Deen Tight – Hip Hop & Islam Documentary

Looks very interesting. Putting aside the fiqh issue of music, this community is probably the largest group with the American Muslim youth community. Even for those who don’t listen to a drop of music, you’ll here brothers droping “yo son” or “sup” or “what’s good homie” and all of these elements are pat of Hip Hop culture. Even the scholars have learned the lingo of the Hip Hop culuture in order to communicate to the youth such as Imam Suhaib Webb and Imam Abdul Malik.

Another aspect is that Hip Hop in the Muslim world is extremely popular and widely accepted. Even in the streets of Mecca. Whether it is good or bad, and whether it is halal or haram, Hip Hop culture is a dominating factor amongst Muslim youth. Even if you look at the young Muslims who are strict with their opinion on music and don’t listen to anything, you will see them listening to spoken-word poetry which is basically hip-hop/rap without the beat. You will find many institutes and organizations using non-instrumental music that contains beats from the hip-hop world (beat-boxing, etc.).

My point is we can’t deny the power of this genre of music within our community. So I commend these brothers and sisters who seem to be mostly converts to Islam. May Allah (swt) reward them for their work and their intentions and keep them on the straight path. For those who disagree, then alhamdulillah, continue your efforts with your dawah projects and movements. May Allah (swt) give you all success.

24 Replies to “Deen Tight – Hip Hop & Islam Documentary”

  1. Good to hear your thoughts MR.

    Here is the description at their website and I like their focus on this question:

    “The goal of this film is to shed light on a subject that has yet to be addressed publicly by Muslims. In this film we ask the question about hip hop for Muslims…. Faith or folly? “

    I’m posting something on my blog that kind of discusses this issue- Honor, Nobility and Humility in Islam. Just see there…

  2. as salam upon who followed the correct guidance

    subhan allah these brothers and sisters should and must know that islam and music just does not mix. Music is haram according to the overwhelming majority of scholars. Unfortunately these new muslims are no different than the born muslims just like me and many more with an attraction to the life style of hiphop. but al hamdulilah with allahs guidance we were shown that this is not the correct route. and may allah show these brothers and sisters that same route too.

    if these brothers and sisters are sincere in doing dawah to non muslims then maybe should take shuyukh like bilal philips, hamza yusuf, jamal zaraboza and many more as a source of doin dawah correctly…music in no way shape of form is allowed to give dawah through..and i believe no human with a sound judgment would argue with that.

    another major example is the brother mutah beale formerly known as napolean from the outlawz…heres a link

  3. @Dawud Israel – No I am not justifying Music. I am saying that Hip Hop is part of the American Muslim Ummah even up to the point where it’s part of the Muslims who follow the most conservative position regarding music.

  4. yeah this is wack…just like busta rhymes. She was saying hip hop is part of her blood her ancestors were doing it blah blah….Well her ancestors(generalizing for most converts) were Kafirs. Just because its cultural doesnt make it ok…Someone needs to tell them (nicely and with the proofs from quran and sunnah) that music is haraam


    Music has been debated among the scholars. Ask a real scholar about the difference of opinion; don’t be a self proclaimed scholar.

    And before people start saying ridiculous stuff, I’d like to remind us all that firstly, a condition to “forbidding the evil, enjoining the good” is that it be haram by CONSENSUS. That doesn’t mean the 5 scholars you follow, but a complete ijma’.
    And we know that there is not ijma’ on music BUT there IS an ijma’ that backbiting is haram. Backbiting is worse that zina. So before you let shaitan get the best of you and do haram in order to “condemn some other haram” please be careful.

    I personally don’t listen to music but I don’t make a big deal if it’s in the background of a documentary or something..we’re all exposed to some sort of music when we go to stores and stuff. I just don’t ever pop in a cd or listen, etc.
    But wallah, if you met some of those people in that video, you would be AMAZED. Literally, some of the best people I’ve ever met…reflecting immense love for the Prophet saws in all of their words.

    And with regards to sister liza garza that brother farooq commented, she’s a spoken work artist. (like on Def poetry), and so is her husband brother Amir Sulaiman.

    And if anyone’s interested, the maker of this movie, brother Mustafa Davis, the filmmaker of this documentary made this music video (and also other documentaries and such –check him out!) In it are a few of the artists in the video. Warning: Contains music.

