Friday, April 21, 2006

A Musical Fatwa

Salaams. A Musical Fatwa? Ever heard about it?

Well, I bought a music album "Republik Cinta" ("Republic of Love") by an Indonesian group some weeks ago. The group is called Dewa - one of the most popular groups in Indonesia today, having sold millions of albums. Being a musician myself (though I have not played for some time now), I must say that the album is excellently produced. Excellent music production and lyrics. Dewa is a truly talented group, world class!

Anyway, I want to share with all of you the lyrics of one of their songs, dubbed as "The Musical Fatwa". The song is entitled "Laskar Cinta" ("Warriors of Love"). Read the lyrics first before I explain a little more about the group and the song...

[In Indonesian Language]
Wahai, jiwa-jiwa yang tenang
Berhati-hatilah dirimu
Kepada hati hati yang penuh dengan
Kebencian yang dalam

Karena, sesungguhnya iblis ada dan bersemayam
Di hati yang penuh dengan benci
Di hati yang penuh dengan prasangka

Laskar Cinta
Sebarkanlah benih-benih cinta
Musnahkanlah virus-virus benci
Virus yang bisa rusakkan jiwa dan busukkan hati

Laskar Cinta
Ajarkanlah ilmu tentang cinta
Karena Cinta adalah Hakikat
Dan jalan yang terang bari semua umat manusia

Jika kebencian meracunimu kepada
kaum umat yang lainnya
Maka sesungguhnya iblis sudah berkuasa atas dirimu
Maka jangan pernah berharap Aku
Akan mengasihi, menyayangi…
Manusia-manusia yang penuh benci - seperti kamu

Wahai jiwa-jiwa yang tenang, jangan sekali-kali kamu
Mencoba jadi Tuhan dengan mengadili dan mengahakimi
Bahwasanya kamu memang tak punya daya dan upaya
Serta kekuatan untuk menentukan kebenaran yg sejati

Bukankah kita memang tercipta laki-laki dan wanita
Dan menjadi suku-suku dan bangsa-bangsa yang pasti berbeda
Bukankah kita memang harus saling mengenal dan menghormati
Bukan untuk saling bercerai-cerai dan berperang angkat senjata

[English Translation - not written poetically]
Hey, all whose soul is at peace
Watch out and be on your guard
For hearts that are full of
Deep hatred

Because for sure evil dwells
In the hearts of all those who are full of hate
In the hearts of all those full of prejudice

Warriors of Love
Spread the seeds of Love
Destroy the viruses of hatred
Viruses that make hearts sick and depraved

Warriors of Love
Teach the mystical science of Love
For only Love is the Reality
And the shining path for all of mankind


If hatred has already poisoned you
Against those who may be different
Then evil’s got you in its damning embrace
If so, don’t bother to hope that I
Shall ever love or embrace
People full of hate and anger - like you

Hey there, all whose soul is at peace, don't you ever
Try to play God, by judging and condemning
For you do not have the will, the means
Nor the power to know the ultimate Truth

Are we not created as men and women
Destined to tribes and nations that differs with one another
Are we not supposed to know and respect
Rather than be disunited and turn to weapons and wars

How about that? Isn't it wonderful. In Indonesia there was an organisation called "Laskar Jihad" ("Warriors of Jihad"), a Wahhabi-infested organisation that is very radical and militant. The group has got a small yet vocal following. Dewa decided to take the group to task (musically at least!) and released an album called "Laskar Cinta" ("Warriors of Love"). The album presented Indonesia's youth with a stark choice: Do they want to join the army of jihad, or the army of love?

The launch of the Laskar Cinta album caused quite a stir, especially amongst the extremist Muslims. Numerous radical Wahhabi groups attacked rock superstar Ahmad Dhani and his group Dewa for their best-selling album Laskar Cinta. Rather than be intimidated by extremist threats, Dhani composed a new song called Laskar Cinta (the previous album did not have a title track). This latest song is, in effect, a "musical fatwa" ~ using lyrics derived from the Qur'an and Hadith to denounce religious hatred and terrorism. The single was launched in December of 2005. Read more here.

Dewa is a spiritual group - inspired by spirituality, humanism and Sufism. They are guided by great people like Sufis - Shaykh Abdul Qadir Gaylani and Mawlana Jalaludin Rumi. The group even have non-Muslim members, truly professing the spirit of love and respect.

In January 2006, my teacher and guide - Shaykh Hisham Kabbani - met the group. When I met Shaykh Hisham shortly thereafter, I asked whether Ahmad Dhani (leader of Dewa) took initiation into the Naqshbandi path. I was told "Insha'Allah soon". A couple of months later - in April, Shaykh Hisham's murid, As-Sayid Nurjan, was down in Jakarta and had a session with Dewa. Ahmad Dhani, friends and family members took bai'ah (initiation) into the Naqshbandi Haqqani spiritual order. SubhanAllah!

If you're interested in the songs, please go get the album. Meanwhile, I am inspired to go get their earlier album "Laskar Cinta". You can visit Dewa's official website - click here.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

There is a great article in the Wall Street Journal today about Dewa.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB115559561301635520.html

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Anonymous said...

I have been trying to purchase Dewa's album Republic of Love, but haven't had any luck finding it. I live in Rhode Island, USA. None of the stores in my area have it. All of my web searches have come up empty. Can you suggest any websites that might carry the album? If so, please contact me at rwill3@hotmail.com Many thanks.