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City of Brass

City of Brass

City of Brass Archives

Eid at the State Department

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I am honored to be invited to celebrate Eid al Fitr at the State Department again this year. And I am relieved that this time, it’s actually taking place after Ramadan, which means I can actually attend for the first […]

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The Empire State goes green for Eid

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

As is tradition, the Empire State Building – the most beautiful skyscraper in the world – was illuminated in green to mark Eid al Fitr. Of course, in 2015, this is announced via the official twitter account The Empire State […]

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The Final Fast

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

These are the very last days of Ramadan, whether you go by moonsighting or calculations (aside, here’s my take on the moonsighting debate). Eid will be either on Friday or Saturday depending on how you reckon; for me, today marks […]

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Ramadan Pearls 10 – good

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

For to fast is to good unto your selves – if you but knew it. (translation, Muhammad Asad, The Message of the Qur’an)

Iftaar Barbecue for the 4th of July

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

On the 4th of July, it was also the 18th of Ramadan – so my community masjid in Chicago had an Independence Day barbecue for iftar! Burgers, fries, hot dogs – all halal, of course Here’s video coverage from TV […]

Ramadan Pearls 09 – lend

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Lend unto God. Give a loan of the leafage of this body, That in exchange a garden may grow in your heart. Give a loan, diminish the body’s food, that you may see that which the eye has not seen. […]

Ramadan Pearls 08 – veils

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

All desires, affections, loves and fondness people have of all sorts of things, such as fathers, mothers, friends, the heavens and the earth, gardens, pavilions, works, knowledge, food and drink – one should realize that every desire is a desire […]

Ramadan Pearls 07 – reed

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

There’s hidden sweetness in the stomach’s emptiness. We are lutes, no more, no less. If the soundbox is stuffed full of anything, no music. If the brain and the belly are burning clean with fasting, every moment a new song […]

Layatul Qadr 1436H – ibadat as jihad

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 […]

Ramadan Pearls 06 – expectant

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

When it comes to material food, if you eat too little, you will remain hungry like the crow and suffer ill-temper and anemia; if you eat your fill, your body will incur the penalty of indigestion. Partake of God’s food, […]

Ramadan Pearls 05 – objective

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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 […]

Ramadan Pearls 04 – angels

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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 […]

ibadat in Ramadan – process as piety

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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 […]

Ramadan Pearls 03 – mystery

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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 […]

Ramadan Pearls 02 – non-existence

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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)

Ramadan Pearls 01 – criterion

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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 Criterion by which to discern the true from the […]

Has Lindsay Lohan converted to Islam?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Short answer: probably not. Lindsay Lohan was recently spotted carrying a copy of the Qur’an as she left a children’s daycare where she’s serving her court-ordered sentence of community service. As the article at The Daily Mall helpfully points out, […]

The Nation of Islam is keeping the peace on the streets of Baltimore #BlackLivesMatter

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

No news agency is bothering to cover how thousands of peaceful protestors are expressing their right of free speech in Baltimore, over the killing of Freddie Gray. Instead, the big story is the violence of the few rather than the […]

G. Willow Wilson’s Ms. Marvel nominated for Hugo Award – and needs YOUR support

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Few people outside the fandom of science fiction and fantasy probably are aware of the Hugo Awards, but in a nutshell, they are the single most prestigious award for SF/F, launched in 1953 during the Golden Age of sci-fi. These […]

Proof denies faith

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

On Reddit, someone posted the following question: “What convinces you that the Quran is the literal Word of God?” I think this is precisely the wrong question. The book/movie Life of Pi directly and elegantly addresses this question. In the […]

Proud to be American, proud to be Muslim

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Safiya Dahodwala. Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS graced the land of America for the first time as the 53rd Dai (spiritual leader) of the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community. It has been nearly a decade since […]

is ISIS Islamic? Wrong question.

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

There is an excellent longform essay on ISIS published in The Atlantic, “What does ISIS Really Want?” that lays out an excellent case fore ISIS being genuinely different in ideology, motivation and ethos than Al Qaeda. The real question boils […]

The Price of Extremism

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Durriya Badani. The execution style murder of three young North Carolina students, two of whom were hijab wearing Muslim women, raises questions regarding the rise of Islamaphobia in the United States in the form […]

Can atheism drive someone to murder? #muslimlivesmatter #chapelhillshooting

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Like everyone else, I am in shock at the horrible tragedy in North Carolina last night, where three young Muslim Americans were brutally executed. The police are investigating and the murderer is in custody and cooperating. The family of the […]

the State of the Ummah, 2014/1436

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I tuned into President Obama’s 2014 SOTU for a while last week – mainly because my daughter was tasked to watch 15min minimum for school, a limit to which she adhered to precisely – and was struck by how futile […]

Merry Milad and Happy New Year

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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 […]

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 […]

My first day of wearing rida to school

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Zainab Jamali is a teenaged Muslim American girl in Los Angeles. As a member of the Dawoodi Bohra community, she recently took her misaq (an oath marking the symbolic passage to adulthood) on the hand of the community’s spiritual leader, […]

Hussein Abdullah gets a penalty for doing sajda in the endzone on Monday Night Football

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

What's the difference? pic.twitter.com/2Je8PSJ8GW — NFL Memes (@NFL_Memes) September 30, 2014 As a (very) recent convert to the joy of American Football, I am fascinated by the penalty issued to Kansas City Chiefs’ safety Hussein Abdullah for performing a sajda […]

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 […]

Post-Ramadan reflections

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Welcome back, readers My apologies for being so AWOL from blogging. This past Ramadan I had genuinely been able to ramp up my ibadat and one of the ways I achieved that was by letting go of digital distractions. A […]

Tweeting the Qur’an #ttQuran

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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 attracted press attention. To participate, just tweet an excerpt from the Qur’an that moved you and […]

