Category Archives: Personal Stuff

Invite to Interview, don’t panic, DON’T PANIC!

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Assalaamu Alaykum folks,

So I do actually have a job, it’s not well paid but to make it clear I’m not one of those dole-wala types chilling all day online because I should be paid by society as I’m doing ‘dawah.’

I am not one of those guys, and I do love my job working in a community centre, they pay me to help people which I’d happily do for free if I was rich, but unfortunately I’m not. Rich that is, I am happy most of the time Alhamdulillah.

But not being rich, the charity sector not paying well, the cost of living going up, as well as house rental costs rising at an alarming rate I’ve found myself facing the prospect of being on the job scene after many years away.

scared-orangutanSCARY TIMES

Times are tough, and only going to get tougher, the country is effectively broke and living off it’s credit cards due to spending tonnes of money we didn’t have on public services, disastrous foreign adventures and of-course bailing out all  those toff merchant bankers who almost pushed the world economy off a cliff a few years ago.

So cuts are biting for everyone, the benefit caps coming in in November which is going to hit so many people, prices are rising and I am finding myself looking for part-time work at a time when everyone else is probably deciding it’s a good time to do the same.

What is more, to make matters more difficult in finding extra work, it needs to be something which will fit around my existing position and I am totally looking forward to going from the jolly flexible role in the charity sector to the strife and struggle of trying to find time for family, shopping, friends, studies, going for salaat with working 2+ jobs.

APPLICATIONS DUTY SENT

Applications have been duly sent in to usual agencies, the job centre,  subtle and not so subtle queries made to friends and family and I also applied for a number of call centre positions in my city. Yes I’m probably a bit old for call-centres but it’s something I’ve done before and let’s be honest, though it also doesn’t pay well it is easy money.

I must have applied for 200+ jobs in the space of the past 3 weeks, had a few call backs from agencies for entirely unsuitable jobs, either the hours were not right, they were expecting me to go self-employed (Been there, done that, never again), or they wanted me to work in places as a Muslim I’d rather not go near.

“No thank you for the kind offer, but as a Muslim I really don’t want to work in the head office for a pub chain, nor do I want to work in HR in a Pork Pie factory.”

But then out of the blue I got a call back today from the very first job I applied for on that first day of looking. I had assumed I’d failed somehow as not heard anything back and they’d had a totally evil online application form and devilish mathematics quiz attached which I assumed I’d failed.

The call took about 40 minutes and despite my mobile sound cutting out and being crackly all the way through I managed to pass the dreaded phone interview and I’ve been invited to an further interview and work based assessment tomorrow morning, look, here is the confirmation email!

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DAVID BRENT NEVER GOT FIRED HE JUST GOT MOVED SIDEWAYS TO HR

If Allah wills it and I am successful tomorrow, I’ll begin training later this month which will be lots of fun… think if they try to make me do that ‘trust-exercise thing’ where someone drops backwards I’m thinking of moving to drop them straight to the floor.

Well maybe not… unless I really don’t like the guy then I am up for it but really cannot stress enough how much I cringe at these training days, but at least if I’m successful I’ll have more money coming in, and maybe, just maybe I’ll finally have a bit left over to start saving up and getting ahead in the financial stakes.

Would appreciate if those reading this can raise their hands and make a quick dua for me to be successful tomorrow, or even a long dua, or even setting your alarm for tahajjud and getting up and making lots and lots of dua for me, and  the rest of the ummah as well of-course. Please?

Assalaamu Alaykum,

Gingerbeardman

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RED HOT PEPPER SOUP

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Assalaamu Alaykum folks,

It’s a little known fact that some Muslim men can actually cook… I don’t count myself in their number but I can dabble a bit and as I’ve even the past shared some other recipes from blogs I thought I’d share this one… my ‘Red Hot Pepper Soup.’

So here goes, it seems like it has a lot of ingredients but it’s really easy and simple to make.