    I think what brother Anas Canon (DJ be like muhammad) was saying was interesting, that it’s unrealistic to think our kids aren’t listening to music. Honestly, that’s kinda true cuz a lot of the youngsters are mad into music on the low, but they’re scared of their “THAT’s haram!” parents. And one thing which you can’t deny is that people take on role models from these types of things. People start singing the songs. And if my kids were to take on a role model, I would love it if was someone of the likes of brother Hamza Perez, a hispanic rapper featured in the deen tight film (check out “m-team”). That brother’s focus in life is to debase his nafs, and to spread love for the Prophet saws. He’s very real wih himself too. He said that a lot of people hide behind the “doing music for dawah” thing but they need to check their intentions because “How many people are giving shahada offa track 3?” LOL funny brother.

    Another thing a lot of the haters don’t realize is honestly, some of these brothers are SO sick at what they do they could have easily sold out and gone mainstream and ended up having to take the purity out of their rap, stop praising Allah in their songs, or perform in haram places, and stop representing the deen to the fullest. But they love islam. They breathe it. So they’re doing it this way, making almost NO money, trying to provide an alternative for the muslim youth obsessed with the likes of beyonce and lilwayne. May Allah save us.

    So again, please don’t judge people if you don’t know what amazing people they are. Honestly, they’re way better muslims than me although i don’t listen to music. Focus your time on condemning the flaws within your self and don’t fall into gheeba.

    Assalaamualaikum warehmatullah

  6. As’salaam’u’alaikum,

    While the opinion of music within the constructs of the laymen Muslim American world may go on forever, I agree that “hip-hop” has affected some Muslim youth for sure.

    Just as emo/punk/pop/etc has. or just as Homosexuality/feminism has affected the Muslim youth and mid aged…

    Of course culture now is pop culture. Whatever is poppin is your culture which is flooded through media outlets that people are addicted to.

    Anyways point is that yes it’s a culture, like anything else, but no way shape or form does that justify to do haraam. There should be no cause and effect, or such a thing as “they doing it too, i’m just not as bad”

    I hear that from racists “everybody’s racist” when I accuse them. Shoot. Crack sells, but it doesn’t make it right!!!!!

  7. reply to A sister

    first and foremost i have never questioned the intention of the brothers and sisters in the video..nor did i say that they are evil people with money grabbing motives. All i said was that they were misguided upon the ruling of music and using it as a tool for dawah to non muslims.

    sister you are the one passing judgments by sayin my quote of music being haram is only given by 5 scholars…

    The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
    “Among my ummah there will certainly be people who permit zinaa, silk, alcohol and musical instruments…” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari ta’leeqan, no. 5590; narrated as mawsool by al-Tabaraani and al-Bayhaqi. See al-Silsilah al-Saheehah by al-Albaani, 91)

    hanafi’s: Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The madhhab of Abu Haneefah is the strictest in this regard, and his comments are among the harshest. His companions clearly stated that it is haraam to listen to all musical instruments such as the flute and the drum, even tapping a stick.

    malikis: Imaam Maalik (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about playing the drum or flute, if a person happens to hear the sound and enjoy it whilst he is walking or sitting. He said: He should get up if he finds that he enjoys it, unless he is sitting down for a need or is unable to get up. If he is on the road, he should either go back or move on.

    shafii: Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, explaining the view of Imaam al-Shaafa’i: His companions who know his madhhab (point of view) stated that it is haraam and denounced those who said that he permitted it. (Ighaathat al-Lahfaan, 1/425).

    hanbali: Ibn Qudaamah, the researcher of the Hanbali madhhab – (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Musical instruments are of three types which are haraam. These are the strings and all kinds of flute, and the lute, drum and rabaab (stringed instrument) and so on. Whoever persists in listening to them, his testimony should be rejected. (al-Mughni, 10/173)

    the imam of hadith of our time..Al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The four madhhabs are agreed that all musical instruments are haraam. (al-Saheehah, 1/145).

    now sister you should review the people you take knowledge from because the website you quoted by ahmad kutty has no proofs watsoever and names of the companions or scholars who permitted music was not even mentioned. and kutty although he has major degrees, his empty halaqas are a big proof his type of dawah of encouraging music and attachments to blind madhabism is not liked by youths or adults here in toronto.

