Connect with us

Tech

A New Online Islamic Tool

Avatar

Published

on

Which deeds are most beloved to Allah?

Alhamdulillah, by the blessings of Allah (swt) and readers like yourself, MuslimMatters has been an independent platform for our best thought leaders to educate us in our faith and catalyze change through powerful, necessary conversations. Since our humble beginnings as a basic wordpress blog in 2007, our content has remained free.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support us with a monthly donation of $10 per month, or even as little as $1. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullaah,

MashaAllaah, I was very recently informed of a major contribution to the online Islamic search tools. A brother at MIT has been working on this project for the past couple of years, and now, it is finally up, alhamdulillaah. The website (http://quran.csail.mit.edu) is an online Qur’an, but it is much more than that too.

When you click on a surah, in addition to the Arabic aayaat, the English translations, and introduction (the translation and introduction done the same way as on the USC website), you also get a transliteration of each verse and an Arabic jpeg of each verse, for easy reading. But that is not at all the amazing part… what is amazing is that you can click on each Arabic word in an aayah and you get the following information:

1. All other occurrances of this word in the Qur’an.
2. The three letter Arabic root of the word.
3. All other words in the Qur’an that also have the same three letter root.
4. All occurrances of these words in the Qur’an.

I am not sure if something similar to this has been done before, so if anyone knows of anything like this, please inform inshaAllah. Also, the website was not made by a scholar, so keep that in mind (but the introductions to the soorahs are from Mawdudi’s Tafheem ulQuran, and the translations are from Yusuf Ali, Pikthal, and Shakir).

InshaAllah the website can bring Muslims much benefit. May Allah reward the brother for his efforts.

Wassalaam

Ahmad AlFarsi was born and raised in South Texas in an Iranian Christian household and embraced Islam in 2003 while in university. He completed his Masters in Electrical Engineering from MIT in 2007, spent a few years working in industry as a System Engineer, and is currently pursuing his PhD in Electrical Engineering at MIT. Since August 2007 has been blessed with the adventures of fathering a little girl, walhamdulillah.

31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Zahra

    June 22, 2007 at 11:46 PM

    Assalamu alaikum,

    Masha’Allah, this will be a very useful tool for many, myself included (as I do not know how to read The Qur’an in Arabic, but am interested in learning). A while ago, I was just wondering about whether there was something like this available online (transliterations along with the corresponding English and Arabic verses). JazakAllah khair to the brother who has been working on this, and may Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala reward him for his efforts. :)

    -A sister in Islam

  2. ibnabeeomar

    ibnabeeomar

    June 23, 2007 at 12:08 AM

    mashallah it looks very useful – is there any way to get the words/roots in arabic instead of english? i didnt play with it too much yet but the trilateral roots looked like they were in english. great job though inshallah i think this will become an invaluable tool for muslims

  3. Avatar

    Moiez

    June 23, 2007 at 1:28 AM

    I have one word to say NICE!

  4. Avatar

    Ahmad AlFarsi

    June 24, 2007 at 12:51 AM

    Assalaamu alaykum,

    It looks like the last link in Samina’s previous comment (http://www.openburhan.com/ob_main_frame.html) is a similar tool except with the ability to browse the three-letter roots in Arabic.

  5. Avatar

    Mujahideen Ryder

    June 24, 2007 at 3:32 PM

    SUBHANALLAH!

    yooo google needs to get up all into that site so we can use google’s powerful search engine on that.

    did the brother submit it to google?

  6. Avatar

    Abu Bakr

    June 24, 2007 at 5:25 PM

    For those really interested and willing to spend a little money, there is a book called al-Mu’jam al-Mufahras Li-Alfadh al-Qur’an al-Karim that lists all the words of the Qur’an by root, giving every place it is used throughout the Qur’an

    this openburhan site looks very useful, jazakillahu khayran for the link

  7. Avatar

    Al Hadrami

    June 24, 2007 at 10:32 PM

    JazakAllah khayran for the link. It’s excellent!!

