A Pakistani musician’s decision to quit singing in the name of religion has stirred the pot, attracting both brickbats and bouquets from fans and other celebrities.
Singer, songwriter and composer Abdullah Qureshi emerged from a social media hiatus on Thursday to announce that he had quit music for “religious reasons”. In a detailed post on Instagram, he said he had a great time making music, playing concerts, “getting loved and appreciated, facing controversies, making some wrong decisions…”
He is also turning his back on ads and concerts.
“I know I’ve been lost since a long time and I have received a ton of messages in this time asking about where I have been. i was on a break, pressed the pause button for a while and took this time to find who I was, where I’m headed and who do I want to become,” he wrote, before announcing that he was quitting for “purely” religious reasons.
Qureshi’s decision has come as a shock to his fans, though for the most part, the response has been positive. But many have questioned whether music is really un-Islamic.
Actor and director Hamza Ali Abbasi, for instance, tweeted his support to Quershi but added, “just want to share my discovery that Music is not completely haraam in Islam.”
However, another well-known Pakistani singer, Natasha Beg, urged her fans on social media no to villianise music. Without directly naming Quershi, she questioned the trend musicians and singers leaving their art in the name of Islam.
“I will never accept those musicians or actors who leave behind their career in the name of awakening,” she wrote in an Instagram post. Our acts might be something that Islam never appreciates, but music is divine and it has nothing to do with any sinful act unless you are unable to control your nafs and nafs can become a problem in any profession.”
Pakistani VJ and actor Anoushey Ashraf reposted Beg’s Instagram story.
Abdullah Qureshi is not the only celebrity who has left the entertainment industry. The late Singer and songwriter Junaid Jamshed and actor Hamza Ali Abbasi also gave up their craft in the name of religion.
Quereshi has an army of fans and gained fame for his rendition of covers of popular songs on YouTube. His version of Afreen Afreen was a huge hit. He also featured in popular music TV programme Nescafé Basement Season 4 and performed an original song Awaz Do.
However, his career has been dogged by controversy, especially after he was accused of sending inappropriate messages to women on social media. Last year, he issued a public apology, blaming his behaviour on “fetishes”.
“I apologise to everyone for all this….But yes, I did have a drinking problem and I do have fetishes. But everyone has fetishes,” he stated at the time.
But his public apology did little to appease all. “The problem with Abdullah Qureshi’s move to become religious is that he’ll regain the privileges he lost after being exposed but the victims might never recover from the trauma and will continue living a miserable life, just like all other womxn in the country,” said a Twitter user, Mudassir Anwar.
The problem with Abdullah Qureshi's move to become religious is that, he'll regain the privileges he lost after being exposed but the victims might never recover from the trauma and will continue living a miserable life, just like all other womxn in the country.
— Mudassir Anwar (@MuddassirAnwar) October 6, 2022
I hope someone with a high number of followers remind people that singer Abdullah Qureshi had previously admitted to harassment, substance abuse etc.
Him telling us that he has gone pious, left music and going on a spritual journey might unfold with a bigger scandal. https://t.co/eyJI1KY7qH
— Samreen (@ucinfected) October 6, 2022