Home Arts Deceptive Intersection: Music, Religion, and Identity in Contemporary Islamic Performances

Deceptive Intersection: Music, Religion, and Identity in Contemporary Islamic Performances

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By Imam Sanni Kay Yūsuf

I entered a big hall — one lovely evening — in search of a bigwig whom I had a big deal to deal with. It was a ceremony wherein two souls were being matrimonially glued. The space outlandishly decorated and conspicuously illuminated had a teeming audience of ecstatic attendees.

The deafening sound of the giant speakers disallowed the free flow of telephone communication. So, I didn’t know where to locate the one I sought. In no distant time, I heard, “Ẹ̀yin màmá ẹ sẹ́ḿpẹ́”. “That’s Ayinde’s lyric, but the voice is apparently not his,” I soliloquised.

In curiosity, I looked up to see who the copycat was. Oh! No! The singer had been rounded up by dancers. I went out to a serene corner where I could audibly hear the one I sought to know where he was seated. Thank God, I finally broke through.

I entered for the second time, only to hear, “Yā Seeeeen, wal Qur’ānil Hakīm innaka laminal mursalīn…” with a tone typical of someone who must have passed through the four walls of a madrasah. My ears grew wide and I got lost. That was unfathomable. I became more curious to see and know who the daring musician was. “Fuji with the holy Qur’ān!” I wondered.

The recitation continued for minutes, lamentably amidst drumming, dancing and gender intermingling. What effrontery! Subhānallāh! “Who is this shaytān?” I soliloquised.

While the dancers had dispersed for another set to rock the stage, the identity of the “musician” became unveiled. Lo and behold, it was Ayélóyún! Innā lillāhi wa innā ileihi rāji’ūn! Wasn’t he a Muslim singer as they sanctimoniously claim?

Was I surprised? No! I only pitied him and those who keep falling for his deceit and that of his ilk believing that they are Muslim singers. “Ẹ̀yin màmá ẹ sẹ́ḿpẹ́” was sung by Ayinde – a fuji musician. Sūratul Yā Seeeeen was authored by Allāh. So what correlation have the two? Any equilibrium between light and darkness?

I have always said it that there is no scintilla of difference between the so-called Muslim singers and the fuji musicians. They are all fujicians alike. The above scenario is an attestation to my donkey-year stance. Distinguishing one from the other is like differentiating between urine and stool because the former is liquid and the latter is solid. Aren’t they waste products?

Ayeloyun – a couple of years ago – had a collaborative album with Osupa who once filthily sang: “Mo lè ṣe ṣìná fẹ́rẹ́fẹ́”. Wasiu Sadīq had a special release with Alabi Pasuma almost at the same time. What more? Any difference? No!

Ayeloyun recites verses of the Qur’ān to deceitfully Islamise his music. Osupa does same too. He once did a verse from Sūratul Baqarah, remember? “Qāla Rabbuka lil Malāikati inni jā’ilun fil ardi khalīfatan…,” he sang. Sikiru Ayinde Barrister did, “Alam nashrah laka sadrak…” Wasiu Sadiq gives untraceable tales falsely attached to Islām in his music. Wasiu Alabi Pasuma does same too. So, any difference?

The “muslicians” use female dancers like the fuji musicians do. Donning the hijāb (with the buttocks and the chests centred towards the camera) to distinguish them from those of the fuji musicians is just a mere deceit. The man called Ere Asalatu who claimed to have taken after Ayefele (a ‘jujucian’) practically demonstrated this omen. His dancers were clad in white pair of tiny trousers with small suits to the waist level and skimpy hijābs tucked in the suits. Like Pasuma’s dancers would do; like Wizkid’s; like Obesere’s, they rolled their buttocks before the cameras and danced profusely to the sung songs. Could that be Islāmic? Even those with no Islām know such isn’t Islāmic.

The lady-fujicians parading themselves as Muslim singers worsen the omen. The ones with dark complexion have turned their colour into white artificiality. They claim to be representing Islām without being Islāmic in their dressing. They wear “ijarun” instead of hijāb. They dress up advertising their pieces of jewellery which are meant to be covered under the hijāb. This, no doubt, is no Islām.

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