Alhamdulillah…I’m glad I became a Muslim because…..

Alhamdulillah…I’m glad I became a Muslim because…..

by Karimah bint Dawoud, Muslim chaplain and well being writer

Alhamdulillah…I’m glad I became a Muslim because now I don’t go to carnival. I stay at home and rest my bones, I learn Arabic and some Quran, I do things that are going to benefit me in this life and the next. I know the history of carnival, not just the Notting Hill history, but the thousands of year old history ,Carnival dates back to a time when women ruled the world and every year the queen took a new king, the old king was ritually sacrificed and originally cannibalized. In later years animal sacrificed replaced this, for reference please see “When God Was a Woman” by Merlin Stone.

I have done everything at carnival..The Carnival… Notting Hill Carnival ; I’ve been in riots at carnival, which I my case meant jumping over railings to get away from tear gas and running to avoid the stampede.


I have sold tee shirts at carnival saying “True woman is God’s gift to man!”

I have performed at carnival with my band , The Family and last  and by no means least I have made costumes with one of the camps and been on the road.

Being on the road means you get grabbed up by strange,  drunk, druggy men who want to have their foto taken with you. Praise Allah, I am and always was a country girl, get too close or grab me in the wrong way and I will punch you……still those days are gone and as I sit on the comfort of my house, I listen to the bacchanal outside and say “Alhamdulillah I became a Muslim!”



Spicy Carrot and Lentil Soup – IFTAR IDEAS

Spicy Carrot and Lentil Soup

by Karimah bint Dawoud, muslim chaplain and well being writer

This fragrant and nutritious carrot and lentil soup will brighten up any cloudy day. Its comfort food that  brings a bit  of sunshine to  the heart and  only takes  minutes to make. It’s full of iron and fibre, great for giving you an energy boost before venturing out to face the elements.

Seasoned with roasted cumin  seeds and chili and dressed with yogurt and fresh parsley,  this soup will soon replaced its more plainer cousin -just dhaal soup.Cumin is mentioned in Islamic haddiths and has amazing health benefits; it  contains iron which is essential for maintaining the immune system, great for the blood and aids in digestion.

You need carrots, red lentils, that don’t need soaking, whole cumin seeds  and flaked dry chilli,olive oil, milk, water and stock and bob’s your uncle.

I am not going to give you quantities except to say a handful of carrots, 1/2 a cup of lentils, 1/2 a cup of ,ilk and 3 cups of soak.

Dry fry the chilies and cumin, take some out for dressing after, when seeds start to pop add olive oil, carrots ,lentils, milk and stock, bring to boil  then simmer for 20 minutes, , keep stirring to make sure lentils don’t stick on the bottom.

 Whizz in the blender   for 30 seconds and that’s it, soup made simple,

Dress with yogurt, more cumin and chilli you saved from before and fresh herbs. I’m having mine with fatayer , not right now but looking forward to it later inshallah.

Narrated Abu Huraira (RadhiAllahu ‘anhu):

I heard Allah’s Apostle (salAllahu alayhi wa sallam saying,

“There is healing in black cumin for all diseases except death.”

[Sahih Bukhari – Book 071, Hadith 592)

Soups and more recipes in “Heavenly Bites”, cook book available for pre-order now

ALHAMDULILAH…I became a Muslim because……….

ALHAMDULILAH…I became a Muslim because

by Karimah bint Dawoud, Muslim chaplain and well being writer

ALHAMDULILAH…I became a Muslim because when the wind of life’s troubles blows I stay on my deen, my prayers, my hijaab, trying to be patient and grateful. All praise is due to the Creator I embraced Islam for myself not for a man.Some women come to Islam because they have to, to  get married to that tall dark and handsome man , some of them stay the course and become muslims of conviction.Some of them it was just for convenience and they are not strong enough in their conviction or they just don’t understand they beauty of this religion, some of them are put off the religion because of the terrible way that the man they embraced Islam for is not actually practicing what he preaches, there are loads of variables.

Alhamdulillah, all praise is due to the Creator, I do not fall into any of the above.

When I was about 2o I was shown a book called ” In Search Of The Truth” by a Shiite  Muslim. I didn’t understand anything about Shiite and Sunni, I just thought ” why do you have to search for the truth?

 As I grew up and my consciousness became more aware of the world I was living in, it became apparent that the Truth is something you do have to look for in a world of illusion and lies.

Now some years later, having looked at Buddhism, Hinduism, coming from a Christian background, I was a Rasta for 7 years and studied with a Pan African Egyptology group for 2 years, at last Allah guided me to Islam, the final destination .But this is not the end of the line , it’s the guidebook of how to get back home, instead of the Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy it’s more like the A-Z of How To Get  To Paradise.

ALHAMDULILAH – I’m glad I became a muslim because………

ALHAMDULILAH – I’m glad I became a muslim because………

by Karimah bint Dawoud, muslim chaplain and well being writer

I’m glad I became a muslim because….now I have a wonderful and every day more wonderful relationship with my mum, maashallah. Westernised society sets women up against each other in the media, in soap operas and films and adverts. I remember seeing one advert for reading glasses and the girl’s boyfriend said her mum looked nice in her new glasses and the mum was happy for the compliment and the girl was upset……..hmmmmmm.This is just one example.

In the past my mum and my relationship has been strained, even as a Muslim, the shatan still tries to get in between us but using her words I just ” RISE ABOVE IT” , becasue my relationship with mum is worth more than a few provocative words she may say.

