Azma Imtiaz Sheikh
Ramadan has just said its goodbyes. Alhamdulillah! We can’t help but ponder over how beautiful the month was. Purchasing our spring roll pastry sheets, preparing the filling and making space in our freezers for the spring rolls to last the entire month. We couldn’t have been better composed. But do we have enough spring rolls to last for after Ramadan? If not, are we willing to cook some more? Did we fold our spring rolls the right way? Our struggle for staying put on this right way is always and should always be on. For that is our purpose of creation.
“And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship me” (Surah Adh-Dhariyat, 56)
If you are surfing the Internet searching for techniques to fold spring rolls and reminders to strengthen your Imaan then the below list might help.
6 unsuccessful ways to fold a spring roll:
1. Folding your spring roll too tight or too loose:
We know for a fact that too much or too little leads to no avail. The Prophet (PBUH) has warned us about going to extremes in religion. Except for things done in moderation, going through more struggle doesn’t always mean greater reward. In fact, Allah wants us to make use of the concessions he has provided.For example: A person fasting while travelling earns the same reward as the person who did not fast while travelling but makes up for it later.
“Allah wishes for you ease and does not wish for you hardship” (Surah Al-Baqarah, 185)
When given a choice between two halaal ways, the Prophet (PBUH) himself used to choose the easier way.Having said this, it doesn’t mean we can delay our prayers saying Allah is Ar-Rahman and Ar-Raheem. Or spend countless hours in sin without a hint of guilt thinking Allah is Al-Ghaffar and will wash away our bad deeds in a blink. We need to identify the middle of the road and follow the Sunnah. We have to understand that the perfect spring rolls are neither too tight nor too loose.
2. Giving up on the flaws of your spring rolls:
‘I’m only human’ is such a cliche sentence and the reason it is so, is because of that one quality of being human that we find ourselves portraying so very often- making mistakes. But we should never let ourselves be caught in the clutches of distress thinking our sins have brought us down in stature in the eyes of Allah and there’s no way back up. The Prophet (PBUH) said that if we would never commit sins then Allah would wipe us from the face of this Earth and replace us with people who would sin and ask for forgiveness.
“Indeed, Allah loves those who are constantly repentant” (Surah Al-Baqarah, 222)
So it is quite human to burn our spring rolls. But what sets us apart is if we feel guilty about it, seek forgiveness and supplicate to change ourselves for the better.
3.Putting too much filling in your spring roll:
We don’t need to have a big appetite or an immense love for food in order to be tempted by a meal. We all have, at some or the other time been unable to resist filling up on a delicious spread. And before we know it, we are stuffed and crammed. How would we then concentrate and establish khushu in worship in such a state?Prophet (PBUH) said,
“The son of Adam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach. It is enough for the son of Adam to eat a few mouthfuls to keep him going, but if he must (fill his stomach), then one third for his food, one third for his drink and one third for air.” (At-Tirmidhi, 2380)
An overflowing spring roll may not cook to our liking and may even burst open.
4. Using only one filling for all spring rolls:
Islam stands on the support of five pillars. All five must be strong for us to deserve the title of a true believer. Likewise, for each of these five pillars, having the right intention, knowing in our hearts that we’re doing this for the Creator and not for His creation, execution of the act in a way taught by the Prophet (PBUH) and having trust in Allaeh; are all important elements of a good deed. Just one of these won’t suffice and the absence of even one will fail to achieve its complete reward. Fasting for instance doesn’t just mean going hungry. It also requires refraining from other worldly desires. Prophet (PBUH) said,
“Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)” (Sahih al-Bukhari, 1903)
Among many other self-enforcements on this month, generosity is also a trait we should work on. The Prophet (PBUH) is also called “Messenger of Mercy” and he was most generous in the month of Ramadan.
Similarly, not just establishing our prayers, we need to be steadfast in fulfilling every other element of worship that Allah demands of us.
How would we provide our body with other nutrients if we only use a chicken filling in our spring roll? Variety is indeed the spicy spring roll of life. If worship becomes just a baseless monotonous routine, then intentions need to be reviewed.
5. Using more effort on garnish of spring rolls rather than its filling:
How frequently do we find ourselves being pulled into a quicksand of show-off? It has become utterly ordinary for us to intensify our worship in order to impress when we find ourselves in the company of other people. The Prophet (PBUH) has labelled showing off or riyaa has ‘lesser idolatry’.
“So woe to those who make show of their deeds and withhold simple assistance”(Surah Al-Maun, 6-7)
We can check and correct ourselves by being in constant consciousness of Allah and hence increasing our respect and fear of Allah. Supplication and making sure there is no difference between our worship in seclusion and in public also helps.What is the point if the outer pastry of the spring roll has been fried to a flawless brown and then garnished in crystal cutlery when its taste does no justice at all to the outer beauty. So next time we take a picture of our delectable dinner table, we have to remember that ‘all those fritters are not spring rolls’.
6. Confining spring rolls to only Ramadan:
In the month of Ramadan, we trained ourselves to avoid not just every haraam but also a few halaal. We wasted no time and effort to make outright use of every opportunity to gain rewards and the pleasure of Allah. But how drastically different is our lifestyle and behavior after Ramadan? ‘Ramadan Muslims’ is a term used for people who appear to be Muslims only during the month of Ramadan. After this month, salaat is delayed/missed, Quran is kept away, bad speech is resumed and haraam is embraced. Our deeds being seasonal is mere irrelevance.
“Take up good deeds only as much as you are able, for the best deeds are those done regularly even if they are few.” (Sunan ibn-Majah, 4240)
With a steady determination and focused practice, making spring rolls every day would come easy. How satisfying and rewarding would each day feel!
I ask forgiveness for any mistakes that you may find in this article. My spring roll making skills require a lot of polishing. May Allah help us gather positive influence from any material we may read or listen to.
Happy spring rolling!