Ebrahim Moosa - Radio Islam International | 29 Rabi ul Akhir 1439/17 January 2018
The recent passing of Nasheed artist Mishary al Aradah has prompted an outpouring of emotions from across the Muslim World.
Al Aradah, who hails from Kuwait, passed away in a car accident in neighbouring Saudi Arabia last Sunday. He was just 35.
Circumstances around the incident which claimed his life are unclear. The deceased was subsequently transferred to Kuwait, where a huge number of people attended his burial which took place at the country’s second largest cemetery.
Short but impactful life
Al Aradah was born in August 1982 in the Yarmouk suburb of Kuwait. He studied and achieved qualifications from Kuwait University’s Faculty of Arts, Department of Philosophy as well as specializations from the Faculty of Sharia and Islamic Studies. He also studied at the University of Sharjah for a year.
He worked in the Ministry of Education in the State of Kuwait and also served in the private sector. Al Aradah subsequently moved on to becoming a media consultant for charitable and Islamic organisations as well as certain government departments.
His lyrical prowess was evident early on with Al Aradah singing Anasheed as a child. He featured in an album of folk songs released in 1995 and went on to produce several individual recordings of his own.
In 1999, he joined a group of artists in the release of his first professionally produced Nasheed album. He thereafter went on to share his Anasheed widely at events in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Indonesia and Australia amongst other places.
Al Aradah collaborated with many well established Arabic poets in the process of compiling his Anasheed. He was honoured by, amongst others, the Emir of Kuwait, official structures in Kuwait as well as the Radio and Television Corporation of Sharjah for his contributions to media, charity and the Anasheed genre.
A notable feature of his Anasheed was his eagerness to attach them to the media campaigns or charitable organisations so as to generate greater support for worthy causes.
To this end, he produced Anasheed for campaigns run by the Kuwaiti Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs as well as the International Islamic Charitable Organization.
Just prior to his demise, it had been announced that Al Aradah began raising funds to build a humanitarian complex in Bangladesh under the supervision of the Nuri Charity Association.
At the height of the Nasheed wave, his Ya-Raja’ee series produced in collaboration with other artists was most popular. Other notable Anasheed performed by him included Ummi Filasteen and Aqbalta ya Ramadan, with Farshit Turaab and its accompanying video proving to be his most prominent production.
Al Aradah was also said to have excelled in the recitation of the Qur’aan. With a sense of foreboding, one of his last tweets quoted from Surah Maryam: “And all of them are coming to Him [Allah] on the Day of Qiyamah alone”.
Al Aradah’s demise drew reactions from a number of Ulama across the Arab world. The Kuwaiti scholar, Nabil Al-Awadhi, said through his account on Twitter: "The voice that reminded us of what follows the life of the world, has left to the Lord of Mercy, I ask Allah to forgive him and have mercy on him”.
There were also reactions from Qari and Munshid Mishary Rashid, Sheikh Aidh al Qarni and former Imams of Masjid al Haram and Masjid Nabawi respectively, Sheikh Adel al Kalbani and Sheikh Sa’d al Ghamidy.
Kuwaiti artist Humoud Khadr wrote: "My artistic beginnings were with him in the song" Ummi Filisteen "in 2000. I learned from him the good choice of words, the care for the message and the value, and the use of art to spread the good and good words.”
Syrian Munshid Yahya Hawwa referenced Al Aradah’s tweet of the Quranic ayah and noted him as one of the most influential personalities in the field of Anasheed approximately a decade ago.
With reference to the Nasheed Farshit Turaab, he added: "I hear the song now and tear me tears ... As if he was lamenting himself and talking about himself, O Allah ... Oh Allah, reform our deeds... Give us the best of endings, O Allah, have mercy on my brother Mishary Al Aradah.”
(Source for many biographical details is Elbalad News)