rise up nasheed ilyas belal boonaa

Rise Up by Ilyas Mao ft Muslim Belal & Boonaa Mohammed

Ilyas Mao: Rise Up Download | Lyrics

Rise Up is a powerful track from the album Maktoob by Ilyas Mao, and it features rapper Muslim Belal and spoken word poet Boonaa Mohammed.

Each artist has a unique style and thus the track spans three generes.

There are no musical instruments used yet the song has a mainstream feel. All sounds are done by human voice only, which is important because Muslims are divided on the permissibly of musical instruments in Nasheed.

Learn about the different opinions on Music in Islam.

A song like this can only be a recipe for success, helping reach a wide audience without taking risks with the faith.

Ramadan 2018 is not far away. Prepare with Palestinian Dates

 

The three artists bring their own unique style and character to the song, so let’s learn more about each one.

  • Ilyas Mao
  • Muslim Belal
  • Boonaa Mohammed

Ilyas Mao… and his natural sounds

Ilyas Mao is a Canadian singer, producer, writer and composer.

He started out doing instrumental music and singing about topics that had no relation to his life or character. Ilyas then entered the world of Nasheed and claims to have achieved more than ever before.

He has collaborated with famous Nasheed artists such as Maher Zain, and even has his own TV show on Eman Channel.

Ilyas not only sings but composes music for tracks and various TV shows. The music is instrument free, composed by layering multiple human voice sounds and playing them back in harmony.

Role In Rise Up?

Ilyas Mao composed and produced the song, and also sings the chorus.

 

Muslim Belal… the rapper

Muslim Belal is a rapper and actor from London, UK.

His real name is Ashley Chin, that’s right… he converted to Islam.

His conversion took place in 2001 at the age of 19. Since then he has given dawah to his Mother and Brother, who also embraced the faith.

In a similar fashion to Ilyas, Muslim quit conventional rapping, dropped the beats and switched the focus to Islamic lyrics.

With regards to his acting career, Muslim Belal has appeared in films such as Anuvahood, Victim, Starred Up and The Boxer. He even featured in episodes of the Bill, a well-known British TV show that ended in 2010.

Muslim Belal travels the world telling his story of how he came to Islam. He often describes how he discovered Islam before discovering Muslims.

In other words, he came to Islam because of it’s beauty rather than the actions of Muslim people in today’s society – and his part in the song is reflective of this.

Muslim Belal in Rise Up

Muslim raps about the reality of life, and how people are quick to judge others before looking at their own actions.

 

Boonaa Mohammed… and his powerful words

Boonaa Mohammed is a Canadian spoken word poet and writer.

He has performed in various countries, and even won the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation poetry ‘Best New Artist’ award in 2007.

Boonaa in Rise Up

His words are firm, strong and powerful; bringing to mind names such as Nelson Mandella and Malcom X.

He encourages people to go against any system that teaches wrong and make a positive change.

 

Rise Up Music Video

It’s a unique video with an interesting style.

The setting, colour-grading and outfits are similar to what you would find in a rap video, only this one is different.

Rap videos often feature people dancing, pacing and moving quickly… however most of the ‘Rise Up’ characters are stood perfectly still.

Why don’t they move?

The opening lyrics might give us a clue as to why they are acting in this way:

‘I’m looking back on my old life’

The singers were previously part of non-Islamic music and lifestyles. It could be that the characters in this video are thinking back to what they used to do, in a state of deep reflection.

They are no longer keen to dance around or rap about negative things, as they have made a change – they have risen up!

Boonaa’s Scene

Boonaa’s part is particularly interesting.

Photos of protests are presented during his entire segment. We see snaps from protests about black lives, racism and education. These pictures highly correlate to his powerful words.

Take a look.

Video for ‘Rise Up’:

Try Amazon Music and listen to ‘Rise Up’ on your phone.


Lyrics below with analysis.

Rise Up Lyrics

Lyrics to ‘Rise Up’ by Ilyas Mao, Muslim Belal and Boonaa.