  8. Avatar

    SacredHadith.com

    June 26, 2007 at 11:36 AM

    JazakAllah

  9. Avatar

    ans

    July 3, 2007 at 4:08 PM

    maybe this comment is late, but I just discovered that this website http://www.openburhan.com/ob_main_frame.html

    that is given above used the translation from Rashad Khalifa. Please beware!!

    JazakAllah khair… you are right… everyone should note this fact. -MM

  10. Avatar

    samina

    July 14, 2007 at 12:28 AM

    AA ans,

    can you please give ref that the site uses rashad kahlifas trans, i need to tell other people, but need ref for it.

    brother abu bakr: other useful books for root words: Anwar ul bayan. it’s in urdu though.
    Mufrida tul quran (arabic- free download available)

  11. Avatar

    ans

    August 9, 2007 at 2:10 PM

    ukht samina,

    if you still referring to this post, the ref is stated in the site itself. They clearly state that they use Rashad khalifa translation. I can’t give you the link for the moment because I can’t access it.

    jzkk

  12. Avatar

    Farooq

    August 19, 2007 at 1:45 AM

    http://www.openburhan.net is a mirror and has few more features now. It now has multiple translations as well.

  13. Amad

    Amad

    August 19, 2007 at 2:10 AM

    Farooq, can you please clarify the following:
    -Does the site use Rashad Khalifa Translations?
    -Which translations does it use, because I could not find the answer easily on your site?
    -Any reason for using Tahir al Qadri, a known Braelwi in lieu of Mawdudi RH for Urdu translation?

    wasalam

  14. Avatar

    Farooq

    August 19, 2007 at 11:46 AM

    Salam and thanks Amad,

    This is a learning tool for research and education. It provides 20 translations and additionally the following:
    1. Quran root word to surah index.
    2. Translation of most words.
    3. 17 English translations for each verse- including ***clearly marked and warned** disputed ones to show what is different among these translations.
    4. 3 Urdu translations without prejudice. 4th Urdu translation is being reviewed, it is from Quran Asan Tehrik. Since it is a word to work translation, this will be on the first page.

    5. English Translation on the first page is by Yosuf Ali and is clearly marked. Which I plan to change with literal meanings.

    If you have Unicode translation for Mawdudi, I will be glad to add.

    You may click on sura:verse number to see all available translations.

    To insure correct understanding of translations, Incorrect translations have been marked with these warning:
    **********************
    ** – Read with caution – These Translations, marked here with **, are considered either incorrect, far-fetched, non-conforming or misleading. Care must be exercised for certain verses or an alternate translation should be considered.
    ***********************

    Objective of this site is reference, research and edcution and not promotion of any given sect or hero worship of any individual.

    Wasalm

  15. Avatar

    Farooq

    August 19, 2007 at 12:01 PM

    You may find my personal blog here

    http://fskhan.wordpress.com/

  16. Avatar

    aarij

    August 19, 2007 at 12:04 PM

    ^ Dr. Muhsin Khan’s translation is marked with a ** ?!?!?!

    what nonsense.

  17. Avatar

    Farooq

    August 19, 2007 at 12:05 PM

    Very good forum in Urdu.
    http://www.urduweb.org/mehfil/forum.php

    My articles on this forum about ” What Quran Says”:
    http://www.urduweb.org/mehfil/showthread.php?t=7570

    Do not assume from these articles that I from Rashad Khalid and company. Thease articles are about “Our joint responsibilities” vs. “Individual Responsibilities” as mentioned in the Holy Quran.
    Waslam.

  18. Avatar

    Farooq

    August 19, 2007 at 12:07 PM

    There are two translations from Dr. Muhsin Khan and Hilali. 1st one is marked the second one, which he corrected, is not. Carefully check that please before hitting the emotions button.

