Friday, 29 June 2007

please sign

ladies and gentleman, boys and girls and mishy.

there simply aren't enough signatures on this thing.

free babar ahmad petition
(British citizens only)

there are currently 3,369 signatures. if i was any good at maths, i'd work out how much of the British Muslim population that is. or maybe i don't want to work it out. maybe i would be too depressed.

it only takes a few minutes, the amount of time it will take you to read this post.let's do our bit to support the brothers and sisters who are working tirelessly to end the injustice we will all be held accountable for. may Allah reward you for your efforts.

and (continue to) make dua.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

ask a stupid question....

me: do you want to put that phone away so i can get on with the lesson?
the student: no

me: are you listening to me?
the student: what?

me: five minutes before the end of the lesson so, that's clear to everyone, right?
them: erm.. not really

me: are you sleeping in my lesson?
the student: silence

me: does anybody want to do some extra reading to help me decide which text to pick next year?
the students: silence

me: in the plenary can everyone write down five new things they've learnt today?
the student: what if we've not learnt anything?

me: do you want to try and teach this yourself?
the student: shrugs shoulders ok (and did a better job)

me: do you want to stay behind with me at the end of the lesson?
the student: i wouldn't mind that much (for the benefit of his freinds)

me: don't you think the cleaners have better things to do than clean up after you?
the student: not really,that is what they're paid for

me: what do you mean, you're dropping English and picking up Sociology?
the student: i mean, i'm dropping English and picking up Sociology

Monday, 25 June 2007


.....with the opposite gender:

is it ever possible?

Saturday, 23 June 2007

lasagna recipe

it's been a busy day. my sister in law's family came round, which is always fun. everyone except her sister in law that is, please make a special dua for her mother who isn't feeling well:(

i made lasange, so thought i'd put up the recipe. i'll leave it up to my friends to tell you if it tastes any good (hint hint!) or if it isn't worth making, i'm sure they'll let you know too.


1 pound of mince meat
10 tomatoes
3 peppers
1 packet button mushrooms
1 handful of frozen sweetcorn
1 spring onion
3 large onions
2 whole garlics
lasagna sheets
i medium block of mild cheddar cheese (grated)


place the minced in a pan with 1 diced onion, and 1 whole garlic (crushed). place the 10 tomatoes in a bowl, and pour boiling water on top of them. when the water has cooled down, drain and peel the skin off the tomatoes (it should come off really easily) then squash all the tomatoes using your hands (or you can just used tinned tomatoes). when the mince meat is cooked, add about 2 tablespoons of cooking oil, then add 3/4 of the squahsed tomatoes, along with 1 oxo cube, and salt and pepper to taste. also add two button mushrooms, finely chopped. leave to simmer for about 15 mins then take off the heat.

next, fry 1 chopped onion and some crushed garlic in a pan with a little oil. Then add the rest of the tomotos, along with an oxo cube and salt and pepper. dice the spring onions and peppers and add to the pan. when they have softened, add the mushrooms (sliced) and the sweetcorn.when all the vegetables are soft, take off the heat.

spread the vegetables in an even layer at the bottom of a flat, ovenproof casserole dish. then overlap the lasagne sheets on top of the vegetables. then spread the mince meat mixture on top of the lasagne sheets, and cover the mince meat with another layer of lasagna sheets. next make the cheese sauce.

to make the cheese sauce:

melt 60g of butter in a frying pan, then add two heaped tablespoons of plain flour. blend the butter and flour together for about 2 mins until smooth. then add 250 ml of milk. stir the mixture until the milk thickens, then take off the heat. add 60 grams (about 3 handfuls) of grated cheese to the mixture, some chopped coriander and some pepper. spread the cheese sauce on top of the lasagne sheets, then sprinkle the rest of the grated cheese on top, with some corrainder if you like.

bake in the over for 30 - 45 minutes on gas mark 5.

i made biriyani too. i added the picture on the recipe i posted previously.

my sister made these!!

and fruit crumble

so there was lots of yummy food but it aa-ll went into my tummy:)
i'll put the chocolate cheesecake recipe up when we make it next so i can take a picture.
don't hold your breath though, everyone is on a diet lately.
plus, i'm a bit worried no one will come to visit me for my food, if all the recipes are up on here:(

random picture of my shoes!

to prove my feet are just as big as organic's!

