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Thought for food

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I am heading home when I stop to say a few words to a neighbour. The few words turn into a long talk. I need to get home and fix something for Iftar but it is obvious she needs to talk so I stay and stay. At some point I sneak a look at the clock and a whole hour has passed. I start to make a move. I'm not too concerned, she has brought up one serious subject matter(amongst the others) and there was no way I could have left without feeling like a mean hag. At the door, I am rewarded for my patience. She invites me to her house in the country. U will never catch me saying no to something like that. No sirree. I thank her saying it would be nice. smile.gif


I try and think what I could possibly rustle up in the short time I have left before sunset. My mind draws a blank. Come on, think. Nope. Nada. I get to my door and the next door neighbour sees me. Yesterday, I'd bought some food and had shared some with her. She hadn't looked very comfortable as I'd given her the larger portion. Still she accepted it eventually. Now she returns from inside the house and in her hand she is carrying the plate I gave her the food in yesterday. On the plate is my answer- food. She hands it to me and I'm delighted. She has no idea she has answered my prayers and provided me with Iftar. I thank her. Joy, oh joy, oh joy.


And so I wanted to recommend giving food. Lately, I've been making an extra effort to give food in..



The Iman's wife teases me about the bottle of water I carry to the Mosque. Every time I sneak away to have a few sips, she catches me at it, laughs, points her finger at me and everybody looks my way! But I like her and love the Mosque and want to show some appreciation. I take her some food one day. She takes a deep smell of the food, smiles and thanks me. The teasing stops. smile.gif



I won't talk about my charitable efforts lest they be depreciated in value but what have u done recently? How are your neighbours? Who are they, even? Anybody old and frail, handicapped or plain poor around your neck of the woods? Think, think, there's bound to be someone. Are you wasting food this Ramadan- throwing away excess? Why, when there's bound to be someone who could benefit from the food? Who'll say no to some rice and curry? Pack the left-overs and knock on someone's door. Go on.


What about the homeless guy you pass by everyday? Oh, you're worried what he'll do with the money- he'll smoke it, shoot it, snort it, drink it, right? Well, maybe. Maybe he does, just like you know Jack at work smokes and shoots and snorts and drinks. You share your biscuits with Jack and make a cup of tea for him don't you? But who's more likely to be hungry? Not Jack. So don't fly past the homeless guy, give him your half-eaten crisp packet, the untouched left-over sandwich or that drink you haven't finished. If you have food waiting for you at home, why take more back with you? Give it to someone who'll appreciate it more.



Take a whole load of dates with you to work or school if there are other Muslims there. Be the designated date person. Let them come to you for dates, better still offer it yourself. There is ajr in it. If your colleague has no one to cook for him/her back home and you do, why not bring some of last night's food along for him/her? More ajr. Cook extra on a Sunday(only one more left!) and take enough for all those of you at work/school(reasonable number). Let Afur be on you next Monday. Go on. Get cooking.



I pass by a little boy sitting by himself and offer him a snack. I hold it out to him but he is hesitant. I move closer. Here, take it. Eat. He takes it and I look back to see him push his shoulders back in preparation for the feast. He descends. Kodak moment. smile.gif


I'm thoroughly enjoying sharing my food. I'm doing it consciously and now that I am, the opportunity to give presents itself constantly. It's like deciding to buy a Nissan(you Somali, you!) and seeing it everywhere you go from then on. Who knew there were so many Nissans on the road? Who knew there so many opportunities in which to share food with those outside my home?



I have just read an email from someone who yesterday talked about me to a lady who he says now wants to hire me. A job offer. Just like that. Things like that don't happen to me. I'd like to think it's because I've been giving that I'm now getting. I am totally shocked by the email, my jaw dropped and I read it over and over. Even he's excited for me and he's only met me once. The job he says has my name written all over it and the woman is excited about meeting me.


Now, does it get any easier than that? What a fabulous Ramadan this has been. I owe it to all to Allah.

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Thanks for those reminders...will do!


Congratulations on the job! You deserve it!


p.s. Yesterday was my first time ( with a few of the muslim sisters at my school)_ feeding some of the homeless people we see at and around our school! It was trully beautiful! he looked apprehensive at first. But after looking at the food, you could just tell all of that went away! He thanked and blessed us! I can't wait to get the opportunity to do it again.

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Hambalyo sheherazade for the offer.


I have a suggestion for all of you. If you have time and the resources to fix hot plate and take it to the nearest Masjid just before the iftar, please do it for the sake of Allah.


Some masjids post a sign-up sheet for the willing volunteers. Box full of timir, buscuits, banana, etc. are just few examples of what u can do in making the masjid for the place to be in the month of the Ramadan.


Back when I was the working bachelor in MN, I used to turn to the Masjid for iftar. I didn't know how to make sambuusi and other traditional delicacies nor did I have the time. As you can imagine every time I eat the tasty sambuusi, i used to leave a load of duca behind.


There u have it.

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Fiance', thanks. It's not mine till it's mine, u know. I'm grateful that I've been made the offer at least- that alone gives me pleasure.


