Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Canadian Mosque & Halal Foods

Before going to Canada I contacted HiMy Syed a very interesting man who ran for Mayor of Toronto and did a wonderful blog of 30 Mosque in 30 Days Greater Toronto Area Style. I asked him what would be the best Masjids to see in the little time that we had there. He told me Masjid Khadijah in Mississauga was one to see where he wrote " A turkish brother visiting from Turkey told me directly that it was as good if not better than visiting the Blue Mosque in Istanbul." Masjid Khadijah or the Sayeda Khadijah Centre is an exquisite infusion of Turkish and Morrocan style in an Industrial building near the airport. From the outside it looks like a warehouse and we wondered if we were in the wrong place. Although, once entering you are instantly transported to a place that shows the best of Islamic Art and Architecture. I can not express how much I loved this place and the Imam- Hamid Slimi of Morocco who showed impeccable hospitality to the traveler, offering to cook us dinner right there in the Masjid which we were told has an industrial size kitchen. We did decline because we had just ate lunch, but this behavior is quite impressive considering that some Masjids you enter, you can barely get Salaams or a Smile of charity.

HiMy also wrote me that the Jami Mosque is a must visit because "being Toronto's Second Official Masjid, is, in my opinion, a must visit simply because it is the "Mother Masjid" for everything else that the Toronto Muslim Community has become." It was a beautiful mosque in the middle of many Upper Middle Class Residential Homes near High Park. The neighborhood alone was very nice and being able to blend among the homes in the middle of the street is astonishing.

I am so grateful to HiMy that I never met in person, however he must of been near me at the Reviving the Islamic Spirit (RIS) conference because he was able to tape my son singing with Nader Khan. May Allah bring him success in all his future endeavors.

Ok, I know I shouldn't flip out over food the way I do. The Sunnah is to have your stomach be one part food, one part water, and one part air (or one part empty) as the maximum. Shaykh Hamza Yusuf advised at last years RIS conference to only eat meat once a week, because many of us have an unhealthy attitude about food. Many of the sickness and disease are related to food, and my favorite Doctor and Shaykh Husain Sattar has a new talk titled Eat Less, Grow More  where he says so many diseases, like cancer is related to diet.  He talks about Hazrat Aisha the Mother of the Believers commentary "the body becomes unhealthy and overweight" and "the desires to do good deeds decreases" from filling the stomach. In fact, while in Canada I had my Beloved's watch Super Size Me on youtube.

Although not an excuse, but..... Having such a lack of Halal options does make me crave certain things that I was used to eating as a non-Muslim, like Beef and Broccoli, yum! So when you enter a country that has a plethora of Halal options, one does feel like a child in a candy store. All the food carts that we passed downtown going to the RIS conference whether it right in front of the Metro Center or down by City Hall were Halal or had Halal options. In Mississauga, we went to one shopping center that had so many Halal options from an Italian Restaurant, Burger Joint, Sushi Restaurant, Afghan Food, Pakistani Food & Palestinian Food. It also had a Halal Fast food Popeye's in that same strip. I wanted to visit every Restaurant in that strip except the Popeye's (sorry Fried Chicken lovers) and order one thing (the most popular item) on the menu and we would each share and sample the different Restaurant. Great idea, right! Sounded fun to me, however, my family didn't seem to feel me. So we opted to just go to the Italian Halal Restaurant called Kara Mia's. My pasta was yummy, but the rest of the food was not very good. My husband returned his lasagna because it tasted old and made his stomach turn. The children's pasta was not very good also. The pizza was kind of good but it was too expensive for what you get. One nice thing is they don't serve alcohol, but they serve a bunch of drinks that would normally have alcohol in them, like a Margarita, Daiquiri, & Bellini. We ordered a yummy strawberry daiquiri.

I have been craving some good Afghan food for a real long time and Bamiyan Kabob in this plaza was packed with people. It had so many people on Christmas Eve, that there was not a place to sit and it was hard to move around the store. So I had decided that we would come back for lunch Christmas day, where it was still busy at 1pm, but not as busy the day before. MashaAllah, this food was GOOD! We ordered three different Kabobs (shared between the 6 of us) that were all good, but nothing better than the lamb chops or Choppan Kabob that were so juicy. The dinner comes with a delicious rice and salad at about $10, very good and reasonable priced. As everything else was closed on Christmas except the Cinema, most of the Muslim Restaurants in the shopping plaza were opened including Popeye's and it looked like they were getting the customers.

If you don't know about Zabihah.com, it is a wonderful tool used to find Halal options in any place in the world. You can look up Restaurants and Grocery stores through Zabihah.com There is also a link to Salatomatic, that helps you find Mosques in any place in the world

Winter Road Trip 2012 continues with:
Winter Road Trip 2012
Canadian Mosques & Halal Foods
Reviving the Islamic Spirit

1 comment :

  1. Wow Masha Allah, wonderful family trip. Looks like you all took Canada by storm. I am a foodie myself, though moderate and much concerned with health :-)


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