Sonorous black Saudi cleric rescinds objection to fatwa against singing
An imam whose voice helped him become the first black Saudi to lead prayers at Mecca’s Grand Mosque said he was wrong to speak against a fatwa prohibiting singing, in the latest spat between reformist and conservative clerics in the kingdom.
King Abdullah’s push for reform has fostered divisions among senior Saudi clerics, and Adil Kalbani shocked conservative clerics in June by speaking in favor of singing, saying neither the Koran nor Prophet Mohammad’s sayings prohibited it.
(Photo: Saudi singer Abdul Majeed Abdullah at Qatar’s Song Festival in Doha, January 11, 2007/Fadi Al-Assaad)
But, in remarks published by Saudi al-Hayat newspaper on Wednesday, Kalbani said that he had discussed the fatwa with people including Islamic Affairs Minister Saleh bin Abdul-Aziz bin Mohammad al-Sheikh and had changed his mind.
“Most singing today … brings with it debauchery, obscenity and abomination. Even conservative singing authorized by some clerics can be described as drivel at the very least,” he said.
For a sample of his voice, here’s a video of Kalbani leading prayers at the Grand Mosque in Mecca: