Mother’s lullaby vs. Rahman’s melody

Hasbi Rabbi jalla Allah, mafi qalbi ghairu Allah, Noor Muhammadu sallallahu, haqq la ilaha illaa Allah…

The traditional umma of traditional Malabar used to hum these mantras while smoothly swinging the cradle of her dear little one. The melody of this centuries-old lullaby pierced right into the ears of the baby into the heart. And this was easy as it flowed from the lips of the mother- on whom the child relied for his sensation and perception of the world around. It breathed the same air as hers; its definition of cold and warmth was her own body temperature.

The child’s heart beat in rhythm to the zikr recited by the mother. It ingrained two Realties of the world into his Subconscious and Unconscious Mind as he slowly sank into sleep: Allah the most Supreme and Ultimate; and the light of His Beloved Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wa sallam! The child’s eyes would fall fast asleep, but the heart would remain engrossed in the lullaby … Hasbi Rabbi jalla Allah, mafi qalbi ghairu Allah.

Jaihoon recalled those good old cradle-days as a friend shared with him a composition from the musical maestro AR Rahman. Perhaps it is first time that such a work has been released in the mainstream entertainment industry. The composer has dared to come up with these ‘traditional’ lyrics which is very specific to Islamic mysticism.

The song emphatically resounds ‘Hu’, which refers to the short form of Huwa, “He”, one of the Divine Names. Rahman creates a spiritual tumult when he shouts Ya hayyu, ya Qayyum – (O Living One, O Self-subsisting One) – which is typical of that mantra chanted by the Rifai’ dervishes. He selectively picks from among the 99 names of Allah and describes the virtues of zikr (Remembrance), invoking the names of God.

Although loud and fast beats surround the wholly religious lyric, Rahman has successfully maintained a spiritual aura for the listener to experience.

Yet, I have to admit that the lullaby of the mother would give peace and serenity for the baby, but this song when played on the 5.1 speakers had my parrot at home screaming in fear (and in protest probably).

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