  19. Avatar

    Farooq

    August 19, 2007 at 12:09 PM

    Look at H/K/Saheeh for the second version as was revised by Dr. Muhsin Khan. He himself felt a need to correct the 1st one. We should stop worshiping heros and keep them at the human level :)

  20. Avatar

    Farooq

    August 19, 2007 at 12:12 PM

    Aarij, if you end up saying oops – spoke too soon – then please check the mirror carefully :) it has both meanings :)

  21. Amad

    Amad

    August 19, 2007 at 12:16 PM

    wasalam Farooq. Thanks for the info.
    I believe the asterix against the Noble Quran translation is misplaced too. I understand that Shaikh Hilali and Sh. Muhsin added a lot of tafsir into the translation, but all of it is based on textual evidences.

    If anything, the “doubtful one” is Ahmad Raza Ali Khan– the founder of Braelwism

    A better approach would be to remove those that are clearly not even Muslims (remove Rashad– whose followers don’t even call themselves Muslims). Then add little biographies including criticism for each. This way you let the reader decide what is “doubtful” and what is not. You should be able to find Mawdudi’s Urdu translation anywhere in Pakistan. If you can add Ibn Kathir (it is available in English, Urdu and Arabic– see here http://www.tafsir.com/), then that will be outstanding.

    Other than that, I have to say that this is quite an effort.

  22. Avatar

    Farooq

    August 19, 2007 at 12:31 PM

    To further review about what others say about these translations, I have provided a pointer to another site, where each of them are discussed.

    http://www.islamawakened.com/quran/caa.html

    Removing non-muslim’s translations or certain sects’s translation will take the objective of comparison and reference away. As I said this is not for promotion of one sect. It is meanings of holy Quran as has been percieved by verious persons. Muslims, non muslims, translators of words etc.

    The Arabic is protected with Qirat from AlHusari and is provided from Saudi Arabia. I do not plan to judge which sect is right or wrong. People are doing a good job of such judgment. It is a showcase platform not a promotional platform. Hope this explains.

    Waslam

  23. Avatar

    Farooq

    August 19, 2007 at 12:33 PM

    A comparitive study is not possible without right vs. wrong. Hiding it from here will not hide it from the net. What most muslims belive to be an incorrect translation is maked. Whereas this is not the case with others. Send me your email address at farooqsarwarkhan at yahoo dot com and I will be glad to explain the objectives futher.

    Regards.

  24. Amad

    Amad

    August 19, 2007 at 12:50 PM

    “What most muslims belive to be an incorrect translation is maked.”

    I don’t know what you meant to write with that last word. But I’d like to know what you consider “most Muslims”?

    Interestingly, you mention that you “do not plan to judge which sect is right or wrong”, yet you turn around and make a judgment right in the next comment. It is not me that you should feel a need to clarify to, but all those who may question the objectives or the apparent coloring of those objectives. I have read the other article that you linked to. You should know that fortunately Muslims do not judge the “right” Quranic translation based on how “other” religions would feel about it. Perhaps it may not be the most appropriate translation (because as I said it has more than translation) for others (because they may not have the context), but that doesn’t preclude it from being “authentic”.

  25. Avatar

    Farooq

    August 19, 2007 at 7:31 PM

    Please read this line as:
    “What most muslims belive to be an incorrect translation is marked”. Here by most muslims are the people who complained to me about the author’s beliefs, about the writing found in their text and which are completely against muslim beliefs.

    These are the opinions forwarded to me with references from their work.

    1. Khalifa in his texts claimed to be a prophet attempted to prove it in his translation.

    2. Dr. Shabbir QXP, in his text, refuses that Adam ever existed and Mary was not virgin and Joseph the carpenter was Jesus Father.

    3. Hilal/Khan 1st version was full of prejudice, I have provided other”s opinion and a web site as a link why it is marked with “caution”.

    I have not recieved similar published on the web references about the others. If you have similar proofs with pointable bublished references you may send them to me.

