What does it take to stay Muslim, married and extremely happy today? As oxymoronic as that just sounded, believe it or not, it’s absolutely possible!
Marriage, especially for Muslims, is a lot more than having someone to call a husband or wife. The marital relationship is an incredible blessing and divine sign, as Allah says in the Qur’an:
“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.” [Qur’an: Chapter 30, Verse 21]
The whole purpose of having a spouse is to find tranquility in and with them; and our relationships with our spouses have signs that Allah is asking us to give thought to.
How are some Muslim couples finding this tranquility in their marriage while many others seem to be having a miserable time? What are those couples whose eyes exude deep love and contentment doing right in their relationships?
Here are the top 10 habits of Muslim couples who’ve found tranquility and happiness in their marriage:
What does it mean to love each other for Allah’s sake? It means you make the love and obedience of Allah the basis and focus of your relationship with someone else. It means you love someone so much that you want your love for them to last beyond this lifetime and into the Hereafter, where you can live in eternal happiness with them having earned Allah’s pleasure together. It means you love someone purely because of how much they remind you of Allah and help you get closer to Him.
Hold it right there. I know what you just thought: “but my wife/husband doesn’t remind me of Allah at all.”
A lot of people who marry each other even for primarily religious reasons end up disappointed after marriage when they suddenly find their spouse not praying all the sunnah prayers (like they thought they would) or reading the Qur’an everyday or the morning and evening adhkar or fasting Mondays and Thursdays or being excited about attending halaqahs or praying tahajjud or doing something for the Ummah –like they thought they would. Our own restrictions of spirituality to acts of physical or outward worship blind us from seeing how much our spouses contribute to improving our character, which is an unsurpassed form of spiritual growth, because the Prophet says:
“Nothing is placed on the Scale that is heavier than good character. Indeed the person with good character will have attained the rank of the person of fasting and prayer.” [Tirmidhi]7
Your spouse has loved you for Allah’s sake every time they have:
In all of the above and so many other times that go unnoticed, committed Muslim spouses consistently help each other get closer to Allah . They stop each other from anything that may lower them in the sight of Allah and constantly help each other win Allah’s love.
Truly happy Muslim couples engage in winning Allah’s pleasure together whenever and in any way they can: they glorify Allah together in the quiet hours of Fajr, they thank Allah in tahajjud together, they make it a point to read a minimum amount of Qur’an everyday, they do regular or even random acts of kindness and charity and they maintain loving and happy ties with each other’s families.
If there is one fundamental need that exists in every single human relationship, it is the need to feel relevant and appreciated. And there is no other relationship where this need is as grossly overlooked and abused, as in marriage. Why does this happen? Is it because humans tend to take things for granted, especially when they’re done by those closest to them?
When you’re newly married, every single thing your spouse does for you feels so special. As time goes by, your husband going out to work hard and earn for the family becomes normal; and a few years later it becomes “his duty anyway”. Similarly, every meal your new bride cooks is delightful, then somehow the salt always seems to keep getting lesser, till eventually she’s “not doing anyone a favor by just doing her job”.
Sounds familiar? Oh yes, ungrateful Muslim spouse speaking right there!
Happy Muslim couples live and breathe this hadith in their marriage:
“He who does not thank the people is not thankful to Allah.” [Abu Dawud]
What is not there to thank your spouse for? Here are 5 reasons to thank your spouse right now:
Allah says in the Qur’an:
“… If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.” [Qur’an: Chapter 14, Verse 7]
Our spouses are an immense favor and blessing of Allah upon us: they are an irreplaceable source of spiritual, emotional, mental and physical comfort. Happy Muslim couples keep getting happier because they simply implement the command of Allah in the above verse: They are grateful everyday for each other, so Allah increases the happiness they find in each other, just like He promised.
The verse doesn’t end there though. The last half of the verse should send a chill down every married person’s spine: “…if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.”
