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April 1, 2004
Mile 3: The Peace Pit

by Saima Siddiqui

Shajeeah: I feel like eating something sweet...

Kunza: Like what? (starts the car)

Shajeeah: I don't know, like rass malai or something...

Kunza: Hmm, have you ever tried to make it at home?

Shajeeah: Actually, I have with my mom's recipe.. how do you usually make it ?

Kunza: Well, I boil milk like depending on how much you're gonna make.. and after it's boiled, I split the milk into curds and whey with some vinegar or lemon juice..

Shajeeah: Uh huh...

Kunza: Then like I separate the curds into a cheese cloth and let it sit.. or hang rather.. so that all of the moisture is out.. usually takes about 6 hours...

Shajeeah: Yeah, otherwise it'll be all gooey..

Kunza: Yeah, so then after that's drained, I make little balls out of the cheese.. or curds.. using some buttermilk to moisten it so that they can form easily... While I'm doing this, I put some half and half with some sugar and ground up cardamom seeds into a pot to simmer.. and then in another pot.. I put some sugar with some water to make a syrup which the cheese balls will cook in...

Shajeeah: Uh huh.. I think I got the gist of it...

Kunza: Just remember, when they float up to the top, they're done.

Shajeeah: Cool.

Kunza: So, what's new ?

Shajeeah: Nothing much, wassup wichu ?

Kunza: Aah, well, I have SO much to tell you.

Shajeeah: Yeah?

Kunza: Well remember that lawyer proposal ?

Shajeeah: Yeah.

Kunza: Well, I was telling an old friend about him when she came over for dinner, and she wanted to see his picture...

Shajeeah: Uh huh...

Kunza: So, I showed her his picture.. and she was like.. "Kunza, this can't be him".. and I'm like, I think it is.. so then she's like.. "This guy is the boyfriend of one of my colleagues at work"...

Shajeeah: (gasps) NO WAY!

Kunza: YES! Can you believe that ??

Shajeeah: Wow.

Kunza: Yeah, SubhanAllah. So, I told my mom, and she approached his mother about it. And his mom tells her that that girl is bad and that they're trying to break them up... blah blah blah..

Shajeeah: Wow.

Kunza: Yeah, SubhanAllah. (smiles)

Shajeeah: SubhanAllah. (smiles and looks at Kunza)

(after a brief moment of silence)

Kunza: It seems like I'm just getting rid of the "noise" in my head... and Allah is making sure that no other drama is created to create more "noise"...

Shajeeah: Aah.. the noise factor...

Kunza: Yeah like, you live here in America, grow up here... knowing that this isn't your so-called culture... more so enforced by your parents... so then that decreases a particular noise in your head. Then, you get older, and you realize that the cultural part of your household isn't that Islamic either.. so you battle that noise in your mind.. and so you are left alone from the outside world...

Shajeeah: And the inside world..

Kunza: So who do you turn to...

Shajeeah: Allah.

Kunza: Exactly. So then by turning to Him, you get some channels in your brain to be turned on peace mode. Then, you turn off the television, so that decreases more noise that was in your mind. Then you stop listening to music.. and that creates more peace in your mind. And then you sit one night, and you just pray. You pray with consciousness and the most minimal noise... and you realize then...

Shajeeah: The essence.

Kunza: The peace pit. That state of bliss when you submit to your Lord who created you... And everything is in His power...

Shajeeah: SubhanAllah

Kunza: SubhanAllah.

Shajeeah: I remember one time, I had gone to a lecture and the speaker was talking about tahajjud prayers. So, I was like, I should try it one day. You know, it can't hurt. And SubhanAllah, Kunza, it was the most peaceful time for me.

Kunza: Yeah, imagine if Americans found out about tahajjud prayers, the sales for Prozac and Zoloft would plummet...

Shajeeah: Yeah, the pharmaceutical companies would blame it on spiritual terrorism...

Kunza: (laughs)

Shajeeah: So, I found out about that guy...

Kunza: Okay.. and ?

Shajeeah: My friend told me that he wants to get a job before getting married...

Kunza: Aah.. okay...is he graduating this year?

Shajeeah: Yeah, he is.

Kunza: Ok

Shajeeah: He's an honest guy... very responsible.. very tactful... he has a sense of hayaa and is very goal-oriented...he's not materialistic at all...

Kunza: Cool. (pulls to the toll)

Toll Lady: Thank you and have a good night.

Kunza: (to toll lady) You too.

Shajeeah: So, what do you say?

Kunza: How's his family?

Shajeeah: He has umm... 3 brothers and 3 sisters.. his father is a doctor.. his mom stays home... He was born and raised here... I think... So what d'ya say?

Kunza: Let me make salaatul istiqhaara.. and then we'll go from there...

Shajeeah: Okay, sounds good to me (smiles)

Kunza: My mom was telling me about another proposal as well... so I have to find more information on that too...

Shajeeah: Ok, no problem hon. Insha'Allah, May Allah give you whatever that's best.

Kunza: (smiles) (pulls into the driveway)

Shajeeah: You should come inside the house some time to have tea...

Kunza: Yeah, we'll be up all night talking about whirling dervishes...

