You are viewing a read-only archive of the Blogs.Harvard network. Learn more.

Summer Time In Medina

A Blog By Hasani Hayden

Archive for April, 2018

Week 13 Wa-Americana-Salaam

Posted in Uncategorized on April 28th, 2018

Week 13

This post was inspired by the “The Autobiography of Malcolm X”. I wanted to focus on the African-American Muslim experience in a predominately white protestant social context. Over the course of the semester, Professor Asani has discussed how the principles of Islam are nearly identical to the same principles of which this nation was built on. I look illustrate that here in this video. As an African-American I can empathize with the “othering” rhetoric used against Muslims in this nation, to isolate them from the American body. Similar groups who may bully Muslims in this nation, often times harass or are prejudice towards African-Americans. In this piece, I intentionally select an African-American Muslim to represent this “other” group, that often times is not thought of conventionally as American. This man first greets the viewer and shares what he believes in. His values are accepted by popular United States politicians and they begin to dance in celebration. I hope to show how intuitive the synergies between the Quranic teaching and the American constitution align. It is also critical for the long-term sustainability for this nation to become inclusive of different identities and beliefs. Considered to be at one time the most progressive nation in the world, on the forefront of human thought, America has lost her way and has lost what made her so unique of a country. This is also a nudge to future and current politicians to be critical of how we perceive different identities. Our similarities are what make us strong and those should be the things we spend our time on.

Week 7 East Meets West

Posted in Uncategorized on April 28th, 2018

Week 7

This blog post was inspired by the “Studies in Arabic Literature” specifically the chapter titled “To Propagate morals through popular music: The Indonesian Qasidah Modern”.  The author discusses how qasidah had entered the world music market and sparked an idea for me to blend the sounds of a song we’ve listened in class with current popular music in America. For this piece, I wanted to bridge the Eastern and Western world together. By taking Hafusa Abbasi’s song and giving it a Western twist, I hope to reflect the current internal debate on the role of music, and which forms of music are appropriate for worship. This composition uses very popular hip-hop sounds of booming 808s, sharp high hats, and snapping snares. The combination of these musical components is popularly known as the fundamentals of “Trap” music production which originated in the Atlanta hip-hop scene around 2007. This new sound was very niche at the time and began to achieve mainstream popularity only recently. While learning about the esoteric worship style of Sufism in class, I tried to imagine a musical sound or genre that may share the esoteric nature of Sufism, and this is what came to mind. The unique sound is one that similar to Sufi worship can stir up the emotions of participants. However, the mystical melodic Sufi worship song is juxtaposed with the vibrating and hard-hitting sound of the Trap drum kit which I believe makes for an even more interesting composition. We discussed in class the blend of Sufi music and Rock’n’Roll and so I was very curious to explore the blend with a musical genre I was more familiar with. The Swahili song by Abbasi had a unique melody that was unlike much of the Arabic and South Asian Sufi songs I explored, which made it even more interesting to “remix”. I hope you all enjoy!



Week 9 Patiently Waiting

Posted in Uncategorized on April 27th, 2018

This blog post takes from the “Introduction to the Conventions of the Urdu Ghazal” by Carla Pietievich. Specifically, I was inspired by the part of Chapter One where the author writes “That the beloved might be either human or divine is another essential convention of the ghazal” (Pietievich 5).  I wrote this ghazal with the story of the prodigal son in mind. As the story goes, a father has two sons and the younger demands his inheritance early and wants to run away and live his own life. He receives it and ends up being foolish with his money quickly finding himself homeless. Eventually, he humbles himself and returns back to his father where he is welcomed with a celebratory dinner. The setting of this poem is from the father to the son who left him before his return. Although a father-son relationship isn’t typically thought of as “romantic” the deep passionate love the father must have felt for his son is just as strong as the love of two lovers. Similarly, this poem could be interpreted as from God to humans. As he patiently waits for us to return to him, although he cries out to us, we turn our backs and walk away.  Yet he is faithful and continues to wait even though our neglect hurts him. We discussed in class how Sufis use poetry, really the art of language, to depict the supernatural that transcends all human understanding which is bound by time and space. I attempt to achieve the same level of artistic expression here. We don’t really know why we love, or why it hurts more when those we love hurt us. The rational and instinctual mammal would focus first on the survival of self, but we care deeply about those around us and do irrational things as a result.