The Criterion: reading the Qur’an is the foundation of ibadat in Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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 improving my ibadat (worship). I completely concur with my friend Shahed Amanullah’s concerns that Ramadan is beginning to […]

Nominations now open for the 11th Annual Brass Crescent Awards

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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 […]

Ramadan Kareem from the Democratic Party and President Obama

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The official twitter handle of the Democratic Party (@TheDemocrats) just posted this Ramadan Kareem message quoting President Obama: Ramadan Kareem. pic.twitter.com/XDgL95yTlz — The Democrats (@TheDemocrats) June 28, 2014 “Ramadan reminds us of our shared responsibility to treat others as we […]

Ramadan is coming – or has already arrived

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Ramadan Mubarak! By the lunar Fatimid calendar, today (Saturday 28th June) is the 1st of Ramadan. The Mecca-centric calculations of The Fiqh Council of North America (affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America) also concur with the lunar calendar […]

Creekstone beef is certified halal – and supplies top tier restaurants around the United States

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

A new blog has just burst onto the Muslim blogsphere scene, Muslim Eater (http://muslimeater.com) – with a magnificent debut post about how a major, top-tier beef supplier in Kansas is actually fully halal certified. That supplier is Creekstone Beef and […]

Video: (muslim) Mehdi Hasan interviews (atheist) Richard Dawkins at the Oxford Union

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is an excellent debate between the most emphatic atheist of our time, Richard Dawkins, and political journalist Mehdi Hasan. Hasan is brilliantly prepared for the debate and treats Dawkins with utmost respect, but methodically defends belief and religion as […]

Amidst the grief, solace in the succession of Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Durriya Badani The forty day period of mourning has now elapsed, but the profound sadness at the loss of the beloved head of the Dawoodi Bohra community, a spiritual mother and father, His Holiness, […]

NYPD’s illegal spying on Muslims was legal, says legal system

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is profoundly disappointing but not entirely unexpected: In a decision filed Thursday in federal court in Newark, U.S. District Judge William Martini dismissed a lawsuit brought in 2012 by eight Muslims who alleged that the NYPD’s surveillance programs were […]

Valentine’s Day and Islam – the virtues of mohabbat (love)

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Happy Valentine’s Day! I am biased towards appreciating Valentine’s Day not just for it’s Gujarati origins but also because it’s my birthday. However, not all Muslims share my appreciation. Here’s a typical example: In its official Friday sermon text distributed […]

Farewell to Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (RA)

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

On Friday, January 17th, his holiness Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA passed away in Mumbai. Syedna Burhanuddin RA was a visionary intellect and pious guardian of the Deen of his followers, the Dawoodi Bohra community, to which I proudly belong. In […]

Have yourself a very Merry Mawlid al-Nabi

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Mawlid, also known as Milad al-Nabi, is the celebration of the birth of the Prophet Mohammed SAW. In celebrating Mawlid, Muslims express their love for the Prophet SAW, with recitation of salawat, processions, and congregating with family and friends, as […]

Siri knows about Milad #creepingsharia

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Ask Siri today the following question and you will get the following answer: (via Ayesha Mattu on Twitter – try it yourself!)

a case study for paternalism and good intentions

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a true anecdote: A hijabi chooses the bottom platform of a quiet staircase in her college’s library to pray. While she is deep in prayer, a white, male classmate walks by and stops to console her by putting […]

Merry Christmas, Isa Nabi milad mubarak!

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

It is Christmas Eve, and it is time to put the Christ back in Christmas. The title “Christ” is derived from a greek word, Khristos, which means “to anoint” – anointing being the process of pouring perfume, oil or water […]

Halal Turkeys for Thanksgiving

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Thanksgiving is the singularly American tradition of family, friends, and food – and the mighty turkey reigns supreme. In fact, founding father Benjamin Franklin thought the turkey was a better candidate for our nation’s National Bird than the bald eagle: […]

the silence libel: Muslims do not need to condemn

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Patheos blogger Dan Peterson has a moving and well-intentioned post in which he exhorts the Muslim American community to speak more loudly and denounce terrorism: But you have to speak up more loudly. Others — I promise you this, from […]

Vote now in the 10th Annual Brass Crescent Awards!

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

What are the Brass Crescent Awards? Founded in 2004 by myself and Shahed Amanullah, the Brass Crescent Awards are named for the Story of the City of Brass in the Thousand and One Nights. Today, the Islamsphere is forging a […]

Madonna is studying the Qur’an

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I am surprised no one else caught this – From an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) on Reddit, pop queen Madonna let this interesting tidbit drop: This seems to be a natural progression for her. Her early music was heavily influenced […]

Gulf muslims almost had a 28-day Ramadan this year

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Arguably there is more drama surrounding when Eid starts than when Ramadan starts, because after a month of fasting the issue is a little more urgent This year was no different, but there was added drama in the Gulf region […]

Statement by President Obama on the Occasion of Eid al-Fitr

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

What is notable about this year’s remarks are the specifics in terms of dollar amounts. This isn’t likely to change anyone’s mind, but I think that it does show a responsiveness to the criticism. Michelle and I send our warmest […]

a quote for Eid ul Fitr (Nelson Mandela)

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The season of Eid is upon us, and I’d like to share this quote from Nelson Mandela that came my way early this morning: “There is nothing like returning to a place unchanged to find the ways you yourself have […]

Ramadan wanes: The Final Countdown

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

There are just a handful of prayers left. These are the last hours and days of Ramadan, the end of the appointed time when our prayers and acts of piety are amplified. Our consciences weigh heavily with the thought of […]

teaching the message of Ramadan by example – at 3:40am

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Fatema Baldiwala. “Aw, mom, I cant get up says my younger son, snuggling more deeply into his blanket, shielding his eyes from the bright light. “Its too hard”, mumbles my elder son, as he […]