How many times have our egos stopped us from acknowledging and appreciating our spouses? How many times have we denied all the good they’ve done for us through a single word or sentence in the middle of a senseless argument? Every conflict left unresolved, every hurtful word exchanged and every baseless complaint is a refusal to value one of Allah’s best gifts to us: a spouse. It is a denial of a favor Allah has blessed us with that many are longing for. And you don’t have to wait for the Hereafter to bear the consequences of such denial. Days of depression, frustration, anger, spite, lack of barakah (blessing), and even illness and hardships make life living hell for those who refuse to be grateful in their marriages.
Allah also says in the Qur’an:
“And as for your Lord’s favor, then discourse about it! (i.e., proclaim it).” [Qur’an: Chapter 93, Verse 11]
So if you aren’t doing so already, stop holding back and proclaim to your spouse how grateful you are for them!
You and your spouse can start becoming grateful for each other right now by:
What a Whatsapp conversation looks like a few years into a typical marriage:
I mean, c’mon: “K”?? Not even an “o” to make that miserable “k” look a little less miserable?!
What happens to married people’s manners, interest, enthusiasm and most importantly good assumptions when talking to their spouses? Is it okay to talk this way because you’re just so used to someone? Why do we not talk this way to people we’ve been friends with for years? What makes a spouse less-deserving of respect, enthusiasm and affection when no one deserves it more than them (except our parents) for choosing to live every single day with us? Why do we not talk to our spouses like we talk to our best friends, even though they are much closer to us than anyone will ever be?
Happy Muslim couples talk like best friends, in good times and in conflict. In good times, they wait to tell each other about their day, they joke, laugh, share ideas, flirt, compliment each other, respect their spouse’s right to hold different opinions and learn from each other’s opposing points of view. In fact, happy Muslim couples communicate just like the Prophet and his wives did.
Aisha narrated that:
Allah’s Messenger said to her: “I know when you are pleased with me or angry with me.” I said, “Whence do you know that?” He said, “When you are pleased with me, you say, ‘No, by the Lord of Muhammad,’ but when you are angry with me, then you say, ‘No, by the Lord of Abraham.’ ” Thereupon I said, “Yes (you are right), but by Allah, O Allah’s Messenger, I leave nothing but your name.” [Bukhari]
Couples that have learnt to communicate effectively do away with the majority of marital stress because they become so attuned to each other’s feelings that they can immediately sense the emotional state of their spouse through the slightest change in words or tone. And as our beloved Aisha put it so beautifully – even in anger; happy, loving Muslim spouses never desert anything more than each other’s name when they try to communicate that they feel wronged or hurt. They never desert love and respect for each other in conflict: this, is the key to staying happy in your marriage.
What I’ve personally discovered through my own marriage and from those of all the people who’ve discussed marital issues with me, is that the primary reason for continuous marital stress and discord is almost always due to the neglect of a spouse’s primary needs.
A lot of books (by Muslim and non-Muslim authors alike) tend to classify primary marital needs based on gender or a spouse’s role in the marriage. You must’ve definitely read about men’s primary needs being respect and physical satisfaction, and that women prioritize the need for love, verbal expression and emotional satisfaction. However true these classifications may seem in theory, they’re far from practical reality, because the truth is: both men and women need love, respect, physical and emotional satisfaction, just in different degrees and ways of expression.
Men and women are equally human: Allah has created both genders with a sense of human dignity, with physical desires and with hearts that have feelings. When wives get snappy and say mean things to their spouses, husbands do feel hurt and unloved; and when husbands are rude and hurl insults at their spouses, wives do feel humiliated and disrespected. When a woman’s physical desires are consistently dismissed or left half-fulfilled, she feels as frustrated as a man in such situations does; and when a man never hears any words of appreciation or admiration, he feels as underappreciated and unvalued as a woman in these situations does.
Every marriage is made up of two unique people of opposite genders. That’s why, what works for one couple may not necessarily work in your marriage, because you and your spouse are different people altogether with different preferences, priorities and circumstances. For this reason, generally accepted theories that may apply to many marriages may not apply to many others because different people are different. And happy Muslim couples have this figured out. It is extremely crucial for the health of your marriage that you sit down with your spouse and figure out what is important to them, and how they’ve always expected you to fulfill those needs for them.
