A Challenge to Muslim Hip Hoppers and Entertainers

When the Prophet (pbuh) saw Umar reading some passages from the Torah he said, “If Mosa was alive today, he would have no choice but to follow me.” What would he say to our Muslim entertainers who jump up and down and seek, intended or unintended, to impose the lens of culture as a means to interpret and understand religion? While the Torah still held some drops of revelation, the words and acts of men don’t.

A few years ago Dr. Tariq Ramadan encouraged a  moratorium on Islamic penal codes. I’m calling for a moratorium on Islamic entertainment. Let’s encourage our dear brothers and sisters to take a year off, learn the religion, learn tajwid, getting an ijaza in one of the 7 ways of reading, master a book in every major science; and participate in one of their local Islamic Centers dawa programs.  If one is already doing this, or done it, then do it again.

Perhaps one would say that this applies to all Muslims? No doubt, learning here is of greater importance because our artists are trying to shape a discourse. This discourse must be based on knowledge and submission. I would encourage Muslims to avoid these superstars, inviting them to events, paying them big sums of cash and treating them with such pageantry.

About the author

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb is a contemporary American-Muslim educator, activist, and lecturer. His work bridges classical and contemporary Islamic thought, addressing issues of cultural, social and political relevance to Muslims in the West. After converting to Islam in 1992, Webb left his career in the music industry to pursue his passion in education. He earned a Bachelor’s in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and received intensive private training in the Islamic Sciences under a renowned Muslim Scholar of Senegalese descent. Webb was hired as the Imam at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, where he gave khutbas (sermons), taught religious classes, and provided counselling to families and young people; he also served as an Imam and resident scholar in communities across the U.S.

From 2004-2010, Suhaib Webb studied at the world’s preeminent Islamic institution of learning, Al-Azhar University, in the College of Shari`ah. During this time, after several years of studying the Arabic Language and the Islamic legal tradition, he also served as the head of the English Translation Department at Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah.

Outside of his studies at Al-Azhar, Suhaib Webb completed the memorization of the Quran in the city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. He has been granted numerous traditional teaching licenses (ijazat), adhering to centuries-old Islamic scholarly practice of ensuring the highest standards of scholarship. Webb was named one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in 2010.

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  • AS

    What Muslims need is to understand the effects of popular cultural music forms on religious worship and personality both positive and negative effects. To use musical genres such as: classical music, rock, r & b and hip hop for spreading a religious message is no new notion. Recently, reggae was adopted to communicate a Jewish position by the reggae artist Matiyahsu himself an Orthodox Jew.

    The Baptist church experimented and struggled for quite sometime with music as a missionary and pedagogical tool. Many r & b artists trained their voices in the gospel genre before entering the corporate scene. In an attempt to compete with the “club” a segment of the Christian Church adopted the musical forms popular in the club scene after some time the club dominated this segment of the Church. Many are the famous examples of gospel choir singer converted to famous popular star.

    This small space is in no way adequate to treat this topic in a systematic and well documented manner but it is important to keep ask are we claiming to be in the process of islamization when we deal with popular cultural forms? It is interesting that with this claim we now see an increasing number of Muslims claim to be part of the club scene.

    It is my hunch that addressing this topic will hit a nerve as it has demonstrated to have done in the past. The unfortunate reality here is that rather than approach the matter from the common ground of being Muslim a charge will be waged here that ” you just don’t understand” “your arguments are not strong” and “you are generalizing”

    The difference between this generation of young Muslims and the older generation of Muslims converts and otherwise is that there was a red line drawn in public and a great effort made to be Muslim and pride in being Muslim. Even Islamic themes in hip hop were resonated more in the latter part of the last century given that the age was an age in which being righteous was cool, social reform was key and being a pioneer was a sign of authenticate commitment. These realities are just not the case today.

    Today Muslims argue to be hip hop rather than stay silent and learn Islam. Even the 5% nation which has dominated hip hop and been at the front line of employing Islamic terms to send its message that the black man is god has scolded those who claim to understand their lessons but are deficient in understanding. With rappers claiming the be Mason and others to be satan why would we want to promote the idea of Muslim hip hop? Actually, the whole notion of Muslim hip hop is a strategy for weaning brothers off of hip hop. In the 80’s we said Stop the Violence! Now in the 21th century we say stop the violence and ignorance (jahilliyyah). “How can we be like Muhammad (saw)” if we are taking our cues from others other than he?!

