India: New English lifestyle magazine for Muslims

The new title, Muallim, which is being touted as the first English language lifestyle magazine for Muslims in the country, will hit the newsstands in May.

The Mumbai-based media house, Maxim Media, will launch an English monthly lifestyle magazine, titled Muallim, in May. Muallim, which means tutor, is being promoted as the first English language monthly lifestyle magazine for Muslims.

Muallim is Maxim Media’s maiden venture. The group also plans to launch a daily newspaper, along with a 24-hour news channel for Indian Muslims.

The magazine is being introduced to help its readers clear misconceptions about the religion. As of now, it will be available in Mumbai and its suburbs in Muslim majority areas. The group will launch the magazine with an initial print run of only 3,000 copies; it has a cover price of Rs 50.

The target readers of Muallim include businessmen, corporate professionals, housewives and college students, those in the age group of 15-50 years, of the Muslim community and well versed in the English language. The content mix of the magazine will have a mix of spirituality and contemporary affairs, as well as profiles of Muslim achievers in business or corporate careers.

Talking about the reason behind the launch, Z F Nomani, director, marketing, Maxim Media, says, “There are several magazines in Urdu, but not a single English magazine which imparts Islamic knowledge and focuses on contemporary positive affairs. Hence, we have taken this initiative to launch India’s first Muslim lifestyle magazine in English. Another reason is that there are many literatures available in Urdu language, but not many in English. Muslims who are comfortable in English will find ‘Muallim’ convenient to grasp the message of Islam and recent positive developments of the community.”

Interestingly, the magazine has a very specific advertiser profile. It will carry advertisements of only those companies which have Shariah compliant businesses. The magazine will not carry ads of companies from the banking sector, entertainment industry, and alcohol and tobacco products, among others.

Instead, as of now, the magazine will depend on local ads of brands owned and managed by Muslims. Going forward, once the first issue is out, it will approach certain corporate sectors for branding. “Gradually, Muallim will become a platform for advertisers to tap Muslims, which approximately accounts for 15 per cent of Indian consumers,” shares Nomani.

In an official communiqué, Maulana Ubaidur Rahaman Qasmi, editor-in-chief, Muallim, who is also a member of Islamic Investment and Finance Board of India and Alim from Darul Uloom Deoband, says, “Articles in Muallim will be based on Islamic theology and Muslim contemporary affairs.”

Appreciating the concept, Hazrat Rabey Hasan Nadawi, president, All Indian Muslim Personal Law Board, says, “The time is apt as there is a dearth of such literature which focuses on Islamic upbringing and on contemporary issues.”

The inaugural edition of the magazine will have 48 pages of content, which will be further increased based on the requirement.