Last year, one of the internet controversies that gained a lot of forwarding time on email lists as well as forums was the topic of sister Yvonne Ridley’s scathing criticism of Sami Yusuf, his music, his British Patriotism, and the boy band culture surrounding various nasheed artists, particularly Sami Yusuf.
Azhar Usman responded, only to be cut down by sister Yvonne, and then Sami Yusuf responded, and so forth. I had written a series of blog entries regarding my thoughts on the whole thing, and even went as far as to attend a Sami Yusuf concert to see firsthand what this was all about. This is all on my old blog siraaj.wordpress.com. As part of the write up, I kept copies of all statements (and even cleaned up punctuation errors for my own sanity) made by all involved as well.
As a result, my old site, though it’s been janazafied a long time ago, continually gets not only hits, but comments from many people, particularly sisters who think my site is Sami Yusuf’s site, and since those comments are in the public domain, I thought I’d reproduce them below for your amusement (and perhaps horrified astonishment). The following comments were written in response to Sami Yusuf’s letter, which is a response to Yvonne Ridley’s letter. In all, there are currently 66 comments (mostly from sisters), and I’ve reproduced only some of them (you can read the page in full here):
“you are owsome Sami Yusuf and I 100% am on your side and i totally agree with you. Thank you for standing up for this. My name is Hawa, I am 16 years old and I am from Chechnya. I live in the United States. I am your number one fan, and i think that you are a vwery nice respectful and very handsome man that i have never met in my life. Thank you again and take care and I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH, don’t forget that many people agree with what you wrote on this letter .
Good luck to you in everything that you do in life and may Allah bless you, and every step you take. Assalamu Alaykum”
“if you ever wish to contact me Sami Yusuf, my e-mail is email@example.com“
Sister Yvonne is right! It angers me to think these people are comitting Kuffur in the name of Islam. People like Sami Yusuf and 786 and misguiding our Muslim brothers and siters with Haram Trash!
I am pretty sure if I was to say that Tupac’s music is Halal because he raps about the challenges and difficulty of life, there would be an uproar, even from the people who are defending the likes of Sami Yusuf and 786! The fact is that these people are trying to change Islam, they have strayed from the Seerathal Mustqim.
Allahu Akbar !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
“сами очень очень хороший певец я ево люблю” (yeah, I don’t know why someone reading a blog in English would respond in whatever language this is)
“i love you sami yusuf”
“Something that I experienced approximately 18 months ago…
My daughter maashaaAllaah is quite the academic alhamduli’L-Laah.
She was star pupil of her madrasah class for the year.
She was given a show bag as a present, which contained a Sami Yusuf CD.
I was against the CD being listened to, as I am of the opinion that music is Haraam.
Somehow, they found a track that only had vocals in it. So, I said ok to it, only!
After around 10-20 seconds into it, a techno theme boomed out of the speakers, to which my wife started gyrating her hips! A`oodhubi’L-Laah!
I looked at my wife incredulously and asked, “Do you realise what you are dancing to?”
Alhamduli’L-Laah, we never listened to Sami Yusuf ever again.
wa Selaam `alaykum wa Rahmatu’L-Laah wa BarakaatuH.”
“Assalam u alaikum wa rahmatullahe wa barakatuh
Music is not haram in Islam…Birds sing…Rivers sing…Wind sing…everything around you sing…just listen at them.
And I want to say…Dear Sami Yusuf I all love you. Your musics is as deep as my calmness.”
“Asalaam aleikum fellow Muslim people.
Well, i must say Yvonne had a point, but Sami cleared his more accurately.
I agreee 100% with Sami about everthing he says.
Think about it. Music is not haram.
Listen to the world around you. Birds sing. The wind has a singing sound towards it, everything sings.
I know that everybody who listens to Sami’s music will fall in love with it, and Allah and the Prophets.
There is nothing haram in that. you cant deny it.
Yvonne, Sami is RIGHT and
you are truly WRONG!”
The next set of comments are from one sister who continuously kept coming back to my site over many months, even when she received no responses to her comments:
“Asalaam aleikum islamic singer
i agree about that point i agree 100%
WITH WHAT SAMI YUSUF YOUR SAYING
MUSIC IS NOT HARRAM EVERY ONE WHO LSTENS TO SAMI YUSUFS SONGS WOULD GET IT IN THERE MIND EASLY.THE BESTEST SONG IN THE WORLD IS SAMIS INSHALLAH ALLA AND THE PROPHET WOULD THANK SAMI YUSUF.SAMI YUSUF IS RIGHT
ALMUALIM IS THE BEST FIRST SONG
SAMI IS NOT WRONG REMEMBER”
“sami yusuf u are my number 1 fan
and inshallah i see u at my house i
live in australia in melbourn in danxxxxx at 5 xxxxx road 3175
i love your songs so much better than yusuf islam and by the way dosent every thing sings the trees,wind water and birds
“sami yusuf iforgot to tell u that
some muslim dont relly act like muslims and the kafrs are trying to make a name to islam by teasing us muslims ok please come to my house in melborne and come and do a concert in melborne”
“sami yusuf i think that u are more righter than 100% and i like your songs so much when i am writing a letter to u right now i was just listening to your song i listen to it every day and in the car.”
sami yusuf i just went on a websit to write a letter to u or the people and these labones people said that u are bad and even said ur songs are haram but i dont agree with them so i wrote to them it is not true and then i tried to submit it but it did not work.and me and my family are your number one fanand i told u befor but i dont mean to tell u again but please do ur concert in australia in melbourn and some time u could come visit me and my family in danxxxxx at 5 xxxxxx road 3175 because i dont relly know my e-mail
“asalam alekum brother sami yusuf
Im always looking for your e-mail but i cant find it and as soon as u read this can you please give you my e-mail my e-mail ia firstname.lastname@example.org and can you please come to australia in melbourn for your consert
to sami yusuf happy ramada can you please give me your e-mail and i changed my e-mail it is
email@example.com and as soon as you read this can you please give me your e-mail
“asalam alykum sami yusuf i wish all the best i sow your show in wembely arena it was great thank you for everything my allah bless you sami this dua for you please can you send me atlist one
اللهم اغفر لي, وارحمني, واهدني, واجبرني, وعافني, وارزقني, وارفعني
my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I think that Sami yusuf’s nasheed’s are very good. But the use of musical instruments is forbidden. So he is partly wrong. IF SAMI YUSUF READS THIS I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE THE INSPIRATION OF THE MODERN MUSLIM GENERATION.”
“My dear brother Sami, you are a great man, good soul and bih, sincerely heart… I know that everything you are doing is from heart and in name of our LORD and could something in which one is saying GOD’s name, could it be haram, wrong? Sami, just be always like you are now, my ALLAH bless you my brother. You are like my born brother and I estimate you a lot like a pearson. You are a prayer, good prayer, that is the fact.”