Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Ruling concerning the Celebration of the Prophet's SAW birthday

Here is an online book I came across which discusses the topic in length.

Mawlid Anabawi (The Birthday of the Prophet SAW)

Friday was the birthday of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW), there were many celebrations and gatherings in Muslim communites all around the world. The Islamic center here in Los Angeles had a special spiritual night, with anasheeds about the Prophet SAW, and speakers talking about the Seerah of the Prophet SAW. Now, I know that we are not supposed to celebrate, light candles, dance on our Prophet's SAW birthday, but unfortunately I had a little doubt. I figured just listening to speakers talk about his life will be okay, and singing anasheeds about our Prophet (SAW) is okay. I actually feel really guilty now about having taken part in this, Astaghfirullah! So I decided to do some research on these celebrations how they started and where they came from, and if it is acceptable.

One hadith that pretty much sums all this up is : The Prophet SAW said "Do not exaggerate in me, as the Christians exagerated about the son of Maryam. I am only a slave so say 'the slave of Allah and the Messenger of Allah'" (Saheeh al Bukhari 4/142 3445).

Allah also forbade the Christians from worshipping Isa (AS): "
O people of the Book! commit no excesses in your religion: nor say of Allah aught but truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an Messenger of Allah and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His Messengers." (S. 4, V. 171)

I also started thinking about the Sahaba, and realized that they never celebrated the Prophet's SAW birthday, nor did the Prophet (SAW). They were the Ummah that was closest to our beloved Prophet SAW, many died for him and loved him very dearly. If it was truly a commandement to celebrate the Prophet's (SAW) birthday, they would not have missed out on it! So why do we do it? Are we better than the Sahaba? Can we really understand the love they had for the Prophet SAW, and does our love for him compare? Once I began thinking about all of this and reading I realized celebrating our Prophet's SAW birthday is bid'ah.

Now, I also wanted to see find out how all these traditions originated. I was watching a program on Huda TV, "Ask Huda" and this question came up. The sheikh (Muhammad Salah) said that it was the Fatimites (which is the worst sect of the Shi'as) that began this tradition of celebrating the Prophet's SAW birthday. This was a sect from Egpyt.
They also celebrated the birthday of Ali (the Prophet’s cousin), Fatimah (his daughter). The Prophet’s SAW birthday celebration was introduced in Egypt by Al-Malik Muzaffar Ad-Din Kukburi in 604 AH/1207 CE. Kukburi was brother of Salahuddin al-Ayyubi (Saladin). These were the days of Crusade where almost 200 years waves after waves of crusaders from Europe came to the heart of the Muslim world in the Middle East to fight Muslims in their own countries. During the crusade, both Islamic and Christian culture exchanged views on many things and each tried to put its influence on the other. Christians brought along their cultural and religious celebrations, and Muslims imitated some festivals and feasts of the Christians who lived among them. One of these feasts is the tradition to celebrate the birth of the Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h as Christians celebrated the birthday of Jesus Christ, known as Christmas.
From Egypt the tradition of Mawlid was spread to Mecca and the land of Hejaz in Arabia. From the Holy City where Muslim peoples of different nationals assembled during the hajj season each year, the tradition was spread to North Africa, Morocco and Andalusia (Spain). To the north it was spread to Syria, Irak, Turkey and Balkan peninsula, and to the south, to Yemen and Hadramaut, and to the east, to Southeast Asia and Indonesia.
Since then it has become such a present aspect of so-called Muslim Culture. This was a reminder to me to not get caught up in cultural celebrations that are so far from Islam.

Allah's Messenger said: "Stick to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of my rightly guided Caliphs, cling to it firmly with your molar teeth. Beware of newly invented matters, for a every new matter is an innovation, and every innovation is misleading" {Musnad Ahmad (4/126) and at-Tirmidhee (2676)}

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Hijab in Elle Magazine

I saw this picture in Elle Magazine. I think it's so pretty, and I really like her makeup:)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

just a little fyi

my laptop is on its deathbed. it might be a while. i hate using PCs now since i've been so used to using my lovely laptop (or evil laptop as it has a mind of its own) so i'll be delaying some of my posts until i can get the little fella back on track. and also the winners of the 101 post have been notified and Insh'Allah I'll be posting up the winning captions once all systems are go.

and an even more little fyi: poops (the tech-iest person i know) can't even figure out whats wrong with the laptop. needless to say, he can't even eat, sleep or do anything...pray for us!

yours truly,


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

How Poops became Poops

I've been asked why I call my husband Poops. So, let's explore!

