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WikiIslam:Writing Style Guide

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It is often difficult for new editors at [[WikiIslam]] to understand what is or is not appropriate within articles. This page expands on the site's [[WikiIslam:Policies and Guidelines|policies and guidelines]] concerning style, tone and content of its articles by providing a visual guide for editors.
{{shortcut|[[WISCG]]}}
==Examples==
 
The following tables provide examples of correct and incorrect style, tone and content. All of these examples are genuine edits that were either reverted or amended. Note that there may be some overlap in examples, and a sentence having an issue corrected does not mean the remaining sentence is free from error (it may have multiple issues).
 
===Style & Tone===
==Standardized Spellings==
There are many acceptable phonetic spellings for different words that are translated or transliterated into English. However, WikiIslam editors should standardize spelling to use throughout the wiki. The following is a list of required spelling standardizations. Note: You should not standardize spelling in quotations, leave the quoted text as originally written. This table is subject to change to accommodate new words.
<br />
{| class="wikitable"
|+Table of Standardized Spellings
!WikiIslam Standard
!Proper Noun
!Meaning
|-
! width = 33% | Incorrect {{spaces'''Allah'''|1}}[[File:Cross.png]]Yes! width = 33% |Corrected [[File:Checkmark.svg|20px]]! NotesGod of the Quran
|-
| ''Dr. Omar Abdul Rehman’s article is clearly the most detailed, and we will use it as the basis for our rebuttal as it includes all the QEP nonsense of Drs' Keith Moore and Maurice Bucaille.Quran'''| ''Dr. Omar Abdul Rehman’s article is clearly the most detailed, and we will use it as the basis for our analysis as it includes all the QEP claims of Drs' Keith Moore and Maurice Bucaille.''Yes| The harsh and unprofessional tone Central religious text (Holy book) of the sentence has been replaced. Islam
|-
| ''Because of this double standard, countries such as France, Belgium, Italy, and the Netherlands have banned people concealing their identity in public completely.'Hadith'''| ''Because No|Notable collections of this conflicting standardwords, [...]''| The term "double-standard" has been replaced with a more neutral word.actions, approvals and disapprovals of Muhammad during his life
|-
| ''this is another of the absurd pseudo-scientific claims of the champion of Qur'anic Pseudo-Science, Maurice Bucaille.Muhammad'''| ''this is another pseudo-scientific claim made by Maurice Bucaille.''Yes| Sarcasm, humor or insults should be avoided.Prophet of Islam
|-
| ''Aisha even started a war against her old enemy Ali, causing ten thousand Muslims to kill each other in one day.'Abu Bakr''' | ''Aisha began a war against Ali that resulted in ten thousand fatalities in one day.'' Yes| Avoid writing in an emotional, dramatic style. State the facts First caliph and nothing else. best friend of Muhammad
|-
| ''He isn't specific Umar (ibn al-Khattab)'''|Yes|Second caliph and senior companion of Muhammad|-|'''Uthman (ibn Affan)'''|Yes|Third caliph, second cousin, and son-in-law of the Muhammad|-|'''Ali (ibn-Abi Talib)'''|Yes|Fourth caliph and Muhammad’s son-in-law|-|'''Tafsir'''|No|Exegesis – scholarly commentary on the time frameQuran and hadith|-|'''Mufassir'''|No|Author of a Tafsir|-|'''Sunni'''|Yes|One of the two main branches of Islam|-|'''Shia'''|Yes|One of the two main branches of Islam|-|'''Aisha (bint Abu Bakr)'''|Yes|One of Muhammad’s wives, offering up a number daughter of Abu Bakr|-|'''Khadijah (bint Khuwaylid)'''|Yes|One of Muhammad’s wives|-|'''Sawda (bint Zam’a)'''|Yes|One of Muhammad’s wives|-|'''Hafsa (bint Umar)'''|Yes|One of Muhammad’s wives|-|'''Zaynab (bint Khuzayma)'''|Yes|One of Muhammad’s wives|-|'''Hind (bint Abi Umayya)'''|Yes|One of Muhammad’s wives|-|'''Rayhana (bint Zayd)'''|Yes|One of Muhammad’s