Message to Muslims of the world from Pope Francis

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Pope Francis has sent a message of goodwill to Muslims worldwide. The text is available in multiple languages including French and Arabic on the Vatican website. Unfortunately, some Muslims tend to view this sort of gesture in a cynical way. […]

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 […]

VIDEO: Qira’at of Sura al-Rahman recited by Al-Shaikh Murtaza Ga’far Ali

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Yesterday, 27th July 2013, Egyptian National Television aired Qira’at of Sura Al- Rahman recited by Al- Shaikh Murtaza Ga’far Ali. Here is a video of his beautiful recitation. Shaikh Murtaza bhai is an ustaad at Jamea tus Saifiyah, in Surat […]

a Muslim American agenda: speaking truth to power and “standing firmly for justice” (Qur’an 4:135)

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I am enjoying the debate with Professor Omid Safi of UNC about the White House Iftaar controversy and recommend his follow-up piece: 6 points towards a principled action of solidarity. In that piece, Omid argues that we have a religious […]

Secretary Kerry’s remarks on religious freedom and America at the State Dept Iftar #WhiteHouseIftar

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The transcript of Secretary Kerry’s remarks at the State Dept Iftar (to which I was invited but was sadly unable to attend) are now posted online and I found this section to be particularly moving: I want you to know […]

Honored to be invited to the State Department Iftar – and grateful for the #WhiteHouseIftar

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I am grateful and honored to have been invited to the State Department Iftar hosted by Secretary John Kerry, which will take place tonight in Washington D.C. It is with sincere regret that I am unable to attend due to […]

Ramadan 1434: inflection point, reflection point

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

In mathematics, an inflection point is a point on a curve at which the curvature or concavity changes sign from plus to minus or from minus to plus. What better description of the midpoint of Ramadan? Regardless of your reckoning, […]

Ramadan as a meditation on nothingness (essence vs existence)

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Most of the religious obligations of a Muslim are positive actions: pray, strive, donate, go. Prayer is a physical action of movement, zakat is a positive action of donation, jihad is an explicit struggle towards a difficult ideal, and the […]

Tisha B’av: Jews fasting in Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’d like to wish my Jewish friends Tzom kal (easy fast) on the occasion of Tisha B’av, which is a day Jews are obligated to fast in observance of the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem. Here’s […]

Nominations now open for the 10th Annual Brass Crescent Awards

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

What are the Brass Crescent Awards? Founded in 2004 by myself and Shahed Amanullah, the Brass Crescent Awards are named for the Story of the City of Brass in the Thousand and One Nights. Today, the Islamsphere is forging a […]

Ramadan Mubarak

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Ramadan is coming, says the sheik in the North

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’m in sunny California, on the obligatory summer vacation with my family for the 4th of July. But there is also an air of quiet desperation to our barbecue and beach and pool exploits. If ever my House had Words, […]

liberté, égalité, fraternité: pregnant muslim woman in France violently attacked over hijab; loses her baby

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a horrific story and the first thought should be duas for the grieving family for their loss: A young pregnant Muslim woman, who was allegedly attacked in the street for wearing a veil has lost her baby, her […]

The Day of Elevation – 27th Rajab

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

We are almost done with the holy month of Rajab al-Asab, which as I noted a few years ago is a herald for the impending arrival of Ramadan. Today is the 27th of Rajab, which means last night was the […]

open-source, lone wolf terrorism: different ideologies, shared methodologies

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

To summarize what is known at this time, the main suspects for the Boston marathon bombing are two brothers who immigrated from Chechnya to America years ago and have grown up here. How they became radicalied, and what their motive […]

Easter in the Qur’an: Jesus AS was raised to Heaven and will return

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Happy Easter to my Christian friends! Fundamentally, Easter is the day that Christians celebrate the resurrection of Christ. As I’ve noted before, in Islam there is no direct analogue to Easter, but there are some very important points of agreement. […]

Iraq War retrospective: the Bali bombings #iraq10

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The following post was written shortly after the Bali resort bombings, which killed over 200 people, of which 88 were Australian tourists, 38 Indonesians, and 27 citizens of UK. At the time, the case for war against Iraq was in […]

10 Years after Iraq: a retrospective #iraq10

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Precisely ten years ago, the Iraq War began, as limited strikes against Iraqi palaces in an attempt to initially “kill the head of the snake” and killing Saddam Hussein. These attacks were unsuccessful and so on March 21st, whose 10-year […]

Milad al-Nabi Mubarak!

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

By the Fatimid calendar, Mawlid al-Nabi (also known as Milad al-Nabi) starts tonight at sunset. Mawlid is the celebration of the birth of the Prophet Mohammed SAW, and is an occasion to express our mohabbat (love) for him and our […]

honoring Jesus as a Muslim

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Merry Christmas! In honor of the Prophet Issa AS, on this day where my Christian cousins in faith celebrate the life and Message of the Lord, I will share this excerpt from a new piece by my friend Haroon Mogul […]

musing about morality and faith

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

A dear friend wrote something quite moving on Facebook, to which I’d like to respond publicly (keeping their privacy, of course). They wrote, Over the past week, I have heard many people blame the shooting in Connecticut on (among other […]

Chris Christie defending Muslim Americans

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is just an amazing video from last year of Chris Christie, governor of Jew Jersey (and likely contender for the Republican nomination in 2016): Suhail Mohammed is an Indian-born American Muslim lawyer who was appointed as a judge by […]

on the dangers of male theorizing about hijab

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

“The truth is that the traditional image of the veiled Muslim woman as sheltered and docile sexual property of her husband is just as misleading and simpleminded as the postmodernist image of the veil as the emblem of female freedom […]

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 […]

Statement and Twitter Campaign regarding violence against #USEmbassies in Egypt, Libya, and Yemen

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

American Muslims stand by President Barack Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton in strongly condemning the attacks on the US Embassies in Libya, Egypt and Yemen, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. At this time, American […]

