Saturday, May 05, 2007

MJ or Zain Bhikha?

Give Thanks To Allah
Is it Michael Jackson or Zain Bhikha singing in praise of Allah?
And has Michael converted to Islam?
I know the story of Michael Jackson's serious flirtation with Islam is an old one. But it rekindled my interest over the May Day holidays when I happened to catch the nashid, "Give Thanks To Allah". My kids, Adel and Shaira downloaded it. I happened to be near Adel's room and heard a nashid sung by someone who sure sounded like Michael. You know, the Michael Jackson -- Ben, I'll Be There, Thriller, Billy Jean. Adel and Shaira insisted it was MJ. I was convinced too.

Here's a re-cap of the story:
For some time since his acquittal in 2005 on child molestation charges in the US and his move later to Bahrain, pop star Michael Jackson had been rumoured to have shown deep and serious interest in Islam. Then, last year, the rumour mill worked overtime with speculations that he would be converting to Islam.

I'd like to know if he has already by now. Just curious.
It is entirely possible. After all, his older brother, Jermaine Jackson (Mohammed Abdul Aziz since his conversion to Islam in 1989) was instrumental in encouraging him to read about the religion.
Really, anything is possible. Besides, stranger things have happened.

In February this year, Jermaine gave an interview to The Muslim News (UK), predicting that Michael will convert to Islam.
Jermaine was sure that his brother would convert to Islam because Michael had shown a lot of interest in the religion.
"When I came back from Makkah [Mecca] I got him a lot of books and he asked me lots of things about my religion and I told him that it's peaceful and beautiful. He read everything and he was proud of me that I found something that would give me inner strength and peace. I think it is most probable that Michael will convert to Islam," he was quoted to have said.

Now, the nashid, "Give Thanks To Allah" which, incidentally, was recorded about 3 years ago, has really piqued my interest. Like I said, it sure sounds like MJ. If it really is MJ singing Allah's praises, then it is indeed hard to imagine that he is NOT a Muslim because his enunciation and intonation of Arabic seem faultless. Perfect. It is beautfully sung.
Then again, MJ is such a professional that he would have got expert help to perfect his Arabic pronounciation.
There are sources who say that this song was sung by nashid artiste Zain Bhikha. I don't know Zain Bhikha but those who are familiar with him, are convinced that it was him, not MJ.
And then there are those who claim that it was sung by Yusuf Islam (the former Cat Stevens). This, I find very hard to believe. I mean, Yusuf? Michael? A world of a difference between them.
Anyway, while in Bahrain, Michael reportedly donated a large sum of money towards the building of a state-of-the-art mosque. He did so as a token of appreciation to the Bahraini people who had treated him well, as one of their own.

If you can download the song, listen to it. Here's the one in youtube. What do you think?

Here are the lyrics:

Give thanks to Allah,
For the moon and the stars
Praise Him all day for,
What is and what was
Take hold of your iman
Dont give in to shaitan
Oh you who believe please give thanks to Allah.

Allahu ghafur
Allahu rahim
Allahu yuhibbu'l-muhsinin,
Wa-huwa `ala kull ah-sha'in qadir

Allah is Ghafur
Allah is Rahim
Allah is the one who loves the muhsinin,
He is our creator
He is our sustainer
And He is the one who has power over all.



Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Sorry - forgot to add song #9

ginger said...

Sounds like Zain Bikha to me :)

J.T. said...

Nuraina, it sounds a lot like MJ. hmmmm...

By the way, I just noticed there are some changes to your blog look. How did I miss it earlier? :) So blur la I. I like it.

Anon. Fm Miri said...

Salam Kak Aina,

Kalau didengar dua-dua lagu, yang didendangkan oleh Zain, sebutannya ada perbedaan.


anonymous @ 3.05am: thanks.

ginger: ya? ok.

JT: it does, doesn't it? I am so curious about Zain Bhikha. that a debate about who sang e nashid is on, then MJ and ZB must sound alike.
Er... yes. just customised my blog but very minor "changes". nothing like yours, JT. Thing is, when i started my blog, i didnt think much about the design, which on hindsight, made me think that I should have.
ya-lah, you hadnt noticed becos, not much change.

anon frm miri: apa khabar -- lama sangat tak dengar berita.
saya ingin nak dengar dendangan zain.
saya rasa macam nashid yg saya dengar tu, alunan suara MJ.

shanghaistephen said...

My dear,
Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Toaist or Buddist...Michael is my fave entertainer (I pratically grew-up in his time and songs !)and I thank God for his extraordinary talent...what he supposedly did in his private life is his business and not for anyone to judge but God himself...Rock on MJ...Peace to all !

jorji said...

just beat it!


shanghai stephen: Yes. you are certainly right. It doesnt matter what religion he professes. No religion, pun it is his choice.
MJ is one talented human being, though i kinda kesian dia becos of the life he led as a huge star -- never knew what a normal life (as we know it to be) was and possibly , is.
and all sorts of hangers-on, groupies and people who were using and abusing him.
i do wish MJ well... hope he finds what he is looking for, what his soul is searching for.

