Ramadan is time for nasheeds by regional spiritual singers and pop stars. The production is often spare with the emphasis on lyrics which shed light on the reflective aspects of Ramadan. Here are some of the nasheeds released to mark this year’s holy month.
‘Ya Mouqaleb Al Qouloub’ by Hussain Al Jassmi
The title is a phrase taken from a prayer uttered by the Prophet Mohammed which translates to “Oh turner of hearts”. Emirati star Al Jassmi sings a string of key prayers mentioned in the Holy Quran and by the Prophet Mohammed. The song is virtually an a cappella performance with a distant drone lurking in the background.
‘Al Faqir’ by Sami Yusuf
One of the world’s most popular nasheed artists, Sami Yusuf’s stirring track ‘Al Faqir’ (The poor one) features him on both lead and backing vocals, and also features the daf (a drum originating in the region). The song has a double meaning – the first is to raise awareness of the lives of those destitute, while the second is to highlight how we are all bereft mentally and spiritually in the face of God’s wisdom.
‘Huwa Al Quran’ by Maher Zain
A Ramadan would not be complete without a new nasheed by Maher Zain to act as a soundtrack. The Swedish-Lebanese crooner returns with another lush and evocative song, Huwa Al Quran (That’s the Quran), praising the holy month’s virtues of mercy and reciting the holy book. The song is released in both a Turkish version (with instruments) and in Arabic a cappella with Zain’s voice manipulated to sound like instruments in the background.
‘Ya Satar’ and ‘El Hakam El Adl’ by Rami Sabry
Egyptian pop star Rami Sabry released two nasheeds for the holy month, backed by the gentle plucking of the oud. Ya Satar (O’ protector) is a prayer for peace and comfort while El Hakam El Adl (The giver of justice) highlights God’s mercy and justice.