Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune
On November 1, 2002 The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that "the musical genre of Muslim rap, whose lyrics are meant to be positive influences on their young audiences, is gaining ground and attention in the American Muslim community. Some Muslim rappers express themselves through lyrics dedicated to the themes of the holy month [of Ramadan], while others work on their personal faith by not performing during that period. 'There is a large issue about the role of music in Islam,' said Ali Asani, a professor of Islamic studies at Harvard University. While some Muslims, like the mystical Sufi sect and the Turkish 'Whirling Dervishes,' consider music to be part of 'the very essence of Islam,' Asani said, others feel music is 'intoxicating' and distracting from meditation and spiritual concentration. But, Asani added, Muslims worldwide have in recent decades used popular musical forms -- such as rap in the United States -- to express religious themes."