    This site contains multiple translations, some of them have been found in multiple research papers to be “studied with caution’ – so have been marked.

    Please read disclaimer about “authencity or accuracy” about the quality of these translations.

    What are you looking for?
    What is your exact obective please outline in a clear sentence so that I can understand.

    Thanks.

  26. Avatar

    Farooq

    August 19, 2007 at 7:41 PM

    Only effort I make is to keep the trnaslations accurate to their publication. If you think there is an error in the provided text then please bring it my attention so that I can fix it. If it does not serve the purpose which you wish to use it for then simply do not use it. Again this site is for educational research and reference and not for promotion of any given sect. Obective is that one should be able to see meanings of each word, literal meanings and how various translators have percieved the meanings of a given verse. I hope this is helpful.

  27. Avatar

    Farooq

    August 19, 2007 at 7:43 PM

    Additional word index of Quran provides a mean to see all verses where a pirticular word has been used. This also helps in undertanding the word, constructs and the meanings. If you have concrete suggestions, I will be glad to hear them.

  28. Avatar

    Muslimahh

    April 9, 2009 at 12:52 AM

    I’m using Mozilla’s “Personas for Firefox” since two days. Today I could see AlMaghrib’s persona there… cool purplish.

  29. Avatar

    Sohail

    October 17, 2010 at 4:57 AM

    Dear Farooq
    Assalamualikum
    you may want tafheemulquran in unicode so it is online now at http://www.tafheemulquran.net
    i have also unicode file but i didn’t see any attachment file option.
    if you still want let me know by mail i will send to you inshaAllah.

    wassalam
    sohail

  30. Avatar

    NOWROSE

    February 24, 2016 at 11:06 PM

    Read the following you would get the answer for how to respond “When Anti-Muslim Websites Use Bogus Translations…and Then Try to Cover it Up!

    Chapter-18-Dedication-Yamama and Our Amal-Nama

    Does anybody know how many Prophet’s companions [R] were approximately killed in all the major wars that were fought during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad [P]?

    Kindly see the list of all major wars and the approximate number of Prophet’s companions [R] who were killed inclusive of all the major wars that were fought during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad [P]:

    Badr 14

    Uhud 70

    Khaybar 17

    Mu’tah 12

    Hunayn 5

    Total: 118

    But when a person called Musaylimah claimed himself as the Apostle / Ambassador / Prophet from Allah [SWTA] as every companions of the Prophet knew well that Muhammad [P] is the last Messenger and Prophet, Abu Bakkar [R] has ordered for a war against Musaylimah, and that war was called Yamama!

    Does anybody know how many Prophet’s companions were approximately killed in the battle of Yamama? It was 1200 companions among which more than 1/3 i.e. more than 400 were hafiz-e-Quran and they were Prophet’s closest associates [R]!

    Have you noticed the number of Muslims who were killed in Yamama was more than ten times when comparing it with all the major wars fought during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad [P]!

    This battle played a major role in motivating Abu Bakkar [R] to complete the compilation of the Qur’an. Hence 400 hafizes were killed at Yamama upon the insistence of his future successor Umar [R], Abu Bakkar [R] has ordered the collection of the pieces of the Qur’an into one copy.

    The battle of Badr was almost similar to Yamama in one way but it was contrast to it in another way! Let me explain the contrast first; In Badr Prophet [P] was alive but during Yamama Prophet [P] was not alive.

    Now let us see in which way Badr was almost similar to Yamama?

    That was during Badr Prophet [P] was imploring to Allah [SWTA] saying that if we get defeated then there won’t be a single person to worship you alone in the whole earth! The very similar situation rose after the claim of Musaylimah as an Apostle and when thousands believed in him and followed him blindly!

    What does this history tell us? What is the respect we have for that 400-Hafizes who get killed in Yamama, which by Allah’s plan paved the way for the collection of the Quran, which we read, and enjoying every-day?