Here’s how to figure out and focus on fulfilling your spouse’s primary needs:
Happy Muslim couples strive to be the comfort of each other’s eyes. They seek to be the answer to the dua that Allah has taught us to make:
“And those who say, “Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.”” [Qur’an: Chapter 25, Verse 74]
What does it take to become a beautiful sight to look at?
Smile at your spouse
When was the last time you beamed at your spouse or saw your spouse smiling lovingly at you? Okay, I shouldn’t have asked that question because you’d probably need to time travel back into the ancient past. Smile when you open the door to your tired husband, smile when you get to see your wife after a long day at work, smile at the mother/father of your child for giving you such a beautiful gift; let your smile be the last thing your spouse sees before they close their eyes to sleep. Smile because there’s no reason not to.
Look good for your spouse
The noble companion Ibn Abbas is reported to have said:
“I like to take care of my appearance for my wife just as I like for her to take care of her appearance for me. This is because Allah says: “And they (women) have rights similar (to those of their husbands) over them to what is reasonable.” [Tafsir Ibn Kathir]
You are the only man/woman your spouse is allowed to look at from head to toe, so please don’t be an eye sore! Yes, make this your mantra. Tell yourself this every time you look in the mirror at your unkempt hair, permanent pyjamas or neglected body. Looking good for your spouse is as important (and as easy) as everything else you do everyday like eating or sleeping.
It takes a maximum of 20 minutes to: shower, put on some attractive clothes and perfume, comb your hair and apply a dash of make-up (men: you don’t have to do the last bit so you have even less of an excuse!). Make these 20 minutes a fixed part of your routine, ideally just before your spouse gets home or before you sit down to relax at home after work.
Looking good for each other has even more to do with maintaining your health and fitness. You need to do this for your own self before anyone else. Slot in an hour at least everyday to work on your physical and mental fitness: work out wherever and whenever it is convenient for you, but make sure you do and your spouse makes time for their fitness too. There’s nothing more attractive to a spouse than having that healthy glow and fit physique!
Be their source of comfort and support
Who do you think of turning to when you’re depressed, afraid or going through a tough time? If your spouse was the first person that came to your mind, you have a wonderful marriage Alhamdulillah. Because that’s what Muslim spouses do: they are each other’s refuge, just like the Prophet and his wives were to each other.
When the Prophet received the revelation for the first time, he began trembling with fear and ran to his wife Khadijah seeking comfort and reassurance saying:
“O Khadijah! What is wrong with me? I was afraid that something bad might happen to me.” Then he told her the story. Khadijah said, “Nay! But receive the good tidings! By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you, for by Allah, you keep good relations with your kith and kin, speak the truth, help the poor and the destitute, entertain your guests generously and assist those who are stricken with calamities.” [Bukhari]
Did you know your spouse was a separate person with a unique mind, heart, body and soul before they married you? And did you know that they still are that individual person, only with you by their side?
Marriages begin to go headlong into constant unhappiness when one or both spouses forget this fundamental fact: marriage makes people partners, not parts of each other that must be controlled and bossed over. As unfortunate as the truth may be, your spouse has a lot more roles to play in life than just being your spouse; and whenever you restrict them from doing justice to all their roles, you’re going to be the cause of their constant frustration, which will only spill into your own marital relationship.
Allah has created each of us to contribute in so many ways during our life on this earth and has blessed us with the potential to be all that He wants us to be. Be that amazing person who motivates, encourages and helps your spouse discover and use their God-given potential and traits to bloom and be a source of joy and mercy to the world. Don’t stop your spouse from being kind and loving to their parents, don’t stop them from being helpful towards their colleagues and relatives, don’t make them cut ties that you know they should keep, don’t compel them to bottle up their talents when you know their skills can be used in a halal way to bring about a lot of good, don’t control their every relationship and acquaintance with other people like an air-traffic controller, don’t bark orders and rules and taunts at them at every opportunity: don’t make your spouse wither into a dull, lifeless, thorny, poisonous weed; because that is not what Allah created them to be – that’s what control freaks make out of the people they live with.
