Maher Zain

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Maher Zain
ماهر زين
Maher Zain performs in Konya, Turkey concert (March 2014)
Background information
Birth name Maher Mustafa Maher Zain
Born (1981-07-16) 16 July 1981 (age 33)
Tripoli, Lebanon
Origin Sweden
Genres R&B, Soul music, Pop music, World music, Acoustic music, Nasheed
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, musician, composer, music producer
Instruments Guitar, piano, keyboard, percussion, synthesizers
Years active 2009–present
Labels Awakening Records
Associated acts Irfan Makki, Mesut Kurtis
Website www.maherzain.com

Maher Zain (Arabic: ماهر زين‎ ; born 16 July 1981[1] in Tripoli, Lebanon) is a Muslim Swedish R&B singer, songwriter and music producer of Lebanese origin. With more Facebook fans than any other Muslim artist, award-winning singer-songwriter Maher Zain is one of the biggest stars in modern Islamic music.[2] He released his debut album Thank You Allah, an internationally successful album produced by Awakening Records with strong Muslim religious influences, in 2009. He released his follow-up album Forgive Me in April 2012 under the same production company.

Career[edit]

Beginnings[edit]

Maher Zain's Lebanese family immigrated to Sweden when he was eight.[3] He completed his schooling there, gaining a Bachelors degree in Aeronautical Engineering. After university, he entered the music industry in Sweden and linked up with RedOne, the Moroccan-born Swedish producer, in 2005.[4] When RedOne moved to New York in 2006, Maher Zain followed soon after to continue his music industry career in the USA producing for artists such as Kat DeLuna.[5]

On returning home to Sweden, he became engaged once more with his Islamic faith[6] and decided to move away from a career as a music producer to become a singer/songwriter of contemporary R&B music with a strong Muslim religious influence.[7]

Breakthrough success[edit]

In January 2009, Maher Zain began working on an album with Awakening Records. His debut album, Thank You Allah, with 13 songs and two bonus tracks, was released on 1 November 2009 with percussion versions and French versions of some tracks released shortly afterwards.[8]

Zain and Awakening Records successfully used social media such as Facebook, YouTube[9] and iTunes to promote tracks from the album.[10][11] In early 2010 his music very quickly gathered a huge online following in Arabic-speaking and Islamic countries as well as among young Muslims in western countries.[12] By the end of 2010, he was the most Googled celebrity in Malaysia for that year.[11] Malaysia and Indonesia have been the countries where he has had the most commercial success. The album Thank You Allah has been certified multiple platinum by Warner Music Malaysia and Sony Music Indonesia.[4] It became the highest selling album of 2010 in Malaysia.[13]

Zain sings mainly in English but has released some of his most popular songs in other languages. The song "Insha Allah", for example, is now available in English, French, Arabic, Turkish, Malay and Indonesian versions. Another song, "Allahi Allah Kiya Karo" ("Continuously Saying Allah"), is sung in Urdu and features the Pakistan born Canadian singer Irfan Makki.[10] Maher Zain had several concerts around the world including UK, USA, Malaysia, Indonesia, KSA and Egypt. He has fan clubs around the world such as Malaysia, Egypt, Morocco, etc.[14] He took part in the judging committee of "Awakening Talent Contest" for choosing Awakening Records new star in 2013.[15]

Collaborations, appearances and awards[edit]

Maher Zain in a press conference at Tangier, Morocco (February 2014)

In January 2010, Maher Zain won Best Religious Song for 'Ya Nabi Salam Alayka', on Nogoum FM, a major Middle East mainstream music station, beating other prominent singers including Hussein Al-Jismi, Mohammed Mounir and Sami Yusuf.[16]

In March 2011, Maher Zain released "Freedom",[10] a song inspired by the events and the actions of the people taking part in the Arab Spring.

Maher Zain was chosen as a Muslim Star of 2011 in a competition organized by Onislam.net.[17] In July 2011 he featured on the cover of the UK Muslim lifestyle magazine Emel.[18]

Zain was featured on Irfan Makki's track "I Believe" from his debut studio album of the same name.[19]

Maher Zain has appeared in a 40-episode Indonesian TV drama, entitled Insya-Allah. The show was aired on Malaysian satellite TV channel, Astro Oasis and Mustika HD, starting from 17 July 2012, concurrent with the broadcasting of the show on Indonesia's SCTV.[20]

In 2013, he took part in the Colors of Peace project constituting songs based on works by Fethullah Gülen on the album Rise Up where Maher Zain performs the track "This Worldly Life".[21][22]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Album details Certifications
(sales thresholds)
2009 Thank You Allah
  • 8x Platinum, Warner Music Malaysia[23]
  • 2x Platinum, Sony Music Indonesia[4]
2012 Forgive Me
  • 4x Platinum, Warner Music Malaysia[24]