[Verse 1: Ilyas Mao]
I’m looking back on my old life
I Give thanks to the Most High – 1
Cuz I could’ve been anything dead or in jail or addicted to heroin
Cuz this world is a scary place
Where they teach us how to hate – 2
The people that we don’t know
What they don’t know that we all came from one soul – 3
Ok, I’m not what they show, we’re terrorists nor am I a criminal – 4
You can blame a scapegoat but I pray for peace and not war

[Chorus: Ilyas Mao]
Rise up, I’m gonna make a difference, rise up, take back what’s mine
Rise up, give power to the people, some dreams never die
Can I get a witness? You know that it’s right
Cuz we gotta rise up, and teach the world to unite – 5

[Verse 2: Muslim Belal]
Yo, you see this life’s enough to get you down
Take a look around, step out
Smile on your face, return home with a frown
This world’s full of imperfections, hatred and corruption – 6
Everybody’s suffering from anxiety, now everybody’s got depression
That this life got the better of them, and it’s all meant to be lessons
All your high expectations set you up for disappointment
Quick to look outside the box and complain about those problems
But we still ain’t took a minute to solve the problems that’s within them – 7
We hate on each other more than the people hate on us
We need rehabilitation, we need more than this to rise up
Sending a broadcast to our women, telling them they need to be careful
While your brother’s in his house beating his wife up till she’s tearful
Then we stand in the mosque, close together, waiting for the prayer to start
Looking like a united team but our hearts are far apart – 8
See before we complain about the world we need to fix the problems within
We can’t even see past the colour of each other’s skin
It’s mad I joined this religion for a change
I read about kindness, humility and saw paradise within range – 9
Tell me what happened to that, how can we let the focus be swerved
We need to get back on track, show this religion to the world and rise up

[Chorus: Ilyas Mao]
Rise up, I’m gonna make a difference, rise up, take back what’s mine
Rise up, give power to the people, some dreams never die
Can I get a witness? You know that it’s right
Cuz we gotta rise up, and teach the world to unite

[Verse 3: Ilyas Mao]
This is for the haters and the dictators and the, debaters cuz the
Love’s greater than the bomb, keep calm
Got the world in my palm, fans from Somalia to Vietnam
Cuz it’s blood that flows through my veins, it’s the same so I can’t look the other way
So put down the guns, cuz to save one life is to save everyone – 10
Everyone, every son, every mum, feeling your pain cuz this ummah is one
They’re taking our lives but they’re wrong
Cuz to the Lord of the Worlds we belong
So we gotta wake up and sound the alarm
All my people, get up, before we are gone
Cuz we ain’t gotta fight, if we just unite, and tell the world to rise up

[Chorus: Ilyas Mao]
Rise up, I’m gonna make a difference, rise up, take back what’s mine
Rise up, give power to the people, some dreams never die
Can I get a witness? You know that it’s right
Cuz we gotta rise up, and teach the world to unite

[Bridge: Boonaa Mohammed]
The time is now
History is written by those who take a stance
We can no longer be quiet, We will no longer be silent
Those who seek to oppress us, will be faced with resistance – 11
I will not be a victim, I will not be a statistic
The system is sick, and we are its cure
Doesn’t matter your religion, your race or gender
We will rise up together, we will be remembered

[Chorus: Ilyas Mao]
Rise up, I’m gonna make a difference, rise up, take back what’s mine
Rise up, give power to the people, some dreams never die
Can I get a witness? You know that it’s right
Cuz we gotta rise up, and teach the world to unite



Lyrics Analysis

Links to the Quran and hadith have been numbered (in purple) and presented below.

1 Give Thanks To Allah

I Give thanks to the Most High

It’s an easy thing to say, but also an easy one to forgot. So let’s give thanks to Allah in our daily life, perhaps after every prayer. There is great benefit in doing so:

“And when your Lord proclaimed, “If you are thankful, surely I will increase you, but if you are thankless My chastisement is surely terrible.” (Quran 14:7)

 

2 Should We Follow The Majoirty?

Where they teach us how to hate

There are hadith indicating that we should not sway from the view of the majority of Muslims, but what about the majority of people on earth?

The Quran gives a clear verse on following the majority of people in the world, explaining that the majority will follow their desires rather than correct guidance. So let’s rise up to do good, even if the world teaches otherwise.

And if you obey most of those in the earth, they will mislead you from the way of God. They follow but assumption / conjecture (Zana) and they only guess / lie (Yakhrasun)” (Quran 6:116)

 

3 We All Came From Adam

What they don’t know that we all came from one soul

Similar to the belief of other monotheistic religions, God created Adam, followed by Eve.

We are Adam and Eve’s descendants, and therefore all part of one wider race. This line in the song helps setup for the coming verses about uniting and seeing past the colour of our skin.

“O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allah is ever, over you, an Observer.” (Quran 4:1)

 

4 Not In Our Name

Ok, I’m not what they show, we’re terrorists nor am I a criminal

The media often portrays Islam as a violent religion, however the Quran and Hadith are against the idea of killing innocent people.

