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04 May 2006

Comments

Saracen

It's not so much the aping of culture, except that in this case, much of the culture is unacceptable in essence. The idea of young Muslim girls putting up posters of Sami Yusuf in their bedrooms, screaming his name at concerts and so on is not a manifestation of Islamically acceptable behaviour. There's a need for Islamic entertainment to be Islamic in essence, not just in the words or images that appear.

Ultimately, while many will revel in this fun, and find it a place amongst their other music listening, what has this really done to address the serious issues within the soul of one for whom these idols are their be-all and end-all? It's not so much a ruling here, as a request for the exercising of wisdom.

Someone made a fantastic point recently, weren't the entertainers in days gone by, the lowest of the low, slaves, or paid servants? Yet today, it is the entertainers who enslave the watchers.

Yusuf Smith

As-Salaamu 'alaikum,

Lyrically, the songs are so basic and in your face. The best of Western music is poetic with a lot of the hidden meanings. There isn't that depth yet to the Islamic stuff.

That's actually the thing that grates on my nerves about just about every English-language nasheed that I've heard. Sometimes I've walked into an Islamic shop and wanted to run out when this sort of thing is turned on. I find the crudity of the lyrics (they sound like they are aimed at children, but shops play them to their mostly adult clients) just painful to listen to.

Osama

Saracen, this is an example of how the Muslim world is lacking in culture. 500 years ago people talked about art, literature and maybe architecture. Cultural highpoints now are about musical expression. If you want to define a decade, people examine the music.

For me, things like Live Aid were the ultimate expression of this. The Muslim world has nothing to compare to this. At all times in Muslim civilisation there has been cultural expression and Muslims were damn good at it. In the years to come, this is why music is important.

Sohaib

Might as well plug my attempt to develop the art of Qur'anic recitation. See the site!

super devoika

if you are refering to the pop or the mainstream islamic nasheeds yeah you can say that they are abit easy and simple... but this is the thing with "POP" art... in any of its forms it is not only being simple but also naive... if you look at pop art and architecutre you can understand that more clearly... it is for the common... it is the culutre of "more is more"... and I can see that reflected in the islamic songs... which is not such a bad thing...
but if you listen to some deep nasheeds, or sufi nasheeds you can find things that would not only uplift your spirits but take you into another world... there are some good stuff out there... you just have to look/listen harder...

Mohammad

Salam, very nice blog masha'Allah.

I'm posing from Canada. I wanted to make two quick points:
I wish that people would stop and think before reading Sr. Yvonne's article, it's unfortunate that some people are using it to push forward the "no music" agenda. (which is fine, so long as the "pro music" agenda is not labeled as "wrong-doers"...keeping in mind that there is a difference of opinion on this issue, Islamically.

Second point: I'm very happy that artists like Sami Yusuf are leading such a push towards "popularising" the Islamic teachings. I occasionally host a radio show and I wanted to share two stories that happened. The first one was when we debuted Sami Yusuf's "My Ummah" CD...within 10 seconds of the first song that was played (yes I called it a song!) I received a phone call from a non-Muslim asking me where he can purchase a copy!

The second involved the host of the radio show that airs after ours (a local Filipino community radio show), I had a couple of minutes of air left so I decided to play Sami Yusuf's al-Mu'allim, the upcoming show's host was waiting behind me in the studio and was humming to the tune and suddenly he started saying the lyrics "..he was Muhammad..salla Lllahu 'alyhi wa sallam".

Again, perhaps sr. Yvonne's message was just to be careful and stay balanced.

Wallahu a'lam.

Musa

Yvonne Ridley is our sister yes, but truly her words are not to be taken seriously? I mean, come on, she converted a few uears ago and now she feels it’s her duty to teach us about Islam and what the Ummah should be doing?? Come on. Honestly, I believe the only reason why people are taking her ‘HT’ and ‘Muhajirooni’ comments seriously is because she’s white and a convert - pure and simple! We are such a sad ummah! What is so different about her and Zarqawi OR other finatics?? I mean she openly and blatatnly supported Zarqawi! And no brother I disagree with thing about Zionists etc. Extremism is extremism. Whether it’s from Wahabism or Atheism!

