Tag Archives ramadhan

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 🙂

zalabiya-and-suntop-01

 

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.

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Happy what?

Happy what?

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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?

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Ramadhan Kareem

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Wishing you a fulfilling and spiritually cleansing Ramadhan my friends. May you rise above prejudices and reach out to your fellow human beings during this month.

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Fasting?

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THE number of Arab Muslims in the region planning to fast in Ramadan is down by two per cent, according to a new survey.

Ninety-six per cent of Arab Muslims will observe the fast this year, down from 98pc last year, says Arab web portal Yahoo! Maktoob.

Source: GDN · 11 Aug 2010

Yeah sure. I would think the truth to be closer to about 40 – 50% fasting rather than only 4% not fasting! The statistic quoted in the “research” is definitely wrong. For one thing, no Muslim is going to openly admit that they’re not fasting or don’t intend to fast. Apart from it being a deeply personal thing, it’s declaring that one is being not a Good Muslim™. And that, my friends, has some unsavory implications.

I think they should re-do this research in a much simpler way, as follows:

  • Compare the sales of selected Khabbaz bakeries before and during Ramadhan, paying particular attention to purchases made earlier in the day
  • Check the sales levels of tinned tuna fish and other readily edible packaged foods before and during Ramadhan

With this simple exercise and a moderate understanding of statistics, one could easily project the numbers of those fasting to those who don’t. My gut feeling is that their discoveries will be, well, not very surprising as we all know the actual story.

And let’s not even go and analyse what constitutes a fast acceptable to the One upstairs. Just listen to the kind of questions asked in the several “Ask the Preacher” shows which flood TV channels during the month.

Well, regardless of whether you are fasting, and regardless of how “good” your fast is perceived, I hope you at least spare a thought to those less fortunate than yourself in this month. Go out and do some charity work for a change, and not just by opening your wallet, anyone can do that, go and actually do something constructive this month to alleviate hardships of your fellow human beings in your community.

Happy Ramadhan.

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Hellooooo Ramadhan!

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Quick note to wish everyone a very Ramadhan Mubarak.

I hope that everyone through this special month will think of his or her neighbour, family, acquaintances, the rest of humanity and even perceived enemies with a little more benefit of the doubt and do good to each other.

Just like these two little critters who graced us with their presence yesterday afternoon near San Juan Island when we quickly sneaked into the US of A territorial waters to see them! 😉

Orcas off San Juan Island

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Ramadhan Kareem

What better way to wish you all a very happy and peaceful Ramadhan, my friends, other than to share with you the Anti-hate campaign‘s winning logo which was announced last night at the event organised by Al-Waqt newspaper and attended by government, political and electronic publishing personalities and in which more than 23 websites, fora and blogs penned their names and affirmed their participation of this national enterprise?

I sincerely with to thank all of my friends who participated in this very worthy cause, even if their involvement was just offering moral support. Without you, this would not have seen the light of day.

I wish you all a very happy, fulfilling and peaceful Ramadhan.

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Eid Mubarak!

Eid Mubarak from Mahmood’s Den

May Allah accept your good deeds and reward you in this and any other life He bestows on you!

While it is still not assured that we will be celebrating Eid (the end of fasting month of Ramadhan) tomorrow, as that is incumbent upon someone viewing the new moon, scientifically it is, and as far as I am concerned, that’s what actually matters.

So let me wish you all a very good, healthy, peaceful and prosperous Eid enjoyed with your kith and kin. Spare a thought too to those less fortunate and try to make their Eid enjoyable too.

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