Nasheed artist Safe Adam recently wrote a song against terrorism titled Not In My Namehave a listen (contains Music).

Whoever kills a mu’ahid [non-combatant, innocent non-Muslim] will not smell the scent of paradise …” (Bukhari)

 

5 There’s only One Sect

Cuz we gotta rise up, and teach the world to unite

Teaching the world to unite is not an easy task, it starts at home and within our communities and religion.

There are many sects in Islam, but did you know that the Quran actually warns against diving the religion?

“Verily, those who divide their religion and break up into sects (all kinds of religious sects), you (O Muhammad SAW) have no concern in them in the least. Their affair is only with Allah, Who then will tell them what they used to do” (Quran 6:159)

 

6 This World Is Not Worth It

This world’s full of imperfections, hatred and corruption

The Quran constantly reminds us that the next life is much better than the one we are in. This world is not perfect by any measure.

“Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion.” (Quran 3:185)

 

7 Start With The Man In The Mirror

But we still ain’t took a minute to solve the problems that’s within them

Micheal Jackson made a great point with his track “Man In The Mirror“, a point that is in-line with the Quran.

We need to change ourselves before we can expect change from others.

“For each one are successive [angels] before and behind him who protect him by the decree of Allah . Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. And when Allah intends for a people ill, there is no repelling it. And there is not for them besides Him any patron.” (Quran 13:11)

 



 8 Prayer United

Then we stand in the mosque, close together, waiting for the prayer to start. Looking like a united team but our hearts are far apart

Everyone knows that we shouldn’t leave gaps in our rows during prayer, and that the row should be straight.

But Why?

If we create ragged rows, Allah fills our hearts with emnity towards each other. Sometimes we hear that the devil will join the Salah, and to this some scholars believe that the prophet was not talking about the actual devil but a metaphoric devil of hatred between each other.

Whatever the case, it’s best to close the gaps and keep our lines straight.

It was narrated that Al-Bara ibn `Azib said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to go between the rows from one side to another, patting our shoulders and chests and saying: ‘Do not make your rows ragged or your hearts will be filled with enmity toward one another.’ And he used to say: ‘Allah and His angels send Salah upon the front rows.”‘ (An-Nasa’i)

 

9 Let’s Be Kind Again

It’s mad I joined this religion for a change
I read about kindness, humility and saw paradise within range

Muslim Belal connects his personal life to the song in this verse.

When reading about the prophets of God, we find they were kind, humble and sincere people. Over 1400 years on and we are starting to deviate from their ways.

Maybe this was bound to happen. It has been 1400 years after all… but we can try to bring things back to how they once were, by starting with ourselves.

“Indeed, Allah enjoins justice, and the doing of good to others; and giving like kindred; and forbids indecency, and manifest evil, and wrongful transgression. He admonished you that you may take heed”. (Quran 16:91)

 

10 Save A Life Bargin

So put down the guns, cuz to save one life is to save everyone

“Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.” (Quran 5:32)

 

11 Should We Protest?

We can no longer be quiet, We will no longer be silent
Those who seek to oppress us, will be faced with resistance

It’s a tough question that scholars debate.

We are taught to obey those in authority and give them their rights, but if that authority goes against Islam we should stand up and side with Allah and his Messenger, while still giving them their rights.

“O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result.” (Quran 4:59)

“The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: In the near future there will be Amirs (rulers) and you will like their good deeds and dislike their bad deeds. One who sees through their bad deeds (and tries to prevent their repetition by his hand or through his speech), is absolved from blame, but one who hates their bad deeds (in the heart of his heart, being unable to prevent their recurrence by his hand or his tongue), is (also) safe (so far as God”s wrath is concerned). But one who approves of their bad deeds and imitates them is spiritually ruined. People asked (the Prophet): Shouldn’t we fight against them? He replied: No, as long as they say their prayers.” (Muslim 4569)

 

Final Thoughts

Clearly lots of hard work has gone into this track and it’s refreshing to see such a well-produced track with no music.

The sound, message and video have been thought through in great detail, even though they are from different parts of the globe.

I’m going to give this track a high rating, do you agree? Feel free to leave yours using the star system below.

Lyrics: 10/10
Vocals: 10/10
Production: 10/10
Uniqueness: 9/10
References & Reflection: 10/10

IMH Rating: 49/50 

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Rise Up MP3

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