Effortless Entertaining in No Time

This post is for the newlyweds, those who’s culinary skills are limited, those who just don’t quite enjoy cooking, and those who are simply in a time crunch.

The Prophet ‎ said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day must be generous with his guest” (Bukhārī).

I grew up in a home entertaining guests. We hosted people from all over the world and from all walks of life, including the president of our country at the time.

To be honest I didn’t particularly enjoy it because it was such an effort from the prepping to the serving to the cleaning. The best part was when the guests left and we got to devour the leftovers🙈😂

Apart from meticulously setting the table including tumblers for water and stemmed glasses for juice, complete with fanned-out serviettes, my job was the dessert, because, what’s a meal without dessert?! And who better to make dessert than the one with the sweetest tooth in the world!

My mother is a gracious hostess who always provides a 3-course meal to every guest, even if we’re just having one person.

I only really enjoyed having guests over when they were my own guests or there were guests I could comfortably converse with. When I learned the hadith about the virtue of having guests over, it was a total mindset shift for me, subhanAllah.

The Prophet ‎ said, “If Allah wants good for a people, He sends them a gift.” They asked, “What kind of gift, O Prophet of Allah?” He said, “The guest comes with his own provision, and leaves with the sins of the people of the house.”

In my mum’s home, starters in summer is an appetizing Greek salad and the best hummus with pita bread. In winter or Ramadan, it’s heartwarming soup.

Starters: Greek Salad & Hummus & Pita Bread

I’m going to share my effortless entertaining in “no time” as well as my “in time” version. Enjoy!

Starters in No time

I just leave it out; it’s as simple as that! But a good idea would be to have something in the freezer to pop into the oven, like mini pies or mini quiches. Or even some soup that can be defrosted and then warmed on the stovetop.

Starters in Time

In summer I do a Greek salad or a deconstructed salad. My salad consists of:

1 Iceberg lettuce

Tomatoes: cut into wedges

Cucumbers: sliced in circles

Carrots: Grated

Pimento Stuffed Olives

A Sprinkle of Corn

Deconstructed Salad

I got my DELICIOUS soup recipes I got from my dear friend Shafeeqah. I made the chicken and corn soup in Ramadan and one of my guests said “I didn’t think there was anything better than water when you break your fast, but your soup is [better].” I was soooo chuffed!

Recipe from Fusion Cook Book by Shanaaz

Another favourite of mine is roasted red pepper and lentil soup . I did my own thing and roasted the red peppers first as well as a couple cloves of garlic.

Main Meal in No Time

When I’m in a time-crunch due to an assignment deadline and Masud decides to have guests over, there’s no need for me to freak out because I’m fortunate to have a lovely Pakistani-British lady live in my building who makes delicious, aromatic Pakistani food. Our go-to order is her chicken tikka biryani with raita, a cucumber yoghurt sauce. If you didn’t know chicken tikka biryani exists then you’re missing out big time!

If she can’t cook for some reason then butter chicken would be my pick. This is my first butter chicken recipe and my husband still asks for this butter chicken but I’m out of my Osmans spice:

Orley Whip = cream

Once we had unexpected guests over, and it was supper time. Abdurahmaan and Haneefa had lost the key to their apartment on their way home so they dropped in, as they lived close by to us. Masud and Abdurahman went to get the key sorted out, and I quickly decided to make butter chicken with rotis for when they get back. I don’t usually let my guests into the kitchen but I couldn’t let Haneefa sit on her own while I was in the kitchen. Haneefa was so sweet and helped cut up the chicken for me. She was kinda impressed that I knew this recipe off the top of my head because she said she can’t cook without following a recipe. At the time, this was the only recipe I knew by heart! I served the butter chicken with rotis. If you’re wondering how I made them in the nick of time, I didn’t! I took out some ready-rolled flaky rotis that we brought all the way from Cape Town to Cairo, and fried them in my roti pan. Yes, you can actually buy rotis that are already rolled out and frozen, and they turn out nearly as flaky and buttery as if my mom just made them. What a time to be alive, Alhamdulillah! I‘ve also serve this butter chicken before with the options of rice and pasta.

Main Meal in Time

If I have time, I would make my absolutely divine mince and mushroom lasagne🤤. I used my dear friend Nicole’s recipe as my guideline.

