When I log on to the VOC website nowadays my ears start to buzz. And no, it’s not the last surviving hive of African bees in Cape Town flying around my head. It’s this music debate. It just won’t go away.
For a long time I’ve felt that distance and discretion have been the better part of valour, especially judging the cyber-jihad being waged in the comments section on the topic of Desert Rose being censured/banned by an MJC fatwa – a fatwa that itself has been censured by another fatwa (phew).
However, I feel there’s an important part of the story not being told.
Now, what do I mean by this?
What I mean is that any injunction in Islamic law has to have an “illah”, or a derivative cause. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise this. No cause, no effect. Remove the cause, and the effect disappears. Remove the illah, and the hukm becomes invalid.
In other words, a fatwa (a juridicial opinion) and a hukm (a juridicial ruling) have to stand on very firm foundations indeed.
My question: has anybody honestly investigated the cause of this hugely unpleasant saga – one that has left us staffers at VOC chewing shrapnel as we take the blows, duck the crossfire and stand accused of being “guilty” of something 99,9% of us had no hand in.
I ask the question because all this unecessary unpleasantness appears to derive from a senior member of our community trying to physically stop the performance of Desert Rose at their Imam Ghazali concert and launch of the “Awakenings” album in April this year.
I actually saw this person trying to do it, and like all those present, was absolutely astonished . Others in the audience said they were shocked by his rudeness in front of international dignitaries, academics and prominent members of the MJC – whose decorum, given the circumstances, I could only admire.
This person, not satisfied with making a public scene of himself, then chose public platforms to slander the Imam Ghazali event as well as members of the ‘ulama .
In all humility, I just have one simple question: was this man’s behaviour (repeated at the recent Palestinian festival) the illah of the fatwa? I sincerely hope not. Please let it not be so!
Then there’s another question: was all this hullabaloo necessary? Who gave anybody the right to assume what Desert Rose’s intentions were without consulting them? (Which was the case).
Surely, the most dignified way out would have been to firstly discuss the matter with all the parties concerned?
Obviously, the opinions of halal, haram, mubah, haram, makruh etc. are for others to consider – but as VOC staffers the crosswinds of khilaf (difference of opinion) have been an unpleasant wind blowing through our lives. Remember that it’s us who literally have to “face the music”.
Let’s hope – without any of us being prejudicial, presumptious or prescriptive – that common sense and goodwill can prevail with truth and justice (on whichever side) being the winner.