Rooh Afza Mousse

This is a Rooh afza mousse recipe that captured a lot of attention! It was submitted to us by Asma Ahmed, but the original recipe belongs to her aunty.  Jazak Allah Khair for sharing!


Cool whip
Condensed milk
Mango pulp
Cut up fruits (strawberries/peaches/pineapple)
Rooh Afza

-Mix first three until desired consistency and taste is reached

-Stir in fruits

-Put in piping bag or ziplock bag if you need to improvise, snip a corner off

-In little dessert cups (from party city) squeeze a little drizzle of rooafza    inside…you can use the ziplock bag technique but make sure hole is very small

-Squeeze mango mixture into cups right away…the rooafza tends to go all the way to the bottom very fast

Freeze and enjoy!

Easy Ramadan Prep for Busy Moms – Biscuits & Banarsi Style

Ramadan is only a week away!

I haven’t been able to get into the Ramadan Spirit so I thought i’d make a guide for myself and other Moms who want to be hyped for Ramadan!One of the reasons that I’ve been dragging my feet is because there is so much to do that it seems over whelming! so if making the 20,000 Samosas, decorating the house, while catching up on spiritual goals feels daunting…your not the only one!

Follow these easy  instructions to get you caught up in the Ramadan Spirit in no time  Inshallah!

1. Jam those Ramadan Nasheeds – (Click here for our favorites)


2.Organize a Samosa Fest – Call your family and friends and arrange a samosa making party (click here to see how one family makes it their annual tradition)

samosa featured image

3. Decorate your house for Ramadan (click here for our guide)

4. Make Ramadan baskets for your neighbors! (Our guide to making Ramadan Baskets)



5. Start your Ramadan Journal – a Journal in which you write the duas that you want to make during the blessed month

ramadan journal





I had to share these two iPhone/iPad apps I came across…hope they help you during the last few days of Ramadan!

1. Ihsaan Fusion: This is basically the app version of the book “Fortress of a Muslim,” which is a book containing many duas ( This app contains every possible duah/invocation you can imagine, it would bey very convenient to have this at our finger tips.  Normally this application costs money but they have made it FREE for the last 10 days of Ramadan.  Jump on this amazing offer!













2. Quran Works: This is basically a very high quality Quran application.  The commercial for it is awesome so I’ll let you watch it so you can see what its all about.


Something to app shop about….

10 Tips for the 10 Nights

The last blessed nights of Ramadan are upon us! Sadly, I have not been making the most of this Ramadan.
In between moving, work and running after my active tarzan toddler, I can’t seem to be very productive.  After talking with other moms, I guess they too feel the same frustration. I have  tried to compile some easy  ways in which we can try to make the most of these last few days/nights of Ramadan.

*Indicates things that can even be done when a woman can’t pray.

*1. Iftar: When preparing Iftar, make a little more and drop it off at the masjid.  The people sitting in itikaaf or spending the night in Qiyam-ul-layl can have food to munch on.  You can even leave energetic food items such as gatorade, granola bars and fruits to give them the energy to spend the night in ibadah.  For suhoor: You can buy breakfast items such as bread, butter, juice and bagels and leave them in the refrigerator in the masjid.

*2. Bathing Every Night: Ibn Jarīr al-Ṭabari mentioned that of the Salaf who used to encourage bathing every night of the last ten nights of Ramadan, and Ibrāhīm al-Nakha’i was among those who bathed every night. Others used to bathe on those nights which they expected was laylat’l-qadr. It was reported that Anas b. Mālik would bathe, apply perfume and dress in his finest on the night of the 24th of Ramadan and every night. Ayyūb al-Sukhtiyāni would bathe on the nights of the 23rd and 24th and wear new clothes for these nights and fragrance himself with incense. It was also transmitted that Thābit al-Banāni and Hamid al-Tawil would dress in their best and apply fragrance during these ten nights.

