Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Resurrecting Qabeelat Hayl - Fall '06

Hayl al Awwal, Hayl At-Thaani. No, I'm not talking about the Islamic months. I'm talking about the student body of AlMaghrib institute in the 'cow-tipping' town of Columbus.

Hayl was born in 2004. Hayls' first Almaghrib class was in the spring of 2005, The Code Evolved, taught by Sheikh Yaser Birjas. However, by the beginning of 2006, we were shut down. We didn't meet the required number of students.

The qabeelah on wheels was born. Ann Arbor, Maryland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Chicago. If we had walked, we'd probably be following in Baqiyy's footsteps.

After being bashed mercilessly by Ustadh Muhammad Alshareef in Chicago, we, the sensitive and 'emotional' sisters, took it personally and decided to do something about it. Of course when our emotions left us, we realized the wisdom behind the bashing.

The action plan was born. The promos began. There was buzzing all around, and we were gettin' down to business! I was by then in my first going into the second trimester (did I tell you that my baking frenzy always strike during my pregnancies?). The Haylsters (that's Hayl sisters) were busy preparing for the Promo down at Columbus State. Since I was partially incapacitated by pregnancy, they didn't let me do much, but they didn't know how stubborn I can be.

I told them I had a surprise, inshaallah. It was to be my first ever mass cuppies, all 200 of them. AlMaghrib junood I call 'em: standing proudly with their Almaghrib purple armor, bearing their liwaa flags with the word 'AlMaghrib'.

Those flags by the way, were hastily handwritten, with much love, I might add, by a pregnant woman whose common sense had belied her. She could have asked her husband to print out the AlMaghrib logo, all 200 of them, for the cuppies, but instead, she ordered her children to help her do it the hard way.

She measured the sizes of those little flags. She scrutinized the AlMaghrib logo to figure out the font, and she tried writing it out on paper. It was not easy. She tried again. That sun was one heaven of a thingamajig to draw! But she tried again. After many tries, she got it.

She took a deep breath, sat down, gathered all the colored papers on which she had precisely measured and gridded, and set to work. She wrote, drew, and wrote and drew, until her husband turned to look at her, tsk, tsked, and remarked,

"You're out of your mind."

200 of them. She was going to make 200 of those little flags, by hand, and time was running out. But he knew enough to leave her alone. She can be crazy when it comes to one of her creative strikes. Before long, she has mastered the font and logo, that she could probably do it in her sleep. Yet, she fell short of 200, but she made do. Each flag, she traced with highlighters, pink and blue, mostly, to cover the flaws in her handwritten logos.

On D day, the cuppies were ready, all gussied up, bearing their homemade flags. Worried they might slide and bump into each other in their expansive cuppy boxes, she had her children pipe dots of royal icing on the bottom of each cuppy and stick them in their place in the boxes. Of course, the boxes were lined with aluminum foil, so it'd look nice (also rendering the boxes reusable).

Logictics problem: her fridge wasn't big enough to hold two huge boxes of AlMaghrib junood cuppies.

Solution: the van. The temperature outside was in the forties, perfect fridge temperature. Her husband helped her put those cuppies in the van, and in the van they remained until the time of the promo.

The ride to Columbus State (the site of the promo) was excruciating. Every bump, turn, and stop was unbearable, and no, she was not in labor. Her little cuppies, her little babies, all 200 of them had to stay intact. They just had to! Alhamdulillah, they did. Those little AlMaghrib junood behaved very well, remained in their respective places, and lowered her heartbeat and blood pressure upon frantic checking on arrival.

These cuppies were baked, decorated, and flagged by a pregnant woman who was crazy enough to attempt making 200 (and more) decorated cupcakes, thinking at the back of her mind,

Let's see if I can pull this off. If I can, it would help when I make a decision to open a cupcake business in Malaysia.

And the flags were actually a last minute idea (the reason why she couldn't have them printed, which turned out for the best anyway), since she couldn't find anything at the Cake Craft store to represent AlMaghrib. So they had to be customized.

That, my friends, is the story of the Almaghrib cuppies, lovingly baked, decorated, and agonized over by an AlMaghriber, an auntie Haylster who is about to leave her beloved Haylsters for she doesn't know where soon.

And no, I haven't attempted making anymore cuppies since then. I'm waiting for some Obama ones.

Got Hayl?


  1. *tear*

    Brings back memories Juli!! subhanAllah, I still can't believe you did that!

  2. alhamdulillah i have these pics to remind me of pics do more than just show food...they bring memories!! okay before i get sentimental i'd better sign off..:P

  3. *Memories*

    SubhaanAllah, that was such an *amazing* day. Haylster spirit at its height! Juli, the surprise was just something else. I can't imagine the work that went into that - not to mention they were absolutely delicious.

    Those were the golden days, mashaAllah.

  4. I know Im about a year late....however Im a majd sister who is about to become a columbus resident and thought I'd let you know that you Hayl sisters rock!
    Im very Proud of y'all!