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Reasons Behind Weak Islamic Anthem
Islamic anthem became a popular common phenomenon among certain classes. There are many reasons behind that; among which is the Islamic revival looking for different alternatives, a desire for an entire change to the reality which is an Arab from outside but imitating western values in all aspects. The Reality of the Situation: Islamic anthem groups spread in ma
Saturday, September 30,2006 00:00
by Ikhwanweb

Islamic anthem became a popular common phenomenon among certain classes. There are many reasons behind that; among which is the Islamic revival looking for different alternatives, a desire for an entire change to the reality which is an Arab from outside but imitating western values in all aspects.

The Reality of the Situation:

Islamic anthem groups spread in many Arab and Islamic countries, in addition to many Western societies. They significantly increased in number, especially in Jordan where it became hard to keep track of their names. Most of the participants in this field are chanters working with big groups, then they separated and tried to have their independent bands.

However, the phenomenon of Islamic anthem became limited in many cases to the traditional Islamic audience used to hear this kind of anthem in certain occasions like anthem festivals, weddings and through audio tapes.

Unfortunately, the lack of experience of performers in this field in dealing with media had a great role in the poor turnout for this kind of art.

The connotation and the semantic meaning:

The terms of anthem and chanting were invented in order to differentiate them from regular songs. Later on, these terms had an Islamic connotations. We are not in eager to discuss the differences between a song and a anthem; because they are included in dictionaries. But the danger lies in our denial to use expressing terms in language without reasons like the term of song, it is one way to vanish from the lexicon of some people as it reflects the "other" one. Similarly like the term "vanguard" which is rejected according to some people as it is used by a national party like Al-Ba’th party, although there are many Muslim thinkers who use it.

Another example, the adjective like Islamic or Islamist when they are used in politics they are accepted but when added to modify the term song, it becomes offensive as this means belittling the greatness of Islam who is different and greater than any one. Then why is it offensive to use the term song? Why it is not described as a good or serious song? Or the opposite?


Another aspect, what are the features of the Islamic anthem as many call it: Is it that kind produced by Islamists? or is it the song that bears Islamic aspects? Is it…? We are hovering about a series of searching and deductions like that when talking about the Islamic literature.


The result is that using certain terms that bear certain connotations since the beginning resulted in marginalizing this kind of anthem and put it in an isolated frame!!


The content and Themes:


The issues handled by the Islamic anthem since their beginnings were mainly Sufi ideas like praising the prophets and the hymens, especially in Egypt, Levant and the Arab Maghrib. This kind of anthem was able to invade the official media unlike any kind of Islamic anthem, because it is likely to be folkloric recitations performed in religious occasions.


The first issue in here is the Jihadi anthem, which is an Islamic expression equivalent to patriotic songs. It played a momentous role in the first intifada and stirred the nationalist and Islamic spirits. This kind of anthem started in Jordanian universities among anthem festivals; however the jihadi-national anthem was the most successful one.


For the first time, categorization for anthem started according to the contents of the song like hymens, Prophet-praising anthem, stanzas, wedding anthem beside the patriotic songs… finally the inherited art of Zajal appeared but in Islamic forms.

Despite all developments whether negatively or positively in the issue of Islamic anthem, yet the contents still have certain trends, like the concerns and the problems that hinder the contemporary Islamic preaching where the lyrics of anthem is full of all terms of torture, imprisonment, sufferings in Jihad, sacrifices and resistance etc…


Despite the good composition and performance-especially in the beginning- yet the anthems were restricted to masses of Islamic trend besides the problems of daily life were framed in certain issues and contents, of course they are important issues but still the masses are in need for expressing their human feelings. But the exceptional case was that kind addressing women. Yet, the lyrics and issues of women -anthems lack the aspects of fine enjoyment, besides it separates women from the rest of society as if they are  strange creature.


Finally, a large number of produced anthems lack the good lyrics, the influential meanings and the bases of lyric verse beside the assonance away from the refined use.


Participants in the field:


Most of the participants depended on their individual faculties in composing and performing despite the existing of great talents because the majority of them did not have academic background.

Using music in Islam

This issue had a great role in curbing the development of Islamic anthem especially in the issue of music. Although there are many fatwas in this issue, yet there are still many people who remain reserved in accordance to the fatwas of prohibition besides the majority of chanters admit the grievous repercussions for using music because most of their audience is in Gulf countries who believe in the prohibition of music.


The matter became stranger when some disputed the use of tambourine. Although there are many Islamic songs with music yet there are other versions of songs without music.
All these aspects aided in the weak development for the Islamic anthem… so what if we discussed shooting the clips where music plays a very important role in them.

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