The Islamic Bulletin
The Islamic Bulletin
(a delicious and extremely hot-spiced dish from Ethiopia)
- 1 chicken (cut in serving pieces)
- 1 large onion (diced)
- 3 tbls hot red pepper (chili powder)
- 2 tbls oil
- 4-5 tomatoes blended (enough to cover chicken in pot)
- 4 hard-boiled eggs (pierce eggs with sharp knife to make small hole)
- Salt to taste
- Little water
1. Fry onions in oil very well until translucent.
2. Add red chili powder and a little water and fry some more.
3. Next add your chicken and continue frying until chicken be-
4. Add the blended tomatoes and lower heat to simmer.
5. Salt to taste and continue cooking till done.
6. When chicken is done, add the hard-boiled eggs to the pot and
let the eggs absorb the red chili sauce.
Serve and enjoy an authentic Ethiopian dish!
Hud was the Prophet sent to the Bani ‘Ad for their reformation. His
lineage genealogy joins with the Prophet Nuh (peace be upon him)
and his sons. Nuh had 3 sons who were saved from the flood-- Sam,
Ham, and Yafith. The children of Sam were scattered in the Arabian
Peninsula. Sam had a son named Iram. And one of Iram’s sons was
‘Ad. So they named the town after his son--the city was named
‘Ad. The town of ‘Ad was very dusty and located near Ahqaf, near
Hadramout in Yemen.
Who were these people of ‘Ad? They were the people that God
sent to them the Prophet Hud. They lived near Hadramout, which
is now in Yemen. There they built palaces, erected temples and
worshipped deities and stars.
“Seest thou not how Thy Lord dealt with the ‘Ad (people), of
the (city of) Iram, with lofty pillars, the like of which were not
produced in (all) the land?” (Qur’an 89:6-8)
The names of their chief deities were Saqi’ah, Salimah, Raziqah and
Hafizun. This worshipping of statues came after a time when the
people of ‘Ad once believed in the one God.
“(Remember also) the ‘Ad and the Thamud (people): clearly will
appear to you from (the traces) of their buildings (their fate)
Satan made their deeds alluring to them, and kept them back
from the Path, though they were Keen-sighted.” (Qur’an 29:38)
The people of ‘Ad were tall in stature and were skillful masons. God
had given them abundance of wealth, cattle, children and gardens.
They had attained a considerable degree of civilization. Among them
flourished the famous king Shaddad. He built a magnificent palace
near ‘Aden. It was known as the Garden of Iram. He was a mighty
king and his conquests extended to Syria, Iraq and the frontier of
Sub- continent of Indo-Pakistan.
These people were proud of their achievements and considered
themselves to be invincible. They were indulged in sins and committed
acts of injustice and violence. Instead of expressing a deep sense of
gratitude to the Almighty God for the favors He had bestowed upon
them, they became transgressors and showed disobedience to Him.
God sent to these people and to the city of ‘Ad a man named Hud.
Since he was a man from amongst them, it was certain that they
would be more inclined to listen to him. The people of ‘Ad used to
call Hud a crazy man. There was one man in particular, named Abu
Thamud, who used to call the people to listen to Hud speak. He
wanted to prove to the people that Hud had indeed become crazy.
The people asked Abu Thamud, “We know that Hud does not
come to our gatherings nor does he believe in our gods. What has
happened to him that he does not mingle with us?”
Abu Thamud replied (mocking) that Hud declares that God sent
him as a prophet and as a warner to the people of ‘Ad. And unless
they stop believing in statues, that a grievous punishment from God
The people of the city then decided to go to Hud and hear what he
wanted from them. Hud replied that he did not want anything from
them except that they believe in the One God. The people of the
in Madinah. She was not a Muslim. Her mother brought her gifts
of raisins, clarified butter and qaraz (pods of a species of tree).
Asmaa at first refused to admit her into her house or accept the
gifts. She sent someone to Aishah to ask the Prophet (pbuh),
about her attitude to her mother and he replied that she should
certainly admit her to her house and accept the gifts. On this
occasion, the following revelation came to the Prophet (pbuh):
“God forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you
not for (your) faith nor drive you out of your homes, from
dealing kindly and justly with them: For God loves those who
are just. God only forbids you with regard to those who fight
you for (your) Faith, and drive you out of your homes, and
support (others) in driving you out, from turning to them
(for friendship and protection). It is such as turn to them (in
these circumstances), that do wrong.” (Qur’an Al- Mumtah-
anah 60: 8-9)
For Asmaa and indeed for many other Muslims, life in Madinah
was rather difficult at first. Her husband was quite poor and his
only major possession to begin with was a horse he had bought.
She described these early days: “I used to provide fodder for
the horse, give it water and groom it. I would grind grain and
make dough but I could not bake well. The women of the Ansar
used to bake for me. They were truly good women. I used to
carry the grain on my head from az-Zubayr’s plot which the
Prophet (pbuh) had allocated to him to cultivate. It was about
three farsakh (about eight kilometers) from the town’s center.
One day I was on the road carrying the grain on my head when
I met the Prophet (pbuh) and a group of Sahabah. He called out
to me and stopped his camel so that I could ride behind him. I
felt embarrassed to travel with the Prophet (pbuh) and also re-
membered Zubayr’s jealousy--he was the most jealous of men.
The Prophet (pbuh) realized that I was embarrassed and rode
on.” Later, Asmaa related to Zubayr exactly what had happened
and he said, “By God, that you should have to carry grain is far
more distressing to me than your riding with (the Prophet).”
