IMAN’s Taking It To The Streets

IMAN’s Taking It To The Streets

Posted On: July 15, 2010
Posted In: , , ,
Comments: 4 Responses
(Omar Offendum, The Narcicyst, Mashouf -photo by: Leena Saleh)
I was blessed this last June to be a part of Takin’ It To The Streets in Chicago. 

Without saying more of what others have said about the event, it was a pleasure to be in the company with so many other Muslim artists. The festival was an amazing meeting of the minds as much as it was an arts festival. During the IMAN sponsored Friday prayer, Imam Talib reminded artists not to waver in their creativity because of allegations from some that what they do is considered illegitimate in Islam.

Imam Talib (photo by RidzDesign)

Imam Talib went on to say when the verse of the Quran “The Poets” was revealed, the Muslim poets of the time, what Imam Talib calls “The Salaf Rappers,” approached the Prophet asking why God had sent revelation reprimanding them. The Prophet assured them that those “poets” who the verse is referring to are those who speak against truth and incite people to evil. The Prophet reminds his poets that the reprimand of the verse excludes “… those who believe, work righteousness, engage much in the remembrance of Allah, and defend themselves only after they are unjustly attacked.”

Poet Amir Sulaiman (photo by RidzDesign)
 

I’m encouraged and inspired by the message of preachers like Imam Talib who realize that hip hop is a legitimate form of expression and that the work of Muslim artists is something to be celebrated and supported rather than ostracized.