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Kembara Sufi

Seni Islami, Wadah Kontemporari

 

That was the theme of this year’s Kembara Sufi, an annual Islamic concert organized by the students of the university.

 

This year, Kembara Sufi was held on Saturday night, 24th of April 2010 with three guest artistes namely Azhan Atan, Rabbani and Shoutul Harokah, a group from Indonesia.

 

I brought the whole family to the concert, including mom and dad since they are also fans of Azhan Atan.

 

The concert started off with performances from the university’s nasyid group and also a group from Yayasan Anak Yatim An Nur. Then, Azhan first performed four songs, followed by Rabbani and finally Shoutul Harokah.

 

Azhan’s powerful voice was almost magic when he first sang Ku Milik Mu. In fact, I felt as if the entire hall went so silent when he sang that song. And he was also remarkably entertaining on stage with his ‘santai’ concept. Surprisingly, he could also play the keyboard very well!

 

Rabbani was also great despite the fact that Ustaz Asri is no longer with us. When they started off with the song Intifada, I felt a tinge of sadness because a few years back, Rabbani was singing the same song at the same stage but with Ustaz Asri. You could almost feel and see him standing right there! Zulkifli is now the new vocalist, and he has a superb voice as well… because there will never be another Ustaz Asri!

 

The final performance was by Shoutul Harokah, a group from Indonesia. I have heard their songs before, and their performance was equally entertaining. Their songs are unlike Malaysian nasyeeds yang mendayu, but more ‘bersemangat’ in nature, that it makes you want to stand up and march!

 

Congratulations to the committee members for a very-well organized concert!

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More CDs

Everyone seems to be talking about Nur Kasih nowadays – at the office, in the blogs, even in Facebook!

 

I have to admit, I am also a big fan of the series and will not miss it every Friday although I already know what the ending will be (the complete story is actually available for download). Plus, the theme song is sung by one of my favourite artists, Yasin.

 

Anyway, last week, I dropped by at the local records store and looked for Best of Yasin, which is supposed to contain this Nur Kasih theme song.

 

I got more than I wanted.

 

Nur Kasih is undoubtedly a beautiful song written by Yasin together with his wife Eena. But what struck me most from this compilation of Yasin’s best songs was Yasin’s own version of Wassini (original singer: Waheeda). I have to congratulate Yasin for making me love this song. Seriously, I think it is because of his Arabic accent.

 

The other songs in this album are great as well, except that I was hoping he’d have more songs from his first album and not just Mimpi Laila and Rindu PadaMu.

 

I also bought myself Opick’s Di Bawah LangitMu (sedap sungguh lagu mamat ni!) and Dalam Kenangan: Ustaz Asri Rabbani.

Tiba-tiba teringat Allahyarham Ustaz Asri… I wanted to blog about Ustaz Asri’s passing away, but it was just too sad an occasion. I grew up listening to Nadamurni, so he had made a huge impact in my life, and in my journey towards Islam. AlFatihah to Ustaz Asri who left this world to meet his Creator on the same day with my kids’ birthday, 13 August 2009. Selamat berehat di alam abadi…

album

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Remembering Mikaeel

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It has been more than 2 days since Michael Jackson left this world to return to his Creator.

 

Apparently Farah Fawcett also passed away the same day, but the hype is not as huge as Michael’s.

 

Initially, I did not have the intention to blog or comment about Michael’s death, but I just could not help it. Especially when I think about how much his music made a difference in my life. Yes, I used to be a big fan of MJ. I must have been between 10 to 12 years old at that time, and Michael was like THE most popular guy on earth. Everyone at school had a crush on him, including me. We used to talk about him all the time, especially during break. I think I must have memorized all his songs back then – “Beat It”, ‘Thriller”, “Ben”… you name it!

In the 1980s, MJ used to appear on the local newspapers and magazines almost every other day. I recall collecting all his stories and then, I would keep them safely in old chocolate boxes (you know, those Cadbury boxes). There could have been more than 5 boxes of paper cuttings if I remember correctly – and all contained his stories (of course, I had some of Jamal Abdillah too I think)! Mak and Abah would always get angry at me everytime I open one of the boxes, because I would look at his pictures over and over again. I remember Mak telling one of my aunties, “Agaknya dia nak rebus semua tu dan minum airnya!” J

Anyway, I grew older and wiser, and my ‘infatuation’ just died down over the years.

Nevertheless, I do read about him once in a while. Despite all the allegations about him being a child molester, he still had loyal fans from all over the world. And despite the fact that people call him Wacko Jacko (for being ‘different’ from others), he still produced great songs. Who could forget how “We Are the World”, “Man In the Mirror” and “Heal the World” brought tears to our eyes? 

The latest news I read about him was his conversion to Islam in November 2008 after learning about the religion from his brother Jermaine. I hope he sincerely believed in Allah, and I hope that he actually said the syahadah… and I pray that he died as a Muslim.

Michael Joseph Jackson @ Mikaeel… you will be remembered as an extraordinary performer.

PS: I have received an irresistible offer – but I am still thinking about it!

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Azhan Atan’s Ku Milik Mu

I cannot believe it is already May! Seriously, time flies extremely fast nowadays.

 

It feels as though… the Day of Judgment is coming so extremely near. It was reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, whilst pointing with his index and middle fingers, “The time of my advent and the Hour are like these two fingers.” And the Prophet said this more than 1400 years ago!

