Monday, May 26, 2008

Concerning Yusuf

I remember meeting Yusuf Islam for the first time around nine years ago. He was a guest speaker at a fund raising dinner that we did sound at. A year later I met him again when I was the sound engineer at an event he performed at.
Yusuf is one of my biggest role models. There is this aura about him that you cant help but admire ( He definitely has a presence, and the only other time I felt this was when I met Former President Nelson Mandela) I think if there is one person I would like to emulate, it would be Yusuf Islam (disclaimer - before anyone shits on me for not saying that I want to emulate the prophet - let me quote Sheikh Hussein Ye - 'Do not do what the prophet did, do what he told you to do)
Yusuf Islams comeback as a pop star somehow encapsulates my personal feelings on dogma. For those who are not sure concerning my stance on music in Islam - I follow the fatwa given by Sheik Qardawi, but at the same time I respectfully acknowledge the other fatwas given. OK, so why a post on the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens? Watched Stardust on Saturday night (at about three in the morning with the great one) and after Fajr I tried irritating him by playing random songs on my phone, and one of the songs I played was an old Yusuf Islam classic, Wild World. So Waseem goes - we should do remakes of his Cat Stevens tracks - something he can sing today. Seems like fun, so lets try a few. Waseem wants to take a crack at Mathew and Son so i'l look at a few others. Instead of doing the entire track i'l just take a sample.
So heres the idea - Cat Stevens has just converted to Islam, this is what I think his songs will sound like. (I guess you will need to hear the originals to get the tune)
The First Cut Is the Deepest (original Lyrics)
I would have given you all of my shlong
But the doctor went about it all wrong
And its taking almost all that Ive got
But if you want, Ill try to love again
Baby Ill try to love again but I know
The first cut is the deepest, baby I know
The first cut is the deepest
cause when it comes to following sunnats I’m first
When you circumsize when youre old its worse
But I cant just put a band aid on where it hurts
Thats how I know
The first cut is the deepest, baby I know
The first cut is the deepest
Now that i've got Hidayat too
You say you wanna start teaching me whudu
And it's snowing outside, winter season'
Akhi, i'm freezin'
But if you have a geyser, hot water rocks
Hope I find a place to buy leather socks
Otherwise my toes are going to turn into little ice blocks
Oh, akhi, akhi, it's a hard deen
It's hard to get my foot into the wash sink
Oh, akhi, akhi, it's a hard deen
Cant we just skip to that Tayamum thing
MJ

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

if you dont mind -what is your stance on music - explain? yusuf islam is cool i heard he got into trouble a while ago for meeting with Hamas. He sounds like the real deal. Although i cant understand his recent involment in music.

M Junaid said...

I follow the stance that it is permissible (with restrictions being placed on lyrics, environment and context only)

Heres a link to Qardawis fatwa
http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaE&cid=1119503544202

'Although i cant understand his recent involment in music' - i'm not sure what this statement of yours is based on? can I assume that its based on the assumption that music is Haram? Yusuf has answered this question - i'm glad that he started playing music again , as it is a great tool for dawah. Ive read about six interviews where he disccusses this issue, but I believe that wikipedias entry on it is written very well and is quite succint, for that reason I am going to repost a bit of it here

" On the occasion of the 2000 re-release of his Cat Stevens albums, Yusuf explained that he had stopped performing in English due to his misunderstanding of the Islamic faith. "This issue of music in Islam is not as cut-and-dried as I was led to believe ... I relied on heresy (sic), that was perhaps my mistake." (references are given on wikipedia)

He has not converted to Christianity or anything like that - I also heard the rumours a few years ago.

Hope that clears things

BTW - he was denied entry into America a few years ago (this is alos covered in Wikipedia)but since then he was allowed to enter.

Yusuf Islam - MJ salutes you!

M Junaid said...

I follow the stance that it is permissible (with restrictions being placed on lyrics, environment and context only)

Heres a link to Qardawis fatwa
http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaE&cid=1119503544202

'Although i cant understand his recent involment in music' - i'm not sure what this statement of yours is based on? can I assume that its based on the assumption that music is Haram? Yusuf has answered this question - i'm glad that he started playing music again , as it is a great tool for dawah. Ive read about six interviews where he disccusses this issue, but I believe that wikipedias entry on it is written very well and is quite succint, for that reason I am going to repost a bit of it here

" On the occasion of the 2000 re-release of his Cat Stevens albums, Yusuf explained that he had stopped performing in English due to his misunderstanding of the Islamic faith. "This issue of music in Islam is not as cut-and-dried as I was led to believe ... I relied on heresy (sic), that was perhaps my mistake." (references are given on wikipedia)

He has not converted to Christianity or anything like that - I also heard the rumours a few years ago.

