In The Name Of God The Most Merciful, Most Compassionate

The upcoming “Islamic music industry”

by Omar Shahid
Source: http://m.aljazeera.com

Filed under: Entertainment,Featured,Lifestyle |
A Sami Yusuf concert

A Sami Yusuf concert

By: Omar Shahid

Sourcehttp://m.aljazeera.com/

Ten years ago, a young and unassuming British-Azerbaijani, who’d recently had a spiritual awakening, released an album that catapulted him to stardom. Sami Yusuf, now 33, is known throughout the Muslim world for his spiritual songs about Islam. At the peak of his career, following the release of his 2005 album “My Ummah”, he was heralded as “Islam’s biggest rockstar”.

For many years, Muslims have been yearning for an alternative to the spiritually devoid content of popular mainstream music. An inevitable outcome has ensued: the beginning of the Islamic music industry.

The industry, however,  is still in its infancy, with a small amount of artists competing and only one major record label, Awakening Records.

Music, however, is a controversial topic in Islamic jurisprudence, with many conservative Muslims rejecting its permissibility. In 2006, for example, journalist and former Taliban captive Yvonne Ridley (a convert to Islam) lambasted Yusuf in an open letter that went viral. The hysteria Yusuf was creating among his Muslim female fans was a step too far for Ridley. This mania “must be creeping around the globe and poisoning the masses”, Ridley said.

Despite this zeal to condemn Islamic music, it was the deeply nuanced and vast nature of the Islamic tradition with its multitude of interpretations and applications that has made its growing approval possible.

But the staunch opposition to  Islamic music is symptomatic of a deeper problem. According to Dr Mohammed Fahim, a London-based imam, with the growth of Wahhabi Islam in the 20th century, the movement began to fight art in all its forms. Music is allowed in Islam, he says, providing there isn’t any vulgarity or obscenity in the singing or dress – something many Muslims, see as a truism.

Now is an exciting time for the Islamic music industry. Muslim artists are entering into new terrain and have the power to dispel negative stereotypes about their religion.

With perhaps more fame and, indeed, inner happiness, than he would have found in the US, Maher Zain, who came through the US music industry and worked with the likes of Lady Gaga, is today the most well-known Islamic musician worldwide. Boasting 10 million Facebook followers and more than 100 million views on Youtube, his transition from secular music to religious, appears a worthwhile move.

On November 3, Zain, 32, performed to a packed hall at The Troxy in London. As he walked onto the stage, wearing trendy attire, colour-coded in blue and black, he was greeted by rapturous applause and screams by his female admirers. Singing songs for an hour about peace, unity and God, the show was the final stop in a 12-city concert tour of the UK and Ireland organised by the British charity Human Appeal in aid of Syria.

Yes, some girls screamed, and yes, light sticks were waved rhythmically in the air while Zain performed. But there was an underlying feeling of warmth, positivity and it was all carried out, in the most part, in a dignified manner. For those few hours, Muslims of all ages, including renowned Islamic scholars who were present, seemed to forget about their worries, they smiled and felt a sense of shared community spirit.

The 12-city tour – which also featured Awakening’s artists Raef and Harris J - is evidence of Islamic music being on an unstoppable upward curve. Indeed, as the Islamic music industry grows, it is producing many new, exciting artists. London-born Saif Adam, 28, has worked with the likes of Ed Sheeran and Tulisa Contostavlos but is now rising to prominence among Muslims worldwide. He has just released his debut album, Heart, inspired by the love he has for his religion. Adam’s success is representative of change, with mainstream companies beginning to recognise and endorse him.

Now is an exciting time for the Islamic music industry. Muslim artists are entering into new terrain and have the power to dispel negative stereotypes about their religion. Whether it is American Muslim artist Mo Sabri’s viral song “I believe in Jesus” or Zain’s songs about peace, never in Islamic history have Muslim singers commanded the ears of their co-religionists worldwide, had devoted fans, and sold multi-platinum albums, as is the case with the likes of Zain.

Until recently, Islamic music, often referred to as nasheed - now a slightly outdated term – was poorly made and badly marketed. Now we see an industry that is growing, diversifying and experimenting to fit in with the times in which we live. There is no problem with people being against Islamic music. Muslims have the right to believe Islamic music is haram [forbidden] and differences of opinion in religion are healthy. But Islamic music is here to stay.

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MuslimVillage.com
MuslimVillage.com

Conclusion In the light of the above evidences from the Qur’an, sayings of our beloved Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give peace) and texts of the various Fuqaha, the following is the decisive ruling with regards to music: Musical instruments that are solely designed for entertainment are unlawful, with or without singing. However, to play the tambourine (daf) at weddings (and other occasions according to some fuqaha) will be permissible. As far as the songs are concerned, if they consist of anything that is unlawful or they prevent one from the obligatory duties, then they will be unlawful. However, if they are free from the abovementioned things (and they are not accompanied by instruments), then it will be permissible to sing them. And Allah Knows best Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari, UK http://qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.asp?HD=1&ID=1786

malik2day
malik2day

Ali ibn Abi Talib said, "The Prophet said: 'If my Ummah bears fifteen traits, tribulation will befall it.' Someone asked, 'What are they, O Messenger of Allah?' He said, 'When any gain is shared out only among the rich, with no benefit to the poor; when a trust becomes a means of making a profit; when paying Zakat becomes a burden; when a man obeys his wife and disobeys his mother; and treats his friend kindly whilst shunning his father; when voices are raised in the mosques; when the leader of a people is the worst of them; when people treat a man with respect because they fear some evil he may do; when much wine is drunk; when men wear silk; when female singers and musical instruments become popular; when the last ones of this Ummah curse the first ones - then let them expect a red wind, or the earth to swallow them, or to be transformed into animals.'" (Tirmidhi)

Abu Sa'id al-Khudri reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: You would tread the same path as was trodden by those before you inch by inch and step by step so much so that if they had entered into the hole of the lizard, you would follow them in this also. We said: Allah's Messenger, do you mean Jews and Christians (by your words) "those before you"? He said: Who else (than those two religious groups)? (Muslim)

Abd Allah ibn Mas'ud said: "The Prophet said, 'Islam began as something strange, and it will revert to being strange as it was in the beginning, so good tidings for the strangers.' Someone asked, 'Who are the strangers?' He said, 'The ones who break away from their people (literally, 'tribes') for the sake of Islam.' "This Hadith was narrated by Ibn Majah on the authority of Anas and Abu Hurairah.

MuslimVillage.com
MuslimVillage.com

http://qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.asp?HD=1&ID=1786 Musical instruments that are solely designed for entertainment are unlawful, with or without singing. However, to play the tambourine (daf) at weddings (and other occasions according to some fuqaha) will be permissible. As far as the songs are concerned, if they consist of anything that is unlawful or they prevent one from the obligatory duties, then they will be unlawful. However, if they are free from the abovementioned things (and they are not accompanied by instruments), then it will be permissible to sing them. And Allah Knows best Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari, UK

MuslimVillage.com
MuslimVillage.com

From the article: "Until recently, Islamic music, often referred to as nasheed - now a slightly outdated term – was poorly made and badly marketed. Now we see an industry that is growing, diversifying and experimenting to fit in with the times in which we live. There is no problem with people being against Islamic music. Muslims have the right to believe Islamic music is haram [forbidden] and differences of opinion in religion are healthy. But Islamic music is here to stay."

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