*3.  Clean-up: Depending on your children, if you can manage to go to the masjid during the day then try to do a quick clean up of the musallah, hallways and bathroom.  Usually during this time the bathrooms are trashed, so it would be a big help to just throw away any paper towels or tissues.  On that note, it may even be a good idea to donate bottles of soap, paper towels or tissue.  Not all masjids are good about refilling, therefore us spending a few dollars can go a long way.

*4. Quran: Either before or after Fajr is a nice quiet time to sit and recite Quran.  Even during the day you can play the Quran while performing other tasks.

5. Sunnah or Nafil prayers: This may be easier to do since a person can pray before or after the obligatory prayers. Narrated by Muslim, “A house will be built in paradise for every Muslim who offers twelve Rak’ah of optional salah other than the obligatory salah in day and night, to seek pleasure of Allah.” Here is a source on the excellence of praying Sunnah.

6. Tahajjud: All it takes is 5 minutes (depending on the Surah), just get up 5 minutes before and do Tahajjud.  Abu Hurayrah (RA), related that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: When the last one-third of the night remains, our Lord, the Glorious One descends towards the heaven of the earth & proclaims: Who is that who supplicates for Me, & I grant his supplication? Who is that who begs Me for anything & I grant it to him? And who is that who seeks My forgiveness, & I forgive him? (Bukhari, Muslim).

7. Qiyam ul Layl: Spending the night in worship, If you can manage to squeeze in a nap during the day then do so that way you can have some energy to stay up at least even a portion of the night.  What works for me is to let my child watch television while I take a quick power nap on the couch.

*8. Adhan: download the adhan apps or listen to it on youtube (at the designated prayer times) and repeat the adhan and make du’a between the adhaan and iqaama. Duah during this time is not rejected.

9. Tahiyyatul Wudu – 2 Raka’ahs Sunnah after doing Wudu (Ablution)
Abu Hurayrah (RA) reported the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) saying to Bilal (RA): “Tell me about the best of your deeds (i.e. one which you deem the most rewarding) since your embracing Islam because I heard your footsteps in front of me in Paradise.” Bilal (RA) replied: “I do not consider any act of mine more rewarding than that whenever I make ablution at any time of night or day, I perform Prayer for as much as was destined for me to do.” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)”

*10. Dhikr: As mention in a previous post, reciting these short words are extremely beneficial.
1. Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibbul ‘afwa fa’fu ‘annee – Recite this abundantly during the last ten nights of Ramadan.
2. Subhaanallah
3. Alhamdulillah
4. Allahu Akbar
5. Laa ilaaha illallah
7. AstaghfurAllah

You can even print out the Ramadhaan Planner to plan your time effectively.

May Allah SWT accept our fasts and good deeds Ameen

Something to be active about….

Rooh Afza Recipes

Iftar is not complete until you have your dates and a glass of Rooh Afza.  According to  Hamdard Laboratories Rooh Afza is a blend of pure crystalline sugar, distilled natural extracts of citrus flowers, aquas of fruits, vegetables and cooling herbal ingredients, Rooh Afza’s cooling effect is long lasting for it not only instantly quenches the thirst but also rapidly cools the entire system and gives back the body the vigor, vitality and freshness depleted by excessive heat.

It is extremely popular in Pakistan.  Most people mix Rooh Afza in either water or milk.  I prefer a Rooh Afza milkshake over a Rooh Afza sherbet.  I recently came across a wide variety of Rooh Afza recipes.  Some are sweet while others have a refreshing tangy flavor.  Here are a few:

1.  Sunset Island

Pineapple juice 1.5 oz
Grape juice 1 oz
7-up 1.5 oz
Rooh Afza  1 tsp
Sugar syrup  1 tsp

Combine in shaker over a few ice cubes. Shake thoroughly. Pour into glass.