11 after 9-11: a look backwards

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

It’s Patriot Day, the anniversary of Black Tuesday, the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 (9-11). Eleven years later, I still feel the need to say something about it, suggesting that on some level I am still not “over it” […]

does the hijab protect women from harassment?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The image above is a billboard in Tehran which makes a clumsy case for wearing the hijab – it “protects” the woman like a candy wrapper from the attention of men. The degrading analogy of a woman as a piece […]

Eid intolerance

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

While the decision of when to observe Eid can be messy at times, that messiness is at least the process of honest decisions and judgement by Muslims free to make their own religious choices. However, not all Muslims have that […]

an Imperial Eid

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Eid al Fitr Mubarak! The Empire State Building in New York City is lit green in honor of Eid from August 16-19th, as they traditionally do every year: The most beautiful building in the world, in the greatest city in […]

The Final Fast

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

As per the Fatimid calendar, it is the 30th of Ramadan, and my final fast has begun. I spent the night engaged in ibadat – praying Nisf al-Layl and the tahajjud, doing tasbih (also known as dhikr) and Qur’an, praying […]

President Obama’s remarks at the White House Iftaar Dinner

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

President Obama hosted the traditional Iftaar Dinner at the White House yesterday evening. Among the attendees was Huma Abedin, aide to Secretary Clinton and who was the target of vicious Islamophobic attacks by prominent Republicans such as Michele Bachmann and […]

Laylatul Qadr 1433 is upon us

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Once again, the apex of Ramadan is upon us – the Night of Power, Laylatul Qadr. The Holy Qur’an describes this night in just five verses – We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power; And what […]

more domestic terrorism in Ramadan: mosque in Missouri burned to the ground

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

A second fire in less than five weeks occurred at a mosque in Joplin, Missouri early Monday morning. The cause of the latest inferno is still unknown, but Monday’s flames were much more devastating than those that occurred July 4, […]

Enchanting crescent moon photo with Jupiter system conjunction

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a gorgeous photo of a conjunction of the crescent moon with the Jovian system. It’s from NASA’s Astronomy Photo of the Day (APOD). Everything in this photo, including the clouds, is brilliant solely due to reflected light from […]

Running To Stand Still

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Aamer H. Jamali. Halfway. What an incredibly loaded word. On the one hand, it emobdies a sense of accomplishment as we realize that it is all downhill from here. On the other hand, we […]

Fasting for Ramadan with Diabetes

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

If you’re Muslim, and you have diabetes, can you still fast? That’s a question that more and more Muslims ask themselves each year, as the diabetes epidemic in America and worldwide continues. According to a 2011 report by the Centers […]

my plans and Allah’s plans

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Taher Suratwala. On my commute home this week, I passed a warning sign that read “503 traffic deaths this year”. That is just for the short stretch of road on my daily trip. I […]

Photos from around the world on the beginning of Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Every year, the Boston Globe does a photo feature on the start of Ramadan, as part of their “Big Picture” series. They pick photos that really try to capture teh diversity of muslims and Islam around the world, engaged in […]

Nominations now open for the 9th Annual Brass Crescent Awards

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

It’s that time of year again – to nominate your favorite blogs and bloggers for the Brass Crescent Awards! The nomination phase will end shortly after Eid al-Fitr, and polls will be open shortly thereafter. Inshallah, winners will be announced […]

The fasts are slow

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Regardless of when most muslims began Ramadan this year, everyone has been fasting for a few days and today everyone is fasting together. Since we are still early in the month, most of the Internet chitchat about Ramadan still centers […]

Tweeting the Qur’an 2012/1433 #ttQuran

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Join me in another annual Islamsphere tradition: Tweeting the Qur’an: Anyone is welcome. You do not have to be Muslim. The point is to provide greater access to the Qur’an, so please tweet in English, regardless of the language you […]

Preparing for Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The entire Islamsphere is focused upon the imminent arrival of Ramadan – I follow the Fatimid calendar, so my first fast will be Thursday, as will most moonsighters; those muslims following the the FCNA calculation will begin on Friday. This […]

A Thousand and One Bytes: Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Allow me to admit upfront that author G. Willow Wilson is a dear friend, and so perhaps you may assume that my review of her astounding novel Alif the Unseen is biased. Instead, however, you should assume that I am […]

27th Rajab al Asab: The Night of Ascent and the Day of Elevation

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The holy month of Rajab al Asab draws to a close – by the Fatimi calendar this is the night of 27th Rajab, which is when the Prophet Mohammed SAW ascended for a tour of Heaven. For more details about […]

Murfreesboro mosque construction halted on a legal technicality

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The muslim community in Murfreesboro, TN (ICMTN) has been trying to build a mosque for several years now, in the face of vicious Islamophobic opposition from locals who have repeatedly insisted that Islam is not a religion but a political […]

Starred review from Publisher’s Weekly for I Speak for Myself: All American (and last chance to pre-order)

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Publisher’s Weekly just gave our forthcoming book a coveted starred review in the Religion section! All-American: 45 American Men on Being Muslim Edited by Wajahat Ali & Zahra T. Suratwala. White Cloud (PGW, dist.), $16.95 trade paper (238p) ISBN 978-1-935952-59-6 […]

Muhammad Asad and Islam as a rational faith

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

There’s a lengthy essay by Talal Asad of his father, Muhammad Asad (b. Leopold Weiss 1900 d. 1992), a convert to Islam from Judaism and one of the 20th century’s great Islamic thinkers. I found this part particularly resonant about […]

Mubarak, Facebook! and shukran

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today, Facebook goes public, and begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange at 11:00am Eastern time (the truly addicted stockwatchers may want to bookmark this). Amidst all the noise about IPOs and investments and whatnot today, I think it’s […]

Islam and Star Wars Day: Allah is the Force

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Jumah Mubarak, and May the 4th be with you! Today is Star Wars day, the day we remember with fondness the three greatest movies of our childhood and tolerate three others that were loosely related. The Jedi order has always […]