wives|-|'''Zaynab (bint Jahsh)'''|Yes|One of Muhammad’s wives|-|'''Juwayriyya (bint al-Harith)'''|Yes|One of Muhammad’s wives|-|'''Safiyya (bint Huyeiy)'''|Yes|One of Muhammad’s wives|-|'''Ramla (bint Abi Sufyan)'''|Yes|One of Muhammad’s wives|-|'''Maria al-Qibtiyya'''|Yes|One of Muhammad’s sex slaves / concubines|-|'''Maymuna (bint al-Harith)'''|Yes|One of Muhammad’s wives|-|'''Juwayriyya (bint al-Harith)'''|Yes|One of years but not definitely stating that it is exact. He doesnMuhammad’s wives|-|'''Fatimah'''t mention any names|Yes|Muhammad’s youngest daughter, fails wife of Ali ibn-Abi Talib|-|'''Ahmadiyya'''|Yes|Islamic revival sect founded in Punjab|-|'''al-Bukhari'''|Yes|Islamic scholar who authored what is considered to mention where these events take place, be the most authentic hadith collection|-|'''al-Tabari'''|Yes|Islamic foremost Mufassir|-|'''al-Jalalayn'''|Yes|Classical tafsir of the Quran composed by Jalal ad-Din al-Mahalli|-|'''al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah'''|Yes|Biography of Muhammad|-|'''Jannah'''|No|Heaven|-|'''Jahanam'''|No|Hell|-|'''Huri'''|No|Heavenly virgins|-|'''Istishhad'''|No|Martyrdom|-|'''Shahid'''|No|Muslim martyr|-|'''Mecca'''|Yes|Holy city of Islam|-|'''Hajj'''|No|Greater holy pilgrimage in Islam|-|'''Umrah'''|No|Lesser holy pilgrimage in Islam|-|'''Kaaba'''|Yes|Building at the center of Masjid al-Haram in Mecca. Direction of Muslim prayers and doesndestination of pilgrimage|-|'''Khitan'''|No|Circumcision|-|'''Najis'''|No|Ritually unclean or impure physically or spiritually|-|'''Fiqh't state when this story happened. '' |No|Islamic jurisprudence|-| ''He 'Sahih'''|No|The denotation of a hadith is not specific “authentic”|-|'''Hasan'''|No|The denotation of a hadith as “good”|-|'''Da’if'''|No|The denotation of a hadith as “weak”|-|'''Mutawatir'''|No|Hadith with multiple narrators|-|'''Ahaad'''|No|Non-Mutawatir hadith, usually narrated by one narrator|-|'''Sharia'''|No|Islamic canonical law based on the time frame, offering a number Islamic scriptures|-|'''Hanafi'''|Yes|One of four religious Sunni Islamic schools of jurisprudence|-|'''Maliki'''|Yes|One of four religious Sunni Islamic schools of jurisprudence|-|'''Shafi’i'''|Yes|One of four religious Sunni Islamic schools of jurisprudence|-|'''Ja’fari'''|Yes|The religious Shia Islamic school of years jurisprudence|-|'''Fatwa'''|No|Non-binding but nothing definitiveauthoritative legal ruling issued by qualified jurist|-|'''Sheikh'''|No|Honorific title for knowledgeable Islamic clergyman. He does not mention any names|-|'''Imam'''|No|Someone who leads prayer|-|'''Mufti'''|No|Someone who can give jurisprudence judgements on religious matters|-|'''Ayatollah'''|No|Honorific title of Shia religious leader|-|'''Halal'''|No|Permissible in Islam|-|'''Haram'''|No|Impermissible in Islam|-|'''Makruh'''|No|Religiously disliked|-|'''Kafir'''|No|Infidel|-|'''Shirk'''|No|Idolatry or polytheism|-|'''Mushrik'''|No|Someone who commits shirk|-|'''Mulhid'''|No|Apostate, fails to mention where these events took placeheretic, and does not state when this story happened.or atheist|-|'''Murtad''' | Do not use contracted forms No|Denier (e.g. "doesnof Islam)|-|'''Aqidah'''|No|Creed|-|'''Zakat'''|No|Obligatory charity based on % wealth|-|'''Dawah''t", "isn't") when you should use "is not", "does not" etc. |No|Islamic proselytizing
|}
{{shortcut|[[WISCG]]}}
==Tone==
 
WikiIslam should strive to be an objective source for knowledge about Islamic matters. To do so we must remain objective in language. Unsourced claims and assertions degrade the quality of the site. In your own writing, summarize the main and relevant information of the source cited; be sure to avoid phrases of certainty (of course, surely etc...). Do ''not'' include conclusions at any point of the text.  Readers should be able to come to their own conclusions given the resources. We want to maintain a trustworthy and neutral reputation that encourages readers to do further research.
