Happy Muslims, angry Puritanical Muslims.

The viral video Happy Muslims by The Honestly Policy seemingly caused some controversy and apparently not solely due to my poor dance moves. Many have questioned why I, and others, chose to participate in the video and what our ‘objectives’ were. So, despite some reservations, I’ve decided to weigh in….

My decision to take part was motivated by a desire to show mainstream Muslims as ordinary people, who can have fun and who have a sense of humor, away from the usual headlines sadly so typically associated with our community.  At a time of heightened islamophobia and suspicion, I hoped the video could contribute to rehumanising Muslims.   Far too often, Muslims are represented in the media for all the wrong reasons. An extensive body of literature and research indicates that on the whole, the images and discourse relating to Islam and Muslims in mainstream Western media tends to be overwhelmingly negative. These negative Muslim stories consequently affect wider society’s perception of the Muslim faith and its beliefs. Some would argue that the effects of such demonization have been the Muslim community being seen as a foreign body within wider society, or as the ‘other’. This phenomenon of reducing minorities to the ‘other’ is nothing new of course. History has its fair share of stories of one group dehumanising another group.   One cannot help but think that the constant negative portrayal of Muslims and charges of Muslim exceptionalism, have reduced Muslims to a less human alien minority within the West. The Happy Muslims video was in a way, an attempt to dispel the negative perception by presenting Muslims in a manner far removed from usual depictions, specifically, happy, smiling and having fun.

The reaction to the video by the majority of Muslims has been positive. But to no one’s surprise, Puritanical Muslim preachers have been outraged by the video (although to be fair, it really doesn’t take much), expressing hard line verdicts to excite the Islamic sentiments of the ignorant.  According to such individuals, the video was a clear violation of Islamic law, specifically such actions as dancing are deemed to be ‘Haram’ ie: a prohibited act. Of course, no matter the noble intentions behind the video, the means do not justify the ends. But can one make such a claim and condemn the video and those who took part?  When engaging with Puritanical Muslims, one discovers there really is little substance to their claims. Often Puritanicals ask for evidence to deem a given action ‘Halal’, or permissible.  Although this gives the impression that one is being true to the faith, the question is based on a false premise, namely that ‘every action is Haram until sharia permits’.  E.g of a question, I had someone ask me “where is the evidence during the Prophet’s time, of the women of Medina dancing publicly?”
This is a completely topsy turvy way in which do deduce ‘Hukm’ , Islamic rulings, not to mention the fact it leads to absurdities. It’s analogous to the notion that one is guilty until proven innocent!   While it should be noted that this principle is true for Ibadat, i.e. acts of worship, it is not the case for anything else.

The correct view regarding fiqh (jurisprudence) of actions is ‘Every action is halal (permissible) until texts restrict’. Thus, the onus is on the Puritanical Muslims to find the evidence to deem dancing ‘Haram’ or impermissible. What constitutes evidence?

Scholars of jurisprudence were very wary of labeling something as Haram. The Quranic verse warms against those who forbid what God has made lawful [66:1]. Thus, anyone who takes it upon him or herself to deem something forbidden must have evidence, which must be ‘Qati’, definitive, to justify such a claim.

Essentially there are two undisputed sources of evidence in determining Islamic law, the Quran and Sunnah (sayings, actions and consent of the Prophet peace be upon him). The ‘Qati’ nature of evidence is also determined by two factors, sound epistemological status and unambiguous meaning. With regards to the former, the Quran is always considered sound whereas the hadith can vary depending on the grade of narration, or the ‘Isnad’. With regards to unambiguity of meaning, both verses and hadith can be ambiguous in meaning. Hence, why traditional Islam has a diversity of opinions on the topic of music and entertainment. So my challenge to the detractors is this, where is the clear-cut or definitive evidence to deem the video ‘Haram’ or impermissible?