 

Anyway, I recently bought Azhan Atan’s new album, Ku Milik Mu. When I first saw Azhan on Akademi Nasyid last year, I had no idea that he is visually impaired. I remember discussing his voice with my husband, and we both agreed that he has an extremely powerful voice. I also remember that when mom mentioned that he really is visually impaired, I always have tears in my eyes everytime I saw him singing on AN. What made it more different was that his choices of songs were so touching… and you cannot help but relate the lyrics to him.  

 

Azhan is also actively involved in PAS, and if I am not mistaken, is the Ketua Pemuda PAS of Tanjung Piai, Johor.

 

Anyway, I am glad that Hijjaz Records Sdn. Bhd. finally produced Azhan’s first album. There are 10 songs in there, and I especially love Ku Milik Mu, Sinar Pasti Ada and Kemanisan Dunia.

 

Congratulations Brother Azhan!

 

azhanatan

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Arus Qudus

 Yasin Sulaiman has again, won my heart with his new album.

 

Arus Qudus is Yasin’s third solo album and was released early this year. Thank you to Facebook, I managed to get a copy of this album through Yasin’s wife Eena Houzyama (and with a special autography by Yasin himself!). Apparently, it is not available from the shelves, you need to get it directly from Hush Entertainment.

 

Seriously, I love this album.

 

There are nine songs altogether, and I think six were fully composed and written by Yasin himself. Yasin is to me, a very talented composer and an extremely creative lyricist. His lyrics are so meaningful, if you pay full attention to what he is trying to say instead of just enjoying the music. Remember Kembara Suriaraya from his first album (which is about Isra’ and Mi’raj), or Hanya Satu (which tells the story about Bilal bin Rabah)?

 

And I particularly like Yasin’s Arabic accent. I was informed by a friend that Yasin used to live in Saudi when he was young, and I was also informed that Yasin is actually a hafiz.

 

The first time I heard Yasin’s voice was in an album back in the 90s, when his school, Maahad Hamidiah Kajang produced an album – I cannot recall the title though – it may have been Mentari. In that album, Yasin recited verses from the Quran – Surah Thaha, Surah Najm, Surah Al Qalam and a few others – and that was when I became a fan of Yasin. 

 

In this album, Yasin still maintains the same ‘world music’ concept, and he tries to maintain the ‘story’ concept.

 

The song Bismillah, for example, is a great composition. It contains the words “Bismillah Majreha Bismillah Mursaha” – I had to ask my Arabic-speaking friends to understand what Yasin was trying to say. Apparently the word “Bismillah Majreha Bismillah Mursaha” was the doa of Prophet Nuh when he went onboard the ship, which has no ‘captain’. Therefore, “Bismillah Majreha Bismillah Mursaha” means that In the Name of Allah at the start, and In the name of Allah at the end. In the same song, ‘benderang cahaya di atasnya cahaya’ is, I think, a verse in the Quran – when Allah mentions about layers and layers of Nur.

 

The other song that really caught my attention is Hidup Memang Susah… and it refers to Surah Al Insyirah. The message that I got from this song is that life is hard, but you will find ease after difficulties. Extremely meaningful.. I also like the song Hampir Padamu which features Arnieza. It is such a nice tune, and the lyrics are just so sweet. Ooh.. and don’t forget, Kau Yang Mengetahui.. It is just an amazing song.

 

Jika tiada mentari

Mana mungkin rembulan

Sinari malam sepi

Jika ditakdir Nya begini

Ku rela dan terima

Syukuri yang diberi

 

All in all, as a fan of Yasin, I think this is a great album and is worth waiting for (six years is a long time!).

 

Congratulations Yasin.

 

ayasin2

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Mawi.. Yang Tercinta

I have decided to write a review on Mawi’s new studio album titled Yang Tercinta. I bought it a week ago.. and have been listening to it on my way to and from the office.. just to really get a feel of it.

No doubt, he has a great voice. And I especially like the songs Kian and Perempuan, other than Aduh Saliha of course. And the duet song with M Nasir, is a another good one.

However, despite the good voice and the okay songs, I still feel that Mawi would perform best on sentimental songs. I mean.. I could never forget the way he sang Dewa’s Pupus, Nassier Wahab’s Memori Cinta Luka and even Jamal’s Kekasih Awal dan Akhir. He has got a good control of his voice and he can really sing high notes.

But to hear him sing such ‘fast’ songs with loud music.. I just think that he could have done better. Maybe M Nasir should start composing slower ballads for Mawi to sing.. maybe something like the most famous “Suatu Masa”.. Imagine Mawi singing that song… :)

Note: My husband likes Yang Tercinta better than Mawi’s AF songs because he hates sentimental songs.

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A Memorable Night

It was the ‘night’ of the year. The Juara Lagu 19 took place last night. My favourite song, “Relaku Pujuk” won the competition. And I am terribly happy. He sang so well. Although I personally think that there was a lack of competitiveness amongst them, overall the performances were good. Siti Nurhaliza, the Malaysian songstress, refused to enter the competition this year, but she would have won if she did.


I tried to translate part of the winning song..


No words are more superior than your expression of love that I have been waiting for.. (Tiada lafaz yang lebih agung,
Kalimah cintamu, Yang ku tunggu-tunggu)


Nice.. And very meaningful too…..

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