Happy Muslim couples are partners in growth and productivity: They acknowledge that their spouse is a slave of Allah alone and marriage does not change that. They acknowledge their spouse’s other roles and responsibilities and encourage them to do justice to all of them. They recognize each other’s unique traits and talents and catalyze their spouse’s growth and worth as an individual.
Sorry, there’s just no excuse not to give at least half an hour (okay, 15 minutes when you’re just too exhausted) of undivided attention and love to your spouse. Because the truth is, you’re not married just to slog all day to get money home, or to produce kids and take care of them 24/7. Before you know it, your bosses and jobs will change and you’ll be retiring and replaced, and the kids would’ve married and moved out. And the only person you will be left with is that spouse (read: stranger) you always put second to everything, who would’ve become too used to being neglected over the past 30 years to be that warm companion you’ll desperately be needing in your old age.
Your relationship needs exclusive attention every single day. Just like you’re saving everyday to build that comfortable house for the future. What’s the fun if you’re going to end up alone in that house, sleeping next to someone you don’t even recognize anymore? Instead, imagine this: you’re (finally!) going to be alone in that house with the person who’s listened to your worries and stories every night, who you’ve taken walks with everyday, who’s been there to lean on when you’ve been weak, who you’ve celebrated all your achievements and successes with: someone who’s been a friend indeed, every single day. Now is it really that hard to give half an hour of your time everyday to the person who deserves it most?
Here’s what the growth curve of a Muslim couple that’s learnt to manage marital conflict looks like:
If you ask every happily married couple that’s successfully made it past the first five years, they’ll tell you there’s no bigger enemy to marital happiness than: ego.
Ego is the defense mechanism of the lower self, and ego in marriage sounds like:
“This is who I am and you better get used to it”
“I wouldn’t have said/done that if you didn’t say/do what you did”
“It’s all because of you”
“Does it look like I care anyway?”
And ego sounds very, very familiar.
This is because the lower self is a covert enemy lurking within each and every one of us. Allah records Yusuf’s observation of the lower human self in the Qur’an:
“… Verily, the (human) self is inclined to evil, except when my Lord bestows His Mercy (upon whom He wills). Verily, my Lord is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Qur’an: Chapter 12, Verse 53]
This doesn’t mean we are all inherently bad, but that we all have lower selves that are inclined to be oppressive, unruly and unjust; and it is only Allah’s mercy that can make us rise above our destructive, narcissistic lower selves.
Why ego is the biggest threat to a marriage is because it is an enemy from within. Ego is like a deceptive double agent that distorts reality and makes us deny and justify the wrongs that our lower selves commit towards our spouses, convincing us that we are right; while we are oppressing our own selves and our spouses and actually walking a path of humiliating self-destruction.
The Prophet said:
“A believer is the mirror of his brother. When he sees a fault in it, he should correct it.” [Al Adab Al Mufrad]
There’s no one who mirrors our souls to us more accurately than our spouse, because no other human being gets to see us as intimately and habitually as they do. As a natural consequence, spouses stand the highest chance of facing our ego: the defensive wrath of our lower selves. But allowing your lower self to prevail in your marriage instead of seeing your marriage as a means to purify yourself is your own (disastrous) choice. Allah says in Surat Ash-Shams:
“And [by] the soul (self) and He who proportioned it. And inspired it [with discernment of] its wickedness and its righteousness. He has succeeded who purifies it, and he has failed who instills it [with corruption].” [Qur’an: Chapter 91, Verse 7-10]
Our spouses actually personify the mercy of Allah when they mirror our flaws to us so we can rise above our lower selves. They make us discern our innermost weaknesses that we could not have seen for ourselves, and Allah has blessed us with them for our own spiritual purification and salvation.