There simply isn’t clear-cut evidence to dismiss it as such. Puritanical Muslims have been at pains to find a verse or hadith to vindicate their outcry. Some have made desperate attempts to even use ‘Qiyas’, analogical deduction, which itself is indicative that there is no direct evidence to prohibit the video. One example I’ve heard cited refers to the Quran suggesting that the prophet’s wives shouldn’t over-soften their voices as to avoid desire within the diseased heart of strange men. (Qur’an 33:32) The ‘argument’ goes: women dancing (like in the video) invokes desire in men, thus for the same reason, it should be prohibited. Putting aside that this verse is referring to the Prophet’s wives and even states, “ you are not like any other women”, it is simply a false analogy. Had the dance moves in the video involved Muslim women pole dancing seductively then perhaps one could entertain the analogy, but what is clear in the video, is that the dancing was innocuous – with some simply walking with a rhythm or bopping their heads to the tune.

Are these Puritanical Muslim men seriously claiming that the video was too seductive? The attempt to make the Happy Muslims video some sordid affair says more about them than about its actual content to be fair.

More importantly, this quasi-Islamic reasoning can lead to reductio ad absurdum, whereby any innocuous act can be deemed Haram. And, it’s precisely this type of obscure ‘Islamic reasoning’ that results in women becoming invisible in society.  What about women walking in public, hosting a TV programme or even driving? It’s simply an abuse of Islamic teaching to universally prohibit acts which some have a fetish problem with. Once you strip away the layers of obfuscation, all you discover is a naked obsession with sex, women and control masquerading as religious devotion. Traditional Islam describes women, as well as men with an ‘awrah’ (intimate parts) that must be guarded by the virtue of modesty. Puritanical Islam reduces women to nothing more than an ‘awrah’. Why should we even entertain the views of those who hold the opinion that women should be neither seen nor heard?

That said, given that the discussion is within the remit of fiqh exploration, if one wants to be charitable, one might allow the claim that some may deem the video ‘haram’. And yet, even this merely suggests a difference of opinion. What’s the consequence of this in terms of fiqh, responsibility and judgment? It means it can only be ‘haram’ for those who deem it ‘haram’, and not for those who differ with that interpretation! To see it any other way would be a form of authoritarian fiqh tyranny, a problem Puritanical Muslims suffer from quite regularly, wanting to impose puritanical ‘Islamic opinions’ on everyone else!

Of course, there have also been emotional appeals. Terms have been bandied around like “liberal” and “secular” and the appeasement of these ‘ideologies’ allegedly by those who appear in the video. The problem here again, is that the argument is based on a false assumption. What is acceptable in Islam is not defined as the opposite of how non-Muslims live or by somehow being ‘anti-Western’ (an odd term given that we are talking about British Muslims, ie ‘westerners’!). Also, despite the prevalence of such a belief, a view is no more Islamic simply because it is more restrictive. The more ‘liberal’ opinion could well be the more Islamic; any restriction on something without warrant is fundamentally unIslamic.   Now to mention it crudely reduces every action to an ideological assertion. Dancing is not by definition an expression of an ideological creed.

The Happy Muslims video was an attempt to present a genuine picture of mainstream Muslims, but it has now become part of a broader move to push back against imported Puritanical Islam, the WalMart of Islam, that has dominated Muslim and Non- Muslim discourse for too long, masquerading as traditional Islam. Puritanical Islam is dead, long live Islam.

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26 thoughts on “Happy Muslims, angry Puritanical Muslims.

  1. Excellent!

    But you messed up – hadith having sahih isnad does not mean it is authentic. That is the methodology of Ahle Hadith and Wahhabis. Matn of the hadith must also hold up and nbot clash with Quran, Muttawatir, Mashoor etc.

    This hadith is graded ‘Sahih’ by Bukhari; ‘There is bad luck in three things: women, horses and houses’. Do you accept it (or the Satanic verses incident because they have ‘Sahih Isnad’ or fulfil the five conditions of Shafi or Bukhari?

    BTW, Bukhari failed to included Hadrat A’ishas explanation of this hadith, namely that the Prophet (SAW) said that ‘IN THE TIME OF JAHILIYYA,PEOPLE USED TO SAY, bad luck is in three things…’

    So despite eloquently critiquing puritans, you have in fact supported a modernist and puritanical ‘usool’ (or rather, non-usool) of hadith, namely that Sahih isnad = acceptable in sharia. It does not. Except for Wahhabis etc.

