Beliefnet
His sound is more Peter, Paul and Mary than Dylan, but Canadian singer Dawud Wharnsby Ali sings of how the times are a-changing. But Wharnsby's audience is Muslim, and his message is about being a Muslim of good character. Most of his tunes are sung in English (the others are in Arabic) and directed toward Muslims living Western cultures where, as a religious minority, their beliefs, values and even their clothing can seem out of step with the mainstream.

"Faith is more essential than fashion," Wharnsby chants in "The Veil," a provocative tune that portrays Western women's fashion as indecent while celebrating Muslim modesty. "Full of Humility" urges Muslims to set aside pride and be grateful for Allah's blessings. "What Did I do Today?" beckons Muslims to ponder their daily actions.

Wharnsby is a strict interpreter of the faith, and his music has a spare simplicity to match. Wharnsby relies on a cappella harmonies or light percussion accompaniments to convey his message, and almost all the tunes have the catchy, singable overtones of summer camp songs. The sound is rich enough appeal to Western ears, but the teachings of Islam are clearly Wharnsby's reason for singing.

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