    A question deserves attention here divorced of emotion and that is: If we are to use hip hop for da’wah does this mean that we direct package and sell the idea of Muslim hip hop for Muslims?

    Secondly, does having a good edge on music alone qualify one to represent Islam in the music world? A failure to represent clear principles and qualifications to guide entertainment on the part of the masses is indicative of the ambiguity involved in the topic of entertainment, daw’ah and Islamic practice. The Halal is evident and the Haram is evident but between these two is ambiguity and that is the province of sound Islamic scholarship not entertainers and entertainment and an opinion from here and there.


  • Word is bond.

    Our Muslim social-commentaries, such as this, is lacking amongst the Talibul 'Ilm in America…

    JazakAllahukhair for the Nasee7ah.

    Yusuf – Cincinnati

  • Salaam my dear shaykh,

    as i'm sure this post will arouse much thought and rebuttals, perhaps you and one or two others who are qualified could present papers through this site expanding on your argument.

    or maybe as an alternative, you and the other qualified speakers could present your arguments in a pre-recorded speech / interview and post it on your blog. it could facilitate in contributing your heartfelt thoughts to this discourse.

    another possibility too could be to do a round table, prepared discussion on the issue of abstaining from supporting Muslim artists and entertainers. it could feature two people from each side, presenting their prepared points and then taking a few questions.

    wallahu al-musta'aan


  • asalaamu alaykum brother Suhaib,

    I have to say that I find the tone of this greatly disappointing. You're attempting to delegitimize those who disagree with you by calling them intoxicated. You're also misrepresenting all of the arguments made in favor of hip-hop in the previous post. No one argued that music should be used as a means of spiritual mobility. You're the only one who said anything about that.

    I would imagine that the supposed intoxication you're referring to came about because of the tone of the original post, which equated hip-hop to satanism. Making a statement like that is really throwing down the gauntlet, and if you're going to do it, you need to back up your claims with some sound argumentation, which didn't happen. All of the evidence brought against hip-hop in the last post was anecdotal. Our objections don't amount to dissing you or your credentials either, as you said earlier. No one objects when you discuss the deeper meanings in Sura Yusuf because we all trust your knowledge on such matters. But when you speak out against hip-hop, you're entering the realm of opinion. Painting others' opinions as intoxicated in such contexts is entirely dishonest.

    Your invitation to leave music for a year in favor studying our religion more deeply is entirely noble. Your insights into music, and hip-hop specifically, are also entirely valid and I respect them. I actually did a huge purge of my iTunes library after our discussion in the last post because your opinions on the matter make a lot of sense. But your arguments should be able to stand on their own. Painting your opposition as illegitimate is only going to sow discord. You said earlier that you respect the opinions of your brothers and sisters in Islam. I invite you to act like it.

    I would be entirely willing to give up Islamic entertainment in favor of studying our sciences for a year. I look forward to your guidance in future posts.

  • Asalamu alaykum,

    Thank your for pointing out my insensitive statements. Sincere advice is your brother's right, and I've chosen to listen and implement it. Again, I'm very thankful for your advice, time and concern for your brother.


  • AS

    One of the obvious differences between this stage that we are in -in da'wah- is that there used to be a fervor for learning the Deen and enthusiasm to practice the Deen and that seems to be dwindling. In fact, we do not see the same type of influx into Islam today that we saw sometime ago to be more precise in description we are witnessing an exodus from Islam in not in belief and practice then in practice and in attitude..

    After about 12 years now the reality on the ground is quite different than what it once was here in the US. After the 9-11 disaster we Muslims woke up to being in America and part of America but now we are drowning in the social problems of America the very problems that indigenous Americans sought to reform by coming into Islam. Instead of being a model community in America it seems we are either against “the evil empire” or “immersed into the dark culture of the empire” we have not come to a possession where America is home and we are working for the well being of ourselves and others. In other words, there is an ideological shift and disorientation Muslims are suffering after not only the cold war but after 9-11.

