Sony Recalls PS3 Game, LittleBigPlanet, Due to the Recitation of the Qur’an Contained in the Background Music

The European delay of LittleBigPlanet we mentioned earlier has blossomed into a worldwide recall of the game due to passages from the Islamic holy text Qur’an being included in the background music in one of the levels.

“During the review process prior to the release of LittleBigPlanet, it has been brought to our attention that one of the background music tracks licensed from a record label for use in the game contains two expressions that can be found in the Qur’an,” admitted the company in a statement.

“We have taken immediate action to rectify this and we sincerely apologise for any offence that this may have caused.”

Yesterday a reader sent us a link to a music file containing the two offending phrases, which can be found here. Hit the jump for the translation of the offending phrases.

The words are:

1- In the 18th second: “كل نفس ذائقة الموت” (“kollo nafsin tha’iqatol mawt”, literally: ‘Every soul shall have the taste of death’).

2- Almost immediately after, in the 27th second: “كل من عليها فان” (“kollo man alaiha fan”, literally: ‘All that is on earth will perish’).

Thanks to NSider for providing the link and translation.

We’ll keep you updated as we hear more on how this recall effects release dates.

It seems it was an Arabic song that was added to the soundtrack for the game. I am really surprised and appreciative that Sony went out of their way (they will lose a lot of money) to remove this song from the game.  We should buy products from Sony in support for their kindness of removing the song from this game.  In fact, I think I will buy this game.  Although as a Muslim, I believe that it didn’t really matter if the song was added to the game or not.  I wouldn’t be offended at all if the game had that song in it.

Source: Kotaku

10 Replies to “Sony Recalls PS3 Game, LittleBigPlanet, Due to the Recitation of the Qur’an Contained in the Background Music”

  1. “And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks (i.e. music, singing) to mislead (men) from the path of Allaah…” [Luqmaan 31:6]

    The scholar of the ummah, Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: this means singing. Mujaahid (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: this means playing the drum (tabl). (Tafseer al-Tabari, 21/40).

    Al-Hasan al-Basri (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: this aayah was revealed concerning singing and musical instruments (lit. woodwind instruments). (Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 3/451).

  2. I’m confused. Maybe I missed something.

    With respect to the encouragement to support Sony: why? Do we know that they recalled the game for concern of offending Muslims? Might this be an issue Sony of over thinking the possibility of upsetting Islamophobes?

  3. As-Salam Alaikum

    You know, I can’t advocate the prurhase of video games. However, I can say that I had the game pre-ordered before I this came about. This news only makes me feel better in my decision.

    Salam Alaikum

  4. The problem is, some tech websites and the like are already crying ‘censorship,’ as if they would do the same for a video game with torah recitation in the background. Sad.

  5. I think you are confusing kindness with fear.

    Sony *fear* the repercussion, for the safety of their staff, their staff families, their offices.

    Not something to be proud of …….

  6. What are missing from the discussion are both the evidence to the contrary and the lack of critical discussion.

    The reality is Islamic music has existed traditionally for centuries . ‘Anasheed’, Islamic songs quoting the Quran are used as recruiting tools for extremists. Contemporary music draws on the Quran and Islam to inspire and be inspired. And emerging Mulsim pop, rock, heavy metal and hip hop is gaining popularity with US Muslim rap stars like Mos Def, Chuck D, and RZA.

    The reality is there is no explicit ban on either music or the use of Quranic verse in songs. Yusuf Islam (Cat Stephens) in an eloquent essay: Music a question of faith or Da’wah, builds a solid case for Islamic music citing, Sunna and Haddith such as a comment attributed to the Prophet (PBUH): “you should have sent along someone who would sing.”

    On a less theological note,, makes the salient point that “as long as it doesn’t contain content which violates the principles of Islam” (i.e. sex, drugs, etc) it is ‘halal’, permissible.
    The reality is this reactionary conservatism is illogical as it contradicts the tradition of tolerance and freedom of choice that Muslims have established in other areas. The best illustration of this point is the availability of alcohol in many Muslim countries despite its explicit prohibition in the Quran.

    The final reason, this decision is problematic is that it does indeed contradict values of freedom of speech, expression and choice.
    Moderates need to add voice to democratic values in a manner that aids and supports the evolution of a confident politically mature identity that does not feel threatened by minor infringement and religious insult or insensitivity.

    The Quran and other religious teachings, that support free choice, need to be forward and explained to both Muslims and non-Muslims alike in order to avoid the knee-jerk reactions of the LBP recall.

    Quranic verse such as, “Let there be no compulsion in religion: truth stands out clear from error and… thou are a free person of this City;” [2:256, 90:2] should become a reiterated mantra for all.


  7. There is no confusion between kindness and fear in this post people. It is kindness, and the type that made sony recall the game. As MR said, we should support sony, whether for their fear or kindness.
    Though i believe the part where MR said that it has no offence, is not fully correct for more than one reason. The first being that it is haram to turn on Quran to which their is no listener.
    The second being that you dont know what kind of scene the game is on, or what is being said ( swearing etc).
    I also find ali baba ‘s comment offensive, for the record.

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