Jump to content
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!) ×
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!)
In the Name of God بسم الله

One issue I have with English language majalis

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

I know of what you mean. I watched an hour long one about a particular topic I was interested in, and the person in question ended it with one of these melodious eulogies in English. It didn't tie in with the talk at all. I felt like I should have just stopped watching after 20 mins because as I say, the topic got lost in the emotions of other matters. 

I would feel really awkward if I had actually gone to see it in person. Reminds me of the time I ended up two rows from some funky naat session at a Barelvi mosque. They packed everyone in to see this pir and astaghfirullah it was awful. They had a group of kids singing naats in Urdu I think and it was so loud, and so crowded and I was sweating cobs.

Never, ever, again.

Edited by aaaz1618
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Forum Administrators

Yes, the speech style doesn’t translate well to English. It’s not just the words of a language, but also the flow, rhythm, and melody.

There are so many styles that would work better for English. Look at public speakers (or even Christian preachers) for tips on delivery. 

My opinion is that most Muslim speakers are not skilled public speakers, and use the Arabic style because it sounds the most “Islamic” and familiar. It’s just tradition. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators
23 minutes ago, realizm said:

:salam:

I understand when it's a elder speaking. 

When he's young > awkward

Do you mean these young brothers who grow up speaking perfect accentless english but suddenly develop an Arabic accent when they start lecturing?

May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) forgive us all.

Wallahu a'lam

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Veteran Member

:salam:

1 hour ago, Mahdavist said:

Do you mean these young brothers who grow up speaking perfect accentless english but suddenly develop an Arabic accent when they start lecturing?

May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) forgive us all.

Wallahu a'lam

Precisely.

31 minutes ago, notme said:

It might sound strange to mimic the Arabic style in English, but give it time; eventually English language majalis will develop its own sound. 

If you look up majalis from Senegal or Ghana, you will find the brothers developped their own reciting style. It is because they have no ancestral tie to Shia Islam, unlike the western fellows of Iranian or Iraqi descent who feel the need to ressemble the elders.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators
48 minutes ago, realizm said:

If you look up majalis from Senegal or Ghana, you will find the brothers developped their own reciting style. It is because they have no ancestral tie to Shia Islam, unlike the western fellows of Iranian or Iraqi descent who feel the need to ressemble the elders

Oh I had forgotten about that! The west African style is unique and beautiful! 

But as western Islam becomes more its own thing rather than a subset of middle eastern Islam, it will naturally develop its own characteristic methods. 

The change will be gradual and slow unless someone breaks from the awkward tradition, does something that people like, then others emulate it. That would move things along more quickly. 

Edited by notme
Autocorrect incorrect
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Veteran Member

I appreciate the effort. The alternative is just 'saying' it straight out in English which evokes zero emotion. English is not the most poetic language so even though it can be a bit awkward, I think I prefer it. 

This is probably the most emotional English can sound: 

 

Edited by ireallywannaknow
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators
3 minutes ago, ireallywannaknow said:

English is not the most poetic language 

I don't think that's true. It has its own rhythm and patterns. Have you read poetry that was natively written in English? The good stuff is quite evocative. Even some English prose is poetic. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Veteran Member
Just now, notme said:

I don't think that's true. It has its own rhythm and patterns. Have you read poetry that was natively written in English? The good stuff is quite evocative. Even some English prose is poetic. 

Oh like spoken word? 

PS. I especially like the way sheikh Hamza sodagar does his melodious style of English majlis. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Veteran Member
48 minutes ago, ireallywannaknow said:

The alternative is just 'saying' it straight out in English which evokes zero emotion.

Why does it have to between either these extremes and no middle way?

For example, Sayid Moustafa al Qazwini in his series on Imam Ali (عليه السلام) spoke in an engaging, emotive way without having to add any melody to his voice. Granted it is not a majlis, but was sufficient in bringing out emotions in me, especially from 17:55, I ask anyone to watch from there until the end and tell me they felt zero emotions.

 

Edited by Propaganda_of_the_Deed
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Veteran Member
1 hour ago, Propaganda_of_the_Deed said:

Why does it have to between either these extremes and no middle way?

For example, Sayid Moustafa al Qazwini in his series on Imam Ali (عليه السلام) spoke in an engaging, emotive way without having to add any melody to his voice. Granted it is not a majlis, but was sufficient in bringing out emotions in me, especially from 17:55, I ask anyone to watch from there until the end and tell me they felt zero emotions.

 

Maybe I'm not quite understanding what you are referring to in your original post. I would ask you to link an example of what you mean but that might be gheeba. Maybe we have different things in mind... 

Edited by ireallywannaknow
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Veteran Member
6 minutes ago, ireallywannaknow said:

Maybe I'm not quite understanding what you are referring to in your original post. I would ask you to link an example of what you mean but that might be gheeba. Maybe we have different things in mind... 

