Sunday, June 5, 2011

Music and Muhammad, Grace and Gratitude

When I was writing 'Medina is all about Muhammad and his Nation" earlier, there was a song running in the background. It was Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel's seminal composition entitled ‘Bridge over Troubled Water’. (Click Here for the song played at Central Park NY, 1981).

The song came like a river, washing over the cold landscape of my thoughts, and the only thing which I wished for was – "Wow, how I wished I had the talent to have written this song for Muhammad. And how I wished I could hear him sing it to me."

But he is. In the voices of the inspired poets and singers, he sings to me. He sings to me of love, kindness, patience, friendship, compassion and understanding. So when I hear the voice of Garfunkel, I am humbled by the humility of the verse, and I fall in love with his voice. For it is not just Art I hear, I also hear the song sung by my Muhammad for his troubled nation. A song of prophetic promise and support gushing down from the furthest past and into the hearts of his besotted lovers.
And while we are looking at the 70s music scene, I must confess my abiding love for the late, great John Denver. ‘Annie’s Song’ is a sublime composition, worthy to ascend the great heights of Divine Yearning and Love, hand in hand with Layla & Majnun and a sufi’s mad intoxication with the Lord.Click Here for JD.

Which brings me to the Antipodean, Olivia Newton John who did a cover version of John Denver’s ‘Take Me Home, Country Road’ which helped propel her to stardom. Many, many years later, ONJ recorded this amazing but woefully short cover of a thousand years old devotional song about Muhammad entitled tala al badru alayna ('The White Moon rose over us'). For non-Malaysian readers you can
Click Here. For Malaysian readers, you can Click Here. (Copyright problems... sigh)

So you see, music crosses boundaries, race, religion and colour. Music is the language of heaven and every time I hear these songs, I say that the world was created worthy and made more worthwhile by the rendition of love songs by singers and poets – the artistic inheritors of Prophets, who by their words and voice, move our hearts to grace and gratitude...

The creative force for good - God bless all musicians and poets.

Pax Taufiqa.

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