It's great that you gave out food to the needy in your vicinity. Everybody understands the language of food.


Baashi, taking food to the Mosque is a great thing. I can never get to the Mosque before Iftar(although it is walkable), deliver food and return home to break my fast. I've been put off having to do it, instead I've taken food that I cook with me on the way to Taraweeh, stopped at someone's home and delivered food. You have me thinking, only laziness has prevented me from delivering food to the Mosque. I've been taking food to a non-Muslim whom I know needs it rather than offering it as someone's Iftar at the Mosque. Is one better than the other? I've swayed one way. God knows. Should I crank it up and do both? smile.gif Now that my health has improved and there's only a few days left, it seems like a good plan. I think I've just talked myself into it. LOL.




Only minutes after reading that email and creating this thread, a woman I don't know but with whom I always exchange smiles and greetings said, 'Here this is for you' and hands me fruit.


Wow, I feel like I have unleashed a food-giving chain reaction into the neighbourhood and like I am receiving signs of encouragement from God to keep giving- 2 food offerings in one day! Too cute. We said our goodbyes, I walked away but stopped to look back at her, the moment was too sweet to let go of. She was still smiling to herself. Bye!! I said one more time. Her smile deepened. Bye!! she said. And I walked home with Suxuur.


One of these days, inshallah, she's going to get some good old-fashioned Somali food delivered to her door. :D

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It sure feels good to give ...especially food!

Our MSA (Muslim Student Association) hosts iftar nights on campus for the entire duration of Ramadan. Our attendance grows every year. Individual students or students pair up to bring something for the hungry students. Fiance, maybe next yr we'll extend our invation to the homeless folks on campus. Thnks 4 the idea.


Also, students can raise money for that month and give it to the local soup kitchen to feed the hungry (like we've done). Another way to help would be to host a food collecting non-parishible foods. There's so many ways to give, just get that creative mind of yours to work.


Sheherazade, only when u reflect can u notice the blessings Allah has bestowed on you. Doors always open when you rely or sacrifice for God. Wish you all the best for the job offer. Keep us updated.

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Friday 9:30 am, inshallah, I have a meeting with a woman with a name that could be pronounced in more than one way(which version to pick!). I feel nothing other than curiosity and hope of course. No negative voices or apprehension. I'm taking it as it comes. I'm more concerned that she gets it done and over with in time for me to head for the Jumca prayers. We're getting a lot of Jumcas this Ramadan!


I've picked up a cold virus and am not at my best- sweaty and less sharp. I'll let u know how it goes, inshallah.

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Mansha Allah! ^^^Your spirited... smile.gif


All the best with job offer!


But who's more likely to be hungry? Not Jack. So don't fly past the homeless guy, give him your half-eaten crisp packet, the untouched left-over sandwich or that drink you haven't finished. If you have food waiting for you at home, why take more back with you? Give it to someone who'll appreciate it more.

Better still; Why not take him to the local take away and buy him a meal. In almost every chapter; Allah describes the believers as those who feed the needy! There is also a hadith about the one who feeds a fasting person; they get a reward equal to fasting and will be close to the Prophet (saw) on the last day! Just think about it...


Good suggestions Tamina and Baashe

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The job's mine now. :D Looking forward to the challenge, alhamdullilah. I hope there's kheyr in it for me.


My food giving efforts have been hampered by a very painful awkward wisdom tooth- I can't swallow, my left cheek is swollen, my gums are sore and the area around the tooth has festered. I also have a cold virus which has me feverish and has turned my throat sore and swollen. It could make a grown woman cry. Today:


Iftar: a dot of food, 1 litre of water, 500mg Amoxycillin.


Dinner: rice, force-fed through aching mouth, 1/2 litre water, 2*500mg Paracetemol.


Midnight Snack: 500mg Amoxycillin


Suxuur: 2*500mg Paracetemol and whatever fits through my jaw and is below the pain threshold that time of morning.


But I'm happy. Alhamdullilah. I'm going to celebrate by cooking and sharing as soon as I'm a little better- my body has a right over me too and it's screaming for attention.


Keep giving. U never know if u'll be well enough or alive tomorrow.

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Sheherazade - You are inspirational. Today I helped an old couple with their baggage, down an escalator, on my way to work. I smiled to myself and remembered you.


Good luck with the JOB + Get well soon! smile.gif

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7 of 9 thank you sis. U have me smiling at the thought too even though the old mouth still hurts. Ouch.



The neighbour who has invited me to the country needs my help. It will only take a few minutes. Sure I say, let me pray at the Mosque first. I'd been in bed between fajr and duhr unable to shake off the sickness, unable to wake up, unable period. I drifted in and out thinking: get up and cook, get up and cook but I would slip back into darkness over and over.


Now that I'm up but weak, I feel the need to do something good that doesn't involve effort and can only think of praying Asr at the Mosque. 'I'll meet you at...', I look at the clock, how long will I be at the Mosque? Before I can finish the sentence, she says, 'Can I come with u to the Mosque? I want to see it'. Well. Yeah, sure u can. Let's go. She jumps out of her chair smiling.