2. Rooh Afza Colada

Pineapple juice – 1/2 cup 
Coconut milk – 1/4 cup
Rooh Afza – 2 tbsp
Coconut – 2 tsp (fresh and finely grated)
Ice cubes – 4-5 nos
For Garnishing:-
Pineapple – 1 piece
Ice cubes – 2-3 nos (crushed)

Step 1: Blend the pineapple juice, coconut milk, Rooh Afza and the ice-cubes in the blender till well blended.
Step 2: Place crushed ice at the bottom of a cocktail glass and pour the blended mixture.
Step 3: Sprinkle some shredded coconut and place the pineapple slice on the rim of the glass.

3. Rooh Afza Banana Milkshake

Bananas  2 
Milk 2 cups
Rooh Afza  2 tsp
Sugar syrup  1 tsp

Mix all the ingredients in blender and serve with ice cubes.

4. Rooh Afza Smoothie

Sliced strawberries  1 cup

Chopped mint leaves 2 teaspoons

Rooh Afza 4 teaspoons

Vanilla ice cream 4 teaspoons

Milk 5 cups

Lemon juice 1 cup

Step 1: Blend strawberry, mint leaves and Roof Afza in blender to make a smooth paste

Step 2: Pour milk and ice cream in it and blend it again. Divide the mixture in 2 glasses

Step 3: Pour lime drink on it and serve after garnishing it with mint leaves

5) Rooh Afza Mint Lemonade

Water 2 glasses

Rooh Afza 4 teaspoons

Lemon juice 1 tablespoon

Chopped mint leaves 2 teaspoons

Lemons for garnishing

Step 1: Mix 2 glasses of water, 4 spoons of Rooh Afza, 1 spoon of lemon juice and 2 spoons of mint leaves all together in a jug.

Step 2: Add crushed ice.

Step 3: Garnish it with lemon slices and serve chill.

Keep the Kids Busy this Ramadan, While Staying Cool


It’s Ramadan but its also summer and that means long days, no schools and potentially cranky and bored kids!

Here are a few suggestions to beat the heat, while keeping the young ones entertained. A Ramadan tip is to do Ibadah while watching the kids grab your Quran in your purse or do Zikr while watching the kids have a great time!

1. Any indoor mall play areas: My favorite is the Fair Oaks mall play area it’s large enough and has many little things for the kids to climb on and explore. I have been to the Dulles and Tyson’s corner one as well, whichever is closer and convenient usually wins in my book.


2. Local public library: With plenty of books, tables and chairs, this is the place where young kids can begin to get exposed to library etiquette and the joys of reading. On certain days there are free book readings or activites, you would have to check on your county’s website for more details.


3. Chuck E. Cheese: Indoor play area – tokens are purchased to play the games or for rides, but keeps my kids entertained for hours with a very little hit to the pocket. Best part there are usually plenty of tables with booths for you to sit and read your Quran Tafsir.


4.Reston Town Center water sprinklers; Reston, VA – Dress your kids in their bathing suits bring a towel and sit back on the comfortable shaded lawn steps while the kids drain their energy and build up their appetite. If your there later closer to iftaar time there are a lot of dining options just a few steps away


5. Loudoun Sports Bounce, Ashburn Va: Kids will enjoy bouncing all the different bounce courses, large slides and  a playroom for 18 months and older, best part there’s AC and you won’t break a sweat!


Have other ideas for beating the heat this summer? Please share.






Ramadan Notes

I hope everyone’s having an energizing, ibadah-ful and enlightening Ramadan thus far.  Right before Ramadan started, I had the opportunity to go to a lecture called “Looking forward to Ramadan.” This lecture was by Shaikh Saad Tasleem, A Madina graduate who has also just joined the Al-Maghrib world as a teacher.

I took a notebook and a pen for notes, sadly the notes were not as elaborate due to Eesa’s persistent attempts in wanting to kidnap my pen.

Most things mentioned at the lecture served as good reminders and motivation.  Here are quick 10 points that I hope we all can benefit from insha’Allah:

1) One of the major reasons we fast is to attain taqwa. (taqwa: to be more conscious of Allah SWT)
a) Ramadan is the month of forgiveness.
b) Since shayateen are tied up, it is easy for us to worship.