Friday, 22 June 2007

stop spending, start saving

i'm drowning!

i really think i should be learning how to swim. does anyone want to join me?
the problem is i don't want to join a womens only group, with pretend segregation, i want a Muslim only group with some real segregation.
actually what i really want is a bug huge swimming pool just for me and noone else. it can't be that expensive, surely.

whilst i'm wishing, i also want a big huge tropical fish tank like this one.

aren't fish just the most amazing thing ever? but those things are so--o expensive.
and there's me thinking i''m not high manitenance! guess i was wrong

i think i better start saving.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

annotating poems

i tried this activity this week and it worked really well. it's quite simple really, you just get the students to annotate a poem using different colours and fonts. they can work on it independently, and it gets them to react to the poem if they think they don't have an opinion on it. you can then get them to write about their choices and this will naturally lead to a discussion and analysis of the poem.
you can then laminate the best poems and use them as wall displays. hhm that's what i could be doing at the moment, working on my wall displays. i wish i was more artsy and creative:(

anyway, here (1, 2, 3 )are some of the poems that the students produced, in my order of preference. feel free to help me judge them though, i'm always so biased and let my opinion of the student get in the way!

Wednesday, 20 June 2007


i was planning to spend some time today posting some teaching ideas (i know that section is being neglected at the moment) but memes are much more fun, so i'm doing snowdrop's tag instead! so, here are my odd points.

1- i have a phobia of numbers and do not like maths. this is odd because everyone in my family is so good at maths, especially mental maths. i even use my calculator to add 1, just to make sure. i'm not kidding either.

2- my mum thinks i'm the loudest person ever, and is always complaining that i don't need to shout. that's not going to sound odd to a lot of people actually, just those who think i'm super quiet!

3- i strongly suspect i need to visit the opticians, as well as the dentist and i should probably throw in a visit to my GP as well (do i actually have one?) but i absolutely refuse to go. i just don't trust them, and i'm sure some GPs just hand out drugs to keep their patients quiet. this is odd because a lot of people seem to trust doctors etc unquestionably, but not me.

4- i really want a deep, husky voice. most women who have deep voices don't seem to like it but i would swap with my high pitched whiny voice any day.

5- i really like dark skin on asians as it looks rather suave. this may seem odd to some people who automatically associate pale skin with beauty, a concept which has always seemed quite bizarre to me.

that's all the "new" stuff i can think of at the moment. i think i've done something similar to this before. anyway, i tag sheila (rosache) and just a temporary measure.

Monday, 18 June 2007

is it important?

English, or "world Englishes" as it it sometimes known because there are so many different varieties spoken throughout the world, is now the second most widely used language in the world (mandarin is the first). so as the world aspires to speak English, does that mean other languages are not as important?

i think Britain must be one of the only places in the world where the majority of children can't speak more than one language, and as it is no longer compulsory to take a language to GCSE level, the situation can only get worse.

but what if you've grown up bilingual and have always spoken another language alongside English, whether that is urdu, punjabi, bangla, arabic or any other language? is it important to you? would you want to pass it down to your children or do you think it's insignificant, as English is your language now, or you would prefer to teach them arabic, the language of the Qur'an, and think another language on top of that would just get in the way?

because that's what i'm seeing with the third generation of children now. whether it's unintentional or done on purpose, they are finding it impossible to communicate with their grandparents.

and i think it's rather sad.

i think it's important to try and preserve a language, not necessarily for religious reasons, or because it's an important language, but because it's part of your heritage and part of who you are. there are many theories around that language is part of your culture and identity (here's one)and i think that makes sense because the language you use shapes how you "think" and how you see the world.

ok, some people might be thinking "um but you don't speak a word of urdu" which is true (i've got a few phrases i use though but only ever write them down and never say them!), and my mirpuri.. well let's just say my parents understand me, but have to "translate" to make it comprehensible to anyone else!
but i'm trying though, and i will make the effort when speaking to elders, even if it makes me feel uncomfortable.

so, what do you think? should we let these home languages die with us and focus solely on english and arabic, or is it important to pass them on?

