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Faith Through The Arts

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With a goal of expressing Allah-consciousness and faith through the prism of culture, Faith Through the Arts is currently looking for community members interested in sharing their artistic talents and/or who would like to support the program.

To learn more about Faith Through The Arts and how you can get involved, please email Program Chair Assad Ghani assadghani@mohammedwebb.org

Faith Through the Arts
By Assad Ghani

Asalaamu alikum,

Faith Through the Arts is an idea meant to establish a much needed space that does not necessarily exist in abundance today. While there are many Muslim-American organizations that do amazing work – places of worship, community service, social services, youth groups, civic engagement, etc, and there are secular cultural ethnic groups in our communities that host and promote arts and entertainment – a space to explore specifically how the arts can tie in, and even elevate our faith, while being American Muslims is extremely limited.


In 2023, American Muslims, especially our youth, are encountering a clash and a large disparity between what they learn and practice in our places of worship compared to what is in secular American popular culture and in their daily social interactions. To many, popular culture may even at times feel adversarial or in conflict with what we learn about in Islam. This can often create questions in the minds of American Muslims. Alarmingly, there are increasing rates of people leaving faith altogether and many more questioning the relevancy of their faith in the face of what they encounter in the broader American culture. Also, those non-Muslims who have some proximity to our faith have many questions as well. And while there are some Americans who even respect and admire Islam, they too have questions about the relevancy of Islam in today’s America. Those questions can feel valid when there are no answers within the cultural conversations that envelope us all.


In the absence of enough spaces to explore these questions, Faith Through the Arts aims to support addressing them to serve as a bridge for people to come closer to their faith. The Arts, when produced with depth and originality, explores the human spirit and life’s most complicated questions. The Arts have the ability to expand horizons, and build a social conscious and community in a way that can feel relevant to our daily lives. Topics of life and death, social justice, resilience, and matters of the human spirit are all rich subject matters for communal expression. American cultural conversations are often lead by lyricists, musicians, comedians, authors, script writers, actors, and other cultural curators. There are very limited representations of faith in these very important cultural conversations and many important viewpoints are left out as a result. The concept of Faith Through the Arts can help to fill the void in these conversations by positively representing Islam.


One great example of someone in the public spotlight who’s trajectory is a prime example of the concept of Faith Through the Arts is the popular musician, Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam. His music prior to his conversion to Islam was one of existential questioning, searching for the truth, and a quest for purpose in life. Music unquestionably helped lead him to a disposition and a path of deeper soul-searching that left him open to the possibilities of what Islam could offer. He finally found his faith while nearly drowning to death, and he gave himself to Islam. He then subsequently adopted a viewpoint that shunned his entire musical career for many long years. This viewpoint was that musical performance takes one away from one’s faith. Several decades later, we find Cat Stevens/Yusuf with a drastically altered stance. Over the last 15 years, he has reembraced his musical past and not only performs the Cat Stevens’ music of the past, but also creates and performs new original music. While his pre-conversion music served as a force pushing him to search his soul more deeply, his post-conversion musical output reinforces the beauty of what he has discovered in Islam. He is now filling a void in the cultural conversation that many more need to join.

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MWF COMMUNITY Choir 2017

Watch our Community Choir perform at our 12th Anniversary Benefit Dinner on May 14, 2016:

At Rockefeller Memorial Chapel at the University of Chicago on May 1, 2016:

And their debut performance at our 
12th Annual Welcome Back Hajji Celebration on October 16, 2015.

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Mohammed Webb Foundation relies on the generous support and donations from community members like you to help keep all our events and programs going strong. Please consider either making a one-time or recurring donation through our website or you can donate while shopping online through AmazonSmile. We thank you for your generous donations!

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