“When something proves to be so difficult or you keep seeing obstacles instead of progression, it may mean you need to try harder. Or it may mean it’s just not meant to be.” (Sister Yasmin Mogahed)
The last moments of 2015 is coming through. I never used to think about my year before, maybe because I thought there was nothing much to it. But in the past few years, particularly after I started blogging, I have been looking back to my year. 2013 was a fantastic year, which ended very badly, and 2014 was a very testing year for me. This year started with a lot of questions and a lot of hits to my conscience, and Alhamdulillah, this year, I did what I really wanted to do. It was definitely not easy – at times, you feel from one side that what you are doing is OK but the other side might be fighting with you to withdraw from it or not do it. Allah has gifted us with a conscience, and it is the best gift that He has given us. Our fithrah (natural self – it is such an abstract meaning!) is goodness. That is why when our father Adam (AS) ate the apple that Allah had forbidden him to eat, he immediately repented:
“They said, “Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers.” (Surah Al-Araf:23)
If we do anything that is away from our fithrah, with Allah’s guidance, we will not have peace of mind till we withdraw from it. Last week, I happened to see these words on Sister Mogahed’s FB page and it just summed up the way my year was. Alhamdulillah, my strive continues to find inner peace and be content with how Allah has made my life, though at times I do feel worried, only to be driven back to the fact that a lot of matters that happen in our life – our family, our job, our income, the people who come and go in our life, our surroundings, etc… everything happens with His Will. All we can do is to strive as much as we can and leave the rest to Him. He clearly says, “We provide for you.” (Surah Al-Anaam: part of verse 151), so it is for us to learn how we can rely on Him for everything, whether it is physical, financial and mental peace… I only wish to take forward whatever I have learned this year and develop it further to become a better person, InShaAllah… I sincerely hope that all of you who read this also find your inner peace too, InShaAllah… 🙂
On days when I need an extra hit, to push myself, I just make myself a Masala Chai. Everybody has their own versions of spiced tea and even variations to the spices added. At the end of it all, the tea brewed is so good to drink. When you make it, you shouldn’t be in a hurry. Go on to the favorite corner of your home, stretch yourself and be seated comfortably, hold the mug tight in your glass and relish every sip. Like I mentioned, there is no hard and fast rule of making this tea as such. The spices I have used is basically what you would normally use. Some people use a pinch of nutmeg. I also used to use nutmeg earlier and really loved its flavoring – if you see, some of my earlier posts do state the use of nutmeg in minimal quantities, but after a reader alerted me about this article, I completely stopped using it. Allah knows best… 🙂 Also, you can increase the dose of black pepper and cinnamon if you want a really smoky flavored chai, or you want a mild version where all flavors will play around, then that’s mine. Feel free to skip any of the spices that you don’t personally like. But actually speaking, I wouldn’t skip any. I am no fan of fennel but I still use it in my tea, since it adds an interesting nutty dimension to the chai.
Clicking pictures for this was a challenge. I wanted a hand pose and was prodding HD to click, who was least interested. After literally eating his head 😉 he finally gave in. He must have taken more than 10 shots and each of them had a fault. I didn’t want him to take my whole hands, just the holding part, finally I had to draw it for him to get what you see in the first shot. I checked it and said, “OK, this seems fine, not bad…” “Not bad? What do you mean by “not bad”? I am a good photographer…” Baah… finally I had to shake my head and agree to him… I didn’t want any bad blood, you see! 😀 Next thing, I saw him sitting in the corner of the sofa, sipping his cup and enjoying it… hehe… So off to the last post for this year… and InShaAllah looking forward to seeing what we will have in store for this blog in the coming year… 🙂
- 1¼ cup full fat milk
- ¾ cup water
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- ½ tsp dry ginger powder or 1 inch peice ginger, peeled and sliced
- ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
- ¼ tsp black pepper powder
- ⅛ tsp fennel powder
- 2 cloves, broken
- 2 tsp black tea powder (I used Eastea or Kannan Devan)
- 2 tsp sugar
- Combine the milk and water and keep on the stove.
- Add in all the spices and cook on low flame.
- As the mixture starts to boil, add in the tea powder and allow it to come to a rolling boil.
- Keep on lowest flame and brew till the desired color (strength) is reached.
- Switch off, sweeten with sugar and serve hot.
- Enjoy the aroma and sip in!