    1. So despite eloquently critiquing puritans, you have in fact supported a modernist and puritanical ‘usool’ (or rather, non-usool) of hadith, namely that Sahih isnad = acceptable in sharia. It does not. Except for Wahhabis etc.

      Agreed. There are many “Sahih” hadeeths that contradict eachother. Javad Nurbakhsh, the former leader of one of the Iranian sufi orders uses sahih hadeeth to justify Sama (spiritual concerts). If you look at a lot of the early jurists that condemned music they used reason rather than texts in their judgement, whereas a textualist scholar like Ibn Hazm saw it as permissible.

  2. The video has noble aims and that should be commended, I think it was innocent and looked like a lot of fun but why do you resort to language used by Islamophobes to tar you critics? Can you define Puritanical Islam? Is that basically anyone that disagrees with you? Also the final paragraph where you say ‘imported Puritanical Islam’ made me giggle. You resorting to such terms only reinforces the ‘othering’ and dehumanisation of Muslims and their views and therefore Islamophobia. Also, imported from where exactly, India? Pakistan? or Saudi Arabia. This all has a slight whiff of an Orientalist mentality on your part.

    1. No, the “puritans” aren’t just someone who disagrees. This a very real ideology that has attempted to destroy traditional Islamic methodology in favor of a dumbed down version of Islam. You can tell the difference between a traditional scholar and a Puritan from their arguments; you can reach legitimate differences of opinion using traditional methodology, but forgoing that methodology altogether is what makes one a Puritan, and something every Muslim ought to reject.

      1. No. I think it is quite clear from the post and the language the writer chose to use, that he wishes to create only one interpretation of religion and anyone who disagrees is a ‘puritan’. I am a Sunni Muslim who follows Ash’ari/Maturidi Aqeeda and despise Wahabi ideology, fact is the writer does not use the word Wahabi, he uses the word ‘puritan’, I am pretty sure he includes non-Wahabis in that. Fact is you cannot deny orthodox interpretations of Islam would take issue with that video, that’s undeniable. Using words like ‘puritan’ only serves to shut down criticism, especially in the current islamophobic media framework. The reaction by the writer to some segments of the Muslim community has only served to reinforce bigotry towards Muslims.

  3. When I watched the video, I wasn’t really aware of the Happy videos being made globally and this was just suppose to be one of them. It is suppose to be the voice and face of the British Muslim also singing to the global chorus of ‘I’m also happy’. Perfectly harmless and nothing whatsoever to prove of any ulterior motives. WRONG!

    Having read some of the quotes by Honest Policy (the makers) on BuzzFeed where they say the video IS ‘controversial’ then it does become a different ball game. The ‘controversial’ issues of late whether it is a cartoon of the Holy Prophet or Muslims refusing to accept homosexuality or the Sharia Laws that go against political correctness is all about a group of Muslims refusing to budge on the issues of their religion. They also lately have been labelled as ‘puritanical’.

    It is this group of Muslims that is constantly provoked. They are not the party poopers. Adam Deem’s lame excuse that there is no Quranic verse or hadith is in itself flawed. وَلاَ تَمْشِ فِي الأَرْضِ مَرَحًا If ‘walking merrily’ is not allowed then surely dancing is questionable, right?

    “Francois-Cerrah also suggested that more videos are on the way.” BuzzFeed .. http://www.buzzfeed.com/sirajdatoo/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-happy-british-muslims
    It is not a one off spur of the moment, it is a campaign. Islam is not a theist ideology and the campaigns to secularise it will be rentless. It might masquerade as harmless things like cartoons and music videos but the target group is one. Those so-called ignorant, miserable puritans who refuse to modernise. Adam Deen wishes them dead.

    1. No one wants anyone dead, least of them I believe is Adam Deen. The intent is to engage with each other to find commonality of thought among the lost souls who claim only they know Islam and their version must be imposed by any means including murder.