People closest to me know that I'm not the most affectionate person in the world. So it's extremely rare that anyone would hear a term of endearment come out of my mouth, unless, of course, it's directed towards a baby (love the babies!) I also used to be a big fan of the show, A Different World. Anyone remember that show? Remember Whitley and Dwayne?

Well since it's a pretty old show, there were always reruns of it at odd hours on local channels. And I noticed how Whitley always called Dwayne, Pookie. And of course I thought I'm going to do the same. So I started calling my husband Pookie at first just to tease him and we'd always laugh (well I'd laugh.)

Then, it became an ongoing name. Pookie where are you? Pookie pookie pookie whats up? It got to the point that even my friends would make fun of the name and they would giggle and whisper, "pOOkieee," whenever I spoke to Pookie on the phone near them.

As time progressed, Pookie became Poopie. Don't ask me how. I think Darwin is still working on it.

And then, of course, who wants to constantly say a two syllable nickname? So Poopie became ...get ready for it....POOPS! ta-daaaa!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Pizza Challenge

I confess that I haven't had Domino's pizza in a really long time (almost a decade maybe.) Poops and I have been Pizza Hut fans. So when Domino's came out with their new recipe (and Zarga told me a couple of weeks ago that she liked the new recipe) I decided I'd try it. And what better day to taste-test pizza than on Super Bowl sunday?

Poops, however, was adamant that we only have Pizza Hut. So of course, we ordered from both. The top one is Pizza Hut and the bottom is Domino's. I LOVED IT! I think I'm finally over Pizza Hut's greasy slices (not that I'm totally going to abandon it, though) and I love the new Domino's pizza. It was finally a fulfilling pizza that didn't leave your mouth oily. I especially liked that I could actually taste the olives and mushrooms in my pizza compared to just tasting grease in the Pizza Hut version. It also had a (very)little kick in terms of "spicy-ness."

So next time you order pizza, give it a try. Even if you have someone like Poops in your home who refuses to taste anything other than Pizza Hut.

Remember to mail your captions for the 101 post to and join the Help Abdullah page on facebook (button located on the right of this blog) and donate if you can (also located on the right of the blog.)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Happy 101!

Hey everyone!

Wow it's almost one year since we started blogging here and now we've done a century (cricket-speak) of posts! celebrate, we're going to be giving away a couple of small gifts. But there's still a catch! In order to receive one of the gifts, you have to provide a caption for the following picture:

It can be any caption your imagination comes up with and you can submit as many as you want. The only rule is that you have to submit them to

So what are the gifts? (Prizes, actually.)

The person with the best caption receives this beautiful paranda or as I call them, "chooTeli," which is basically braided into your hair and fancy ones like this are commonly worn by girls during wedding festivities.

The person with the best caption will ALSO receive one of these tiny bottles of ittar (non-alcoholic perfume.) Ittar are my favorite! They last long and smell great. These bottles, however, are for men. So it can be a nice tiny present for the dad, brother, or husband in your life (unless you're a dude then you can try this one out on yourself and give the chooTeli to your sister.)


Polo Black

And my personal favorite, HOgo Boss. (sigh) I love Karachi.

Two others with great captions will ALSO receive one of the bottles pictured above (they're pinky-sized!)
So don't be shy, even if you've never commented on here before...go ahead and submit a caption to and win one of these totally rad prizes! The "deadline" will be Thursday, February 18th at 7pm EST. Zarga and I will post the winners and their captions on the next day. And we will contact the winners via email for their shipping addresses.
So thank you from the gals at Amreeki Choraha for taking time to read our posts and making us feel loved!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Couscous with raisins :)

mmmm mmmm mmmmm! This is my all time fav snack. Well, it's a little heavy to be a snack, but I could eat tons of this stuff lol. It's basically just steamed couscous with the yellow sun dried raisins (steaming the raisins give them a yummier taste). This snack is usually drank with Lben ( I think in english it's fermented milk) or just regular milk.

