Shaykh Yasir Qadhi Khutbah – Reflection on the death of Michael Jackson

Shaykh Yasir Qadhi commented on MuslimMatters here:

I gave a khutbah at a masjid yesterday, the second half of which was dedicated to the passing away of Michael Jackson. Before the rumors spread even more, let me clarify explicitly what I said:

– I mentioned that there are lessons to learn from his life, and from his death. This was a man who was handed the keys to this world, yet he failed to find happiness through them. He was always a troubled person, searching for happiness in (sometimes) eccentric ways. This shows that true happiness does not come about through this life.
– The unexpectedness of his death is also a lesson for all of us; we all have our appointed time as well.
– I said that there are plenty of signs, insha Allah, that he has accepted Islam. I have met Jermaine Jackson at the GPU conference (he’s not a ‘friend’ of mine because we’ve only met once) and he had said that Michael was interested in Islam.
– I also mentioned, based on Imam Zayd’s article and other sources, that there are trustworthy sources that indicate he had accepted Islam in LA, and we hope the best for him and pray that he did in fact accept Islam.

Such statements have a tendency to ‘grow’ as they leap from blog to blog and mouth to mouth, so I want to state very clearly that I have no direct and explicit knowledge of his state of Islam; we merely hope the best insha Allah, and there are may positive signs for this.

Lastly, and on a personal note, I thank Allah that He saved me from ever becoming addicted to music. However, growing up in the 80s, I could not save myself from its smoke even if Allah saved me from its fire! And of the very few people whose music actually impressed me and allowed me to see and feel why people are so attracted to music is MJ. I remember watching some of his videos as a kid and couldn’t help be impressed by his moves.

For those who have never tasted the sweetness of the Quran, I honestly cannot expect them to understand why music is haram. They have nothing else to compare it to. Music is a powerful medium that moves the body and stirs the soul (literally and metaphorically). It is only because we have the Quran that we can state that the way music does this is more detrimental in the long run, and only the Quran can move you in a pure and dignified manner.

A dear friend, Shaykh Abu Eesa, wrote something about this which is a must read on the subject:

I hope this clears up any misunderstanding.


Taken from notes from Haseeb C. on facebook here:

As Salaamu A’laikum Wa Rahmatullah,

Never would I imagine being so inspired by a Khutbah until today, while I unassumingly entered the doors of the Berlin Masjid in Berlin, CT and heard Shaikh Yasir Qadhi deliver a powerful sermon on Hadith Jibreel. As we are all aware of, Hadith Jibreel is cited in Bukhari and Muslim and is often said by scholars as the foundational hadith of Islam as it covers core tenets of Iman, Islam, and Ihsan. Shaykh Yasir discussed that these are the keys to attaining the mercy of Allah (swt) and to attain an abode in Jannah.

In the second part of his Khutbah, Shaikh Yasir began talking about an individual that has been a part of all of our lives, whether we want to admit it or not. No one in our generation can say that they haven’t heard Michael Jackson’s music, or that they haven’t heard about him in the news. He was a man that had everything at his disposal, all the fame, the fortune, and the status. Everyone from Steve Jobs to kids living in the Maharastra slums knew of heard of Michael Jackson. What was so amazing, Shaikh Yasir said, was that everyone could tell that he was never truly happy and that he engaged in “eccentric activities,” demonstrating his insecurity and lack of ease with life in this world. Yet, according to Shaikh Yasir, there was evidence that Michael Jackson accepted Islam last year in LA. In fact, Shaikh Yasir said that Jermaine Jackson, who is the Shaikh’s friend and has been a practicing Muslim for the past 10 years, confirmed with the Shaikh that Michael had indeed proclaimed the Shahada and was on his path towards learning about Islam. At this point, I had shivers and goosebumps running up and down my spine. Why?

1) It gave me hope and reaffirmed my understanding that Allah (swt) will demonstrate Infinite Mercy as he is Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem.

2) It demonstrated that I, as a Muslim, can never count out any Muslim or any human being from the possibility of becoming a Muslim, and insha-Allah having all his/her sins forgiven.

3) It reminded me that I should never be judgmental of a person’s actions, no matter what reason a person is committing certain acts for, because THERE IS ALWAYS THAT ELEMENT OF HOPE that a person can change in an instant.

