By Sodiq Lawal
Dear Madam Aminat,
It is with great humility that I send this letter to you. I am sure it will get to you, relying on the power of the social media and interconnectedness of the world in this information age. Hence, I hope this letter meets you well. When it does, please note, I desire nothing personal, but the pleasure of Allah over you and the well being of the Muslims at large.
I would have kept sealed lips on the development that made me pick up my pen to write this missive. For a fact, I have long been brushing aside the temptation to write for many reasons. In fact, I was even advised by highly respected elders and colleagues to tarry a while, but I strongly believe the time is now.
Hajiyah Aminat , you know for sure that you have been greatly but specially favoured by Allah among other female Islamic singers in Nigeria. Your songs have always been against varying forms of social vices. Apart from the Yoruba people who cherish your songs, the Hausas, the Igbos and other non-Yorubas have also become your fans and lovers of your songs. For instance, even many Hausas now have your well spiced songs on their phones.
I am sure you know more than I do that some Islamic scholars permit Muslims to sing and listen to songs partly because our society has been flooded with varying genres of bad songs and the need to counter them with beneficial alternative has become imperative.
People do not need to have the songs at home. Once they listen to them on the streets ,in vehicles or anywhere else, the songs instantly stimulate the hearts and stick to the brain. Some scholars have therefore permitted Muslims to listen and sing good songs that will increase morality and the fear of God.
Imbibing exemplary character
Mrs Ajao, you will agree with me that just as the major goal of any Islamic singer must be to propagate Islam, spread its precepts and sing against immorality as well as social vices, it is also eminently important for such religious singer to lead an exemplary life – particularly in physical appearance and public conduct.
It is my belief that as a female Islamic singer, your dressing must also speak for Islam. If hip-hop and pop musicians are using there songs to spread immorality, nudity, pornography and obscenity, Islamic singers must not be seen to be joining the fray, flowing with the tide or be swept with the worldly craze of ‘anything goes’.
Aminat, you have indeed become a celebrity and a star with many fans. And as a model, your public appearance and way of life naturally influences the lives of young, innocent Muslim ladies who unwittingly see you as a true model, an ideal Muslimah or Islamic personality.
Recently, I watched some of your trending videos on social media where you were singing and dancing like a typical hip-hop artiste or a pop singer. From the videos, one could easily conclude that you have suddenly become a rapper and now into “worldly” songs.
Criticism vs critique
Often time, critics contend that we only write to attack without proffering solution. This letter is far from that. The thrust of my message is simple – the society, particularly the youths look up to you and as a model, you must not derail from the path of honour, rectitude and Islamic tenets regarding your vocation or profession.
Since your recent song has a semblance of hip-hop music, it is becoming increasingly difficult to discourage any of your fans from listening to hip hop music. Consequently, with the latest trend, your music, candour and public appearances, rather than provide alternative to hip-hop, simply encourages it.
One of the saddening part of the latest packaging of your songs, which eminently qualified to be played at carnivals and clubs – rather than religious gathering – is that it will naturally encourage ‘onlookers’ to badmouth Islam which is expected to provide an alternative worldly vibes.
Subsequently, pious and reserved people will lose hope in Islamic songs since they will feel an average Islamic singers will eventually end up becoming a rapper!.
My dear Sister, I therefore urge you to maintain your name, protect your integrity, sustain your faith and resist every temptation to abandon your positively beneficial Islamic songs which gave you popularity in the first instance.
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