    There is an attitude, in the community, which demands that one prove oneself by debate and then it is in the discretion of the listener as to what is sound and reasonable and what is not regardless of understanding and standing in knowledge. Consequentially, we end up in a pool of varying and at times contradicting opinions, it is here that frustration reigns about what Islam is and how to practice and how it applies to life and in this case what is says about things such as listening to and practicing music and the arts. The new layer to the culture of debate is to claim the right to define what moderation is. So that a person is immoderate if his or her opinion is to one's disliking either rejected in part or in whole.

    Here there is a word of wisdom to be take from Shaikh Allamah Abdullah Bin Bayyah (h). He said: “it may be the case that the person of knowledge is moderate but claimed extreme because the society he resides in is so “loose” that their cultural context distorts their image of what is moderate and what is not” So determining the moderate if it is properly done is to define moderate according to the principles of Shar'iah and evidences least we run the course of giving the intellect free rein in determining the halal (beauty) and the haram (ugly) without guidance from Shar'iah.

    With that said there is a pressing need to study Islam in a systematic manner and being enthusiastic about its study and practice least we be consumed by the uprise of secular popular culture. In the fiqh of priorities we have to ask what takes precedence: arguing for supporting Muslims in the entertainment industry or pushing for reviving Islam through its study and practice? What fails to come into discussion here is that the idea of Muslim entering the arts is no new concept. In fact, American Imams (African-Americans) pushed for the idea of using the arts over 10 years ago some of us rejected that notion and pushed to study and learn instead and this is why there is a small minority of Muslim Americans who have “some” understanding of Islamic Sciences. Another question of importance here that is going unaddressed is: are we directing “entertainment” with an Islamic veneer at Muslims or is this a da'wah medium?

    In the Islamic world the arts were dominated by the spirit and themes of the Qur'an and the attitude of the musician was guided by Islam, his very expression and tone is that really the case today where there is no Islamic empire or state? As Muslims in America the debate about the arts is much more than just a debate about music, its halalness or haramness but it is a debate about how will we work out our identity in this Nation in which we enjoy the freedom to believe to reject Islam. The way Muslims determine how to deal with the arts must be based on knowledge and not whim for it not only affects the youth of Islam but America as a whole and Europe too. Therefore, we need to really be cautious about what effects our acts will have upon others as well as ourselves. I sincerely doubt that music is being used as a da'wah tool in the manner Cat Stevens has employed it (Yusuf Islam) it seems more like some are working out their struggle with popular culture, with themselves and their identity rather than being models of Islamic values in a world in which values are contested. How we work out the question on the arts will determine how we proceed as Muslims in America and how we will contribute to reinstill popular culture with values that will save the West from moral implosion.

  • Salam brother SalmanC,
    Even though your advice was directed to brother Suhaib I took it to heart and appreciate it. I would have to say though that this statement I find very harsh “Painting others' opinions as intoxicated in such contexts is entirely dishonest” and it is not in defense of Br. Suhaib's pride (He's a big guy and can handle criticism) but rather because in almost any situation people are listening to hip-hop specifically, and music generally, you see them bouncing their heads, swaying back and forth to the tune as if they are “intoxicated”. How many muslims today tear up when they hear a verse from the Quran? We're mesmorised by the poetic words of someone, not that there is anything wrong with poetry, and feel a connection with the struggles of that person who is spewing, for the most part, bitterness about certain experiences but when the Imam is reading surat al-zalzala we are yawning.
    your brother,

  • “I would encourage Muslims to avoid these superstars, inviting them to events, paying them big sums of cash and treating them with such pageantry.”

    Is Imam Suhaib talking about him self here?

    We know that Arabs love white prostitutes and they get the most money of all of the hookers. Has anybody asked Imam Suhaib how much he gets paid to do his lil fake Arab-American accent while they parade him around their “Religious gatherings”. Show business is show business. Seems these intolerant self appointed “Scholars” are just worried they may be losing their fan base. And what is up with the Eminem reference??? Don’t “Imams” have better things to do with their time then to drive more people away from Islam????