JORJI : yeah, man... beat it! can you just still see him moonwalkin', movin' and shakin'?

Athene said...

I've always insisted that ZB sound exactly MJ! Could they be the one and same? Maybe ZB is something like Milli Vanilli?

Lady Patsy said...

Hi Kak Nur, MJ I believe is still on a personal search - religion? peace? his own identity? - whatever it is that he finds at the end of the search, I hope that it will bring him peace, joy & happiness.
On another note - saw your picture in the inaugural issue of Tell magazine - wah, you're such a foxy looking lady lah ... and all the while I was imagining you as a 'Mak Cik' type ... he he

Kak Teh said...

ena, when Jermaine was in London, I interviewed him and he said too that he was talking to Michael about Islam. And he said Islam would be so good for Michael as it is for him. If it is true that he has become a Muslim, Alhamdulillah.

nujum said...

Assalamualaikum Nurina,

ini lagu zain bhikha - boleh lihat website mereka di tapi kalau MJ masuk islam itu adalah kerja Allah s.w.t yang sentiasa meninggikan martabat agama Islam- jangan sekali kita lupa kekuasaanNya.


Athene -- now you've got me thinking...

Lady Patsy: Let's hope he finds peace and happiness.
Oh dear, malu-lah. Foxy? ayoyo... have i been giving you the impression that i am a mak cik? but I am.... in fact, it won't be long before i get the special treatment at banks or anywhere i have to queue, get sepcial discounts on air tickets, bus tickets....
only thing, they might take away my driver's licence or they won't allow me to renew it. Shoot!

Kak Teh (Ah) : yes, i remember yr jermaine far, i hve heard nothing about his conversion. only "confirmed rumours".

Nujum: Yah kah? Suara betul2 sama. payah nak bezakan. Ya. betul.... kalau MJ sudah terbuka hati nak ,masuk Islam, itu dengan izin Allah SWT/

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Pn Nuraina,

I don't think it's MJ to be honest. MJ's voice has a slightly more shrill tone to it...Ok, maybe shrill ain't the right word...It's a bit more sharp, I guess...

You don't have to be Muslim to be able to enunciate Arabic clearly, unfortunately. When I was in India, I memorised and chanted a Persian prayer, and the ambassador of Iran actually came up to me and spoke to me in Persian because he thought I was an Iranian. When I told him I was Malaysian, but was thought to chant in Farsi, he was taken aback...

So yeah, Im just trying to say you don't have to be of a certain religion or race to be able to enunciate...

Dont get me wrong: Im glad if MJ has found God in his life...

He is a very talented soul trapped in a a very confused world. Hopefully (if he indeed has become Muslim), he will immerse himself in the holy teachings of Prophet Muhammad, and may they bring light to his life, and that of his children...

PS: Oops...Looks like I have mistakenly been calling you Ms ; )...

Mr. Right said...

Rasanya confirm lagu Zain Bikha.

USA said...

He is no muslim unlike Mentri Jamaluddin who apparently described some of your "Indian" citizens as "dark" and 'low class", according to reports from the USA. Jamaluddin is a true Muslim who understand Islam unlike Jackson.

Anonymous said...


i don't see a connection between Jamaluddin (or what he was supposed to have said about Indians) with this thread. JJ is not my favourite character but i have never known him to judge others by the tone of his skin. and even if he does, what has that got to do with whether he is a "true muslim who understands islam"?

btw, it does sound like michael jackson.

- rocky's bru (sorry, can't seem to sign in to my blogger).


daphne : hmmmm... i know what you mean. but it sure sounds like MJ.
Of course, on the enunciation and the intonation, you may be right that you don't have to be a muslim to be able to speak arabic. sure. but, you must know the language well enough to be able to speak it well and pronounce it well. especially with verses from the Quran.. we, Muslims can recite them.. but even I, as a Muslim need to go for further lessons to have the right "tajwid". i could be contradicting myself here somewhat when i say that the nashid sounds like MJ but then, he intones itcorrectly, with the right "dengung" . does that mean he's a Muslim? no, of course not. but does that mean he speaks the language? perhaps. but if it was him, then he must have had a very good tutor. or, he has been speaking it since settling in Bahrain, or has been listening top enough nahid to be able to mimic the arabic words, dengung et al.

of course, many think it is not him.


mr right: itu yg ramai kata.


USA: say what?

Anonymous said...

This the link where you can download the album "Towards the Light" and the song "Give thanks to Allah" is in it.

Anonymous said...

Even it sounds almost as Michael
I think it's Zain, because I read somewhere (just newspaper) that Michael became Muslim at novembre 2008, after this anasheed...
But I'm not sure.


Anonymous said...

I apologise, but it does not approach me. Perhaps there are still variants?