Pop Culture in the Name of Islam
24 Apr, '06
I FEEL very uncomfortable about the pop culture which is growing around some
so-called Nasheed artists. Of course I use the term 'Nasheed artists' very
lightly. Islamic 'boy bands' and Muslim 'popsters' would probably be more
Eminent scholars throughout history have often opined that music is haram, and I
don't recall reading anything about the Sahaba whooping it up to the sound of
music. Don't get me wrong. I'm all for people letting off steam, but in a
dignified manner and one which is appropriate to their surroundings.
The reason I am expressing concern is that just a few days ago at a venue in
Central London, sisters went wild in the aisles as some form of pop-mania swept
through the concert venue. And I'm not just talking about silly, little girls
who don't know any better; I am talking about sisters in their 20's, 30's and
40's, who squealed, shouted, swayed and danced. Even the security guys who
looked more like pipe cleaners than bulldozers were left looking dazed and
confused as they tried to stop hijabi sisters from standing on their chairs. Of
course the stage groupies did not help at all as they waved and encouraged the
largely female Muslim crowd to "get up and sing along." (They're called 'Fluffers'
in lap-dancing circles!)
The source of all this adulation was British-born Sami Yusuf, who is so proud of
his claret-colored passport that he wants us all to wave the Union Jacks. I'm
amazed he didn't encourage his fans to sing "Land of Hope and Glory." Brother
Sami asked his audience to cheer if they were proud to be British ,and when they
responded loudly, he said he couldn't hear them and asked them to cheer again.
How can anyone be proud to be British? Britain is the third most hated country
in the world. The Union Jack is drenched in the blood of our brothers and
sisters across Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine. Our history is steeped in the
blood of colonialism, rooted in slavery, brutality, torture, and oppression. And
we haven't had a decent game of soccer since we lifted the World Cup in 1966.
Apparently Sami also said one of the selling points of Brand UK was having
Muslims in the Metropolitan Police Force! Astafur'Allah! Dude, these are the
same cops who have a shoot-to-kill policy and would have gunned down a Muslim
last year if they could tell the difference between a Bangladeshi and a
Brazilian. This is the same police force that has raided more than 3000 Muslim
homes in Britain since 9/11. What sort of life is there on Planet Sami, I
wonder? If he is so proud to be British, why is he living in the great Middle
Eastern democracy of Egypt?
Apparently the sort of hysteria Sami helped encourage is also in America, and if
it is happening on both sides of the Atlantic, then it must be creeping around
the globe and poisoning the masses. Islamic boy bands like 786 and Mecca 2
Medina are also the subject of the sort of female adulation you expect to see on
American Pop Idol or the X-Factor. Surely Islamic events should be promoting
restrained and more sedate behavior.
Do we blame the out-of-control sisters? Or do we blame the organizers for
allowing this sort of excessive behavior which demeans Islam? Or do we blame the
Abu Ali and Abu Abdul Malik, struggling for their Deen, would certainly not try
to whip up this sort of hysteria. Neither would the anonymous heroic Nasheed
artists who sing for freedom; check out Idhrib Ya Asad Fallujah, and you will
know exactly what I mean.
Fallujah is now synonymous with the sort of heroic resistance that elevated the
Palestinians of Jenin to the ranks of the resistance written about in the Paris
Communeand the Siege of Leningrad. The US military has banned the playing of any
Nasheeds about Fallujah because of the power and the passion it evokes.
If those Nasheeds had sisters running in the streets whooping and dancing,
however, the Nasheeds may be encouraged because of haram activity surrounding
Quite frankly, I really don't know how anyone in the Ummah can really let go and
scream and shout with joy at pleasure domes when there is so much brutality and
suffering going on in the world today.
The rivers of blood flow freely from the veins of our brothers and sisters from
across the Muslim world. Screaming and shouting the names of musical heroes
drown out the screams coming from the dungeons of Uzbekistan where brothers and
sisters are boiled alive in vats of water.
How many will jump up and down and wave their arms in the air, shouting wildly
for justice for our kin in Kashmir, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Palestine, and Iraq?
There are many more killing fields as well across the Asian and Arab world. Will
you climb on theater chairs and express your rage over Guantanamo Bay and other
gulags where our brothers and sisters are being tortured, raped, sodomized,
beaten, and burned?
Sit and switch on to the likes of Sami Yusuf because he can sell you a pipe
dream with his soothing words and melodic voice?
Oh, Muslims, wake up! The Ummah is not bleeding; it is hemorrhaging. Listen not
to what is haram. Listen to the pain of your global family.
the hearing, and the sight, and the heart, of each of those you will be
questioned (by Allaah).” [al-Israa’ 17:36]
That which you have been given is but a fleeting comfort of this life. Better
and more enduring is that which Allah has for those who believe and put their
trust in Him; who avoid gross sins and indecencies and, when angered, are
willing to forgive; who obey their Lord, attend to their prayers, and conduct
their affairs by mutual consent; who bestow in alms a part of that which We have
given them and, when oppressed, seek to redress their wrongs.
[Al-Qur'an, Sura: 42 (Ash-Shura), Ayat: 36-39]
Prophet Muhammad (S) said, "Whoever imitates
the kuffar, is one of them". (imitation in
anything; lifestyle, behavior, clothing, etc)
Also, He (S) said, There will be a day when my
ummah will follow the nonbelievers inch by inch, cubit by cubit so much so, if
they enter a lizard hole; my Ummah will follow the nonbelievers in that hole.
a days it's hard to distinguish a Muslim from a non-Muslim crowd, but it's the
people's choice how they want to live this life or if they want to be
resurrected with Firaun or Haman instead of prophet Muhammad *S* and Abu Bakr
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