Letter from the Editor
In the name of Allah, the most merciful and compassionate. All praise is due to Him, “who has taught man that which he knew not” (the Quran, al-ʿAlaq: 5). May the blessings and salutations be upon the Messenger Muḥammad Muṣṭafā (ﷺ), his household and followers till the last day.
A website inspired by the concepts and purposes of adhān (call to prayer) and iḥsān (comprehensive excellence) sets out its voyage in the service of knowledge and wisdom, aiming at calling fellow beings to guidance (hudā), worship (ṣalāh) and success (falāḥ). The whole course of this journey can be termed as naṣīḥah which can somehow be translated as sincere advice. Being one of the finest forms of care for self and others, the inevitability of this task is explicit in the hadith “The religion is naṣīḥah” (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim).
Apart from reminding people about the five obligatory prayers, adhān plays certain major roles in society as it calls to tawḥīd, proclaims the greatness of Allah, and testimonies the faith, the duties for which God sent 124,000 prophets. It does the duty of nature and scripture which are two perennial signs of God. In general, all human beings are key beneficiaries of it, who recurrently slip to forgetfulness and heedlessness. It is the stimulus that adhān infuses into Islamonweb to thrive as a minaret of Islam which aims to be a reliable virtual platform to yield vibrant discourses on issues related to Islam and the Muslim world and to present Islamic perspectives on important emerging topics. Like adhān, we try to convey our message with clarity, openness, and precision. Our motivation behind this attempt is guidance (hudā) which will, in shā Allāh, result in happiness, salvation, and nearness to God.
Iḥsān represents the essential dimension of Islam and it is one of the most desirable human qualities. The Messenger (ﷺ) defined it in the famous hadith of Gabriel: “to worship Allah as if you see Him, for even if you do not see Him, He sees you” (al-Bukhārī & Muslim). Therefore, iḥsān is to deliver the duties as if God and human beings see each other. It is a vision inherent in the core of all Islamic teachings. It requires a living in the possibly perfect way and for God’s sake alone. It is the result of the awareness that Allah is present with us all the time, who knows not only our acts but also our understanding, feeling, intention and motivation, because He looks into the hearts. As a persistent cause for the improvement of inward, it entails people to make their acts in harmony with their thoughts and intentions, which is often called as ikhlāṣ (sincerity). In short, it is an attitude that epitomizes tawḥīd and all human virtues. Consequently, it leads to an incessant struggle for comprehensive excellence.
Giving more emphasis on the result (excellence) than the process (doing what is beautiful with sincerity), we here translate iḥsān as comprehensive excellence. The orientation of a website to the concept of iḥsān has profound implications, particularly in a world wherein its reference is eclipsed or ignored in nearly all aspects. Therefore, the Islamonweb encourages the contributors to reflect and portray their thoughts through the prism of iḥsān, so that audience might be able to appreciate the wisdom, vision, values and principles of Islam in particular approaches and respective rulings. The stress on iḥsān, nonetheless, will not be at the expense of the other two dimensions namely islām and īmān which signify the act and faith respectively; rather it is a focused attempt to put iḥsān on the map.
The history of both human being and religion began with the announcement of Allah by which He placed Adam as His vicegerent on the earth. Then the angels posed a fundamental question which was "Will you place in the earth someone who will work corruption and shed blood?" (2:30). It could be a question of several people who see the modern world or know the human history. As a response, God taught Adam the names of all things and exposed before angels that man is a learning creature and he is honoured with the gift of language and intellect.
As Allah’s vicegerent (khalīfah), servant (ʿabd), and carrier of the Trust (amānah), human duties are fulfilled, from a broader perspective, based upon knowing the names that Allah taught Adam and living into the vision and worldview they mirror. Knowledge is a distinguishing feature of human being that offers him a tremendous source of quality, beauty and compassion. Knowledge needs to be shared for love, i.e. love for God, humanity and nature. The reality of love is that it impels us to do things. It is not just knowledge we are in dire need but the beneficial knowledge to which the Messenger (ﷺ) guided: “O Allah, I ask You for beneficial knowledge” (Ibn Majah, Hadith 925) and “O Allah! I seek refuge in You from the knowledge which is not beneficial” (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2722)
Evidently, there is no shortage of data or news about Islam and Muslims with minimal reference to the core part of the religion or stereotyping Islam with violence and inhuman acts happening across the globe. On the whole, they are neither educative nor informative, thus they seem to have nothing to do with the sublime goal of knowledge-sharing. In contrast, a big number of in-depth researches are published each year exploring various aspects of Islam, but the discourses in them are indigestible except for a learned group. In between these two streams, it feels inevitable to have recourse for sincere seekers of Islamic knowledge and divine wisdom, in a way that avails even laity and novice in Islamic studies. We are intending to bridge that gap with this modest attempt. With its focus on the pursuit of truth, it will find ways to quench the intellectual curiosity and spiritual quest to explore the multi-dimensional implications of revelation and Islamic perspectives on contemporary issues. It is aimed at educating and engaging with not only the Muslim community but the people of other faiths. We hope it will help dispel much of the ignorance and misconceptions surrounding Islam and Muslims today – in shā Allāh.
The Messenger (ﷺ) says, "If the final hour is established upon one of you while he has in his hand a sapling, then let him plant it” (Musnad Aḥmad). We believe this website that is founded with a vision and mission, is a sapling. Let us plant and water it. On behalf of the Mission Soft team, I would like to welcome you to our website as a valued reader, contributor, well-wisher and supporter.
Jazākum Allāh Khayrā.
Dr. Sayyed Mohamed Muhsin