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Killer Lemon Pie

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Whattup, everybody! No, I'm not gone (alhamdulillah). It's been eons, hasn't it? Just been busy with life - same as always!

I recently came across a Brazilian website called Tudo Gostoso and I found a recipe for a lemon pie that is uh... Mama mia! Amazing! I couldn't help but to come back here and share it with you. It's my duty! Oh, did I forget to mention how easy it is to make the whole thing? I'm in love with it... :P

All right, enough talking! Let's get down to the good stuff!


INGREDIENTS

FOR THE DOUGH (STEP #1)

  • 2 yolks
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs milk
  • 1 tbs baking power
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

FOR THE LEMON FILLING (STEP #2)

  • 395g sweet condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice

FOR THE MERINGUE (STEP #3)

  • 2 egg whites
  • 5 tbs sugar
  • Lemon zest


DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to about 175° C (347° F)

STEP #1

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the yolks, the butter, the sugar and the milk. As you're doing it, gradually add in the flour (until it gets thick enough so you can roll it out). Then add in the baking powder.
  2. Spread it out in a (non-stick) pie mold pan or tray. Don't forget to press firmly into the recipient and up the sides.
  3. Place the tray into the oven and let it bake for about 15 min. (or until golden brown).

STEP #2

  1. Mix the lemon juice with the condensed milk in a blender for about 10 min.
  2. Pour it into the baked pastry shell (after it cools down a little).

STEP #3

  1. Whip the egg whites along with the sugar until foamy. After that, you can also add a few lemon drops to the mixture if you want (it'll make it creamy).
  2. Spread it over the pie and sprinkle lemon zest to give it a nice look.
  3. (Optional) - IF you want it to get a bit stiffer, take it to the oven again and let it bake for a few more minutes, but BE CAREFUL! You don't want to burn your pie, do you? I personally tend to avoid this one in order to err on the side of caution. But if you're a good cook, just go ahead and do it without any fear.

There you have it! Quick and easy!

Let me know how yours turned out in the comments below. :)

#10 Tips on How to Treat a New Muslim

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SOURCE


You just got the news that someone has reverted to Islam. You may or may not know this person, but you want to help them anyway, because you're happy to have a new member in the ummah. However, there's a little problem: you don't know how to approach or how to take the first step to make this individual feel "embraced." What now? Good question! Just keep reading to find out.


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#1 Be patient. I know I always say that, but not every muslim has the patience that it takes to deal with a new revert. When you're trying to help them, you MUST have in mind that THEY JUST GOT INTO ISLAM! They will NOT change overnight and it is VERY likely that THEY will need YOU or someone else to give them some pointers. Since this is literally a moment of transformation in their lives, they WILL have their ups and downs until they can take it all in. Therefore, be strong and help them through this process with patience - that's vital!

[...] Indeed, Allah is with the patient. [8:46]


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#2 Do NOT drift apart. This step is PRIMORDIAL! A lot of muslims fall short here. New muslims usually tend to feel like celebrities during their first weeks into Islam. However, it all ends up being just a flash in the pan (for the most part). At first they get hundreds (if not thousands) of "I'm-so-happy-for-you" messages, but then, after just a few days in the limelight, the exact same people who made them feel so special are all gone. Yes, it's perfectly understandable that you have your own life and that you don't have enough time to "babysit" others. Fair enough, but this is not what I mean. You should try to check on them at least once or twice a week. What you want here is not to let them feel alone (especially in the holidays), because friends play an extremely important role in people's lives. If they don't have any in muslim environments, they'll probably try to get some somewhere else.

A scholar once said: To seal a friendship for Allah’s sake indicates the obligation of establishing relationships of love and trust for His sake; this is a friendship for the sake of Allah. It also indicates that simple affection is not enough here; indeed what is meant is a love based upon alliance. This entails assistance, honor, and respect. It means being with those whom you love both in word and deed.


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#3 Teach them what you know. As I said above, they WILL need help. That's for sure! Remember that they're like babies here. They were NOT brought up by muslims. The stories that they heard when they were little are probably way different than the ones you did. They didn't learn anything about the companions, hadeeths or even how to pray. Instead of seeing this situation as a hassle, take it as an opportunity to share your knowledge with someone else. Come on, you don't have to be a scholar! Just teach them what YOU know.

