Barbados born Rihanna issued an apology to Muslims on Tuesday after being criticized for using a song that sampled a recitation from Islam’s sacred hadith for her 2020 Savage X Fenty fashion show last week.
“I’d like to thank the Muslim community for pointing out a huge oversight that was unintentionally offensive in our savage x fenty show,” Rihanna wrote in her Instagram Stories. “I would more importantly like to apologize to you for this honest, yet careless mistake.”
Models clad in Rihanna’s colorful lingerie walked the catwalk and danced to “Doom,” a 2017 EDM song by London-based producer Coucou Chloe, during a segment of the Savage X Fenty Vol. 2 show. The remix was called out in the past and reignited backlash for being sexualized in the fashion show, which got a splashy release on Amazon Prime Video last week.
In Islam, it is considered haram, or forbidden, to use Allah’s name or the words of the Quran or the Prophet Muhammad (saw) impolitely. The hadith is a record of Prophet Muhammad’s words and actions.
Speaking to Loop News in the wake of this incident and the subsequent backlash on social media, President of the Barbados Muslim Association Dr Abdul Mohammed said, “Religious text is considered sacred and it’s inappropriate use or abuse is desecration.” However, he went on to say:
“In Islam the condition for forgiveness are:
1)Expressing remorse and regret over an action
2)Resolving not to repeat the mistake again.”
Therefore, he insisted, “If Rihanna acknowledged that it was an error and apologised, especially stating that it was an inadvertent error, then I think the issue ends there.”
He said that this can be seen as a teachable moment. “I encourage others to read and learn about the simplicity of Islam and ease with which God forgives.”
Coucou Chole took responsibility for the lyrics and also issued an apology.
I take full responsibility for the fact I did not research these words properly and want to thank those of you who have taken the time to explain this to me. We have been in the process of having the song urgently removed from all streaming platforms. 2/2
— COUCOU CHLOE (@coucou_chloe) October 5, 2020