    I noticed he has failed to mentioned the fact that He is living off that…
    “ARAB MONEY!!!”

    Can you say….. HATERS!


  • Wa alaikum as-Salam Ya Shaikh,

    We need to make a concious effort to meet these brothers and sisters and make them an offer?
    Lets put up and shut up.

  • @ Abul Hussiein

    As salaam alaykum

    I agree with you Abul Hussein music is not the best form for dawah as dawah is invitation and at best music can cause awareness but not invite anybody to The Creator. Gospel has been around for over hundred years yet there’s not many who can say Gospel lead them to become Christian.

    However ,I have strongly disagree and as well as am quite offended by your statement:

    “In fact, American Imams (African-Americans) pushed for the idea of using the arts over 10 years ago some of us rejected that notion and pushed to study and learn instead and this is why there is a small minority of Muslim Americans who have “some” understanding of Islamic Sciences.”

    You totally took that call to the arts out of context. It was a reaction to rude and divisive ways of early african-american salafis by strong non-intimidated Sunni african-american Imams who took a stand against the salafis call to reject the AA heritage and history become pseudo arabs.

    Now years later many those who “studied the deen” are poor and broken people. Who sacrificed alot time and effort and still don’t understand Islam on a basic level and confuse it with akin to turning oneself to a pseudo arab. Many are in college today at the age of forty and above because they “studied the deen” but didn’t learn anything to equip them to provide for themselves and their families. Yes they can read fusha and quote hadith but do they have skill to make them employable? The answer to that question unfortunately in many cases is no.

    Many of those AA Imams you spoke of who issued the call to arts are still staying strong in the deen and although their knowledge hasn’t grown as it should they have progressed while those forsake everything to “study the deen” are barely surviving and have produced children with a strong aversion to Islam due to their rude and divisive ways. Not all the majority have.

    Another issue I would like to address is this statement:

    “In the fiqh of priorities we have to ask what takes precedence: arguing for supporting Muslims in the entertainment industry or pushing for reviving Islam through its study and practice?”

    Why does it have to be one or the other? I don’t see this as an either or issue. Just because somebody enjoys “Muslim Entertainment” doesn’t mean they don’t or can’t study. There are 24 hours in day you know. One can only take in some much information without forgetting something there needs to be some time de-stress. Listening music for sometime doesn’t counteract hours or years of studying. If one is so easily swayed by a snippet of music they have more deeper problems then ulama can handle. They may indeed have some form brain malformation or disease.

    The thing I think is at the root of problem is cultural misunderstanding. Many “leaders” of masajids (or graveyards as I like to call them) are disconnected and unequipped to deal with their american-born children and converts and so many of them view what should have been place of inquiry and peace as place of totalitarianism and boredom and a place to avoid at all costs. Many those find what they looking for in entertainment.

    Some solutions to draw people to obtaining knowledge I think are:

    Stop moral judgments
    The prophet dealt with people as they were not what should be. Yes they is right and wrong but there’s difference between nasiha and condemnation.

    This tactic used by perfection by 40 – 50’s era Christian Leaders have drove people away from religion hundred fold. “fire and brimstone” sermons where everybody is not good enough to your level only drives people away. Nobody wants to hear or be in place where there constantly reminded of how bad there are (especially if it isn’t true).

    Motivate the People
    People want to be encouraged to reach a higher level. Constantly harping on people that they don’t know enough hadith and Quran and follow enough sunnah won’t ingratiate yourself to taken as person of respect and guidance. Nobody likes an arrogant know-it-all. That attitude may be the norm in tribalistic society where authority is not be questioned in anyway,shape or form but it don’t play the US. We always question those in authority;ALWAYS!!! Steel sharpens steel but crushes cardboard. If you don’t have the skill to express and hold your position without reverting to the standard “I know you don’t know” or “don’t ask those questions” then one needs upgrade their game.