I must give credit to Shaikh Yasir Qadhi for giving such a heartfelt and thought provoking Khutbah that demonstrated that a world-renown figure who did everything he wanted in the dunya eventually returned to Allah and proclaimed his faith. Insha-Allah I hope and pray that Allah (swt) keeps him in his favor, and I pray that we can become more accepting of ourselves as people who can change, redefine ourselves, and attain the mercy of Allah (swt). Ameen Ya Rabbil A’lameen.

Wa Salaamu A’laikum Wa Rahmatullah,

12 Replies to “Shaykh Yasir Qadhi Khutbah – Reflection on the death of Michael Jackson”

  1. @tr – Topics? You mean blog posts. Yeah I did. It’s easier for me personally. I’d rather not stick it all in one post.

  2. There are many different opinions in whether or not Music is haraam or not… there are fatwas from all sides. This is a contentious issue, so really, in all honesty, I have always felt that one should just go about on his/her buisness related to Music. If you want to hear it, hear it. If you don’t want to, just don’t listen to it!

  3. Yes, good point PakistaniMD.

    Music is an old debatable topic. Both sides, those (by ‘those’ I’m referring to the experts, i.e U’lama) who oppose and support it, have quite strong arguments. I suppose it’s best to study what various Scholars have said about it, and research about it yourself, than rely and take a Scholars opinion on it. You can then make a conclusion based on what you learned from the opinions of the Ul’ama. So use your own brain which God has blessed us each with, to decide what’s right.

    As Galileo Galilei famously once said;

    “I do not feel obliged to believe that same God who endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect had intended for us to forgo their use.”

  4. Assalamu ‘alaikum,

    Regarding music, check out Ustadh Kamal El Mekki’s lecture, The End of Music –

    I found it compelling enough to justify why many consider it haram, but then again Allah (swt) gave us an intellect and the ability to make choices, and consequentially to be held accountable for those choices.

    I choose to stick to nasheeds without instrumentation, and Masha Allah Labbayk Nasheeds do the job for me. Allah (swt) has blessed them, for I think their nasheeds wouldn’t be as beautiful and resonating had they used instruments 🙂

  5. In light of Shaykh Yasir’s clarification, it seems that this point in brother Haseeb C’s note is not true.

    “In fact, Shaikh Yasir said that Jermaine Jackson, who is the Shaikh’s friend and has been a practicing Muslim for the past 10 years, confirmed with the Shaikh that Michael had indeed proclaimed the Shahada and was on his path towards learning about Islam.”

    Allahu A’alam if he’s just reporting what the khateeb said or what he heard from someone else. Either way, since Shaykh Yasir said he and Jermaine just met once, are not ‘friends’ and Jermaine just mentioned Michael was thinking about it and not that he had actually converted, I think someone should tell Haseeb to edit that part so people who read it don’t jump to conclusions.

  6. It is nice to see Salafi/Wahabi scholars comment on current issues, and not only discuss issues of Aqeedah, how closer they are to the Sunnah as compared to everyone else, and to takfir on others, etc. This is brilliant of Shaykh Yasir Qadhi. I have heard him speak a few times, and he is really a deep person.

    I did find this comment of his a bit arrogant: “For those who have never tasted the sweetness of the Quran, I honestly cannot expect them to understand why music is haram.”

    Does this assume that those who listen to “music” cannot taste the sweetness of the Quran? Also, is his taste of the Quran sweeter than others? How can one prove if one “tastes the sweetness” of the Quran? Only Allah knows this as this is internal.

    This is the difference of the scholars who sit with the “true” Ulama of Tassawuf, and those who do not.

  7. Actually, I’ve heard notable scholars such as Sheikh Nuh and others mention that listening to music will harden and soil your heart towards properly hearing the Qur’an. That is in line with what Qadhi is saying.

  8. Burhan, that is, of course, if you assume Shaykh Yasir was “only” referring to “popular” music. As he said “…and only the Quran can move you in a pure and dignified manner.” I know Shaykh Nuh will disagree, as I have been in mawlids/dhikr gatherings with him where nasheeds were sung (not just the recitation of Quran). “Popular” music goes w/out saying.

Comments are closed.