Islamic rappers spread the word

Published: February 9, 2011

Islamic hip-hop group Native Deen performs at the Al Hussein Cultural Centre in Amman, Jordan. PHOTO: REUTERS

KARACHI: Much celebrated for calligraphic designs, Islamic art now takes a modern turn with the streak of rap music. Native Deen, a Washington, DC based group focuses on combining the hip-hop and R&B elements with Islam-themed lyrics.

The group’s aim is to highlight issues confronting Muslims living in the US, according to their website.

The trio of Joshua Salaam, Abdul-Malik Ahmad and Naeem Muhammad teamed up in 2000 and has been addressing the issues of Muslims in the US ever since.

The band has marked their presence with a limited set of musical instruments permissible in Islam, only to create percussions as the members rap. The lyrics featured in Native Deen’s songs range from Islamic concepts from Eid to Hijab.

“Prayers to Allah be on Nabi. The messenger may peace be on thee. And all the prophets sent to mankind. We pray for each and everyone.”

Members of the band claim that Native Deen’s distinctive music has attracted Muslims and non Muslims alike. “We’ve never experienced any type of offence from anyone. I don’t think our music is offensive to any group,” said Salaam.

Native Deen is currently touring Jordan for a series of concerts and workshops scheduled throughout the week, reports Jordan Times. Having performed in about 60 cities around the world, the band’s first ever tour to Jordan has been hosted by the American Embassy.

After their debut album The Deen You Know, Native Deen has so far released two albums, the second one being, Not Afraid to Stand Alone.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 10th, 2011.

Reader Comments (10)

  • I hope you will receive such a welcome in Pakistan and Pakistanis won’t panic. I should listen to your music now which I haven’t listened to yet :-)Recommend

  • Pakistan One
    Feb 9, 2011 - 11:02PM

    This is out of sunnah! Yet another deviated group!Recommend

  • @Pakistan One: I went through their videos, their songs and the lyrics of the songs, the messages they spread were great. They are like peace promoting people and potraying Islam as a religion of love and peace. May be many disagree but I found their work inspirational. At least it would be good better if we listen to it than we do to songs.Recommend

  • Usman Butt
    Feb 10, 2011 - 1:35AM

    @Pakistan One:
    Dear sire,
    using internet, and posting a comment is also out of sunnah. :)Recommend

  • Feb 10, 2011 - 2:25AM

    I do hope the Pakistani Mullahs do not get involved in this and takfeer everyone in the process!Recommend

  • yousafzai
    Feb 10, 2011 - 10:51AM

    music is not the medium for spreading islam! and since hailing from US and black, are we sure if they are not from the nation of islam…………Recommend

  • @Mohammad: Buddy what do you mean by Takfeer?Recommend

  • Danish+S.
    Feb 12, 2011 - 1:48AM

    Yousafzai!
    You could not have been more racist than that! Bravo for raising the bar so high!Recommend

  • Raqib Ali
    Feb 12, 2011 - 3:07AM

    I don’t like rap music… its not for me! I find it quite annoying!

    @ I am a blah blah blah

    Takfeer means calling others Kafir.Recommend

  • annonymous
    Feb 12, 2011 - 10:48PM

    @Usman Butt:
    well i feel u need to inquire alot about ISLAM. ISLAM permits us to gain knowledge & information from every source..if we use internet for good purpose than its no harm.. its sad to see that we muslims have so much missconception regarding our religionRecommend

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