Mince Lasagne

Lasagne Sheets

500g beef mince

1 chopped onion

Chopped garlic

1 punnet of mushrooms, chopped

1 tin of chopped tomatoes or whole tomatoes (you’re going to have to cut them up a bit)

1 small sachet of tomato paste

1 beef stock cube

3 or 4 carrots grated

Spinach (optional)



Mixed herbs or Italian herbs


Peri Peri


Fry onion and garlic in oil in pot. Add mushrooms. Add mince once mushrooms are cooked. Add all spices onto mince and stir and allow it to cook. Add spinach (if using; I don’t) and carrots and allow them to cook. Add tomatoes and tomato paste. Add stock cube and a cup of water.

Make a white sauce and assemble the lasagne. I add cheese in-between the layers as well as on top. Then bake until done.

Assembled lasagne ready for the oven

My current go-to butter-chicken recipe

My husband’s latest obsession: Beef Masala Curry

I’ve also tried it with chicken when I had guests over last night and it turned out just as great, Alhamdulillah!!

I served it with Egyptian rice with vermicelli, called roz bil sha’riyya.

Dessert in No Time

Simply order on Talabat, or your version of a delivery service, if available. Or pre-order from a home-based business.

The most flavorful marshmallows from Dukes, a mini cake selection and baklava

In summer, dessert in no time is a no-brainer: a decadent ice cream, like ice cream with a brownie base that is basically a dessert. We use the Nestle Paradise collection. The caramel one is my favourite.

In winter, I make Boeber using a premix. You simply pour a little of milk into a pot, add the premix, and voila!

Boeber: a traditional Cape Malay dish made with milk, sago & vermicelli

Another option I do is koesisters, which I order from a fellow Cape Townian here in Cairo and keep in the freezer. Then I just need to sugar them and roll them in desiccated coconut.

Another idea is to keep cake or cupcakes in your freezer and let them defrost in time for serving. When we had munshid Mohamed Tarek over for lunch, I had carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting in the freezer, which I defrosted and he totally enjoyed them. Shoutout to my friend Anaïs for making them.

Dessert in Time

Flop-proof Strawberry Fridge Tart: Picture from the original recipe

I didn’t have an electric mixer for my first 2 years of being in Egypt, so I couldn’t make the desserts that I usually made back home. I tried out this recipe because it doesn’t need an electric mixer and it is a winner! I don’t have time for individual cups; I just make it in a big Pyrex dish. And I add butter to the biscuits to form a solid base.

I also make a strawberry sauce to go on top:

Strawberry topping

-1 cup strawberries, chopped up.

-1/2 cup sugar

-1 tablespoon lemon juice

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and voila!

(Just let it cool down before topping the dessert.)

My cooking has come a long way since I first started when I got married. I’ve had my fair share of flops and feats and through it all I gained confidence in the kitchen. No longer do I need a recipe to whip up delicious food. I enjoy eating the fruits of my labour and sharing it with others. If you’re ever in my neighborhood, you have to come home for a meal; I don’t need much notice!😃

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and try out some of these recipes. If you have any questions about them, feel free to DM me @wasfeeya. Please share your go-to recipes with me as well, and share in the reward every time I make them.

With love for the sake of Allah,


FITNESS Couple Goals


All praises and thanks be to Allah. Abundant salutations be upon His beloved Messengerﷺ.

Can you believe half of 2020 is OVER?!

This gets me every year:

FITNESS Intentions:

I intend to eat healthy and exercise to:

– follow the sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ;

-look attractive to my spouse;

-have energy to do activities with my spouse;

-carry a healthy baby in the future isA;

-have energy to play with our future kids;

-be an example to our future kids and make it easy for them to live a healthy lifestyle when they grow up isA.

For those who are not yet married, this question is definitely one to ask to a prospective spouse. Something along the lines of: What are your lifestyle habits? How do you envision or what would you like your married lifestyle to be like?

If there was one thing I could go back and change at the beginning of our marriage, it would be to commit to a healthy lifestyle from the start. This would mean cooking more and eating out/ordering in less. And being committed to gyming/exercising. It would have saved us from being in the place we’re at now. But hey; as the saying goes:

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

-Chinese Proverb

So this morning Masud and I started our first workout together with our online personal trainer. There are free workouts on YouTube, but we needed the accountability of a live trainer🦾.

