Advice and Reminders for Responsible Website Administrators

In the Name of Allaah…

All praise is due to Allaah, and may He raise the rank of His Messenger…

The following advice will aid responsible administrators of Islamic websites in benefitting the people and avoiding harms and doubtful matters, in shaa’ Allaah

1) Present beneficial articles that help the Muslims understand their Religion with evidences and clear language.

2) Translate the best and most suitable things for eager new Muslims from the recognized scholars of Islaam of past and present.

3) Clearly identify the sources of the articles.  Make this an essential piece of information that you simply do not allow yourselves to publish without.

a) Cite the URL of reliable websites, like those officially overseen by the scholars themselves.

b) Cite the name of the Arabic printed book, with its printing information (publisher, which printing, year, etc.).

c) Cite the name of the recording with all information that identifies it (like tape no. 5, or track no 13, 1:11:43 – the time where the quoted words begin,etc.).

4) Clearly identify the translator, using a name that he/she is known by.  Academic responsibility takes precedence here over an assumed level of sincerity (when the translator claims he wants to remain anonymous to be sincere).  Make this an essential piece of information that must be published with your articles as well.

5) If you do not want to cite the name of the translator because you feel he/she is not trustworthy, then ask yourself a simple question – Why are you publishing his/her material in the first place?!

6) Avoid so-called “compilations” by those less than the scholars, or those whose compilations have not been reviewed and approved by the scholars.  Typical examples of this are:  Compiled from the works of So-and-So… or Taqwaa, from the works of Ibn Rajab, Ibn Katheer, and Ibn al-Qayyim, etc.  Compilations are a type of ta’leef (authorship), and being salafee and having good intentions does not mean that a person is capable of this academic task.

7) Do not rely on newspaper articles, blogs, tweets, or even message boards as sources of information, even if only reliable scholars are quoted.  The recent fitnah in the Arab lands and the ill-intended, twisted and outright false reports of journalists have proven to be tactfully deceitful and misleading.  Journalists are hasty people who rush to finish their writings daily before print deadlines.  This is the exact opposite approach we must take in times of fitnah – careful consideration and deliberation, choosing silence over any doubtful benefit.

8) Review your work carefully.  A qualified and sincere student who translates with good intentions should have no problem having someone he feels is a better translator than him review his work (at least the hardest parts), and then a proper English editor before publishing.  This may be difficult for someone whose intentions are flawed.

Anyone who feels these points have some benefit in them should carefully review the following article as well:

And Allaah knows best.

Written by: Moosaa Richardson

ST Archives: 3-9-2011

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