Asmaa obviously then was a person of great sensitivity and devo-
tion. She and her husband worked extremely hard together until
their situation of poverty gradually changed. At times, however,
Zubayr treated her harshly. Once she went to her father and
complained to him about this.
His reply to her was: “My daughter, have sabr (patience) for if a
woman has a righteous husband and he dies and she does not
marry after him, they will be brought together again in Paradise.”
Zubayr eventually became one of the richest men among the
Sahabah but Asmaa did not allow this to corrupt her princi-
ples. Her son, al- Mundhir once sent her an elegant dress form
Iraq made of fine and costly material. Asmaa by this time was
blind. She felt the material and said, “It’s awful. Take it back
to him.” Al- Mundhir was upset and said, “Mother, it was not
transparent.” “It may not be transparent”, she retorted, “but
it is too tight-fitting and shows the contours of the body.”
Al-Mundhir bought another dress that met with her approval
and she accepted it.
If the above incidents and aspects of Asmaa’s life may easily be
forgotten, then her final meeting with her son, Abdullah, must
remain one of the most unforgettable moments in early Muslim
history. At that meeting she demonstrated the keenness of her
intelligence, her resoluteness, and the strength of her faith.
Abdullah was in the running for the Caliphate after the death
of Yazid ibn Mu’awiyah. The Hijaz, Egypt, Iraq, Khurasan and
much of Syria were favorable to him and acknowledged him
as the Caliph. The Ummayyads, however, continued to contest
the Caliphate and to field a massive army under the command
of Al- Hajjaj. Relentless battles were fought between the two
sides during which Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr displayed great acts
of courage and heroism.
Many of his supporters however could not withstand the contin-
uous strain of battle and gradually began to desert him. Finally
he sought refuge in the Sacred Mosque at Mecca. It was then
that he went to his mother, now an old blind woman, and said:
“Peace be on you, Mother, and the mercy and blessings of God.”
“Unto you be peace, Abdullah,” she replied. “What is it that
brings you here at this hour while boulders from Hajjaj’s catapults
are raining down on your soldiers in the Haram and shaking the
houses of Mecca?” “I came to seek your advice,” he said. “To
seek my advice?” she asked in astonishment. “About what?” “The
people have deserted me out of fear of Hajjaj or being tempted
by what he has to offer. Even my children and my family have
left me. There is only a small group of men with me now and
however strong and steadfast they are they can only resist for
an hour or two more. Messengers of the Banu Umayyah (the
Umayyads) are now negotiating with me, offering to give me
whatever worldly possessions I want, should I lay down my arms
and swear allegiance to Abdul Malik ibn Marwan. What do you
think?” Raising her voice, she replied: “It’s your affair, Abdullah,
and you know yourself better. If however you think you are right
and that you are standing up for the Truth, then persevere and
fight on as your companions who were killed under your flag
had shown perseverance. If however you desire the world, what
a miserable wretch you are. You would have destroyed yourself
and you would have destroyed your men.” “But I will be killed
today; there is no doubt about it.” “That is better for you than
that you should surrender yourself to Hajjaj voluntarily and that
some minions of Banu Umayyah should play with your head.”
“I do not fear death. I am only afraid that they will mutilate
me.” “There is nothing after death that man should be afraid
of. Skinning does not cause any pain to the slaughtered sheep.”
Abdullah’s face beamed as he said: “What a blessed mother!
Blessed be your noble qualities! I have come to you at this hour to
hear what I have heard. God knows that I have not weakened or
despaired. He is witness over me that I have not stood up for what
I have out of love for this world and its attractions but only out
of anger for the sake of God. His limits have been transgressed.
Here am I, going to what is pleasing to you. So if I am killed, do
not grieve for me and commend me to God.”
“I shall grieve for you,” said the ageing but resolute Asmaa, “only
if you are killed in a vain and unjust cause.”
“Be assured that your son has not supported an unjust cause,
nor committed any detestable deed, nor done any injustice to a
Muslim or a Dhimmi and that there is nothing better in his sight
than the pleasure of God, the Mighty, the Great. I do not say this
to exonerate myself. God knows that I have only said it to make
your heart firm and steadfast.”
“Praise be to God who has made you act according to what He
likes and according to what I like. Come close to me, my son,
that I may smell and feel your body for this might be the last
meeting with you.” Abdullah knelt before her. She hugged him
and smothered his head, his face and his neck with kisses. Her
hands began to squeeze his body when suddenly she withdrew
them and asked: “What is this you are wearing, Abdullah?”
“This is my armor plate.”
“This, my son, is not the dress of one who desires martyrdom.
Take it off. That will make your movements lighter and quicker.
Wear instead the sirwal (a long under garment) so that if you are
killed your ‘awrah will not be exposed.”
Abdullah took off his armor plate and put on the sirwal. As he
left for the Haram to join the fighting he said: “My mother, don’t
deprive me of your du’a (prayer).”
Raising her hands to heaven, she prayed: “O Lord, have mercy on
his staying up for long hours and his loud crying in the darkness
of the night while people slept....”O Lord, have mercy on his
hunger and his thirst on his journeys from Madinah and Mecca
while he fasted....”O Lord, bless his righteousness to his mother
and his father....”O Lord, I commend him to Your cause and I am
pleased with whatever You decree for him. And grant me for his
sake the reward of those who are patient and who persevere.”
By sunset, Abdullah was dead. Just over ten days later, his mother
joined him. She was a hundred years old. Age had not made her
infirm nor blunted the keenness of her mind.