  4. I am a west african muslim who moved to the Bay Area (California) 10 years ago. I am ashari, maliki and sufi. But, seriously ? really? Do you think by doing this video you will change the perception from the “West/media”? No, please get real. The West doesn’t have problem with the muslims, the media has problem with ISLAM. And the media is controlled by an elite who is “filthy” rich and whose interests are not compatible with ISLAM and its principles. As such, the media will keep portraying the bad images of islam’s adherents. Are we going to join the westerners in what they define as “happy”? Let’s talk about facts from the people defining and preaching “happiness” when suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in the United States, when 1 in 10 american are depressed, when 40 people are murdered a day, in 1998 about 876,340 violent crimes were committed in the U.S. against women by their current or former spouses etc… Is this an ideal of a “happy” society? Let’s take the case the Dubai (or the emirates) to make my point. They are the West’s favorite spot of leisure now. Alchohol, prostitution, top-notch clubs (D.Js) are accessible like water. Their real estate structures are state of the art and most beautiful, but yet I haven’t heard that muslims are finally accepted as “happy”, cool etc
    How far can we go to be accepted? to change their perception?
    I am not in no way an agent of the “haram” or “halal” police, however i really think the “West” has to make steps towards us (muslims), do the best to understand us and finally accept us as we are. We are people that have the Prophets (Peace be upon all of them) and the companions as role models. They were the loveliest, soft-heartened, kind, warm, generous people who walk on the earth.
    We, as muslims, should know ourselves (who we are). We are more than 1 Billion and a half people, greater than even the catholics. We detain more natural resources (oil/natural reserves from west african muslim nations) than all the World combined. My solution is to get involved in the media industry, own t.v channels, programs, social network sites who will vehicle our messages of Peace to the whole world. The third millennium is that time where the battlefield is at the media level, Public relations (P.R), financial currency’s power influence. I am not in no way a “haram” or “halal” police, however i really think the “West” has to come towards us (muslims), do the best to understand us and finally accept us as we are. We are people that have the Prophets (Peace be upon all of them) and the companions as role models. They were the loveliest, soft-heartened, kind, warm, generous people who walk on the earth.
    We, as muslims, should know ourselves (who we are).
    We are more than 1 Billion and a half people, greater than even the catholics. We detain more natural resources (oil/natural reserves from west african muslim nations) than all the World combined. My solution is to get involved in the media industry, own t.v channels, programs, social network sites who will vehicle our messages of Peace to the whole world.
    Wa Salaam

    1. Just as the West must come towards the Muslims, muslims should should also consider going towards the West. We are all humans.

  5. I am neither a “happy” Muslim according to your definition nor consider myself a puritanical one. But now because “happy” Muslims are asking everyone to take a side, I am expected to choose. You use the phrase “mainstream” Muslims to imply that those who may disagree with the video for non-fiqh reasons are actually the same as puritanical. In effect, enthusiastic proponents of the video have effectively created a schism – “you are with us or against us”!

  6. Hey, I’m Adam Deen, and everyone out there who disagrees with the brilliance of this brilliant video, then you are puritans! Backward! Thick! And everything else bad. Yes, this video is intended to UNITE us all in our HAPPY happiness, how can anyone disagree? Just look at the unity-ness is has brought about. It was not intended to shock and cause a ‘storm’, contrary to what is says on, erm, the honesty policy facebook page… And let me tell you, majority of Muslims do like it. I Adam Deen know this through the rigorous methodology of arbitrary counting of likes and shares on facebook. I also would like to endorse the very transparent anonymity used by honesty policy. Somehow they have conflated verses about individual humility when it comes to giving charity, with issues of public responsibility. But hey-ho, mix things up a bit, why not! It’s the 21st century! Groovy. And if this blog is anything like the honesty policy’s blog, my comment will probably be deleted, that’s pluralism and democracy for you. yah, let’s hear it for liberalism!

