Zain Bhikha, world famous nasheed artist, gave a special shout out to the readers of MM after his performance at the Global, Peace & Unity conference 2010 in London last weekend.

Video produced by members of Sisters Film Club.

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20 Responses

    • Pine

      Dear MAS-ICNA Member:

      We are writing on behalf of our union, UNITE HERE Local 450 and Local 1 in Chicago, the union that represents Chicago hotel workers. We are writing today because the MAS/ICNA Convention is currently scheduled to take place at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare beginning December 21st, a hotel where we and our many co-workers have called for a boycott. We are asking you to move the MAS/ICNA Convention to an alternate location. Please do not meet, eat, or sleep at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare until the dispute is resolved.

      Over the last ten years, we have fought to make Chicago hospitality jobs good jobs with livable wages and family health insurance. Now Hyatt is trying to take away what we have fought for. Our contracts expired over a year ago, and since then we have seen our hours cut and endured massive layoffs. Our hotels are understaffed while our co-workers sit at home in need of work. And now Hyatt wants to freeze our wages for years and take away our good insurance.

      That is why we are making the difficult decision of asking customers like you to boycott the Hyatt Regency O’Hare and not support them with your business. We are willing to sacrifice wages and tips now to get respect and dignity in our workplace, and to ensure that our livelihoods continue to support our health and our loved ones.

      As a Muslim and as a moral person, please honor our struggle and our boycott and do not come to the MAS/ICNA Convention if it is held at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare. As a leader in the Muslim community and as a consumer, you have the power to bring this company to justice and stop it from treating its employees this way. If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Leah Pine at Unite Here Local 1 at (312) 986-3945 x226, or at pinelocal450@gmail.com.

      Sincerely,

      Abdul Noorani
      Hyatt Regency Chicago, 30 years

      Mohammed I. Sozzer
      Hyatt Regency Chicago, 24 years

      Sezair Murati
      Hyatt Regency Chicago, 10 years

      Mirsad Okanovic
      Hyatt Regency Chicago, 13 years

      Taher Bhatti
      Hyatt Regency Chicago, 20 years

      Bouchra Doghmi
      Hyatt Regency Chicago, 10 years

      Muhammad Tariq
      Hyatt Regency Chicago, 14 years

      Zafar Iqbal
      Hyatt Regency Chicago, 25 years

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  1. abu Rumay-s.a.

    awesome! my kids and i love this brother, may Allah increase him in goodness…ameen..

    Way to go MM for drawing the stars to greet the MM readers!! Keep up the excellent work!

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  2. Abu Ayesha

    Hizb ut Tahreer were urging people in LOndon to boycott the GPU 2010 event calling it unIslamic. They “advised” Zain Bhika to refrain from participating in the event. There is a clip on youtube.

    One day when the Muslims stop seeing haraam in everything and everyone we’ll all live happily ever after.

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    • Abu Yusuf

      Please take care in making these claims. If you have a look at the YouTube clip I believe you are alluding to, it is clear that HT are not involved in any capacity nor is the group behind these protests linked to HT. They are completely separate of each other and have different approaches to their aims.

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    • Abdullah

      Subhan Allah , Subhan Allah Subhan Allah ..

      Can you explain your statement ” stop seeing haraam in everything and everyone w’ll all live happily ever after”
      and what’s you view point towards the people who condemned this event. Just to clarify I am not a supporter of any group but I support and will always support the HAQQ ….

      Waiting for your reply

      Jazak Allah Khair

      Wassalam

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  3. Yasir Qadhi

    Hey, I was there too, how come I wasn’t interviewed?!?!

    :)

    Zain’s a really nice, down-to-earth guy. He’s someone you just can’t help but like! And of course my kids love his nasheeds.

    Keep up the good work bro.

    Yasir

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    • Abu Ayesha

      Yaa Aba Ammar, they’ve already written you ”off the minhaaj”, so I’m sorry, you don’t get an interview.

