Rihanna issues apology after using sacred Muslim verses during fashion show

Muslim viewers called out Rihanna for using audio of sacred Islamic verses during her Savage x Fenty fashion show

Rihanna is often applauded for her pitch-perfect messaging. But this week the singer turned mogul found herself issuing an apology after Muslim viewers called her out for using audio of sacred Islamic verses during her Savage x Fenty fashion show.

According to CNN, during the lingerie presentation which was streamed on Amazon Prime on Friday, scantily clad models danced to “Doom,” a track by London-based producer Coucou Chloe which included a Hadith narration about the end of times and judgment day.

Rihanna's Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2 presented by Amazon Prime Video  Show & BTS
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 02: In this image released on October 2, Irina Shayk is seen onstage during Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2 presented by Amazon Prime Video at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California; and broadcast on October 2, 2020. (Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2 Presented by Amazon Prime Video)

As the publication explained, “The hadith, a written record of the sayings and actions of the Prophet Mohammed and his closest companions, is considered extremely sacred to Muslims, and come secondary only to the Quran in terms of textual authority.”

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Following a weekend of backlash from fans and supporters disappointed by the oversight, Tuesday, the Grammy-winner apologized with a message on her Instagram stories in which she directly addressed the Muslim community.

“I would like to thank the Muslim community for pointing out a huge oversight that was unintentionally offensive in our Savage x Fenty show,” she wrote. “I would more importantly like to apologize to you for this honest, yet careless mistake.”

“We understand that we have hurt many of our muslim brothers and sisters, and i’m incredibly disheartened by this!” she continued. “I do not play with any kind of disrespect toward God or any religion and therefore the use of this song in our project was completely irresponsible! Moving forward we will make sure nothing like this ever happens again. Thank you for your forgiveness and understanding, Rih.”

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“I think the person who created the song knew what they were doing,” one person tweeted in regard to the Hadith, which many claim was sped up and mixed with dance music as models galavanted on the runway. “That is a very specific hadith. U have to go looking to find it. It’s not something non-muslims know unless they research. So the fact that the song is called Doom & the hadith is about the end of times? @rihanna?”

“For us Muslims, Ahadeeth are a sacred scripture and fundamental part of our religion,” clothing designer Farrukh Ershad, who is CEO of 5ive Pillars, a fashion brand inspired by Eastern and Islamic culture, explained. “To see a Hadith used in this type of context both by the artist, and by Rihanna’s Fenty team was distasteful and disrespectful.”

The producer of the mix also stepped up to issue an apology for using the vocal samples in the song, which was created in 2018.

“I want to deeply apologize for the offence caused by the vocal samples used in my song ‘DOOM’. The song was created using samples from Baile Funk tracks I found online. At the time, I was not aware that these samples used text from an Islamic Hadith,” tweeted Coucou Chloe.


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