Thursday, January 27, 2005

Community Progress II: Newsletters and Websites

Salaam alaikum,

As Muslims, it is our duty to educate ourselves and others about Islam. Since September 11th, mild suspiscion of Muslims has turned into a complete disaster with the average American fearing us all. But it is not impossible to change these unfortunate circumstances and with a little effort, we can establish a sound, viable Muslim voice here in America. But let’s start off small and insha’Allah, grow into a strong American Muslim media.

Does your masjid have a newsletter or a website? If not, then some computer savvy Muslims can take charge of this project and create a newsletter and website for your masjid. I am suggesting that we go beyond the dawah pamphlets and books (though, they are quite helpful). Each newsletter should have a listing of prayer times, the names of contacts for information, times for halaqas, Arabic and Qur’an lessons and so on. You would be amazed as to how many masajid in the United States do not have some kind print media to offer interested individuals. Having a newsletter of events, such as weddings, Eid prayers and the like, makes for a well-informed community so that we can minimize some of the chaos and confusion.

And the newsletter does not have to have only an arcane listing of special events and classes. It can also evolve into a small newspaper containing articles of happenings within your local Muslim community. It can have a format like a secular newspaper with sports, employment, local news, and the arts along with articles about Islamic history, Qur’anic verse and Hadith selections.

Also, everyone is on the web these days. If a curious seeker is looking for a mosque, your masjid should be listed online with all important information. You can either register for freeweb space with Yahoo or Freewebs or buy a domain from Doteasy.com. (Ex: http://www.masjidraheem.com/) Think of the newsletter and website as your public face. People’s perceptions are formulated through media, as we all very well know. Having a website makes easy contact for news reporters and others who want to get the Muslim point of view on certain issues. Insha’allah, you can find Muslims with enough get up and go to help you in this endeavor. It’s just a small part in doing dawah, educating non-Muslims and creating a society safe for religious diversity. By doing this, your community can be prepared in case some controversial event occurs and by distributing the newsletter at different public areas (universities, coffee houses, libraries), the Muslim voice will be heard and understood.

Try it! It’s fun!

I am currently putting together a newsletter for my local Muslim Student Association.

May Allah (swt) bless your endeavors!

6 Comments:

Blogger Umm Zaid said...

Salaam 'Alaikum

Speaking for myself, I am almost appalled at (a) the lack of masjid websites and (b) the extremely poor quality of most of them (especially given the # of Muslims involved with computers). The biggest masjid in NYC did not have a website, and still does not, to my knowledge. Even a resource like Islamic Finder... entries (which are user submitted) are usually not written out with the full address and phone number, there are multiple entries with the wrong names, or the entry is not updated and the masjid has closed or moved. So this is something that we can really use some improvement on, I think.

1:20 PM  
Blogger muslim momma said...

Have I said I love this blog. Its really cool and I love the new direction your are going in.

1:34 PM  
Blogger izzymo said...

Salaam alaikum,

Thanks Muslim Mommy. I'm glad Living Tradition came up with the idea for community reforms. It's cool pulling apart MWU.com ideas but offering solutions, I think, is real

Umm Zaid: I looked up some info on masajid here in NOLA on Islamic Finder and its pretty depressing. Only masajid had a website and it had this really long website address and of course, it was out of service. As you said, there are plenty of computer savvy Muslims, I think they need to be recruited big time.

4:59 PM  
Blogger izzymo said...

Also, if you live in a city where there are only three or four masajid, I think it would be good to have a website featuring all of them. But that depends on a lot of issues. They can all share webspace but have their own newsletter.

5:02 PM  
Blogger ابدلرحیم said...

MashAllah again!

8:44 PM  
Blogger Faruq Hunter said...

Assalamu-Alikum,



I have had a chance to review the information on your site. I just wondered if you knew that on the Masjids.org websites you can listen to all of the 75 masjid's khutbahs week for week, talk to their imams in the message forum, download all of the weekly newsletters in the download section. They have built in stats to track and email all of the visitors to their site through their online newsletter management tool. Checkout www.masjids.org/learnmore.asp to see all of what we offer the over 75 Majsids they we currently host and what we are trying to offer to the other 1100 masjaid in the US. In addition we host and provide support ourselves. Each site has a pretty dynamic management portion where the masajid themselves adjust all their content after being thought through our interactive on-line learning tools.


But, I'm not trying to sell you, just make you aware. And if you are interested, solicit your talents. Fell free to contact me in regards to this matter. We have spent a lot of time and money on this very topic and I am interested in hearing the objective opinions of anyone who also shares this passion for our Masajid.



Faruq Hunter

Director / Founder

Masjids.org

404-454-6839

faruqh@masjids.org

9:51 PM  

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