When Mizah first approached Wandering Wonderers with an opportunity to learn more about cooking in Sunnah, I just knew I had to find out more.
What was cooking with Sunnah? What are Sunnah ingredients?
Is it any different to the normal halal ingredients we use in our cooking? I was clearly curious and wasn’t really sure what to expect. All I knew was we would be getting down and dirty cookin’ in the kitchen, which I really wouldn’t mind.
Over at Heiraz Baking Academy, I was warmly welcomed by Rozi and Mizah, the power duo who were the organizers of the event. All the participantswere then ushered to an elegantly set-up table. Just look at the hydrangeas! I obviously was stealing ideas to implement it at home!
We were a small group of eight, which i truly appreciated because that made it more personal and less daunting. I didn’t want to like compete with a master chef or anything – no, it’s not a competition, but you get what I mean.
So much was shared at the class – most of which I did not even think to question before!
What is Sunnah Food?
If you look at the diet of the Prophet (pbuh) in the Shama’il Imam At- Tirmidhi, it says that he used to eat dates. He liked pumpkin, cucumber, grapes which came from Ta’if and he also liked melons. The Arabs would also bring dried fruits from Syria such as apricots, but they were expensive and thus only affordable for the well-to-do – Shaykh Hamzah Yusuf
Sunnah food are basically food that our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) loved and practiced to include in his daily meals. The food he loved are highly beneficial to a person’s health and most have been scentifically proven to have a positive impact to a person’s well-being when consumed consistently.
What are some of the Sunnah Ingredients?
There are many readings and articles on Sunnah Ingredients that you may find from reliable sources. During the event, we used watermelon, shoulder of lamb, habbatus-sauda (Nigella Sativa) , pumpkins and medjool dates to create a three course meal.
Sunnah Ingredient: Watermelon
Dessert: Watermelon Cake (made well ahead as it needs time to set and freeze)
Sunnah Ingredient: Shoulder of Lamb, Habbatus Sauda (Nigella Sativa)
Main Course: Roasted Shoulder of Lamb with Herbs
Sunnah Ingredient: Pumpkin
Soup Starter: Pumpkin Soup
Sunnah Ingredient: Medjool Dates
Drink: Medjool Dates Shake
I truly had an enjoyable experience and of course I could not miss the opportunity to have a chat with the inspiring ladies behind this wonderful event!
How did #FLOevents started?
FLO – Feminine, Lifestyle, Obedience – started with three women, Rozi Faith + Noraini Yeo + Miza Azmee, who are bounded by friendship and their pursuit to deepen their individual spiritual connection to Allah swt. Rozi has been in the islamic events scene in Sg and Malaysia the past three years, and together with Miza and Noraini, we are passionate about connecting with other Muslim sisters.
Why cookingwithsunnah? What inspired the idea?
Both of us are avid travelers and cooking enthusiasts! We’re inspired by the different ingredient ideas + recipes we’ve collected from the different communities we’ve visited. Rozi, on her corporate / business trips, has visited Moscow and Tatarstan and has cooked with the community while working there. Her recent experience at a permaculture village that cooks only halal and toyyib food was the most meaningful overseas cooking stint as she felt Quran coming to life throughout the week there. Miza, who travels on the job, makes it a point to try out local fare in each city she visits, and has attended cooking classes in places as varied as New York City and the Greek islands. Her frequent travels has also given her a nuanced understanding of cross-cultural and fusion food preparation and dining protocol. Both Rozi and Miza make an excellent duo because Rozi keenly explores and has knowledge on sunnah foods (eating guidelines based on our beloved prophet Muhammad’s recommendations), while Miza is interested in experimenting with different cooking styles as well as incorporating healthy dining into everyday life. Moving forward, we have plans to invite asatizah to elaborate on the sunnah aspects, as well as dive deeper into other culinary cultures and how they jive with sunnah cooking & dining, for example Japanese, Korean, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean.
Who or what is your inspiration that keeps you going when things get rough?
