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City of Brass

City of Brass

January 1970 Archives

Night of Power

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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Eid Eid Eid and more

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I must hasten to point out that not everyone is celebrating Eid today – many muslims are abiding by the sightings which indicate Eid is tomorrow. One of my favorite bloggers, Mr. Moo, offers his take on the opacity of […]

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Eid al-Fitr Mubarak – ??? ?????

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today is the first day that muslims worldwide will begin to celebrate Eid al-Fitr. Having just emerged from Ramadan, we are spiritually cleansed, disciplined, and refreshed. And eager to reacquaint ourselves with the concept of “lunch” ! It’s a mark […]

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Terrorists attack Ohio mosque

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Earlier, I mentioned the Obsession DVD that was inserted in millions of newspapers around the country. That DVD paints a rigid and extreme vision of Islam, with intent to mislead rather than inform. Now, the predictable result of that hate-mongering […]

Alayk as-salaam, ya shere Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Ramadan is a rare opportunity for the believer, in which all acts of piety are multiplied a thousand-fold. As Ramadan draws to a close, our consciences weigh more heavily with the thought of all the opportunities wasted in which we […]

Security when Kaaba door opens

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I received these astonishing photos as an email forward, so I am unaware of their origin, but they certainly look legitimate. These are allegedly a glimpse of the heavy security around the Kaaba when the doors are opened by the […]

First debate: yawn

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

There were really only two audiences for this debate – the people who know they are voting for McCain or Obama, and the people who haven’t decided yet. The former are essentially totally unmovable in their opinion, however much they […]

fiscal crisis explained by stick figures

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This powerpoint of unknown authorship has been making the rounds of Wall Street brokers, so Barry Ritholz embedded it online in Google Docs for all to share (click it to begin slide show): One thing worth noting, and emphasized in […]

Autumn Equinox

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Allah is He Who … has subjected the sun and the moon (to his Law)! Each one runs (its course) for a term appointed. — (Qur’an 13:2 – Yusufali) I am reminded of this ayat by yesterday’s Astronomy Photo of […]

Obsession

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The movie Obsession is a polemic for the modern age, the digital equivalent of a Jack Chick tract, only directed at muslims rather than Catholics. The movie is somewhat ironically named, because if anything it reflects the obsession that the […]

Laylatul Qadr

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

[Yusufali 97:1] We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power:[Yusufali 97:2] And what will explain to thee what the night of power is?[Yusufali 97:3] The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.[Yusufali 97:4] Therein come […]

The fish market

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Steven Waldman makes an interesting point, quoting a hadith of the Prophet SAW, “Do not buy fish in the sea, for it is gharar .” and suggests that this could be applied to financial transactions like sub-prime mortgages. That’s a […]

Ceylon circa 1890

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

There are sometimes treasures to be found at Flickr. Look at this set of vintage photos from Ceylon from before the turn of the (previous) century. Modern Sri Lankans are casual, friendly, outgoing, and quick to smile, but these photos […]

Shari’a courts and domestic law

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

A can of worms, indeed: ISLAMIC law has been officially adopted in Britain, with sharia courts given powers to rule on Muslim civil cases. The government has quietly sanctioned the powers for sharia judges to rule on cases ranging from […]

in motion, the believers reflect the heavens

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

If you think about it, the question of time and date is central to the daily religious routine of a muslim. We need to know when to pray five times a day, we need to know what time to start […]

Let’s do something

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

One of the oldest voices in the Islamsphere, Umm Zaid, has penned a courageous screed excoriating her fellow muslims to take a stand and do something (paraphrasing Todd Beamer, hero of Flight 93) about extremism and terrorism. I will not […]

a couch potato Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The lighter side of Ramadan in the Arab world – soap operas: Ramadan translates into big bucks for Arab satellite channels. Millions of dollars are spent on special programming, much of it comparable to Western soap operas, to entertain the […]

Yikes, Ike … Remembering Rita

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in the Gulf Coast region – especially my family there and all the friends I accumulated over the 9 years I spent living there before moving to Wisconsin in June 2007. It […]

Sarah Palin on God

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

My Beliefnet colleague Rod Dreher watched the Sarah Palin interview with Charlie Gibson and came away a bit less than impressed. He described her performance as “scripted and overprepared” which doesn’t bode well for assuring the independent vote that McCain […]

muslims condemn terror… again and again

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

It’s a shame that for many muslims, the anniversary of 9/11 is an occasion to retreat into a defensive posture, rather than stand proudly alongside our fellow Americans with head unbowed to the threat that faces us all. One of […]

Warith Deen Mohammed and the mountain

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Yesterday, iconic muslim-American leader Warith Deen Mohammed passed away. I want to reflect a bit on the significance of this man’s achievement and note what a landmark his life’s work was on the landscape of American Islam. But to understand […]

But, they do it in Saudi

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Further to the issue of the french trial delay in Ramadan that I mentioned earlier, comes some commentary on the matter by FaithWorld that is worth reading. After pointing out that similar “accomodations” are made for defendants of other faiths […]