Friday, 15 June 2007

poetry for my blogging friends

i was recently reminded of the power words can have. it was silly of me to forget really, as i have seen for myself how genuine, sincere words can mean more than any grand gestures.
so, i am going to eventually write a poem for all of you guys to show you how much you mean to me. and i pray it it brightens your day and shows you all how much you mean to me.
here's the first one.

english class, the very first day
the teacher asked "on a desert island, what five things would you take?"
she answered "my prayer mat" straight away
and i thought this is the kind of friend i want to make

so much has changed since then
the years have gone by so fast
our friendship will be trialled again and again
yet i know it will always last

farzana, with her eyes like a cat
and the kind of beauty you just can't hide
but don't let the outer beauty distract
from the true beauty inside

for she will drop everything if only you ask
and would gladly give you everything she owns
she will help you out in any task
and is nothing but goodness to her very bones

zana, one of the first people i go to whenever things get bad
and when she's in need i want to help her cope
her way with words has won her many a friend, including my grandad!
and with her as your friend, you will never give up hope

a new website

A new Islamic site has just opened! It's a non-profit E-Translation Publishing House which has translated over 300 lectures of Amr Khaled's and is working on more translations from a range of scholars. You can also publish your own writings on this portal. A must see to access information on Islam. The site is:

i have just spent the morning on this site and love it. please take the time to check it out, and if you like what you see, help to spread the word.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

random waffling (again)

i've been inundated with work since my last post saying work is laid back, which i guess deserves me right! i've spent the last week doing a data destination check, which would have been fine except i have to include students who dropped out right at the start of the year, and i can't even remember what they look like! so, i had to do a lot of phoning around, and some people did not want to talk to me. i mean, how hard a question is it, "what do you have planned for next year?" there's no need to be rude about it.
although i think i am just as bad when i'm on the receiving end. i must be the most annoying person to speak to when someone is trying to sell me something. i only answer with "yes" or "no".
"would you like to upgrade your phone"

"are you happy with the one you have"

"what's your name?"

it works every time. you can't hold a conversation with someone that breaks the rules of conversation, it's impossible. i think i would get very frustrated working in a call centre. i should try to be nicer.

i've also had to update the prospectus. the A Levels as we know it are changing in 2008. at least it got me to read the new syllabus. the main difference is two modules per year instead of three, which would be ok but i've just got used to this one, why does it have to change?? most of the department have figured out they will will be retiring by 2008 so haven't bothered, so had to do a lot of the work for it myself, along with one other colleague. i suppose i would feel the same way if i was them.

ok, i'm done with the complaining! at least the weather is miserable today (only i would use that sentence in a positive way) and i won't keep getting asked if we can have classes on the grass "like we did in maths". why would i voluntarily teach with the creepy crawlies?
the AS students are back. it's a relief to be back in the classroom again. i was reminded why i would hate to have an office job seeing the same faces every day.
i think i will scare them by going through all the work for next year, and then we are playing countdown with scrabble letters- it works, and one has to improvise when there are no interatcive whiteboards available (poor me). it's also a good way to offload all the junk in my office, which is being replaced with healthy stuff this week.

oh, found something else to complain about. my wisdom tooth is starting to hurt. does this mean i have to go to the dentist, as all dentists are evil. i haven't been in yeee--aarrs.

when it's hot..

i do not like it when it's hot. people do crazy things when it's hot. i'm glad it's not hot today like it was hot yesterday. my duas seem to have worked.

i'm considering hibernating until it's time for the big woolly scarves and thick coats to come out again.

i'm not saying everyone should cover up during the summer. people can wear what they want. "it's a free country" after all, but are people wearing less because they want to or because they are being pressurised to?