The next time your spouse is desperately trying to get something about yourself across to you:
1. Just listen. Listen carefully and objectively, especially if they have been repeating it for a very long time.
2. Control the urge to defend yourself: look for the truth in your spouse’s words first.
3. Ask yourself: “Has anyone pointed this out about me before?” The answer could very likely be a yes, and if it is, then you’re definitely looking at a flaw that Allah wants you to work on and get rid of.
4. Realize how merciful Allah is being to you through your spouse. Thank Allah and your spouse sincerely for caring so much about your success in the hereafter and making you a better person.
Try this 4-step exercise the next time you face conflict in your marriage. I promise you’ll see marital conflict in a whole new light: your spouse will no longer be the enemy and you’ll realize just what a big blessing they are for you!
The Prophet said:
“The evil eye is real.” [Ibn Majah]
I am always in awe of the power of this extremely concise hadith, because it delivers three vital messages about the evil eye in one 5-word sentence:
If you agree with point one, the second and third points just follow naturally. Muslim couples today are actually serving their marriages on exquisitely decorated social media platters for the evil eye to devour: not just the ceremony, but every single verbal and non-verbal marital exchange, meal, meeting, moment, mood and micro-second!
You cannot be friends with 500+ people on social media, half of whom may be trying hard to get married for a long time and keep shoving your marital happiness in their face. Not only is it unnecessary, it is highly insensitive.
Happy Muslim couples do share their marital happiness, but sensibly. Before sharing anything about your marital life with the public, ask yourself:
Not putting your marriage in the way of the evil eye is the first way of protecting it from its harm. Reading the morning and evening adhkar, the duas prescribed for protection against the evil eye as well as constantly thanking Allah for your marriage and your spouse fortifies this protection immensely.
Remember all that incomprehensible pre-wedding drama between your spouse’s family and yours, or those regular ridiculous flare-ups that you realize made absolutely no sense after you and your spouse cooled down (e.g.: when “why did you turn off the light when you know I was reading?” ends in “marrying you was the biggest mistake of my life!” – W.H.A.T?!): yes, all those absurd, bizarre arguments that sprang out of nothing and all the other senseless discord in your marriage are the best compliments of shaytan.
The Prophet said:
“Iblis (shaytan) places his throne upon water; he then sends detachments (for creating dissension); the nearer to him in rank are those who are most notorious in creating dissension. One of them comes and says: I did so and so. And he says: You have done nothing. Then one amongst them comes and says: I did not spare so and so until I sowed the seed of discord between a husband and a wife. The Satan goes near him and says: ‘You have done well and then embraces him.” [Muslim]
Shaytan doesn’t have any principles when he seeks to create marital discord: in fact, the rule is that he attacks from where you least expect it. Like through your normally loving, religious and sensible parent/sibling/well-wisher who begins to magnify some irrelevant flaw in your spouse that was somehow never an issue before you tied the knot. Shaytan perpetuates his whispers through their tongues, and you unwittingly believe them because they are your loved ones. And thus begins insane marital strife.
Here’s how to protect your marriage from the shaytan:
You know those times when your spouse is just not being their normal self or getting ticked off by every little thing? Or when you do something special and they didn’t even seem to notice? If you look a little deeper, you’ll find there’s definitely something that’s bothering them (and it is not you). No matter how annoyingly they may be behaving, try to find out what’s wrong; try to sense their stress. They’ll most likely be having a problem at work, be down with an illness or close to that time of the month, or the kids would’ve done a fantastic job at driving them mad all day. Shaytan waits to use these moments of stress to spark an argument, because the spouse under stress doesn’t have the energy to fight him when their mind is exhausted by other troubles. He waits for the calmer spouse to eventually get annoyed, pick up the bait and say “what’s gotten into you?” and BAM! If you focus on putting your finger on what’s bothering your spouse and offering them support instead of getting worked up yourself, you immediately kill one more chance for shaytan to get to your marriage. Happy Muslim couples empathize with one another. Once you’ve figured out what’s bothering your spouse, give them the space, comfort or help they need to de-stress. Ask them if they’d like to take a nap, be alone for sometime, take a break from the kids, get some help with their work or spend some time with their friends or family, if it’ll make them feel better. Agree with your spouse to do this whenever either of you is acting out till you learn to sense each other’s stress just through your expressions, and your mutual intuition develops into a beautiful, unspoken language of care and understanding.
