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"Insh Allah, you'll find your way": En innehållsanalys av muslimsk popmusik
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, The Social Sciences of Religion.
2016 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This paper has three aims: to identify how Islam and Muslims are pictured in Muslim popular music, to examine if the message has been adjusted dependig on the listener, and if the music can be used in the construction of identities. To achieve this aim, music by the artists Sami Yusuf and Maher Zain have been analyzed. The research questions are; which images of Islam and Muslims are being portrayed through the music of Sami Yusuf and Maher Zain? Are there any differences in the images and the messages depending on who the listener is? What meaning can the music have for the constuction of individual and collective forms of identity?

The material consists of 52 song lyrics which have been studied using the method of content analysis. The data were analyzed in relation to Mediatization Theory as described by Hjarvard, Schofield Clark and Lövheim, as well as Ammerman's theory on identity and religion.

The result of the study shows that Muslim popular music portray Islam as a religion of love that promotes peace. According to the themes that were identified Muslims are pictured as people who have gone through hardships, who have left their old life behind them and found inner peace with the help of Allah. Muslims are portrayed as people who love their families and the Prophet Muhammad, and they worship Allah and believe in an afterlife. Only small differences in the music's message depending on the receiver were found. One difference is that songs in English tend to contain a smaller amount of references to religion than songs that are sung in for example Arabic. The result show that muslim popular music can help the construction of identities because it portrays a different kind of image of Islam compared to the negative image portrayed by the media. The music also provides the listener with biographical stories to identify with and invities people to Islam. Moreover, the songs challenge both Western modernity and traditional Islam.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 42 p.
Keyword [en]
popular music, religion, Islam, Mediatization theory, Sami Yusuf, Maher Zain
Keyword [sv]
populärmusik, religion, islam, medialisering, Sami Yusuf, Maher Zain
National Category
Religious Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-295447OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-295447DiVA: diva2:933724
Subject / course
Sociology of Religion
Educational program
Upper Secondary School Teacher Education Programme
Available from: 2016-06-15 Created: 2016-06-07 Last updated: 2016-06-15Bibliographically approved

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