  8. one more thing…the scholars mentioned in the second link all followed the opinion of ibn hazm and a good book refuting his arguments with detailed proofs is that of sh albany called tahreem alaat al-tarab ( the ruling of haram on musical instruments)

    i could not find an english translation but here is the pdf in arabic and you can go to your local teacher and ask him or her to translate the important chapters for you.

    may allah subahanh guide us all

  9. brother Chuah,
    My post was in no way written to you. That’s why I said, “And BEFORE people start saying ridiculous stuff…” it was to stop future posts.

    Secondly, when i said 5 scholars i obviously did not mean literally 5 scholars. I know there are a lot of scholars a LOT, that say music is haram, and they have different extents (some say duff is allowed always, some say it is only allowed at special occasions, etc etc)
    But I was just explaining that an IJMA’ does not only concern only the scholars one follows, be that 5 or 50,000, but it is a complete consensus.
    I shouldn’t have provided those links, I don’t really know much about them in all honesty, I just know there are scholars that say music is only haram when put in haram places such as with wine, women, dancing, etc. and that this is why the Prophet saws taught against it, because it was linked to those things at that time as well. Wallahu ‘aalim. I don’t want to argue about the halal/haramness of music. I’m not a scholar and that was not the point of my post.

    The ONLY point I wanted to make with my post was to make sure people guard their deen and don’t fall into gheeba. Some of those people in that video are incredibly special to me, so aside from them being our brothers and sisters in Islam, it would tear my heart out to see my other brothers and sisters slandering them. And for those people who REALLY feel like it’s their duty in life to “guide these people” because masha Allah you’re so guided, get their contact information and meet with them. Talk to them in person insha Allah. Don’t say bad things about them in a public forum, as that may be far worse than what you are judging them for.
    Wallahu ta’ala ‘aalim.

    Again, sorry for the misunderstanding. May Allah swt unite our hearts and forgive us of our shortcomings.

    Check this post out by Imam Suhaib Webb!!

  10. sister i don’t believe brother chuah was trying to slander anyone, but to start debating a subject that in itself is highly controversial, is very irrelevant, no positive results will come out of this, only arguments that will yield no results. I think we should stress akhlaq here, the best we can do is just pray for our brothers and sisters. I had quite a few problems with the video myself, to the point where there was fumes coming out of my nose(trust me i saw them ;). I was hell bent on venting, alhamdulilah my anger superceded to reason. I couldn’t help but mention this though.
    I have a problem with MR’s post, “My point is we can’t deny the power of this genre of music within our community. “(please forgive me if you are offended).
    I do believe your right we can’t deny the power of this music, however we can deny the power of Islam. it had the power to cause Umar ibn Khattab(radiyalahu 3nhu) to crumble and weep, and turn him against his conviction of killing our beloved rasul Mohammed(saws). Islam sells itself, to use weapons that would be rendered permissible for the sake of a nobler cause, seems pretentious to me. It’s as if were blaming Islam for our own shortcomings, rather then striving to overcome them. Subhanallah, I do see sincerity in the faces of the brothers and sisters, however I do think it would widen the gap, for shaytan to infiltrate and surely cause corruption.

  11. @unconventionally-traditional – When I say “we can’t deny the power of this genre of music withon our community.” I mean that it is directly effecting Muslims who don’t pray at all to Muslims who grow a beard and pray 5 times a day. In our words, our friendships, our brotherhood/sisterhood. I def. agree that hip hop can open the doors to shaytan easily. I am not disagreeing with your view.

  12. I understand i just grow wary of these dawah tactics, i can’t argue whether or not they bare fruit. I just feel like people are falling into a trap, I’m not denying the resonance it holds with youth. I’m just highly skeptical.
    Also I’m sick and tired, of the music is haram debate, when it comes to this subject suddenly everyone is a a3lim, and their sources are questionable, since it derives from unreliable websites.

    ma’asalam i hope i didn’t offend anyone, if i did please forgive me.

