Source: Daily Record
On July 23, 2006 Daily Record reported, "Sami Yusuf and Native Deen are not household names in American homes that don't have prayer rugs pointing to Mecca, but these musicians are the soundtrack for many Muslim homes, cars and iPods. The artists, with notable Muslim comedians and lesser-known acts, will lend their celebrity to support orphans in a concert tour that stops at the State Theatre in New Brunswick on Saturday... The five-city tour, called 'An Evening of Inspiration,' starts on Thursday in Dallas, then touches down in Chicago, Los Angeles and Detroit. The musicians fit into the category of nasheeds, a centuries-old devotional music that extols the tenets of Islam and the virtues of Muhammad. Muhammad is the last and final in a long line of Islam's prophets, who included Jesus, Moses, Noah and Abraham. Celebrity-benefit concerts are nothing new in the Western world. Musicians and other famous people have tried raising money for starving Ethiopians, Sept. 11 victims, and animals in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina among other causes. In the Muslim world, celebrity-type fundraisers have involved Islamic scholars or preachers with some following -- like Imam Siraj Wahaj of Brooklyn or Hamza Yusuf of California -- who lend their voices to particular causes. Islamic Relief, the Burbank, Calif.-based charity organization behind the charity tour, began using musicians, instead of speakers, for fundraising efforts about a year ago. 'This is a new method for us,' said Yousef Abdallah, the operations manager of Islamic Relief's northeast region, based in Totowa. 'Those celebrities are well-known in the Muslim community. They, and celebrities in general, should donate more of their time to help communities around the world.'"