Suficore versus Islamic Piety

(Really need to get Sally to sing this song, it’s a weak draft from 2 years’ ago that might make its way onto the second album.)

Islamic Piety: How is this Islamic? Music is haram, right?

The Tailor: Correct, there is a strong opinion within the Fiqh of Islam is that music is haram. This opinion cannot be disputed by myself — it may be disputed by people who live within the ummah though, because the fiqh is a constantly evolving and often self-contradictory group negotiation. But this video — and all the videos I have authored are not Islamic — because they fall outside of the scope of that group negotiation, they are made in ignorance of fiqh, not in negotiation (retaliatory or amicable). This is Suficore, which is something else entirely.

Islamic Piety: If this is “something else entirely”, then kindly remove your tags that associate your videos with Islam and Muslims — and employ a different tag which correctly corresponds to what this is meant to be. This is not even Sufi qalam/music. If you have invented a new musical movement please give it a new name and don’t defame Islam and Sufism in order to bring fame to you movement.

Tailor: I’m sorry. Those tags are now deleted.


In the spirit of honesty, I should add that I composed that song after my first little “break” from Islam in 2009 — I wrote it the day I found I couldn’t take another jummah prayer. Up to that moment, for more than a year, I’d tried hard to maintain a serious practice of the religion of Islam. This included praying 5 times a day, finding a jamat prayer whenever possible and never missing a jummah group prayer, including listening to the entire hutba (sermon). But it become increasingly difficult to maintain this practice, because the hutbas were so awful and — to my ears — the exact opposite of the religion of my soul. Don’t get me wrong, non-Muslim reader: the sermons were not preaching some kind of radical violent jihadist Islam, as the tabloids might want you to imagine. They were always focused on issues to do with fiqh, with how to live, how to cultivate a particular piety that is alien to me, unnatural to me. They worked to create an image of God — and a comportment of piety towards that image — that was not so much fearful as uncomfortable — not a personal Love that comes comforts (even if its descent/withdrawal is fearful) — but perhaps, at best, an benevolent King’s Mercy balanced with other Kingly attributes, including a wrath/irascibility that curiously appeared to resemble a kind of judgmental cosmic south east asian uncle.

Anyway I’d been torn because I wanted to keep that practice up, I had fallen in love with the idea of a jummah prayer — and with the spirit of a group congregational rite.

But I couldn’t go on and so I spent the night in retreat, really quite worked up about things. I recited and meditated and worried. And then I felt hit by a wave of comfort, of personal Love that reminded me … it’s all alright, all systems are a masjid. And that wave constituted my fajr prayer, the birds outside my window calling an azan.

And so that song really is as non-Muslim as you can get — not so much un-Islamic as straightforwardly not Muslim, the exception to Islam’s rule: it is a song in which I felt Love’s personal comfort descend upon me … a reassurance that I no longer had to worry about the physical masjid and the rites of jummah (I’m talking about a personal comfort mind you — I no longer had to worry — of course the ummah of Islam must preserve and maintain and guard these rites). Hence the objections I quote above — are very much genuine concerns and in the spirit of accuracy — she was quite right — it was wrong to tag the video with Islam.

When reading the continual emails and complaint feeds I have been receiving since I started this blog with its video and facebook portals, I am constantly amazed at how perceptive Muslims within the piety movement are when it comes to policing their territories. To the ordinary viewer this sounds like a silly, kind of hippy song. But piety hears and immediately springs to action.


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