    1. He isn’t quite saying that of course, his notion of puritan is taken from the works of prof/sh khaled abou el fadl, it is discussed here: The Modern Ugly and the Ugly Modern: Reclaiming the Beautiful in Islam” in: Progressive Muslims (edited by Omid Safi. Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2003, pp. 33–77)

      Not finding this video appropriate or ‘islamic’ doesn’t necessarily automatically make you a puritan. A puritanical inclination for me is the consistent attempt at decontextualised application of legal terminology for characterising all aspects of human thought and action, when the law does not necessarily deliberate clearly on those aspects even though the moral categories the law adheres to may have something to say about it.

      When it comes to ritual, basic contracts (marital and otherwise), basic limits of war/governance/etc., most things are clear-cut from revelation. When it comes to how to behave in the public sphere, things are anything but clear-cut. There are many clear-cut principles (do good, don’t act in an undignified manner, help people, do dawah, don’t cause trouble etc etc…) and obvious limits (such as criminal acts, legal fornication), but as to how the principles are to be applied, that is very very dependent on the cultural context.

      “Don’t behave lewdly” – what is lewd? Some saudis may consider women driving in niqabs to be lewd.

      “Don’t draw figures of people as this may lead to revering/idolising it” (this is like cultural/art thing for the social sphere): okay what about sketching the face of a criminal for the police, cartoons for kids, medical diagrams for study etc…

      “Don’t listen to music”: How does one define music? Okay so quran is a type of music, as is nasheed, as were the singing of slave-girls and abysinnians in front of Prophet, and wedding singing. Instruments apart from a few are often not liked, yet beat-boxing or duplicating that instrument by vocals seem okay. Yet, using instrument based music in advertising muslim tv shows to news, to multi-muslim-country sanctioned biography of religious figures is okay.

      “Don’t dance in public, especially women”: What is dance, exactly what kind of body movement indicates ‘a dance’. Does my bobbing up an down as i recite quran constitute a dance? Does prayer or running briskly while singing dhikr in tawaf indicate dance (whether men or women)? Does the religiously conservative female shaykha moving around while delivering a stern lecture on halal/haram to a mixed audience constitute dancing?

      What about the spiritual dancing/hadra of the sufis which is legitimate by the four schools of law, out of a happiness for God – that happens in public? Some kids (not all pre-puberty and not all male) run around the hadra circle and dance to that while the men do it in a public space, are those kids wrong (even though the men’s actions have been judged by the four schools to be appropriate)?

      Now, if religious dancing is okay then – well – what is ‘religious dancing’? If the sufis in the hadra are focusing on God and expressing their joy in that meditation, what about my being happy due to being thankful of what God has given, something that leads me to literally jump up and down, is that okay? What if i do it in public in front of my friends. What if i get excited among my work colleagues while giving dawah, and when one of them feels connected to God i feel a great joy and do a little weird twirl move or something silly as i used to do as a kid (it is a natural reaction to move to joy – or should i condemn this aspect of my nature and keep it at bay, and how hard should i work to keep myself at bay like this?).

      Which of these things does the ‘don’t dance in public’ refer to?

      Perhaps the dancing in public has something to do with the first question about lewdness, i.e. it is not the dancing in public per-se that is wrong but what it may lead to (that has a clear judgment in the law as being prohibited). Well that depends on who is looking and how they are. In a country where the standard of dress is niqab, a hijabi would stand out and probably lead to lots of men gawking at her.

      And how are we judge lewd when it is differed upon in the audience looking, if 30% people find it lewd should that imply a consensus of the community? What if i did that survey among bradford muslims and i got 100% agreement among pakistani muslims, and only 10% from convert muslims (who are in the minority there), should i conclude that ‘the muslim community of bradford have reached consensus about lewdness’, or just that people from one particular ethnic background think one way and others another way, and that this does not imply that this is what God would say about the matter but simply that it is not appropriate to engage bradford muslims with my ‘lewd’ video.

      How do we define consensus anyway, scholarly or community, given that there is no consensus from 1400 years of islamic jurisprudence on what actually constitutes a consensus. Yet, we can say that on fundamental matters like how many prayers to perform a day, that it is without a shadow of a doubt that not something disagreed upon since old times till now, clear consensus by overwhelming majority.

