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City of Brass

City of Brass

City of Brass Archives

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Curiosity Rover lands on Mars – magnificent!

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Last night I returned from masjid at just the right time to tune into the live stream of the final ten minutes of the landing of the Curiosity Rover on Mars. The description of how the rover landed is astonishing […]

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 […]

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 […]

#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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Tweeting the Qur’an

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Ramadan is an opportunity for me to reacquaint myself with the Qur’an. This is really an admission of failure on my part, as I really should be familiar with the Qur’an year-round rather than need Ramadan to renew my commitment […]

Qur’anist reformers under persecution in Egypt

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

There is a school of Islamic interpretation called Qur’anism that I hadn’t heard of before, which adopts a Qur’an-centric approach to religious practice with a liberal mindset towards reform and political freedom. Naturally, they are being persecuted for it – […]

Child Brides in Saudi Arabia?

Usually, nothing coming out of Saudi Arabia surprises me. Yet, this story shocked me to the core. According to a report by CNN, a Saudi judge recently refused to annul the marriage of an “eight-year-old girl to a 47-year-old man.” […]

translations of the Qur’an

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Fasting is the iconic act of piety in Ramadan, but for me the dominant association is actually the Qur’an. The fast is more of a background, passive act of faith. But reading the Qur’an, immersing yourself in its rhythm and […]

Previous Posts

Bomb blast in Karachi targets Dawoodi Bohra community
This happens almost every day in Pakistan - fanatic hirabists commit arrogant blasphemy and murder fellow Muslims in cold blood. This time, the target wa

posted 8:22:26am Mar. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Proof denies faith
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

posted 9:33:46am Mar. 13, 2015 | read full post »

Proud to be American, proud to be Muslim
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 his predecessor, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin bestowed his bountiful bl

posted 12:58:00pm Mar. 05, 2015 | read full post »

is ISIS Islamic? Wrong question.
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 down to, is ISIS "Islamic" or not - and makes an excellen

posted 11:34:08pm Feb. 17, 2015 | read full post »

The Price of Extremism
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 of hate crimes. Some will argue that the motive for the inc

posted 11:26:53am Feb. 12, 2015 | read full post »

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