 
Do not make generalizing, political or hateful statements against any group of people (including Muslims); this could result in a ban.
===ContentExamples===
{| class="wikitable"
|-
! width = "4%" |! width="33% " | Incorrect {{spaces|1}}[[File:Cross.png]]! width = "33% " |Corrected [[File:Checkmark.svggif|20px15px]]! Notes|-|{{center|1}}|''Dr. Omar Abdul Rehman’s article is clearly the most detailed, and we will use it as the basis for our rebuttal as it includes all the QEP nonsense of Drs' Keith Moore and Maurice Bucaille.''|''Dr. Omar Abdul Rehman’s includes the QEP claims of Drs' Keith Moore and Maurice Bucaille.''|The harsh and unprofessional tone of the sentence has been replaced and made more concise
|-
|{{center|2}}| '' Hiding your identity in public Because of this way is completely legal in many western double standard, countries, whilst other face coverings such as balaclavasFrance, Belgium, masksItaly, and motorcycle helmets will quickly get the wearer arrested if worn Netherlands have banned people concealing their identity in a public placecompletely.''| Omit - "''Hiding your identity in public Because of this way is legal in many double standard, countries [such as...]"''| There is no reason for singling-out/providing undue attention Editor should not conclude the state of affairs, leave this to "western" countries when the issue being discussed applies equally to non-western countries.reader
|-
|{{center|3}}| ''The Gregorian calendar did not exist in Muhammad’s day, so reporting dates in Gregorian style This is an anachronism. The Europeans used another of the Julian calendar, which was then only two or three days variant from absurd pseudo-scientific claims of the Gregorian. Howeverchampion of Qur'anic Pseudo-Science, it will be convenient to compare Muhammad’s calendar with the one currently used by the majority of readersMaurice Bucaille.'' | ''The Gregorian calendar did not exist in Muhammad’s day, so reporting dates in Gregorian style is an anachronism. However, it will be convenient to compare Muhammad’s calendar with the Gregorian calendar, which is internationally the most widely accepted and used civil calendar.'' Omit| There is no reason to assume the target-audience are Europeans. In fact, while demographics vary from week to weekSarcasm, visitors from Africa and Asia often outnumber those from Europe humor or the United States. Material insults should be tailored to accommodate, as best as possible, a universal audience. avoidedEditors should not draw conclusions no matter how "obvious" they seem
|-
|{{center|4}}| ''If this is the sort of thing Islamists are ready to propagate openly with the approval and endorsement of authoritiesAisha even started a war against her old enemy Ali, Universities and so many sponsors, then what other lies do they feed causing ten thousand Muslims to children at Muslim schools, and to young adults at mosques? Why are so many of the non-Muslim governments and individuals who continue to perpetuate these myths via websites and forums so eager to appease Muslims and show that their culture produced superior inventions by taking rightful credits from kill each other civilizations such as ancient China, ancient Rome, and pre-Islamic Egypt? in one day.'' | (avoid) ''Aisha began a war against Ali that resulted in ten thousand fatalities in one day.''| Opinionated rants are to be avoided. This is not Avoid writing in an anti-jihad site or blog for airing ones frustrations concerning perceived wrongs in societyemotional, dramatic style. State the facts and nothing else
|-
| {{center|5}}|''He isn'Shahid (شَهيد t specific on the time frame, plural: شُهَداء šuhadā) offering up a number of years but not definitely stating that it is an Islamic term for a martyrexact. As with adultery and justice He doesn't mention any names or where the events took place, the term martyr in Islam differs from the secular and Biblical definitions of the worddoesn't...'' | ''Shahid (شَهيد He is not specific on the time frame, plural: شُهَداء šuhadā) is an Islamic term for offering a martyrnumber of years but nothing definitive. As with adultery He does not mention any names or where the events took place, and justice, the term martyr in Islam differs from the commonly agreed upon definitions of the worddoes not...'' | Commentary on other religious traditions should be avoidedDo not use contracted forms (e.g. In this case"doesn't", the Christian (or even Buddhist and Hindu"isn't") definitions would likely mirror the secular oneswhen you should use "is not", so it is unnecessary to make a distinction"does not" etc.