    All we need to do is after Muhammad [P] if anyone claims that he is a messenger or a prophet, we need to identify and witness how evil he is with all the feasible and possible proofs and that can be the only tribute that we can do for the 1200 Sahabis’ who get killed in Yamama!

    Dear Brothers and Sisters, I have written a small book called “Critical Evaluation of Rashad Khalifa with Quran-Alone”; this small book is the result of years of data gathered interacting with people for and against Rashad Khalifa in internet forums and in real life, including my personal experience and research.

    Many have contributed to this book, directly and indirectly, knowingly and unknowingly. I request you very much; kindly help me for this e-book to reach all your Muslim contacts for two reasons:

    1) In-order to warn the humanity to be aware of the tricky works of Rashad Khalifa [Who claimed himself as a Messenger of Allah [SWTA].

    2) In-order to ensure that our response to the deviant group-Khalifates [who have taken Rashad Khalifa as their idol] is comprehensive, clear, and precise, Insha Allah.

    In-order to view my complete E-Book- “Critical Evaluation of Rashad Khalifa, with Quran-Alone”,

    kindly visit: http://alquranaloneislam.blogspot.in

    [or]

    https://rashadkhalifafakemessenger.wordpress.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

#Life

Why I Turned to Tech to Catch Laylatul Qadr

Make sure you maximize your sadaqah

Avatar

Published

on

Which deeds are most beloved to Allah?

Alhamdulillah, by the blessings of Allah (swt) and readers like yourself, MuslimMatters has been an independent platform for our best thought leaders to educate us in our faith and catalyze change through powerful, necessary conversations. Since our humble beginnings as a basic wordpress blog in 2007, our content has remained free.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support us with a monthly donation of $10 per month, or even as little as $1. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

By Ismael Abdela

My life, just like yours, is sooo busy. So naturally, as the tech nerd I am, I turn to tech to help me manage my regular routine including project management apps to manage my daily tasks. I even have a sleeping app that wakes me up at the optimum time (whatever that means!). But even though tech has changed everything in all sectors and helped make efficiencies in my daily life, it had had little impact on my religious activities.

A few years ago, whilst I was preparing for the last 10 nights of Ramadan, it hit me – why doesn’t something exist that automates my donations during these blessed nights to catch Laylatul Qadr. Rather than putting a reminder on my phone to bring out my bank card every night and inputting it into a website – why doesn’t something exist that does it for me, solving the problem of me forgetting to donate. After all we are human and it’s interesting that the Arabic word for human being is ‘insan’ which is derived from the word ‘nasiya’ which means ‘to forget.’ It is human nature to forget.

So the techie in me came out and I built the first scrappy version of MyTenNights, a platform to automate donations in the last 10 nights of Ramadan (took two weeks) because I wanted to use it myself! I thought it would be cool and my friends and family could use it too. That same year, nearly 2000 other people used it – servers crashed, tech broke and I had to get all my friends and Oreo (my cat) to respond to email complaints about our temperamental site!

I quickly realised I wasn’t alone in my need  – everyone wanted a way to never miss Laylatul Qadr! Two years down the line we’ve called it MyTenNights, and our team has grown to 10, including Oreo, senior developers, QA specialists, brand strategists, creative directors and more. It fast became a fierce operation – an operation to help people all over the world catch Laylatul Qadr!

Last year alone we raised almost $2 million in just 10 days – and that was just in the UK. We’ve now opened MyTenNights to our American, Canadian. South African and Australian brothers and sisters and we’re so excited to see how they use it! We’ve made it available through all the biggest house name charities – Islamic Relief, Muslim Aid, Helping Hand, Penny Appeal, you name it! All donations go directly to the charity donors choose – all 100% of it.

Looking back at the last couple of years – it feels surreal: The biggest charities in the world and tens of thousands of users who share my need to be certain they’ve caught Laylatul Qadr. Although I hear many impressed with the sheer amount MyTenNights has raised for charity (and that excites me too!), it’s not what motives me to go on. What excites me most is the growing number of people who catch Laylatul Qadr because we made it easier.

