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What matters most

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The newest model is brighter and slimmer and faster. It does things we didn’t dream of before, connects us in ways that were unknown for most of history and puts information at our fingertips at a startling speed. It makes the old version look dated and clunky; truth be told, we'd rather not be seen in public with it any more.

I saw them gathering outside the shop on release day like a meeting at the town hall. There was a thrill hanging in the air and the few people who looked forward to taking one home that day felt like members of an exclusive club. Most were there just to see, feel and touch it, just to be part of what they sensed was something that mattered.

Perhaps only a few wondered if it really did. Gathered at the entrance to this portal into a world of blinking lights and shiny plastic, it was hard not to be swept away by the enthusiasm and fervour. But perhaps those few cynics asked themselves if this latest iteration was just another way of prising us free of our sense of restraint and our feel for what matters in life. At the very least, many left the shop several hundred notes lighter.

The Association of Islamic Charitable Projects (AICP) has been around since the 1930s. During that long history we’ve seen society change at a staggering pace, particularly since the advent of the current Internet age. And while some are disdainful of the new technologies that now fill our lives, we’ve always been keen to keep astride of the latest trends. This isn’t about being hip; its about finding the best means of bringing the authentic Prophetic tradition into people’s busy lives.

For nearly a century the students of the AICP have enjoyed the bounty of receiving the teachings of our religion via a continuous, unbroken chain of narration and it has been our privilege, by the Grace of Allah, the Exalted, to preserve and transmit our Islamic heritage in this way. Mindful as we are of religious tradition, we haven't ignored the developments of the modern age and for many years we’ve used the latest modes of communication to broadcast our message to a wider audience.

This is an exciting week then for UK AICP as we announce the launch of our fully redesigned official website. We’ve thoroughly revamped the appearance and functionality of the site and we hope you’ll find the new layout to be inviting to the eye and intuitive to navigate. As you browse, you’ll still find the authentic and reliable Islamic materials you've come to expect from our Association.

You’ll also find a new and fresh type of content that will connect readers with the rich plurality of voices from within the community of the AICP. This novel series of articles takes the form of reflective, ruminative and motivational pieces, many of them first-person narratives, that describe the personal experiences of individual members of the AICP here in the UK and offer an insight into the personality and perspective of our Association.

We’re also excited to introduce a blogging section that will be updated regularly with original comment and opinion pieces. In the coming weeks you can expect to benefit from a varied and engaging range of articles that address current issues, that express the experience of being Muslim in Britain and that describe the challenge of aspiring to Islamic piety while living in a secular environment. At launch we’re pleased to announce that the blogging section will incorporate both brothers' and sisters' contributions.

We hope you'll join us as we begin this new chapter in the history of the AICP. We hope that this dynamic, young medium can be used to attract an enthusiastic audience within the UK and around the world. But most of all we hope that when our deeds, performed with a sincere intention, are weighed, our efforts and yours will have been something that mattered. And Allah, the Exalted and Glorified, Knows best.