We’ve welcomed the “new norm” with open arms. We adapted quite well, but we are missing our monthly gatherings. Egypt was never under a lockdown like South Africa was. We had curfews and the closure of most public places. As of Saturday the 30th of June 2020, the restrictions were lifted, and most places are now open, including the mosques, except for Jumu’ah. So yesterday Masud and I got to have our first lunch date together in like 3 months!

We have been staying at home, and doing online grocery shopping via an app called InstaShop. Our teachers have been coming over so our studies are continuing, Alhamdulillah. I’m currently doing Qira-at, Arabic, ‘Aqidah, Fiqh, and Tafsir. It is a lot of work, and it is not easy, but there is no difficulty except that Allah makes it easy if He wills.

June was a jam-packed month for me, as I took on more students than ever before; my new term of my psychology studies started, and my online qira-at course started up again after being on Ramadan and Eid break.

In addition, I started EXERCISING and HEALTHY EATING – which was meant to be the point of this blog post. Masud wanted to attempt Keto, which he’s successfully done before, but I disagree with it, and was not keen on preparing separate meals for us every day, so he quickly gave up on it. If I don’t make him food he ends up ordering in🤦🏻‍♀️.

I joined a 30-day challenge and exercised at least 3 times a week🏋🏻‍♀️. I was also fasting quite a lot due to paying in days plus Shawwal fasts, and that really boosted my weight loss. It felt amazing to visibly see and feel the difference💃. So this month, Masud was inspired to start exercising too.

Hijabi Logistics: We have a male trainer, but being a hijabi, I train without him seeing me. I can do this because I’ve trained before, so I already know how to do proper squats and lunges etc. And my husband checks me out to make sure I’m on point😆.

My fitness level is miles ahead of Masud’s because I’d been exercising for a month already, but I’m sure he’ll catch up in due course. Our personal trainer gave each of exercises appropriate to our fitness level.

During the workout Masud felt nauseous and threw up. At the end of the hour he was seeing stars. I just felt like I had a workout💪. I remember my first time last month – I felt like an old lady! But it’s amazing how our bodies adapt, subhanAllah.

I’d been going to gym on and off over the past 2 years. I am planning to join the nearby ladies gym once it reopens inShaAllah🏋🏻‍♀️

Our bodies are an amanah (trust) from Allah (SWT), and it’s one of the things we’ll be accountable for. May Allah SWT aid us in keeping our bodies fit and healthy as a form of worship, and to perform our acts of worship better.

Fitness goes hand-in-hand with healthy eating. It’s a huge challenge for us because we’re not fruit and veggie fans and absolutely love junk food🍔. But we’re trying and that’s what matters🥗.

The harder the struggle, the greater the reward.

I’m thinking to do the next blog post on our healthy eating, so let me know what you think.

With best of du’as for your worldly and Hereafter success,


The Motto of our Marriage


All praises and thanks be to Allah. Abundant salutations be upon His beloved Messenger

I always wanted my married home to be a place of knowledge. A place of gathering. A place of welcoming others and getting to know new people. But most importantly, a home where the name of Allah is mentioned and His messenger SAW is sent blessings. A home that will show up as light up in the heavens and a place that will testify for us one day. A home that will cry when we die because we no longer place our heads on it in prostration.

By the Grace of Allah, we’ll be hosting our fifth event at our home tonight. We’ve been immensely blessed to have hosted scholars and catered for around 100 English-speaking students. The purpose bring together all the English-speaking students as there isn’t any other platform like this for international students. There are associations specific to certain countries like the Malaysian students Association who looks after the needs of its students, but nothing for everyone.To let you behind the scenes, hosting these events have not gone down without their fair share of quibbles and quarrels between Masud and I. From what food to serve the guest speakers to where to place the furniture. But by now we know the drill. Our third-hand furniture is kinda embarrassing so we put them in the back room and borrow our neighbour’s furniture for the guest speakers. Our lounge floor looks like a quilt with all the different coloured rugs and blankets for everyone to sit on.