There isn’t a single marriage where there isn’t any conflict or disagreement of some sort or degree. It is only the way in which conflicts are managed that distinguishes the health of one marriage from the other.
Of all the ways to manage and minimize marital conflict, the most powerful way is remembering that Allah is watching our every single move and expression, and hearing our every single word. And it is all being recorded for a Day when He will be the Judge. Bringing this to mind during conflict helps us refrain from giving in to our lower selves and the whispers of Shaytan in the heat of the moment, and saves the marriage from a lot of irreversible, long-term damage.
The Prophet said:
“I guarantee a house in Jannah for one who gives up arguing, even if he is in the right… ” [Abu Dawud]4
And when he was asked by Mu’adh bin Jabal :
“O Prophet of Allah, will we be brought to account for what we say?’ He said: ‘May your mother not find you, O Mu’adh! Are people thrown onto their faces in Hell for anything other than the harvest of their tongues?’” [Ibn Majah]
The truth is, hell begins on earth when the tongue isn’t controlled during marital conflict. The humiliation and hurt inflicted by the tongue sows deep resentment and spite. That’s why Allah says in the Qur’an:
“And tell My servants to say that which is best. Indeed, Satan induces [dissension] among them. Indeed Satan is ever, to mankind, a clear enemy.”[Qur’an: Chapter 17, Verse 53]
If you disagree with your spouse over anything or are hurt by something they did or said, bring Allah’s presence to mind first to help lower your anger and approach the issue calmly. Then put your concerns across as gently as possible because gentleness is far more likely to make your spouse see your point than lashing out at them. The Prophet said to Aisha :
“Aisha! show gentleness, for if gentleness is found in anything, it beautifies it and when it is taken out from anything it damages it.” [Abu Dawud]
I remember giving a talk on love and relationships to an audience of young girls when I’d been married for just about two years. In my talk, I’d mentioned the verse of the Qur’an where Allah says:
“Women impure are for men impure, and men impure for women impure and women of purity are for men of purity, and men of purity are for women of purity…” [Qur’an: Chapter 24, Verse 26]
In the Q&A session, a girl from the audience asked: “but what about all those couples we see where one spouse is so good and the other is the complete opposite?”
I’d answered: “The verse is the general rule, but Allah may choose to test some of us through our spouses.”
Just then, someone in the front row of the audience put up her hand and requested to speak. She was one of the other guest speakers, a renowned author and a woman full of wisdom, and someone who was married for many more years than me. She said:
“What a person looks like to us is not necessarily what they are behind closed doors. So before judging whether a person is right or wrong for someone, remember that Allah chooses spouses for us not to test us but to help us purify and improve our own selves.”
Three years from that talk and I still haven’t come across a greater truth about marriage. Indeed, as Allah said, in this beautiful relationship are signs for those who give thought. Marital happiness is not an end but a state; a state that can easily be achieved by just seeing marriage for what it really is: a means of attaining physical, emotional and spiritual tranquility through the loving and merciful companionship of a spouse.
Get married, free, on muzmatch.
Hey everyone, it’s Ayesha from My Big Fat Halal Blog (MBFHB)! MBFHB is one of the UK’s biggest halal food platforms where I share halal restaurant reviews, recipes and travel guides! You can find out more about what I do on my website or Instagram.
Today, I’m collaborating with muzmatch to share some of my top Ramadan recipes. We hope you try them out and we would love to see any of your recreations.