      And I thought only ”salafees” did jarh. HT are at it too!

      Irony, irony.

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  4. Ismail Kamdar

    Zain is a household name in my family!

    Last month, when his new CD was released, I walked into the local Islamic Store and they took out a copy for me to purchase, because they knew what I wanted.

    More than his songs though, it is his personality that really shines through. Every time I’ve interacted with him, i was humbled by his good character and genuine kindness. and empathy.

    May Allah bless his work and continue using him for the Deen.

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  5. Mansoor Ansari

    While I m sure a lot of good happens at GPU, I saw some videos of how ‘brothers & sisters’ when acting when the nasheeds were being played… was shocked to see it happen at an Islamic event. It seems like GPU is the the British version of ISNA. And if ‘music’ other than duff is being played at an Islamic event with major scholars from the west present… lay ppl use this as a justification to say music is halaal. The scholars attending these events should advice the organizers & the attendees to behave in an Islamic manner.

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    • Abdul-Razak

      All praise is due to Allah subhanawata’allah and may His Mercy be upon His messenger Rasoolullah, salalahu alaihi wasalam.

      I attended GPU this year as i was given complimentary tickets, and boy am i glad i didn’t have to pay for them!

      Quite frankly im shocked by some of the statements i’ve read here regarding GPU. For something to be considered to have some intrinsic Islamic value, it should at least be able to balance out the good with the evil. I’m sorry but i didn’t come away with that impression.

      Although i abhor HT (as an ideology), i feel that its quite correct to ask prominent Islamic personalities not to give credibility to these type of events, which operate under the guise of providing an Islamic environment.

      Not sure if some of the comments above were tongue in cheek, but to paint the whole of the Salafi community as doing “jarh” is not only untrue, but also incorrect.

      To point out an evil when you see it is to be commended. The point here being if you actually consider an evil an evil.

      Well as brother Mansoor points out theres a number of issues with GPU. This whole nasheed business has become like a (not-so) Islamic version of music with all types of instruments.
      What about the free mixing? Don’t tell me you didn’t see that! I saw so many groups of youth checking out the opposite sex, that i felt sick. How can brothers/husbands/fathers allow their women folk to parade themselves like this, when its obvious they will be getting checked out?!

      What about the magician who did the trick with the cigarettes, and had a female assistant on stage to help him?! The key words being “magician”, “cigarettes” “female assistant”.

      Where is our gheerah? Everyone that i spoke to who attended GPU felt awful for what they had seen.

      Again referring to brother Mansoor, i completely agree that scholars should advise the organisers, and if they they don’t listen, they should boycott these types of gatherings. They will also be held accountable for sanctioning events like thess with their attendance.

      I may have missed some of the goodness that GPU may have been promoting, or maybe the benefits of it over its failings If i have, please let me know.

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  6. Abu Yusuf

    The Ummah of Muhammad (saws) has unfortunately become an Ummah of necessant complaining – despicable us!

    Yes, a lot of unfortunate things do happen at the GPU, but it has become our quick and foul obsession to criticise all institutions in the West working for change in the community rather than to step back and think how to be a constructive contributor. And of course, when our primitive urge to criticse surfaces, we wholeheartedly dismiss any positives that fail to otherwise get mentioned.

    For those complaining of free-mixing, I was at the GPU: do you expect Mutawwa to patrol the central boulevard (fully public access) and force any groups of brothers to the opposite side of sisters, lowering their gaze and perhaps even not smiling? Or maybe it’s the organisers fault that their event is where we have to see one of the less palatable facets of the Muslim youth (maybe we should brush it under the carpet – out of sight is out of mind, right?). The seating I saw (in the booklet for example) was planned in segregation – brothers on one side, sisters on the other and families in the middle. I have even heard of Muslims being confrontational to stewards when stewards attempted to keep the family section genuinely family-only! Still the organisers fault!