Imam Warith Deen Mohammed

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The leader of the Nation of Islam, credited with leading it towards mainstream Islamic practice, has passed away. From his bio page at The Atlanta Jamaat: Imam W. Deen Mohammed was born October 30, 1933, to the builder and leader […]

a Burkean view of Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Although I think he’s mistaken in his assessment of the Tower Hamlets Council controversy, I fully agree and appreciate the insight into how a Burkean should approach Ramadan: As mentioned previously on Burke’s Corner, I am disturbed by both the […]

The Palin bounce?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

A batch of polls over the weekend  show that McCain gained serious ground after the RNC convention and Palin’s speech/martyrdom: USAToday / Gallup 9/5-7/08McCain 54, Obama 44) (8/23: Obama 48, McCain 45) Zogby Interactive 9/5-6/08 McCain 50, Obama 46 (8/30: […]

French hijab ban

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I linked this earlier, but it’s worth highlighting again – this article at Islam Online about the French hijab ban is a fantastic retrospective and absolutely required reading on the topic. 

Ramadan row – French fatigue

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Ramadan is like a magic word. You need only to utter it and suddenly people become insane: The trial of seven men for armed robbery was due to start on 16 September in Rennes. But last week the court agreed […]

ou sont les John McCains de l’antan?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

In the 2000 election, John McCain was a very different politician. He was truly a maverick, unafraid to confront the radical elements within his own party, and he paid the price. He lambasted the social conservatives’ hold over the GOP […]

no condemnations, please

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

As a follow-up to my earlier disagreement with Rabbi Hirschfield, it’s worth looking at what other muslim bloggers in the Islamsphere have to say about the New York Times article about the Hezbollah death shrine in southern Lebanon: Angry Arab […]

Palin vanilla

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

When John McCain announced Sarah Palin as his running mate, I googled her and found her to be a very interesting mold of Republican, who took on her own party in Alaska and fought against the entrenched corruption in her […]

interview with the author of “Jewel of Medina”

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Alt Muslim has an exclusive interview with author Sherry Jones, of Jewel of Medina fame. It is interesting to note that unlike the Danish cartoonists, it seems that Jones’ motivation in writing her book was to approach Islam from a […]

translations of the Qur’an

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Fasting is the iconic act of piety in Ramadan, but for me the dominant association is actually the Qur’an. The fast is more of a background, passive act of faith. But reading the Qur’an, immersing yourself in its rhythm and […]

The Musalman

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Wired Magazine has a short feature on The Musalman, the last hand-written newspaper in the world: The Musalman is possibly the last handwritten newspaper in the world. Four professional calligraphers spend three hours on each page every single day to […]

The Hezbollah death shrine

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, one of my Beliefnet neighbors, issues a call to muslims and especially Shi’a muslims to denounce the shrine to Hezbollah leader Imag Mugniyah in southern Lebanon: The children crowd forward around the glass case, eager for a […]

let’s not do lunch

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I linked this yesterday but it’s so awesome I just have to mention it again – hilarious Ramadan e-cards: There’s more, but that one’s my favorite. (via TalkIslam)

Ramadan for all

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Ramadan mubarak to everyone! (and I do mean, everyone) A roundup of Ramadan reactions from around the Islamsphere (aka the Brass Crescent): Mr. Moo observes that preparing for Ramadan usually involves DATCWDWTDWWAFSWDRAS (no, I’m not spoiling that one for you. […]

Previous Posts

Ramadan Pearls 05 - objective
As for the men of knowledge of the hereafter, what they mean by the correctness of fasting is its acceptability; and the acceptability of the fast is whether or not it has enabled one to reach one's objective. They understand the objective of ...

posted 7:26:32am Jul. 05, 2015 | read full post »

The Fourth and the First
This evening, just prior to sunrise, members of my mosque in Los Angeles gathered round to raise the flag of the United States of America. Due to fortuitous timing, just as the flag was unfurled, a squadron of planes flew overhead in formation, ...

posted 12:38:00am Jul. 05, 2015 | read full post »

Ramadan Pearls 04 - angels
He who has fasted for Allah, the Glorious and Mighty, and is in the discomfort of heat and struck by thirst, will have his face wiped and be given the good news by a thousand angels whom Allah has entrusted to him until he breaks his fast; at ...

posted 8:16:29am Jul. 03, 2015 | read full post »

ibadat in Ramadan - process as piety
There are a lot of articles written during Ramadan about what Ramadan means, about what we as Muslims should be "getting out" of Ramadan, what the benefits of Ramadan should be. But I think that these sorts of articles miss the point of ibadat. ...

posted 10:20:36am Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Ramadan Pearls 03 - mystery
Know that the goal in fasting is for the veil of appetite and anger to be lifted from the heart's eye so that the heart may see the mystery of the dominion of heaven and earth. (The Easy Roads of Sayf al-Din, as translated by William Chittick ...

posted 8:57:01am Jul. 01, 2015 | read full post »

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