Shajeeah: (laughs) You still have to tell me about that...

Kunza: Yeah, Insha'Allah, next time.

Shajeeah: Take care, As-salaamu alaikum

Kunza: W'alaikum as-salaam.

of and relating to...
Nadia said

Mashallah great!! This part was especially moving:
"Then, you turn off the television, so that decreases more noise that was in your mind. Then you stop listening to music.. and that creates more peace in your mind. And then you sit one night, and you just pray. You pray with consciousness and the most minimal noise... and you realize then...the essence". Subhanallah
Keep it up :)

on April 1, 2004 4:41 PM
Justoju said


Excellent work mashaAllah...I think you and I should have our own column in which we discuss proposals and offer proposal-consideration advice :)...

I have so much to give to the Ummah...


on April 1, 2004 4:58 PM
Mostafa Ibn Mohamed Khalifa said

Asalaamu `alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu,

Here's another comment on marriage (sorry, Ayan :P) and the need for it to be done properly. Check out this link inshaa' Allah and please, give your feedback inshaa' Allah --


Jazaakum Allahu khayr.

Asalaamu `alaikum,

Ibn Mohamed Khalifa

on April 1, 2004 6:13 PM
Faisal Akhtar said


I just have one giant question, who won the ISRU logo contest?


on April 1, 2004 9:50 PM
Talal said

Heh... Brozer Faisal, you've gotta wait like the rest of ISRU's minions :)

on April 1, 2004 9:54 PM
Wajahat Gilani said

i liked the rass malai part and the dating lawyer

Wajahat Gilani

on April 2, 2004 9:57 AM
Rami said

Salaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,

"My friend told me that he wants to get a job before getting married..."

I thought marriage WAS the full time job?

Also while on the subject of recipes; I could use a good recipe for Biryani or curry chicken, as I have absolutely no food in my apartment and have resorted to buying Kushari(Lentils with rice) from Saida Aisha(a district in cairo) so often that now I just ask for "the usual."

on April 2, 2004 3:19 PM
Faisal Akhtar said



Click on Recipes on the left and enjoy. A good site for someone looking for Desi recipes. If you want to eat Ras Malai, Samosas or any other desi dish mentioned in this series, this is the site for you. Also, can anyone point to a good a Middle Eastern cooking website? I'll try to bur.... cook something.

One more thing, is there a possibility for a separate discussion board on Hidaya? This post is a wild tangent to the topic at hand so I think there should be a general ramblings section for posts just like these. What do you guys think?


on April 2, 2004 3:32 PM
Saima said


on April 2, 2004 5:54 PM
ibn Muzaffar Hussain said

For good biryani recipes, you can also ask my mom. She also makes some pretty bangin' ras malai..just ask all the guys...right guys???

ibn Muzaffar
'work in this life as if you'll live forever, prepare for the Hereafter as if you'll die tomorrow'

on April 2, 2004 10:55 PM
Talal said

I finally got to have dinner tonight. Alhamdulillah, it was some Power Biryani, so the long wait was definitely worth it. Long live the Ummahaat!

on April 2, 2004 11:38 PM
Justoju said





(OR just save yourself some trouble and get a wife...shoot, get a couple of 'em and have them cook via assembly line to make for better efficiency)

on April 2, 2004 11:52 PM
Justoju said

Oh and the dating lawyer tidbit reminded me of something...I once received a proposal from a lawyer who confided to me that he had considerable evidence that he was posessed by a jinn...I think it was probably just indigestion though.

on April 3, 2004 12:02 AM
Faisal Akhtar said

This is an invitation to all Hidaya writers. Can one person please be my peer reviewer? Usually the other person catches things that you might miss yourself. So, you review my article, I'll review yours. You scracth my back, I'll scracth your. How about it?

on April 3, 2004 11:17 PM
Talal said

BEFORE anyone actually does it...
no "scratch" jokes, aight?

on April 4, 2004 1:26 AM
Mostafa Ibn Mohamed Khalifa said

Asalaamu `alaikum,

Faisal, I'll review your stuff, but you need to come meet with me in person when you want me to review it. You know where my office is. Let me know if this arrangement works for you inshaa' Allah.

Asalaamu `alaikum,


on April 4, 2004 4:18 PM
ayan said

wajahat you are obsessed with milk based pakistani food. ras mallai. dhai "ballai" and especially the ladoos.

on April 7, 2004 1:20 PM
Justoju said

mashaAllah our Ummah is not lactose intolerant.

on April 7, 2004 2:48 PM
Ibn Muzaffar Syed Hussain said

ayan, bro...dahi balle does NOT rhyme with ras mallai...just thought i'd clear the misconception for a novice reading that...and yes, he does have an obsession with them

on April 7, 2004 2:50 PM
Justoju said

This reminds me of a serious issue that has been long ignored due to our preoccupation with the whole occupation of Muslim lands and our people being the victim of genocides thing. Brothers and Sisters, we are viceregents on this Earth. We must take action.


on April 7, 2004 3:24 PM
ayan said

listen arif, we can discuss lexical rhythm and lexical rhyme all day long. so lets. please call me.

on April 7, 2004 3:53 PM
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