Blog I Ramadan and the Islamic faith
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community.
Ramadan this year started on Saturday 2 April 2022 and will end on Sunday 1 May 2022.
Tauseef, our Progress Connect Officer, has written a blog on the Islamic faith and the Five Pillars of Islam. He also shares some of his family's recipes.
Islam is the fastest-growing religion, with nearly two billion followers all over the globe.
You have probably heard about Islam through the media, conversations with a friend or coworker, or perhaps you stumbled upon it while browsing the web. Although Islam is the second most followed religion after Christianity, it is also one of the most misunderstood.
'Islam' is an Arabic term that means to submit one's will to the will of God. Islam is a monotheistic religion that teaches that there is only one divine being, one supreme creator of the universe. Muslims believe that Islam is the true religion of God revealed to humanity. It is a universal religion that anyone can practice at any time, in any place. The central concept of this way of life is total submission to God.
Islam is a complete, holistic way of living covering every aspect of life. Islam leaves no stone unturned as it teaches how to behave in every area of life: individual, social, material, moral, ethical, legal, cultural, political, economical, and global.
There are five pillars of Islam
Tawheed is the first and the most important pillar of the five pillars of Islam. Believing and acting on this pillar is the key to entering Islam. To become a Muslim and enter into the fold of Islam, a person must pronounce the testimony of faith
Prayer is the second most important pillar in Islam, and it is the first thing that a person will be held accountable for on the Day of Judgment. If the person's prayer is good, that person will be successful. But if the person's prayer is incorrect, that person will have achieved failure. There are five obligatory prayers that every adult Muslim has to observe every day. Allah tells us about these prayers in the Qur'an
Zakat is the third pillar of Islam. The act of zakat is defined as giving a set proportion of a Muslim's wealth to charity. It is regarded as a type of worship and self-purification. The amount is typically about 2.5% of a Muslim's total wealth.
Fasting in the month of Ramadan is the fourth pillar of Islam. It refers to the practice of abstaining from eating food, drinking liquids, and having intercourse from the break of dawn until sunset.
The fifth and final pillar of Islam is to perform the hajj, the pilgrimage to Makkah. Every year millions of Muslims make their way to the Kaba, the Sacred House of Allah in Makkah, to perform the pilgrimage.
It is one of the most significant forms of worship in Islam, and it demonstrates unity among Muslims.
Here are some recipes Tauseef and his family enjoy and wanted to share:
Chicken and sweetcorn spicy rolls – This recipe makes approx. 30 rolls.
• 1kg of minced chicken
• Large tin of sweetcorn
• 1 large onion
• Sunflower oil (2tbsp)
• Garlic paste 1tbsp
• Ginger paste 1tbsp
• Chopped Green chillies x4
• Filo pastry
• Salt & pepper 1tbsp of each
• Red chilli powder 1tbsp
• Turmeric powder 1tbsp
• Garam masala 1tbsp
• Bunch of fresh coriander
• 1 fresh lemon
• 3tbsp of plain flour and 8 tbsp of water and mix into a paste
Dice the onions into small pieces and add to the sunflower oil in a pan. Fry until lightly golden brown, and then add the garlic and ginger paste and further cook for about 1min. Add all the spices, salt and pepper to taste, and the chopped green chilli.
Add the minced chicken and allow it to sear, then turn the gas onto a low flame and cook for a further 30 minutes until the water has almost evaporated and the chicken is cooked. At this point, add the drained sweetcorn, chop half the bunch of coriander, and add to the chicken mix. Add the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon and turn off the heat. Allow the mix to cool at room temp for about 30mins.
Prepare the plain flour and water paste (as instructed in the ingredients list). Spoon about 2 tbsp of the chicken mixture onto one sheet of filo pastry and roll. Use the flour paste to seal the ends. Once the rolls have been prepared, then deep fry in hot oil until the rolls are golden brown. Serve with plain greek yoghurt (or add a spoon of mint sauces for that extra kick).
Onion Bhaji (Pakora recipe)
Add 1 cup of gram flour to a bowl. Add a levelled tablespoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of coriander powder and add small amounts of water to get a thick paste. Chop a bunch of fresh coriander and one fresh green chilli. Two large onions in fine slices and one large potato in thin slices and cubed. Add the paste and mix well. Spoon a tablespoon onto the hot oil that makes one Onion Bhaji (Pakora) and cook until golden brown.
You can add extra veg, spice or salt if desired.