Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Maher Zain: A da'ei in his own way!

The first time I heard Maher Zain's 'Insha Allah' almost a year ago, I had tears in my eyes and a swell on my chest. He depicted my feelings and my experiences so well I almost thought he was reading my mind. He started out small (with his first single, can't remember whether it was 'Insha Allah' or "Palestine Will Be Free') in October 2009 but now has turned out to be huge a star through out the whole world, among Muslims and Non-Muslims alike. Alhamdulillah, I believe that Allah has sent him to us in our time as one of His medium of Hidayah (Guidance) to all. Through his songs, many has viewed Islam differently, better inyaAllah.

Here's a short biography of Maher Zain. May Allah repay him with Jannah for his hard work in spreading Islam the best way he can. Let us take example of his good character and learn from his experience, so that we can believe with utmost confidence that as long as there is still life in us, WE CAN CHANGE FOR THE BETTER!! InsyaAllah.

Leaving behind a lucrative career in the mainstream music industry in New York wherein he worked with internationally renowned producer RedOne who has worked with chart-topping artists Akon, Lady Gaga, Enrique Iglesias and the late Michael Jackson to mention just a few, Maher chose instead to make music which reflects his roots of being both European, Arab and Muslim and he is working with Awakening Records (who launched the career of British artist Sami Yusuf) to inspire the youth across the world.

In early March 2010, Maher's debut album Thank You Allah (released by Awakening Records) was the No.1 highest selling album on Amazon (in the world music section). Maher has already had concerts in Sweden, Canada, Australia, US, UK, France, Egypt, Algeria, and Bahrain to mention just a few. With his passion, incredible talent and unique style, the sky is the limit for Maher.

Maher’s first musical inspiration came from his father, who was a singer himself, performing locally in the beautiful Mediterranean city of Tripoli - Lebanon. Fascinated by the music and instruments, Maher got his first keyboard when he was only ten and ever since music officially became an integral part of Maher’s world. His family moved to Sweden when Maher was only 8, where he continued his schooling, and later entered university and got a Bachelors degree in Aeronautical Engineering. With things changing around him, one thing remained the same - his strong passion for music. He would spend late nights at school with his friends where they would sing, rap, compose and experiment with music in every way. It didn’t take him long to realize that music became an integral part of who he is.

After being involved for a while in the music scene as a music producer, Maher was introduced to RedOne, a gifted music producer who was fast rising in the music scene in Sweden. Maher started working with RedOne and later moved to New York. For a few years he was in the middle of the hot rush of the NY music industry, working with chart topping artists such as Kat Deluna on her debut album including smash hits ‘Whine up’ and ‘Run the Show’.

Maher had what many would describe as a dream job for someone so young in such a glamorous business, but for Maher it felt like this was far from what he would call ‘the dream’, “I loved the music but I hated everything that surrounded it, it always felt like something wasn’t right”.

In January 2009, Maher Zain decided to work on an album that reflects his identity – Arab, Western and Muslim - and signed with Awakening Records. Maher’s debut album Thank You Allah reached the number 1 spot on Amazon’s World Music charts and number 9 on the R&B charts. In January 2010, in a music competition organized by Nujoom FM (Egypt’s biggest music radio station) Maher’s track ‘Ya Nabi Salam Alayka’ was voted as the Best Song for 2009. Runners up included big names like Hussein Aljismi, Mohammed Mounir and Sami Yusuf. Maher has already performed at sold out concerts in Algeria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Egypt, England, France, Holland, Sweden, and the US amongst others and is fast becoming the ‘next superstar of Islamic music’.

Maher Zain’s album mixes the sounds of R&B with traditional spiritual, soul and contemporary pop music, not just updating spiritual music and inshad but fearlessly reviving it with contemporary flair. Maher’s debut album Thank You Allah is an instant classic of great power and timeless, unassailably intense spirituality. Maher is fast becoming recognized as one of modern Islamic Music’s seminal voices after his ground-breaking single and animated music video “Palestine Will Be Free,” his music video “Insha Allah” shot on location in London and directed by famous British director Mike Harris who has worked with Coldplay and Madonna among others, and his latest video “The Chosen One” - about the life and the peaceful teachings of Prophet Muhammad - shot in Los Angeles. Maher Zain is clearly poised to take up modern Islamic Music to a new level.

