Posted: 15 Jun 2013 02:00 PM PDT
Muslim hip-hop artists, poets, singers and classical musicians will perform today at theCrest Theatre in "An Islamic Expression of Traditional & Contemporary Art."
The event – perhaps the first of its kind in the nation – challenges the belief among some orthodox Muslims that music can lead to sinful behavior.
"It's kind of risky. It's something we have not done before," said Imam M.A. Azeez of Salam Islamic Center, which organized the evening at the Crest. "It represents a paradigm shift in theMuslim community. Kids are listening to this stuff, so why not be proactive and expose them to beautiful, inspiring music that promotes love of religion and country?"
The imams of Sacramento's two biggest mosques declared that music is not permissible according to the Prophet Muhammad, Allah's messenger.
"It's a chain reaction – when people listen to music, they ask for alcohol, which will lead to adultery," said Imam Mahmoud Abdel of Masjid Annur Islamic Center. "One step leads to another in the majority of cases. It's well known that anybody who listens to music a lot will be distracted from his or her mission, which is worshipping God Almighty."
Imam Mumtaz Qasmi of Sacramento's Downtown Mosque said there's not a mosque in the world that allows music. "So how can we allow it outside the mosque?" he asked.