“Don’t seek to be known, seek to be pure.”
Why I Gave Up Music and Moved to Morocco (Podcast)
On this week’s TMV Podcast, Salim speaks to Sameer Khan on his journey of giving up rap and music, finding closeness to Allah, and moving to Morocco with the notion of mental and physical hijra.
To listen to the full and fascinating podcast, click below:
Speaking first on the topic of his past life, Sameer Khan explains that while his intentions may not always have been bad or evil, finding himself deeper into a world of rap battles, music awards, and creating music to please the crowds was bringing his soul down more than he realized at first – causing him to look beyond the relatively popular world of music he had created for himself.
I always had, hamdulillah, faith in Allah, and there was always something inside of me that wanted to develope to something positive. But I felt I wasn’t connecting to Allah enough…my nafs was getting negative. Intentions can become compromised.”
Sameer found himself looking for perfection, for excellence, which he tried to find in becoming a popular rap artist, without knowing that true excellence was in Allah Himself. Being in a world of music was also lonely, Sameer explained, although it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing: “You end up surrounded by people but very lonely…sometimes being alone is good though, because you’re never alone, you’re with Allah.”
His move towards becoming more spiritual and religious, and his eventual hijra to Morocco was not an overnight decision – Sameer explains that it was, in part, “the decree of Allah with my good intentions” that helped him realize the true life he wanted to live in servitude of Allah.
Hijra, Sameer explains, does not only have to be physical, but it can also be a mental move away from the negative aspects of your life that are holding you back from worshipping Allah fully. For him, by making a spiritual change in his life and making a physical move to Morocco, his hijra was one that eventually changed his life for the better.
The most important thing is to have hijra in your heart, to get rid of bad habits and start to purify yourself.”
Now, living in Morocco, Sameer has almost come full-circle: he now moderates a dhikr center where he lives in Fez, and has even (re)started a YouTube channel in which he hopes to help spread the goodness and love that can come from dhikr, the remembrance of Allah.
In the end, explains Sameer, it is always about your intentions, and whether you truly want to connect to and worship Allah – the rest, inshallah, will always come together with the Will of Allah.
To listen to the rest of the podcast, click below: