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A Ramadan Cooking Class for Revert Sisters

Nutritious and Delicious Food this Ramadan

The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) is an Islamic North American grassroots umbrella organization with a mission of seeking the pleasure of Allah through the struggle of Iqamat-ud-Deen [establishment of the Islamic system of life] as spelled out in the Qur’an and the Sunnah of [Muhammad]

Why Islam department is one of the main departments of ICNA and a part of it its’ focus is bonding with new Muslims and providing them with the necessary knowledge to live as practicing Muslims according to the Quran and Sunnah

Healthy Ramadan Cooking Class for Reverts

ICNA why islam team organized an informative and fun healthy Ramadan Cooking Class for Revert Sisters.

Sister Saima Sheikh, a Practitioner with areas of focus in PMA alternative Health and the co- founder of Hijama USA  provided a beneficial class on healthy cooking tips for Ramadan; shedding light on the forgotten Sunnah of Talbeena while demonstrating how to make it. Ma shaa Allah it was amazing. An excellent choice for Suhoor as well.

Saima Sheikh’s Recipe for Talbeena

Talbeena is made by adding 1-2 tablespoons of barley flour (must be 100% wholegrain barley flour) to one and a half cups of water. Place on low heat for 10-15 minutes (optional: add milk or yoghurt and sweeten with honey).

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This may also be used as a food thickener for gravy, soups, lasagnes dishes etc.

You may add 1-2 tablespoons of barley flour (must be 100% wholegrain barley flour) to one and a half cups of milk. Place on low heat for 10-15 minutes (optional: add water or yoghurt and sweeten with honey).

The consistency may be changed according to preference by increasing or decreasing the amount of barley flour used. More flour may be added to make it thick like a porridge. Alternatively less flour may be added to make a drink like soup.

The Talbeena mixture may then be put in the blender with fresh or frozen fruits and/or ground flax seeds. etc It may be blended together to make a tasty talbeena ‘smoothie’.

Drink at least one cup daily.

Nutritious Drink from Sunnah

Sister Saima Sheikh then went on to suggest drinking the Nutritious Drink of Sunnah, Nabidh, for breaking the fast.

‘Abdullah (RAA) said that “I heard Sufyan being asked about Nabidh. He said: ‘Make Nabidh at night and drink it in the morning.’” (Sunan An-Nasai)

Abu Qatada (RAA) on the authority of his father reported the Messenger of Allah (P.B.U.H) as having said, “Do not prepare Nabidh by mixing nearly ripe dates and fresh dates together, and do not prepare Nabidh by mixing grapes and dates together, but prepare Nabidh for each (one of them) separately.” (Sahih Muslim)

Ibn Abbas (RAA) reported that Nabidh was prepared from raisins for Allah’s Messenger (P.B.U.H.) in the waterskin and he would drink it on that day and on the next day and the day following and when it was the evening of the third day, and he would drink it and give it to (his Companions) and if something was left over, he threw that away.

(Sahih Muslim)

Saima Sheikh’s Recipe for Nabidh

Nabeez'[Nabidh] was one of the drinks consumed by the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). In his time, it was typically made with dates or raisins and water.

It is an alkalizing tonic, having the tendency to remove acidity from the stomach and digestive system and it also helps to remove other metabolic wastes from the body. It improves digestion as it’s high in soluble fibre and it strengthens the memory. It assists the spleen function, liver, throat, chest and prostate, and so is particularly good for men. Nabeez will also benefit patients of Arthritis and elevated levels of Uric Acid (gout).

Making Nabeez is just as simple as soaking the dates (or raisins/ sultanas) overnight and drinking the water in which they were soaked in the morning insha’Allah, but when it is embraced and honoured as one of the great Sunnahs of the prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), it pulls down Shifa, blessings and mercy from the treasures of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala

The idea behind soaking dates or raisins in water is so that they sweeten the water and become softened. Softened dates/raisins release their vitamins and minerals more easily and are easier to digest.

‘Ajwa‘ are the best variety to use if making Nabeez with stoneless dates and ‘Manaqqa‘ is the best variety of raisins for making it with raisins, but black raisins can also be used, those colours were not Created without reason, so it is always preferable to keep changing our diets with new colours and trying new varieties.

After Isha prayer, soak around 100 grams of dates or raisins in 1 litre of drinkable / healthy water and keep the utensil covered with a plate. Ensure the water is kept cool.

Next morning after Fajr, you can drink the water and eat the soaked fruit as was the traditional method, or just use your blender (water + soaked fruit) to obtain a beautiful cloudy Nabeez. This is the method I have used for the smoothie recipe below.

And if you soak the fruit in morning, drink it in the evening. Nabeez should be consumed within 12 hours of soaking time, but if it is kept air tight inside the refrigerator, it will not spoil for 2-3 days insha’Allah. Serve cold Nabeez to your guests instead of tea, coffee, juices and sodas, and explain to them the beauty of the Sunnah of our beloved Mesenger (sall Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) and the superb health benefits.


Nabeez must never be left for more than 2-3 days, otherwise it may start to ferment, which is the start of the alcohol brewing process. This is haram and forbidden to consume.

A Ramadan Cooking Class for Revert Sisters - About Islam

Janine (left) and Lupe(right).

Never mix raisins and dates together; their Nabeez should be made separately.

Regarding making it at night and drinking it in the morning’Abdullah (radhi Allahu anhu) said that”I heard Sufyan being asked about Nabidh. He said:’Make Nabidh at night and drink it in the morning.’”

Classed as Sahih from Sunan an Nas’ai Vol. 6, Book 51, Hadith 5745

Healthy Mediterranean dishes for Ramadan

The Revert Sisters were also able to experience some nutritious as well as delicious Mediterranean dishes demonstrated by sister Habiba (a home catering experienced cook) for Ramadan such as bulgur pilaf, chicken and vegetable shish kabab, tabbouleh, avocado and fruit smoothie, etc.

The health benefits of bulghur far exceed any other carbohydrates so it is an excellent choice not only for Ramadan but for other occasions as well. Tabbouleh makes an excellent choice for Ramadan appetizer as it incorporates not only bulghur, but parsley as well which is an excellent cleansing source.

Speaking about the event, many sisters expressed their happiness and gratitude:

Lupe : “I really enjoyed the time we spent together.It was very calm and welcoming. Thanks for inviting us, it’s nice to have communication with Muslim sisters. I am happy I attended this meeting.”

Veronica: “Thank you for the class! It was fun and delicious. As a Muslim convert, I’ve learned there are so many foods I’m missing out on. The class provided a comfortable setting where I could freely ask questions while exploring both flavorful and healthy foreign cuisine.”

Janine: “I really loved the short demonstrations that really showed us how the over all meal was done it made the class fun and very interactive.”

May you have an excellent spiritual as well as nutritional experience this Ramadan


About Suzana Nabil Saad, MA
Suzana Nabil Saad is the former Ask About Islam Editor. She has many years of experience in dawah work.She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from the Faculty of Languages, Ain Shams University, Egypt. She obtained her Master’s Degree of Arts in English Literature from Gothenburg University, Sweden.She currently resides in Texas, USA with her husband, and three kids. When she is not editing or writing, she enjoys reading, ideally followed by nature excursions.