Our format is to have a talk with a Q & A, followed by delicious briyani and koesisters (traditional Cape Malay doughnuts). We just had to bring our Cape Town hospitality to Cairo and introduce everyone to the taste of koesisters. I wish I could say I make everything myself, but luckily for me, it’s 2020 and catering is the order of the day. We have a lovely Pakistani British lady who makes the food and one of the South African ladies who makes the koesisters or doughnuts. I also wish I could say we offer everything, but generous donors make this all possible Alhamdulillah. In addition, they’re by no means our events, but rather a collective effort of a team of students.

The motto of our marriage is “team work makes the dream work”. And it proves true every single time, Alhamdulillah.

May Allah SWT accept from us and everyone involved. Āmīn.

With best of du’as for your worldly and Hereafter success,


Almost 2 years (and only food babies to show)

In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Especially Merciful. Abundant salutations be upon Beloved Prophet Muhammad

Raising children is not simply about being responsible for feeding and clothing them. Nor about just intellectually stimulating and educating them. You are responsible for nurturing their rūh (soul). Allah takes care of their physical growth. You are the one in charge of nurturing their fitrah (inherent inclination to know Allah) and raising them into becoming a waliyy (“friend”) of Allah. I learned from one of my teachers, Ml. Zahir Parker, that your intention shouldn’t be to just raise a believer in Allah but a waliyy of Allah. In order to do that you need to be striving to be a waliyy yourself. Being on your own journey to Him and increasing in love for Nabi Muhammad ; purifying your soul of spiritual diseases so that they do not get passed down onto your offspring. I learned from Sh. Ahmed Al-Azhary that spiritual illnesses get passed down onto your children. In my psychology studies I’ve learned that emotional trauma can be passed down for generations, so it’s not hard to believe that so can spiritual diseases. I can actually recognise in myself some of my own inherited spiritual weaknesses. Self-awareness is the first step through the practice of muhāsabah; taking account of yourself. Along with murāqabah; being in a state where you’re constantly aware that Allāh is watching you, and striving to worship Him as such.

I’ve been physically able to have a baby since the age of 9. I’ve been emotionally capable to have a baby since the age of around 20. But at the age of 26 I am not spiritually ready to have a baby. So how old will I be when I am ready? That all depends on how much work I put in. Maybe I will feel ready at some point. But I know that it will ultimately be whenever Allāh decrees.

On this point, “women in their 30s don’t need to be reminded that their “clock is ticking,” newlyweds don’t need to hear “Don’t wait too long, eh!” and parents of small toddlers don’t need to be questioned “When are you going to give little Joe a sibling?” It is frankly none of our business.” -Suzanne Jannese

May Allah bless those who want children with healthy and pious offspring, and help them to fulfill their roles as parents in these increasingly challenging times. Aameen.

“And those who say, “Our Lord, grant us from among our spouses and offspring coolness to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.”” (Qur’an, 25:74).

With best of du’as for your worldly and Hereafter success,


PS: Eeek! We’re almost 2 years married!😁. Send any anniversary ideas our way!

Muslim Couple Goals


There’s something about a new year that I just love. It’s refreshing to start anew. New calendar, new diary, new goals.

Some #couplegoals are rather shallow like getting matching watches or matching outfits. That’s really cute😍, but there are meaningful goals to aspire towards in life.

We sat down and revisited our couple goals.

We’ll be sharing some general Muslim couple goals.

Relationship goals

-Reflect on your relationship together: what you love, what you dislike, and what can be improved etc. See a marriage counselor if needs be. There’s nothing shameful about seeking help. It can be rather destructive if you need but don’t get the assistance you require.

-Read a personal development book together and implement the lessons learned. Be daily reminders to each other.

-Learn and support each other’s love languages.

-Have daily, uninterrupted connection time.

-Learn a language together.

-Do housework together.

-Exercise together.

-Eat healthy meals.

-Have regular date nights.

-Go on holiday at least once a year.

Spiritual goals

Spiritual things to do together:

-Write a gratitude list

-Fardh salaat

-Du’a (for your marriage & everyone/everything else).

-Recite awraad or athkaar, morning & evening

-Make tahajjud salaah.

-Memorise or revise Qur’an.

-Study Arabic/Hadith/Islamic studies.

-Go to Islamic classes.