As a supremely gifted artist and producer, Maher brings his music to a wider audience not by watering down his message, but by making songs of supreme power, conviction, and glorious beauty, fusing elements of R&B, traditional spiritual music, pop, Arabic and Turkish music into daring arrangements.

After his experience in the Music Industry, Maher feels blessed to able to finally find the right way, put his talent to its best use, and produce music that is closer to his roots, and he feels like it’s his turn now to help others through his music to do the same: “If I had one thing I’d like to tell people out there it would be that it’s so easy to see the right way if we just open our eyes and look properly; that’s what happened to me.”

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

All alone

Sometimes, it is so hard to persevere when you feel that you have no one to turn to or support you. But.. we have Allah by our side! Never ever forget that.

Every time you feel like you cannot go on
You feel so lost
And that you're so alone
All you is see is night
And darkness all around
You feel so helpless
You can’t see which way to go
Don’t despair and never loose hope
Cause Allah is always by your side

Insya Allah you’ll find your way

Everytime you can make one more mistake
You feel you can’t repent
And that its way too late
Your’re so confused, wrong decisions you have made
Haunt your mind and your heart is full of shame
Don’t despair and never loose hope
Cause Allah is always by your side

Turn to Allah
He’s never far away
Put your trust in Him
Raise your hands and pray

Ya Allah
Guide my steps don’t let me go astray
You’re the only one that showed me the way

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A candle in the dark.

Left and right people are going against the Word of the Almighty, cheering the council of the Devil's herd.

And we are stuck in the midst of chaos and confusion. A spark of truth in our hearts remain, but not strong enough to light the gloom in our soul.

Yet we strongly adhere to what we hold on to dear, that it is not the dark that has befell but only an eclipse waiting to fly.

Because we choose to light a candle, rather than curse the darkness.

[18:29] Proclaim: "This is the truth from your Lord," then whoever wills let him believe, and whoever wills let him disbelieve. We have prepared for the transgressors a fire that will completely surround them. When they scream for help, they will be given a liquid like concentrated acid that scalds the faces. What a miserable drink! What a miserable destiny!

[18:30] As for those who believe and lead a righteous life, we never fail to recompense those who work righteousness.

[18:31] They have deserved gardens of Eden wherein rivers flow. They will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold, and will wear clothes of green silk and velvet, and will rest on comfortable furnishings. What a wonderful reward; what a wonderful abode!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Redha = Contentment

There are times in life when you are at a certain point and then you realize that you can never have imagined your life would be like this a year ago, maybe even 5 months ago. The things you worry about or were tormented with in the end turned out to be just fine. And then it suddenly hits you.. all this while Allah has always had your back. When He promised that He will provide for you, that whatever happens to you IS the best for you, He meant exactly that!

Say: "Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is our Maula (Lord, Helper and Protector). And in Allah let the believers put their trust." [At-taubah - 9:51]

This recognition of divine intervention always, more often than not occurs in retrospect. When everything has settled down. When you have moved on with life after calamity strikes. When your worries are gone with the wind of time. When you have accepted what has been given to you. And then you look back at your life. In retrospect.

It is always in our reflection of ourselves (our muhasabah) that we will see how benevolent and bountiful Allah's Love and Mercy really is. The times we take to retract ourselves from the world of chaos and materialism outside and look inside carefully, these are those times that awareness and acceptance will come to us. And peace will befall us, a peace that can make even the most weary and discontented, serene and calm.

That is what we call Redha.

