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City of Brass

City of Brass

January 1970 Archives

profiling Abdulmutallab

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the would-be bomber of Flight 253, is turning out to be a classic case study in radicalization – there’s been great coverage of his story at Talk Islam and I think it paints a picture of […]

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this new year’s eve, an eclipse upon a blue moon

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a symbolic New Year’s eve indeed. The hopelessly pedantic will argue that the decade ends next year but the overwhelming common sense consensus is that tonight marks the end of the first decade of the 21st century of […]

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Mousavi is not Husain; Ahmadinejad is not Yazid

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I was saddened to hear of the violence in Iran during Ashura, in which Ali Mousavi (the nephew of reform candidate Mir Hosein Mousavi) was among the protestors who were shot and killed by the security forces. Police denied however […]

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happy birthday, Aamer! (and Tiger, too)

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

One of my best friends on the planet turns, um, 34 (ahem) today. Happy birthday, Aamer! Aamer has been a guest poster on this blog, and one of his favorite pieces of mine was his exposition on Hajj as a […]

airline “security” after Detroit flight 253

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I didn’t really hear the news about the Nigerian muslim who tried to blow up Detroit-bound Northwestern flight 253 until I arrived at the airport and read about it in discarded newspapers while waiting for 5 hours in transit in […]

Rotten in the state of Denmark: Chindia at Copenhagen

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’ve been meaning to comment on the Copenhagen conference, since the perspective from the Indian press is probably quite different from that in the US media. According to the papers here, Obama forced his way into a private meeting between […]

the view from Cuffe Parade

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is the view from an apartment of friends of ours who live in Cuffe Parade, Mumbai. The view is west, over the Arabian Sea (see the map). CP and Colaba and other areas at the very tip of Mumbai […]

Democracy or Else: voting compulsory in Gujarat state

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

There’s some irony in the recent news that in Gujarat state, that democracy will now be mandatory: All registered voters in Gujarat will be required to vote. Those absent will be asked to submit a valid reason with proof within […]

a satirical rickshaw

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The sign on the back of the foremost rickshaw was harsh indeed. I’ve been forced to walk most of the time because the surplus of Bohra pilgrims to Ashara has made it a suppliers’ market, as far as transportation goes. […]

Echoes of the Raj

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The architecture of Mumbai is chaos incarnate, with slums and skyscrapers alongside. But there are also magnificent examples of British-era style that stand out and remind the observer of a different time, when a city named Bombay was the center […]

breakfast in Mumbai

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Mumbai is a foodie’s delight – and I’ve definitely been making the most of it. Every morning at the hotel we have a buffet breakfast which includes fresh made staples such as the idli-sambar and masala dosa pictured above. I […]

my passage to India

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

They say getting here is half the fun… if you’re a masochist, perhaps. I arrived on Friday morning and only now, awaking on Tuesday morning, do I really feel like I’m rested and energized after sleep. Part of the reason […]

Raudat Tahera at night

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is the mausoleum of the late 51st Dai ul Mutlaq, Syedna Taher Saifuddin AQ, and the focal point of Bhindi Bazaar, Mumbai. Upon the four interior walls is inscribed the entirety of the Holy Qur’an, in gold. The entire […]

Welcome to Marol!

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The many vendors in the Marol area were quite excited that over 150,000 Bohras had converged on the area, with plenty of thirst to satisfy. And money to spend. (see more of my photos here – will be adding many […]

Saifee Masjid, Marol (Mumbai)

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Saifee Masjid, the venue for Ashara 1431 in Marol, Mumbai. The Marol Jamaat has a brief history   of the Saifee Park area on their website. (see more of my photos here – will be adding many more)

Muharram – Headed to Marol, Mumbai for Ashara

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The Islamic New Year is almost upon us – by the Fatimid calendar, the month of Muharram al Haram begins tonight at sunset. For Shi’a muslims, the new year marks the start of the Ashara 10-day period of mourning for […]

Discussing “homegrown muslim extremism” on NPR today

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’ve been invited to discuss the recent story about Pakistani-Americans traveling to Pakistan to fight alongside the Taliban, and the general issue of whether domestic “home-grown” terrorism is an issue, on NPR Los Angeles’ “To the Point” this afternoon (hosted […]

The Geminid Meteor Shower peaks tonight

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The Geminids are coming tonight! “It’s the Geminid meteor shower,” says Bill Cooke of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office. “and it will peak on Dec. 13th and 14th under ideal viewing conditions.” A new Moon will keep skies dark for a […]

word cloud and transcript: Obama’s Nobel speech

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

These are the remarks by President Obama in Oslo, Norway at the acceptance ceremony for his Nobel Peace Prize. Click to enlarge the word cloud – which features “America” quite prominently, interestingly enough. Democracy Arsenal highlights two passages in particular […]

the River of Islam

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

In response to my post on the Air Tran Flight 297 debacle, Dave Price at Dean’s World complains: I worry that even liberal Muslims like yourself are more concerned with defending your faith than acknowledging its problems and reforming it. […]

AirTran Flight 297

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

UPDATE: Todd Petruna lied, not just about what happened on the flight, but about being ON the flight at all! This hilarious email, about what supposedly transpired on AirTran Flight 297 last month, is currently making the rounds amongst right-wing […]

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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