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New and Improved and Changing for the Times

As the proverb goes, ‘change is the only constant’ as it is in the nature of all that Allah has created to constantly change and adapt. The actual notion of change is inextricably linked to flaws and/or limitations as a thing is usually altered out of a sense of improvement. It is indeed the human need to constantly adapt and modify to be that much more efficient and better, and even when change is not needed people are driven by the need to modify something as a way of making themselves feel that they have achieved anything, however insignificant it may be.

Conversely, we find that that which is perfect needs no change as any alteration to a state of perfection is only in reality a form of corruption, and thus due to Allah’s perfection

“never will you find any change in God’s way.”[1]

Similarly, the believers will live in paradise, the perfect and eternal abode for mankind

“and never will they desire any change from it.”[2]

Change has always played a key part of success, improvement, and maintenance, and it is through this medium that Allah the Most High consistently purged the world of immorality and decadence. Indeed he unequivocally states,

“Verily, God does not change the condition of a people unless they change their inner selves”[3]

The verse highlights the fact that through change we may either be elevated to the high standards Islam affords us or we may sink into the abyss of failure due to our lack of desire to inherit lofty Islamic values. Of course, in talking of change we mean in terms of improvement as such a notion is found consistently throughout the Qur’an. Allah says,

“And they will ask thee about [how to deal with] orphans. Say: “To improve their condition is best.”

He goes on to say in the same verse,

“God distinguishes between he who spoils things and he who improves.”

He also says (in relating the story of Shu’aib),

“He said: “O my people! See ye whether I have a Clear (Sign) from my Lord, and He hath given me sustenance (pure and) good as from Himself? I wish not, in opposition to you, to do that which I forbid you to do. I only desire (your) betterment to the best of my power; and my success (in my task) can only come from Allah. In Him I trust, and unto Him I look.”[4]

The philosophy underlining change is the search of perfection and striving to acquire it to the best of our abilities, reflecting the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) saying, “Verily Allah has ordained perfection in all things”[5] and “Religion is easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection.”[6] It is in search of this perfection that drives the Muslim to be continuously evaluative hoping that something be improved in order to reach the eventual objective, and although the objective is ultimately bestowed by God, it is the effort placed in the process and the actual attempt of realisation that is rewarded.

It is this reward that those behind Islam21C seek, and so in a bid to improve and develop the project not only has the site had a facelift but it has also increased it’s content to facilitate the exploration of the site by visitors in the hope that they will take full advantage of what Islam21C h

About Ahmed Ali

2 comments

  1. Masha’allah tabarakallah
    I really liked the preface to what was in reality a simple announcement. Excellent.

    The website is nice and clear and a lot better in terms of usability. Great work masha’allah tabarakallah.

  2. Perfectly timed article in-line with the new site
    Well done to the i21c team for pressing hard in their pursuit to educate the muslims of the west. In my opinion, one of the weaknesses that we as a muslim community have been inflicted with, is our inability to read and comprehend knowledge by reading. Most prefer to watch or listen and take every measure to aviod reading and The culture in the 21st century has shifted to audio and visual. But isnt it an interesting point to note that the overwhelming majority of our scholars in the history of islam gained new levels of intellectualism in the absence of these very two mediums. Is it then a co-incidence that we are living in a time were islamic scholarship has become rare and weakened? I raise my hat to the i21c team for their noble pursuit.

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