Hope that clears things

BTW - he was denied entry into America a few years ago (this is alos covered in Wikipedia)but since then he was allowed to enter.

Yusuf Islam - MJ salutes you!

Anonymous said...

nice to pick and choose fatwas from it suits you :)

now i have a doubt where my bunny munny will go to....

well, thats why we have...pick and pay ... and we shall surely pay!!

M Junaid said...

:)

we all pick and choose the fatwas that suit us - its just that some of us do it at a more conscious level. I have no problem picking and choosing any fatwa that does not go against clear cut prohibition - The view that Music is permissable is held by Many Scholars and while I do not know your qualifications, I am content with the fatwas given by Great Muhadith like Imam Ghazali, Ibn Arabi etc. This goes for other issues such as the permisibility of oral sex etc - I pick and choose my fatwas there as well.

As for the bunny Money - I am saddened that you think that way - but hey - When in doubt leave it out, so Its cool - I will get the money from another avenue so no hard feelings ok

Cute kicker at the end - You should get into copyrighting or something - that sounds like a headline for 'Islam Today' (a Muslim newspaper thats published monthly which derides the West yet still uses Western methods of attracting readers - Exaggerated StreetPole Ads etc - I can say this because I have raised this concern already with the editor of the paper.

Now lets not steer the comments away from what this post is about - and that is - Adapting old Yusuf Islam songs

I wanna say your line again in a darth Vader voice - Pick and PAY... AND WE SHALL SURELY PAY!!!!! ( I threw in a few extra exclamation points :D

thanks for taking the time to comment though muggle (Harry Potter reference)

Anonymous said...

okay thanks for respons -ps i am the first commentor not the second anon commentor.

M Junaid said...

no worries - i'l always answer questions and defend my point of view, but please -do me a favour so something - instead of using anonymous can you click on name and just use a pseudonym of some sort - if you dont want to reveal your identity - no problem, but it gtes kinda confusing for me - i thought you were the second anon.

thanks for reading

Connie said...

You do realize nobody cares about Cat Stevens anymore? He was cool back in the 70's, but he's not cool anymore.

The Organ Harvester said...

hilarious. just what i needed to start of my full morning. some of these anon comments are classic. you should release a book, mj's blog and the anonymous comments. best seller that.

it's weird how people can judge you, insult you, and have the audacity to call you character into question, all in the same breath.

in that breath, my family will also be making a small donation.

Waseem said...

I wish I did mine first now, cos that first cut is the deepest one is awesome. Im not too familiar with that wild world one. I think i need to hear my song before I post to get the rhythm right

MM said...

LoL @ Anon comments ppl..
Sometimes ppl often asked me if i was the anon comments person on my blogs..Just to stir someting up..

I love Yusuf Islam though.. Still got some of his CASSETES.. Pity i dont have a cassette player..

Asma said...

That was funny post but i'm disappointed in you Mj. After you revealed that you pick and choose your fatwas, my image of you crumbled. Music is haraam, no two ways about it. I always thought you were aware of the ghunaa and would repent but its now unlikely to happen. Farewell Mj. May you get many more fans but Allah forbid should they get influenced by your outlook on deen. Thanks for all the good memories :) Allah haafiz.

Ps. Im particularly disgusted by your "oral sex" standpoint. Eeww.

The Organ Harvester said...

Well the advertisers are gonna be pissed MJ. What's wrong with you man. Come on. Dont you know better. I know how we can get you to change. Let's make you feel bad. Maybe then you'll understand. If you feel bad, then it's wrong.

Hey didnt the Catholics start off like this?

Saaleha Bamjee-Mayet said...

Shame on you MJ, disillusioning your fans like that, especially the ones who think sucky sucky is yucky yucky.
My own advice to the fans - a spin on Oasis - "Don't leave your life in the hands, of a blogging parodying man" (you have to stress the 'man' bit so it flows like in the song).
Been reading some of the other anon comments on your other posts - damn, you should be flattered and a little scared dude. It was love and hate like this that did John Lennon in.

M Junaid said...

Connie - I still care about Yusuf Islam, and for me, thats all that matters. Thanks for the visit (by the way - his latest album An Other Cup is Platinum, so it seems that i'm not the only one who still cares

OH - thanks so much for helping me with this initiative. First Lunch will be Next saturday.

Waseem - Love your version of Mathew and Son. Wild world was a bitch to adapt.

