Rihanna faces backlash for using Islamic Hadith clip in raunchy fashion show

Rihanna faces backlash for using Islamic Hadith clip in raunchy fashion show
The singer has found herself in hot water with some Twitter users after using an Islamic Hadith during her 2020 Savage X Fenty Show.
3 min read
05 October, 2020
Rihanna came under fire after using an Islamic Hadith clip in the runway show [Getty]
Superstar singer Rihanna came under fire on Tuesday after using an Islamic Hadith clip in the runway show of her fashion brand Fenty.

The 32-year-old artist, whose full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, was slammed for using sacred Muslim saying in the 'Savage X Fenty Show', which debuted on Amazon Prime on October 2. 

Videos of a segment of the show circulated on social media, showing models in lingerie posing, walking and dancing to a remix of what appears to be an Arabic-language Hadith sped up and mixed with dance music.

The song, called "Doom" and created by London producer named Coucou Chloe, uses vocal samples from verses of the Hadith mixed into the beat. The topic of the Hadith used is reportedly about judgment day and the end of times.

Hadiths are highly revered records of the traditions or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad and are sacred to Muslims.

While many Muslims were angered by the clip, some pinned the blame primarily on the music producer.

"I think [the clip] was offensive, but I don't feel personally offended by Rihanna, because I think it is easy to miss the fact that it's a Hadith," Influencer Ruqaiya Haris told The New Arab.

"If I, as a Muslim, did not immediately recognise that it was a Hadith, then its very likely that the people involved in the production and Rihanna herself would have missed that, because it was not very clear," Haris said.

"I think the responsibility of the artist who made the song and deliberately used a Hadith. Critisicim should be levelled at them, and not at Rihanna, because its very easy to miss something like that."

Other angry fans took to Twitter to voice their outrage and demand an apology. 

"It's extremely disrespectful and inappropriate. Hadith are sacred words of our prophet, she can't use it for dance show," one Twitter user said. "She always preaches to appreciate diversity but look, her hypocrisy really popped off."

"Rihanna is responsible for this even if she didn't choose the music. she hired her team and she must've heard the songs beforehand and just because she’s Rihanna doesn't give her a free pass to disrespect a religion," another user said.

"Rihanna I love you but please do your research next time. Hope she issue an apology to the Muslim community," a fan said.

Others pointed out that the use of sound clip was intentional.

"I think the person who created the song knew what they were doing," one Twitter user said.

"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?"

Another user said: "Okay the fact that Rihanna's show was supposed to be a keystone for 'inclusion' while she completely alienated the Muslim community by disrespecting a Hadith recitation is the perfect showcase of how fashion brands & the media have never considered us as a part of their audience."

Rihanna and her team are yet to address the controversy.

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