Cooking time:
1.5 hours

Serves:
8 – 10 people easily

Ingredients:

  • Large knob of butter
  • 3 medium sized red onions
  • 5-10 pepper corns, 3-5 cloves whole
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • About 5 or 6 Medium sized mushrooms
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of chilli flakes
  • 4 medium to large carrots
  • 2 parsnips
  • Good size handful of green beans
  • 2 Peppers
  • 2 tins of mixed beans, or two tins of two different types of beans
  • 2 tins of tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp of tomato puree
  • 2 tsp of cracked black pepper
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes, or some other stock cubes if you prefer
  • 1.5l of water

Method:

  1. Place a large cooking pot on the hob, medium heat, add the butter and let it melt being careful not to let it burn.
  2. Chop the red onions small and add to the pot when the butter is melted, stir occasionally, you want to soften them up not brown them or caramelize them.
  3. Chop the garlic roughly and add with the whole black pepper corns and cloves.

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4. Chop / slice the mushrooms and add to the pot. I prefer to slice half so has that mushroomly look my wife likes and so can easily be avoided for the kids bowls, as well as finely chopping the other half so it dissolves in the soup so I can sneakily feed it to the kids without them knowing about it.

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5. Allow the onions, garlic, pepper, cloves and mushrooms have cooked for about 5 minutes on a gentle heat. Stir occasionally and if sticking add a little water to the pot to avoid any burning.

6. Chop the carrots and parsnips, at an angle if you like to make it look nicer when cooked and add to the mix, stir in and allow to cook and soften for further 5 minutes whilst you move onto the next step.

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Check out the handmade spice rack in the background made by my mrs from salvaged wood

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7. Cut up the green beans and peppers, add to the pot along with the tomato puree, salt, chilli flakes, and cracked black pepper. Stir and allow to cook for a few more mins, add water again if necessary to prevent sticking.

7. Add beans and tomato tins along with the juice from the tins, vegetable stock cubes, and 1.5l of water. This doesn’t seem like a lot for a large pot but the fluid from the tins also adds to the volume as well.

8. Cover, bring to a simmer and leave it for about 35-45 minutes. Stir occasionally when needed to avoid any of the beans or other vegetables sticking to the bottom of the pot

40-45 minutes is about right if you want it to be soft but not soft, I tend to cook it for 35 minutes so that when I warm it up to eat for a 2nd meal the vegetables are not going to turn mushy.

9. Finally serve up with whatever bread you prefer. My kids prefer crusty french breads with butter on, but trying to be healthy myself I think it goes better with brown bread, whether shop bought or home made.

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So there it is, a very simple and healthy home made soup, very warming, especially if you substitute the chilli flakes with a little scotch bonnet which I like doing sometimes but my kids complain about it being too hot.

Please feel free to share, like and let me know what you think.

Assalaamu Alaykum,

Gingerbeardman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALREADY NOTICING THE DIFFERENCE

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Umar ibn Al Khattab (radiallahu anhu) saw a man with a huge belly and said: “What is this?” He said, “A blessing from Allah.” He said, “Rather it is a punishment from Allah.”

Manaaqib Ameer al-Mu’mineen, p.200

Assalaamu Alaykum brothers and sisters,

Those who have known me for a while know I occasionally go on a diet regime, it lasts for a short time, somewhere between weeks to months, I lose some weight, I do walk a lot anyway, so I do a little bit more exercise, eat healthily ish but soon enough I slack off and my big fat reserves and and overly large waistline comes back again within a few months or at most a year.

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“So I keep eating this green stuff and it makes me healthy right?”

I’m overweight and terrible at dieting and worse at getting around to exercise, it’s not good, and it’s certainly not Islamic to be so badly out of shape but it is what it is and it’s my burden to be dealing with.

The main issue is that this has been my lifestyle for the past two decades since prior to accepting Islam and all the way through my life as a Muslim and not having done any serious exercise for so long means my body needs a lot of work on it. I’ve always until now used this as an excuse to go easy on the hardcore work outs thinking if they are necessary I can always do them later on.

