Tag Archives ramadan

Nasfah Halawa – ناصفة حلاوة and Ramadan Kareem

Nasfah Halawa – ناصفة حلاوة and Ramadan Kareem

The Nasfah, a celebration conducted on the night of the 15th of Shaaban, is a happy occasion in Bahrain and the rest of the Muslim world. It is an occasion to celebrate the pending onset of Ramadan – which is only half a month away, and also the birthday of Imam Mahdi, the 12th apostle of Shi’a Islam and who is one of the grandsons of the Prophet. He is highly revered by Shi’a muslims.

The word “Nasfah” loosely means “half” or the divisor, pertaining to it’s occurrence in mid-Shaaban, the month immediately preceding Ramadan.

On the Nasfah, children put on fine clothes and go to as many houses in the neighbourhood as they could to collect sweets, nuts and some coins too but they have to sing for them first. The traditional song they sing is “Nasfah Halawah” which means “give me sweets” basically!

Here’s a nice manicured example of the celebration, courtesy of du in the Emirates:

And here’s my coverage of the celebration in Duraz in 2007 that I covered for one of my vlogs:

On the Nasfah, people also tend to distribute sweets to their neighbourhoods across many communities in Bahrain. The sweet which is very particular to this time of the year is called Zalabia. It’s pure sugar. Just one little bite will last you the whole day, believe me! Tasty as it is, it must be taken a little at a time if you don’t want to overdose.

My son Arif was visiting his grandmother’s in the old neighbourhood and was fortunate enough to be there by when the Zalabia distribution was taking place in that neighbourhood. He got some, but to complete the typical Bahraini experience, he also got Sun Top from the nearby cold store and brought them home to us to enjoy after lunch 🙂



Here’s how Zalabia is made (with a lovely Iraqi accent) if you feel so inclined as to make your own:


Bon appetite and Ramadan Kareem.


Happy what?

Happy what?

Posted on

Here comes Ramadhan.

The month where almost no work gets done
When productivity of just about the whole Muslim nation grinds to a halt
And efficiency is not even a concept to be tolerated
Where people willingly stay up all night, and sleep all day
Where gluttony is the rule
And piousness is only the facade people wear
It has become indeed the most un-Islamic month in the calendar, by the habits that people bear and what they made it to be.

No wonder people celebrate when it’s over. So let me press fast-forward, and wish everyone a fantastic Eid! Did you enjoy the month-long break?


Ramadhan is not made for working, MP says

And he wants to ensure that those who do want to work during the Holy Month don’t get in the way. He will now issue a parliamentary wish backed by those guardians of Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Al-Menbar political bloc, to restrict work hours during Ramadhan to four whole hours! – but only to Muslims. Non Muslims be damned and you should be grateful that you actually run our country for us throughout the year and in Ramadhan in particular. What do you have to complain about?


While you’re doing that, the effervescent MP tells us

people tend to stay up late at night to pray, work or shop for Eid Al Fitr and needed the shorter hours.

The guy is most definitely ultra-prepared, when he thinks that people are busy buying stuff for Eid, which is 26 days away! That’s foresight for you. As to people staying late, watch TV, smoke their lungs out and stuff their gobs, well, what’s so different from normal days is that?

“And I am not saying that that people who fast becomes lazy during Ramadan and all they do is sleep, but a lot of them stay up late.”

Yes, of course you’re not, thank you for the elucidation.

I’m going to file this under “efficiency, work ethics, Mohammed Khalid’s Islam and competitiveness.”

Couldn’t this guy get a job at the EDB? I’m sure he will increase their efficiency no end!


Ramadhan Kareem!

Ramadhan Greeting

I wish you all a very happy, peaceful, spiritual and fulfilling Ramadhan, may Allah return it on all of humanity in peace and tranquillity.

the caption reads “It is now the athan al-maghreb time” (dusk call to prayer, the time at which the fast is broken)