The History of Contemporary Nasyid in Malaysia (Part 2)


1- Where were we? Oh yes. The release of AlJawaher’s debut album way back in 1979/1980. We shall now move to the middle of the 80’s. Basically like in the most part of the world, the 80’s was the year of Rock music. The Motley Crue phenomena had reached the shores of Malaysia and the youth of Malaysia were embracing it like it was one of their own. Nasyid music seems to fade away from the mainstream of local entertainment and went underground.

2- It was out of the initiative and hard work of a local and an infamous da’awah (Islamic missionary so to speak) group called Darul Arqam led by their spiritual leader Allahyarham Ustaz Ashaari Muhammad that nasyid was given a breath of fresh air to reclaim its rightful place as an alternative form of entertainment for the mass.

3- Darul Arqam or Al Arqam as they were widely known as, was a formed somewhere in 1968. Al Arqam was sentimental in promoting islam to the fullest, to an extent managed to design and construct an Islamic utopia where Islam was not just a religion but a total way of life, a feat unchallenged by any Islamic group from anywhere around the world before nor since.

4- Based in Sungai Penchala Selangor, under the wings of Darul Arqam, Odio Video Al Arqam productions was formed to provide Nasyid enthusiasts and musicians a better space and place to express their creativity singing, composing and playing percussion and in the same time promoting Islamic art and entertainment to a wider audience under the observation of Darul Arqam.

5- Odio Video Al Arqam Productions or better known as OVA Productions did not only provide a place for them to practice but also had provided them with a recording studio, helped them with the printing of cassette albums, distribution, promotion and sometimes paying gigs.

6- The first group that was formed under Darul Arqam was a nasyid group called Putera-Putera Al Arqam (The Princes of Al Arqam). The function of the group was mainly to provide some sort of an entertainment for Al Arqam members in their various events in the likes of weddings, religious talks or when the headquarter receives guests from all over the world.

7- It was from the ashes of this group that the early prototype of a formal nasyid group was formed and introduced. The pioneering prototypes, Nada Murni led by Allahyarham Ustaz Asri Ibrahim and The Zikr led by Nazrey Johani, would later develop and provide a common template that was later followed by a swarm of new generation nasyid groups soon after.

To be continued:

Nasyid Cafe: The History of Contemporary Nasyid in Malaysia (part 2)


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