How To Make Naqshbandi Sufi Tea

March 10, 2008 § 5 Comments

Turkish Tea is one of the staples of the Osmanli Naks-i’bendi-Hakkani Dergah (what is a dergah?). Turkish tea is a brewed tea. It is not bagged and steeped, in fact it is loose but processed leaves, herbs and spices that are brewed for a period of about 15 minutes or more. Our shaykh, Abdul Kerim Hazretleri is fond of good Turkish Tea and we prepare tea for him frequently.

I recently asked a murid, who is in charge of making the tea, what Seyh Efendi’s favorite tea is? He told me that there are a few that our shaykh likes but the one the murid likes to prepare for him more than others is a particular blend of two high quality loose teas, Çaykur (Turkey) and Ahmad Tea (London).

The blend consists of one part Siyah Türk Çayi (Çaykur) and one part Ceylon (Ahmad Tea). These are both black teas but Çaykur’s Turkish Black Tea is lighter and sweeter than the Ceylon grade, whereas the Ceylon is dark and bold. Together they make a perfect blend, a crisp, fruity mild black tea.

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Brewing Tea In Turkish Style

Although there are some different tea brewing styles in Turkey, this one is almost common among Turkish people:First put the water into a kettle, put enough tea into a teapot and put the teapot on the kettle. When the water boils in the kettle, pour some on tea into the teapot. Wait 15 minutes. The tea in the teapot mustn’t be boiled but the water in the kettle must be hot. Then pour brewed tea into teacup (or tea glass), half of the cups must be brewed tea and other half the hot water. Brewing time is longer in Turkey, but they add water to brew and they generally use sugar.
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What is Wudu’?

November 29, 2007 § 10 Comments

For a religiously valid salat (Islamic ritual prayer), a minor-ablution (wudu’) is an obligatory (fard) precondition. Without it, the salat is not complete. The Prophet Muhammad (alayhi salatu wa sallim) has said,

“The key of the salat is the wudu’” (Jami’ al-Saghir, v.2 pp156)

The Obligations of Minor-Ablution:

  1. Washing the whole face, from the top of the forehead to the bottom of the chin and from ear to ear, once.
  2. Washing the arms up to the elbows, once.
  3. Wiping the top part of the head with wet right hand.
  4. Washing the feet up to the ankle, once.

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The Many Uses of Vinegar

November 25, 2007 § 23 Comments

Vinegar is a liquid substance produced from the fermentation of ethanol in a process that yields acetic acid, a corrosive organic chemical compound, represented as CH3COOH. Vinegar is made from the oxidation of ethanol in cider, fermented fruit juice, or nearly any other liquid containing alcohol. It has been used for food, household, miscellaneous and medicinal purposes for over a thousand years. What should be even more interesting is that its use has been mentioned in Prophetic Tradition which extends as far back as the Prophet Dawood (alayhi salaam) or David, in his Psalms, all the way to the Prophet Muhammad (alayhi salatu wa sallim), in the recorded traditions of the Prophet Muhammad called ahadith in Sahih Muslim. And according to ‘Aisha (radhi Allahu anha) the Prophet Muhammad’s wife, the Prophet (alayhi salatu wa sallim) said,

“The best of condiments or condiment is vinegar.”

There is also a recorded tradition of the Prophet Muhammad, a hadith, narrated by Jabir b. ‘Abdullah saying,

“While I was sitting in my house there happened to pass by me Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him). He made a gesture to me and I stood up for him. He took hold of my hand until we came to one of the apartments of his wives. He entered and then asked me to get in. So I entered and there was hanging a curtain beside her. He (the Holy Prophet) said: Is there any food (with you)? They (the members of the household) said: Yes And then there were brought three loaves of bread for him (the Holy Prophet) and placed in the basket of palm leaves. Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) picked up one loaf and placed that before him, and then picked up another one and placed it before me. He then picked up the third one and broke it into two parts, and kept the one-half before him and the other half before me, and then said: Is there any condiment? They (the members of the household) said: There is nothing (in the form of condiment) but some vinegar only. He said: Bring that, for vinegar is a good condiment.”

We use vinegar for a number of reasons in my home. For example, usually before every meal we take a cap full of vinegar to take the edge off of the appetite. Also, from time to time we use it, diluted with water, as a hair rinse. This removes soap film and unnecessary oils after shampooing. It also adds acid mantel to hair and highlights to brunettes.

There are so many uses for vinegar, the number is unknown however you may find “131 Uses for Vinegar” a useful website to learn more about the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s favorite condiment, vinegar.

How Do Muslims Pray?

July 9, 2006 § 14 Comments

Let me tell you a little secret… I have been waiting nearly six months to make a post like this. I wanted to wait until readership for Wa Salaam was at a level where it could actually be of benefit. So where do we start?

Well lets start with the basics. In Islam there are 5 fundamental principles that are the foundation of our belief, so much that they are termed “Pillars”. Some of you non-Muslims may have heard of the term “5 Pillars of Islam”, which basically means that the essence of Islam is in the performance and maintenance of these rites.

The second of these 5 Pillars is observing the obligatory prayer or as-Salaah, which there is no English equivalent but for our purposes we will say “Reverence and Worship”. Salaat is different from a prayer or supplication, in Arabic this kind of prayer is called a dua’a. But the Salaat is something very specific, the act of Salaat is obligatory upon every Muslim after puberty and is a means to commune with the Almighty without the dependence of intercessors or lesser gods…

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