The Message International, a premier Muslim magazine based in New York City, New York, is a publication of Islamic circle of North America (ICNA). It has been serving for over 4 decades, published bi-monthly and available mainly through subscription. Since digital age impacted all sphere of life, readership was no exception, declined in paper readership and Covid-19 resulted in transforming the publication to online. The year 2020 has been a significant year in this respect, and Message International is excited to be able to reach it’s readers globally and connect with them through their feedback.
Alhamdulillah, The Message has maintained uninterrupted publication since it started in July 1989. While the magazine’s target audience is primarily Muslim, its contents are designed to appeal to people with diverse interests, irrespective of their religious denomination and / or personal convictions. The Message magazine is considered to be an effective tool from which both Muslims and non-Muslims can learn about Islam, Muslim community affairs in North America, and Muslim concerns and perceptions regarding national and international issues.
The Message has developed a pool of writers who are unique in many ways. Some are very distinguished scholars and community leaders; others are relatively younger, but equally promising and resourceful. They speak of guidance and salvation, and, at the same time, they propagate tolerance, mutual understanding, fraternity, peace and Justice for all in the society. Typically, each issue of the magazine includes six to seven articles related to the cover story.
The cover stories are chosen based on the pressing needs and burning issues of the time. Other regular features include editorials, letters, opinions, interviews, Dawah, family forums, book reviews, and daily lives of Muslims and, of course, youth related issues. Additionally, national and overseas news are reported. The magazine advertises Islamic products, books, audio/videos, charities, et cetera, but The Message International does not publish advertisements that are vulgar, against basic Islamic norms and / or lacking in credibility.
The Message staff is quite aware of the difference between this magazine and other publications. Our main goal was to create a Time or Newsweek for the Muslim community of North America. We want to reflect Muslims as a whole. That’s why a title make ‘ICNA Bulletin’ or ‘ICNA Message’ was not sufficient. “The Message” was chosen as the title for the magazine because Muslims believe in a divine and integrated message, a message for all humanity, without distinction based on race, geography or class.
All in all, The Message International is a publication that sets out to be distinctive. The magazine continues to struggle to become a quality, professional magazine for both Muslims and non-Muslims in North America. It appeals to Muslims by refreshing their knowledge of Islam, and, frequently, forcing them to look at different views on the same topic. At the same time, it attracts non-Muslims by teaching them about the Islamic faith in lucid and relatable terms, by telling the “other” side of the story, a “side” that chronicles the beauty of Islam and engages the intellectual mind.
The magazine has maintained, with integrity, its commitment towards these objectives, and we are determined to continue to move in the same direction in future, insha’ Allah.