Romance in Islam

Romance in IslamHow often do you hear people talk about Romance with an Islamic context? Talking of romance, of love generally speaking – in front of many Muslims would raise eyebrows as the image of ‘Romance’ and ‘Love’ that we have today is what is presented by the Holly/Bolly Wood or the loads of novels that come with stories making people fanaticize love using the perspective of the authors. These people start imagining and making this love the ideal for their own lives. I have seen loads of people who sing songs with perfect lyrics not knowing the language at all. There are so many who would intelligently discuss how life is so well portrayed in these. The response to love and all associated ways of expressing it come in the form of people burning Valentine Cards, shunning any form of talk of romance and love.

The problem is that love and affection and even romance for that matter is a natural human need that finds no ideology to follow in our cultures and finds beautiful looking image of life in what is presented in these un-Islamic sources of entertainment.So does this mean that the rich Islamic life system that covers just about every aspect of life, forgets about this very important need? Is romance to be abhorred just because we have learnt over time to understand it from the western or hindi-movie perspective?

I found a very interesting blog post by a Muslim about how the idea of a romantic evening would differ from an Islamic and the de-facto perspective.

I knew there has to be some guideline, something that would make romance fit within the Islamic perspective going back to the time of the Prophet. And wow! There is so much, and so beautiful in the life of the Prophet (s.a.w.) himself that tells us what romance is. Maybe the typical mullah forgot to talk about this aspect and we just clung on to a strict, no-smile image of Muslim that is so anti-Islam. But of course the learned men and women could tell you a lot more on how a beautiful relationship is to bemaintained than a ’google-searcher’ like me could put forth.

Anyhow, I did my research and I have my conclusions drawn from the beautiful life of the Prophet (s.a.w), and his companions.Bringing flowers for your loved one, looking beautiful for your mate, having a candle-light dinner with your mate — things that bring romance and speak of love are not only possible but something that would be recommended. The only difference – and an important difference indeed – is that the relationship has a pure foundation — that the man and woman, who have this bond of love, are legally bound together in the bond of marriage. [And of course, marriage is not to be that drag that men and women seem stuck in, and forward jokes about. In Islam, a marriage is the foundation for love and affection between a man and woman that is unlike any other human relationship.]

So, now that you want to talk of romance, a good idea would be to get married. For what is romance without a mate?

With marriage settled and accepted as the default, let’s talk of Romance.

“They are your garments and you are their garments” (Surah Al Baqarah 2:187).

How beautiful, and how romantic. J This statement from the Quran itself puts in one sentence the meaning of marriage and what it is supposed to be. The husband and wife are supposed to be to each other like garments – closest to you, protecting you, beautifying you, hiding your shame, and comforting you. SubhanAllah! What could be a better analogy to describe marriage?

Yay! Its spring!

I noticed the first flowers of Spring.

Yes! Spring has announced its arrival. With the sun shining brightly, as if smiling down on us. The gentle breeze carrying with it the scent of the first flowers of spring.

I saw a few daffodils bloom and I know there is going to be a splash of colors around me soon.

A bright colorful environment .. . oh! Its spring!

The Koshur Vegies

It’s been a long time since I wrote. Didn’t quite feel like writing. I guess the cold has kind of frozen those inner thoughts that used to find space in this blogsophere. So what brings me here today?

Well as simple — trying to figure what you call monji in english. It all started with a discussion where we sat and tried to google for english name for this koshur delight. Not sure there are many monji lovers out there, but Koshur vegetable cooked in the Koshur way are yum.. 😛 yum.. talking about food always fills me with a sense of yummmm….

Anyways, my search landed me into various websites — with names of vegetables in hindi and their equivalent in english —  but well I needed my Koshur sabziz to be described.

My research gave the following results: Monji/Monje is best described as Knol Khol or Kohlrabi [Go figure — run a google search for knol khol].

Its rather interesting to try and figure what the english equivalent is. Any readers having experience searching for the koshur vegies translation — drop a line.

In the meanwhile guess what the literal translation of nadur-monji would be? Lotus stem – knol khol. 😛

Sheen pyow… Prayer answered.. sort of…

Yesterday, I had had enough.. of the dry winter spell.. and as I read GK today I saw that Kashmiris in general have had enough…

There had been prayers held in Jama Masjid for rain and snow.. and this morning as the clouds  showed up. I saw the initial raindrops with hope and a bit of caution (i have been fooled before into believing it would snow…).. And then it started snowing.. very small flakes of snow mixed with rain.. I had my colleagues wish me “Nov Sheen Mubarak” — but I was skeptical… I waited for snow to actually cover everything in its white..