Obama and the Muslim “Smear”

posted by ajamali

Note: Aziz will be returning soon.  It has been a pleasure and an honor to fill in for him.  If you enjoyed my writing (or didn’t and are looking for further avenues to lambast me), my own blog can be […]

a religion of Peace vs a religion of Justice

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The English translation is not as eloquent as the original Arabic, but let me quote from the Koran, itself: “In the long run, evil in the extreme will be the end of those who do evil. For that they rejected […]

TWITTER ACTION ALERT for #American #Muslims – Follow Our Lead on Friday And Say #Thank You #ff

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Muslims and non-Muslims in New York City and across the country have been upset by the news about the NYPD’s surveillance of Muslims. The news is disturbing and deeply concerning to say the least. However, we are heartened by and […]

Tenth Anniversary of the Gujrat riots

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Ten years ago, muslim extremists attacked civilians on the Sabarnati Express train at Godhra. The attackers were brought to justice later, but the attack spurred large-scale communal violence, murder and rape against muslims in Gujrat that was horrific and savage […]

Sean bin Oliver Stone converted to Islam?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Did Sean Stone, the son of famed director Oliver stone and a director in his own right, convert to Islam while filming in Iran? Sort of. He did an interview with CNN about it and here’s a portion of the […]

The NYPD spied on muslims in Newark

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The Associated Press’ investigative series on NYPD spying continues: Americans living and working in Newark were subjected to surveillance as part of the New York Police Department’s effort to build databases of where Muslims work, shop and pray. The operation […]

A Muslim for Obama

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I have long argued that as muslims, we must avoid allowing ourselves to declare an allegiance in politics. The Democrats have never seen Muslims as anything other than yet another swing vote to be courted when convenient, and in the […]

The NYPD has gone rogue

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is outrageous and obscene: The New York Police Department monitored Muslim college students far more broadly than previously known, at schools far beyond the city limits, including the Ivy League colleges of Yale and the University of Pennsylvania, The […]

Muslim Informants prevent domestic terror: the data

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

As Americans, Muslim Americans have the same vested interest in preventing terrorism as any other fellow citizen. In fact, since 9-11 woke all of us (muslim and non-muslim alike) to the reality of terrorism against our homeland, American muslims have […]

I Speak for Myself volume 2 available for pre-order

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The second volume of I Speak or Myself is now available for pre-order on Amazon: The book, like its predecessor, is a collection of essays from American Muslims, in this case men. I am honored to be a contributor to […]

Liam Neeson is (not) converting to Islam

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Yes, it’s true that famed Irish (and Catholic) actor Liam Neeson said the following while filming a movie in Istanbul: The Call to Prayer happens five times a day and for the first week it drives you crazy, and then […]

#Tahrir Square on #Jan25Two in pictures

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today is the one-year anniversary of the uprising in Egypt’s Tahrir Square, the heart of the Arab world and the pulse of the Arab Spring. Thousands and thousands of people are thronging the square. Below are some images from the […]

Winners of the 8th Annual Brass Crescent Awards!

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The winners are announced – head over to BrassCrescent.org and check them out! Congratulations to all winners, runners-up, and nominees!

Anwar al Awlaki is dead (again)

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is the third time that radicalized Al Qaeda celebrity Anwar al Awlaki has been reported killed, but this is the first time it has been confirmed by the US as well as “tribal sources”. According to NYT: In a […]

I will not condemn Islam or America

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

A commentor (and person I consider a friend) took serious issue with my 9-11 tenth anniversary post, commenting: I have to say I am quite disappointed by this post. It seems you just want to sweep the horrors of the […]

Harvest moon rising

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The first full moon of September is known as the Harvest moon – it’s a gorgeous, ethereal beacon in the sky. There’s a serenity about the full Harvest moon that captivates the eye and the mind. For months, we’ve watched […]

The Lion of Panjshir – Ahmed Shah Massoud

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Two days before September 11th, 2001, Ahmed Shah Massoud was assassinated by Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. This man was the most celebrated warrior and hero of Afghanistan – a true strategic genius, who outfought first the Soviets and then the […]

“The Domestic Crusaders” returns to NYC! buy your tickets NOW

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This award-winning two-act play was written by my friend Wajahat Ali and is returning to NYC for a special performance commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11. The play is a day in the life of a modern Muslim Pakistani-American family […]

Muslims at Daily Kos Radio

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Yesterday, I was invited for a 20 minute segment with Armando Llorens and David Waldman on Daily Kos Radio (SiriusXM Channel 127). I was joined by Faiz Shakir of the Center for American Progress, and the main topics of discussion […]

Nominations for Brass Crescent Awards open until Sep 6th

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

There’s only a week left before the nominations phase for the Brass Crescent Awards ends on Tuesday, Sep. 6th – so be sure to visit BrassCrescent.org and register your picks! Here are this year’s categories: BEST MUSLIM BLOG: This category […]

Eid Forever

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Eid al Fitr mubarak! I spent literally the last 15 minutes of Ramadan, furiously reading Qur’an at top speed, trying to eke out as much of the barakat amplification factor as I could before the azaan sounded and the last […]

The American Islamophobia Industry exposed

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’m proud to share with you today a report that my friend Wajahat Ali has been working on for more than 6 months with the DC-based think tank, Center for American Progress, entitled “Fear Inc., The Roots of the Islamophobia […]

Zakat – in God we Trust

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Aamer H. Jamali. By now, the regular reader of this space knows that Ramadaan is about a lot more than fasting. Prayers, purity, and the reading of the Quran all play a role. But […]

Congratulations to David Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

David Ramadan has won the Republican primary for the 87th District in Virginia. David is a conservative Republican and I probably disagree with him on most issues, but he deserves kudos for his victory especially in the light of a […]