2) Sahaba’s would make dua six months before Ramadan to be blessed and allowed to see Ramadan again.

3) Relationship with Quran: Sheikh Saad said that when ever people are struggling with eman then the first question is how is their relationship with the Quran.
a) Ramadan gives us the ability to reconnect with the Quran.

4) Back in the Sahaba’s time, there were very few hafiz, the average sahaba had a few surahs
memorized. The focus was implementing the Quran in their lives.
a) Umer RA took 12 years to memorize Surah Baqarah because he did not want to move on till the next surah till he implemented and practiced the surah in his life.

5) Try to memorize a few ayahs but with tafsir, tajweed and implementation, then watch how Allah SWT raises your ranks.

6) Taraweeh helps to build our connection with night salah.  No one is there, it is an intimate relationship.
a) Qiyam-ul-layl is one of the few acts we do in seclusion, no one but Allah SWT knows.

7) Ramadan brings us back to delayed gratification. Anytime we’re hungry, we open the refridgerator or rush to the vending machine.  Ramadan teaches us to wait, be patient.

8) Siyam dawud: It is narrated in al-Saheehayn from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best fasting is the fast of Dawood: he used to fast one day and not the next.” This type of fast was observed by Prophet Dawud (AS), however it is becoming an extinct practice.

a) Sunnah Fasts: It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Deeds are shown (to Allaah) on Mondays and Thursdays, and I like my deeds to be shown when I am fasting.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 747; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 1041

9) YOLO: You only live once.  This may be the only chance you get to get your sins forgiven.

10) Ramadan isn’t just about fasting, its about deeds. Any deed can earn you reward if done with the right intentions.  (i.e getting groceries for your wife, if done to please Allah SWT then can get rewarded).

Sheikh Saad said that Ramadan is a chance for us to transform our lives, it is an opportunity to change.

May Allah SWT allow this Ramadan to be a means for us to attain taqwa, seek forgiveness, and establish a relationship with the Quran and Qiyam-ul-Layl.  Ameen

Below is one of my most favorite Ramadan lectures, it is only 10 minutes long and I highly recommend watching it.

Virtues of Ramadan

Something to look forward to…..

Reminiscing Ramadan

When I was younger and lived with my family Ramadan was so much fun, now that I have my own family I hope that I can also make Ramadan memories with my kids. My mom made Ramadan an incredibly happy month for us. She was the glue that held the family and our Ramadan traditions together, she would spare no detail when it came to both  the sehri and iftaar table spread and much to her dismay would even tolerate our cravings for  french fries, doughnuts, Mcflurries, and other things over her freshly cooked food.

The mornings were the hardest (still are) My sisters and I would wake up to find my mom fully awake and frying shami kababs and eggs. There were always fresh parathas but  we much preferred eating cereal or even a frozen waffle. Mom would be chirping along enjoying her breakfast while my sisters and our dad would be eating like zombies. Somehow no matter how early we would wake up we would always be running late on our sehri, Dad would be updating us on the time  and would give us a 5 minute and a 2 minute warning. The 5-minute warning went something like this:

The 5-minute warning:

Dad: 5 minutes left, where’s the water?

Mom: oh no I haven’t even finished my food.  Kids drink lots of water

Kids: ok mom

The 2-minute warning:

Dad: okay lets go, only 2 minutes left

Mom: okay let me drink my water

Dad: there’s very little time left

Mom: I have to drink my really large glass of water no matter what

Kids: Mom were going to brush our teeth

Mom: drink all of your water before you go!

Mom: OK stop drinking your water and go brush your teeth we have no time left!!

 After the 2-minute warning:

Mom: still finishing her water

Dad: thats it, your fast is not valid! its past time!

