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Rihanna Apologises For Using Islamic Verse At Lingerie Fashion Show

Rihanna has apologized for using a song that disrespected Islam in her Savage X Fenty Vol. 2 fashion show | Image: VT

Rihanna apologised to the Muslim community on Tuesday following criticism for using a song that sampled a recitation from Islam’s sacred hadith during her recent Savage X Fenty fashion show.

The Barbadian singer whose show was initially praised for its inclusivity was called out by several Muslim on social media for disrespecting the religion.

Rihanna, in a post on her Instagram story, admitted that the use of the controversial song was an “honest, yet careless” mistake.

“I’d like to thank the Muslim community for pointing out a huge oversight that was unintentionally offensive in our savage x fenty show,” she wrote in an apology that was shared on her IG stories as well as on her Savage X Fenty’s official Instagram account.

“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 the 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.”

Rihanna performs onstage during her Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2

Rihanna performs onstage during her Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2 presented by Amazon Prime Video in Los Angeles, which was broadcast on Oct. 2, 2020. | Image: Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for Savage X Fenty

During the show which premiered Friday on Amazon Prime Video, the controversial song titled “Doom” a song which reportedly samples vocals of a Hadith being read in Arabic was played as models dressed in lingerie strutted around.

The Hadith is believed to be a record of the words, actions, and the silent approval of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Hadith have been called “the backbone” of Islamic civilization, and in Islam, the authority of hadith as a source for religious law and moral guidance ranks second only to that of the Quran.

Several Muslims took to social media to promptly call out Rihanna:

A twitter user, @reversecocunut tweeted: “i can’t let Rihanna have a pass w appropriating Islam like for her first show the models wore a scarf around their heads and it looked like HIJAB and her second show she used a track that remixed a HADITH….why is no one talking about this, my religion is not y’all’s aesthetic… like I LOVE IT when y’all appreciate islam and use Arabic words but I am not okay with it being appropriated and belittled for things like this”

@kookdice: “as a muslim, no words can describe how disappointed i am with Rihanna for letting her models dance to hadith. Hadith are the sacred words of our prophet, you can’t just use it for your lingerie show. disgusting and extremely disrespectful”

@nelirv_: “Rihanna is messed up for using a song with a Hadith in it to play at her LINGERIE show. What is up with artists using Islam as an aesthetic?? Have some respect.”

The song’s producer, London-based music artiste Coucou Chloe also apologised on Monday following the backlash. According to her, at the time the song was produced (over two years ago), she wasn’t aware that the samples which she found online were from an Islamic hadith.

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