|-
|{{center|6}}| ''The fact that the earth is not flat has been known for thousands of years. The Rigveda of Hindus (1700 BC or older)So how, The Ancient Greeks Pythagoras (570 - 495 BC)we must ask, Aristotle (384 - 322 BC) and Hipparchus (190 - 120 BC) all knew this. The Indian astronomer and mathematician, Aryabhata (476 - 550 AD) knew this.is the early universe anything like "smoke"?'' | ''The fact that Scientific Journal X addresses the earth is not flat has been known for thousands of yearsearly universe as. The Ancient Greeks Pythagoras (570 - 495 BC), Aristotle (384 - 322 BC) and Hipparchus (190 - 120 BC) all knew this. The Indian astronomer and mathematician, Aryabhata (476 - 550 AD) knew this.'' | Positive The use of first or second person in writing ("we" and definitive claims about what other religious texts (Bible, Rigveda, etc.addressing the reader) say should be avoided because such texts are open to interpretation and our aim is to remain neutral towards them. The examples given are sufficient and already cover India, so mentioning the Rigveda is unnecessaryEither reword or remove these sections.
|}
==Analysis=Presentation =All and any analysis should not be labeled as an analysis and there should be no sections dedicated to or labeled as analysis—the whole article should be a comprehensive summary and analysis of scripture and scholarly sources. Thus, analysis will present itself throughout the article. ===Acceptable analysis===Includes that which brings together scholarly stances and/or direct scriptural references on a position and makes objective observations. The idea is to summarize the sources and allow the reader to determine how they support or conflict with one another. All positions mentioned should stay relevant to the subject of Factsthe article. ===Unacceptable analysis===Includes any analysis that includes the editor’s own judgement, conclusions, impressions, evaluations, or ethics. It is also unacceptable for editors to judge intentions or character of any author, source, or person—real or fictional.  We do not want to lose valuable ideas present in the Wiki. While editing, do not to delete good analyses that are poorly written. Instead try to clean any biases and opinions from the old editor and leave any of the objective valuable or citable material. Be sure to investigate counter arguments and check key translated words in the original Arabic before adding a point.  ===Examples===
{| class="wikitable"
|-
! width="4%" |! width="33% " | Incorrect {{spaces|1}}[[File:Cross.png]]! width = "33% " |Corrected [[File:Checkmark.svggif|20px15px]]! Notes|-|{{center|7}}|''The Quran relates that God has woken the sleepers as a way to test who could calculate the length of their stay the best.''|''The Quran relates that Allah has woken the sleepers as a way to test who could calculate the length of their stay the best.''|When referring to Islam's deity, always use his proper name (i.e. Allah) rather than the generic English term "God" (or the Arabic equivalent "Illah").|-|{{center|8}}|'' Hiding your identity in public this way is completely legal in many western countries, whilst other face coverings such as balaclavas, masks, and motorcycle helmets will quickly get the wearer arrested if worn in a public place.''|''Hiding your identity in public this way is legal in many countries [...]''|Focus on the topic at hand and not bringing in comparative analysis|-|{{center|9}}|''The Gregorian calendar did not exist in Muhammad’s day, so reporting dates in Gregorian style is an anachronism. The Europeans used the Julian calendar, which was then only two or three days variant from the Gregorian. However, it will be convenient to compare Muhammad’s calendar with the one currently used by the majority of readers.''|''The Gregorian calendar did not exist in Muhammad’s day. However, it will be convenient to compare Muhammad’s calendar with the Gregorian calendar, which is internationally the most widely accepted and used civil calendar.''