♫ Fathi Otmani's 'The Most High' Is Yoga For The Soul


Fathi Otmani's The Most High is simply yoga for the soul.

The Amsterdam born nasheed (Islamic music) artist recently created 'The Most High', an eclectic music video praising God, with support from Islamic Relief.

'The Most High' carries a message of taubah, repentance for listeners. It questions a Muslim's heart, which is meant to be in a cognizant state of "absent from thee, I languish still". The song recognises that sometimes you do not have the strength to read the Qur'an as ethereally as you used too, and performing aeronautics while praying has clearly become a thing of the past.

Then this dainty by Otmani comes meandering its way to your ears, and attempts to heal your grieving heart. I believe it does. Listening to the track and watching the video's overly-repeated waves crashing into the coastline - it can and does undo some of the niggling troubles that were captive in your mind. If only for a few moments.

Fathi's aim for singing these hymns was to show mainstream audiences the softer, musical side to Islam and that the religion does not have room for antagonism.

He says on his site,

"I hope that my efforts in making my music can bring at least a small amount of change in people’s perception of this beautiful Deen."

Fathi's swallow-like singing style echoes the dua (supplication) Muslims make when they turn to God to ask for help. The song is a prayer, sung to higher-pitched string instruments and a pop-like beat.

fathi otmani dutch nasheed islamic music most high ya rabbi
'Wa bashir as-sabireen - and good tidings for the patient', a sublime verse to take refuge in

Amongst Fathi Otmani's work is the internationally known 'Ya Rabbi', an Arabic translation for 'Oh my Lord'. Ya Rabbi is a great contrast from his latest, although both are in essence prayers to God asking for help.

The young Dutch switches from English to Arabic in both tunes, but The Most high is enlivened with a distinctive hip hop-ish beat. It is the song that could be played in the car and sung to with friends. On the other hand, Ya Rabbi is one you could listen to in a Robert Frost-ic journey of the soul, glistening harps, in the early morning, on repeat, and... you get the visual.


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