Ramadan endgame

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

There’s just a week left in Ramadan. In reading my earlier posts, I realize I give an impression that Ramadan is like a vacation from the real world, but of course it isn’t – the additional demands of prayer, Qur’an, […]

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 […]

Who is Ali (as), the universal hero of Islam?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Hussein Rashid. Thinking about the beginning of Ramadan. Thinking about the beginning of the Qur’an. Thinking about the line of Imams. Everything has a beginning. The Qur’an begins with the fatihah. There is a […]

Ramadan in 1955

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Mertze Dahlin. Does the first experience of Ramadan begin the same for everyone? It all depends on the time and where this all takes place. Consider the time to be during the year 1955 […]

Brookings Institution Iftaar

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Durriya Badani. On August 9, 2011, the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World hosted the Brookings Institution’s first Iftar dinner. The Iftar dinner, has been an annual tradition in Washington, D.C. since […]

Inflection Point, Reflection Point

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Regardless of your reckoning, Ramadan is about halfway over. This means that we are now leaving, not entering Ramadan – that the divine window is closing, not opening wider. The believer must ask themselves, how have they spent Ramadan thus […]

The Commercialization of Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Samya Ayish. When I was in high school in the late 1990s, Ramadan was all about high spirituality, good food, and intimate family time. I remember when I was 10; I wished the whole […]

The Israeli Iftaar

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

It looks like Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, was one of the attendees at the White House Iftar a couple days ago, which is pretty cool in its own right. But now comes word that Ambassador Oren […]

The 8th Annual Brass Crescent Awards – nominations now open

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

What are the Brass Crescent Awards? They are named for the Story of the City of Brass in the Thousand and One Nights. Today, the Islamsphere is forging a new synthesis of Islam and modernity, and is the intellectual heir […]

a lifetime between one adhaan and one salaat

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

“When we are born adhaan is given but no salat. When we pass away salat is prayed but no adhaan. The adhaan given at the time of our birth is the adhaan for the salat prayed at the time of […]

Transcript: President Obama’s remarks during White House Iftaar

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

These are the remarks by President Obama last night during the White House Iftaar dinner. Inshallah I’ll get an invite one of these years President Obama again reiterated the commonality and the inclusion of Muslim Americans as part of teh […]

Ramadan: the month of Jihad

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Jihad is one of those words that we Moderate MuslimTM types tend to shy away from. This is a shame, and a self-imposed tragedy, because jihad is a beautiful word and an inspiring, noble concept. It is the embodiment of […]

the devil’s iftaar

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

No, not President Obama’s planned White House Iftaar! But rather, the humble samosa, a fried pastry filled with meat and/or vegetables, a staple in south Asian cooking, and as much a feature of the “default” iftaar as the date. It […]

Ramadan Rituals

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Zahra Somani. Day 1 of Ramadan holds a lot of excitement and promise. It is the first day of a month that I, along with so many of my brothers and sisters in faith, […]

Khalid Latif, “Ramadan Reflections”

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

In my earlier round-up of Ramadan blogging I somehow neglected to include Imam Khalid Latif, currently the muslim chaplain for the NYPD, who is writing a series called “Ramadan Reflections“. He literally starts out with his foot in the sink!

Fasting in the sky

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I suppose it’s inevitable that most blog posts during Ramadan focus on food and fasting in some way. After all, that is the defining act of piety in Ramadan. The act of fasting also tends to dominate most news stories […]

Memories of a (friend’s) college Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by my dear college friend, Araven. Aziz has been my friend for more years than surely either of us can believe. We were fortunate to land on the same floor in Sellery Hall as UW-Madison […]

Ramadan realities

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Hesham Hassaballa. As Ramadan approached, I had no small amount of dread. Fasting, of all the ritual practices of Islam, is the most difficult for me to do. I am not happy to admit […]

What I do During Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Irfan Rydhan. For the past 25 + years, I have been participating in the holy month of fasting – called Ramadan in Arabic, for Muslims. Of course my levels of participation have increased over […]

The athlete in Ramadan: working out, training and diet

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Kulsoom Abdullah. Ramadan 1432/2011 is here. It makes me reflect to last year, which has similar themes to years before that which is I workout and train during Ramadan. Many think I am insane, […]

Fast, Pray, Cook: Ramadan in the Kitchen

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by G. Willow Wilson. The week before Ramadan, I ordered a $65 jumbo box of medjool dates. “By the grace of God, 100% organic,” the advertisement read. “Highest quality.” I find myself thinking ‘at that […]

3 Stages of 30 Days – My Journey Through Ramadhan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Taha M. Raja. Here we are in the middle of summer, dog days of August knocking on my door step and with it Ramadhan! For the past decade plus, living in Houston, we have […]

Ramadan blogging

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’m not the only one blogging during Ramadan – my friend and muslim media polymath Wajahat Ali is doing a series called Spiritual Appetite for Patheos.com which will definitely be worth bookmarking. His first post, A Ramadan State of Mind, […]

Why do I fast?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Aamer H. Jamali. Every year around this time, as I begin preparations for Ramadaan in my personal and professional lives, I am asked that perennial question: “Why do you fast?” I am asked this […]

#TTQ #Quran

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

My friend Hussein Rashid launched the idea of Tweeting the Qur’an a few years ago and the idea has steadily caught on. To participate, just tweet an excerpt from the Qur’an that moved you and include the hashtags #TTQ and […]

the paradox of time in Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

One fast down, 29 to go! Fasting certainly makes a day crawl past. During a fast, every hour is magnified and elongated. This is why the days are long… but suddenly after Iftar, it seems as though there was no […]

President Obama welcomes Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Here is the full text of a statement released by the White House from President Obama, commemorating the start of Ramadan. He also notes that he will again host an iftaar at the White House again this year. As Ramadan […]

