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Beliefnet Voices - Aziz Poonawalla
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  • 03/12/12--23:07: Calling a Spade a Spade
  • Note:  I will be filling in for Aziz Poonawalla on this site for the next couple of weeks, while he is off gallivanting around the world.  These are undoubtedly big shoes to fill (even though technically  I'm a size 13 and he's a 9), but I'll do my best.  Aziz, in addition to being a good friend, is my mentor in all things blogging and I have long read his blog and aspired to be in the same league.  For those who are interested, these posts will also be available on my...

    Read the full post here »

    The post Calling a Spade a Spade appeared first on City of Brass.


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  • 03/17/12--14:13: Good Grief
  • Note:  I continue to fill in for Aziz Poonawalla on this site for the next couple of weeks.  For those who are interested, these posts will also be available on my own blog Notes from The Heartas well.

    Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a bar mitzvah ceremony at a conservative temple here in Los Angeles.  I am well known to many in the congregation due to my profession and I was greeted with warmth and...

    Read the full post here »

    The post Good Grief appeared first on City of Brass.


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    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 found at Notes from the Heart.

    During the recent primaries in Mississippi and Alabama, Read the full post here »

    The post Obama and the Muslim “Smear” appeared first on City of Brass.


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  • 07/28/12--04:36: my plans and Allah’s plans
  • 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 had a traffic accident since last Ramadan myself. Fortunately, it turned out to be very minor. It has...

    Read the full post here »

    The post my plans and Allah’s plans appeared first on City of Brass.


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    This is a guest post by Thomas Nephew.

    I began realizing how wrong I was the day of the invasion. One of my main reasons for supporting the war -- after initial skepticism -- was Iraq's alleged stockpiles of chemical, biological, perhaps even nuclear "weapons of mass destruction" in the hands of a ruthless dictator and in defiance of UN resolutions. Yet now that Iraq was being invaded, where were they? So my support for the war was decaying from the outset, despite a...

    Read the full post here »

    The post one liberal’s case for war and subsequent repudiation #iraq10 appeared first on City of Brass.


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    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 defiantly turns his head away, refusing to get up.

    Its 3.40 am in the morning. I...

    Read the full post here »

    The post teaching the message of Ramadan by example – at 3:40am appeared first on City of Brass.


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    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, Dr. Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin remains. On January 17th, the 52nd Dai al-Mutlaq of the Dawoodi Bohra community passed away peacefully at his home in Mumbai.

    Shortly after his death, his half brother Khuzema Qutbuddin claimed that he had...

    Read the full post here »

    The post Amidst the grief, solace in the succession of Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin appeared first on City of Brass.


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    This is a guest post by Whitney Gaspar.

    I am not Muslim. I am not any religion, really. I was baptized as a Catholic to please my grandma and raised as an atheist by my mother. I am spiritual and I believe in God. But that is not why I eat halal. I eat halal because it is logical. It...

    Read the full post here »

    The post Halal Italian and Mexican catering in Chicago appeared first on City of Brass.


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  • 02/12/15--08:26: 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 incident has not been clearly established and was simply the unfortunate outcome of a parking dispute, while others will note that this was a tragic, yet isolated...

    Read the full post here »

    The post The Price of Extremism appeared first on City of Brass.


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    This is a guest post by Ali Asghar Alibhai.

    There is no question that the America my generation grew up in is much different than the America of now. I grew up in West Texas, a place that some might consider as among the most conservative in the country; yet, I don’t ever remember my parents having to shield my ears from anti-Muslim rhetoric...

    Read the full post here »

    The post Obama quoted my letter about my daughter appeared first on City of Brass.


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  • 06/11/16--04:36: The perception of control
  • This is a guest post by Taher Suratwala.

    I've read and learned some things and that have had me thinking about what I want to focus on this year. I'm having a hard time finding a single word to describe it. The closest I can think of is "steer". It does a good job of helping me frame my thoughts about another topic, control.

    I recently learned about the importance of the perception of control and how that influences the brain. Specifically, the perception of...

    Read the full post here »

    The post The perception of control appeared first on City of Brass.


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    This is a guest post by Aamer H. Jamali.