Rozi: Apart from my supportive family, I am blessed to know a lot of sisters who have gone through a lot of challenges in life. Sisters who are struggling out there truly inspires me. Several of them happen to also remind me of the women around Prohet Muhammad saw. They suffer in silence not because they cannot fight back but because they know that it is their jihad to attain that closeness to Allah. They do whatever it takes; be extra entrepreneurial, have more than one job, give up their job, combat with their chronic illness alone ~ all with sabr (that is more than patience); just to be on that path that is blessed by Allah, insyaAllah. I still complain when things get rough, and I get extremely upset sometimes. But these sisters remind me that Allah has given other women even greater challenges. What is mine compared to theirs? My late grandfather is also my inspiration. He is legendary. His sacrifices and love are indescribable.
Miza: My mother. My family has been highly supportive of my efforts in this sunnah cooking & dining etiquette topic. Food is a passion I learnt from my mother, who is an excellent cook. She has always taught me an awareness of what went into my diet AND knowledge on how to best consume our food according to the sunnah, for example taking three separate sips from a cup instead of gulping everything down at once, not blowing into a hot drink to cool it down, and not mixing seafood with poultry meat. The credits to the watermelon cake with fresh piped cream (one of the four recipes shared in our inaugural sunnah cooking class), for example, goes to my mom. The Internet has 1,000 different ways to make the watermelon cake, but to me my mom’s version is the best because she found a substitute ingredient that can easily be found locally, and that reduced the cooking by at least 3 steps. Both of us feel that it is important to spread knowledge + to create a dialogue on sunnah food and dining to the people around us. Plus, sunnah eating is an incredibly healthy habit too ! Win-win !
If you were a spice or a herb, what will you be and why?
Rozi: I would love to be honey actually. Honey has a lot of healing properties that it is almost magical. I cannot help but marvel at this particular creation by Allah swt. But if you insist that I be a spice or herb, I would like to be Ginseng. I can be bitter but I am good for you.
Miza: Can i be a leaf instead ? I’d like to be an arugula (rocket leaf), please ! The rocket, a salad staple, looks pretty tepid, but it’s a tiny powerhouse of vitamins (especially vitamins K, C and A) + minerals (copper, iron, etc). It is good for bone health, reduces inflammation, promotes detoxification, and helps prevent cognitive decline — who would’ve guessed this sedentary little leaf is so awesome ? Plus it makes salad (something I normally find boring) much tastier with rocket added.
FLOevents inspires to…
Our intention is to learn and share the ways in which observant Muslim women are able to be at ease and peace within the modern world without compromising the sacredness of Islam. We all recognise that this is a constant, ever-deepening, rollercoaster of a ride (just like how our iman ebbs and flows). There is so much dialogue on what a Muslim woman is and should be both from the opposite gender–men–and in today’s media, and thus we hope that FLO will be a channel through which Muslim women are able to articulate the truth. Too much have been discussed, too many ideas, ideals, challenges and complaints have been aired. What we hope to be is the medium between seekers of truth and trusted scholars. Trusted scholars have studied the issues we face deeply. Guided by the Quran and Hadith, and coupled with the appreciation of writings by respected ulama, they have all the answers. FLO hopes to be that medium to share truth.
How can we learn more about future programmes?
You can find our programmes in www.islamicevents.sg. We are still taking time and enjoying the process of setting things up. We ask Allah to guide us and we do not intend to rush. We’ll be setting up a Facebook page on FLO in 2015 insyaAllah !We also have an upcoming Japanese cooking & dining, sunnah-style, coming up this February/March 2015. Miza loves Japanese culture, and Rozi’s husband is part-Japanese, so it’s something we’re both highly invested in for personal reasons hehe. The event posters for our other events like events management by Rozi, as well as etiquette and grooming workshops by Noraini, will be out soon, inshaAllah !
Thank you Mizah & Rozi for the gastronomically amazing opportunity! Here’s to more food adventures, InshaaAllah!
Love & Laughter,