About IQRA

Aims and Objectives

Iqra aims to promote Islamic understanding among its readers and to introduce pure Islamic concepts. In terms of Islamic Dawah and Islamic work in the West, we operate at the level of consciousness raising. Realizing this, we believe we are doing no less than planting seeds, which may reap their proper fruit in the future, insha Allah in the very near future.

We intend to inculcate thinking in our readers that is based neither on nationalism nor on racism or tribalism and especially not on Americanism. We also intend to expose many seemingly Islamic ideas which are predicated on nationalism. We intend to present Islam as a global way of life, not merely a ritual of regional worship practices.

Materialism and its various manifestations are exposed at the level of thought, civilization and social organization, and eschatology. This does not mean to discourage seeking and spending Allah’s bounties in lawful ways. Quite to the contrary, we encourage Muslims to be the best in all lawful endeavors of modern life.

Unity of the Ummah is stressed and is our main focus. This is not to be done by belittling the values of diversity. Diversity in lawful ways is encouraged. Simultaneously a strong desire for reestablishment of Khilafah among the Muslims is a central part of our goal.

The editorial slant of the paper endeavors to achieve the above-mentioned objectives, and the articles reflect a critical, intellectually stimulating and challenging attitude. The status quo in the Muslim World and among Muslim communities is challenged, and un-Islamic and inefficient institutions and lifestyles are analyzed and critiqued.

Article Topics & Features

To create a diverse yet consistent format, Iqra contains special features, which may appear in each issue. These include the following:

  1. Editorial - A statement of our perspective on a relevant contemporary issue or situation in the light of Qur’an and Sunnah.
  2. Islamic Ideas - A presentation of important Islamic principles or concepts, in the light of Qur'an and Sunnah.
  3. Qur'an - Tafsir of a particularly relevant passage from the Qur'an.
  4. Hadith - Translation and explanation of a critical hadith.
  5. Islamic Classics - An ongoing translation of a classical Islamic work.
  6. Children’s corner - A presentation of Islamic history and teachings in ways that are attractive to youth of all ages.
  7. Poetry on various aspects of Islamic culture.
  8. Matters of benefit to incarcerated Muslims.
  9. Information about prayer timings, lunar calendar and dates of especial importance.
  10. Community News - Summary of local events and activities.
  11. Letters to the Editor.
  12. National and International Focus - Detailed analysis of a critical international event, or issue.
  13. State News - News of events and activities involving Muslims or issues of importance to Muslims in and around the State of Connecticut.
  14. Diversity of the Ummah - famous sayings or poetic expression in various languages of the Muslim Ummah.
  15. Collaboration with other Muslim publications.

History

The history of Iqra, in a way, is the history of Muslims in Connecticut in general and in New Haven area in particular from 1991 to present.

The very first issue, Vol. 1 No. 1 came out in December 1988. It was called IQRAA and was reproduce by photocopying on a 8 ½ X11 inch white paper. It was a local publication and was distributed among the Muslim community in New Haven, Connecticut, particularly those families that frequented Masjid-al-Islam. It continued its mission in this fashion under the supervision of Sister Aisha Alam, somewhat irregularly until 1990. The circulation seems to have ceased after November 1990 issue (Vol. 2, No. 5). There were no issues in the first half of 1991.

In the first half of 1991 Dr. Abdul Hamid took responsibility of publication of Iqraa.

In July 1991 the publication came out as Vol. 3, Nos. 1-6. Its format was modified to 5X8½ inches and instead of being photocopied it was now printed. It was registered with National Serials Data Program (NSDP). Dr. Abdul Hamid was its publisher, publishing it for Masjid Al Islam and other masajid in New England and North America. It was assigned registration number, ISSN 1062-2756. In March 1995 issue the English spelling of the name were changed to IQRA.

Following is the list of masajid that Iqraa was published for during 1991 to present.

  • Connecticut Council of Masajid: February 1997 to Present; First in position since its merger with MAHTAB, INC
  • MAHTAB, INC: April 1997 to February 1999 when it merged with Connecticut Council of Masajid. From August 1997 on it occupied the first position in the list, a position previously occupied by Masjid-al-Islam.
  • Islamic Center of Connecticut: May 1992 to Present
  • Islamic Center of New Haven: May 1992 to Present
  • Faran Club: October 1992 to Present;
  • United Muslim Masjid: December 1995 to Present;
  • Islamic Society of Western Connecticut: December 1995 to Present;.
  • Islamic Center of New London: November 1997 Present.
  • Islamic Center of Hamden: December 2000 Present.
  • Masjid-al-Islam: July 1991 to December 2000.

Since July 1991 the production of Iqra has been financed through individual donations and advertisements. Occasionally some masajid contributed to this fund. MAHTAB, INC donated funds directly or indirectly for the publication since October 1993. The funds were managed in the accounts of Masjid-al-Islam initially. In the later part of 1994, the Amir at the time of the Masjid-al-Islam decided to sever the especial association with IQRA. All responsibility of publication and financial matters since 1995, until its merger with Connecticut Council of Masajid, has been handled by MAHTAB, INC, a non-profit, community development organization. Presently the Connecticut Council of Masajid oversees the financial affairs of IQRA.

Since July 1991, IQRA has been released regularly on every third Friday of each month, Alhumdulillah. It has expanded its area of circulation and also its affiliations. It was going to about 2000 families by mail and an additional 500 copies are distributed through various masajid. In August 2005, by the grace of Allah, the circulation of Iqra was expanded to 10,000 with approximately 3000 direct copies sent to individuals and the remainder mailed in packets to masajid across the nation.

The mission of IQRA is nothing short of a functional, viable and practical unity among all Muslims. This unity is only possible if there is continuous and regular dialogue among us. It is only possible if in all of our dialogues we agree to use compassion and not compulsion to convince each other about a disputed issue. IQRA is only one medium for such dialogue. We pledge that IQRA shall continue to try to be a compassionate glue. The meeting of hearts, if it comes, is from Allah alone.

Support

IQRA depends very much on community support. All work in the production of IQRA is done on a purely volunteer basis. There are various ways the Muslims can help the publication of IQRA:

  • Write articles. Submissions to IQRA are always welcome, especially those which fall in one of the topic categories mentioned above. Articles should be mailed to the editor by email or postal mail. See the Contact Page for addresses.
  • Subscribe. Arrange for distribution in your local area, or, alternatively, compile a list of addresses of the Muslims in your area who would like to receive IQRA and send it to us.
  • Donate to support the financial needs of IQRA.