Sunday, May 6, 2012

Moderation in Islam

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) once asked a companion: "(Is it true) that you fast all day and stand in prayer all night?" The companion replied that the report was indeed true. The Prophet then said: "Do not do that! Observe the fast sometimes and also leave (it) at other times. Stand up for 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." - Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Hadith 127

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately. . .Always adopt a middle, moderate, regular course, whereby you will reach your target (of paradise)." - Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Hadith 470

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "The good deeds of any person will not make him enter Paradise (i.e., no one enters paradise only through his good deeds)." The Prophet's companions asked: "Not even you?" The Prophet replied: "Not even myself, unless God bestows His favor and mercy on me. So be moderate in your religious deeds and do what is within your ability. None of you should wish for death, for if he is a doer of good, he may increase his good deeds, and if he is an evil doer, he may repent to God." - Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Hadith 577

Saturday, May 5, 2012

I am a fundamentalist

‎"And while it’s nice of you to want to call us ‘modern’ or ‘moderate,’ we’ll do without the redundancy. Islam is by definition moderate, so the more strictly we adhere to its fundamentals—the more moderate we’ll be. And Islam is by nature timeless and universal, so if we’re truly Islamic—we’ll always be modern.
We’re not ‘Progressives’; we’re not ‘Conservatives.’ We’re not ‘neo-Salafi’; we’re not ‘Sufi’; We’re not ‘Islamists’; we’re not ‘Modernists’. We’re not ‘Traditionalists’; we’re not ‘Wahabis.’ We’re not ‘Immigrants’ and we’re not ‘Indigenous.’ Thanks, but we’ll do without your prefix.
We’re just Muslim."

Yasmin Mogahed <3 

Middle Eastern Dolma Recipe


So it has been a while since we've last put up a post... but to make up for it, we've cooked Dolma for ourselves and put the recipe, along with photos, up for you! Dolma is a popular dish in many Muslim/Middle Eastern countries such as Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Turkey. Basically, it consists of a stuffed vegetable (Cabbage, Grape Vine Leaves, Bell Peppers, or Zucchini) with ground beef/lamb and small grain rice. There are many different ways to cook this dish, and this way is a little bit of a mix of most of the ways *tongue twister* - since it was our first time :)

P.S - go ahead and try it, it tasted good lol. The ratings we received were 9/10 (from 6 people)
* Ingredients at the end of the post
* Sorry for bad picture quality (phone camera)

In a food processor, mix 1 medium red onion, 5 cloves of garlic and 1 green chili. 

Wash and soak your Egyptian/small grain rice in a bowl (warm water - 30/45 min) 

In a separate bowl, mix your drained rice, meat, and chopped onion mix. Also, add your spices. Sumac, Dill, 7 spice, ground cumin, ground coriander, and table spoon of salt. Mix everything well, then add your table spoon of tomato paste, and squeeze half a lemon into the mix. Mix thoroughly. 

Have your (stuff-able) vegetables cleaned and soaked in cold water. Take off the tops of your dell pepper, clean the insides and keep both pieces together. Open up your large white onion layer by layer with only a cut on one side.  

To clean out your Zucchini's - cut it in 3 sections, slightly insert a knife around the inside (but a cm away from wall). Then, use a spoon to scoop out the insides - be careful not to scoop out all the way to the bottom, and not to scoop so much that the walls rip. 

Stuff your Vegetable so they have 2-3 cm of space left over. This way when the rice and meat expand, your Dolma's wont over flow. 

Lay out your grape vine leave so that the smooth side is on the plate, and the vein side faces you. Cut off the stem part on the bottom of the leaf. 

Place a small amount of Dolma mix in the lower-center part of the leaf. If your leaf is bigger, use more mix, if it is smaller, use less. 

First, put the bottom flap on the meat. Then fold in both side. The gently roll it up while slightly tucking in the meat. 

Roll away from yourself! 

Place Vegetables into pot. First the zucchinis, then the bell peppers, then the onions, then the grape leaves. 
Feel free to add lemons and onion slices to top and bottom of pot. 

Cover food with a heat safe plate. 

Pour three cups of liquid over top of plate. I am adding 2 cups of chicken stock  and 1 cup of boiling water. 
If you use plain water, put some salt in the water (1tsp)

Cook for 20 min on high. Then 50 min on medium. Then 25 min on low. Until all the water evaporates. 
Make sure grape leaves are soft, rice is soft, meat will be cooked. 

Take out of pot carefully so they don't break. (mines are broken)

You can serve it with yogurt. (red pepper, salt, pepper, lemon juice, dill, mint, cucumber mix, 1 clove garlic)

Ta da! you are done :) 

Enjoy <3 


  • 3 cups of Egyptian Rice 
  • 2 Pounds of ground beef/lamb 
  • 1 large white onion 
  • 1 medium red onion 
  • 5 Bell Peppers (different colors) 
  • 2 large Zucchinis 
  • 1 can/jar of Grape Vine Leaves 
  • 5 cloves of Garlic 
  • 3 Large Lemons 
  • 1 cup of Yogurt 
  • 2 mini cucumbers 
  • Salt 
  • pepper 
  • Dried Dill 
  • Dried Mint 
  • red pepper 
  • Semagh (or Sumac) 
  • Middle Eastern Spice Mix (or 7 spice) 
  • Ground Cumin 
  • Ground Coriander 
  • 1 Table Spoon of Tomato Paste 
  • Olive Oil or Grape Seed oil (1 table spoon)