Thursday, July 9, 2009

Michael Or Mikaeel Jackson?

Worldwide news today announced that a Michael Jackson public memorial service has been set and will take place on Tuesday, 7 July 2009 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Michael Jackson, 50, died of cardiac arrest at his rented home in Los Angeles on 25 June 2009.
As I pen this, one of the rumors widely circulated by media and fans alike is regarding Michael's alleged conversion to Islam in November 2008 and has since changed his name to 'Mikaeel'.
Below are the frequently asked questions and some answers based on facts I have gathered from the web.

Q1. The international media has announced that Michael Jackson (MJ) has converted to Islam and changed his name to 'Mikaeel'.

A1. Not true. The rumors started with a 'news coverage' by The Sun (U.K.) dated 21 November 2008 and the rest of the global tabloid (and some mainstream) media based their coverage on this news thereon. The Sun (U.K.) is famous for its often unverified stories (some are even developed from hearsay, lies or half-truth) and sensual gossips of world celebrities.

Q2. The news stated that Yusuf Islam (a.k.a. Cat Stevens) turned up during the conversion ceremony.

A2. Not true. Yusuf Islam has issued a statement on his official website stating that he was not at any kind of conversion ceremony for Michael Jackson as he was busy filming a video for a new song at the purported time.

Q3. But what about David Wharnsby who claimed to be responsible for the counselling of Michael Jackson into Islam? The conversion ceremony was held at Wharnsby's studio, I heard!

A3. Not true. David Wharnsby has also issued a statement dated 26 June 2009 on his official website stating that he never had the honour or pleasure of meeting Micheal Jackson personally, nor did they ever correspond on matters of their professions, personal lives or faiths.

Q4. What about the Imam who assisted Michael Jackson with the Syahadah?

A4. Not true. The Imam in question, I believe, is Imam Zaid Shakir, who had earlier 'verified' that David Wharnsby (refer Q3) was indeed there during the conversion ceremony. He has amended his blog entry on 25 June 2009, admitting that the part about Dawud (David) Wharnsby being present at the ceremony is not true. From his entry, the Imam claims that news about the conversion came from 'a good friend who is a reliable source of information' but did not mention any names. Thus, it's still not a verified news. But the truth is, Imam Zaid Shakir WAS NOT the Imam who assisted Michael Jackson with the Syahadah as reported.

Q5. But Jermaine Jackson, Michael's brother is a Muslim!

A5. True. Jermaine converted to Islam in 1989. He has also figured heavily on the Islam Channel in the UK where he talked about his Islamic faith as well as announcing several charity projects that he plans to undertake. He is now married to Halima Rashid and resides in Los Angeles, but travel frequently to London and Bahrain. He was even in Malaysia couple of months back!

Q6. And Jermaine confirms about Michael's conversion!

A6. Not true. Jermaine only said that Michael has TAKEN INTEREST in the religion since the former's conversion in 1989. He got Michael 'a lot of books' on Islam and Michael asked him 'lots of question'. Jermaine merely conveyed about Michael's interests on Islam and never stated that Michael had indeed converted. And take note that the timeline of this 'confirmation' doesn't match. Jermaine's statement came as early as February 2007 (the one referred to as the 'confirmation' ) whereas Michael's alleged conversion took place in November 2008.

Q7. What about Jermaine's "May Allah be with you Michael, always" during the press conference after Michael died? Doesn't that indicate that Michael's a Muslim?

A7. Jermaine was of kin with Michael, so it would make sense that he would pray for the latter according to the former's own faith. Doesn't mean that Michael was Muslim.

Q8. What about the song 'Give Thanks To Allah' that Michael recorded?

A8. Not true. The song is actually performed by Zain Bhikha, a South African Muslim singer-songwriter who sounded vaguely like Michael. The song was featured in Zain's album titled 'Towards The Light' released in 2000.

Q9. But CNN reported that an Imam went to meet Michael's family to discuss about the funeral arrangements?

A9. Not true. There's no such news on CNN. You can search CNN's website.

Q10. So what was Michael Jackson's religion, actually?

A10. For the most part it is believed that Michael Jackson did not officially practice any one religion devoutly, although he did explore different alternative religions throughout his life. Michael Jackson's parents were Jehovah's Witnesses. Michael was born a Jehovah's Witness, and practiced this religion for a short period of time after his hit 'Thriller' was released. In 1987, when the Jehovah's Witnesses criticized his album, Michael Jackson announced that he has 'disassociated himself' from this religious following. For a brief period of time he wore a red string on his left wrist, a symbol of Kabbalah and was good friends with Rabbi Shmuley, an orthodox Jewish. Michael even wrote an article about his childhood, Sabbath and freedom that appeared on Beliefnet. Then of course, his interests on Islam based on his kin's conversion in 1989.

Q11. Why do you even bother what religion Michael was?

A11. Because I am a Muslim, and all these unverified claims of 'Michael died a Muslim', to me at least, is baseless and making Muslims look like fools who have the tendency to believe in rumors and unverified claims.
Muslims were once at the pinnacle of Science and Mathematics discoveries during the height of the Islamic Empire.
Muslim scientists back then conducted experiments based on hard facts and empirical evidence after long series of studies, discussions and experiments.
Unfortunately now, we choose to resort to rumors and hearsay. What a shame!
Once upon a time, Muslims contributed massively to the development in areas of Science, Mathematics, Astronomy and Physics while the Western world were indulged in superstitions, witchcraft and paranormal matters.

But at present, the Western world has 'conquered' Science, Mathematics, Astronomy and Physics while the Muslim world are indulged in superstitions, witchcraft and paranormal matters.

And unverified claims that Michael Jackson died a Muslim.

What went wrong?


Anonymous said...

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thank you and more power.



- h A r h A r h A r - said...

thank you !

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