City of Brass

City of Brass

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:

ram_01.jpgThere’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. Go look :)

Captain Chaos chimes in with a few additional ways of getting Ready for Ramadan. (via Muse at Talk Islam)

At altmuslim.com. Ibrahim Abusharif observes that Ramadan is a season to step outside our cartoon selves.

‘Aqoul hosts a Ramadan Open Thread in their usual witty, cynical fashion.

The London Islamic Network for the Environment invites you to Fast for the Planet. (via Thabet at Talk Islam).

via John of Crossroads Arabia blog, this Washington Post piece on the blend of science and tradition in the moonsighting methodology in Cairo.

And finally, my Ramadan-blogging from last year at old City of Brass might be of some interest.

UPDATE: Don’t miss these hilarious e-cards: “may your Ramadan be devoid of blatant racial profiling”. Also, right here at Beliefnet, we have Ten Tips for Fasting Healthfully and Spiritually, and Eight Ramadan Lessons for All Spiritual Seekers.

ahlan wa sahlan, ya Shehre Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Last night at sunset, according to the Fatimid lunar (Hijri) calendar, marked the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan. Today I am observing the first fast.
These are controversial statements, because the majority of muslims adhere to the hadith that each month begins with the visual sighting of the new crescent moon. The Saudi ulema have even issued a fatwa to the effect that astronomical calculations are not valid and that moonsighting is the sole acceptable method. Shayk Hamza Yusuf of the Zaytuna institute concurs, laying out the case for moonsighting in impressive scholarly detail (PDF link). However, in 2006 the Fiqh Council of North America adopted the compromise position that astronomical calculations were indeed valid, especially as a means for ruling out physically-impossible moonsighting reports. Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah wrote a lengthy rebuttal to Shaykh Yusuf, pointing out that the act of witnessing the new moon itself is not an act of worship in and of itself, and is merely a means of telling time. Another thorough and scholarly essay by Dr. Louay Safi notes that the choice is not between moonsighting and calculation, but rather personal testimony and calculation. Further essays and reading material on the debate are available at the Fiqh Council’s website.

In practice, muslims rely on moonsighting by a local religious authority or organization. The specifics of moonsighting vary widely from country to country, meaning that the start of Ramadan might vary by one or two days across the muslim world. This year the general consensus is that Ramadan 1429H begins on Monday, September 1st, though technically in North America the moon will not be physically visible to the eye until September 2nd, so some may elect to begin fasting on Tuesday.

This complexity in method worldwide carries over to the Western muslim community, of course, as muslim immigrants initially tend to adheres to the tradition of their homelands. But there is intense cross-fertilization between muslims in the West – something that occurs nowhere else. Ultimately it boils down to a personal judgement as to which method to use: moonsighting, calculation, or hybrid methods. Who said the gates of ijtihad were closed?

Obama speech word cloud

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I plugged the text of the speech transcript into wordle and got this result:
Obama DNC 08 speech word cloud
The main theme of the speech is clear from the cloud: the promise of America. It’s worth noting that Obama uses that word to refer to an ideal, a description of the American Dream, which put simply is that anyone can succeed here if they work hard. It’s not a mere litany of government handouts, as others have insinuated, but rather an appeal to the idea of America, its immigrant roots, and it’s fundamental character.
And it’s also worth noting that Obama drew a sharp distinction between himself and John McCain, firmly establishing the fundamental case for why Obama-Biden is indeed an agent of change, whereas John McCain would be in all respects a Bush Administration third term. As Obama forcefully said, “change doesn’t come from Washington; change comes to Washington”.

Previous Posts

Post-Ramadan reflections
Welcome back, readers :) My apologies for being so AWOL from blogging. This past Ramadan I had genuinely been able to ramp up my iba

posted 9:48:39am Aug. 27, 2014 | read full post »

Tweeting the Qur'an #ttQuran
My friend Hussein Rashid launched the idea of Tweeting the Qur’an a few years ago and the idea has steadily caught on, and even at

posted 1:04:00pm Jul. 10, 2014 | read full post »

The Criterion: reading the Qur'an is the foundation of ibadat in Ramadan
Ramadan is one-third over. Unlike past years, I've not written as much about my observances this year because I've been dedicated to

posted 1:00:20pm Jul. 09, 2014 | read full post »

Nominations now open for the 11th Annual Brass Crescent Awards
The Brass Crescent Awards is an annual awards ceremony that honors the best writers and thinkers of the emerging Muslim blogosphere (aka the Islamsphere). Nominations are taken from blog readers, who then vote for the winners. Founded in 2004 by myself and Shahed Amanullah, the Brass Crescent Awa

posted 5:18:45am Jun. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Ramadan Kareem from the Democratic Party and President Obama
The official twitter handle of the Democratic Party (@TheDemocrats) just posted this Ramadan Kareem message quoting President Obama: https://twitter.com/TheDemocrats/status/482895697222443008 "Ramadan reminds us of our shared responsibility to treat others as we wish to be treated ourselves an

posted 4:00:46pm Jun. 28, 2014 | read full post »


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