"As for him who gives (in charity) and keeps his duty to Allah, and believes in the Best reward from Allah (i.e. Allah will compensate him for what he will spend in Allah's way). So, We will make smooth for him the path of Bliss.." [Al-layl - 92:5-7]

"And have in their minds no favour from anyone for which a reward is expected in return, But only the desire to seek for the Countenance of their Lord Most High. And soon will they attain
(complete) satisfaction."
[Al-layl - 92:17-19]

Monday, October 11, 2010

A reminder to myself.

The religion itself becomes a mean by which you promote your own ego. It's ironic because the religion was revealed for us to be humble ourselves. But now we are using that very Deen to express our arrogance.

Is the religion here to serve our needs, or are we here to serve Allah's Deen?

I have a very bad case of ego!
Please help me correct myself O Allah.

Muhasabah Diri: Usaha yang belum cukup

Graf "Bagaimana boleh bertahan?". Bagaimana memahaminya?

Ianya boleh di bincangkan bagaimana atau betul dan salahnya. Tapi ia hanya pengalaman dari sunnatullah. Kita berusaha dan orang lain juga berusaha… tak semestinya kita bangga dengan pencapaian kita. Maybe ada formula lain yang lebih baik.

Fasa semasa belajar adalah paling kritikal dalam generasi Y. Di masa itu ia umpama besi yang berada di leburan atau relaunya. Semasa itulah masa untuk dibentuk oleh apa saja ideologi dan trend. Siapa yang cepat dan mampu bekerja keras dengan menggunakan sunnatullah yang paling tepat, nescaya dia berjaya membentuk seramai mungkin bentuk-bentuk manusia yang ada di dalam masyarakat.

Oleh kerana masa itu pendek dan masa pelajarlah saat paling mudah untuk diubah, maka saat itu juga perlu dibentuk ke tahap ke paling maksima. Maksima dari segi swing kepada Islamnya, maksima dari segi semangatnya, maksima dari segi keinginan dan rasa perlu kepada ilmu. Juga maksima untuk berpisah dari jahiliyyah akidah, perasaan dan kelakuan tingkahlaku.

Berjaya atau tidak semasa pembentukan dan pembenturan semasa fasa menjadi pelajar, itulah yang membentuk keinginan hidupnya semasa selepas belajar. Ingin atau tidaknya untuk meneruskan apa yang difahami dan dipegangi semasa zaman belajar ditentukan banyak oleh ia mencapai tahap lulus atau melepasi ‘area’ gelombang. Selepas gelombang akan ada kawasan tenang dan aman. Sesiapa yang tidak dapat melepasi area gelombang itulah maka ia akan terumbang ambing selepas zaman belajar!

Oleh itu…

Usaha maksima perlu dilakukan semasa zaman belajar…. adakah anda sebagai murabbi sanggup bertungkus lumus untuk itu? Atau mad’u anda akan meninggalkan anda dengan senyum selepas zaman belajar mereka dan berkata: “Terima kasih kak kerana membantu saya ber’halaqah’ semasa saya di IPT…. Tapi lepas kerja ni tengoklah dulu samada saya akan bersama atau tidak…!".

Murabbinya terkebil-kebil…. di mana silap aku?

Tapi semua hati manusia adalah di dalam kuasa al-Rahman, di bolak balikkan ke mana yang dikehendakiNya.

Dipetik dari: http://muntalaq.wordpress.com/2010/06/28/bagaimana-boleh-bertahan/

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Questions and answers?

I just realize today that most of the time in life we don't always get the answers to our questions at the exact time we are looking for it or at the very second we want it. It will come to you at the right time, when you are ready mentally, emotionally and spiritually to accept it.

And that's the hard part.

To be patient until you reach that right time actually zaps a lot of your energy off. Especially if you keep dwelling on it and blaming everything and everyone else in the world for not helping you get to the answers you wanted.

So the good thing to do is to let go. To stop blaming. To keep looking. To be patient until the time comes. In the mean time, to build yourself up, to prepare yourself so that when the answers come to you, you are strong enough to use the answers you get to move on to becoming a better, greater person to those around you.

I hope you're enlightened by my entry in the way that best suits you. Even if you don't really know what I'm talking about! Hehe. ;)

Penning off, for now.