MM - MY anons are a special breed as Saaleha points out below - some love, some hate, some love to hate. I'm lucky, I dont need to post as anon to stir up anything - I love it when what I say is contested though - MJ enjoys a good argument, and i'm alway sopen to learning so yeah.

Asma - thanks for the comment, but be wary of labelling things haraam when they are not - This issue is raised in surah Maidah. I respect the viewpoint that Music is not allowed but I do not follow it. I do however, know the gravity of making something haraam. and I will never question divine decree regarding that whic is unlawful - for example - Drinking in Islam. The Quran mentions drinking in three places, with the final verse concerning it forbidding it for consumption (as well as selling etc) I will never dispute that or any other divine commandment. Hopefully you have read the link I put up. This viewpoint is also shared by Proffessor Tariq ramadan, as well as many classical Aalims who were at the forefront of fiqh. I am not here to push forward my point of view, to each his own.

"May you get many more fans but Allah forbid should they get influenced by your outlook on deen" - I agree. Everyone should read for themselves. Educate themselves and then make a conscious rational decision based on that. We have an abundance of Aalims here and abroad. I have posed this question to a variety of Aalims, and I have recieved a variety of responses. If you are happy with your interpretation that music is haraam - alhumdullilah, but remember that at the end of the day - Allah hu Aalam.

concerning blow jobs - Again - no clear cut prohibition, so there lies different ways of approaching it - I follow Sheik Ahmed Kuty's fatwa. I am aware of the fatwas given by other Aalims as well. In sex, only two things are prohibted - Anal sex and sex during menstruation. I will not contest that. Sorry that you are disgusted and that you are going to stop reading my blog, but I believe that when in doubt, leave it out so if you are in doubt regarding the sanctity of your iman after reading my blog, no hard feelings - just stop reading. I do hope you read this comment though, and you respond if you feel I have misunderstood anythign or assumed anything.

Tariq Ramadan said - we have to be our own muftis sometimes (he said this when someone asked him if going to the movies is haraam) If we feel in our heart that it is haraam, then it is haraam.

speaking of movies ( i should turn this into a blog) did you also wish i repented for watching movies ( they all have music in them, or for playing games? again - music, or for watching Al Jazeera? or for listening to Nasheeds with music like Zamilooni by Zain Bhikha and native Deen? All i'm saying is - be wary when you throw the word Haraam around.

Saals - hope I get shot before I marry a Yoko :)

On a final Note - We all Pick and Choose our Fatwas - I have read fatwas that say that the internet is haram, and we all remember Osamas Infamous fatwa of 1996 (he revised it slightly two years later - where he said that it is permissable to kill Americans and Israelis wherever they are in the world. I choose to not follow that Fatwa. Isnt that picking and choosing? For me - I have no problem with any Fatwa from a Learned individual ( has to be an Aalim of note with international standing) which does not contradict the basic tenets of shariah or anything that has been divinely ordained or prohibited.

Parasputin said...

In my (very humble) opinion, the emphasis on first of all being a good person, has unfortunately been lost on some of your readers. The first word revealed was "Iqra", read, and by implication, educate yourself. It is necessary to think about whether the end justifies the means. Is Yusuf Islam doing any harm, or is he actually doing some good by using a medium which is understood in a universal context?

It is also worth noting the reasoning behind certain restrictions, for example wearing your trousers at half-mast. Is it not more relevant to understand that the original advice was against pride, as demonstrated by the flowing floor-sweeping clothes which were the couture du jour in Arabia at the time of the Prophet (saw), and that this be the focus, rather than condemning people who prefer not to follow a dress-code which has more cultural than religious significance.

After all, many a bruised forehead and beard are worn with more haughty pride than a simple pair of levis.

Parasputin said...

Oh, just had a look at Asma's comment. It's a pity she won't be back, really, she'll be missing out on the feedback.

It sounds like it's not all she'll be missing out on...

Anonymous said...

This is unfortunately the sad state of our ummah....towards the time of qiyamah many muslims will be involved in riba(interest)...which is haraam,but that is besides the point,the point is that in this bayaan i heard(Interest bayaan)the mufti mentioned how muslims dont care and ghunna is widespread,things will become so bad that ie(music) will be percieved to be halaal(astakfirullah).....look i cant judge u,even i listen to music knowingly and intentionally sometimes but in my heart i know its wrong..and iv heard that if a believer has regret in his heart his tauba will be forgiven.....tanks 4 the oppertunity to comment.....ALLAH kwons best

Sofi said...

