Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Drink this read that

Hmmm should this become a regular feature? With the summer season in full swing the masses are hot and sweaty. Air conditioning is needed for basic survival. Here in NYC you’ll find most apartments with their AC’s blasting. It’s a huge strain on the grid but ConEd doesn’t give out and continues pumping out the juice. Unlike other utilities I know which can’t get enough of shutting off your power and wreaking havoc with your sensitive appliances. MW often calls in complaining about the lack of power, which motivates me even more to bring her over ASAP.

At any rate being in the midst of a heat wave is no fun. You sweat a lot and remaining hydrating is an uphill battle. I have to literally walk up a hill to get to my apartment building. If I am carrying bags of groceries the strain is doubled. By the time I walk in and give myself a look in the lobby mirror I am a mess. What’s worse I have given myself a headache. I need a nice cup of tea to get me back on track. Of course the preferred drink to rehydrate in the states is any number of colored sports drink. As effective as they are they are only there to replenish you, they can’t stave off the effects of heat sickness.

May I suggest to you Hamdard’s Rooh Afza:




Hamdard is a prestigious laboratory based in Pakistan, specializing in herbal medicine. They have come up with numerous remedies to common ailments like coughs, flu, colds etc. Perhaps their most tasty concoction is their summer time remedy. The label says that it’s for preventing and curing common summer time ailments brought on by excessive heat. With its all natural ingredients you get a light and refreshing drink once the syrup has been mixed with a glass of cool water. Of course people don’t stop there, it’s sweet and aromatic taste has made it a staple ingredient for deserts. Mixed with milk it makes for a tasty shake (a treat my mom served up for iftar, its refreshing goodness was much appreciated after a long day of fasting). All in all it’s the perfect summer drink. You can look for it in specialty stores as Hamdard distributes in the US.

UPDATE1: RAMADAN MUBARAK TO ALL MY READERS! You guys have been great feeding the hit counter but slipping on the comments >:-\ Anyways if you are fasting this month more power to you hope you make it through in one piece, dropping bad habits along the way and of course being forgiven for the past years sins. Pray for yours truly that he can do the same. Peace.

UPDATE2: I just bought a bottle from my local desi grocer. Man were the lines packed! In the evening when I get home I pass by the store to pick up a few groceries, by few I mean by how much I can carry up the hill to my building. The evenings are always a frantic times as dads getting off of work are doing the required milk run and moms are picking up some last minute items for that dinner party they are having.

But today on the eve of Ramadan it seemed like all of Hillside descended on this one store. The lines were snaking into the aisles! At first I thought of bailing but I needed water to drink. So I toughed it out. Glad I did because while waiting in the line I came across a shipment of the red elixir. I had to have some, its a welcomed addition to the iftar. So yeah it seems I am all set for Ramadan I even got a new alarm clock but that story is for another time. I now return you to your regularly scheduled blog post...

During the summer months the heat isn’t the only thing rising. With women dressing down libidos are at an all time high. In the past (and not too distant past) my sex drive has gotten me into trouble. On the one hand my nafs says “just do it” while my religious conditioning says “don’t do it”. I am left in the lurch it’s like driving full force on a highway with your parking brakes on. Over time you start to smell a strange odor because something burned out. In my case it’s more than just a burn out, unfortunately for me I get a case of depression. Depression is no fun and the harmful effects ripple out from me and punish people close to me as well.

Although I get back on my feet and I am stronger for it the threat is always there. The worst thing that I could think of is hurting MW because of my illness. That’s why I wanted to learn more about what Islam says about Sex. Naysayers may be raising eyebrows by now. Islam recognizes sex? Yes, yes it does and it has plenty to say. Remember Islam is more than a religion it’s a complete way of life that can be followed individually, by the family, by the society and by an entire civilization. So why wouldn’t it guide us through one of the most sensitive issues a man and woman can face together?


May I introduce to you Mufti Ibn Adam’s book Islamic Guide to Sexual Relations:


Now for the most part conservatives like me and others tend to shy away from this topic. In my case I feel it’s immoral to go around talking about indecent things. Furthermore you stand the risk of exciting others and you would be partly punished for any sins that they commit. Keeping this in mind I didn’t want to mention that I bought this book. But then I see Islamophobics talking endlessly about how “them damn Moslems” go around beating their wives and killing their daughters. It made me sick to see how narrow minded and one sided their arguments really are. Often times they are so blinded by their hate they often don’t consider the facts and make their case based on heresy and paranoia.

Well I am here to set the record straight. We love our wives and daughters. We give more respect to our mothers than most American teens would ever dare to give. Oh and we know who are fathers are. I hate it when those morons get to me and I have to sling mud just like them. My apologies to any sensitive readers; so getting back to the review. In a word, stupendous.

I must say I had some preconceived notions of my own and this book helped clear them up. I have even more love for the prophet and respect for his companions after reading this. They were real human beings who faced each and every aspect of human nature with the utmost dignity and nobility. As God had intended their example became a beacon of enlightenment for all mankind for all times. Mufti Adam takes us through each phase of the typical sexual encounter. Mind it he clearly states that the only lawful encounter is between a man and his wife. As groundbreaking as this book may be he doesn’t condone any deviant relations, including homosexuality.

Having said that readers will find this book to be surprisingly liberal. The author himself tries to explain why he chose to be so explicit. He is a religious figure and is expected to maintain a certain level of decorum. But when he saw classical scholars, who enjoy tremendous respect in the Ummah, had written works on this subject in even greater detail. He felt embolden and began to tackle many modern issues we as Muslims living in the West have to face. Growing up in the glare of Hollywood we just like everyone else are often given our first lesson on sexual relations by celebrities. Its easy to make the case that they are not the best role models for a happy married life. But we get no respite society is saturated by their message and everything is geared towards fornication and adultery. It can make a man go mad!

That’s why I am deeply thankful to the Mufti for writing this book and to Allah for giving me the chance to read and understand it. The contents deal with mundane hadiths that we have been hearing ever since we were kids. Like staying clean and healthy. But then he brings up hadiths that our parents never mentioned. Let’s just say that Allah’s mercy to mankind was a skilled lover. Subhanallah. Oh and the chapter about the fiqh of ones wedding night, is enough to cover the cost of admission alone.

I don’t get paid to evangelize this work. I am just a fan and da’ee who wants to get the word out. I hope this book can help others just like it has helped me. If you want to interact with the Mufti, who is 30 something, born and raised in the UK and classically trained in Islamic teachings by some of the greatest scholars or our time you can go to his website. This link is also in the “Political Activism” blog roll look for the text Ask Adam.

So that’s my shpeel. All in all you should be ready for summer after reading this. You should know what to drink if you need to cool off. And what to read in case you can’t. Till next time I bid you farewell.

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