We enter the Mosque and she walks around. I pray 2 rakahs. I see her looking at a poster of surah Yassin. It won't make sense to her. I finish praying. She's a Buddhist and has never been in a Mosque, It's all new to her. We walk to the front. Suddenly she says, 'Is that your god?' Whoa! What! 'No, no, no god..where?'. She's pointing. 'That's a chair'. I'm flabbergasted. The chair? 'No, she says', 'That!' and this time I realise she's pointing at the wall. 'No, that's script'. She's pointing at a framed poster that says Allah and has the other names of Allah on it too.


Me: That says God. Allah. Allah is God.

She: Allah.

Me: Yes, Allah.

Me: the most important thing in Islam is that there is only one God and we have no idols or pictures to worship. There is only Allah. You will never find images anywhere. We don't know what God looks like.


She: Oooh

Me: That script is Arabic.


I grab a copy of the Quran that is on the chair and open it.


Me: See, all this is Arabic. Every Muslim everywhere in the world must learn the alphabet and read this.


Her eyes widen.


She: everywhere?

Me: yes, everywhere

She: u can read this?

Me: yes

She: it looks difficult

Me: once u learn, it isn't


She: can the people pray anywhere?

Me: yes, except when we pray in a group, then we have a leader and we pray behind him.


I point to some prayer mats.


She: and if new people join in, where do they go?

Me: they join in at the back and keep making lines backwards

She: this place is nice

Me: this is where I pray every night. I really like it.


We leave.



At the beginning of Ramadan I had suggested to 3 people that they visit the Mosque after having a brief discussion about Ramadan and Islam. 2 out of those 3 people have now seen it. I'm so pleased. The third person was a man who said he wants to convert to Islam one day. He has never been in a Mosque but had many Muslim friends from Tanzania and Kenya and had learned what he knew of Islam from them.


When he talked about Hajj, he shook his head in awe and said, 'Man all those people in one place!' He was also attracted to the cleanliness expected of Muslims. I suggested he catch the Tarawih and meet some of the men at the Mosque.


The guy used to work in a shop close to the Mosque and would see me coming back and forth and say, 'Been to the Mosque, huh?' and smile. He'd asked about the daily routine of Ramadan and wanted to know what I ate too. I said I'd bring him some food one day and he'd said, 'Don't forget me, please'.


I have now lost him. He had said he'd found another job but I didn't realise he'd leave so quickly. I passed by with his promised food one night, early Ramadan and he was no longer there. I'm disappointed. All that guy needs is a little more encouragement and he would be one of us, inshallah. I hope he made it to the Mosque and found someone who welcomed him and inspired him into our diin. I pray. Amiin.


Life's cool.

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There are patterns in one's life.


I wanted to continue the food-giving I did last Ramadan this year. I found someone I can share my food with- an old lady neighbour who lives by herself and is arthiritis-stricken..


2 days ago I'm dragging heavy bags full of fruit and veg for Ramadan(u would think there was a hurricane coming, I got so much) when I see her. We've never spoken before. I say peace be upon u dropping my load and she stops and responds. I tell her I am from No X, a neighbour. She talks back in Urdu and I realise she has very little English. I dig out my Urdu, blow the dust off and somehow get the message across that she can knock on my darwaza any time. She gets it, beams and surprises me by saying in English: I am happy.


I grin, those three words like a balm on my orangutan arms.


There are patterns in one's life.


I had an interview this morning- a Ramadan gift, a job with more pay than I have ever had. The job isn't exactly what I was expecting; in fact I can't answer some of the questions they ask. I feel foolish and the effort of talking about myself for 40 mins without indulging in self-deprecation is draining. Still they like me, job or no job. I reach home and there are police vans outside.


I stop and take a deep breath. Who did what?


Two big policemen stand outside the door of another neighbour- a vulnerable man with an incurable disease(rumour has it) and a mental condition(pretty much substantiated). About 10 days ago we had to call the police in the middle of the night when someone was causing a huge racket. We hadn't realised it was the sick man and when the police arrived and asked him to stop, he did. The following day, we let relevant people know that this guy needed help. His flat's plumbing had gone kaput and his floors and carpets were soaked in human excrement that had also flooded out into the corridors. I tip-toed my way past his flat for days, skirt held high up not once knocking on his door.


Back to today and the burly policemen with hands on hips. The sick man's door is wide open. I see the soiled carpet and the mess.


Is he OK? I ask

Nah, I'm afraid he's died.

He's dead?



I put the bags I'm carrying(just how much food can I buy?) down, sigh, talk with them and finally go home. I return a call and I'm told I have another interview somewhere else on Friday.


There are patterns in one's life. Ignoring neighbours just has to stop.


Half of an hour more and I can hug a cup of tea.


God bless him.

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Some of the stuff in this thread was cat*****c. Phew! Entertaining and encouraging, just the same.


P.S. The adjectivial form of Catharsis is being censored? Erm, Ok?

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