“Why should all the good music belong to the devil?” This was the question late Christian singer, Larry Norman asked in the early 70’s. He changed the traditional hymns and gave them the face of rock and roll.
The young Muslim singers are doing just that with Islamic songs called “Nasheeds”. They have changed the old traditional style of Islamic singing and they are doing a wonderful job. Nasheeds are supposed to remind people of Allah. The Islamic singers through their catchy lyrics, repetitive beats and mesmerizing voices are doing just that.
If we listen to some of the Western popular music or Rock and Roll for that matter we will see that a lot of them contain subliminal messages, where they are attracting the younger generations towards various evils present in the society today. Same goes for the videos of such songs, they are not suitable for viewing by even adults, let alone teenagers.
Whereas, if we listen to some of the Nasheeds we will see that the Nasheed singers are sending a very different and a very positive message to the listeners. Ironically in the last couple of years these Nasheeds have become equally popular among people from other religions as well. One such example is of Mo Sabri, one of the first Nasheed singers to have his own channel on Pandora.com. One of his very popular songs is titled, “Heaven is where her heart is”. The singer is trying to find a girl who always puts Allah first in her life. Although Sabri uses guitars and acoustics in his Nasheeds, in his defense he says, “If a song has a good message, what difference does it make whether it is hip hop or rock a Nasheed will remain a Nasheed no matter what.”
Sabri’s most viewed song with more than one million hits is called “I believe in Jesus”. It is a beautiful song because all Muslims believe in Hazrat Issa ibn-e-Mariam. Such Nasheeds clear misconceptions regarding Islam and are bringing about inter faith harmony.
Another Islamic singer who is a Youtube sensation is Mahir Zain. His song “Number One for Me” has been viewed more than 17 million times. Some of the other popular Islamic songs on Youtube include “Generous Peace,” by Kareem Salama and “Believe,” a song from British singer Saif Adam.
These are just to name a few of the Nasheed singers. There are many others who have made their mark an established Nasheed or Islamic songs as a separate genre. These singers are writing songs about Allah. Now attention is being paid to videos as well. They have a story line. The ideas and lyrics have more to them then just “How great is it to be a Muslim.”
These Nasheeds tell the listeners to not lose their faith, how to be a better human and not just a better Muslim. This is the kind of music that the young generation can relate to. Nasheeds both by UAE singers and other Arab singers are as popular as those sung in the English language.