    Make Knowledge accessible and appilcable
    Most of those who need knowledge and are seeking it are not going to be Fuqaha. Knowledge is supposed to reinforce their morality and good character not fill their heads with things not applicable in their lives immediately such as Al Burda. Why one would “need” to know this is but not need know how process information Islamically (fiqh of priorties and maqasid) is beyond me. One doesn’t need to sit with alim to understand the Prophet’s character but you do need to know how to process information and make moral judgments on daily basis. So making knowledge accessible and applicable is key I believe. Today there is too much emphasis on “loving the Prophet” and not enough on how think and reason in an Islamic way.

    Many may not have as much “knowledge” as they should but that in no way means they immoral or evil as some have inferred. I have met many who are who have little to no knowledge of Islam’s sources but have good morality and character. As well as I have met many of the opposite. In fact too many of the opposite. Which another problem all together which I’ll leave for another time.

  • AS

    What is up Hamza here we meet again. I do not want to enter into a dialectal circle here of back and forth. There are a few things I would like to mention though. I believe you and I are speaking about two different stages of da’wah in America. What I referenced about the encouragement of African American Imams to work with the arts had little to do with the Salafis, akhi. Rather, the stage I am referring to is when our Imams were coming out of the Black National movement and the revolutionary mindset. The Salafi phenomena came a bit later brother actually the community was dealing with sufis from abroad and jamatu tabligh and then the MSA and the Hamza Yusuf Phenomena . My analysis is coming from intimate relations with Imams from the African American community some of who were from the Dar.

    On another note in the fiqh of priorities seeking knowledge comes first.

    In addition, if we are serious about building a sound Islamic Western culture etc. then we need to understand what constitutes Islamic civilization and what what are the boundaries between culture, custom and Islam. The cultural imperative article is in no way sufficient for this people need to imbibe the Qur’an and understand Islam.

    Lastly, there are many people who went out to study to lead the community but found the community not in tact in other words not capable of supporting them and in this case I am referring to the indigenous community. On the other hand, there are brothers who positioned themselves in the immigrant community and are starting at 40,000 and others are earning above that in the 50’s and 70’s. As far as the Salafis from the US to be honest that is not a discussion I want to enter other than to say the brothers may seems Arab to some but the short jeans and the timberland boot demonstrate that to label them Arab is not so accurate. Muslim entertainment is an opportunity to initiate a cultural shift in the world but the question is how Islamic is it this has nothing to do with being black or Arab brother this has to do with principles, attitudes and aesthetics and and ethos grounded in revelation.

    In closing, we are trying to make knowledge accessible and in fact free! But there is little interest in learning in the community and this analysis is not personal assessment but rather is a national assessment. There are scholars here in America that are relevant, humble in the community employed and Black but get little play we have a Shaikh right here in Ohio like that but there is no discipline in the community. Salafis and Sufis alike think they know more than the Shaikh and are content with doing their own thing rather than learning. This at the end of the day is the issue in the community -the problem of ego and cracking the ego- and this problem crosses cultural and ethnic lines.

  • Dawah? Invitations to Islam? are you guys kidding me? Before we start engaging in grand, lofty theoretical debates about inviting people to Islam, can we talk about just how unwelcoming we are as an ummah in America? have you tried to enter a mosque that doesn’t double as your etho-national/diasporic community center? I was raised Muslim in America all my life, and can confidently say that i would take any opportunity to visit an anonymous church or synagogue, before entering an unfamiliar mosque alone or one that I hadn’t researched thoroughly. I wish we could spend as much time and energy criticizing others and creating a spirit of hostile confrontation as we could training ourselves to practice adbah not only for a communal space, but for a communal space of worship!

    But to be more topical and to get back to the original series of rhetorical questions: what of inviting?

    a brother in the comments section mentioned the interest in learning the deen has seemed to dwindle. I would definitely agree, especially since the time i assume he is referring to was one of great reversion, a time during hip hop’s Golden Era. I wonder how many people commenting or even reading this blog first learned about Islam through hip hop? Even you Suhaib started the original post, the one in which you responded to an article by Sh. Abul Hussein, by crediting hip hop for introducing you to Islam. That was the first of some confusing arguments. Reading your article I was left more bemused than enlightened. Fallacies arising from the intellectual thorniness of lumping together all styles, artists, genres and chronology into one blanket term of “hip hop” detracted from and obscured your point. I am still unclear as to what you mean by hip hop? when you say hip hop, are you talking about just the music? are you including the culture of b-boying, dj-ing, graffiti art, clothing style? Are you pointing fingers at all artists? or just mainstream commercially successful ones? And, more relevant to this recent post, what is meant by Muslim Hip Hoppers and Entertainers? Any Muslim who participates in either field? Or Muslims who practice the arts and self-identify as Muslim?