The days are long, the days are short

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Taher Suratwala. This week marks the beginning of Ramadan, a month of fasting. I have been dreading the impending fast full of long, long summer days, the absence of coffee and missed summer lunches. […]

Ramadan 1432 – the longest days, the shortest month

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Ramadan unfolds! By the Fatimi calendar, today (Sunday) is the first of Ramadan 1432 and the first fast, though by other methods Ramadan begins either tomorrow (Monday) or the day after (Tuesday). I am observing the first fast myself, with […]

Jamaat-i-Islami in Pakistan and the rape/adultery fallacy

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I found this argument by Munawar Hassan of the political party Jamaat-i-Islami to be unbelievably disgusting and fundamentally blasphemous in the way he invokes the Qur’an to justify blatant misogyny: Here is the most disturbing part of Hassan’s comments: Anchor: […]

Transcript and word cloud of Obama’s “Moment of Opportunity” #mespeech

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Courtesy of the White House, complete transcript of President Obama’s speech on the Arab Spring and the Middle East / North Africa (MENA), as prepared for delivery: I want to thank Hillary Clinton, who has traveled so much these last […]

Obama’s Arab Spring and MENA speech

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today, President Obama will deliver a major foreign policy address aimed not just at Americans but also at the Arab world (the Middle East and NOrth Africa, commonly abbreviated MENA). The themes are likely to touch upon the Arab Spring, […]

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 […]

The 5 stages of muslim-american emotion over bin Laden’s death

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

When my wife told me of Osama bin Laden’s death this morning after i stepped out of the shower, news she had picked up from Facebook (all our Californian friends who were actually awake during President Obama’s live speech last […]

Mission Accomplished: Obama got Osama

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

“Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid […]

Muslim Women Do That

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Barack Obama, natural-born citizen

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Here is the law of the United States (Title 8 of the U.S. Code, Section 1401) on what constitutes a “natural born citizen”: The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth: (a) a person born […]

Rep Keith Ellison

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I am accumulating business cards and notes galore, which will fuel my blogging after the forum concludes for quite some time. But it seems all I have time to actually post during the forum is the occasional photo. This one […]

Photos and Video of Secretary Clinton at US Islamic World Forum Gala Dinner

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The full transcript of Sec. Clinton’s remarks are in my previous post – here are some photos and a few short video segments of her talk.

Transcript of Secretary Clinton’s remarks at the US – Islamic World Forum

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I was incredibly honored to meet Madame Clinton last night, introduce myself, shake her hand, and I think even give her the correct URL to the blog, though that last bit is a bit sketchy. I was frankly overawed by […]

International Women’s Day: They Speak for Themselves, in America and Egypt

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today is International Women’s Day 2011 – and in the twitter age, the best way to take the global pulse of the event is via hashtag, specifically #internationalwomensday. The most important event occurring today is in Tahrir Square in Cairo, […]

Qaradawi: monster or moderate? both.

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Last week I posted the transcript of Yusuf al Qaradawi’s sermon at Tahrir Square in Egypt, a sermon notable for its embrace of political moderation and Egyptian nationalism. Qaradawi made his appeal not just to muslims, but to all Egyptians, […]

the khutbah (sermon) of Yusuf al Qaradawi in Tahrir Square

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Dr. Yahya Michot, professor at Hartford Seminary with the collaboration of student Samy Metwally, has prepared a complete translation along with an introductory analysis of Shaykh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi’s khutbah (sermon) in Tahrir Square on February 18, 2011. Here is the […]

Who fears the global Caliphate?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Dean Esmay. There has been some talk in religious and political circles lately raising fears that recent explosions of protests against dictatorships in the Middle East and the overthrow of dictators like Hosni Mubarak […]

a No-Fly zone over Libya NOW

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

via @SultanAlQassemi Al Jazeera breaking: Multiple reports confirm that military airplanes are bombing protesters in Tripoli. #Libya In President Obama’s Cairo speech, he said, Just as Muslims do not fit a crude stereotype, America is not the crude stereotype of […]

a Valentine Milad

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This year sees a happy convergence – it is Valentine’s Day and also the birthday of the Prophet SAW*. Sadly, both occasions are burdened by controversy in the muslim world. Valentine’s Day is seen by some as a Western plot […]

a agnostic Jew reads the Qur’an

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a great, great TED talk by Lesley Hazleton, who in the course of researching an upcoming biography of the Prophet Mohammed SAW decided to undertake a reading of the Qur’an. It is a marvelous (and brief) talk, only […]

VIDEO and TRANSCRIPT: Obama remarks on Egyptian revolution and Hosni Mubarak

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Video is also at C-SPAN here. Scroll down for the transcript. Also see Democracy Arsenal on how well the President’s handling of the Egypt situation has been, overall. There are naysayers however like Daniel Larison and Joshua Trevino. Here is […]

(UPDATED) no-Mubarak Mabrook to Egypt after all! (and no more to Omar)

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

UPDATE 2 President Mubarak has indeed resigned! And he has handed power over not to Suleiman, but to the Army: Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, has resigned from his post, handing over power to the armed forces. Omar Suleiman, the […]

State of the Union word cloud – 2010 compared to 2011 (and analysis)

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

2010 State of the Union speech (transcript): 2011 State of the Union speech (transcript): Looking at the cloud from last year, we see that they are someone similar. Both speeches show an emphasis on “people” and “jobs”, but there’s more […]

a muslim Cosby Show?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Happy new year, everyone – be it 2011, or 1432 My resolutions for this year are to be a better muslim, a better husband, a better father, a better son, a better brother, and a better friend. I feel like […]

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 […]

Map of mosque controversies in the US

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Note: I am going to make a conscious effort to stop using the word “mosque” in my writing from here on out. Few people realize that the word mosque is not an Arabic term but probably has colonial – and […]

Statement on Free Speech by American and Canadian Muslims

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I am proud to co-publish and add my name as a signatory to this statement upholding the principle of free speech and denouncing those who would threaten violence in the name of Islam. If you would like to add your […]

observing Eid, unobserving 9-11

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Apologies for my long hiatus here – I spent the last third of Ramadan and Eid day (which we observed on Thursday) in Houston with family, blissfully immersing myself in the rhythms of worship. I’d already decided I wouldn’t have […]

my contribution to the moonsighting debate

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

My friend Wajahat Ali is hosting the GOATMILK DEBATE series, and asked me to contribute against the motion that “muslims should adopt monsighting for Ramadan”. The initial entry, in favor of the motion, was posted earlier by Irfan Rydhan and […]

my final word on Park51

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The controversy over Park51 has long since passed the realm of tragedy and now is well into farce. This story has displaced far more pressing issues like the floods in Pakistan, the lingering environmental disaster in the Gulf, and of […]

Has Ramadan begun yet?

