Our mission is to critically examine the modern era and its driving ideologies through a worldview that is rooted in traditional Muslim values. We aim to affirm that the Muslim tradition is ever relevant in diagnosing and solving modern problems. We invite submissions from individuals who are equally curious about life and able to coherently articulate their positions. We do not shy away from controversial or contentious material, but we do require intellectual honesty and humility. Formal training or education is not required to submit a piece, but we ask that you familiarize yourself with our material before submitting.
Traversing Tradition produces five styles of content: articles, essays, shorts, verse & prose, and dialogues.
Despite which category/categories a piece aligns with, all of our content is explicitly referential and deferential to the Muslim tradition and the scholarship of ‘ulama (Muslim scholars) before us. We believe that critical engagement with modernity requires not just creativity, but also humility before those who may have already addressed the problems we currently face. As such, we require writers to draw from primary and secondary sources to substantiate any claims they make in their pieces, particularly claims about Islam and Muslim life, in general.
Articles are longer, research-based pieces. They implicitly align with four broad categories: 1) primers that introduce an Islamic science, ideology, philosophical strain, field of study; 2) reflections that incorporate a writer’s novel understanding of the world; 3) reviews of books, movies, etc. that offer a unique understanding or critique; 4) directives that introduces a problem, proposes a solution, and offers guidance to readers.
Articles should generally be between 1000 and 2000 words. On occasion, we will accept longer pieces and ask writers to divide them into a series of articles. However, we strongly encourage concision and clarity. Articles must have a central claim and narrative that is developed throughout the piece. Writers may use their personal voice, but must not be overly polemical, antagonistic, or sectarian, and must incorporate specific examples and reputable outside sources cited in MLA style.
Essays are similar to articles in structure and content, but they are much more extensive in their treatment of topics. An Essay will typically exceed 3000 words and provide significant breadth to synthesize multiple ideas into a coherent thought, or substantial depth to present the intricacies of a subject—whether in the context of an authorial claim or not.
Shorts is an initiative to feature a different type of writing format. The aim is to integrate and revive the art of blogging, where the pieces do not have to be long nor do the ideas have to be heavily sourced for them to find a place in our quest for answers. They are generally between 500 and 800 words.
Verse & Prose. One of the defining characteristics of the Qur’an is its timeless poetic structure. The imagery, metaphors, and form used by God in the Qur’an have transfixed millions into submission. It has also inspired thousands of Muslim writers to compose works of their own that draw on the beauty of God’s words. In our Verse & Prose section, we invite you to follow in the legacy of such writers by reflecting on the beauty of our Creator and of His creations.
Short stories, poems, vignettes, and any other type of metered or unmetered creative writing that is within 1000 words is welcome here. Overused metaphors, tired tropes, and febrile cries about Islamophobia are not. We encourage you to reflect on how our ummah and the natural world is beautiful because of our submission to God, not in spite of it. We want to see pieces that are proactive, not defensive in celebrating what God and through His light, what we as Muslims have to offer to the rest of creation.
We also welcome submissions that translate classical poetry or prose, which may not have gotten recent public attention.
Dialogues are conversations we have with various members of the community about their work.
Traversing Tradition aims to make its material accessible to the average reader who already has a basic familiarity with the tenets of Islam. As such, we have an editorial team that reviews each submission and works with writers to assess the fluency of each piece, ensuring all material is grammatically correct and logically presented.
These terms apply to any engagement with our material and exceptions to them must be solicited in writing by contacting us. Publication of a piece to Traversing Tradition is considered acceptance of these terms:
- Traversing Tradition reserves right to publish, translate, or alter material you submit to us in any format, as we deem appropriate.
- If you would like to republish material originally published on Traversing Tradition, you must first contact us and include a link to the TT piece in your republished piece.
- Writers guarantee that material submitted is their original work. If the submission has already been published elsewhere, we ask that the writer communicate with that publication/platform about republishing with us, and we will credit the original source in the published piece.
- If you would like to withdraw a piece you have already published with us, you may contact us, but generally Traversing Tradition reserves the right to maintain it.