In typical Indian spirit, I’d been brought into the kitchen after I matriculated to learn how round my roti’s and braise my spices. Bit of a problem for me, though, because coincidently, the minute I start cooking is the minute I realize all I have to do. Which means, my mum is constantly fretting on my behalf. Although, as I’m always telling her, it’s all in our frame of mind. What she calls burnt, I call caramelized. What she calls brown, I call golden. Hey, it’s better over-done than raw, in my eyes.
In my defense, I’m really not to blame. Let me tell you: The onions DO NOT GET PINK. There’s Rose, Blush, Flamingo, Fuchsia, Rouge and then you get ‘Pink Onions’. You probably won’t find it under the different shades of pink, though. I don’t know… maybe because IT’S CLOSER TO BROWN, YEAH? Just because I didn’t go to pre-school (apparently if ‘spinach’ is your favorite food, you’re more grade:R material) , they think they can fool me. Jokes on them, because I’m a master at browning stuff.
Alhamdulillah, and much to my mum’s vexation, I’ve yet to massacre a meal (not that I haven’t gotten close). I’m an absentminded cook chef (it just sounds more professional) that shocks my family when the food turns out palatable.
Gather around kids, because I know the solution. If we had to even stir a pot for my mum in the kitchen when we were young, we were reminded to read Bismillah. Bismillah is often underestimated. What are saying when we say Bismillah? “I’m going to begin this task with the guidance of Allah.” Islam teaches us to do so, because it’s also a form of humbleness. We aren’t able to do anything on our own. We are completely dependent on Allah, and constantly repeating Bismillah jogs our memory of this.
Some Ulama say that the contents of the whole Quran are condensed in Surah Fateha and that which is in Surah Fateha is found in Bismillah. Meaning, Bismillah has taken the whole Quran within itself.
Hazrat Moulana Abdul Hamid Ishaq [DB] mentioned in a bayaan that when Adam (A.S) was in Jannat, everything was ready found for him. He didn’t have to do anything. However when he came to the dunya, he had to do everything for himself.
So He said, “Ya Allah, things are so hard and difficult here.”
Allah replied, “Just read Bismillah and everything will become easy.”
In a Hadith narrated by Hadrat Umar (R.A), “No doubt when Jibraeel (A.S) used to come with revelation to Nabi (S.A.W), then he used to begin by saying Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem.”
Hadrat Ibn Abbas (R.A) narrates, “As soon as an Ustaad teaches a child Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem, then a certificate for freedom from Jahannam is written for the Ustaad, the child and the parents of the child.”
Bishr Haafi (R.A) once found a piece of paper on the ground on which was written Bismillah. He picked it up with utmost respect, and with the last two dirhams that he had on him, he purchased some Itr/perfume and rubbed it on the paper. Bishr (R.A) then put it away safely.
On this action he saw Allah in his dream. Allah said to him, “O Bishr Haafi! Just as you have honored My name, so will I brighten your name, in this world and in the hereafter.”
Remember, you take one step towards Allah, Allah takes ten steps towards you.
May Allah protect us all and grant us the ability to overcome our Nafs.
Love and Duas,