P.S.: Some brothers and sisters do want to help, but they feel ashamed for not knowing that much about islam (despite the fact that they've been muslims for their whole lives). To get around this issue and come out as being wise, all they do is to go online, collect a bunch of websites (that they don't even know sometimes), send them out to new reverts and that's it. Some even disappear right after that. It's ok to share a webpage here and there, but don't do it only. If you live in the same city, try to meet up with them so you can have discussions about islam. If not, try at least to have a video call every once in a while. That means that you care about them and, yeah, they WILL notice that. If you don't have the answer to some of their questions, it's no big deal. Just tell them straight up. It's way better than beating around the bush and getting them even more confused. If you know someone who does, hook them up. That sure goes a long way.


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#4 Introduce them to your friends. The first big challenge that most of the new muslims face is telling others about their new lifestyle. Believe me, depending on the environment, this is NOT as simple as it may seem. Maybe they'll lose their friends, their jobs or even get kicked out. That's why they'll need your full-on support. Helping them build this new "islamic network" can definitely make them feel less rejected. It's great to know that you do have a family to fall back on in case things get too ugly, isn't it?

A Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. He does not oppress him, nor does he leave him at the mercy of others. [Sahih Muslim]


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#5 Don't judge them based on their past. This sucks! What they used to do is simply not relevant. What matters is what they're doing NOW. You have to at least give them the benefit of the doubt. Everybody makes mistakes, and that also includes you - nobody is perfect. If they fail you, just move on. It'll be their loss, not yours. Just do your part and Allah SWT will take care of all the rest.

Always remember:

Say to those who have disbelieved, if they cease (from disbelief), THEIR PAST WILL BE FORGIVEN. But if they return (thereto), then the examples of those (punished) before them have already preceded (as a warning). [8:38]


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#6 Try to avoid arabic terms for a while. No, I'm not kidding. I'm totally serious! This is so FRUSTATING! Most of the new reverts out there have never had ANY contact with arabic AT ALL. Don't expect them to know what Al Salam Alaykum, Astaghfirullah, Jazakallah Khair, Masha Allah, In shaa Allah, Bismillah, Alhamdulillah, Allahu Akbar, Subhana Allah, Taqwa, Tawheed and so on mean! Yeah, they'll have to pick them up with time, but try not to overwhelm them with that on day one. If you're going to use it anyway, make sure that they understand what you're saying, or else they'll feel completely lost. You have to be on the same page. After all, you want them to learn things, don't you? Remember step #1! Be patient!

P.S.: Sometimes you'll forget that they're babies and will end up using these terms automatically. It's likely that they'll ask you about their meaning. Please, do NOT get all started on the "are you really a muslim?" thing! I myself have had some experience with that, and guess what? No, it was NOT pleasant. You totally feel like a fish out of water when somebody asks you that. It's as if you were obliged to know words of a language that you don't even speak.


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#7 Don't be arrogant. Although it is Allah SWT the One who guides people [6:39], it is part of the human nature to feel attracted towards that which seems to be more appealing. If muslims treat their new brothers and sisters in Islam with disregard, while people from other religions are going in the opposite direction (making them feel welcome), chances are that they will turn to a different path. After all, nobody likes to be kicked around, right? I'm sure you don't want them to turn away because of what YOU did.

He who is deprived of kindness is deprived of goodness. [Sahih Muslim 2592, Grade: Sahih]


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#8 Take them to a mosque on a regular basis. Some people are shy, while others are more outgoing. That's life. I'm assuming that you've just met, so... You supposedly do not know that much about their personality. It's ok. I know that going to a mosque is just a customary thing to you, but don't think it's the same to a new revert. YOU've been doing that for your whole life, they haven't. It's definitely not the same. Some will just show up by themselves and others won't (unless invited). Either way, they both will feel a bit uneasy at first. It's a new environment with different people. Put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel? Once they get there, teach them what to do and STICK AROUND. You have to give them some time so they can come out of their shells.


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#9 Be a good example. Helping a new muslim get started is a big responsibility! That's why you also have to get your act together (if you're not on the "deen"). Since you're the one who's showing them the ropes, it is a fact that they will look up to you when they're about to do something (at least until they're able to tell right from wrong by themselves, islamically speaking). For this reason, you can either teach them how to be great or how to be a "coconut muslim." Please, try not to mess it up, because they'll have a hard time getting rid of the wrong habits that they learned from you later on in life.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: A person is likely to follow the faith of his friend, so look whom you befriend. [reported by Abu Dawood & Tirmidhee].


SOURCE


#10 Learn the art of gift giving. This is not a requirement, but it certainly helps. Maybe you're a little short on money (we all have to face lean times during certain periods of our lives), but buying them a book, a chaplet, a prayer mat, a "taqiyah" or whatever floats your boat will not break the bank. It doesn't need to be expensive! It just needs to be useful for their new journey. I'm sure they'll appreciate it A LOT (regardless of the price)!