In Islam we say” Heaven is at the feet of the mother!”. A man asked prophet muhaamd, salah la alahi wa salem, who is more deserveing of our respoect and trhe prophet said “the mother!” he twice more and twice more he said the mother.

the womb is mentioned often in the QURAN, references to the womb that bore you, the relationship with the mother is very important, but something that most men do not realise is that every woman is a potential mother, every woman has a womb, so every woman is deserving of respect even if she doesnt respect herself.

If you think as a muslim man or any man that you are better than a woman , then be better than her in the decent way you treat her to show her a better way of behaving, rather than taking advantage of her.

She has never said anything bad about Islam, though I think quietly  and aside from me, has her own thoughts which are largely influenced by the media and the terrible behaviour of muslim men towards non muslim women and some of the things she has seen happen to me. Over the years she has also seen the difference between Islam as the pure religion , what the good book says and the behaviour of people who say they are muslim or muslim from birth and are not really practicing.

Alot of mums are influenced by their daughters take on fashion, make-up etc and this has also happened in our case.My mum used to be like Dorian in Birds of a Feather,an English  TV comedy, not in behaviour I must clarify, but in her dress sense, very short dresses and high heels.Now she is an advocate of long dresses and flat boots, “I like long dresses “she says and she looks good in them too mashallah.

Some muslims say you should keep away from your non muslim family just becasue they are non muslims but this is incorrect. There is a difference between “a kuffar” and a non muslim. A kuffar is someone who would turn you out of the house becasue you are muslim and you would fight against your relgion with their mouth or hand, etc.Prasie God this is not the majority of non muslims in the UK.

I love my non muslim family and I love sharing with them my Islam.When they heard I was going to Saudia Arabia, my auntie said “Don’t forget to take your swimming costume!”. I told her it was a pilgrimage that they happily saw me return from with arms full of intesting and exotic presents and perhaps a better attitude inshallah. This subtle dow’ah, spreading the message of Islam through everyday activities nutures the bond between people who are lost and those who have a purpose, to worship the creator of us all in everything we do ameen.

Alhamdulilah – I’m glad I became a muslim because……..

Alhamdulilah – I’m glad I became a muslim because……..

by Karimah bint Dawoud, muslim chaplain and well being writer

Maashallah my son!

I am so glad I became a muslim because it has made me be a better example to my son, I stopped drinking alcohol, stop taking drugs and stopped having boyfriends.

Stop smoking marijuana means that I don’t get paranoid  and now I think more clearly, the same goes for alcohol. Drinking alcohol makes you have blurry boundaries and makes you do things you wouldn’t normally do. The combination of alcohol and marijuana is a some times  lethal combination in that you get yourself  into things that are hard to get out of.

I used to get so upset that I would get hysterical over things but now  not doing those things and doing my prayers , praise The Creator, I am much more calm and this have a positive effect on my son.I am able to be objective about things and see that things are part of the destiny of God.

Having a calm home is very important for children especially growing teenagers that are making that concious transition from child to adult hood.A calm home needs at least one calm significant adult.If the mum or dad is stressed out and in a state through drugs, alcohol, sexual abuse, gambling etc, this can have disastrous effects on growing adults.

So alhmdulilah I am glad I became a muslim.


IFTAR IDEAS – Arabic samosas, the healthy option!

by Karimah bint Dawoud, muslim chaplain and well being writer


Recipes in forth coming book, “Heavenly Bites”

Dr Farouk Haffejee mentions in his book, Health Guidelines For Ramadhan, that baked samosas have 85 calories while the deep fried ones have 150 calories.Thats not so bad, you think but if you have 3 thats nearly 500 calories ,equivalent to a main meal.

The health  Arabic version of samosas are these wonderful finger foods called fatayer and here is my step by step recipe.


We use the bought bread mix in  bag that has the yeast in it, so to 500 grammes of the mix add 350 ml of hot water, mix and leave covered with plastic bag for 15 minutes or so while you are making the filling.


Ingredients for filling, pre washed chopped and frozen spinach; when you see spinach in the market for 4 bunches for £1 which is cheap , wash , chop and drain and freeze in sandwich bags, perfect when you need it.1/2 handful of pine nuts, do not much while you are cooking or you may get pine mouth (look it up),1/2 a block of feta cheese,onions and garlic, mixed spice.


Fried chopped onion and garlic


Add mixed spice, about 1 teaspoon.


 Add spinach


Add cheese and let it melt and mix into spianch


Toast nuts in separate pan, keep stirring over medium flame til they start going a bit golden brown


Add nuts to spinach and mix in, voila! you have 1 filling


Left over bengala magreb chicken


Take flesh off bones, including skin and chop finely, voila! filling number 2


Add 3 desserts spoons of olive oil to flour  mix,  to give it flexibily, mix in well and knead for 5 minutes or more if you can manage it.


500 grammes of flour, cut lump into 4 chunks and wrapp in cling film and leave in warm place, after 10 mnites  each pieces should be divided inot 8, each little piece the suize of a golf ball is roll out on floury surface


Add filling to centre and make it into traingle shape


Join 2 edges of circle together and pinch together to seal


Fold up remaining edge to form triangular package


Place on oiled baking tray and place in oven for 10 minutes on gas mark 5 or electric 190 C375 F


Cool outside oven and serve warm, with mango chutney or satay sauce they are super delicious mashallah!