Mom: Nothings going to happen, im okay, just about done

There was a lot of water gulping and pushing as my sisters and I  made it to the bathroom to brush our teeth and make wudu. After Fajr we would be fully awake but would still attempt in vain to snuggle back in our beds to get a few minutes of sleep before waking up for school. The day would pass in school activites and when we would come back home, we would rest  for a  bit until iftaar time. Is it bad if food is the thing that keep coming to mind, when I think back on spending Ramadan with my family? The warm samosas, the tangy cholay (chickpeas), and the cold dahi baray (yogurt dumplings). What’s funny is that at that time none of those things were a big deal. Around iftaar time I would start hovering around the kitchen and would help prepare the Rooh Afzah while filling my mom in on what happened at school that day.

During Ramadan we would go to many iftaari’s and frequently visit  the Mosque, this was fun for me because I would get to catch up with all my friends. As the days of Ramadan progressed we would start thinking about Eid. Eid was HUGE, I mean there was nothing better than Eid, and its funny because on the actual Eid Day we didn’t do much but there was so much anticipation that half the fun was preparing for Eid. Eid preparations for us consisted of two things our annual Eid party and our eid outfits.

The Eid party was something we really enjoyed and it seemed like everyone in the community would be there! My mom would make a slew of different traditional Eid foods and then ask all three of her daughters to make either a dessert or an appetizer, I would be the slacker when it came to cooking and would rather clean than cook and I somehow got away with it. Our eid clothes were of the utmost importance to us. We would either save a shalwar kameez outfit from the ones our family in Karachi would send us, or we would make our own! Our mother would make it a project and take us to JoAnn’s to pick out the fabric we liked, then the buttons, etc. She would guide us and then eventually we would lose interest or would get bogged down with school work and she would finish them up for us. After the shalwar kameez was ready we would  pick out shoes and jewelry to complete our outfits.

One of my favorite memories is on eid morning  when our mom would wake us up and she would look at our mehndi and comment on how great the color came out, she would be wearing her Eid Shalwar, an oversized t-shirt and bangles. She would always change into her kurta at the very end so that the ironing doesn’t get ruined. Once we were all in the car we would all recite the Eid Tasbih which is one of my most favorite things to do. After Eid Prayers we would start hugging everyone around us with a 3 embrace rule – while saying  Eid Mubarak all three of those times!

We would seek out our mom and she would be so happy to see us in our full eid outfits. After that we would meet all of the aunties in our community, who would be genuinely pleased to see us looking our best. I would hang out with my friends and we would be inseparable, Aleya, Kiren, Tahirah these were a few of my friends that I grew up with and we would make our way around the Mosque meeting our families and other community members. Our family was among the last ones to leave the Mosque because my dad would always help to count the Fitra money that the Mosque had collected.

We would then go to my friend Kiren’s house for an Eid breakfast, from there on, we would hop from house to house and eat all kinds of food. My friends and I would always try to stay together or plan out the day to see whose house we would meet up at next. It wasn’t that we were ever doing something very special but I remember having a blast. One of the uncles that we knew would be standing at the door with a stack of bills.  As children entered in the house he would give them a dollar. At about 5:00 after a full day of party hopping, we would make the long trek from Jacksonville  back to Orange Park and would immediately start preparing for the big dinner at our place.

We would do a Bollywood style outfit change and get ready to start hugging and greeting our guests with the traditional three time Eid Mubarak! Over the years we’ve had many different versions of Eid, but with the same pattern I described above, as we got older and my friends started driving we began going out in the evenings and meeting up our friends to get ice cream or go to a movie. One year Eid coincided with the release of the animated movie” The Last Messenger”  and the entire community was found at the movies.

Ramadan and Eid have definitely changed maybe because I’m older and I have my own family now,  but one thing is for certain that at the start of every Ramadan I become nostalgic for the Ramadan I spent as a child. I reminice about the days when I would go to the  Islamic Center of Northeast Florida and recognize every single person at the Mosque, of the times when our Dad would lead us in prayers and when I would wake up to my Mom’s excited exclamation of, “Eid Mubarak, today is Eid!”