      For music/dance/art/public-social-stuff, well the rulings vary and seem, as is expected and obvious, culturally conditioned to a huge degree. An example would be azhari scholars, at a time their stance on music was not positive in general, making exceptions for the music of Umm Kulthum (hafidha of quran, hijabless diva, singing with instruments about romance, tragedy, life, with much hidden spiritual content to mixed audiences and whatnot, and often swaying/dancing as well), and even praising it.

      Pharell is not Umm Kulthum, but neither is UK 1950s egypt, and that’s the point.

      1. Salaam
        I agree, more or less, with your points on non-definite rulings and cultural context. However to claim that this is the position of the mainstream community, as both the article and video seems to suggest, seems to me disingenuous and inauthentic. The video claims to represent the views and aspirations of the “mainsteram” Muslim – and it simply does not.

      2. He isn’t quite saying that of course, his notion of puritan is taken from the works of prof/sh khaled abou el fadl

        I think a lot of what you’re saying is addressed by Khaled Abou el Fadl in the video below, especially in the questions session. He talks about the issue of “legal fictions” and how muslims today will read classical legal texts today without understanding the legal culture and politics that produced them. He also mentions as you alluded to, that “Ijma” is really a kind of “noble lie/myth”.

        In other forums, KAEF has also talked about how the history of Fatawa shows a much greater flexibility in the way that law was actually applied in real life situations when compared with classical “hornbooks”.

  7. I think this article which attempts to respond to the issues raised against the video addresses them only partially and generates more issues than it solves. Firstly the usage of the term mainstream requires some elaboration. For me the act of calling oneself mainstream manifests an immature understanding of the term. It is very much an exclusionary usage which pushes rest of the Muslims to the realm of ‘non-mainstream’ thus creating an ‘other’ within the community. Ironically the writer claims that one of the motives of doing this video was to address the ‘othering’. Ain’t this a paradox?? I would argue that this creation of an other within the community is an act of violence by the peace loving “happy british muslims”. Secondly the writer labels the Muslims who have raised issues against the video as ‘puritanical’. Though the term puritanical might help the writer in achieving the expected effect on some readers it once again indicates a very puerile understanding of the terminologies used in the article from the part of the writer. Many contemporary studies have unveiled the problem inherent in this naïve parallelism that is being made between the puritanical movement within Christianity and various groups in Islam. Hence there is a need to elaborate the term ‘puritanical’ as well.

    There are many reasons I find this video problematic of which I will mention just two. Firstly it implies that there is an onus on the part of Muslims to PROVE that we are not what the media portrays us. This video clearly demonstrates that muslims have internalised this demand to prove our values and credentials and to disprove the accusations made on us. Im doubtful as to how much this apologetic approach would help the Muslim community in its movement foreward. Secondly, I find this video as a pathetic attempt by “mainstream Muslims” to fit into the mainstream western secular-liberal society through mainstream western art form! If it was very much necessary to prove that Muslims are happy I believe there are many other ways to do it rather than dancing to the tune of Pharell Williams. But if acceptance becomes the priority one is bound to stick to such mainstream conduits!

  8. Ok then people yes its wrong to dance sing in islam and many other things are haram to like SMOKING so lets kick up a massive fuss about it smoking is just as haram as drinking alcohol so tell u what lets all tell the millions of muslims that smoke your gonna go to hell your smoking its haram people wouldn’t take it seriously but something like this they go all hype about it.. anyways like said before yes in islam dancing is haram.. this person was trying to show that muslims are normal people simple

    1. The hype was created by the people who made the video and say they are acting in the name of ‘British Muslims’. The reaction is justified.

  9. It must of felt very cathartic being able to finally release some happiness and groove after many years of abject misery. Shame it only lasted 4 minutes; guess it’s back to miserliness till the next video, eh ?

    What planet do you live on ? You don’t even have a premise; typical rationalist argument, 100 page document. collate a string of words, who cares if it makes sense, just string it. Do you really believe the assertion that muslims aren’t happy ? Do you know how preposterous a statement that is ? And how exactly do you plan on qualifying it ? A survey perhaps ? Maybe you are not but please don’t super impose.