In Algeria, we usually eat this every morning for suhur during Ramadan.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

L.A. wedding part 2

So this was the Mehndi function for Poops' friend and his wife. We entered into a huge hall lined up with appetizers and then proceeded into an even larger area where the event was going to take place. We (we were from the groom's side, of course) sat at our tables and waited for it all to begin...which took soooo long. I guess some desi things (like being on time) don't change despite being in "the west."
This is some of the "traditional stuff."

Here's the groom with two of his buddies taking pictures on the stage before all the hoop-la begins.

Finally! After waiting so long, the bridal party comes out with the bride underneath that flower canopy. There was also a live band as you can see in the back. I don't have a picture of the bride and the groom sitting on the stage together because, well...I got busy. I was the only female (aside from the groom's mom) from the groom's side! And I barely know the fella!

I was thinking the same thing, little kids, the same thing.

It's hard to believe these kids slept through this:

And this was just a snippet of what the whole song and dance portion of the Mehndi function was like.

L.A. wedding

Unlike the average desi, I've only been to a handful of weddings in my life (mine not included.) Last October, Poops and I ventured out to the mysterious west a place called Los Angeles. It was my first time on the west coast and I loved the views from the airplane. However, those few October days we were in LA (and we went to Vegas for a day) were some of the hottest I've experienced (and I'm from Miami with 100% Karachi blood in me.) Nevertheless, we were there for Poops' friend's wedding.
So this was more or less my first desi wedding in the U.S. and I was pretty shocked by how well decorated the events were. I mean, of course, there's nothing like a wedding "back home," but I think this was pretty well planned out.

Here's the bride's sister and brother "walking down the aisle" before the bride walks down the aisle with her father and mother on each side.
Just a side note: I do find it odd that desi weddings are beginning to look more and more like "western" weddings. You're probably asking how I know that since I've only been to a handful...right? Well I do have facebook and youtube (BUT I'm saving that for the Amreeki Chichora series!)

And here's the groom and bride on stage with the imam. I really liked the stage and the overall ambience they created in the huge room. I don't have too many pictures of the rest of the wedding hall but all eyes are on the stage anyways.
I'll put up some pictures of the mehndi event.

Not all that looks delicious...

is delicious.

Beware of false advertisement. Although, come to think of it, the oranges should have been a giveaway. Chocolate and orange?! Never!

I'd like you all to meet Simmal

My aunt in Toronto gave birth to a beautiful baby girl back in October. We all got to see her for the week of Eid last November (how awesome was it that Eid fell during Thanksgiving break?) The baby girl, Simmal, was the highlight of our trip and we still miss her sighs and cries (and other bodily functions (boy, were they LOUD!))

So here is Simmal...or at least 75% of her feet.

Dear husbands,

When all else fails...

buy her flowers.

Well, hello beautiful!

English: Goat chops
Urdu: Chaunmps

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Help Abdullah

Hey everyone!

I have a special request for anyone reading this. As you might have seen, on the right side of this blog I have had up a duah for Abdullah. He is my four year old cousin who is going through cancer (for the second time) and is undergoing chemotherapy to battle it. He was treated the first time (cancer on his face by his eye) at Aga Khan hospital in Karachi and came out successful. However, one year ago, they found the cancer again but this time on his neck. He is being treated again but none of the hospitals in Pakistan are willing to lower the price since it is his second time. First-time cancer patients get priority.
After many inquiries into different (and affordable) treatments, Abdullah has been readmitted into Aga Khan Hospital. He has 20 sessions of chemotherapy left and each one costs approximately Rs.50,000 which is roughly $600.
We're starting this chip-in donation box to help cover at least one of his sessions. This donation box will remain up here as long as it needs to (we just chose March 15 as a "target" date.)
Please donate whatever you can. Even the littlest amount will Insh'Allah find its way to helping Abdullah.
You can visit this site for more info, like the letter from Abdullah's doctor.
You can also join the facebook group, Help Abdullah. (I don't know yet how to link that on here, sorry!)
And if there are any questions or concerns, you can email me at and I can even provide you with my private email address and phone number if need be.

I am grateful to you for even reading this, and our family will be grateful if you could keep Abdullah in your duahs.

Asalaam Alekum wa rehmatullahi wa barakatahu.