Music in one form or other has been part of human civilization for as long as the humans themselves have been living on this earth. It has a way to touch your soul. When written in engaging manner poetry can stir deep feelings which prose cannot. If we look at contemporary music it is a combination of sound and melody that tantalizes one’s soul and senses. It has the ability to transform you from your present place to a more serene sort of a feel good place. Music, the arrangement of melodies and the lyrics therefore should not be predictable. It should have some sort of an element of surprise and some sort of a message. It has the ability to keep you engaged and entertained at the same time. However, music in its contemporary and modern form has been forbidden in the deen and for rightful reasons. It keeps you from remembrance of Allah and wastes time.
On the contrary if we talk about Nasheeds they are very much similar to ‘Naseehah’ which can be virtually translated as advice or reminder. These are very much like the poems the Tabieens and the Sahabas (companions of the Holy Prophet P.B.U.H) used to write and do.
Sometimes they would write poems to adorn the virtues of our beloved Prophet and of His closest companions. They would admire the fearless and gallant manner in which these warriors fought in the wars. They would praise Allah almighty of his blessings. They would talk about teachings of Islam. The gifted poets of that time would weave words to remind the people of purpose of our existence. They would often write about life hereafter and remind people of their service to Allah.
If anyone reads the history of Islam they would know that Nasheeds are very much part of our Islamic history and heritage. They are especially written for children as it makes them understand parts of deen. The children are always more attracted by poems and rhymes. Therefore, they are a beautiful means of teaching our younger generation about the teachings of Islam. As the children enter their teen years and turn into adults Quran, Sunnah, Fiqh should be introduced but at an elementary level Nasheeds can instill the basic teaching of Islam into young minds beautifully.
The Nasheeds which are written and sung for adults are obviously different. They have engaging beats which mostly consist of duff and now gradually other instruments have also been introduced, as the modern day Nasheeds recorded in proper studios. They consist of predictable rhymes and usually have repetitive lyrics and beats. This makes them engaging, engaging to a point that they can take one away from the worldly worries and on a path of self reflection. They don’t talk about worldly love and are devoid of ornate tunes. This rendition of music or Islamic music strengthens one’s faith and teaches them to be humble. They are more than just entertainment like other forms of music.
Nasheeds are a means of advice and reminder to the believers and that is why they have become so popular these days. Islamic singers like Sami Yusuf, Zain Bhikah and Cat Stevens have modernized the Nasheeds and it was the need of the day. The Islamic singer of UAE and other parts of the world are beautiful ambassadors of Islam as they talk about the teachings of Islam beautifully and are portraying the true face of Islam to the world.