Even in the digital age, the book has retained its importance as a means of acquiring and disseminating knowledge and expressing thought. Indeed, modern technology is being used to increase the popularity of books and make them easier to access. In major cities around the world, book fairs are organized to celebrate serious learning and are frequented by intellectuals, educators and the reading public.
In the present climate of easy access to knowledge the book continues to play an important role, so in the Advocacy Books Unit we attach great importance on the need to treat our books with the care they deserve, ensuring that they contain serious and well researched content, attractive design and high quality printing. For when the content and production are of a high standard, the reader’s enjoyment is increased. In addition, at every stage in the production of our books we take the cultural differences and age groups of the reader into account.
Advocacy books are considered one of the more important ways of presenting the Islamic message to the world. To retain this role, and to make the book truly effective in all communities and cope with modern challenges, Islamic advocates need to treat the books they write with extra care with regard to content and production and to make them suitable for readers in different communities and cultures. For this reason the Advocacy Books Unit was established to provide a qualitative improvement of the content of books for the advocacy of Islam, taking into consideration what is suitable for different target groups and cultures
In preparing the document that defined the “road map” towards producing informative and attractive advocacy material, the Advocacy Books Unit made sure that all publications meet the needs of the three groups that the Centre serves, namely:
- new muslims
- Islamic advocacy Institutions, charities, Islamic centres, websites and others who are interested in advocacy books and their circulation and distribution.
- Advocates of Islam, students pursuing Islamic studies and people working for the spread of the Islamic message
- New Muslims who need to know more about Islamic rules, teachings and values, as well as Muslims who want to learn more about Islam and its teachings
- Non-Muslims and searchers for the truth who wish to know about Islam
The unit aims to make its products available in all languages, God willing, so that the field of advocacy will be enriched with what is useful and reliable. Thus, it hopes to redress shortcomings in what is available about Islam in some languages. The first stage of the project includes eighteen languages
- The Encyclopaedia of Islamic Fundamentals and Principles. This encyclopaedia includes ten books for Muslims, seven for non-Muslims and three for new Muslims. Each of these books will be prepared by the Advocacy Books Unit from start to finish: writing, editing, peer-review, design and printing. (Further details are included in the study).
- Translations of the Qur’an and the Hadith.
- Editing some excellent pre-existing books about Islam and an introduction to its principles, addressed to Muslims, non-Muslims and new Muslims, giving them a new design and republishing them.
- To develop, review and amend the project’s manual so that it may be used to advantage in future projects as suits the cultural differences of the target groups.
- To author books and booklets of Islamic advocacy and to translate these into several languages. To ensure that they contain accurate and high quality information, language and artistic design, as suits every target group, taking into account cultural differences and varying levels of Islamic knowledge. To print these books to high quality and distribute them to various institutions as well as making them electronically available and facilitating their free reproduction.
- Put in place various methods and tools to publish and market the products of the project, including websites, smart applications, audio material using links to multimedia books and other means. To use up-to-date technology to ensure that the books are beautifully produced in all formats.
- Produce digital advocacy material about the Islamic message and its fundamentals, and to place such material on the most widely used websites, such as Wikipedia.
The books produced by this unit will focus on the main principles and teachings of Islam, so they comprise a complete package of interlinked topics discussed in clear and easy language. The books will take into consideration that the target readers will belong to different cultural backgrounds and vary in their knowledge of Islam.
The topics addressed by the Unit are related to :
God Almighty, so that people have the correct concept of Him, and to His messenger, His messages, the books He revealed to His messengers so that people could put them in practice, the necessary beliefs and required worship, the superiority of Islam, its civilization and values, and the moral values and manners Islam requires its followers to adopt and observe. The books will also highlight the great ideas Islam has advocated and Muslims have tried to spread throughout the world, motivated by their belief that Islam is meant as a message of mercy to all mankind.