|Material should be tailored to accommodate, as best as possible, a universal audience.|-|{{center|10}}|''If this is the sort of thing Islamists are ready to propagate openly with the approval and endorsement of authorities, Universities and so many sponsors, then what other lies do they feed to children at Muslim schools, and to young adults at mosques? Why are so many of the non-Muslim governments and individuals who continue to perpetuate these myths via websites and forums so eager to appease Muslims and show that their culture produced superior inventions by taking rightful credits from other civilizations such as ancient China, ancient Rome, and pre-Islamic Egypt? ''|(avoid)|Opinionated rants are to be avoided. This is not an anti-jihad site or blog for airing ones frustrations concerning perceived wrongs in society.|-|{{center|11}}|''Shahid (شَهيد , plural: شُهَداء šuhadā) is an Islamic term for a martyr. As with adultery and justice, the term martyr in Islam differs from the secular and Biblical definitions of the word.''|''Shahid (شَهيد , plural: شُهَداء šuhadā) is an Islamic term for a martyr. As with adultery and justice, the term martyr in Islam differs from the commonly agreed upon definitions of the word.''|Commentary on other religious traditions should be avoided. In this case it s an unnecessary distinction. Unless the article is comparing religious parallels as the main subject.|-|{{center|12}}|''The fact that the earth is not flat has been known for thousands of years. The Rigveda of Hindus (1700 BC or older), The Ancient Greeks Pythagoras (570 - 495 BC), Aristotle (384 - 322 BC) and Hipparchus (190 - 120 BC) all knew this. The Indian astronomer and mathematician, Aryabhata (476 - 550 AD) knew this.''|''The spherical nature of the Earth has been understood for thousands of years. Literature of this can be traced back to the Ancient Greeks, Pythagoras (570 - 495 BC), Aristotle (384 - 322 BC) and Hipparchus (190 - 120 BC) as well as Indian astronomer and mathematician, Aryabhata (476 - 550 AD).''|Positive and definitive claims about what other religious texts (Bible, Rigveda, etc.) say should be avoided because such texts are open to interpretation and our aim is to remain neutral towards them. The examples given are sufficient and already cover India, so mentioning the Rigveda is unnecessary.|-|{{center|13}}|''Further, this apologist has ignored...''|''This argument ignores...''|WikiIslam is not an "interfaith" or "dialogue" site, so unless it is someone very notable for work outside of the Internet, responses should not be made to specific, usually obscure, web-based apologists. Instead responses should be made to the general arguments raised, if those arguments merit a response at all.|-|{{center|14}}|''<nowiki>==</nowiki>Verses Claiming that Quran is Detailed<nowiki>==</nowiki>''|''<nowiki>==</nowiki>Quranic Claim<nowiki>==</nowiki>'' The Qur'an claims it is a book explained in detail: (citations) |Section headings do not form a part of the main text. They only indicate the general topic of that particular section, and should not contain information not found within its main text. So when choosing titles for headings and subheading, editors should avoid questions or long sentences.
|-
|{{center|15}}| ''Time would show that Aisha was confident, spirited, strong-willed and highly intelligent – she had indeed “some of the qualities of Khadijah”.''| (avoid)| This sentence draws conclusions from text that can be debated. There are no hadiths that mention explicitly that Aisha was 'intelligent', 'strong willed' and so on. Report facts and not opinions and deductions.
|-
|{{center|16}}| ''he must have been a good stepfather to Hala and Hind, for they remained unswervingly loyal to him.''| (avoid)| This sentence is drawing conclusions that are not present in the original text. Stepchildren remaining loyal could equally suggest that Muhammad was a strict and uncaring disciplinarian. But since neither conclusion is supported by facts, commenting on them should be avoided.