I was always into rugby at school, always relied on my size and natural strength to get me through but I’ve noticed over the years this natural strength has seeped away and in reality given I’m creeping up on 40 that if I don’t turn things around soon I am really asking for a middle age and later of bad health and a likely early death.

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“I’m always trying to lose weight, but weight just keeps finding me.”

THINGS ARE GOING TO BE DIFFERENT

This latest attempt is going to be different, it definitely feels different in my head and Allah willing it will be different. I don’t know, I just feel more determined rather than just going through the usual motions.

I started eating a little more sensibly again just before Eid as I usually do, though I admit to partaking in too much cake and lots of big servings of lovely curries with the family over that time but now I’m back to sensible eating again rather than going back to bad habits and this time I’ve decided to actually listen to the experts on exercise and not go so easy on myself and my overweight, muscle puny body.

The main thing all these fitness people advised me was I need to do more of the sweaty hard stuff, one brother as well as the usual advise on making sure I do cardio also told me I need to do lots of big weights, to help burn the fat, little weights are good for toning but no good for weight loss and quickly getting my health back again.

york-weightsSo my little weights that I used every time I went on a health kick… they’ve had a makeover and now weigh approx 3x as much, gone are the long lightweight reps which seem to take forever to get results, in comes some heavy duty work with the Mr’s weights and brothers I can tell you I am already feeling and seeing the difference after just a week.

It’s only a 15 minute daily workout of tummy crushers, sit-ups and heavy weights and already I’ve lost 4lbs and I can feel my atrophied muscles coming back in a little way, but the results are enough to firm up my commitment to the new healthy gingerbeardman regime, to try to break the bad habits built up over the past 20 years and Insha’Allaah this time actually stick to a healthy lifestyle for good.

So lets see how we go this time. I don’t know why I feel different, but I do, maybe the last fried chicken burger was the one which broke the camels back… to totally mash up that metaphor.

I want to be fit and healthy within two years, tops. Insha’Allaah long before then but a little encouragement wouldn’t hurt so feel free to throw in suggestions along the way, and I’ll keep doing regular updates.

I am hoping keeping it semi-public will help motivate me more for the hard-times when the sugar and fat cravings are making me paw at the door like a junkie going cold turkey (Turkey and cranberry sandwich!), that knowing others who know me, either online or in person and know of my struggle can help keep me on the straight and narrow path to a healthy lifestyle so it will become much harder to chicken out (ummm fried chicken) when it’s no longer just a private battle of the bulge.

Before I go, here is one final Orangutan picture for good measure, it has absolutely nothing to do with me or my health kick other than I googled words around being overweight and ginger and up popped some images of my overweight ape friends here.

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VERY LATE EID GREETINGS!

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Assalaamu alaykum readers,

And a belated EID MUBARAK! TaqabAllahu minna wa minkum, May Allah accept from us and from you. OK I’m late, I know but been a bit too busy with family in the past couple of weeks to post anything and the blog is not my full time job or anything so forgive me on that.

So I hope you all had wonderful Eid celebrations and not too many of you spent your time and money throwing a welcome back party for Shaitan as too many do these days, throwing away your good deeds.

If you did… then make tawbah and remember the purpose of Ramadhan. It’s is meant to be time of purification, and I am not talking about a one-month detox before you spend the other 11 months on one big bender kinda-purification. No, instead Allaah states in the Quran:

O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous
Quran translation, Surah al Baqarah, 2:183

So now use all those times you got into the habit of making du’a in Ramadhan by doing so again now, asking Allaah to forgive you, follow up an evil deed with a good deed.

On the authority of Abu Dharr Jundub ibn Junadah, and Abu ‘Abd-ir-Rahman Mu’adh bin Jabal (may Allah be pleased with them) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said: “Be conscious of Allah wherever you are. Follow the bad deed with a good one to erase it, and engage others with beautiful character.”
Related by Tirmidhi

I ask Allaah that he accepts your deeds and my deeds this ramadhan and forgives us our shortcomings, helps purify our deeds and intentions and makes us better believers for the whole year, not just one month, ameen.

