This is one challenging week I'm facing (I'm going to skip the details), and it must really be bothering me as i don't seem able to sleep well for some time now. To calm myself down and to prevent myself from getting sleepy at odd hours, I listen to Nasyid songs by Raihan. After more than 10 years of the group's success, I finally realise so many things about them.
They have succeeded in doing so many things that parents and teachers of the modern world (not all, but a huge number of them) have failed to do. This group came with their songs, creating album after album. And all of a sudden, a small child is able to memorise all 25 names of the rasuls, recite the syahadah and many other zikr while UNDERSTANDING it's meaning. And Raihan do seem to have a few different songs for the selawat to Rasullullah SAW and this too has become a practice by many youngsters. They may all be songs, but one important thing i finally noted is that Raihan don't seem to use stringed instruments in their songs, and yet their songs are so beautiful, meaningful and just superb!
As they continue to succeed in their career, they started travelling to other Muslim countries to spread their songs and along with it, to do the work of Dakwah. They made songs in different languages, but still sharing a big similarity, the lyrics are the call to remember Allah and to encourage people to remember their responsibilities as Muslims. As a child I did not notice that they were actually carrying out dakwah, all I thought was 'Yeay! I like this song', and in liking the songs, I started memorising them and singing them often. In every repetition of this act I was either repeating verses of zikir and its meaning or repeating some rules/reminders about Islam. I was planting them in my heart. And i believe, I'm not the only one who did that.
While the child me did not notice that Raihan was actually carrying out dakwah, some adults did notice it. I was listening to Ching Ai one day (its a song by Raihan in Chinese with some malay translation) and someone just went 'This is too much. They are translating it to other languages..definitely to do dakwah and to get people from other races to join Islam. They're too much already!' (ok..i cant really remember exactly what this person said, but this is indeed its core contents) So, unfortunately for me, I do have people in my life trying to brainwash me into believeing that doing Dakwah is Wrong! Astagfirullah...So many times some people tried planting this in my mind..Astagfirullah...and though some were non-muslims, i am sad to say, some others were Muslims. Thanks to people like these, Dakwah is becoming a forgotten sunnah as time passes.
A few years back, the leader of Raihan had a heart attack and passed away. May Allah bless him in the afterworld. Amiin. But the group still carried on even though they are not as active as before (or maybe they are but i just don't notice it). Rasullullah started his dakwah with family and closest friends before reaching out to the rest of Makkah's community and later on to those in other countries. Raihan has done the same. They started with Malay songs intended for Malaysians. As they became more popular and accepted, they started making songs in diff language to reach out to people in other countries. They followed the steps of Rasulullah, but in a different but still successful way.
For still carrying out a heavy sunnah which many people choose to ignore,
For taking the trouble to travel and spread Islam,
For reminding Muslims about the basic teachings of Islam,
For reminding Muslims to always remember Allah and Rasulullah,
And for everything else that you have done to bring people closer to Islam,
THANK YOU, RAIHAN.
May Allah answer all your prayers and reward each of you for your good deeds.