Talib al-Habib - Songs of Innocence
Artist: Talib al-Habib
Album: Songs of Innocence
TRACK LIST Click the arrow to play
'Songs of Innocence' is a collection of eight original English-language songs from Talib al-Habib, a student of the sacred sciences and Medical Doctor. Its subject matter has been aptly described as, 'love of Allah, love of his Prophet, love of teacher, love of family, and love of mankind.' Adapted from a series of poems composed over ten years, they were set to music in a six month period following Ramadhan 1425, in response to the encouragement of several nasheed artists. Talib drew on his childhood experiences of choral singing in arranging the songs, and utilised the daff for percussion after consultation with recognised scholars of traditional Islam.
Salat al-Badriyya: The only non-original song on the album, Salat al-Badriyya is a traditional Arabic madh (poetry in praise of the Holy Prophet, peace upon him) and dua. The Arabic verses have been translated into English and rendered according to the meter of the original song, in order to grant the listener who is not adept at Arabic an opportunity to understand its meaning.
Songs of Innocence: The title track of the album, Songs of Innocence was written on the 15th of Sha`ban in November 2004. It is essentially the dua of a parent sung for and to their children as they lie asleep, and incorporates nasiha (sincere counselling) such as, 'remember this: wisdom is the refinding of innocence.' The 'songs of innocence' refer to the dhikr, sung as a lullaby.
Allahu: Composed in the style of traditional dhikr recited across the Muslim world, this nasheed is a glorification of Allah's transcendence and majesty. It refers specifically to the praise of God uttered by all creation, and some of the attributes of His Divinity. It includes recited verses from the Jawharat at-Tauhid, a core text of Islamic doctrine.
Beloved Nabi: A song expressing the yearning of every believer to be blessed with the vision of the beloved Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him. It attempts to explore the deep love, devotion and attachment that is felt by Muslims towards their Prophet, and includes a English durud (blessing) upon him after the style of those found in classical Islamic works such as the Dala'il al-Khayrat.
Together: The first poem that Talib wrote, it is a simple song about the love and brotherhood of humankind. It explores the central importance of character traits such as compassion and love, as expressed by the very first hadith that a student of knowledge learns: 'The compassionate ones - the Most Merciful is compassionate towards them. Show mercy to those on earth, and the One who is in heaven will show mercy to you.'
Gift of Life: A song originally written by Nazima Cassim, it was transformed into a song in honour of one's teacher - in generic terms referring to anyone from whom one takes knowledge of God and His religion, but specifically the realised spiritual teacher who guides one along the path to Allah. The 'gift of life' refers to the awakening and deepening of faith, understanding, spiritual certainty and love that occurs in the transformative presence of one of the enlightened inheritors of the Blessed Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him and his family). It was written in tacit acknowledgement of the fact that traditional Islam has been transmitted not by books, but by teachers in every generation who have learnt, mastered and adopted the wisdom before passing it on to others. It is dedicated specifically to Talib and Nazima's shaykh, Hazrat Ghulam Muhyi ad-Din Kazi al-Habibi .
Ya Habibi Sayyidi: the closing song on the album is, fittingly, a beautiful soaring salam (greeting) in praise of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s). As with Beloved Nabi, it concerns itself less with the attributes of the beloved than with the emotion and yearning that it causes in the heart of the lover. It ends the album with the plea to the Prophet (s) to, 'bless this seeker of your love with the vision of you.'