But it wasn’t even an hour.. and it stopped snowing… snow  cheated us again..

I can only say.. our prayers were answered… well.. sort of…

Snow plz!

Sheena pyatow pyatow…

Its 4th of January, 15 days into Chillay Kalaan — temperature in Kashmir is freezing — and it is a dry winter. There is no snow.

With temperature going down to minus 7 in Srinagar, the Dal has frozen.

[frozen Dal. -- in Greater Kashmir.]

And people look up in wonder hoping for snowfall. A snowless winter has great implications for Kashmir — for snow shall come — but at an abnormal time.

Last year also saw almost no snow throughout the winter, and then when it snowed, spring had already made an entry into the Kashmiri life. The first blossoms of spring had to shrivel and die in snow. And as it was March already, the snow melted sooner than it would have, had it snowed in winter. There was flood. And it was followed by a hot and humid summer.

If the weather patterns in Srinagar will change, it will drastically affect the lifestyle of Kashmir.

In spite of the fact that snow makes things very difficult for Kashmiris, one cant help but say out.. “Sheena Pyatow Pyatow”….

Chillay Kalaan

Chillay Kalaan– or the 40 coldest days in Kashmir start from 21st Decemeber, followed by Chilla Baccha, which is less harsh. Generally in Kashmir, people wait for Chillay Kalaan, preparing themselves to meet the chill that is about to make life difficult.

Winter being a part and parcel of the Kashmiri way of life has made the lifestyle of the Kashmiris from the oldest times prepared to meet this breathtakingly beautiful monster that makes life very difficult. With roads blocked, and all commodities of need unavailable in the market, Kashmiris had chosen a way of life to make best of the winter months.

Preparation for winter used to start way ahead, with women drying vegetables and other products to be used in the cold winter — All’e Hacche, Wangan Hacche, Rowangan Hacche and even dried fish. The other popular method of preservation was making pickles — Aanchaar — be it of the vegetables or meat. Rice grain and pulses were kept stored at home for the same winter months.

But that was then. Over the years with commodities in winter becoming available via the Jammu Srinagar highway, and so called “modern” lifestyle where there is no place for haccha, a lot of other things have also changed.

And what I find rather noteworthy is the fact that even the Chillay Kalaan has modernised. Ever since the onset of Chillay Kalaan we are having a very sunny (and cold) winter. A dry winter sun. Whatever happened to Chillay Kalaan is yet unexplainable — they blame it on the environment etc…

well well that is for the Chillay Kalaan that is overpowered by the sun…

Things are getting very strange in Kashmir….

Its a dry winter…

It’s a dry winter again.
Splashes of a few raindrops in the city some days back brought hope of a normal winter, but it has been abnormal again. I think of the blog posts of last winter — its almost like things are being repeated.

Now, why am I complaining?
Isn’t winter supposed to be cold?
But well, we never used to have parts of Dal frozen in November. Thus, proving its cold.

And no snow would create havoc for the environment, for everything.. not to speak that nature would compensate for no snow by having a real heavy snowfall in march right after showing the first blooms of spring?
Kinda abnormal.

Very abnormal.

Its been a long time since I have really written anything for the blog. Apologies to my readers. I needed time to set all things and really adjust — in the mental domain of Sakooter. 🙂 Anyhow, writing today gives me a feeling of freedom. I can write again.

And I can complain again.

As humans we all complain and complain and complain. ah!

But then, to err is human, to forgive is Divine. So we the erring humans would hope for the Divine to forgive us. 😛

You might want to read last years blog posts on winter:
Untimely Snow

oh sad.. i just realized my blogsource blog (my previous blog is deleted.. so no entries for the last winter)

Baap ki sadak hay… (the road belongs to their father…)

Or that is what they think!

With an intense hatred I stare at the convoys, the army vehicles, the armed men who think they own the roads and shove us about and around as per thier wishes.

A shrill whistle
a uniformed man standing on top of the army truck and waving his hand… (implying give space or else…)
armed men stopping traffic as and when they wish,
to make way for those who think they own this place.

Like cattle we stop when told, and move where we are told to.
It is not the king we make way for
we make way for these foreigners who have come here on the pretext of safegaruding us.

And all people like me can do
is stare
stare with an intense hatred
and feel helpless
while we wait for the armed men to signal and say move.

this is life in kashmir.