On Sami…

So everyone’s been buzzing about Sami Yusuf in South Africa, and if you don’t know who Sami Yusuf is…well, you clearly haven’t been following the latest craze around this talented Muslim musician and youth icon….and it helps that he’s good looking too. If there was ever such a thing as a Muslim rock star, he would qualify (but he would probably not want to describe himself in that way).

Accompanying his trip to SA, there’s also been a huge debate around whether music is haraam, and whether musical instruments are unIslamic (well its an old debate really, finding new life here). The debate rages on, and I am going to err on the side of arguing that melodious sounds that make people feel positive about themselves and creation in general, can’t be all that bad. But people respond to music in different ways… and perhaps it’s the responses (screaming girls…maybe ?), that are getting some religious folk worked up.  

Islam has always had some form of popular culture, and the kind of music that Sami performs, is reflective of the current form of popular culture, viz Nasheed music. Some of the religious leadership have a problem with a couple of things, like the playing of instruments, the idolizing of the musician, the responses to the music (swaying, dancing, screaming, etc, though this doesn’t always happen) and maybe the idea of anything being remotely appealing to Muslims, other than the Quranic recitations. 

My take is, if young Muslims are listening to Sami and other Muslim musicians, who are in some ways also remembering the Almighty through their music…err, why should that be a problem?

I reckon there’s lots more people who think like me.


5 Responses to On Sami…

  1. KiLLa says:

    New reader to this post.

    In honesty i am split about this Yusuf Sami thing.
    Will comment after i attend the concert on Saturday.

    Apparetly it ios controversial and there were bayaans and stuff to the efffect

  2. shafinaaz says:

    i hear you, hun… going to the concert saturday inshallah,.

    hmm.. maybe u shud come to jhb 😛

  3. KiLLa says:

    I heard something really concerning today

    Check it out if u have the time.

  4. charouchick says:

    @ killa….if there was an attempt to prevent people from going to the concert, etc…its a bit late now….people will do what they want to do….the thing with Oasis, is that they are a corporate entity who wanted to do some advertising, maybe sell more investments, so they sponsored Sami, to come down and sort of do their selling for them.

    Where have you heard of a corporate pitch being made at a concert / show? Usually sponsors have their banners etc up, but to play a video is a bit over the top. As for the controversy around Sami…. well, the public has spoken…as in any situation, there will be those who like him, and those that don’t.

  5. shafinaaz says:

    his super talented. those antique persian instruments are awesome! santoor… wow wow wow! i imagine would do well with some rumi renderings too…reminds me of a recital i attended a year ago at goethe institute in jhb in celebration of rumi’s 800th birthday 🙂 only better… !

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