Indeed, there are plenty examples I can find but would not want to single out anyone in particular in this manner.

But I am glad to see I wasn't the only one anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Nani-Amma

Azadari of Imam Hussain AS took its own distinct form in the Indian sub continent. The majlis structure took its own form of, describing good qualities of Prophet and Ahlul Bayt, followed by rebutting some allegations, both Fiqhi and Ideological, followed by the Grief part, translated as masaeb. Before the lecture part of the majlis, there were two forms added, one was poetry in the praise and other was poetry in the grief. Even before that, there was the Hadith Kisa followed by some Qur'an recitation but both get dropped and picked up given the times and schedules. 

Majlis always ends up with the matam or the standing up hitting your chest while in tandem chanting the names of Imams or some religious poetry. The last part is always the Ziarat, or the standing Salam to the Prophet and all the Imams including the martyrs of Karbala. 

But it took almost 1200 years to get to this though. So like sister @notme said, the western majlis would take some time to get its own form eventually.

Meanwhile justice bear with it, our grand kids would have a much more uniform and stable form of azadari in the West InshAllah. Our struggle would be to keep sticking to it, and transfer it to our next generation in more stronger and solid form. It would be a great injustice to ourselves if we cringe on that part. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Veteran Member
23 minutes ago, haideriam said:

What do you think of this variation?

Sorry but this is kind of what I was talking about. I just feel this is most suited for Arabic/Farsi, not English. I am not a fan.

At some point or another most speakers using this style lose their rythmn and it sounds inconsistent, maybe because English oration was never used for this style, adding melody, etc. One can still add a solemn and an emotive tone without the melody.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Veteran Member
1 minute ago, Propaganda_of_the_Deed said:

Sorry but this is kind of what I was talking about. I just feel this is most suited for Arabic/Farsi, not English. I am not a fan.

At some point or another most speakers using this style lose their rythmn and it sounds inconsistent, maybe because English oration was never used for this style, adding melody, etc. One can still add a solemn and an emotive tone without the melody.

Hey no problem brother, that is what individuality is all about.

I love the adaptation from the older traditional reciters keeping the cultural ties intact cross mixing them to an audience that understand a different language. 

Continuity comes to mind. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Forum Administrators
44 minutes ago, haideriam said:

Hey no problem brother, that is what individuality is all about.

I love the adaptation from the older traditional reciters keeping the cultural ties intact cross mixing them to an audience that understand a different language. 

Continuity comes to mind. 

One person’s continuity is another person’s awkwardness and cultural confusion...

Like @notme said, eventually a distinct natural English style will emerge, but until then, this is what we got.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...
  • Veteran Member
4 minutes ago, Sumerian said:

lol bruv most of the crowd are English-speaking Arabs or Iranians/Pakistanis anyway. They easily relate to this style. 

I don't know, I fall into the above mentioned category, and I find it a bit cringe as I mentioned. It is fine in Arabic and other Eastern languages, but doesn't suit English.

Do really "they easily relate"? Especially the youth? Or is it all they know or have heard?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Propaganda_of_the_Deed said:

I don't know, I fall into the above mentioned category, and I find it a bit cringe as I mentioned. It is fine in Arabic and other Eastern languages, but doesn't suit English.

Brò I think most people are so used to the style that any deviation would be seen as cringe. 

2 minutes ago, Propaganda_of_the_Deed said:

Do really "they easily relate"? Especially the youth? Or is it all they know or have heard?

I'm a youth and I easily relate to it. I would like to see how this "distinct English style" would sound like before I judge though. But most people are just used to the hybrid style we see today.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Veteran Member
5 minutes ago, Sumerian said:

I would like to see how this "distinct English style" would sound like before I judge though. 

Check out the clip I cited in an earlier comment, in particular at the time frame

Just an example of how it could be, there may be better examples out there of distinct English eulogy speech styles. 

 

 

Edited by Propaganda_of_the_Deed
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Forum Administrators
On 5/26/2019 at 5:54 PM, ireallywannaknow said:

I appreciate the effort. The alternative is just 'saying' it straight out in English which evokes zero emotion. English is not the most poetic language so even though it can be a bit awkward, I think I prefer it. 

This is probably the most emotional English can sound: 

If you consider e.g. WW1 poetry you get an idea about how English can be made to sound emotional.

But the way English conveys emotion is different to traditional Muslim languages, so it will likely take a far greater critical mass of Shia native English speakers to come up with material that works.

Anthem for Doomed Youth

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
      — Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
      Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells; 
      Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,—
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
      And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
 
What candles may be held to speed them all?
      Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
      The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.
Edited by Haji 2003
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...