The Prophet (PBUH) said: Exchange gifts, as that will lead to increasing your love to one another. [Al-Bukhaari]


Do you have another tip? Feel free to chime in!

Jazakallah Khair! :)

#10 Useful Tips for New Muslims

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After spending quite some time weighing the pros and cons and deciding on whether or not to take that big step, you've finally taken your shahadah (declared the faith) and entered the world of Islam. Pretty cool, uh? Despite the fact that I don't know exactly what you're feeling right now (because each person reacts in a different way), I DO know that there's one thing you want to get rid of for sure: the nagging doubts. Oh yeah! Heck, I know how it feels - it hasn't been that long since I went through the very same thing. You must be wondering, "what comes next?" Mmmmmm... That's a great question! I can't tell straight up - I'm not a scholar or an expert of any kind. What I can do, however, is to let you know about what I did (or tried to) when I was right where you are. Curious? Then read on! :)




#1 Learn how to pray ASAP. This one may sound a bit too obvious - the salat (prayer) is the second pillar of Islam -, but remember that that's one of the first challenges every new revert faces. Some people (including myself) take way too much time to get the hang of the whole thing. Since the prayers must be performed (I don't like this word to describe this action, but it's the only one I could think of) in Arabic, they become something even harder to tackle. Therefore, stop wasting your time with trivial things and do yourself a favor: learn how to pray right NOW. The sooner, the better! No more procrastinating!

P.S.: Ok, ok... Easier said than done, right? You may want to check this out. I bet it will help you somehow. Not enough? Then it's time to go into full-blown reading mode! Just read this PDF.  :)





#2 Wise up! Religion is a tough subject... If you're not prepared, you will merely go with the flow and do what you're told (or what you see others doing). That's why you should STUDY Islam. You don't need to go for a degree if you don't feel like doing it, but I highly encourage you to read up on as many topics as you can. Exhaust them all! Extract every bit of information, because it WILL make a huge difference when you're in a situation where you find yourself being questioned by a bunch of people that just want to make you look like an a#^%*%^+ in front of everybody else - not to mention, of course, that you'll come across a lot of fake information that's out there. Knowing things will definitely help you tell what's true from what's not. Don't be a sheep.

P.S.: Have you ever heard about the New Muslim Academy? Or the Islamic Online Univeristy? Muslim Now, maybe? Kalamullah? Islam Unveiled? Shannon Abulnasr? No? Then check them out!





#3 Find a Masjid (mosque). Oh, boy! Not everyone is lucky enough to have a mosque around - and this is, UNFORTUNATELY, my case as well. If you live in a place where you're blessed with at least one, don't miss out on this opportunity. There, you'll be able to meet brothers, sisters, sheikhs, sign up for the quaranic classes, attend lectures, pray in congregation and then some! Just get the ball rolling!

Always remember:

"Offering the prayer in congregation carries 27 times greater reward than offering it alone individually." (Bukhari, Muslim)

P.S.: If you're not so sure whether or not there's a mosque in your city, just go to the App Store and download an app called Muslim Pro. It not only provides you with this information, but also a Qibla Locator, a digital version of the Quran, the muslim calendar, the prayer times and much more!





#4 Surround yourself with Muslims. If you really want to live Islam, do NOT take this tip for granted! It's time for you to leave the past behind and start over - and I really mean it! Move on! Remember those people who used to invite you to the creepiest things? They're just an old memory now. It's all water under the bridge! If you have a muslim community in your location, that's easy-peasy. But uh... What if you don't? Well, if you're reading this post, you have an internet connection. That's all you need. While it won't be the same as having real friends, it will at least make you feel "part of the family." As the saying goes, "it's better to be alone than in bad company." I'm not saying that this is something easy to do, but once you get them out of your life, it pretty much sets the whole dominoes into motion.

Keep in mind:

"Let not the believers take the disbelievers as Awliyaa’ (supporters, helpers) instead of the believers, and whoever does that, will never be helped by Allaah in any way, except if you indeed fear a danger from them" (Aal ‘Imraan 3:28)

"You (O Muhammad) will not find any people who believe in Allaah and the Last Day, making friendship with those who oppose Allaah and His Messenger (Muhammad), even though they were their fathers or their sons or their brothers or their kindred (people). For such He has written Faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with Rooh (proofs, light and true guidance) from Himself" (al-Mujaadilah 58:22)

And (remember) the Day when the Zâlim (wrong-doer, oppressor, polytheist, etc.) will bite at his hands, He will say: "Oh! would that I had taken a Path with the Messenger (Muhammad). "Ah! Woe to Me! Would that I had never taken so-and-so as a friend! "He indeed led Me astray from the Reminder (this Qur'ân) after it had come to Me. And Shaitân (Satan) is ever a deserter to man in the hour of need." (Al-Furqaan, 25 v.27-29)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "A person is likely to follow the faith of his friend, so look whom you befriend." (reported by Abu Dawood & Tirmidhee)

