it on only when you are speaking to the whole class or him directly. but i keep forgetting to switch it off. i went into the staffroom to get some marker pens, and got a bit distracted. i ended up joining in a very private conversation. he had this little smile when i went i went back into class.

me: by any chance……

he then repeated the whole conversation back to me:(

3- me: on one side of your index card can you write down what you expect from the course, and on the other write me a joke. i feel like hearing some jokes.

student: is the second part compulsory?

me:yes, everyone has to think of one joke by the end of the lesson

(i can just imagine what the inspectors would have to say about that)

i forgot to say clean jokes though. i only got one decent one out of them:( actually the student in example 2.

i figure you have to laugh at your own mistakes sometimes. it’s what makes us human, right?

Posted in teaching | 14 Comments »

the pebble story

Posted by hema on September 4, 2007

i tried this my tutor group today to generate discussion and promote problem solving skills. i first came accross this during a seminar on creative thinking. the group that came up with the best solution got chocolate. i can’t offer you that but have a go anyway. i’ll put the conclusion up in a couple of days..

 “Many years ago when a person who owed money could be thrown into jail, a merchant in London had the misfortune to owe a huge sum to a money lender. The money lender, who was old and ugly, fancied the merchant’s beautiful teenage daughter. He proposed a bargain. He said he would cancel the merchant’s debt if he could have the girl instead.

Both the merchant and his daughter were horrified at the proposal. So the cunning money lender proposed that they let Providence decide the matter. He told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty moneybag and then the girl would have to pick out one of the pebbles. If she chose the black pebble she would become his wife and her father’s debt would be cancelled. If she chose the white pebble she would stay with her father and the debt would still be cancelled. But if she refused to pick out a pebble her father would be thrown into jail and she would starve.

Reluctantly the merchant agreed. They were standing on a pebble strewn path in the merchant’s garden as they talked and the moneylender stooped down to pick up the two pebbles. As he picked up the pebbles the girl, sharp eyed with fright, noticed that he picked up two black pebbles and put them into the moneybag. He then asked the girl to pick out the pebble that was to decide her fate and that of her father”

Imagine that you are standing on that path in the merchant’s garden. What would you have done if you had been the unfortunate girl? If you had had to advise her what would you have advised her to do?

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