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Maher Zain and the pop culture that has overtaken Islamic Nasheeds

The life of this world is nothing but a game and a diversion.
The abode of the hereafter –
that is truly Life if they only knew. (Al-Quran)

Every country has laws that govern its existence. Step beyond those laws and you become liable for prosecution. In democratic countries that many Muslims find themselves residing in, there are many evils that are legalised and hence can be perpetrated with immunity from the law.
 
However for Muslims there is an overriding legislation that surpasses any other legal system. That is Allah’s Law. It is for this reason that Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam has stated, “The world is a prison for the believer but a paradise for the disbeliever.” In another Hadith, Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam outlines the reason for the curtailment of a believer’s “freedoms” wherein he states, “The world is created for your benefit but you have been created for the hereafter.”
 
Let us consider the Islamic status of the pop culture that has overtaken Islamic Nasheeds and transformed it into an entertainment industry. Let the veil of ignorance be removed from our minds and so that those who choose to be part of this industry do so with the full knowledge of their accountability in the court of Allah. Maher Zain is specifically mentioned due to his upcoming concerts in South Africa and by his performances we may deduce the reality of the situation.
 
Perhaps there is no need to quote evidences to understand the Islamic status of these events. Consider the following scenario: It is the world tour of one of the music artists of our times. Tickets are sold out and the concert is choked to capacity. The stage is set with guitarists, drummers and the whole plethora of musicians. Big screens, laser lights and what not are there to stir the crowd into a frenzy. But instead of the artist singing we have a Muslim brother who comes to the stage and moving with the beat of the drum, with the crowd of men and women swaying and clapping their hands, he begins his rendition of Surah Fatiha!
 
Ask your heart if this is piety or blasphemy? Ask your heart if this will draw Allah’s Mercy or His Wrath? Substitute the Surah Fatiha with Salaat and Salaam upon Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, substitute it with dua. The answer resides within your heart. Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam when defining sin states, “Sin is what troubles your heart…” A person may choose to ignore and suppress that agitation, but that is to one’s own detriment.
 
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam has stated: “There will be appear a people from my Ummah who will seek to legalise fornication, the wearing of silk, wine drinking and the use of musical instruments. Some people will stay at the side of the mountain and when their shepherd comes in the evening to ask them for his needs, they will say: ‘Return to us tomorrow.’ Then Allah will destroy them during the night by causing the mountain to fall upon them, while He changes others into apes and swine. They will remain in such a state until the Day of Resurrection.” (Bukhari)
 
“Most certainly, people from my Ummah will consume liquor which they will describe with some other name. Over their heads (on stages) will be musical instruments and singing girls. Allah will cause the earth to swallow them, and from among them He will transform into apes and swines.” (Ibn Maajah)
 
There are two paths in front of every one of us. One is the path to Allah’s pleasure and Paradise and the other is the path to His displeasure and the Fire. Tread the path ahead with care.

And our duty is only to convey the clear message.

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