Nasser Saleem Ahmed

I've organised quite a few Nasheed concerts over the last few years and know quite about about the artists and where the industry is going. I have to agree that 90% of the artists lack charisma and raw talent but there are a few that shine. I personally think Sami Yusuf is in the top class of Naseed artists, as his lyrics and musical background play a significant part in his songs. He is a quality artist and composer. The industry does have a long way to go and in my opinion will flourish, attracting people with it and Islam. No doubt a positive by product.

Whatever your argument, the bottom line is what alternative do we have to mainstream music? There are only so many recorded talks I can listen to and yes the Quran is beautiful to listen to but once in a while I need a change. Unless there is an alternative, people will listen to the Pussycat Dolls, Will Young, Robbie Williams and whoever else.

Musa

Sister Yvonne clearly contradicts hers;ef severla times. She says it's wrong to feel proud of being British YET at the same time she wants to be elected for parliament herslef! Whether you iike it or not, she is extreme and her views are extreme. The article whereby she condones the actions of Zarqawi is not 'made up', you can go onto her site or muslimweekly.com and find it. Don't encourage this type of rhetoric... her actions have been VERY suspicious, although it can be deemed haram to be suspicous of another Muslim (as stated in the Quran) BUT there are exceptions to the case. She CLEARLY and blatantly defamed another Muslim brother (whether we agree with him or not is another issue) in her article. She equated our Muslim sisters to 'fluffers' (please don't check this word up on dictionary.com because it is beyond your wildest imagination). She is extreme, simple as that. Islam is about Peace and whether we like it or not, the history of Islam (and one of the reasons for its prosperity and genius) is mult-faceted and there will ALWAYS remain difference of opinion. She OR any other person cannot just take the pen and write whatever they want to write!! We must ask our scholars. Unfortunately, Wahabism's main flaw (and by the way, many have argued that Wahabis is the biggest bid'aa - or Innovation - of the past 200 years!!) is that, the followers don't follow scholars! They just follow their own brains. Dear brothers and sisters, whether we like it or not, or whether we wish to admit or not, there has remained a legitimate 'difference of opinion' on subject of Music. HOWEVER, backbiting and defaming is agreed upon by ALL scholars. That is exactly what out sister did, she took advantage of her position and wrote things that are 100% die to it's backbiting nature and equation our great sister in Islam as fluffers!! I am not a HUGe fan of Sami myself, BUT, I'm sad and worried that voices like Yvonee are prominent and loud and have a strong following:( May He (SWT) help us - amin

Muslim brother

Name
ahmed -
Profession
Question Could you please give us your opinion regarding the recent criticism of Sami Yousef's music by some scholars claiming his use of "un-Islamic" instruments in some of his songs.
Answer
There is nothing called Islamic and un-Islamic instruments; instruments are tools whose rulings is based on the way they are used for. This is a juristic rule that tools are judged according to the purpose they are used for. The negative attitude towards musical instruments in the old classical Islamic jurisprudence was mainly a reaction for deviant practices of people rather than a reflection of juristic texts.

Though the view of the majority of scholars is to forbid all musical instruments except duff, this view is based on weak arguments that do not stand solid in the juristic perspective.

1. Scholars tried to derive the ruling of prohibition from some verses of the Qur’an but while doing so they interpreted the verses in a way that is far from the direct and obvious meaning.

2. Ahadiths quoted in this regard are either unauthentic, not decisive to the effect prohibition, or opposed by stronger and more solid evidences from the Sunnah.

3. Some scholars, past and present, have verified the subject and pointed out the weakness of the argument stating that all musical instruments are forbidden. Some of these scholars are Ibn Hazm and Ash-Shawkani in the past, and Sheikh Al-Qaradawi and Al-Ghazali in the present.

As for Sami Yusuf, he followed a legitimate school of thought that stand on solid foundation. He used musical instruments to serve the cause of Islam and in my view and others he has done a good job in this filed. Attacking Sami Yusuf is, therefore, wrong from both the jurisprudential way as the juristic rule states that “a controversial matter is not to be condemned as wrong”. Any work that a person achieves based on a fatwa with solid evidences and issued by reliable scholars is not to be opposed even though we tend to subscribe to a different school of thought. We need to understand this juristic rule very well so as to allow diversity of opinions and pluralism in the madhahabs.

