I received an amazon package yesterday from my sister, who is an enabler if ever there was one – I’m addicted to cookbooks, and what does she give me, but the one at the very tippy top of my wishlist. Alhamdulilah.
And of course, I can’t help but lug the cookbook on the bus with me this morning, and drool over the myriad of recipes chock full of fruity, vegetabley, legumey, non processed goodness. I already have visions of menus for weeks to come. One thing I love about Bittman recipes is that he will often provide substitutes and variations on the dishes. Oftentimes when a recipe calls for alcohol, he also provides a non alcoholic option, to which I say alhamdulilah.
And of course, now I’m starving. But alhamdulilah, winter offers a blessing to the fasters:
Hasan al-Basri (ra) said, “The best time for the Mu’min is the Winter. Its night is long so he does Qiyaam, and its day is short so he fasts it.”
As for fasting, today is the 9th of Muharram:
The Prophet (saws) said, “If I live next year, I shall also fast on the 9th day.” [Ahmad]
And tomorrow is the 10th of Muharram:
The Prophet (saws) said, “Fasting the day of Ashura, I hope that Allah will accept it as expiation for the previous year.” [Muslim]
Ashura is the marking of many historic events. The Prophet (saws) instituted fasting on these days to mark Musa (as) and his people’s hijra from Egypt. Shias commemorate the marytrdom of Imam Husain (ra), and it would do us sunnis good to remember this tragedy in our history, reflect on it and strive not to repeat these errors.
Finally, the cold has brought out one of my favorite pieces of muslim garb, one I’m sure sends all haters running for cover: