8th February 2017 I had just woken up to a text from a guy I’d been speaking to for 4 months, confirming my suspicions and told me we should not pursue any kind of relationship anymore. Instead, we should “proceed separately” (exact words)! Was I upset? Yes. Did I cry? Yes. I had spent the last 2 years making positive changes in my life, getting a better handle on my faith, making better choices. So how come I was back to the same place? Another man who couldn’t see my worth. Was I really not good enough?
22nd March 2017 I had decided I was going to take a break from the dating scene. Before I deleted muzmatch, I got a notification informing me I had matched with someone and they had sent me a message. I didn’t get my hopes up. I thought it was probably just another pointless conversation that would ensue. I was wrong. He was across the Atlantic which I thought would create some obvious obstacles but I felt different about this one. From that day, it was hours of video calls, keeping in constant contact throughout the day (time difference permitting). I had no doubt about his interest in pursuing a relationship with me because he gave me no reason to. That was something I’d never experienced before. I’d even spoken to his parents within the first few weeks on Skype. Not once had any man before ever wanted to introduce me to their parents, talk less of doing it this soon. There was still a little bit of doubt though. I mean, this was all online after all. However, he flew over to come and see me a few months after that. Any doubts I had previously felt, vanished as soon as I saw him.
4th August 2017 We took our first trip together to Paris, a city neither of us had visited. It was a great trip. I left out the part where I got the biggest surprise when, on our second night during a dinner cruise, he got down on one knee and proposed to me.
I honestly cannot remember what he said, all I know is that I said yes and my knees literally went weak. I woke up the next morning in tears. Why? I have been so unlucky in love in the past and wondered why. I woke up that morning in tears because every failed relationship, every bad experience was worth it for this. This knowledge that all my prayers had been answered tenfold at a time when I was actually ready and mature enough to even think about starting a journey like this. I hadn’t found the perfect man, but I had found the perfect man for me. The best part about it? He loved me in ways that made me feel like I could do anything. That morning may have been the first time I’ve ever cried out of pure happiness! God’s timing is perfect.
22nd April 2018 Fast forward some months and we were lucky enough to have the most amazing wedding weekend with all our friends and family.It was incredible that so many of our loved ones travelled from 3 different parts of the world to celebrate with us.Planning a wedding is probably one of the more stressful things a couple can go through. Planning a wedding when both of you are in different continents, in 2 different time zones is another level. Or at least it felt like it. But it was worth it to have everyone show their love and support for us as we start this new chapter in our lives.
Now, I say all this just to illustrate how amazing life is. I truly believe that me growing stronger in my faith has led me here. None of this is my doing. Just thinking back through my journey of love and relationships, it’s amazing to see that everything I’ve wanted and prayed for that part of my life happened the way it did. In such a short space of time. That is definitely God’s handiwork.
There is an Ayah (Verse) in the Qur’an which states:
God will always relieve you of any hardship that you endure. With every hardship, comes twice the relief. If you keep strong in your faith, God will take care of everything else.
This rings true to me in all aspects of life, including what I have written about in this blog.
I am forever grateful.
14th February 2017 Going back a year, to February 2017… I went out for dinner with one of my closest friends, which cheered me up after what had just happened with this previous guy. I will never forget what she said to me:
This time next year you’ll be in such a different, better place that this won’t even matter. I guarantee it.
She was right.
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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!