On Finding True Love in the Most Unexpected of Places

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// February 11th, 2007 // Blog

A while ago, i listened to an interesting discussion about Music in Islam. I'm afraid i don't have my full podcast listings with me right now, so i can't remember the exact details of the broadcast; i'll fill in this gap later.

I do remember that one of the speakers was Sheikh Hamza Yusuf.

He mentioned how when most people listen to the lyrics of love songs, they usually interpret it as a reference to romance, or even lust. However, for a spiritually-inclined person, these same lyrics could easily describe the complete, all-encompassing love that a believer has for the Creator. [I am aware that i am sounding a little 'Sufi' here, but i don't see why they should get the dibs on all things spiritual!]

Anyway, i was just reminded of this talk, after i caught myself singing that unforgettably mushy love song: Everything i do, i do it for you, by Bryan Adams & Co. I haven't followed the music scene in a long time, but this song is ingrained on my heart, rightly or wrongly, ever since it remained at number one in the UK charts for sixteen weeks.

During my caterwauling, i realised that this was an excellent candidate for the very type of song that Sheikh Yusuf mentioned. For those who are not so familiar (but i wonder how you could not be, unless you were in a sound-proofed room, living on Mars, at the time), i have pasted the lyrics below, with a few modifications to help you see my point.

***

[Imagine this segment to be from God's perspective, addressing his creation:]
Look into my eyes – you will see
What you mean to me
Search your heart – search your soul
And when you find me there you'll search no more
Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for
You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for
You know it's true
Everything I do – I do it for you

[Now imagine the rest of the song from a believer's perspective, addressing God:]
Look into my heart – you will find
There's nothin' there to hide
Take me as I am – take my life
I would give it all I would sacrifice
Don't tell me it's not worth fightin' for
I can't help it there's nothin' I want more
You know it's true
Everything I do – I do it for you

There's no love – like your love
And no other – could give more love
There's nowhere – unless you're there
All the time – all the way

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for
I can't help it there's nothin' I want more
I would fight for you – I'd lie for you*
Walk the wire for you – Yeah I'd die for you…

You know it's true
Everything I do – I do it for you.

* Note: this depends on the circumstances. E.g., when helping to reconcile two Muslims, a husband to please his wife, and vica versa (“does this make my bum look big?” kind of situations), to prevent a greater harm, etc.

***

Now, is that not the [almost] perfect love song for a true mu'min? Thinking about it like that, makes me feel less guilty for singing it!

8 Responses to “On Finding True Love in the Most Unexpected of Places”

  1. Manas Shaikh says:

    iMuslim,
    have you considered that some people do not have JAVA on their browsers?

    your little trick looks and feels great, but I don’t know how everybody feels about it.

    back to the topic at hand
    Sufism: Well, I like Islam because it talks of Allah as reality. The mysticism itself seems to suggest that god is something supernatural…
    I don’t think so. Allah is a real and nothing unnatural about him. In fact whatever he chooses to do IS(or becomes) the natural thing.

    Sufism was a great movement, especially in India. It became a frontline for people trying to understand Islam. A lot of people were attracted.

    Hinduism had to respond. As they were ill-iquipped to counter the simple and loving message of Sufism, Shikhism came. You will be amazed to see the similarity of Sikhism with Sufism (and thus Islam). I know many Sikhs who love Sufism (because of similarity in their faith. Sufism strikes a sympathetic chord in them).

    Even though I like the love and kindness aspect of Sufism, the God-consciousness is a bit different from what I believe.

    The Sufi poets sometimes led nomadic life, something not really recommended in Islam.

  2. iMuslim says:

    Salaams Manny (your kunya),

    All modern browsers should be perfectly well equipped to handle a bit of javascript… i don’t think anyone disables it these days, do they? Plus i already have three other scripts running on here (nice titles, recent posts & recent comments), so why have you expressed concern now?

    The topic at hand wasn’t actually about sufism… is was about how we can find good in unexpected places, as long as our intentions are to praise Allah; although we have to be careful that we don’t confuse this with bidah. I’m not about to tell people singing Bryan Adams songs is a halal or recommended method of worship!

