I saw an advertisement for Maher Zain’s new album “Forgive Me” after watching one of my good friend’s video (Raef) and decided to check it out.  I looked at the track list and saw he had a track called “Mawlaya” and another “Mawlaya (Arabic)” which made me decide to check it out.  At first I was going to buy just the 2 tracks but I decided that I might as well get the entire album for my family too.  I am not an avid music listener and I don’t want to get into the delicate discussion of music and it’s permissibility or impermissibility. So on to the review!

I’ve decided to review the album track by track:

1. “I Love You So” – This is a slow Jazz and R&B type of song. It highlights the believer’s love for Allah and expresses the feeling of finally experiencing this.

2. “Number One For Me” – This is an awesome song. It is upbeat R&B type of song dedicated to thanking his mother and expressing his love for his mother.  Great song to share with your mother!

3. “Mawlaya” – Clearly a typical classical Arabic themed song. He recites the chorus of the famous poem, Qasida al-Burda, along with salawat on the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). The lyrics are an English discussing his love for the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

4. “My Little Girl” (feat. Aya Zain) – This is a beautiful slow R&B song that will probably bring sisters to tears and maybe even some brothers. It will definitely go straight to the heart of fathers of daughters. Clearly by the title it’s exactly about that relationship, the father-daughter relationship.

5. “Forgive Me” – The lyrics for this song are a excellent reminder to check ourselves and repent to Allah. It has that pop/R&B beat to it.

6. “One Big Family” – I found this track kind of cheesy (Sorry Maher and Awakening!), but I am guessing they needed a track to address unity amongst our ummah.

7. “Assalamu Alayka” – Another classical Arabic beat on this track. Those who love Arabic nasheeds will love this. It’s about sending salutations to the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and visiting Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

8. “Paradise” – They did a good job of using the Quranic description of jannah and putting it into a song sung by a person who finally got there. I like this one because it gives one the hope of getting to jannah.

9. “Masha Allah” – Another Arabic song similiar to “Assalamu Alayka” except more festive for weddings.  If you loved that, you’ll love this.  It has Arabic lyrics so I didn’t break it down, but I’m sure he’s saying something good because of the “masha Allah’s”. 😀

10. “Radhitu Billahi Rabba” – A hybrid Arabic/English nasheed about Allah and us as slaves worshipping Allah.

11. “Freedom” – Like “One Big Family”, I feel that they needed to make a song about politics and the struggle of people under oppressive situations so this is what this song is about. Sounds like a pop-rock song.

12. “So Soon” – This is a slow R&B love song with lyrics of someone who has lost someone dear to them. Great lyrics and it can relate to almost everyone who has lost someone very close to them.

13. “Muhammad (pbuh)” – The title of the track says it all. In other words, it’s great, especially if you understand the Arabic! It’s another traditional Arabic nasheed type.

14. “Guide Me All The Way” – This is the last song of the album (technically not last, but last new track) so he is making dua in the song.

Tracks 15, 16, and 17 are the Arabic only versions of “Mawlaya”, “Assalamu Alayka” and “Radhitu Billahi Rabbi”.

Summary:

This is a refreshing musical ensemble of great music and great lyrics at the same time.  It’s rare in our time to find such blessed talent with divine inspiration combined. I pray to Allah that he blesses our brother Maher Zain, Awakening Records and those who helped in producing this album. This music is a great alternative to the Justin Bieber craze.