Jun 16, 2014

Time in the Kitchen - Part 1

by Amal S


Many sisters spend quite some time in the kitchen either as a responsibility or as a hobby. It is wise to try and maximize our time and good deeds while cooking by (1) purifying our intentions before we cook, (2) upgrading what we do while we cook, and (3) improving how we enjoy our meals. This daily chore or pastime can actually become into a good-deed-accumulating experience insha’Allah!

(1) Before Cooking:

· Say Bismillah

· Renew and purify your intention
  • Make your intention to please Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala by serving your family, feeding people, and nourishing your body so that you can continue to worship Him Ta’ala.
· Choose tasty but simple recipes
  • It’s good to evaluate if regularly spending 8 hours cooking one dish is the best use of time when there are many delicious recipes that are both nourishing and tasty and are not so pain staking and time-consuming. Simplicity is a beautiful thing.
· Remember our ultimate role and aspiration is to be a slave and worshipper of Allah, and our hearts and deeds are of most significance – not one’s flare at cooking, or lack thereof.

While Cooking:

· Cooking can be a nice time to remember Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala
  • “The comparison of the one who remembers Allaah and the one who doesn’t is like that of the living and the dead.” [Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree] 
  • Listen to a beneficial lecture
  • Plan out dhikr chunks
        - Making dhikr while cooking seems like an easy task, but the mind and heart are easily distracted.       It might be more effective to allocate a dhikr you will say for certain chunks of time. For example,       do istighfar for 10 minutes, then tahmeed for 10 minutes, and then send peace upon the Prophet           (sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), etc.
        - Different types of dhikr: Istighfar; Subhan Allahi wa bihamdih; la hawla wa la quwwata illaa billah;       SubhanAllah, walhamdulillah, wa La ilaaha illAllah, wAllahu Akbar; and others
  • Recite surahs from the Qur’an as revision

After Cooking:

· You could invite sisters over for a halaqah (sisters’ circle) & serve a meal
· Review the recommended, obligatory, and disliked acts associated with eating. Here are just a few examples:
  • Eat and drink with the right hand
  • Do not complain about the food
  • If a piece of food falls on the ground, pick it up, remove the dirt, and eat it
  • Say Bismillah before eating and praise Allah (Alhamdulillah) after eating (there are specific du’as to say after eating)
  • More information: http://islamqa.info/en/ref/13348
· Whilst eating:
  • Reflect on the ingredients and creation of Allah
  • Remind children in the family that Allah is the Provider (Ar-Razzaaq)
  • Have productive, beneficial conversations: family bonding, sincere advice, sharing beneficial information and reminders, making each other happy, kind words, etc.
· Nourish your Eman – The Qur’an
  • This can be done before cooking or after cooking
  • You’ve looked after your body, the family, and the heart with some dhikr, but now it is time to really truly enjoy the ultimate delight, taste the ultimate sweetness – spend some time reciting the Qur’an (along with a translation if you do not understand Arabic).
  • Whether it is a 1 page, 5 pages or 1 juz’, we ought to set a time in our schedule to spend with the words of ALLAH subhanahu wa ta’ala.
  • The Qur’an is one of the supreme ways to renew one’s Eman and heart
Most, if not all of us, find ourselves in the kitchen at some point in time. We should make this a time in which to remember Allah and follow it up with remembering Allaah during our meals. InshaAllah these practices will aid in having a happy kitchen and a happy home.

This concludes Part 1 of Time in The Kitchen. Be sure to look out for Part 2 where we will share some Persian recipes with you inshaAllah.

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