Issue 1, Vol 9. Dhul Hijjah & Muharram 1423 H / February & March 2002
Arabic section coming soon insha-Allah
Cover Story:
Pedophilia of the Church
Local Affairs:
US-Australia Relations put Australia's security at risk

Australians shooting for Israel
Political Affairs :
Al-Aqsa Intifada: Between Jewish Losses and Arafatian Conspiracy

US War on Islam (Episode Two)
Our Youth:
Time: The Currency of Life
Ramadan Special :
What every Muslim needs to know about Ramadan
Qur'anic Guidance :
Surat al-Massad
Invincible: The Amazing Case of the Believer
Surat Al-Kafiroon
Garden of the Pious:
Miscellaneous Benefits

Hateful Voice of the Daily Telegraph

A Community Site Worth Visiting Every Day
By: Nida`ul Islam

Overall Rating

How often do you visit a website? At first, the question seems strange. Surely one visits a web site when one is looking for some information. If someone wants to find a Hadith, they can go to a Hadith Web site. This seems logical enough. But one of the most interesting trends on the Web has been away from what might be termed ‘reference’ Web sites: Places where you visit when you need to find out something like a Hadith or Qur’anic Ayah. The shift has been towards dynamic web sites: Web sites that you visit regularly, perhaps daily or weekly.

Why would you want to visit a Web site daily? After all, the information is going to be the same as it was the day before, right? Wrong. Dynamic web sites change daily, and in some cases hourly. They give you information that’s up to date, and often feature news feeds that are updated as soon as the news comes in. Good examples of dynamic web sites are newspaper sites and so on.

Another trend on the Web has been also towards more interactive sites: No longer are Web sites a one-way street, where all you do is read them. Instead, so-called community sites become a place to discuss ideas, issues and news, where visitors to the site can add comments and ask questions.

What is so amazing about IslamiCity—the subject of today’s review—is that it seamlessly combines all three styles of Web page into one: Reference, dynamic and community.

The reference section—more like the old-fashioned Web site—is very interesting indeed. It has some unique features. Without doubt the most useful of Qur’an can sometimes be a headache, if you only know how it sounds in Arabic. Let’s say, for example, I want to know which verse it is that sounds like ‘qul huwwa Allahu ahad’. The phonetic search feature allows you to type exactly that, and sure enough it finds the first verse of al-Ikhlaas. This is an immensely useful feature. When preparing a talk for some Muslims recently, I found this feature amazing. It didn’t always get things right, but it was still very easy to use and stunningly convenient.

But this is only one of its many features. It has a considerable database of Qur’an and Hadith references, all in an easy to search format. Not only that, but it has extensive multimedia resources available, with both audio and video available, mostly in Real format. This includes complete Qur’anic recitations by people like Sheikh Abdul Baset and Al-Husary, English translations and more. The sheer scope of the material is huge. However, I had some problems accessing some of the media using Netscape; they seem to assume that you have Internet Explorer.

Furthermore, it is updated regularly. Most interesting is the news feed, which from sources around the world, the editors of IslamiCity select articles about Islam in the news—sometimes within minutes of that information becoming available. They also offer through the associated site iViews, and offer deeper analyses of recent events.

In addition, they have an excellent system for people to contribute their opinions about articles, events and so on. As with all such forums, one must be such venues for conversation is knowledgeable, or for that matter, even honest. So, due care must be exercised in participating and also reading such fora.

As a final sweetener, IslamiCity has some very interesting items on sale in its bazar (sic). Whether it is cost-effective to ship them to Australia, I do not know, but there are some items there that would be very difficult to obtain locally.

As you can imagine, the manpower and expenses in maintaining a site of this nature are huge. If you really like the site, then there is also the opportunity to become a member. Although this costs approximately $8 a month, this might very well be a worthwhile investment. However, this should not stop you from visiting the site. There is still a great deal of information and resources available that don’t require you to be a member.

I only had two gripes with the site: Firstly, it doesn’t always work correctly with all browsers; like many recent Web sites, they are increasingly designed to work with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer alone. As I rarely use Microsoft Windows, this is a serious disadvantage for me; but for the majority of users it may not be an issue. Secondly, navigation around the site is a little bit clumsy. There are buttons on the top and on the side, some of which take you to the same web page, others that take you to other web sites and so on. It can get very confusing.

But these issues pale into insignificance compared to the wealth of up-todate, interesting and real information available from the Web site. May Allah help those who developed it.


Afghanistan Al-Muslimah

Morocco: Mass Arrests of Salafies

Yemen: Military Preparations to face the Mujahideen

Eritrea: Successful Operations for the Mujahideen

Sudan: The End of a Revolution




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Islamic Youth Movement
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Tel: (61-2) 9740 4460
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