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Stories · 10. Soldiers of Allah Interview
In the context of the mainstream media, the phrase Soldiers of Allah brings many pictures to mind: terrorists, suicide bombing, beheading. Before all that in the late 90s, Soldiers of Allah was a group of young Muslims making music to spread the message of Islam. Soldiers of Allah was one of the first, if not the first Islamic hip hop groups to put their music on the net and get major attention. When MP3.com was the only hub for new artists to share their songs to the masses, Soldiers of Allah was a hugely popular feature.

Though most people might think Soldiers of Allah was a name selected to symbolize violence, this was not the case: We were young, energetic, and we thought it sounded like a cool name. I guess it wasn't really thought through and if I could go back and change it, I would. The name could easily be misunderstood because it sounds too militant, something that we definitely weren't said the founder of the group.

What has perplexed Soldiers of Allahs fiercely loyal fans is why the group suddenly vanished into thin air. Some think they were silenced by the government, given the bands departure from the net shortly after 9/11: The project was only meant as temporary project. The goal wasn't to start a music band up and make money, but rather use the tool of music to pass the message of Islam. After a while, I noticed that the music was increasing the emotions of the people, instead of making them think. This was not my intention and I decided that the tool of music may not necessarily be the best tool to use since people's emotions can easily be attached to it. Also, since there was no copyright with the music, random people started taking the songs, putting pictures of other people on it, and claiming it that they were Soldiers of Allah. Today, you'll find different websites about Soldiers of Allah that are unauthorized by Soldiers of Allah and claim they are Soldiers of Allah.

Even though Soldiers of Allah left the net shortly after 9/11, many fans still felt they would have supported such an attack on non-Muslims. This proved to be another falsehood: 9/11 was a tragedy, its sad. Once again, after all the killing, what was accomplished? Nothing. Terrorism has nothing to do with Islam and any Muslim who claims it does, doesn't understand Islam.

The most appealing factor for most fans of Soldiers of Allah was their uncompromising viewpoints on the Islamic state and outright condemnation of most rulers of the Muslim and non-Muslim world. Many years later, viewpoints have clearly shifted: I was new to Islam and I was only really exposed to one method of thinking. I was surrounded by people who thought the same way. Over the year, I have had time to think and reflect, and now I realize that the problem with the Ummah is that it doesn't follow Islam. What you see today in the news are just the symptoms of what happens when you don't follow Islam the way the Prophet (saw) showed us how to follow it. Instead, we have Muslims doing and saying crazy things that have nothing to do with Islam but claiming that it is from Islam.

The group had its fair share of hate mail from non-Muslims who heard their music on MP3.com. In terms of their Muslim listeners, the feedback was quite different: Alhamdulillah, we received a lot of positive feedback. Although many people became emotional with the song, there was still a large group of people that emailed us that told us the songs made them think. Many of them told us that they came back to Islam because of it.

If you listened to Soldiers of Allah, youd know their solution to the crisis facing our Ummah today: the establishment of one Islamic nation that all Muslims would be ruled under. Today, the founders viewpoint is less dramatic: Follow Islam the way the Prophet (saw) followed it. Today, all you see is bloodshed, killing, and at the end of the day, you have nothing but dead bodies. People have this concept that violence, war and revenge will bring peace. It doesn't. How many more must be bury until we realize that our condition will not change until we change what is within ourselves.

I know you are all wondering when Soldiers of Allah will come back, well its probably not going to happen: It has been brought up a few times but no action has ever really been taken to think that it would. Brothers have moved into different cities, got married, etc. When youre young and single, you have much more time.

Rest assured the legacy of Soldiers of Allah lives on. The times are different and situation has changed since then, but the concept of spreading the message of Islam through music lives on and will continue for years to come inshallah.

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