If you’ve been thinking about how you can use your talent with words for the benefit of others, you’ve come to the “write” place!
Note: This site started back in 2007 as a blog listing resources for Muslim writers. It has changed direction several times since then and is now The Muslim Writers Club, an interactive site dedicated to all of your writing needs.
It’s no secret that people are increasingly turning to the Internet for information about religion and spirituality. As Muslim writers, we have a role to play in correcting misinformation about Islam and working to help educate people in our own communities stay connected and informed.
Keep reading for information on how to make your time on-line beneficial and (if you choose) profitable as well.
1. Create Content for your Mosque’s Website
Does your local masjid (mosque) have a website? Is the content timely, well-written, and easy to navigate? Is basic information, like directions, included? A website is a great way to connect people in the community and keep visitors informed about local prayer times, masjid lectures, and important events. But don’t stop there. You can create a mega-site with information about Islam, links to local businesses, and support for community members.
Tip for the Professional Writer: Approach the masjid board, and ask if they have a budget for you to maintain the website for a year. Add value to your proposal by offering to start a blog and create or manage social media accounts for the mosque. Such accounts are the professional face of the masjid and should not be managed carelessly.
General: The same idea could work with any business or organization. Start local, and see where your efforts take you. You’d be surprised how many people would like to have a web presence but don’t have the time or know-how to get started.
2. Participate in Discussions
Use your writing skills to participate in on-line discussions about Islamic topics. Depending on your interests, you may wish to mingle with Muslims or non-Muslims, providing support and/or advice, correcting misinformation, and adding a new dimension to the dialogue. Make sure to learn the etiquette of dawah first.
Tip for the Professional Writer: Use your signature line or blog handle to advertise your services or even the books you have written. Also, provided you have the requisite knowledge, participating in discussions about Islam helps place you as an expert that people may call on in the future. In short, it is an excellent tool for networking.
General: Use discussion forums in general to network and display your expertise in your chosen field, whether it is writing, traveling on a budget, or something else.
3. Leave Comments
We’ve all had the experience of reading articles that portray Islam and its teachings in an inaccurate light – either that, or the coverage of Islamic topics is often highly superficial/simplistic and even degrading to Muslims. Most newspapers now publish their articles on-line and allow readers to post comments…so don’t hold back. Leaving a comment is a good opportunity to correct misconceptions, fight ignorance, and dispel stereotypes, and non-Muslim readers often express appreciation when a Muslim steps in to add his or her voice to the conversation.
Tip for the Professional Writer: Add credibility to your comments by using your real name. Go a step further by writing a letter to the editor or writing an editorial. Many newspapers pay for the latter.
General: No matter what your topic, it is important to maintain a respectful tone. Use logic and facts instead of raw emotion to get your point across. Not only will readers take you more seriously, you will also be more likely to have your comment or letter published.
4. Befriend a New or Isolated Muslim
As the world’s fastest growing religion, Islam is seeing increasing numbers of people who embrace its teachings without the support of a real-life community. In fact, many of today’s new Muslims have learned about Islam entirely on the Internet or at their local bookstore and need support, friendship, and basic information on everyday matters. Reputable organizations like GainPeace have support programs for new Muslims and need volunteers.
Tip for the Professional Writer: Add mentoring to your resume.
General: E-mentoring in any field is a wonderful way to give back to the community and can take as little as ten minutes each day.
5. Write for Magazines
Need I say more? This site contains a wealth of information for Muslim writers, including a comprehensive list of Muslim magazines, newspapers and websites in need of writers, so check out the list and decide how to best place your work.
Tip for the Professional Writer: Learn the craft and business of freelance writing by visiting this site and others like it.
General: If you’re looking for more general markets, check out my Markets for Writers series for hundreds of publications paying great rates to freelance writers.
What are some other ways to serve Islam with your writing? Share your ideas by leaving a comment below.