City of Brass

City of Brass

Merry Milad and Happy New Year

posted by Aziz Poonawalla
Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask Allah to confer blessing upon him and ask Allah to grant him peace

Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels ask Him to do so. O you who have believed, ask Allah to confer blessing upon him and ask Allah to grant him peace

This year, Milad al Nabi is closer to the New Year than Christmas! By the Fatimid calendar, Milad (or Mawlid) is today, 3rd January 2015 – which fittingly also coincides with the perihelion of the Earth.


However you reckon the date, this is the time of year where hundreds of millions of Muslims remember with love and joy the memory and guidance of their beloved Prophet, Mohammed Rasulullah SAW.

Mohammed! As Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA said, it is a name that the mouth feels joy in speaking aloud. A Muslim’s love – mohabbat – fr the Prophet SAW is a sign of sincerity, of piety, of shukr (gratitude). What a wondrous gift was Mohammed to mankind! It is with mohabbat for Mohammed that Muslims the world over, for centuries, have prayed salawat – upon Mohammed, be Peace.

Mohammed Rasulullah SAW

Merry Milad to all and to all a good night!

(Of course, there is controversy over this sentiment. For those interested in the debate over Milad, please see my post, Reflection on Milad al-Nabi)


Have a very Muslim Merry Christmas

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Quran 5:46

And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming that which came before him in the Torah; and We gave him the Gospel, in which was guidance and light and confirming that which preceded it of the Torah as guidance and instruction for the righteous. — Qur’an 5:46

And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness apprehended it not. — John 1:5


The Islamic new year has begun a couple months ago already, but it is still December to which I associate the closing of the year. The shortest day and the longest night just passed, and it is Christmas Eve. The holiday spirit and the traditions surrounding the holidays have their own cultural significance, one which all Americans share, regardless of whether we are Christian or Muslim or something else or nothing else. However, as a believer, I am grateful for this opportunity to celebrate the birth of the Prophet Jesus AS – and I note that the birth of the Prophet Muhammad SAW is right around the corner this year as well. These Abrahamic convergences always make me happy :)


I think that the idea of a War on Christmas is nonsense – if anything, Jesus won. In Texas they even have legal protection for saying Merry Christmas. However, imaginary persecution aside, I do believe that there is a need to put Christ back in Christmas, especially with regards to taking action – charity and forgiveness, values that the Prophet Isa AS urged his followers to uphold year-round, not just for a few weeks before and after the solstice. Muslims have every right to publicly embrace Jesus AS as a Prophet and saying “Merry Christmas” is one way to assert that co-ownership.


The Prophet Jesus – Isa Nabi AS – was indeed a guidance and light unto mankind, which the darkness comprehends not. I will celebrate Christmas by praying salawat upon him and striving to uphold his teachings.

Merry Christmas!

(and don’t forget folks. Santa is a Muslim. Really. It explains everything.)


Vote now in the (delayed slightly) Brass Crescent Awards!

posted by Aziz Poonawalla


Voting in this year’s Brass Crescent Awards is now underway, after a few months’ delay. Here’s the explanation from the official site:

We would like to sincerely apologize for the delay in this year’s voting. The reason for the delay was that we did not have sufficient blogsphere nominations as we needed, which can be reflected in the fewer categories available for voting this year. Consolidating the categories required some careful thought in order to stay as fair as possible to our nominees.


In truth, the number of nominations has been dropping for several years, as the nature of online conversations has shifted away from the blogsphere and towards social media. The Brass Crescent Awards are over a decade old, and we are striving to ensure that they remain as relevant for the decade ahead.

To that end, we would like to solicit your thoughts, on what changes we can make to help improve these Awards and make sure we remain effective in our goal of promoting the voice of Muslims online, in whatever medium they choose to express themselves. Bear with us and please let us know what you think – there is an additional spot for you to write whatever comments and thoughts you may have on how the Awards should evolve, right below the voting for each category below.


Thank you for making the Awards every year such a success. With your help, we will make sure that the Brass Crescent Awards remain a success in the years to come.

As mentioned, the categories have been condensed – they are:


Vote now in each of the categories at! In addition, there is also a field for you to leave your own comments about the future of the Awards. Make your voice heard!


Midamar halal beef – charged with fraud

posted by Aziz Poonawalla


This is disturbing news – the company Midamar, well known for its halal meat products, has been charged with fraud for falsely advertising its beef as halal to Muslims:

The indictment said the companies told customers its cattle were slaughtered by hand by specially trained Muslim slaughtermen who always recited prayer. Midamar also advertised that it did not use penetrative captive bolt stunning, in which an animal is killed when a steel rod is shot into its brain. But Midamar’s primary beef supplier was a meatpacking plant in Windom, Minn., that used bolt stunning, the indictment said. After the orders arrived in Cedar Rapids, employees used acetone or nail polish remover to take off labels showing the beef came from that plant and put on fraudulent labels, it said.


Midamar denies the allegations and in a strange twist says it will challenge in the indictment on grounds of violation of the separation of Church and State. This fishy defense alone is sufficient to make me quite skeptical of Midamar, which is a shame because I have been buying Midamar products for years – especially their halal turkey and gyro meat frozen products.

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