-Watch a beneficial series together like Umar RA and Ertugral.

-Give charity in cash or kind.

-Listen to or watch Islamic lectures. We love watching a series called “Ayyuhal Mureed” by Habib Ali Jifri.

-Make the intention to go on ‘Umrah & Hajj. Register for Hajj if you haven’t yet.

Financial goals

-Don’t just budget but formulate a proper financial plan: how much you need for xyz including time frames etc. The spiritual goal of ‘Umrah/Hajj requires financial planning too.

-Invest: in property or shariah-compliant funds. E.g. Oasis Asset Management, Kagiso asset management company, Element Investment Managers. Consult a financial planner if you don’t know where to start.

Saving alone may not be sufficient to meet your financial goals.

Please share your couple goals too!

With best of du’as for your worldly and Hereafter success,

Wasfeeya & Masud

Today – One Year Since Meeting

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Alhamdulilah, exactly one year ago I got to meet my beloved wife. I flew to South Africa from Cairo, and landed on the 24th of November 2017. I went to meet her in the evening. I had so many things on my mind. I was feeling very nervous and anxious, but I had faith in Allah that everything would be okay.

At my first glance of Wasfeeya I knew that she was the one I wanted to marry. Everything about her just called my name; how she was as a person, her ambitions, the way she carried herself, her beauty. We got engaged 2 weeks later and we got married shortly afterwards.

I am writing this blog post while I’m flying on my way to Egypt from Brunei to see my beloved wife again. Exactly a year later I am flying to see her again, but this time around I am seeing her with a heart filled with love. She has become my closest companion, my best friend, my biggest supporter and my greatest fan.

Many things have changed since. We moved to Egypt to pursue our islamic studies. We’ve faced different marriage obstacles together; me learning to adapt to her ways and she learning to adapt to my ways, and meeting each other half-way at times.

Marriage is not a walk in the park and communication is vital to a successful marriage.

I have not been the best of husbands because of becoming complacent, forgetting that sometimes the smallest things means the most. Being apart from my wife for all this time (3 weeks) really taught me how much she means to me and that I need to get back to the basics again.

Sometimes the rat race of life gets to you and you forget what’s really important.

I am really excited to see you Wasfeeya in the next few hours inshallah. I know just that glance of you again will just bring complete joy to my heart again

Allah is the most merciful.

I love you Wasfeeya.

Independently Together


I believe that it is vital to our healthy marriage that we each have our own hobbies, interests, friends, ambitions, and LIVES.

I find myself alone, once again, but I’m not feeling sorry for myself all sad, depressed and lonely. I have managed to build a life for myself, independent of my husband, and he is fully supportive and encouraging of me and everything that I do, Alhamdulillah. I get around on my own, go to class, meet up with friends, and go to gym. Pretty much just like I did before we got married, except that I’m in a foreign country all on my own.

The important thing is that we spoke about who we are and how we live our lives before we got married, over email and in marriage counselling as well. So we knew we were two independent people coming together to form a new life together. We have our beautiful married life, but we have our lives independent of each other too. Like we have this joint blog and I have my own blog too.

What helps makes this work so well is that we’re extremely open with each other about absolutely everything, especially touchy topics like passwords and money. Even more open than I expected us to be. There are no secrets. And there doesn’t need to be. That’s what trust is. To us, anyway.

Happy 9 Months 😍♥️! We’re truly blessed beyond measure, Alhamdulillah. May Allah (SWT) protect us & our marriage, and all marriages for His sake. Āmīn. Shukran for being everything that you are to me.⁣

With best of du’as for your worldly and Hereafter success,




I never thought it would be soooo hard. To be apart. I’m alone in a foreign land. But there’s no need to be afraid. I’m not in South Africa😅. I went to sleep early the evening husbae left. I was exhausted. I had written my mid-level Arabic exam. And the previous day we had walked Khan el-Khalili flat, looking for little gifts and books that Masud had been requested to buy to take to friends in South Africa.

The house is empty. I’m alone. It makes me sad. The night after he was gone I cried. Despite not expecting to. I feel like I’m catching a glimpse of what it’s like to mourn the loss of your partner. You think of all the little things they do that used to bring joy to your day. To your life. I miss waking up to him greeting me with a smile. I miss coming home to his open arms after class. I miss his random hugs from behind throughout the day. I miss him coming home with little surprise presents. But more than anything, I just miss his warm presence.

