Thursday 9 February 2006

Theology with Kelly Clarkson

Yesterday, the young American pop singer Kelly Clarkson won a Grammy Award for her single “Since U Been Gone.” It’s customary at times like these to “thank God,” or, if you’re a rap star, to “thank my personal Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

But when Kelly Clarkson came forward to receive her Grammy, she didn’t want to risk offending any member of the Deity. So, hedging her bets, she said: “I don’t know what’s going on, but thank you Jesus, God and everybody.” That ought to keep everybody happy.


Anonymous said...

Well obviously she couldn't thank Allah since Muslims do not allow music so she probably covered the bases as the Americans say.


Ben Myers said...

Hi Miriam -- nice to hear from you.

I'm not sure it's accurate to say that Muslims don't allow music. There are different opinions about contemporary music among Islamic scholars. But historically, it's clear that there is a great tradition of Islamic music. And today there are many popular Muslim singers and musicians.

So perhaps Kelly Clarkson should have thanked Allah as well after all....

Jeremiah Kier Cowart said...

That's right. At least in Sufi Islam (a small minority of course) the tradition of incorporating music even into important liturgical aspects is ancient.

However, it is fair to say that most Sunni thought today is still along the lines of advancing the notion that whereas many prayers are sung/recited throughout the day and in the liturgy, arguments are still advanced against the usage of full-on music via instruments. And since the Sunnis form the overwhelming majority of all Muslims in the world...

Anonymous said...

For nearly fifty years Umm Kulthum Ibrahim was the diva of the Arab world. She sang religious as well romantic (and patriotic) songs. Four million people turned out for her funeral in 1975, and her music still sells in the hundreds of thousands. Eat your heart out, Kelly!

Anonymous said...

Hey, let's not forget Cat Stevens. He's a Muslim musician (although, like others from his era [i.e. Bob Dylan], his more recent music is not nearly as good as his older material).

He also donates the money he makes off of album sales to the mosque he attends in London -- so they can't think his older music is all that bad.

Anonymous said...

I hope Cat Stevens doesn't attend the Finsbury Park Mosque.


Anonymous said...

Actually, rumour has it that Cat Stevens (aka Yusuf Islam) does attend that Mosque.

However, I have also heard that, after a police raid in 2003, there was shift in power and a more moderate/mainstream Muslim group holds power there.

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