There’s no denying the power of music. It has the ability to connect you with people and issues in a way that is deeply moving. This month we highlight artists that have combined their love of music with faith, because this Ramadan it’s all about the nasheed (music with a positive Islamic message). Duly entertaining and holy, these musicians will have you bobbing your head to the beat and in appreciation of their message.
This Egyptian artist is making waves in his own country, and around the world. Though his songs are not obviously about worship and prayer, he encourages a Muslim way of life by touching on issues like ethnic relations, hypocrisy, the poor state of Egyptian education, and immigration. He has been hailed as the “new Sayed Darwish” and is compared to some of the biggest Egyptian musicians. His first album Ehlam Ma’aya (Dream With Me) was released in 2008, and was an instant success, reaching the top ten list in Virgin Mega Store. His music brought him much attention during the months following the uprising of January 25, 2011 and he remains an influential voice among the country’s youth.
For more on Hamza Namira check out his website hamzanamira.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter @hamzanamira.
Mesut Kurtis brings a soulfulness and emotion to his pop inspired nasheeds. Now hailed as one of the biggest stars in Islamic music, his songs have become modern day classics. From a very young age the Macedonian-born singer showed a strong interest in Islamic music. Influenced by a family of Islamic Scholars he graduated with a degree in Human Sciences, Islamic Law and Jurisprudence from the University of Wales. Today he has three albums under his belt, “Salawat” (Prayers) “Beloved”, and “Tabassam” (Smile). He sings in Arabic, English and Turkish and has performed in concerts in the UK, France, Macedonia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and others.
To find out more about Mesut Kurtis, check out his website awakening.org/mesut-kurtis. You can also follow him on Twitter @MKurtisOfficial and Facebook: MesutKurtis.
With a debut album in 2003, Sami Yusuf was one of the first artists to make nasheed a part of mainstream music. The 34-year-old singer-songwriter, composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist musician even coined his style of music “Spiritique”. His lyrics have touched on everything that ails the Muslim community from prayers and worship to “Free”, a song meant to empower women in the community. His album My Ummah was a musical tribute to his idea of a utopia for the Muslim World. Ranked in the “Top 500 Influential Muslims of 2009 (and 2010)” by Georgetown University, and head of numerous philanthropy projects, it is clear that Sami Yusuf practices what he sings.
For more information on Sami Yusuf visit his website www.samiyusufofficial.com. You can also follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @samiyusuf.
Born in Kuwait in 1989, Humood has always shown amazing musical talents. Though he spent much of his younger years in England, he eventually returned to his home of origin. Now the Kuwaiti has nearly one million likes on his Facebook page, and has performed all over the Arab world. His first album, with Awakening Records, is titled Aseer Ahsan (I will be better). His song “Kun Anta” has inspired covers from around the world, and is an uplifting beat for anyone down while fasting.
To find out more about Humood AlKhudher check out his official website humoodalkhudher.com. You can also follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @HumoodAlKhudher.
Maher Zain is one of the most popular Islamic musicians right now. The award-winning R&B singer has over 45 million likes on his Facebook page, more fans than any other artist in the genre. Born in Lebanon, Zain moved with his family to Sweden at the young age of 8. After completing a Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering, he entered the music industry in Sweden with producer RedOne, who has produced for the likes of Lady Gaga. In 2006 he went to the USA to launch his career in music production. It was only a couple years before he was back home, and re-engaged with his Islamic faith. In 2009 he worked on his first album, Thank You Allah with Awakening Records, which has gone multi-platinum in Indonesia and Malaysia.