    Perhaps I need more of a lucid explanation of your definition of the hip hop you are attacking before I myself start defending or consider defending any position.

    However, I will say this: Even if you find some messages vapid or disagree with the statements, even if there is inconsistency in the artistic production, or you disagree with the taboo subjects addressed, you cannot deny the impact of hearing the Basmala recited at the beginning of a mainstream, commercially successful artist’s album. you cannot deny how something of the like has “invited” people to research what “bismi-llahi ar-rahmani ar-rahimi” means, or even “invited” practicing Muslims to confidently robe themselves in a cloak of Muslim American identification. And this last comment hints towards the two arching issues I have with your public “edict” calling for a moratorium on Islamic entertainment-that again, revolve around and involve this notion of “inviting people”:

    1. Turning Muslims away from Islam
    2. Turning non-Muslims away from Islam

    What you say not only affects these two relationships between Muslims and their religion and Muslims and non-Muslims in the West, but more concretely, (and perhaps more selfishly) they affect the livelihood of people in my life who I love. I have no desire to throw ad hominem attacks and other stalemate accusations your way, and if anything i say comes off as abrasive or impassioned by my lower nafs, i beg for forgiveness. but I will not be a bystander to this negative intervention-in which friends who do practice “Muslim art,” art that has changed non-Muslim views on Islam for the better consider disengaging from their artistic pursuits, not because it is unhealthy, or because they feel the soiling of their soul but because they are tired of dealing with the aggressive public persecution they must face from their own community every time they open their mouth to sing or turn a mic to speak; in which one of my brothers who won’t go to the mosque and pray because he fears incurring judgmental stares and comments will eagerly engage in discussions about Islam spurred from an Islamic reference in a Lupe Fiasco track. kill this attempt at outreaching and ameliorating the general understanding of our faith, kill this enthusiasm about learning about the deen and what do you have? a deaden desire to associate with “Islam,” this “Islam” that Muslims present the world and their followers.

    Just today, my 17 year old sister and I had a conversation about her issues with faith. I came to find out that my sister, who had been previously secluded from the Muslim American, had lost her faith in practicing Islam not because of the pressures of growing up Muslim in a non-Muslim suburban community-but because of the hypocrisy and judgmental attitudes she witnessed or had maliciously directed her way from the Muslim community. She was referring to the conduct of some family members in general, but in particular what she experienced at a Muslim Youth summer camp a couple of years back. The girls were hostile, lied about menstruating to avoid prayers. The boys took every non-supervised opportunity to hit on her. And lastly, in her words, “all i recall learning about was sex and drugs. that’s all they talked about-and these are the kids that are considered good-and im looked down upon because of what i wear!” Hmmm, hip hop, or IRRESPONSIBLE parenting-and even more substantially-little concern for instilling values of personal responsibility governing our actions and behavior? And interesting enough, this whole discussion was sparked by a Muslim “entertainment” production-this topic was broached as we were driving back from a seeing Muslim American play. Really, hip hop? Can we at some point stop deflecting the culpability of irresponsible parenting onto hip hop?

    Ultimately, I am most perturbed and disturbed because the niyyah of your words appear to be unclear (from my vantage point). What is it you hope to gain but launching an assault on Muslims who practice the arts or work in the entertainment industry? What is the positive result you hope to achieve? Your words will turn more Muslims away from Islam and reify unsavory one-dimensional stereotypes about Muslims held by non-Muslim Westerners, then they do to invite them in or make tawbah.