|-
|{{center|17}}| ''Juwayriya was sweet-natured, charming and as alluringly beautiful as a fairy; men became infatuated with her at first sight.''| ''Juwayriya was described in some hadiths as "jinnya" which some dictionaries translate to "angel likeangelic".''| An editor's own conclusions or exaggerations are being replaced with facts. |}<BR> ==Lead vs Body== ===Lead===The Lead Text should define and explain only essential information about the subject and its impacts/contributions. The Lead Text text comes before the table of contents and does not have a section title. It is composed of one to four paragraphs and should be written simply and concisely to allow for easy digestion of information. This will also help Google create snippets for their search engine and therefore boosts the article’s visibility. The lead text is the most important text in the article and should reflect the objective standard we are trying to achieve. ===Body===The body text should go into greater detail than the Lead text. It is important that all challengeable materials, or any claim that is subject to dispute, are from third party published works. The body should go into further details of interest on the subject and be broken down into sections. Where a source is open to interpretation or is disputed, editors should not assume a particular meaning. Interpretations can be discussed by reference to scholars. The editor should only seek to summarize and collect sources that accurately reflect the positions and dialogue concerning the article’s subject.  Articles should ''never'' end with an evaluation of the editor’s impression. In fact, the article should not have ending remarks at all, as they give a sense of finality and closure that discourages the reader from further research. The WikiIslam articles should aim only to provide the reader with the information they need to draw their own conclusions. ==Transliteration==If the transliterated word is not the subject of the article always link the first occurrence of the word to its own article when applicable. If you find a commonly transliterated word does not have its own article suggest or start one. ===Title===For titles of transliterated words use the standardized transliteration as the title with the English translation in brackets next to it. Example: Jannah (Heaven) ===Article===If a word has a suitable English translation the first occurrence of the word should use the translation followed by brackets including the transliteration and the word in its original language. Example: dust (turabin تُرَابٍ) all following occurrences can use either the English translation (preferred) or the transliteration if necessary.  If the word does not have a suitable English translation the first occurrence of the word should use the standardized transliteration followed by brackets including the language and the word in its original language. Example: Jizyah (جزية‎) all following occurrences can use the transliterated word.
==Honorifics==
This page explains polices concerning honorifics
===Prophet, Christ or Lord===
When discussing the Islamic prophet Muhammad, the first mention in an article and its conclusion should begin with the capitalized qualifier, Prophet, i.e. "The Prophet Muhammad". The same applies to any personal noun such as Jesus or Ganesha, (i.e. Jesus Christ" or "Lord Ganesha). This is because we need to be clear that we are discussing the religious figures named Muhammad, Jesus or Ganesha, and not another individual. Referring to Jesus as "Jesus Christ" does not make one a Christian, nor does referring to Muhammad as "Prophet Muhammad" make one a Muslim.
===Sheikh, Imam, Saint or Doctor===
Due to similar reasons, at least the first mention in an article should include the individual's religious title. For example, "Imam Bukhari" or "Shaykh Qaradawi". This is no different than referring to a saint or doctor as "Saint Patrick" or "Dr. Phil".
===SAW, SWT, He, Him or Her===
WikiIslam aims to be an objective platform, therefore additional religious honorifics such as "Muhammad (saw)" or "Allah (swt)" are not permitted in articles. The same applies to using an uppercase "H" in words such as "he", "him" or "her" in reference to deities of any religion. An exception to this rule would be the talk pages where users are free to use whatever form they feel comfortable with.
==See Also==
* [[WikiIslam:Policies and GuidelinesArguments Not To Use]]* [[WikiIslam:Forum/Help Policies and InquiriesGuidelines]] ==External Links== *{{external link| url = http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc063| title = Guidelines for Effective Professional and Academic Writing| publisher = University of Florida| author = | date = Reviewed January 2013| archiveurl = http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fedis.ifas.ufl.edu%2Fwc063&date=2014-01-18| deadurl = no}}
[[Category:Policies and Guidelines]]
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