Now…

eid over back to work

 

PURPOSE OF GINGERBEARDMAN SITE

peak district 3“WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS BLOG?”

This blog is the random ramblings of a not so angry ginger bearded man, the online diary of a muslamic who most definitely loves Allaah and the way of life which is Islam far more than the country I happen to have been born into.

At the same time however I am British by birth and culture, and feel in this great melting pot that is Great Britain I have as much right to promote, agitate and call for an Islamic vision for these beautiful blessed Isles as anyone else does to promote their own way of life.

Bosnia-Herzegovina-Hajji-Alija-Mosque-in-Pocitelj

I am not apologetic to voice our intentions to take the call towards Islam to ever corner of Britain, to make the village Masjid (Mosque in arabic) the centre of every community, to make the call to prayer echo out over every town and city centre across the land.

So as well as personal musings, I’ll also be posting info, news and commentary about what is happening around us day to day, and maybe even a few of my brave and probably futile attempts to become a writer.

I’ll also be posting information about Islam, especially if it relates to Dawah (the call to Islam) and new Muslims.

I hope you enjoy the site, if not tough. I am writing out of a desire to please my Creator, not the creation but I’ll hope you’ll stick around and read either way and at least you may find it interesting, occasionally humorous, and at times an education.

WHO IS GINGERBEARDMAN?

lego gimli 1“Who is GINGERBEARDMAN?  What does he stand for? Where does he come from? And why is he cluttering up the internet with his inane babbling masquerading as a blog?”

I am a Muslim from the UK, a revert (convert) to Islam, someone trying his best to be a good father, son and husband to those I love, an aspiring writer and a campaigner for ginger rights!

OK one of the above is not serious, strictly speaking  it’s untrue. I don’t really do much campaigning for ginger rights at all, well other than the odd meme posted here or elsewhere online.

In fact I didn’t even know I was ginger until I got to about age of 11 and started growing my beard out to intimidate other school level rugby players and found that my beard grew a different colour to the rest the hair on my head.

Does that even make me ginger at all? Or am I half ginger? Does it make a difference if I shave my balding sweed and so the only hair people see is my huge ginger beard and don’t know I secretly have brown hair? (ok sort of greyish brown with bald bits)

It does annoy me a great deal though that the mockery of ginger people is the last socially acceptable form of prejudice (outside of far right social circles). I mean everyone is allowed to have a go, not just comedians. Comedians are expected to mock that which is different to the societal norm but us ginger folk just can’t catch a break even from regular people.

dont look at it directly

To make matters worse, given the number of people accepting Islam the ‘ginger Muslim convert’ is actually becoming a stereotype in the UK society with Tommy Robinson, the EDL’s former leader even noticing and joking about it on national TV, that every revert seems to be ginger, that Islam accepts ginger people and so we only become Muslim for some form of acceptance.

I mean I became Muslim fourteen years ago, there were not that many of us around back then but even I saw four other ginger bearded reverts just whilst doing tawaf when I went on Umrah a couple of years ago and makes you envy the ginger revert sisters out there who get to hide themselves away under the Hijab.

damn it! ginger

The thing is if you complain about all this evil prejudice you get accused of having a chip on your shoulder, of just being another angry ginger, like being angry and ginger are synonymous or something but I am actually quite mellow and chilled out when people meet me and very rarely get angry, even when being mocked for being ginger.

There is of-course a perfectly logical explanation as to why so many ginger Muslim converts / reverts out there, Islam has always appealed to the poor and marginalized in society around the world who have less to lose by looking at such a radically different way of life. In the UK that’s often people from the Celtic nations and it is these peoples who have a greater propensity towards being ginger.

And being Irish by decent by my fathers side of the family, and red haired English genes being present in some parts of my mothers side of the family I didn’t really have much hope of being anything but ginger, or half ginger anyway.