    Keeping in mind the original topic sentence of my reply, I will close by saying this. A few weeks ago, I posted the following quote on my facebook page:

    “Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious.” The Holy Quran, 16:125

    I posted this as a reminder to myself. What i didn’t expect was the cross-religious reaction to it, the flood of responses from people of all faiths and persuasions recounting their experience with the opposite, and resounding affirming the necessity of such an approach. If anything, I hope you decide to consider the larger issue that this “Muslims and Hip hop” seems to be a smoke and mirrors for: the approach. funny how we are so concerned about “inviting people” and “dawah” when, through the implementation of dawah, we do everything to turn people and our own hearts further away from practicing a semblance of the mercy perfected by our Creator.

    I know my response has been longwinded, had moments of tangential commentary and jutting transitions, and was at points raised gloves signaling spirited pugnacity, but, again, no ill-will is meant, and please forgive me if you received it that way. I was motivated by a genuine concern about the words you used and continue to use, your approach, the challenge you made to the “Muslim Hip Hoppers and Entertainers” to write this. Thank you for granting me the space, this forum, to express my point of view. I hope you attempt to answer that questions I posed so that we can be clear about your objectives. Because as it stands, I find your approach more unwelcoming than “inviting”

  • Asalamlaikum,

    ALL praises are due to ALLAH, anything I say wrong comes from me and my ignorance, any good that comes from me comes
    from the creator and sustainer of all of creation. I’m writing because I am one of the entertainers that is being
    referenced in the blog. The reason I am writing is to ask sincere advice. A war is being waged on our children. every
    day they are being bombarded with with images and sounds that are contrary to our way of life. My intention for music
    is not dawah, it is not to strengthen the hearts of the muslims. These things can be done through studying the quran,
    sunnah and rightly guided scholars. The reason I do music is to combat the negative images and sounds that bombard our
    children. Some might say, our children shouldn’t be listening to the music or watching the videos of the kuffar but the
    fact is that they are. It is a reality that is unavoidable living in this country. Unfortunately alot of parents have
    no idea what their children are listening to or watching, especially the immigrants. Many of the people condemming the “muslim entertainers” don’t realize their children are smoking weed, engaging in pre-marital sex and Their children have trouble
    reciting surahs but can recite line for line any lil wayne song. As a father I make sure my children don’t listen to
    that music but I must provide an alternative for them. If there is no positive hip hop with an islamic message that what can I do for my children and what can we do for the muslim youth who are losing their identity in this kufar land that we live in short of moving everyone out of the country and moving to a so called “Islamic country”. The reason I say so called “Islamic country” is because this same problem is effecting them as well. There are kids in the gaza strip that recite biggie and tupac lyrics just as well as youth in urban america.
    What is the solution?

  • asalaamu alaykum,

    Brother Nomad, in hindsight, I think you’re right that my response was too harsh. I apologize to you, Brother Suhaib, for not being more polite in my complaint… even though I’m sure you are strong enough to take it 🙂

    I also thank you for all the time you’re devoting to this topic. A lot of important discussion is taking place here. Inshallah we’ll all learn a lot from it, and become more devoted to our deen in the process.

  • I actually met Imam Suhaib once in New York…and believe it or not, his accent is real!

    I think it comes from knowing so much Qur’an and Sunnah. I want to know the Qur’anic Arabic so well that people accuse me of having a fake Arab accent!

    Maybe if I keep playing these Recitations over and over like I used to memorize Wu-Tang lyrics. And seek the help of Allah (subhana wa t’ala) instead of pressing “music seek.”

  • Salaamu alaikum
    I’ve just read this thread, and I’m shocked.

    How can the comment posted by ‘Abdul Haqq’ get past the moderators?

    Maybe it’s an open forum and you want to encourage expression and all that, but really, one has to draw the line somewhere.

    I invited SDW to my community, I can safely say that he didn’t ask for any cash, or special treatment.

    Yes, I agree, there are may be one or two other tulaab al ‘ilm who have this air of self importance hanging around them, but even that is just a perception, which nobody really has a right to openly articulate, as only Allah Knows what lies in the hearts of His slaves.

    Abdul Haqq: If you have an issue with the content of the post, argue the content…don’t get personal. And if you have to get personal, do it in private.