Decor de Islamica

Ramadan Mubarak! May we all make the most of this blessed and joyous month insha’Allah!  The feeling is shared amongst Muslims all around the world. However, for children who are not fasting, the Ramadan feeling may not be as strong.  Therefore, it is up to us to create that atmosphere for them.

It is up to us to instill that joy and excitement as Ramadan approaches. Aside from acts of ibadah and preparing iftar, another way to get the children involved is decorating the house for Ramadan and Eid.

A tradition that was started at my parents house was to put up lights on windows, doors, and even fireplaces. I hope to continue that tradition with Eesa.

I’ve included pictures of other decorating ideas.  Some of which are crafting ideas with kids, while others are decorations you can purchase.

1. Ramadan Mobile:  You can purchase the wood ring from a craft store (i.e Michaels) and use  yarn/construction paper to cut out the letters and hang them from the ring.


2. Garland: Use card stock or construction paper to make this nice garland


3.  Balloons: This picture led me to another idea, we can blow up 30 balloons and write out a good deed on a small piece of paper to put inside the balloon.  Every day pop/cut the balloon and try to implement the good deed written on the piece of paper. (i.e help put the dishes away, memorize an ayah etc.)

4.  Sadaqah Box: Help your children make a charity box.  You can use shoe boxes, tissue boxes or anything at all. You can decorate it with stickers, glitter or drawings.  It will be a fun way to encourage kids to donate.

My nephew Hasan made this, could be used through out the year!


5.  Paper stars & moons: that is a simple yet fun idea.  Cut up stars and moons, and use yarn to hang them up!


6. Paper Lanters: The caption contains the link on how to make these cute paper lanterns.


The following ideas/pictures are decorations you can purchase.

1. Ranoon offers wonderful decor, such as table toppers and crescent lights


2. ModernEid carries delightful and decent priced decorations.  They even have cupcake toppers and candy bar wrappers.


3. Noorart carries a wide variety of party supplies for Iftars and Eid parties.  They carry balloons, banners, plates, napkin and more!


5. Eid Creations: They have really neat looking plates and napkins!


I know there are a ton of more ideas out there, please feel free to share ideas and pictures, and we’ll post it on Biscuits & Banarsi!


Something to rejoice about….

Ramadan Baskets!

Ramadan Mubarak to you all!!  I’m sure we’re all doing our last minute grocery shopping and preparations.  Some of us may even be planning on doing the iftar with friends or family.  As Muslims, we should take advantage of our holidays to bring out the best of us, to wear the finest, and open our hearts to loved ones and strangers.  We should offer glad tidings, and one of the ways to do that is by making a Ramadan basket.I saw my husband’s aunt pass out Ramadan baskets and I liked the idea so much that I wanted to do the same for this Ramadan insha’Allah.Ramadan basket is a basket full of goodies that may or may not be related to Ramadan.You can have themed baskets for example:Iftar basket:
1-Rooh Afza: A popular iftar drink in Pakistan.
3-Can of garbanzo beans
4-Pakora Shan Masala: fried ground flour snacks
5-Seviyan/vermicelli: Pakistani dessert item used to make sheer korma.
6-Dua/Prayer: Print the Iftar dua/prayer on cardstock, so they can put it on their refrigerator.

*sample basket: does not contain all the items listed.

Fruit-chaat basket: Pakistani fruit salad mixed in with juice and spices.
2-Shan fruit chaat masala
3-Juice: You can either put a bottle of lemon juice or a fruit juice
4-Fruit: bananas, grapes, apples, mangoes, oranges and strawberries.

*sample basket: does not contain all the items listed.

Ramadan gift basket
2-Quran/tafsir book
3-Prayer rug
4-CD: Burn a cd consisting of either Quran, lectures or nasheeds.

Since I am Pakistani, these baskets reflect the Pakistani culture, please feel free to share what you would include in your Ramadan basket!

Something to celebrate about….