Johannesburg, Jan 16 (IANS) — “The idea is to bring Muslim youth who are moving away from Islam back into the fold through a medium they can identify with,” Faheem Khan told IANS in an interview.
“Our religion is very interesting and we need to implement this in our lives. I took the lyrics and added a duff (hand drum), as used in the days of the Prophet, and no other musical instruments, to create the background,” he said.
Khan remained unperturbed about the views of Islamic purists and religious organisations, which either frown upon or prohibit the use of music in Islam.
“If you think about it, what do today’s youngsters listen to? Music! One should communicate with them on that level by using that interest, because there is a lot of apathy among the youth.”
Khan, a politics-economics undergraduate, first sang his songs at an Islamic concert organised at the Rand Afrikaans University here. Instead of delivering a speech, he decided to sing.
“After all, how many youngsters listen to speeches? But this way we get their attention.”
Towards the end of last year, Khan and his close friend Ahmed Bowda captured the attention of over 2,000 Islamic schoolchildren at an event celebrating the 200th anniversary of the lifting of South Africa’s ban on Islam.
“What actually got me interested were the words of the songs and the way they were set to a beat by Faheem,” said Bowda. He has learnt from the experience that being a Muslim is not only about serious things.
Now Khan is busy burning copies of his CD on his own and distributing them free of charge. He encourages others to make and pass on as many copies as they wish, absolving them from any possible copyright infringement.
Khan has no ambitions to become a singer. “I don’t want to become a rap star at all,” he said.
“I don’t want the glitz and glamour because I think it gets to you eventually. I just want to get the message through and once people start seeing that this is what Islam is really all about, we can move away from the misconceptions that exist about Islam in the world.
“In the end, Allah is the only one who can give us guidance,” he said.
© 2005 IANS India Private Limited, New Delhi. Posted on Religioscope with permission.