    But wait, maybe I’m making unreasonable excuses – these GPU Organisers have committed great wrong by putting this event together, how dare they! What benefit can possibly come from our scholars addressing this true cross-section of the British Muslim community? What a waste of breath! If only Nuh (as) didn’t wait 950 years.

    Before the critics jump to whine, how about you do something constructive and write sincere naseeha to the organisers on how to make this event better? That’s what I plan to do. Will you put your money where your mouth is?

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    • Abdul-Razak

      AssalamAlaikum

      I guess you are referring to my post, so allow me to address some of the issues you have raised.

      “The Ummah of Muhammad (saws) has unfortunately become an Ummah of necessant complaining – despicable us!”
      Yes unfortunately, i can see this to some extent, however i don’t feel that speaking out against an evil equates to the complaining you refer to.

      On the authority of Abu Sa’id al-Khudri, radiyallahu ‘anhu, who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, say:
      “When any one of you sees anything that is disapproved (of by Allah), let him change it with his hand. If he is not able to do so, then let him change it with his tongue. And if he is not able to do so, then let him change it with his heart, though that is the weakest (kind of) faith.”
      [Muslim]

      I felt that some of the things i saw at GPU would not be approved of by Allah, so i decided to do something about it and post here. Could you please explain how this equates to complaining?

      “when our primitive urge to criticse surfaces, we wholeheartedly dismiss any positives that fail to otherwise get mentioned”
      I did say in my original post to list some of the benefits which i may have missed, so please do. BUT surely criticism should be welcomed to allow others to benefit, and adopt change where necessary. Like i said if the good had outweighed the bad, i wouldn’t have felt so strong about it, but i didn’t feel it did. Like i say i may have missed the good points, and im sure that you could enlighten me, as it seems that you felt there was more good than bad.

      “do you expect Mutawwa to patrol the central boulevard (fully public access) and force any groups of brothers to the opposite side of sisters, lowering their gaze and perhaps even not smiling?
      Thats a fairly inane statement to make. I dont understand what your mocking here. This is a forum where we express our ideas and feelings. I felt that some of the behaviour at GPU was un-islamic. Is encouraging one to lower ones gaze something abnormal?

      “And perhaps not smiling” ??!! What are you talking about? Most God fearing people i know tend not to smile at opposite sex unless they have right to do so (mahrams etc). The traps of shaitan are many and devious.

      “Or maybe it’s the organisers fault that their event is where we have to see one of the less palatable facets of the Muslim youth”
      No the organisers are not directly at fault for this, but if it is not addressed than surely they will also share some of the blame?

      If GPU is an “event is where we have to see one of the less palatable facets of the Muslim youth” then what good can come out of it?
      “(maybe we should brush it under the carpet – out of sight is out of mind, right?”
      Make up your mind, will you – should it be spoken about, as i have (and then get your type of response), or not?

      As far as i can see you’re the one who seems to be brushing it under the carpet by trivialising it.

      “But wait, maybe I’m making unreasonable excuses – these GPU Organisers have committed great wrong by putting this event together, how dare they! What benefit can possibly come from our scholars addressing this true cross-section of the British Muslim community? What a waste of breath! If only Nuh (as) didn’t wait 950 years.”

      So you are saying that for the sake of the scholars talks, we should shut up with other wrongs at GPU? Tell me then where you stand on some of the other stage performances like i have mentioned above? Were the nasheeds really THAT inspiring? What good did you take away from witnessing magic?Should these of people also be given a platform?

      Also could you please explain the relevance of Nuh (as)…?

      “Before the critics jump to whine, how about you do something constructive and write sincere naseeha to the organisers on how to make this event better? That’s what I plan to do.”
      Already done. BUT what if they don’t make it better? What should we do then? Shut up and put up because those that enjoy these events may label us as whiners? Or perhaps try to warn others through a media outlet (like this one maybe?) so that people can be aware…..?

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  7. Abu Yusuf

    Wa ‘alaykum as Salaam wa Rahmatullaah,

    I wasn’t referring to your post, brother, but to the ‘educated’ Ummahs attitude of complaining without taking steps to effect a change.

