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City of Brass

City of Brass

City of Brass Archives

Ramadan Pearls roundup

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

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 I did […]

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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)

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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Remember Oak Creek – 1 year anniversary of the Sikh Temple shooting

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of the Sikh Temple shootings near Milwaukee, in which 6 members of the Sikh community were killed. Here’s a short film in memoriam of the victims: Also, see this excellent buzzfeed article titled, “a Year […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

Mumbai muslims’ Eid confusion

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

My position on moonsighting vs calculation has always been simple: to you be your way, to me mine. Muslims should not squabble over the differences that arise every year about the start of Ramadan and the date of Eid, but […]

Hitler wants a united Eid

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

A classic video from Mr. Moo – even if we can’t agree on Eid, we can certainly agree that this is funny Eid mubarak!

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, […]

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 […]

the Sikh shooting in Wisconsin: call to dua

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today there was a shooting at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee, and early reports are that seven people are dead. This details of this horrific tragedy are yet to emerge in full, but is is possible that the Sikhs were […]

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 […]

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 […]

President Obama’s Ramadan Mubarak wishes

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Direct from the White House: Statement by the President on the Occasion of Ramadan On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes to Muslim Americans and Muslims around the world at the start of Ramadan. […]

Oh Allah! This is the month of Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Ramadan mubarak to everyone starting their fasts today (and advance mubarak to those beginning their fasts tomorrow!). Still related: My primer on the moonsighting vs calendar debate that happens every year, and my contribution to that debate in favor of […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

why a muslim welcomes the summer solstice

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I was surprised and then pleased to see today’s Google Doodle: It commemorates the Summer Solstice, which is today (June 21 2011). The occasion of the summer solstice was of course important to all those pagans of antiquity, exactly the […]

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 […]

The dog days of Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Depending on your reckoning, Ramadan is now about a third of the way complete. The fasting tends to get easier over the course of the month, because we physically acclimate to the routine, and also because the days get somewhat […]

The politics of mosques

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

I’ve been visiting my parents this weekend in Chicago and immersing myself in Ramadan at our masjid – there’s a serenity and a rigour to arriving at the masjid two hours prior to sunset, reading the Qur’an, engaging in communal […]

Inside the Ground Zero Mosque

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Two American muslims, Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq, have begun a 30-day roadtrip across America, in a goal of visiting 30 mosques in 30 days in 30 states during Ramadan. They just started since yesterday was day 1 of Ramadan […]

Halal at Whole Foods: Saffron Road

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Just in time for Ramadan – next week, Whole Foods will be carrying the new Saffron Road line of certified halal food products! You can even get a coupon for a free entree online. The entrees include chicken biryani, chicken […]

Ramadan Blues by Wajahat Ali

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This guest post is a short story by Wajahat Ali, reprinted with permission. “I promise.” The young boy – ashamed, dishonored, and fearing the wrath of a vengeful, omnipotent Allah – promised his Pakistani immigrant father with conviction and resolve. […]

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 […]

the longest day: summer begins

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today’s Astronomy Picture of the Day commemorates the beginning of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year – with a photo of the sun rising over Stonehenge. I am sure that Stonehenge will be a popular destination tonight […]

marriage and the clash of civilizations

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Consider “My accidental jihad” – an award winning essay by Krista Bremer (a non-muslim) about being married to Ismail Suayah (a muslim of Libyan origin) during Ramadan. The essay is a scathing self-critique, of her difficulty in coping with her […]

the final fast of Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

???? ?????? ?? ??? ?????! Today is the final fast of Ramadan. Unlike last year, it looks like almost everyone will be celebrating Eid al Fitr together on Sunday, a happy convergence of the Ummah. But talking about Eid is […]

China’s Uyghurs: forbidden to fast

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

As I alluded in my earlier primer on the oppression of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang province, China, the Chinese authorities are engaged in what amounts to a cultural genocide against the Uyghur people. One of the ways this is done […]

Radio Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Every year, the profile of Ramadan observances by muslims in the West is raised higher, and invariably reflects the amazing diversity of the muslim community. As a recent Pew Research Center poll found, the more Americans learn about Islam and […]

Laylatul Qadr and 9-11

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The past few years, the anniversary of 9-11 has coincided with Ramadan. As I wrote last year, 9-11 usually elicits a defensive posture in muslim Americans, because of the lingering suspicion and distrust by our fellow citizens. But with the […]

