Bi-smillāh * Al-ḥamdu li-llāh * Wa-ṣalātu wa-l-salām `alá rasūlihi al-muṣṭafá
Rabbanā ātinā fi-l-dunyá ḥasanatan wa-fi-l-ākhirati ḥasanatan wa-qinā `adhāba l-nār!
As I write this inaugural post, in the blessed month of Ramaḍān (May Allah have mercy on us; forgive us our sins; free us from the Fire; admit us to the Garden through the gates of Rayyān and accept our fasting, prayer and good deeds!), I think back to an e-mail list--and companion website--that I was asked to manage almost ten years ago. The site was called Ilm-Net and it was for aspiring "students of [Islamic] knowledge" (ṭullāb al-`ilm) in North America. Hosted by MuslimsOnline, a ground-breaking Muslim-operated ISP that was quite active in the early nineties and did a lot of good (may Allah accept their deeds!), it was intended to allow English-speaking Muslims in North America who wanted to study traditional Islamic sciences such as fiqh (traditional Islamic ethics and law) to introduce themselves to each other, trade ideas about the pursuit of knowledge and generally encourage each other. It featured a few original translations and posts of materials that were submitted by lists members (mostly myself). I invited individuals of various orientations and affiliations. It was an instructive and interesting experience.
This blog finds me 10 years later, married with children, still trying to finish my dissertation and still a child (and a disobedient one at that!) when it comes to the pursuit of knowledge. May Allah bless the people who were on the original list, students of knowledge and Muslims in general; give them good in this world and the next; purify their intentions and realize their lofty aspirations.