  13. none taken here either.

    but just to respond to this statement of yours:
    “sister i don’t believe brother chuah was trying to slander anyone”

    i know he wasnt, alhamdulillah. that’s what i clarified with him. that i wasnt talking about him. i was just worrying about FUTURE posts of hypothetical characters.

    assalaamualaikum warehmatullah

  14. i had pre-judgments when i saw the sister dj’ing at what looks like a negative images came through my mind right away…but the main concern is the producer talking about hiphop effecting youth…he has to be oblivious to what hiphop is causing in major cities, rise in crime, drug trafficking, women abuse. the negative overwhelmingly out weights any positive this type of music brings.

    i wish the brother who produced this film would shed some light into the reasons of producing this documentary…and i would have watched it by now, however its not uploaded in their website

  15. brother chuah it’s not hip hop that cause these issues it’s poverty. Hip hop is the message, that springs forth from that desperation, to those kids hip hop becomes “hope”, i think what the brothers in the videos try to do is use hip hop as a medium, to shed light on Islam and lure them in with what their accustomed to listening.

  16. akhi if it was poverty then the people involved in hiphop would not have been able to afford the bling bling and the fancy cars. this type of music has a life style to it…u gotta have the baggy clothes, the ride, abuse women, goto night clubs and so on….those that want to add a islamic twist to hiphop are only kiddin themselves, sooner or later they were either loose their faith or cause considerable damage to other muslims faith.

  17. actually it’s ukhti not akhi
    They escaped the fold of poverty, through whatever remedial talent. Hip hop has ranges just like any other music, conscious style and down right degrading one. They use infectious rhymes and soulful, to get a different message across, one that is obviously not du jour. Subhanalah they’re intention is sincere, but the means, I’m a little iffy about that. I’m definitely not condoning it, and I do believe that their titer tottering on the edge, and sooner or later it would collapse. Music is reflective of someone’s life, what I’m trying to say is that poverty, oppression whatever you want to call it, causes these types of behavior. It’s not hip hop, that’s at the root of the problem, it’s their frustration that stems from the « system » that they believe is a detriment to their well being, and hands them no opportunities, in other words desperation. It’s an insult to their intelligence, stating that they would believe and act in accordance to whatever song that’s dominating the airwaves.

  18. excuse sister in islam

    masha allah the word du jour is new to me…i actually had to look it up..see im benefiting some how from this discussion.

    back to topic…i understand what you are trying to say and u maybe right to smaller percentage who live under poverty stricken circumstances but i only speak off of what i see with my own eyes. In toronto for example we have the same violence and degradation of women on a smaller scale than the americans but its definitely not due to poverty. most people involved in violence or drug trade are not poor but have one thing in common…Hiphop…conscious or ghetto it all leads to the clothes and the lifestyle….

    and i dont see hiphop with a islamic twist doing except adding to the list of styles that only promotes this type of music

  19. Brother, i think it’s absolutely ridiculous to base the ills of a community, on one commonality. I also come from on Ontario, albe it from a a smaller city then Toronto, but we have the same issues with the youth. It’s definitely not because of the music they chose to listen to. The issues lies way beneath the surface, it’s simplistic of you to ignore all other factors, and concentrate solely on one.

  20. im sorry.. i think i did not clarify what i meant…in the previous post i was talking about two specific communities the afro-caribbean and african communities. If you actually lived with these two groups you would notice the poverty which is claimed by statistical measures or the LICO method is not in anyway equal to the real poverty faced by people through out the third world. so called poor people in canada are driving cars, got food to eat, good clothes to wear…and just because they earn a specific rate calculated by statscan which is under a line they picked dont mean those 2 groups are subjugated by the system or a higher echelon of society.

    although this sounds like a right wing talk, im in no way a right or left but its clear to see that there are other issues causing the rise of violence in those two communities specifically, and i think one of those issues is definitely hiphop…

  21. I spotted two folks, one being an Imam at a local masjid here and another a DJ that are both from San Diego. Heck the DJ even performed at a MSA banquet at my university. Weird.

  22. I totally agree with everything brother chuah has said.Music is forbidden in islam and the scholars of ahul sunnah wal jamaat have clearly stated that music is not premissble in islam.It may seem like these brothers are doing something positive but their not…if anything their promoting music and their also misleading alota ppl especially muslims.Y cant they just give dawah the halal is unneccesary! If they sincerly wanted to give dawah for Allah’s sake they wuld please Allah and leave of music.

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