Observed Trends in the Muslim Blogosphere

Originally posted at MuslimMatters.org

With the Brass Crescent Awards coming to a close, and the launch of the new Muslims Bloggers Directory, I feel it’s a good time to take a closer look at the world of Muslim blogging.

I’ve had the honour of working on several online initiatives alongside MuslimMatters these past couple of years. In particular, the website Ijtema.net, which, since its launch back in 2007, has aimed to promote the ‘best of the Muslim blogosphere’.

Our initial approach to achieve this goal was to act as a type of human filter of the Islaminet: our team of editors would link to Muslim-authored content that we found interesting, in the hope that our readers would too. I guess that they did, as we were nominated for a BCA last year under the category “Best Group Blog” – though we were beaten by some unknown entity called “MuslimMatters.org”. Anyone ever heard of them?

However, as the number of Muslim blogs we followed became greater and greater, and the spare time of our editors became less and less, we knew we could not sustain our efforts for much longer. We decided to close the site, albeit temporarily, and focus on a new, hopefully more efficient strategy.

That eventually led to the launch of the Muslim Bloggers Directory – a freely accessible, categorised collection of links to Muslim blogs, vlogs, and other multimedia channels, with a custom search engine allowing visitors to search through the actual content of listed sites.

Continue reading

Link To Us

In order to get the word out about our initiative, we would greatly appreciate it if you would kindly place our site on your links section/ blog roll. Alternatively, you can choose to display one of the buttons below, which are a lot more visually appealing, inshallah!

Thank you in advance, for your support.

white_button

Copy and paste the following into the source code of your webpage/blog, to embed this button into your site (if it doesn’t work, you may have to re-type the quotation marks “” ):
<a href=”http://www.ijtema.net” target=”_new”>
<img src=”http://www.ijtema.net/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/ijtema_animated_button_wh.gif”></a>

black_button

Copy and paste the following into the source code of your webpage/blog, to embed this button into your site (if it doesn’t work, you may have to re-type the quotation marks “” ):
<a href=”http://www.ijtema.net” target=”_new”>
<img src=”http://www.ijtema.net/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/ijtema_animated_button_bl.gif”></a>

Disclaimer

At IJTEMA, our aim is to scour the blogosphere looking for content that we feel deserves public attention. This usually takes the form of individual entries, rather than entire blogs. It is very important to note that our promotion of a single article (or articles) does not automatically equate to a full endorsement of the respective blog; the views expressed therein are the sole responsibility of the author, and may not necessarily reflect those of IJTEMA.

We try to be varied in our content, out of respect for Muslim diversity, whilst also trying to avoid rocking the boat of sectarianism. It’s not always an easy job, especially as the contributors themselves, are a diverse bunch. In the very likely event that our humanity shows through, and we make a mistake, please cut us some slack, and line up them seventy excuses!

Even though it should be obvious, and go without saying, we may as well state for the record, that we do not support terrorism, or any unjust activity, whatever the cause, whatever the religion, whatever the circumstance.

O ye who believe! stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well- acquainted with all that ye do.

The Holy Qur’an, An-Nisa, verse 135.

In addition, we reserve the right to retract any articles that we may have previously published, whenever we wish, for whatever reason, without notifying the respective author(s). However, we hope that this will be a rare occurrence, with the help of Allah.

We pray that Allah guides us to the Straight Path, keeps us safe from our own errors, and blesses our humble efforts to help the Ummah, for His sake alone. Ameen.

About Us

What is IJTEMA?

Ijtema is the Arabic word for “congregation” or “gathering”. The aim of the editors at IJTEMA is to gather together the best of the Muslim blogosphere in one place, as a showcase of what we truly believe to be, real Muslim voices, and real Muslim talent.

Why are you doing this?

Because we have no choice.

The mainstream media seems to have an agenda: to propagate the idea of a supposed ‘Clash of Civilisations’. The most vocal elements on both sides of the camp – those who are for or against this idea – are mainly non-Muslim; it seems that the Muslim community has lost its ability to reach out. In the meantime, a handful of media moguls gets to choose what the West (or, in fact, the rest of planet Earth) hears about Islam, and our Ummah. And sure enough, the likes of Bin-Laden (who, incidentally, are disliked by most of Muslim World) come across loud and clear.

This kind of misrepresentation makes us mad, uneasy, and restless.

True Islam calls to the middle path, but the voice of this middle path has been lost amongst all the hype; we aim to find it, and be its mouthpiece, with God as our Guide.

How often do you publish?

We aim to publish 3-5 new articles every day, on a variety of subjects regarding Islam and the Muslims, depending on what we find.

No articles are published on Jumu’ah (Friday), due to the importance of this day of worship.

Y’know, our jobs could be made a lot easier, with the help of you, the readers.

Us? How can we help?

Well, first and foremost, we would really appreciate your prayers.

Otherwise, if you’re a Muslim that likes to get around on the web, then you are more than likely going to come across a few gems on your blog travels. When you do, let us know, and you could see your name in pixels. You can even send in your own work. Don’t worry, we won’t question your modesty.

Also, please feel free to link to us if you have a website and/or blog – you can find some funky IJTEMA buttons here.

Great! But who are you guys, anyway?

To know who we are, and what we do (yes, we have day jobs), check out the contributors page.

The website is great, Mash’Allah! Who designed?

The heavily talented sister Shazia Mistry collaborated with our group member iMuslim to design the theme. The header was designed by brother Teakstar.

Anything else?

Yes, actually. Please check out our disclaimer page, when you have the chance.

Contributors

Six days, six contributors, six different flavours of IJTEMA.

SUN Manas An average Indian Muslim. His personal blog can be found at Reflections.
MON HalalTube
IslamicTube
Bringing you the latest in Islamic video.
TUE Faraz A technology consultant based out of the beautiful city of Ottawa, the capital of Canada. His (much neglected) blog can be found here.
WED Teakster Muslim Artist extraordinaire and Ijtema’s new Islamic Arts Editor.
THU gess She is an avid reader, which can be easily interpreted from her personal blog at All history as reconstruction of the past is of course myth.
FRI Local Khateeb Jumu’ah is our day off, so you will have to rely on him for your daily dose of Islam!
SAT iMuslim iMuslim loves her iPod – and most things Apple, in fact. This, together with her podcasting experience, has made her Audio editor. Check out her blog here.

Other Contributors:

Ahmad (a.k.a. “founding father” of Ijtema): Born and raised in one of the most unlikely places in India to live in, Bihar, this guy has gone a long way from his initial introvert nature, thanks to blogging. He is an Internet obsessed freak who aims to make his living from it one day and settle down in Antarctica. In real life, he is a final year engineering student.

Mummyjaan: Stay-at-home mother from India, currently living on the beautiful “Emerald Isle” with two tyrannical little girls. She’s trying to raise them to be good human beings.

Previous Contributors:

Unique Muslimah: Unique content by a unique muslimah born and raised in the West, but of Middle-Eastern origin. Unique propagates Muslim women’s rights and wants to make a change. Her attempts to do so can be found here.

Mushir: Originally born in Gujarat, India, Mushir lived in the Middle East for 18 years before moving to Chicago for education. Only recently has he has changed his focus in life to Islam. Recent events in his life have been a reawakening, and he now feels Allah has reached out to him in bringing him closer. You can visit his blog at BELIEVER.