Beliefnet
City of Brass
Bio

Aziz Poonawalla is a member of the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community, and currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children. City of Brass is his weblog, which was founded in 2002 under the name UNMEDIA. He is a co-founder of the annual Brass Crescent Awards.

The name City of Brass refers to the Story of the City of Brass in the
Thousand and One Nights, and the poem by Rudyard Kipling of the same
name:

Here was a people whom, after their works, thou shalt see wept over for their lost dominion;
And in this palace is the last information respecting lords collected in the dust.
-- Thousand and One Nights, Story of the City of Brass


IN A land that the sand overlays, the ways to her gates are untrod,
A multitude ended their days whose fates were made splendid by God,
Till they grew drunk and were smitten with madness and went to their fall,
And of these is a story written: but Allah Alone knoweth all!
-- Rudyard Kipling, The City of Brass (1909)

Your recommended Friday reading: Islamism, Salafism, and jihadism: A primer by Shadi Hamid and Rashid Dar. Here is the executive summary: Islamism: Islamism as a phenomenon incorporates a wide spectrum of behavior and belief. In the broadest sense, Islamist groups […]

لَقَدْ مَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذْ بَعَثَ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًا مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُوا مِن قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ Allah showed great kindness to the believers when He sent a messenger to them from […]

Shadi Hamid, author and fellow at the Brookings Center, is one of my policy-geek heroes. His recent discussion about Islamism and secularism with noted atheist Sam Harris is absolutely worth your time. Recently, on Twitter, he shared 6 books from […]

In 2002, the Bush Administration created a Muslim Registration Database, called NSEERS. It was finally dismantled in 2011 by President Obama and had a perfect score of 0 terrorists caught out of 100,000 registered. The architect of NSEERS, Kris Koback, […]

Reading this op-ed on the caste system in India made me immensely sad, especially this honest and sincere but still utterly nonsensical defense by an educated, modern, upper class Brahmin: For the last two years, I have been speaking with […]

The year 1438 is upon us, and I am in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to attend the annual Ashara Mubaraka sermons of his Holiness, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS, commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Husain at Karbala. We mourn Imam Husain’s […]

I saw the tragedy in Nice yesterday and like everyone else with a conscience, I despaired. My prayers are humble but I offered them regardless for the victims and their families, and the people of France. I hope that the […]

This is a guest post by Samar Kaukab. “Her antiquity in preceding and surviving succeeding tellurian generations: her nocturnal predominance: her satellitic dependence: her luminary reflection: her constancy under all her phases, rising and setting by her appointed times, waxing […]

We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power; And what will explain to thee what the night of Power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. Therein come down the angels and the […]

Taken one year ago, during my first Ramadan in Los Angeles.