    Its not that we’re puritanical, its that you are weak – It is no wonder that most of the people on that video are either women or clean shaven ‘boys’. I don’t appreciate weak people that need validation and acceptance and exhibit insecurities. We are men; doesn’t matter what lays ahead of us, we brush our shoulders, head high and get the job done. Others don’t like that ? tough. Appears you have some growing to do.

  10. The “happymuslims” video contains music and this is prohibited by qat’i evidence (ijma’). Surely then the people who condemn the video have every right in doing so?

  11. Adam, I read your article. To a certain extent, I can sympathise with your position and the design of your argument. I appreciate that there is some difference of opinion about some elements of the video (music, etc) and thus I can understand how/why you justify the video (although I’m inclined to follow the position taken by qualified conservative scholars). You claim that there is no evidence to forbid the “Happy Muslims” video. Leaving aside whether this is true or not, I’d like to present a simple test regarding the confidence and sincerity of your position:

    Regarding the use of mobile phones, driving cars or any other contemporary matter, we would have no qualms in stating that the Prophet (saw) would be happy to use such devices and/or commit such acts since there is no evidence forbidding these things. You claim that the lack of evidence against this video is the same. If you can’t confidently claim that the Prophet (saw) would’ve been happy to participate in this video, in the same way that we can confidently state that the Prophet (saw) would be happy to use mobile phones, drive cars, etc (or any other similar matters where the evidence is lacking) then I think you have your answer.

    When in doubt, sometimes it’s not necessary to indulge in long intellectual discussions and attempts to justify or defend our actions. There is a reason why we have the Sunnah and we learn to love the character of the Prophet (saw). It transcends skeletal arguments and often guides us without difficulty…

    The video at best, is doubtful and divisive, and very likely to offend the Prophet (saw) since no Muslim in his/her right mind can claim that the Prophet (saw) would participate in such a video. It simply does not befit his character or that of his wives to dance and prance about to William Pharells song.

    Unless of course you’re willing to make such a public statement, which would only be a logical extension to your principle argument in support of the video?

  12. I ¬¬¬¬am quiet amazed that through the emotionally charged sentiment that this ‘video’ has produced, there has not been much recourse to the common ground that both ‘liberal’ and ‘puritanical’ Muslim’s share…that being the noble Quran. As a layman the first thing that struck me was Allah’s words… “Never will the Jews or the Christians be pleased with you (O Muhammad) till you follow their way 2:120. Now, I doubt any Muslim would argue against the fact that singing, dancing, free mixing in the form of music videos is something specific to the non-Muslims…So from what I can see this is imitation plain and simple and when you add to that the praise from members of parliament, celebrities and non-muslims in general this is further personification of Allah’s words. Realization of this alone should have been enough to stop the organizers from going down this path…but the foolishness of youth and their sheer ignorance has led to an incredible backlash. Unfortunately, they are now digging themselves into a deeper hole by attempting to justify their actions by painting a ‘them and us’ scenario where they believe that the status of being a ‘good Muslim’ can be attained by foregoing rules and regulations. So put bluntly, they have denigrated the greater majority of the religion to an optional extra that you can leave aside if it interferes with your Britishness and the vitality of youth! But in reality, they are saying that the hardship and suffering endured by our noble prophet throughout 23 years where he was attacked and abused, ridiculed and exiled to deliver these ‘rules and regulations’ to the world..is of no consequence in this modern world. I very much doubt that any sane Muslim would knowingly say this but this is what their ignorant speech implies. The prophet said…”My slave approaches Me with nothing more beloved to Me than what I have made obligatory upon him, and My slave keeps drawing nearer to Me with voluntary works until I love him. And when I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his sight with which he sees, his hand with which he seizes, and his foot with which he walks”. Now this statement shows that adherence to Allah’s laws, rules and regulations is a condition of being a ‘good Muslim’…the obligatory first and then the voluntary so for these youth to suggest anything else is territory that no Muslim should stray into…nor should any Muslim who fears Allah defend it or belittle it’s seriousness.

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