Nov 16

Cannot recommend the Ummah1 Forum

The Ummah1.com Ning network, also found at http://ummah1.ning.com, was founded last year, and I was one of the early members, having joined in January 2009.  The website grew to almost 3,000 members, predominantly African-American, but also with a scattering of members of other ethnicities and nationalities. Members share personal photos and Islamic videos, make friends, and discuss Islamic issues through the forum.

At first I enjoyed my time on the site and made frequent use of the forum. I also connected with a few old friends who happened to join the site.

However, the forum on Ummah1 is unmoderated, and in recent months it has become an acrimonious and unhealthy place. Three “anti-Sunnah” activists, one of whom masks his identity, have become dominant players on the forum. They bill themselves as “Quran only” adherents, denying the relevance or importance of the Sunnah in Islam, and referring to the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as “fairy tales.” They are aggressive in trying to silence or belittle anyone who stands for both Quran and Sunnah.

Alhamdulillah there are several rightly-guided Muslims who have opposed them, but the point is that every single discussion devolves into a debate or argument over this same issue.

On a different end of the extremist spectrum, there is one very active member who is highly anti-American (despite being an American himself) and often makes vitriolic and extreme statements.

In response to this state of affairs, I sent the following message to brother Bilal:

“Brother Bilal, wa alaykum as-salam. Thank you for adding your voice and clarifying your position. Brother, I know your intentions are good in wanting this site to be “inclusive” of people of all ways of thinking. However, I can tell you from many years of experience on the internet that if the forum is not moderated, the constant acrimony and divisiveness will make it unpalatable to most people.

It’s a fact there are certain people with corrupt ideologies and hidden agendas who frequent Islamic forums and attempt to confuse and divide the Muslims. It’s vital to the health of the forum that these people be weeded out.

You have stated that you accept the Quran as the word of Allah and the final revelation, and you accept Muhammad (pbuh) as the Messenger, and you accept his recorded authentic Sunnah and sound Hadith. The great majority of Muslims around the world agree with you on this matter. I suggest that this should be confirmed as the ideological foundation of the website, and the common ground that you propose, and those who do not agree with this position are free to go elsewhere. There are many debate-oriented forums created just to discuss such issues.

It’s not because I am unable to answer these corrupt individuals. I am very familiar with their ideologies, which have been promulgated in the West by the false prophet Rashad Khalifa and others, for many years. I just don’t care to spend my time arguing the same points over and over with someone who is not really interested in learning, but is only here to sow seeds of misguidance. I’m also not comfortable merely ignoring them, because I worry that some Muslims (for example new converts who may not have an extensive Islamic education) may fall for their lies.

Leave the Muslims on this forum free to discuss issues such as taqwa and imaan, da’wah, the pillars of Islam, family and marriage issues, gender relations, current affairs, the media, the struggle to practice Islam in this day and age, fiqh, tafseer of Quran, sunnah, and any other issues that may concern them.

Let us discuss these issues in a peaceful and constructive atmosphere, without this constant fitnah being sown by those who deny the validity of the Sunnah and other basic components of Islam.”

However, as of this writing (November 2009) no action has been taken to moderate the forum. Because of this, I do not recommend the Ummah1.com website, and I am much less active there. I particularly feel it is an unhealthy place for new Muslims or those who have little Islamic knowledge, as they may be misguided by some of these anti-Islamic activists. At the least they will find the forum to be an unhelpful and disappointing experience.

In my next post Insha’Allah I’ll take a look at an Islamic forum that is healthy and operating the way it should.

Nov 15

New Zawaj.com Sneak Preview

New Zawaj.com logo

New Zawaj.com logo

The redevelopment of the Zawaj.com Muslim Matrimonials website is coming along, and  as a special treat only for readers of IslamicSearch.com, here’s a preview of the new website. That second link is a test site only, so don’t bookmark that URL. What do you think of the new look? This is one of my websites, so I am quite naturally biased, but I like it.

I think it’s quite lovely, though the search box at top center needs a little work, and there’s a bit of wasted space in the bottom right of the Featured Post area. But the content is fascinating and presents a unique spectrum of Islamic articles and features. I’m looking forward to the official debut of the new website.

Nov 14

Invitation to Web Developers

I would like to invite interested web developers to collaborate with me in building this Islamic search engine. In return I will offer a generous percentage of revenues for a fixed period of time, Insha’Allah.

I’m looking for a qualified web development company that can help with the following:

  1. Developing a filter that will utilize search feeds from popular engines like Google and Yahoo, but filter out inappropriate content and anti-Islamic websites.
  2. Developing search technology that will give greater weight in searches to selected Islamic websites that provide authentic Islamic information.
  3. Developing image search technology that will filter out unIslamic images.
  4. Developing revenue streams for IslamicSearch.com.

IslamicSearch.com receives steady and consistent type-in traffic from people looking for exactly this kind of service. In addition, I own and operate several large Islamic websites that can deliver strong traffic, both Muslims and non-Muslims. I hope to capitalize on this and offer these people a quality service that will meet their needs Insha’Allah.

Nov 13

IslamicSearch.com Islamic Search Engine

As-salamu alaykum and welcome to IslamicSearch.com, a newly created Islamic search engine. I’ve just gotten started and building this search engine will be an ongoing process Insha’Allah.

After one too many experiences searching for Islamic information on the web and finding anti-Islamic websites, or searching for Islamic images and finding images that demean and mock Muslims, I decided it was time for a search engine that would would focus on websites providing legitimate, authentic Islamic information, and positive Islamic images.

The search engine will also allow searches of the broader world wide web, but will filter out inappropriate websites, allowing the Muslim to search with confidence and comfort. It will be a “halal search engine” that parents can allow their children to use without worry.

I’m just getting started, so be patient and check back soon for updates. Jazakum Allah khayr.

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