I often tell my team that the number of people that use MyTenNights is the only metric we care about, and the only metric we celebrate. It makes no difference to us whether you donate $1 or a million – we just want you to catch Laylatul Qadr and for you to transform your Akhirah, because (after Allah) we helped you do it.

To catch Laylatul Qadr with MyTenNights, visit their website MyTenNights.com

Ismael Abdela is a Law & Anthropology graduate from the London School of Economics. He spent some years studying Islamic Sciences in Qaseem, Saudi Arabia. He is now a keen social entrepreneur. Ismael likes to write about spiritual reflections, social commentary, and tafsīr. He is particularly interested in putting religion in conversation with the social sciences.

Continue Reading

#Life

Wahed Launches A Mobile App For Halal Investing

Avatar

Published

on

Wahed App released Halal Investment
Which deeds are most beloved to Allah?

Alhamdulillah, by the blessings of Allah (swt) and readers like yourself, MuslimMatters has been an independent platform for our best thought leaders to educate us in our faith and catalyze change through powerful, necessary conversations. Since our humble beginnings as a basic wordpress blog in 2007, our content has remained free.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support us with a monthly donation of $10 per month, or even as little as $1. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

The wait is over as we bring the halal investing experience to your mobile device.

We have developed a mobile experience that is smarter and more intuitive, simplifying your investment journey. At Wahed, we know how busy life can be, so we made it easy and quick for you to invest and stay informed about your portfolio’s performance as your money works for you.

You can even sign-up for your new Wahed investment account via our mobile app!

Simply:

  • Download the app and sign-up
  • Deposit money securely by linking your bank account
  • Monitor your Halal investment portfolio

Download Wahed App today (iOS | Android)  only available in US stores

For further information about Wahed Invest, please visit https://wahedinvest.com/why_wahed.php  

Wahed’s easy-to-use platform is the first automated halal-focused system that is overseen by an Ethical Review Board, preventing concerned investors from investing in companies that do not agree with their values (e.g., companies involved in any aspect of the liquor, firearms, gambling and tobacco industries). The platform also screens investments that generate profit from interest and those that do not comply with certain debt ratios.

This article is part of a paid promotional package for Wahed Invest LLC.Wahed Invest LLC is registered as an investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Custodial and brokerage services are provided by Apex Clearing Corporation, member of New York Stock Exchange, FINRA and SIPC. Any returns generated in the past are no indication of future returns. All securities involve some risk and may result in loss. This is not an offer, solicitation, or advice to buy or sell securities in jurisdictions where Wahed Invest is not registered. For full terms and conditions please visit www.wahedinvest.com

 

Continue Reading

#Society

Social Media And The Struggle for Tomorrow

Dr Muhammad Wajid Akhter

Published

on

Which deeds are most beloved to Allah?

Alhamdulillah, by the blessings of Allah (swt) and readers like yourself, MuslimMatters has been an independent platform for our best thought leaders to educate us in our faith and catalyze change through powerful, necessary conversations. Since our humble beginnings as a basic wordpress blog in 2007, our content has remained free.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support us with a monthly donation of $10 per month, or even as little as $1. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Muslims have never gotten over losing Andalusia (Spain) to the Reconquista. No discussion about Islam and Europe can take place without us pining like BoAbdil – the last Muslim ruler of Granada who cried like a child as he was exiled from his homeland. We lament about how we brought enlightenment to Europe and then managed to find ourselves totally eliminated from the Iberian Peninsula.

BoAbdil – the last ruler of Granada

If only we knew.

We cry at the loss of Andalusia and rarely reflect on the true enormity of what happened. The whole of South America, the Philippines and indeed the Americas were conquered or “discovered” by the forces of Catholic Spain shortly after they sent the Muslims packing. Were it not for our own ability to play ourselves, the world would look very different today.

The next Andalusia?