A friend reminded me that this temporary period is alone time with Allah. Everything truly is perspective. And everything Allah places before us is meant for us to turn to Him. And to get closer and closer to Him. Until we meet Him.

Eid Al-Aḍhaa – Our First


Masud and I were stoked to host our first function at our apartment. We’ve had friends over before for meals, but never before had we catered for this many people! We initially decided to have just close couple friends and a few single guys – Masud always thinks of them because he knows what it’s like to be one. Then the night before ‘Eid Masud being out with one of his friends phones me and asks me – but more like tells me – if we could invite all the other South African students here. Like, how about no?!! I’m already starting to stress about the food. But I knew that Masud would help me out. And he did.

So ‘Eid morning arrived, after having worked throughout the night. I made half-moons – from scratch; something I never thought I’d do. I baked chicken pie- which is a Capetownian tradition and breakfast must-have. And I made some mini-quiches. Quick tip: I used the same chicken & corn filling for all the yummy savouries.

That wasn’t going to be enough for our 20 plus guests though. I don’t know what I would’ve done without our neighbours/friends on the floor below ours. It was Masud’s idea to take out all the frozen chicken strips and chicken nuggets we had, and she baked them for us. And we took her two loaves of bread and she made toasted cheese sandwiches, apart from making assorted rolls. And everyone brought yummy goodies and juices along. Everyone polished off the ‘Eid breakfast and had a wonderful time, Alhamdulillah!

We spoke about ‘Eid Al-Adhaa back home, and one of the sisters from Joburg was telling us about slaughtering sheep herself! I don’t think that’s something that happens in Cape Town but it seems to be common in Joburg. (For females to sacrifice sheep themselves).

I could never do it myself. I can’t even watch it taking place. But I that’s where the test lies – sacrificing something you love, for the sake of Allah. As difficult as it is. It wouldn’t be a sacrifice if it was easy.

We caught some sleep after everyone left, and then got ready for lunch at our fave restaurant called Sizzlers Steak House in City Stars Mall.

The next night was the official SASA – South African Students’ Association in the Arab Republic of Egypt – supper. After a supper of briyani and chicken curry with roti, the takbeer rendered in the Capetownian melody brought tears to my eyes and contentment to my heart.

If we were in Cape Town, we most likely would have spent this ‘Eid at my family’s house as ‘Eid Al-Fitr would’ve been at Masud’s family. I usually make strawberry or pineapple dessert. My sister’s the type to buy dessert. So the night before ‘Eid my sister phoned me to say the cake shop was out of the cake she wanted to buy and asked me for my strawberry dessert recipe. When I spoke to my grandma later, she said the dessert was nice but mine is better!

As much as I love and miss my family back home in Cape Town, for me, home is where my husband is. This entire dunya is ultimately only temporary. So I’m at home, for now. It can only be Allah SWT who grants us contentment with where we are.

Oh Changer of hearts, keep our hearts firm on your deen. Aameen.

Keep us and our studies is your du’as,

Wasfeeya & Masud.

The Day it all Started

20 July 2018


It has been a while since I’ve done a blog post. Life has gotten so busy with studies and being married, subhanallah.

Exactly a year ago today I mustered up the courage to email Wasfeeya, now my wife, to show interest in marriage. I went back and forth on what to say in the email. I began in the name of Allah and a carefully selected salawaat upon the Prophet (saw). I laid it all out logically, starting with who I am, my personality, why Egypt and where I am at in life at the moment, what my goals are, and what I am looking for in a wife.

Eventually I sent it.

It happened to be her father’s birthday, so she only responded later that evening. That’s where our journey started.

We emailed back and forth and before long we knew that this was going to be happening, by the Will of Allah.

Things have changed so much since, alhamdulilah. We are nearly 6 months married now and living abroad studying Islamic studies in Egypt. A real blessing from Allah.

Things are not always perfect but marriage is about learning and growth, and that’s what I’ve taken from being married thus far. Sacrifice and perseverance – with these 2 principles applied in one’s married, many unnecessary issues can be avoided.

Please keep us in your duas.

Jazakallah khair