Here’s a simple recipe for this delicious, filling smoothie bowl packed with nutritious dates… the only dates you should be having this Ramadan! ;)
1 banana, plus extra slices to garnish
5 pitted medjool dates, plus extra, chopped, to garnish
250ml semi-skimmed milk
2 tsp cocoa powder
1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground nuts, to decorate
Simply put all the ingredients in a blender, and whizz until smooth. Pour into a bowl, over ice, if you like, then arrange the nuts, extra banana and dates over the top to serve.
Let’s be honest, it wouldn’t be Ramadan without fried treats! Below is a recipe for my spicy, moreish potato cutlets. They’re always a hit with everyone!
750g Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
11⁄2 tbsp garam masala
2 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp ground coriander
Handful of coriander, roughly chopped
2 tbsp plain flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tbsp vegetable oil
Chutney/spicy salsa, to serve
1.Put the potatoes in a large pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then cook for 18-20 mins, until tender. Drain and set aside for 15-20 mins, until cool enough to handle.
2. Add the garam masala, chilli powder, ground coriander and fresh coriander to the potatoes. Season, then mash until smooth.
3. Wet your hands, then shape the mixture into 10 round patties, about 1cm thick.
4. Put the flour, egg and breadcrumbs onto separate plates, then dip each patty first in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs to coat.
5. Heat the oil to medium-high, then fry the patties in batches for 2-3 mins on each side, until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper, then serve with a chutney/ spicy salsa for dipping.
A feast would not be complete without dessert! Try out this delicious Egyptian bread pudding known as Um Ali. It’s made with croissants, nuts and condensed milk and it’s absolutely delicious!
850ml semi-skimmed milk
1⁄2 x 397g can condensed milk
1⁄2 tsp ground cardamom
1⁄4 tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra to serve
1 tsp vanilla extract
100ml double cream
1 tsp unsalted butter
4 all butter croissants, roughly torn
2 tbsp desiccated coconut
2 tbsp flaked almonds
2 tbsp unsalted pistachios, chopped
2 tbsp seedless raisins
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/Gas 4.
2. Stir the milk, condensed milk, cardamom, cinnamon and vanilla extract together in a saucepan. Slowly bring to the boil and simmer gently for 2mins, stirring occasionally. Add the cream and carefully bring back to the boil, then remove from the heat.
3. Using the butter, grease a round baking dish, roughly 22cm in diameter and 5cm deep, and cover the base with half the croissant pieces.
4. Sprinkle over half each of the coconut, almonds, pistachios and raisins, then pour over the milk mixture.
5. Top with the remaining croissants, nuts and raisins, plus an extra pinch of cinnamon.
6. Bake in the oven for 20-25mins until golden and bubbling, then leave to stand for 10 mins before serving.
I hope you enjoy these recipes and will try them out! You can find more of my recipes at mybigfathalalblog.com.
My husband and I got married last week! I wanted to share our story with you. Jarred and I started talking earlier this year and had an instant connection.
Jarred is from Connecticut and I'm from Texas. He was in Arkansas for school and recently graduated and was interested in meeting someone so he downloaded muzmatch.
We started talking and realized how much we had in common and quickly became serious about each other. We complimented each another in so many ways: prioritizing our deen, family and wanting to make a positive difference in the world.
Jarred then drove to see me. After that, we were certain we wanted to get married and decided to have our nikkah before Ramadan. We've been married almost a month now and it's been a wonderful adventure!
We're so happy! Jazakallah khair for connecting us!
Alhamdulillah, thank you Allah and the muzmatch team!
I'm from Indonesia and my husband is from Germany, but he is Russian.
What a blessing it is to have a mixed raced marriage!
I knew my husband from muzmatch since May 2017 and then he visited Indonesia in November 2017. I didn't believe he was serious until he visited me and my family.
Months later, I flew to Germany and found work there because I wanted to be close to him.
I was in love.
Finally on 28 Dec 2018, we had our nikkah which fell on the last Jumu'ah of the month and in March 2019 we got officially married.
Thank you to the muzmatch team!