Those who attack Sami Yusuf are unfortunately ignoring the huge impact that un-Islamic deviant arts on especially on youth and the pressing need for alternatives. We live in a time that art has become more effective than the sword and the use of force. You can just imagine the huge impact that the recently published novel Da Vinci Code is leaving on the Christian faith and culture.

The good efforts done by Sami Yusuf in creating an alternative and using the musical instruments and video clips that were ever dedicated for indecency, must be appreciated and looked at positively.

http://www.islamonline.net/livedialogue/english/Browse.asp?hGuestID=001qUP

Brother Dash

As an artist myself in this burgeoning Islamic Entertainment industry I welcome the dialogue. I don't condone personal attacks on individuals but people can disagree. I really believe that this can only help this nascent industry grow and develop. I will say however, though I have never met Sami Yusuf, I have met and performed on the same bill with artists like Native Deen, Preacher Moss, 786, Dawud Wharnsby Ali, Ahmed Bukhatir and Zain Bhikka and behind the scenes I have found them to be humble brothers doing what they do for Allah the Most High and for the benefit of the Ummah. We need Islamic alternatives to Western Pop Culture. I think some of Sister Yvonne's choice of words were a bit much and she probably never met any of these artists and spoken with them on a personal level as I have. Masha Allah hindsight is 20/20 vision.

Insha Allah this Summer I will have the opportunity to perform on stage with some of these same brothers again at some events that are scheduled in the U.S. and in the U.K. All I can tell you as someone who is a Muslim performer is backstage so far I have found these brothers to be good brothers wa Allahu Alim.

Brother Dash
www.muslimpoet.com

Misbah

Sami Yusuf responds to Yvonne Ridleys article:

Check it out: http://www.samiyusuf.com/home/index.htm

Musa

'Positive engagement - not anarchist ranting'
sami yusuf breaks his silence in an open letter to yvonne riddley


Open Letter
From Sami Yusuf to Yvonne Riddley

17/06/06

"Dear Yvonne,

Peace and blessings of God be upon you.

Your recent article on ‘Pop Culture in the Name of Islam’ has been brought to my attention. I commend you for voicing your opinion and raising some very important issues – albeit in a very provocative manner. I thought it would be useful to share some of my thoughts with you on this matter.

As a Muslim artist, I regularly seek clarification and advice from world-renowned scholars on art, music, singing and culture. Be informed that the subject of music is one of the most controversial topics in Islamic Jurisprudence. I respect those who consider music to be haram. Yes eminent scholars of our past have opined such. However, I respect and follow the opinion of other eminent scholars – classical and contemporary, who permit singing and the use of musical instruments. The well-established jurisprudential rule states that ‘in matters where there is ikhtilaf (differences of opinion) there is to be no condemnation of either opinion.’ This is from the beauty of the religion of Islam. The diversity of our cultural, legal and social traditions is something we are in dire need of celebrating not condemning. So let’s agree to disagree on this one.

The obsessive fascination of fans towards any celebrity - be it in arts, music, politics, media, etc - to the point of hysteria and hero-worshipping is definitely unhealthy not to mention un-Islamic. Of course, as Muslims, we are required to abide by certain etiquettes in whatever situation we may find ourselves in. However, I definitely did not see girls dancing or behaving indecently in any of my concerts. To state otherwise is a gross exaggeration if not an outright fallacy. And if indeed that did take place then let’s deal with it in the true Prophetic tradition - a tradition that imparts love, mercy, tolerance and wisdom. Let me share with you the story of the Bedouin who came to the Prophet’s mosque and started urinating in the mosque itself. The Companions rushed to grab him and give him a ‘good beating.’ But the Prophet did not allow them to do so and told them to let him be. After the Bedouin had urinated, the Prophet asked his Companions to bring a bucket of water and wash the place. Afterwards he called the man and with gentleness and affection explained to him that this was a place of worship and that it should be kept clean. Though I have to say that had the Bedouin been around today he would be lucky to get away with just..."

TO READ MORE go here: http://samiyusuf.com/press/Sami_Yusuf_open_letter.htm

Esma

seni çok seviyorum SAMİ YUSUF.

Esma

assalamu- alaykum SAMİ YUSUF.Ben esma TÜRKİYEDEN arıyorum. seni çok seviyorum.lütfen hayatının türkçe yazılmış halini bana gönder.ALLAH`a emanet ol.WASSALAM.

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