The Messenger of Allah [said] "Do not keep company with anyone but a believer and do not let anyone eat your food but one who is pious." Abu Dawud (41:4832)

P.S.: Facebook and Twitter are great places to get started. Like some pages such as ISLAM is ?, Mission Dawah and Proud to be a Muslim. Maybe you'll make some friends there! Feeling skeptical? Well, if you never try, you will never know... Come on, give it a shot! :)





#5 Watch out for posers. Thought you could get rid of them, huh? Guess what? You actually can't! They (unfortunately) exist even in the muslim world. It's very likely that you will find some "muslims" who are, in reality, just muslims for show. Don't worry! It's REALLY easy to spot most of them. Just ask yourself: do they drink, eat pork, have girlfriends/boyfriends, watch porn, go to worldly parties, always seem to come up with an excuse to avoid the rules, miss the prayers and so on? Yes? Then stay away from them! If you can't advise these brothers/sisters to do good, just leave them before they drag you down to this filth with them. I don't mean to put you out with what I'm saying, but this is just something you'll have to get used to. Like Eddie (from The Deen Show) says, "focus on the Creator - not on the creation." So... Suck it up!





#6 Ease into your new life. You've just taken a huge step forward! Things are not going to change overnight, so... Try to do what needs to be done when you're ok with that. You're the one who needs to adapt yourself to fit into Islam - and not the other way around. Therefore, take as much time as you need to get your act together but, when you do, make sure you're all set.

P.S.: Allah (God) knows what's in your heart. Don't ever think you can deceive Him!





#7 Tough it out. This is usually the part where "the wheat is separated from the chaff." People will call you names, curse your religion, say that that's the biggest mistake of your life, turn you down, treat you differently, look daggers at you, say bad things about the Prophet (PBUH) and do whatever they can to make you give up. How long do you think you can hang tight? True believers WILL endure it all without stooping down to their level. "Patience is a virtue."

The Quran says:

And the Jews will not be pleased with you, nor the Christians until you follow their religion. Say: Surely Allah's guidance, that is the (true) guidance. And if you follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to you, you shall have no guardian from Allah, nor any helper. (2:120)





#8 Be a role model. You've just lost your identity - you're a muslim now. From now on, people (especially in the west) won't refer to you as Marco, Coby, Tim, Steve, Tory, Cindy, Leslie, etc, anymore. Now, you're Marco the Muslim, Coby the Muslim, Tim the Muslim and so on. Whatever you do, be aware that it WILL affect the way others around you feel towards our religion somehow. Times are tough for us. "If you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem." Don't make things even worse!





#9 Invite others. I know this is not that simple - believe me! I still feel a bit uneasy sometimes. However, we can't let it get in our way and keep us from giving dawah! You don't need to go straight up to someone and start talking about Islam. There are many ways to convey the message without doing so! You can use your social media, create a blog and/or a YouTube channel, write a book or uh... I don't know! Use your creativity to send it out to others and make sure that you're getting your point across. Maybe it will work, maybe it won't. This is not up to you - it's up to Allah. Just pull your own weight and see how it turns out.
Remember:

"Whoever guides (another) to a good deed will get a reward similar to the one who performs it." (Muslim)

"Invite to the way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His path, and He is the best aware of those who are guided." (Surah an-Nisa’ 16:125)

The Prophet (PBUH) has said: "Convey from me, even one verse." (Al-Bukhari).

"Verily, those who conceal the clear proofs, evidences and the guidance, which we have sent down, after We have made it clear for the people of the book, they are the ones cursed by Allah, and cursed by the cursers." (Quran 2:159)

P.S.: Here is a step-by-step on how give dawah. Enjoy!





#10 Be proud (but humble at the same time)! You shouldn't be embarrassed to let others know that you're a muslim. After all, the Quran says:

You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah . If only the People of the Scripture had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them are believers, but most of them are defiantly disobedient. (3:110)

See? Then keep your head up and your heart strong! :)





BONUS TIP: If possible, try to learn Arabic. It will make a huge difference in the long run. Just think about it: you'll be able to get all the information that you need straight from the horse's mouth! If you don't know how to get started, read this post. You'll find a lot of free stuff.

That's it! I'm totally aware that I've barely touched the tip of the iceberg here, but I hope you're feeling at least a little bit less confused. By the way, welcome to your new family! May Allah grant you Jannah (Paradise)!

 
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