Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Islam: the Way of Perfection

Someone told me to give a comment on an article in a newspaper entitled: 'When nasheed lost its identity.'
To answer this question, I may need to explain from the very beginning for better understanding. As we all know, Allah as the creator of human being is the All Knowing and is acquainted with all things. He knows every needs and desires hidden in our hearts. And He said: “This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favor towards you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.”(Al-Ma’idah 5:3)
Allah knows the desire of human to have fun and festival, so He gave us not one but two Eids(Eidul Fitr and Eidul Adha). He knows man cannot live without a woman and He made adultery prohibited, so He replaced it with marriage. He made alcohol and pork forbidden and replaced them with many other food and drink in the world. The main point is there's always an alternative for Haram with a Halal thing. Islam is a perfect religion, not for one society, or country for one particular time, but it is the perfect religion for all mankind till the end of time. So He knows that some people can't live without any entertainment at all and made some people a good entertainer.
Now we come to nasheed, Nasheed (Arabic: singular نشيد , plural أناشيد)is an Islamic-oriented song, an Islamic vocal music that is either sung a cappella or accompanied by percussion instruments. In general, true Islamic nasheed does not contain lamellaphone instruments, string instruments, or wind and brass instruments, although digital remastering—either to mimic percussion instruments or create overtones—is permitted. This musical style is used because many Muslim scholars interpret Islam as prohibiting the use of musical instruments except for some basic percussion. Many people admire the purity and simplicity of the music. Nasheeds are popular throughout the Islamic World. The material and lyrics of Nasheed usually make reference to Islamic beliefs, history, and religion, as well as current events.
A new generation of "Nasheed" artists use a wide variety of musical instruments in their art. This has caused controversy amongst the Muslim community because of the vast range of scholarly opinions that exist on Music in Islam. These range from absolutely no music and singing, to that of any musical instruments allowed so long as the subject matter is of an Islamic ethos. There is also a crossover of mainstream music of groups, and solo artists, appealing to a significant Muslim crowd and also leading to performance of such artists at Islamic orientated festivals, conferences, concerts and shows. Other artists and organizations promote a 100% instrument free stance with nasheeds, differing from the current trends of the increasing usage of instruments in nasheeds.
Why do I have to tell you all this? Because we need to really understand what is the definition of nasheed. It's not a musical genre rather a concept to apply in music. And then we have to look into what secular means.
Secularism is the assertion that governmental practices or institutions should exist separately from religion and/or religious beliefs.
In one sense, secularism may assert the right to be free from religious rule and teachings, and freedom from the government imposition of religion upon the people, within a state that is neutral on matters of belief, and gives no state privileges or subsidies to religions. In another sense, it refers to a belief that human activities and decisions, especially political ones, should be based on evidence and fact unbiased by religious influence. In its most prominent form, secularism is critical of religious orthodoxy and asserts that religion impedes human progress because of its focus on superstition and dogma versus reason and scientific method.
The term "secularism" was first used by the British writer George Holyoake in 1846. The only reason they need to separate their religion from the worldly affair is because their religion is imperfect! But to us the Muslim, we shouldn't be disconnecting the religion in our daily affairs because our religion tells us every single thing in detail.(with of course a lot of interpretation from the scholars, but it is still prefect as it is).

So if we learned the definition of nasheed, we now understand that theoretically every Muslim who sings must be a nasheed if he/she don't want to belong in the secular group. That is what Allah told and allow us to do. By these definitions, we can already figure out what's the newspapers are making us to believe. I think the Muslim have to study on how to be a Muslim in depth before we can even talk about Islam. As for my personal comment about the matter is, whether or not the nasheedians set their hearts to get blessing from Allah, making a statement that nasheed products should be this way or that way is nonsense. We didn't even need the award in the first place, but getting it is a bonus. Allah equipped human with creativity and we have to use it to tell people the truth, don't ever give up because our enemies never give up telling us lies and trying to make us falling in love with the world. Anything we do, will be open to criticism especially the religious people, but we know that people who wants to comment will never stop giving their comments no matter what we do to try to satisfy them. Don't waste our time compromising peoples' request, we must focus only to satisfy Allah and He is the One who gives 'Hidayah' to whom He wants. After we have done our job as His servant, leave the rest on His side.
Another important point to highlight is that, don't ever think that by doing good, you are better that anyone else, because it's Allah who put the effort in you to do good deeds to guide you through the right path. Never claim anything which we don't possess. Never judge a person whether he/she is going to hell or heaven, these are secrets that only Allah knows. Just be grateful that you still have the Hidayah to embrace Islam wholeheartedly and try to do our job to protect our 'iman' until we meet Him.

I've used most of this post to answer the question that I didn't actually tell you about the songs embedded. The first video is a song from our retro album entitled Raihan. But after Raihan named their group after this song, Brothers who put the same track in their first album had to change its name to 'Mahligai kebahgiaan'. I still remember the time we record this song with our late Zairi from Raihan in OVA's studio, Sungai Penchala. I was in form 2 (13 years old) at that time. However, this is a newly recorded version as a half way project to produce the retro albums which for a certain reason cannot be released to the market.
The second song is the original version in one of the retro albums entitled Kembali. This song was re-recorded by Firdaus in 1999 for their first album and the title changed to 'Keampunan'.


Achan Septriasa said...

Terima kasih atas pembentangan yang panjang lebar ini.

Pemahaman nasyid itu sendiri seringkali disalah tafsir sebagai muzik yang berasaskan lagu-lagu ketuhanan yang berasaskan alatan muzik gendang atau rebana dan seangkatan (djembe, congga).

Saya pernah membaca artikel yang mempersoalkan muzik dalam tahun 2000 selepas sebuah kumpulan nasyid yang dikatakan berubah genre selepas JV dengan KRU Record. Tetapi bagaimana pula dengan pembawakan kumpulan nasyid luar yang menggunakan genre r&b atau hip-hop sebagai medium, seperti Outlandish dan Soldiers of Allah?

Saya rasa Sdr. Izzat telah memberi pendapatnya yang mungin dapat membantu..

abuariffin said...

utk jwb soalan ni, kita kena tau sejarah industri muzik tanahair pulak...pjg lebar jugak ni...nnti saya try post 1 lg ye...

Anonymous said...

salam bro. i (accidentally) went through your memorable collection of songs, lyrics,clips and posting.Congrats, long live old mirwana *songs in my hearts and memory of student days with smakl, bangsarboyz etc.inspiring,intuitive collection of best years of my life...when i feel bored&demotivated, this blog definitely will be one of my favorites...(note:*'alam persekolahan'& 'indah bumi kita' &'quranic generations').keep up your good work bro.wassalam.

abuariffin said...

there are no accident, abg jeff...saya dh add blog abg dlm my blog list...tq 4 coming..do come n visit again