Amongst many stories narrated in the Quran an important story is that of the People of the Cave (Surah Kahf). This particular surah has many facets and one of them is the story of believers who were trying to uphold their faith whilst surrounded by non-believers and when the believing men could not tolerate the torments of the society they turned to Allah for help, HE ordered them to reside in a cave. These men slept in the cave for a number of centuries, and they woke up only to realize that a new era had begun, the currency had changed, norms and ways of the society had changed. Allah then goes on to narrate that people around questioned whether they were 3 men and a dog, 5 and a dog or 7 and a dog or whether they stayed for 300 or 900 years in the cave. And this is where our lesson begins. It is irrelevant for us to know the number of years, men or dogs.
Allah chooses not to give us many details, simply because they are not important enough to be not included in the Quran. We need not obsess about a lot of names and locations and dates, because if Allah has not prioritized that piece of information in the Quran for us, we should simply let it be. Similarly the lesson to be learn above is multifaceted; one , do not question Allah, and two limit your curiosities to those issues which are relevant to you and your religion.
The men in the cave belonged to no one, they had no parents or guardians to protect or instruct them, yet they were believers and only turned to Allah for help. Yet another important lesson to be learnt is that Allah crystallized the lives of those men in the cave, narrated the story in the Quran because HE knew all generations to follow would need this lesson, the believing men should only ask God Almighty for help, and HE guarantees that HE will provide. Although Surah Kahf goes on to narrate more stories and lessons for mankind I will, for the time being try to absorb and enact on the above basic lesson.
Moving on, the Glorious month of Ramazan has descended upon us, which for most is also an open invitation to ingest as much fried and sweet food at Iftar time as possible. I refuse to eat the usual pakoras, watch endless programs on TV teaching the same old methods, opening up the newspapers to find the same stale recipes which involve mixing gram flour with spices and water to make a paste, dip vegetables and fry to make crispy pakoras. And my adamant refusal gives rise to the below given recipe, Crunchy Corn Fritters.
Scrumptiously crispy on the outside, lightly hinted with tomato, onion and chilli - yet sweet these fritters can be served with any sauce of your choice. I used store bought mint chutney