He didn’t excel at school. So he didn’t become a professor, a head of a government department, an accountant, a lawyer, or an engineer.
He didn’t know how to play party politics. So he is illiterate about the art of double-speak and deception that career politicians typically master.
Nor could he showcase any conventional religious credentials to be included in the strict and exclusive da’wah circles. So he didn’t develop the talent and skills to ride on the religious bandwagon.
He didn’t have the business qualification to work for the banks which profit on riba’. Nor could he work for the hyper-greedy top management of corporations who pay poverty wages to their workers, nor for the unbelievably unscrupulous property developers who prosper from a glut of housing that poor and homeless people cannot afford to buy.
But he can play the guitar, compose some songs that resonate with the common people, and sing. He has this captivating unique voice that moves the hearts of his listeners.
With all this, he brings both release and relief to feelings of stress and tension, pain and anguish, anger, anxiety and doubts, regrets and misgivings, dissatisfaction, disappointment and disillusion, hopes and wishes, expectation, acceptance and resignation, soothing and healing, joy and elation.
With all this, he prevents himself from the dark world of crime and substance abuse in going through the harsh and tricky nook and cranny of this earthly life.
With all this, he makes an honest living to feed, clothe and shelter his wife and five kids.
He doesn’t make an income from selling surah Yassin, the Quran, or other religious articles and artefacts. Nor does he try to make a name for himself in the literal pretext of da’wah.
He doesn’t sing sexually lurid songs or songs that promote injustice and cruelty, or songs that incite hate, violence or war.
Yes, he doesn’t preach but without making much fuss he does his own amar makruf as a Muslim. Through his music, he acknowledges his listeners’ anguish and despair, their yearning for understanding, inclusion, legitimacy and consolation. You know, all those things we humans have got to grapple with from cradle to grave.
Millions of YOUTUBE viewers have added some value to their otherwise listless, empty or outright rotten life listening to his soulful renderings.
Like his peers, he is about honesty and legitimacy. Honesty to admit that we mortals need to satisfy our entertainment needs just like we do our basic needs for shelter, food and sex.
So, what’s wrong with that?
Contributed to us by Prof. Dr. Amriah Buang
President, Interactive Muslimah Association (IMAN), Malaysia