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,