Muslim Women and Hip-Hop
One look at this title and you probably went: “here they go again, trying to justify haram”. We are so sorry you has that thought and we sincerely want you to know that this title came from a place of kindness regarding the Muslim woman and her identity. We definitely did not pick this title to kick against valid religious opinions and doctrines, we just want you to take a step back and see how music could benefit you as a human. We hope you read on from this point but if you really do not want to, we completely understand – Allah Allahm (Allah knows best). There has generally been a lot of struggle for Muslims concerning music, especially since it is not religiously permissible. Asides from being very handy at parties, music has been used in a lot of different ways – some people need it to reach a creative environment that connects them to the true beauty of their art, others use it as a way of calming themselves in situations they can’t handle or simply want to enjoy.
We have nasheeds (Islamic songs produced with instruments), which include the greatness of Allah (S.W.T) and the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) a few Islamic teachings. Speaking of teachings, music have been used as a way to help people learn bulks of information that would rather have taken longer to grasp and this stays on in their memories forever. The fact that music is not allowed for Muslims has posed serious friction in the application of both cultures. Individuals find themselves having to gauge one over the other and eventually either mix them regardless, or go with being a Muslim – sending music back into its “forbidden” den. Speaking of culture, Islam historically and for many years had a bias against music that wasn’t from the Middle East or other regions. This sort of negates the whole point of the restriction. Again, this is not to score points for music, but to see it as a means of inspiration and encouragement for people’s being or perceptions.
Let’s talk about Muslim artistes in music – particularly women – with no specifics or name dropping. Apart from being our appearance, the hijab is also an identity and beyond the hijab, we are humans who are susceptible to everything possible that humans can go through. This means that we seek for encouragement and inspiration from different places, just as humans do and also react to things in unique way like humans. Do you get it yet? We’re humans too! Part of the reasons why we created this collective is to address the reasons why a lot of Muslim artists (especially women) have been scarce from the mainstream. Support is almost non-existent because, their craft is seen as “prohibited” and as such, people won’t really support a religiously prohibited craft. Have you ever imagined a Muslim woman in hijab and in hip hop? You don’t like that combination, right? Your dislike simply translated into hurt for us.
Let’s take a moment to quickly brush through how there was more backlash than support or even some form of empathy. To the Muslim ummah, we were wrong in the way we were expressing ourselves, which made the messages we were trying to pass on, lost in the noise. As unique Muslim women, we have tolled this path because of the benefits that music poses to our human side and its survival. There are a number of things that you might be missing out on and these things are great for not only the younger generation, but the society at large. Again, we are in no way negating religious opinions here. We just hope that you would come on to our side and see a few, if not all reasons with us. Music is ingrained with a lot of healing benefits that you might find interesting.
Boosts positive emotions
This has also been confirmed by Neuroscientists. They discovered that the centers of the brain stimulates dopamine hits that causes us to feel positive emotions. Listening to music literally puts the lights on in our brains. With the way our daily life is woven, who wouldn’t love some positivity all the time? Neuroscientists have worked hard to show you that positivity is certainly possible through music.
Keeps you calm
Like we mentioned in a paragraph earlier, some people listen to music to bring them calm. Sometimes, you might not be paying attention to what is playing in your head but the mere fact that it’s playing, transports you to a whole other universe that you can call your own as well as just relax in. it doesn’t matter if the previous mood you were in was one that had you riled up, music has a way of lowering tension and subtly making you feel at ease.
Two reasons are definitely too few to help you understand its benefits, but music is a healing tool rather than a negative one. If you are a creative person who loves to churn out amazing, unique pieces and are reading this, you will find that music helps to bring in that touch of difference to your work. This in turn improves work performance. Music is mostly applied to parties and dancing (dancing is also a craft for some), but maybe as Muslims, we can recognize the reason behind the adoption of our kind of music. Hip hop has different facets which can be found in individual delivery, so we urge you to view things from our own side of the spectrum before deciding for yourself on if it’s good or bad. We do hope you go for the former though!
Healing is great for us as humans and as Muslims. We spread life changing messages through our craft as female artistes – messages you can relate with and that can help you navigate life better. We understand your principles and would love for you to support us in circulating these lessons, healing as many people per different periods of times as we all can. Do you hear the music? It’s calling, waiting to help you mend and blend anything you want in whichever way you need.