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City of Brass

City of Brass

City of Brass Archives

Saudis propose to relocate the Prophet’s (saw) tomb from Masjid al-Nabawi

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The above photo of the Mecca clock tower, or as I like to call it, “Big Bin”, was during my hajj a few years ago. It is part of my general observations of the “Meccahattan”-ization of the holiest place in […]

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Laylatul Qadr: The Night of Power, Ramadan 1434

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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 […]

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Arafat: a rebirth

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today I am fasting in observance of the Day of Arafat, as are hundreds of millions of muslims worldwide, with the notable exception of those lucky few million who are performing the hajj. On this day, the hajjis stand in […]

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Laylatul Qadr, the Night of Power

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The Night of Power is described in just five brief, magnificent verses of the Qur’an: 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 […]

Big Bin – the Royal Clock Tower of Mecca

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’ve been meaning to post these photos for months, but recent events reminded me of it, even though of course this has absolutely nothing to do with the death of Osama bin Laden. These are photos of the Abraj al-Bait […]

a hajji gives thanks

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I returned from Haj a few days ago, and the totality of the experience is still beyond my ability to pithily summarize beyond “It was fine.” I’ve many photos to sort through and some journal entries to look over which […]

I, Pilgrim

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

If you’ve wondered why I’ve been even more distracted of late, it is in preparation for the most important trip I’ve ever made in my life: “Behold! We gave the site, to Abraham, of the (Sacred) House, (saying):  Associate not […]

PHOTO: Mike Tyson at Mecca

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I had no idea that Mike Tyson was a muslim until I heard last week that he had traveled to Mecca for umrah (the minor pilgrimage, identical to the Hajj except that umrah can be performed anytime during the year […]

Hajj roundup

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

A few items of note: This year’s Hajj has been marked by rare torrential rains. This is causing some problems with logistics but should rightly be seen as a minor miracle instead of just an inconvenience. There are amazing photos […]

a convergence of thanksgiving, renewal, and sacrifice

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today again marks the Day of Arafat, a day of spiritual renewal and rebirth. In honor of this day I am observing the fast from sunrise to sundown, with members of my family who have traveled thousands of miles to […]

Hajj tidbits

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Preparations for Hajj continue in Saudi Arabia – with measures both great: On Sunday, security forces sent a clear message to would-be saboteurs by staging a huge military demonstration involving thousands of troops, armored vehicles, helicopters, and first response teams. […]

Hajj: The Opening

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

[22:27–8] And proclaim the Pilgrimage among men: they will come to thee on foot and (mounted) on every kind of camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways; That they may witness the benefits (provided) for […]

reflections on technology and the hajj II

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by my friend Aamer Jamali. This is the second post in a series. Having just returned from Hajj, a number of anecdotes stick out in my mind which best serve to illustrate the role that modern […]

reflections on technology and the hajj

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by my friend Taha Raja. Part one in a series. How has technology affected the Hajj? For many hard core believers, Hajj represents a pilgrimage that needs to be preserved for what it was envisioned […]

Hajj: a near-death experience

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The following is a guest post by my friend Aamer Jamali. Having recently returned from Hajj, I am bombarded by that well meaning question by all of my friends and loved ones… “How was it?”  Unfortunately, all I can answer […]

Obama and Ummah: healing 1400 year-old wounds

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The following anecdote is written by my friend Aamer Jamali, via email a few weeks ago (prior to the Inauguration). I have his permission to reprint it here. Of all the things to remember about my Hajj trip (and there […]

The inauguration: a secular Hajj

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

My friend Ali Eteraz calls the Inauguration a “secular hajj” for America: The theological comparison isn’t far-fetched. Emerson, Whitman, Dewey, and Rorty all suggested that politics is America’s civil religion. This makes the constitution the country’s holy text. The division […]

The Hajj hoax

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

It seems that there was no plot against the Hajj after all, according to Saudi authorities: JEDDAH: The Ministry of Interior has denied reports published in a Washington-based online newspaper that Saudi officials had launched a massive crackdown on Al-Qaeda […]

Incredible photos of Hajj and Eid ul Adha worldwide

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The Boston Globe has an astounding collection of high-resolution photographs from the Hajj in Saudi Arabia, as well as Eid ul Adha observances from throughout the muslim world. These photos are breathtaking, humbling, inspiring, and beautiful. It’s impossible to pick […]

Al Qaeda attack on the Hajj foiled

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The victims of Islamic terrorists are disproportionately muslims – and we have seen that nothing is sacred to these barbarians, not women and children, not muslims praying in mosques, not the holy month of Ramadan – now, not even the […]

mubarak! hajjis come home – including a Congressman

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The hajjis have begun to arrive home. Among them were Rep. Keith Ellison, the first muslim elected to Congress and now the first US elected official to have ever performed Hajj. The Democrat from Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District traveled to […]

(un) making Mecca

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

In the year 2020, the Grand Mosque complex housing the Ka’aba might look something like this: This is just one possible design that will be floated by star architects Norman Foster and Zaha Hadid, recruited by King Abdullah to vastly […]

Hajj ends – Zabihat and Jamarat

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Eid is by tradition a happy affair, but in India it is muted this year, in the wake of the Mumbai attacks. In addition to forgoing the slaughter of cows for the sacrifice (out of respect for the sentiments of […]

Aerial view of the tent city of Mina

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

While engaged in the rituals at Arafat and Mina, the pilgrims live in a vast tent city constructed exclusively for their use. Here’s an aerial view of that tent city from Google maps: View Larger Map (via Shi’a Pundit)

the Day of Arafat: renewal

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today is the Day of Arafat, where the pilgrims arrive and engage in prayer while standing and facing towards the sun. Then in the evening they will depart for muzdalifah in time for Eid ul Adha the next day. The […]

The imminent Hajj: journey to Arafat

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The Hajj begins today. Millions of pilgrims gathered in Mecca are donning ehram and leaving for the journey to the Plain of Arafat today. Tomorrow, the pilgrims gathered upon Arafat will pray all day, while standing and facing towards Kaaba. […]

Previous Posts

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 »

Ramadan Pearls 02 - non-existence
Fasting leads to non-existence, for, after all, the joys are there. God is with those who patiently persevere (2:249) (Jalaluddin Rumi, compilation The Essential Rumi) ...

posted 8:47:33am Jun. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Ramadan Pearls 01 - criterion
It was the month of Ramadan in which the Qur'an was first bestowed from on High as a guidance unto Man and a self-evident proof of that guidance, and as a ...

posted 3:36:22pm Jun. 28, 2015 | read full post »

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