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This year, there’s been more divergence than usual about the beginning of Ramadan, since the visibility of the moon has been very poor (especially in the Western Hemisphere). You can get a sense of the problem from calculated visibility maps […]

Q&A with Sharif el-Gamal about Park51, NYC

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

As promised earlier in the week, here are the interview questions and answers from Sharif el-Gamal, CEO of SoHo Properties and lead developer of the Park 51 project. I am sincerely grateful to Sharif for taking the time to answer […]

Manchester Muslims donate to Christian Community Centre

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Lost in all the noise and recrimination of modern Islamophobia about mosques and minarets and burkas and whatnot, is the simple fact that the vast majority of muslims, jews and christians are neighbors, and members of the same civic fabric, […]

Superheroes and Islam

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a fantastic 18-minute talk by Naif al-Mutawa, discussing superheroes inspired by Islam: (via Ezra Klein) Related – the official website of The 99. Also, this image is too subversively cool not to share, but it’s unknown who actcually […]

An interview with Park51

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The controversy over the so-called “Ground Zero mosque” project (which is not actually at Ground Zero, and of which the mosque aspect is only a tiny piece) continues unabated, with Sarah Palin entering the fray calling upon all “peaceful muslims” […]

what mosque at Ground Zero? why all Americans have a stake in Cordoba House

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

When we speak of national tragedies like 9-11, we often focus on the word “tragedy” and neglect the word “national”. The measure of a national tragedy is how it affects everyone in the nation, often in different ways. For the […]

the shared source

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The second excerpt from the book Between Allah and Jesus is up at Beliefnet and it continues the debate between the characters Isa (a Sunni muslim), Evan (a evangelical Christian), and Father Hereema (A Jesuit priest). The dialogue continues the […]

the Word of God

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I have been asked why I am engaging in this dialogue with Robert about the book, Between Allah and Jesus, which if you think about it is really a book written by a Christian intended for a Christian audience, in […]

my letter to the editors at Reason.com about Draw Muhammad Day

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Below is the text of an email I sent to Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch, urging them to make public all the nearly 200 entries to the Draw Mohammed Day contest at Reason magazine. If they consent, I will also […]

Draw “Mohammed” Day

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Since today is apparently “Draw Mohammed Day“, conceived as an expression of the right of free speech in our society, as a response to that tiny minority of muslims worldwide (and essentially negligible minority of muslims in the United States), […]

Jesus AS and the Qur’an

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The first excerpt from the book, Between Allah and Jesus, is now posted at Beliefnet by the author (Peter Kreeft) and is a conversation between the muslim character ‘Isa and his evangelical Christian colleague Evan about whether and where Islam […]

South Park, Mohammed (and Santa), and the freedom to blaspheme

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Welcome, CNN.com readers! I’d like to point out that though the article implied I approve of depictions of the Prophet, I actually do find them offensive. However, in my piece below I was trying to explain that the degree of […]

an American Imam replies to an American Jihadist

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad is the imam and director of the Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center in Sacramento, CA. His biography reveals him to be an authentically American Imam, who has benefited from scholarship in the Islamic world and life experience […]

Reflection on Milad al Nabi

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Milad mubarak! Like hundreds of millions of muslims worldwide, I honored the Prophet Mohammed SAW last week, finding the anniversary of his birth (by most authoritative sources, 12 Rabi ul Awwal) a time to reflect on my love for him […]

Canadian and American Imams issue fatwa against terrorist attacks

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Last week, a group of twenty Imams from across the United States and Canada, all affiliated with the Islamic Supremem Council of Canada, issued a fatwa (religious edict) declaring that any attack on America or Canada is equivalent to an […]

Previous Posts

the 12th Annual Brass Crescent Awards - nominations open
It's that time of the year again! What are the Brass Crescent Awards? Created in 2004 by Shahed Amanullah and Aziz Poonawalla, they are named for the Story of the City of Brass in the Thousand and One Nights. Today, the Brass Crescent - ...

posted 5:13:45pm Aug. 21, 2015 | read full post »

Obvious: The Iraq War created ISIS
This is something that is so obvious, it is in danger of never being said, in which case those who led us into war will try to ...

posted 1:48:22am Jul. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Eid at the State Department
I am honored to be invited to celebrate Eid al Fitr at the State Department again this year. And I am relieved that this time, it's actually taking place after Ramadan, which means I can actually attend for the first time! :) I am looking ...

posted 11:01:00am Jul. 21, 2015 | read full post »

The Empire State goes green for Eid
As is tradition, the Empire State Building - the most beautiful skyscraper in the world - was illuminated in green to mark Eid al Fitr. Of course, in 2015, this is announced via the official twitter account ...

posted 1:21:00am Jul. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Ramadan Pearls roundup
Here is a link to all the posts in the Ramadan Pearls series I did during Ramadan: Criterion Non-existence Mystery Angels Objective Expectant Reed Veils Lend Good I hope you enjoyed these nuggets of wisdom as much as ...

posted 3:01:31pm Jul. 18, 2015 | read full post »

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