Freej: veiled grandma superheroes

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Ramadan is pan-Arab television’s holy land – a month-long sweeps, where the post-fasting masses hunger for entertainment. As a result, there is intense pressure to compete and innovate for new programming. One of the recent hits is Freej, the first […]

transcript: Obama Iftar at the White House

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Last night, President Obama hosted a traditional Ramadan dinner (iftar) at the White House, as has become customary with all Presidents since Bill Clinton. The guest list included many members of his cabinet, Congressional lesgislators, as well as prominent muslim-Americans […]

Muslim-Americans answer the call to service

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Back in February, President Obama issued a national call to service to help mobilize ordinary citizens to come together and engage in civic projects in service of their fellow citizens and the nation. The focal point for this self-driven community […]

sleepwalking through Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The first week of Ramadan is often the hardest, posing the greatest challenge (both mental and physical) of integrating Ramadan into our lives. While it would be easy to claim that we simply “turn on Ramadan” like a light switch, […]

Be thankful this Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Taha M Raja. If you believe that the more thankful you are then you will receive more, then this Ramadan is a good time to fundamentally change the way we live. The past 25 […]

Ramadan Message from President Obama (video and transcript)

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

President Obama has issued a Ramadan Message, on behalf of his Administrration and the American people, to muslims worldwide. The video and transcript follow. Also at the White House blog, the Ramadan Message is available, translated into a number of […]

Ramadan mubarak!

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

As sunset creeps westward across the globe today, Ramadan follows – already the vast majority of the muslim world has already fallen into night, including India, Indonesia, and China. It is the verge of sunset in the Middle East as […]

Receiving Ramadan, the esteemed guest

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a guest post by Taha M. Raja. Ramadhan arrives like a guest, an esteemed guest. Families prepare to receive the guest in many ways. Houses get cleaned, talk of fasting and prayers are abound, preparation to go to […]

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 […]

Rendezvous with Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today is the last day, in which I can indulge my body and my mind in their petty habits and frivolities. Today is the last day in which being simply human suffices as an excuse not to seek transcendence towards […]

Bugs inside a new box of Raisin Bran

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This video was sent to me by my friend Taha Raja, who has contributed guest posts to this blog. He bought a box of Kellog’s Raisin Bran at WalMart and was shocked to find live bugs crawling around inside the […]

the last Sturgeon Moon before Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The last full moon before Ramadan rises tonight. It puts me in mind of the song “Colors of the Wind” from Disney’s Pocahontas – especially the refrain, Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon Or […]

Night of Power

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Eid al-Fitr Mubarak – ??? ?????

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Today is the first day that muslims worldwide will begin to celebrate Eid al-Fitr. Having just emerged from Ramadan, we are spiritually cleansed, disciplined, and refreshed. And eager to reacquaint ourselves with the concept of “lunch” ! It’s a mark […]

Alayk as-salaam, ya shere Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Ramadan is a rare opportunity for the believer, in which all acts of piety are multiplied a thousand-fold. As Ramadan draws to a close, our consciences weigh more heavily with the thought of all the opportunities wasted in which we […]

Autumn Equinox

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Allah is He Who … has subjected the sun and the moon (to his Law)! Each one runs (its course) for a term appointed. — (Qur’an 13:2 – Yusufali) I am reminded of this ayat by yesterday’s Astronomy Photo of […]

Laylatul Qadr

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

[Yusufali 97:1] We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power:[Yusufali 97:2] And what will explain to thee what the night of power is?[Yusufali 97:3] The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.[Yusufali 97:4] Therein come […]

The fish market

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Steven Waldman makes an interesting point, quoting a hadith of the Prophet SAW, “Do not buy fish in the sea, for it is gharar .” and suggests that this could be applied to financial transactions like sub-prime mortgages. That’s a […]

in motion, the believers reflect the heavens

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

If you think about it, the question of time and date is central to the daily religious routine of a muslim. We need to know when to pray five times a day, we need to know what time to start […]

a couch potato Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The lighter side of Ramadan in the Arab world – soap operas: Ramadan translates into big bucks for Arab satellite channels. Millions of dollars are spent on special programming, much of it comparable to Western soap operas, to entertain the […]

But, they do it in Saudi

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Further to the issue of the french trial delay in Ramadan that I mentioned earlier, comes some commentary on the matter by FaithWorld that is worth reading. After pointing out that similar “accomodations” are made for defendants of other faiths […]

a Burkean view of Ramadan

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Although I think he’s mistaken in his assessment of the Tower Hamlets Council controversy, I fully agree and appreciate the insight into how a Burkean should approach Ramadan: As mentioned previously on Burke’s Corner, I am disturbed by both the […]

Ramadan row – French fatigue

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Ramadan is like a magic word. You need only to utter it and suddenly people become insane: The trial of seven men for armed robbery was due to start on 16 September in Rennes. But last week the court agreed […]

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 […]

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: There’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. […]

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 […]

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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