    The hadith you quoted is the hadith of social change – very simply, if you want to change something, that’s the attitude to do it with: change with your hand if possible, if not change with your tongue and if not, then dislike it with your heart. You don’t stop trying to change it if it is possible.

    Tell me, are we really saying that ‘raising awareness’ through “media outlets like this one maybe?” (aka actually spreading despise for the event) is changing matters directly with a hands-on approach? The logical answer is quite simple – email them directly!?

    So, the only question that our excessively complaining Ummah needs to ask itself is, what is it doing to remedy a situation? Maybe a Twitter message saying the event was nigh or a Facebook update of how it was a disappointment? Or how about truly bothering to make some real change – email the organisers directly and suggest how to improve things!

    Plain truth about us – straight and simple – most Muslims want to whine about about our problems. Few want to do something about them, and even fewer will stick it out to the end and see the solution delivered.

    I leave all who complain to email GPU directly like I intend to do. If not, let empty words stay silent where they belong and let us learn the hard way what it means to be the Ummah of honour. Maybe then we can learn that when you truly care about something, you intend to change it for the long haul and not for the duration of a thread on MuslimMatters.

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    • Umar

      Interesting to read the opinions on the gpu above.

      I feel you both make valid points.

      I wouldn’t blame the scholars for attending, but yes – the scholars present should advise the organisers (although we can’t pass our judgements over whether or not they have done this – perhaps the organisers ignored it.)
      What speaker would reject the opportunity to speak in front of 40,000 & broadcast to 132 countries?
      It would be foolish to boycott the event, but a speaker should have mentioned some of the issues at the end of the speech.

      The organisers were Islam Channel and sadly, they have compromised many islamic values – e.g. during Ramadan immediately after the adhan was a music filled advert – every day. In addition immediately after YQ’s speech was another music filled presentation. It was indeed a mockery. Many people who attended would be misled into believing since they were at an “Islamic event” everything must’ve been Islamic.

      On a side note, Yasir Qadhi’s speech still hasn’t been uploaded on the internet yet.

      Did anybody record it?

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    • Abdul-Razak

      AssalamAlaikum

      Dear Akhi firstly please accept my apologies. Im sorry if i got the wrong end of the stick. In addition i may have been sounded a little annoyed, but that wasn’t directed at you specifically – it was because i was genuinely saddened by what i saw at GPU.

      In your reply, i agree with what you have said. Its no point just pointing the finger and blaming others, unless we are actually prepared to do something about it.

      i will say though, that raising awareness through MM as well contacting GPU directly is “doing something”. It may be that some of the organisers may read these comments. Or perhaps some of the prospective visitors may read these comments and be aware in future.

      In addition i think that these forums (such as MM) are an excellent way of reaching the masses. I speak for myself in that i’ve have changed some of my opinions, or become aware of good and evil through MM, due to others contributions. Sometimes this has been a long time after the original article was published. In fact as im writing this i can state that i have stopped committing some of my former sins through the Grace of Allah as a direct result of some of articles and their follow up comments. May Allah reward my brothers and sisters who don’t even know how you have helped others, and may Allah inspire us all to greater good – Ameen.

      I think brother Umar makes very good points. I went along with my family thinking that we were attending an Islamic event and we honestly came back somewhat confused, a bit angry but perhaps saddened mostly. I can fully concur with your views on Islam channel brother Umar. I know a few people who work for IC, but although they also agree with me, they say their hands are tied. Whats the world come to when you have to switch channels – FROM Islam Channel!!!

      Once again sorry for any misunderstanding. May Allah forgive us and guide us. May He strengthen our Emaan, and inspire us to that which pleases Him, and saves us from that which displeases him, Ameen.

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  8. Saiyyidah

    Lovely! I met Zain Bhikha and Yasir Qadhi at GPU and managed to interview them both, lovely guys mashaAllah. very knowledgeable and down to earth, we need more Muslims like this.

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