  • Yesterday, I recieved the attached e-mail about Former President Jimmy carter. Hats off to him he gets more and more relevant as he gets older.-Jimmy Carter Leaves Church Over Treatment of Women — Politics Daily
    Source: http://www.politicsdaily.com
    After more than 60 years together, Jimmy Carter has announced himself at odds with the Southern Baptist Church — and he’s decided it’s time they
    I’m considering leaving too if somethings don’t evolve.
    It made me wonder if i should drop out and follow his path only within Islamic Institution. I challenge Rap artists to pick -up the pen and use these principals to challenge our zobie like state regarding the burial of the baby girls burial 21st century style.

    The culture of misogyny that subconsciously and/or consciously impacts our ability to respect each other as human beings first and not allow gender to be a disqualifying trait to contribute to society, as if we were leapers, devoid of the highest ambitions and potential for excellence.

    I think we should encourage our girls to give ta… Read More’alims on a regular.
    I think we should take emphasis off of physical garb as an indication of piety, as long as modestly is exhibited both through garb, tongue and heart. And hold the Mirror of Taqwa up as the “only gold standard,” for all.
    We should create functional male/female exchange, for business and social life.
    We should make sure that females are part of all major decisions and part of every shura
    We should examine and forever Quarantine Hadith that say things like: a wife should be so obedient to her husband that she sucks the puss from his feet. Etc….
    “The most useful… Read More” – holds no gender of which I am aware
    We should be the number one group addressing literacy and genital mutilation of girls in Muslim countries. I was shocked when I looked for the primary areas in the world where illiteracy exists and found Muslim countries and areas. How does educate four girls translate to this? How does Iqra as the first commandment translate to this?
    I went to a Masjid out of state the other day and if I see one more in adequate, upstairs Musalla, I am going to go sane and then you’re really in trouble.

    Lets get ready for the month before Ramadan vibing on this….

  • Assalmu Alaikum, Shaykh Suhaibb Webb Allah SWT gives you glad tidings!
    “And give glad tidings to the humble. Those whose hearts, when Allah is mentioned, are filled with fear, who show patient perseverance over their afflictions, keep up regular prayer, andspend (in charity) out of what We have bestowed upon them.”

    The rest is written to Abdul Haqq
    According to an authentic hadith, the first thing lost in the Ummah will be khushoo (humbleness).

    And Allah SWT tells in the Quran that the worst of those people are those who lose their deeds in vain while they thought they were acquiring good.

    You have just proved how low you are by wrongfully labeling him with disgusting words and attributing to him that which does not exist in him. our ‘intelligence’ and our ‘knowledge’ is supposedly so high that we do not have the khushoo in our life to properly submit to Allah 5 times a day but things like this, we love to blurt out about in vain.
    I’ve only listened to one of his lectures all my life and benefitted greatly; I do not keep up with what his blog or anything but I just happened to come across this and knew response would be mostly negative- but not so low as Abdul Haqq – or more like Jahal- And yes you do deserve that name because what you wrote was clearly in ignorance.

    “And never came there unto them a messenger but they did mock him. ” (15:11)
    “Every self will taste death. We test you with both good and evil as a trial. And you will be returned to Us.”

    And my personal opinion: everyone knows that the word of Allah is the best. And that is only thing that is guranteed to soften hearts, The Quran which will raise our status in Jannah, intercede for for on DOJ and protect us in the grave. We dont’ need anything else to tell people to turn to Quran other than the Quran itself. If the entertainers work (the one w/out musical instrutments) does not leads to this, it is not worthy and if it does Alhumdulillah.

    Google: Worlds Most Beautiful Recitations? Goosebumps! INCREDIBLE!

  • salamualaikum

    Br. Suhaib, have you given any thought as to how Muslim culture will develop in the West in the coming decades, generations, and even centuries?

    I'm sure the shyoukh and scholars understand the nuanced differences between universal Islamic principles on one hand, and local customs on the other, which may sometimes be confused with Islamic teachings.

    Just as the traditional Muslim countries in the “East” have their own traditional customs, cultures, foods, music, dress and so on … is not logical to presume that the North American Muslim culture will, over time, start to take on a more unique shape and definition?

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