Our present age has witnessed great technological advancement and the invention of different machines and tools for communication. Nevertheless, with regard to the number of users and its availability across the world, radio continues to occupy a leading position as a means of transmitting information. Studies and surveys in the United States confirm that radio holds the leading position in the number of weekly recipients of its output. (Source, Nielsen Total Audience Report: Average weekly reception of media transmission) On the other hand, nowadays the internet also provides a means for transmitting and exchanging audio material without the need for radio stations.
With respect to the quantity and quality of audio materials, when we look at the efforts made by the advocates of Islam in this area and compare these with the output of the followers of other religions and creeds, we realize that there is a great need for more to be done in this area. This is not to take anything away from the efforts being made at present and we pray that those who make them will have continued and greater success.
For this reason we were motivated to establish The Advocacy Audio Unit at the Osoul International Centre, hoping that it will help to improve the quality and quantity of the audio advocacy material available. It is hoped that the Advocacy Audio Unit will lead the way by using inventive ways in production and transmission, including audio material for personal computers, tablets, smartphones, television and radio.
In preparing the manual that defined the “road map” towards producing informative and attractive advocacy material, the Advocacy Audio Unit aims to ensure that its material meets the needs of the three groups that the Centre serves namely :
- new muslims
- Advocacy centres, charities, Islamic centres and websites.
- Radio stations, including satellite transmission.
- Islamic digital radio using the internet.
- Illiterate Muslims, including new Muslims, speaking different languages anywhere in the world.
- Illiterate non-Muslims who are troubled by false beliefs and are eager to find the light of divine guidance.
- Blind people and people of impaired vision.
- People whose lifestyle leaves them little time to read or watch videos easily and those whose commitments require much travelling.
- Advocates of Islam, students of Islamic studies and those who are committed to propagating Islam.
The first priority in this project is to English and to translate the texts of videos, giving them voiceovers in various languages.
The first stage of the project includes eighteen languages:
- The Osoul audio portal.
- The Osoul internet radio channel.
- The Osoul audio portal application.
- The interactive Osoul portal.
- The production of audio books in different languages covering all written material produced by the Osoul International Centre, so as to make them available to blind and visually impaired people as well as anyone who prefers audio material
- To prepare suitable material to launch advocacy radio stations to transmit the Qur’an, its interpretation, the Hadith and its explanation.
- Development of the Osoul audio portal, which will be – God willing – a resource centre supplying Osoul audio products and ensuring interaction with the audience.
- Cooperation with advocacy centres in transmitting audio advocacy material, including analogue and digital radio stations and through the internet.
- To design applications and electronic websites that help to disseminate audio material.
- To organize audio platforms of the direct transmission of lectures and advocacy programmes in different languages. This involves both inviting a large number of visitors and using phone-in facilities.
- Enriching the audio advocacy library by using the texts of Arabic advocacy videos, translating them and recording them in different languages.
The first and most important area of work for this unit is the Qur’an, its translation and the translation of Qur’anic commentaries into the major world languages. This will be followed by translation of the Sunnah, i.e. the Prophet’s hadiths and their explanation and then topics addressed by the Advocacy Books Unit and the Advocacy Video Unit.
The main headings of these topics are: introducing Islam and its main beliefs and principles; refuting the false allegations made by people hostile to Islam; highlighting Islam’s perfect compatibility with human nature; the Prophet’s biography and highlighting his noble conduct, showing the falsehood of the allegations that aim to detract from his conduct; explanation of the essential Islamic beliefs, its various acts of worship and their effect on man and how they elevate man, giving conclusive evidence from Islamic history; and the propagation of Islamic values and morality. Needless to say, these topics will bring out the fact that Islam is a great divine religion bestowed by God as a manifestation of His grace to all worlds.
The Qur’an : The internet transmission of the Qur’an with translation in different languages, together with audio interpretation.
The Hadith : The internet transmission of the Prophet’s hadiths with interpretation and explanation. The hadiths will be classified according to subject.
Film content : This is intended to make the sound content of advocacy videos available in different languages.
Lectures : will be recorded and classified according to subject, theme and language.
Admonition : Producing audio admonition material in different languages.
The digital library : Developing an audio library resource which will be made available to electronic websites, radio and virtual stations.
Interactive programmes : Producing two-way discussion programmes and making such programmes available to electronic websites that advocate Islam.