    You’d think I’d know better by now. I’m not new at this, after all, having observed Ramadan for the past thirty years. And yet every year I fall into the same trap. Shabaan comes around, and it seems every day, every meal, every workout taunts me. A silent (followed by a not so silent) countdown commences. In my mind, Ramadan becomes a big black box, a month erased from my life, a page ripped off of the...

    Read the full post here »

    The post It’s The End of the World as We Know It and I Feel… Fine? appeared first on City of Brass.


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    The day after the Orlando shooting, my friend Wajahat Ali addressed a crowd of mostly professional, fairly religious Muslim Americans in Houston. Here is a transcript of his remarks, a call to action for the Muslim community. Reprinted with his gracious permission.

    So, yes, things are really bad for Muslims right now. But writer Read the full post here »

    The post Call to action for Muslim Americans after #OrlandoShooting: have faith. have hope. do good. appeared first on City of Brass.


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  • 06/15/16--13:04: Ramadan Shake
  • This is a guest post by Taher Suratwala.

    Ramadan is here and life is turned upside down. No breakfast, no coffee in the morning, strange and totally different sleep schedule, falling asleep at work, fasting breath, no working out and lots of sitting. It's as if someone picked up my routine and gave it a vigorous shake.

    I love it.

    All the changes are to accommodate the fasting and to ultimately get in touch with a more spiritual side.

    Eleven months of...

    Read the full post here »

    The post Ramadan Shake appeared first on City of Brass.


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    This is a guest post by Nabeel Azeez.

    A well-known hadith of the Prophet SAW is, “"Whosoever fasts and prays Ramadan with Iman and Ihtisab, will have his past sins forgiven." This hadith is quoted every Ramadan as motivation, without fail. Many of us understand the meaning and implications of the condition of Iman while fasting and praying. However, many of us do not understand the condition of Ihtisab, myself included.

    The word is usually translated as...

    Read the full post here »

    The post 5 Practical Ways to Achieve “Ihtisab” in Your Fasting and Prayer this Ramadan appeared first on City of Brass.


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  • 07/04/16--04:24: Blood moon Ramadan
  • This is a guest post by Samar Kaukab.

    "Her antiquity in preceding and surviving succeeding tellurian generations: her nocturnal predominance: her satellitic dependence: her luminary reflection: her constancy under all her phases, rising and setting by her appointed times, waxing and waning: the forced invariability of her aspect: her indeterminate response to inaffirmative interrogation: her potency over effluent and refluent waters: her power to enamour, to...

    Read the full post here »

    The post Blood moon Ramadan appeared first on City of Brass.


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  • 10/28/17--07:27: Arbaeen Day 1
  • This is a guest post by Taha M. Raja.

    Post 53. Today I started my journey on Arbaeen, a 53 mile walk from the city of Najaf to Kerbala. An annual event that marks one of the largest human gatherings in the world. I am at the 1/3 mark and I have experienced the best of the human spirit. The selfless giving camaraderie and the connection to the human experience, as the rich and the poor, the young and the old march for this destination. Along the way...

    Read the full post here »

    The post Arbaeen Day 1 appeared first on City of Brass.


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  • 10/28/17--22:55: Arbaeen Day 2
  • This is a guest post by Taha M. Raja. Second in a series; See Arbaeen Day 1 for the previous entry.

    Post 580. It 5:30am and we resumed our walk to Kerbala. Breakfast on the road. Samoon (Iraqi fresh bread) with lentil soup a tradition for millennia of the Bedouins. Hit Iraqi black tea with a layer of sugar on a shot glass. Batteries recharged and ready to go for...

    Read the full post here »

    The post Arbaeen Day 2 appeared first on City of Brass.


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  • 10/29/17--21:42: Arbaeen, Day 3
  • This is a guest post by Taha M. Raja. Third in a series; See Arbaeen Day 2 for the previous entry.

    Post 1278. close to the right turn to go to the city center of Kerbala. Resting with a Iranian Tea which is a light blend of black tea and water with lots of sugar. Very refreshing. People watching....couples holding hands walking, families with kids, young parents...

    Read the full post here »

    The post Arbaeen, Day 3 appeared first on City of Brass.