    It reminds me of the story about Rasoolallah ‘Isa (Jesus; peace be upon him), when he & his disciples walked past the rotting corpse of a dead dog. His companions were repulsed by the sight, but he instead commented on how white and pearly the teeth were; i.e., he saw the good in the bad, as his heart shone with gratitude to the Creator of all things.

    But if you wish to discuss Sufism, then by all means… i am with you (and when am i not?), in that, i am not a fan of mysticism. It stems from the fact that we should only say that about Allah which He has revealed about Himself. As all forms of wahi have now stopped, except for dreams (and even then, there are limits) the only means we have to approach Allah and practice the deen are through Qur’an & Sunnah.

    However, in our efforts to avoid Sufi extremism, we also have to avoid going to the opposite extreme, of neglecting the spiritual side of Islam, which is very rich, very deep & most beneficial. Yet, my grasp of it is weak, and i wish to develop that side of my imaan more, in order to gain proximity to Allah in my heart.

    After all, faith is about the heart, tongue and limbs. So far i have made some limited progression with the tongue & limbs, but my heart is lagging behind, and needs attention.

    May Allah make our hearts soft, tongues moist and limbs strong, with remembrance of Him.

    Wa’salam

  3. Manas Shaikh says:

    Salaams iMMu (if you don’t mind)

    It is never too late. But okay, most of the browsers are able to handle pieces of Java. Agreed.

    But I get disturbed when people use Quicktime (I am a Linux buff, y’know that) which does not run by default on Linux. You got to do your stuff (install libraries, resolve dependencies, especially if use RPM. I won’t do that. Because I hate Linux being treated as second class citizen (ahem, kernel). So I will use what comes by default.

    Sufism was not exactly on topic, but comments are beyond the topic at hand arn’t they? Related, but not confined to, the topic at hand. Atleast I see it that way.

    One problem with sufism is that it got affected by practices outside Islam. For example you will hear them singing and see them dancing.

    I am not too well equipped either to talk about sufism. I would love to know more.

    Ameen to your dua.
    Wa’salam

  4. iMuslim says:

    Wa ‘alaykum salam Manas,

    I actually hate that kunya! Perhaps you chose it as a protest to mine… hehe

    Your little explanation about Quicktime/Linux incompatibilities, was fascinating… but i had no idea what you were talking about! I’m not as much as a computer nerd, as i seem.

    Comments are what you wish them to be (i just wanted to clarify that my entry wasn’t about Sufism). I am not too knowledgeable about Sufism either… but i know it has a wide scope; not all Sufis are “extreme”.

    Wa’salam

  5. organicmuslimah says:

    hmm.

    Now, when you said “am sounding a little ‘Sufi’ here, but i don’t see why they should get the dibs on all things spiritual”

    I was thinking the same thing. And Hamza Yusuf tends to lean towards the side of Sufism. “Not that there is anything wrong with that” (Seinfeld).

    I don’t like the idea. It felt awkward reading one of my favorite lyrics to mean GOD. Hmm.

    I’ve read the reasoning behind why some scholars believe music is haraam and I have heard the opposing to the Ta7reem. I’ve tried boycotting music in the past, I seem to always fail. That tells me something.

    I simply need a balance in my life.

  6. iMuslim says:

    I’ve tried boycotting music in the past, I seem to always fail. That tells me something.

    I don’t buy music, or listen to music on purpose. But the radio is nearly always playing in my lab, and i’m exposed to it through TV, so i can’t say my boycott is entirely successful, either.

    To be honest, even when i didn’t care about the permissibility of music, i was never really into it. I may have known what was number one in the charts, but i never collected singles or albums, and even now, i’m not so into nasheeds. They’re nice, but i don’t go out of my way to listen to them…

    Most other Desi Muslims i know are really into their Bollywood tunes… not me though. :)

  7. organicmuslimah says:

    Nasheeds are songs with an Islamic label on them. In the Arab world, the Munshedeen have almost taken a celebrity-like status and maybe more, since they are approved by everyone. Take Sami Yusuf for example :P

    I was never into music either. Bryan Adams “I’ll be right here waiting for you” is good to keep me happy for a long time.

    Thanks for sharing :)

  8. iMuslim says:

    Nasheeds are songs with an Islamic label on them.

    I was talking about the permissible versions, i.e., just voices, not the Islamic Pop Revolution! The Sami Yusuf following is a little scary…

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