Today, we are in the midst of making another monumental mistake. And it may end up making the loss of Andalusia look trivial by comparison.

This mistake, this error, this battle that we cannot afford to lose is for the control of the Social Media narrative about us and our faith. The advent of the Social Media revolution is no less a game changer in the history of the world than the Industrial revolution before it. And just like the Industrial revolution made previously insignificant nations into world powers and reduced world powers into colonised outposts, the Social Media revolution will do the same.

Until just over a decade ago, the control of information – and therefore the levers of power – were in the hands of the wealthy and elite few. It was Fox News, CNN, and the BBC that set the agenda on TV. It was the Washington Post, Time Magazine, The Times of London and Le Figaro that set the agenda on Newspapers and Magazines. The editors of these channels and publications and their owners could decide whether a genocide was worthy of coverage or not. They could choose to paint a leader as a villain that needed to be deposed or a hero that needed to be obeyed. In the court of public opinion, they were the power behind the thrones, pulling all our strings.

Today, their dominance is almost over. Instead, we get our information and news from Social Media. The BBCs YouTube channel has just over 1 Million subscribers whereas Zoella (a lifestyle blogger just out of her teens) has more than 10 Million. Fox News has over 15 Million Twitter followers while Justin Beiber has more than 90 Million. The numbers are staggering, but it is a fact that individuals and small operations are having their voices amplified and heard on Social Media at a level that was previously virtually impossible.

The possibilities are amazing. For the first time, we can talk about ourselves rather than being talked about by pundits from other communities or by talking heads with their own agendas. We could put across discussions regarding long held grievances without having it filtered through the lens of a news organisation with a biased eye. For once, marginalised sections of the Muslim community could speak for themselves rather than be spoken for by “community leaders.”

While this is a great thing for transparency in the sharing of information and giving more power to the people – there is a huge downside to this whole enterprise.

The next Reconquista?

The individuals and organisations that are proving most adept at exploiting Social Media for their own purposes are those at the extremes of society. The extremists amongst the Muslim who advocate violence against civilians and organise to carry out acts of terror are possibly the single most effective and coordinated group of Muslims online. There may be far more Muslims sharing a Mufti Menk tweet or a catchy video by Maher Zain, but it’s the extremists that are getting things done. They are using Social Media to not only propagate their ideas, but to coordinate them. [1]

But even these precocious violent new kids on the block are being left in the shade by the white nationalist–Nazi-Anti-Muslim brigade. [2] You can’t fail to spot them if you’re ever online. You can see them commenting on every article, sending torrents of vile abuse towards anyone who stands in their way and backing each other up to the hilt.

A recent study by the George Washington University study on extremism “revealed that the social media presence of white nationalists and Neo-Nazis is growing at an exponential rate. According to the study, the white nationalist movement on Twitter increased by a whopping 600 percent, surpassing that of ISIS sympathizers.” [3]

What happens if we lose the social media war?

If we lose the social media war against extremism, the best-case scenario is that we continue down the slippery slope we’re on now. We see ever increasing attacks followed by reprisals, followed by attacks.

That is the best-case scenario.

The worst-case scenario would mean the marginalisation of the middle ground to such an extent as to have profound psychological, political and theological consequences for generations to come.

No pressure.

To put it bluntly, the longer the moral majority of both Muslims and non-Muslims remain disunited, disorganised and lacking in coordination – the longer the extremists on both sides of the spectrum will continue to set the agenda, be the loudest and most persistent voices in the room and ultimately succeed in their quest for a clash of civilizations.

Organised evil will always defeat disorganised good. However, if the good got organised… well, that would be a whole different ball game.

References:

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/25/social-media-extremism-and-fears-we-are-losing-the-online-war

[2] https://www.cjr.org/analysis/breitbart-media-trump-harvard-study.php

[3] https://cchs.gwu.edu/files/downloads/Nazis%2520v.%2520ISIS%2520Final_0.pdf

Continue Reading

Trending