like there is a student who has really bad acne so came in wearing a long sleeved top. one of her friends commented "gosh, aren't you hot in that thing?" yes, of course she is hot in that thing, she doesn't need you to remind her she's hot in that thing, maybe she just thinks being hot in that thing is better than the alternative of not wearing that thing!

i don't think i am the only one who does not look forward to summer. most people do not like their bodies, because they are being forced to compare them with unrealistic size zero supermodel images. they will diet and make themselves miserable before they dare to allow their bodies to be scrutinised by others.

one of "my" boys was sent to me yesterday by the learning mentor for upsetting a girl in the study area. when i asked what he said it was something along the lines of not wanting to see "all her stomachs".

so, you're encouraged to undress when you're young and thin, but people actively try and force you to cover if you're older or not the "right" size?
it just feels like double standards to me.

Friday, 8 June 2007

ai'shah bint Abu Bakr

i'm not sure whether she is going to mention these in her notes, as i think it was slightly off topic, not that i was complaining, so thought i'd briefly mention the points covered on aai'shah radilallaahu 'anhaa here, as i don't want to miss an opportunity to talk about the beloved wife of the Prophet sallalhu alayhi wasalam.
all of these notes are based on the material covered in the talk. feel free to add to them, or clarify/correct issues, especially if you attended the talk.

oh and the "she" i rather rudely referred to is of course saabirah, covering the notes from the adab al mufrad classes here

Aai'shah bint Abu Bakr was born into the house of the greatest man after the Prophet (saw), and then lived with the Prophet(saw) himself for ten years. she then spent the next fifty years of her life in the company of the greatest men of the ummah. so from a very young age she was surrounded by knowledge. this is one of the reasons she is known as the most knowledgeable of women. some of the most personal matters of the deen are narrated through her, due to her relationship with the prophet (saw)

she is the only wife of the Prophet (saw) who had not been married before. it is narrated that the angel Jibraeel revealed the Prophet's (saw) marriage to aai'shah (ra)in a dream. this is something that she (ra) was very proud of and liked to remind the other wives about, which shows that jealousy is allowed, with reasonable boundaries. many of the hadith reveal her sense of humour and her natural jealousy of khadija (ra), the first wife of the Prophet (saw).

every single characteristic of a Muslim women can be found in her, as she was modest, but understood the difference between men and women, but also had knowledge and implemented it
it should be noted that she is a role model for Muslim men as well as women
especially those that do not let their women learn.

it is narrated that amr bin al-a'as asked the Prophet (saw) "who is is the most beloved person to you?" to which he replied "Aa'isha". he then asked, "and after that?" to which he replied her father.

her status in the Prophet's (saw) eyes is made clear when he sought permission from all of his (saw) wives to spend his last days with her.
he (saw) died in her lap. she (ra) was the last person to see him before he passed way.

Wednesday, 6 June 2007


for those that don't know me, or don't know me well, you should know i'm known to be ...a little dopey, well ok a lot dopey. i will try and cross the road with cars coming at me from both sides, i will walk past people on the street by accident and i think i may have invented the 90 point turn!

but this week, i think i may have surpassed myself in how dopey i have been!! here are a couple of examples to illustrate my point:

1) pasta disaster- you know when you want to add some salt and chillies and can't be bothered getting a spoon to measure it, so just tip some out from the jar? no, is that just me? well, i am punished for my laziness every time i try this. i tipped some chilli powder into the pot, and half the jar fell out! i managed to get rid of most of it, but it was too hot to do it properly, so to compensate i thought i'd add two spoons of sugar. it didn't work. i had to drop most it off to my uncle's, as they can handle their spices better than us.

2) keys seize- when i was going to drop the pasta to my uncles, my dad said to take my sister's car, so he can do some checks on mine. so i grabbed my sister's keys and then out of habit just walked to where my car was parked and tried to start my car. i must have sat there for about five minutes wondering why my keys had stopped working before i finally realised.

you have my permission to make fun of my stupidity or you can share your stories to make me feel better! just please don't mention the time i tried to hold a conversation with a recorded message, or when i tried to pause the radio in a panic when receiving an important phone call. they were years ago, i should be allowed to forget them by now!