Mashallah! i know reading comments can be entertaining but this one was a cut above the rest! very informative, Concerning Sheikh MJ..you sure have a varied set of readers i must say.

glad to see that narrowmindedness and judgemental-mania et al is prevalent in 5th gen indo-pak muslim peeps in SA(assumption#1)..we have something to look forward to..no change!

but really mj, you are foul mouthed.

M Junaid said...

Parasputin. Well said. Concerning pants- sahih bukhari. Book 72. Hadith 675. Narrated by abdullah bin umar. The prophet said Allah will not look, on the Day of Resurrection at the person who drags his garment (behind him) out of conceit. On that abu bakr said, 'O Allah's Apostle! one side of my izar hangs low if i do not take care of it'. The prophet said, You are not one of those who do that out of conceit.
This hadith shows us that the essence of the pants debate is pride. You are right- these days people wear their pants above their ankles with pride.

Anonymous- at least read the fatwa i linked. Unfortunately you are falling into the same trap as others by making something that is not divinely haram, haram. Yes- i respect that muftis view but lets look at it historically- great imams like imam malik (founder of one of the four madhabs) said that music is permisable and this view was held by his student as well , imam shafi. Other influential and respected aalims like imam ghazali and ibn arabi also state that it is permisable. This debate has been contested since the early days of islam so to say that recently we are trying to make halal what is haram is incorrect. Hopefully my adsl comes on and i'l paste the warning given.
Sofi- its largely a mind set thing as well. Indo pak thinking. I really wish some of my readers take some time to learn about muslim culture around the world. I'm lucky in that i had the fortune of interacting with muslims from diverse backgrounds which really helped me see the bigger picture. We must remember- Islam is not a religion. It is a way of life, and as such- it is natural.

M Junaid said...

OK - ADSL is up - so let me get back to it. Firstly - anon - Lets take something like Riba. Riba has been directly mentioned in the quran as being haraam, therefore you will not find any fatwas that justify it or promote it. Same with alcoolism etc.

Secondly - With regards to the sources I qoute on my blog - I do not use an Aalims fatwa unless I know his credentials. So i wont just throw names around or just copy and paste from the net. I do checks on every Aalim I use. Its very easy for some kid to pose as an aalim online and just copy and paste any ayat or hadith out of context to justify some issue.

If something is Haraam and I indulge in it, I consider it to be a major sin so that is why a few years ago I started actively researching this topic, posing it to many Ulema and trying to read as much about it as I could (purely because I wanted to protect the sanctity of my Iman) . I use Sheik Qardawis fatwa because the Sheik is The Head of the European Council for Fatwa and Research. He lectured at Azhar university - the most prestigious Islamic University in modern time. It takes six years to become a Mufti in South Africa - two of my friends are muftis (both are under the age of thirty)

Here is the warning - MY aim is not to convince anyone. If you are happy with not listening to music - Alhumdulillah. I do not intend to convince you - contentment of heart is what we are all after. So i expect the same amount of respect to be given stance I take (which isnt just my opinion but backed with Jurispudic rulings.)

"Warning against playing with the word “haram”

To conclude, we address the respectful scholars who tackle the word “haram” easily and set it free in their writings and fatwas that they should observe that Allah is watching over them in all that they say or do. They should also know that this word “haram” is very dangerous. It means that Allah’s Punishment is due on a certain act or saying, and should not be based upon guessing, whims, weak Hadiths, not even through an old book. It has to be supported by a clear, well-established text or valid consensus. If these last two are not found, then we revert the given act or saying to the original rule: "permissibility governing things". We do have a good example to follow from one of our earlier pious scholars. Imam Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: “It was not the habit of those who preceded us, the early pious Muslims, who set good example for the following generations, to say, 'This is halal, and this is haram. But, they would say, ‘I hate such-and-such, and maintain such-and-such, but as for halal and haram, this is what may be called inventing lies concerning Allah. Did not you hear Allah’s Statement that reads, 'Say: Have you considered what provision Allah has sent down for you, how you have made of it lawful and unlawful? Say: Has Allah permitted you, or do you invent a lie concerning Allah?” (Yunus: 59) For, the halal is what Allah and His Messenger made lawful, and the haram is what Allah and His Messenger made unlawful. "

taken from Qardawis Fatwa

Remember - if you want to post on this topic, you are free to. Please - I want to hear your views. This is the only way we can learn. Insha Allah

Allah Knows best

M Junaid said...

I just realised something - poor Yusuf Islam.

Nobody wants to do Yusuf Islam adaptations. Oh well

Sofi said...

Sofi-

>>We must remember- Islam is not a religion. It is a way of life, and as such- it is natural.

Your response completely baffled me-I wasn’t referring to Islam :)