Videography[edit]

Maher Zain at Tuisa charity concert in Essen, Germany (2012)
  • 2009: "Palestine Will Be Free"
  • 2010: "Thank You Allah (Alhamdulillah)"
  • 2010: "Insha Allah"
  • 2010: "Allahi Allah Kiya Karo (Live)"
  • 2010: "The Chosen One"
  • 2011: "Freedom"
  • 2011: "Ya Nabi Salam Alayka"
  • 2011: "For the Rest of My Life"
  • 2012: "Number One For Me"
  • 2012: "Forgive Me"
  • 2012: "Open Your Eyes"
  • 2012: "So Soon"
  • 2013: "Love Will Prevail"
  • 2013: "Ramadan"
  • 2014: "Muhammad (Pbuh)"
  • 2014: "Samih"
  • 2014: "Radhitu billahi rabba"
Featured in
  • 2011: "I believe" (Irfan Makki feat. Maher Zain) (in Irfan Makki's album "I Believe")
  • 2011: "Never Forget" (Mesut Kurtis feat. Maher Zain) (in Mesut Kurtis' album "Beloved")
  • 2014: "So Real" (Raef feat. Maher Zain) (in Raef's album "The Path")
  • 2014: "Eidun Saeed" (Mesut Kurtis feat. Maher Zain) (in Mesut Kurtis' album "Tabassam")

Philanthropic activities[edit]

  • Zain celebrated his birthday with his 3.9 million Facebook fans by asking them to donate money[29] to a US-based charity organization[30] that builds water wells in Africa. His fans paid more than $15,000 within a few weeks.
  • Zain took part in a London pro-Palestinian rally, joined by thousands of people, to call for the end to Israeli military action in Gaza.[31] In August 2014, Zain took part in "The Great Wall of China Trek 2014" a 10 day humanitarian mission in association with Human Appeal to raise donations for clean water to children in Gaza;.[32][33][34]
  • Ahead of performing at the 2014 Nansen Refugee Award Ceremony, Zain travelled to Lebanon with UNHCR to spend time with Syrian refugees and see UNHCR's frontline work.[35] Zain sang “One Day” about refugees in Geneva's Bâtiment des Forces Motrices for the award ceremony.[36][37]

Personal life[edit]

Zain married in 2009.[38]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://twitter.com/MaherZain/status/312996761113346049
  2. ^ "Muslim pop megastar Maher Zain sings for Syria aid". BBC News. 13 November 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2014. 
  3. ^ "Maher zain's story". YouTube. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c Entertainment (2011-08-10). Maher Zain's Hip but Pious Soundtrack to the Arab Spring. The Atlantic retrieved 10 October 2011
  5. ^ Eena Houzyama (2010-10-11). Thank God for Maher Zain. The Malay Mail, retrieved 10 October 2011
  6. ^ Shahid, Omar (15 December 2011). "Maher Zain: 'My music is a message of Islam'". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  7. ^ Maher Zain. IslamicLyrics Website, retrieved 10 October 2011
  8. ^ Music & Festivals Maher Zain Interview. Time Out Beirut, retrieved 14 October 2011
  9. ^ Admin (2010-11-16). Muslim Singer Maher Zain. NXT News, retrieved 14 October 2011
  10. ^ a b c Lisa Siregar (2011-05-02). A Portrait of  the Artist As a Young Muslim. Jakarta Globe, retrieved 14 October 2011
  11. ^ a b 2011-08-26 Being pious in the heart of modernity. New Straits Time, retrieved 14 October 2011[dead link]
  12. ^ Sundus Awan (Transcribed) 2010-11-29. Maher Zain Interview. The Muslim Youth Voice Website, retrieved 14 October 2011
  13. ^ News Summary (January 2011). Awakening artist Maher Zain receives 8 platinums. Awakening Worldwide retrieved 14 October 2011
  14. ^ "Maher Zain Indonesia Fanclub". Retrieved 24 August 2014. 
  15. ^ "AWAKENING TALENT CONTEST – TALENTS MATTER MOST". EmmaGem. 11 July 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  16. ^ News Summary (January 2010). Maher Zain wins Nugoom FM's Best Song Award. Awakening Worldwide retrieved 2 September 2011
  17. ^ [1]
  18. ^ Issue 82 (July 2011). Maher Zain digital issue - OUT NOW! The Emel Website, retrieved 18 October 2011
  19. ^ I Believe Lyrics. IslamicLyrics Website, retrieved 18 October 2011
  20. ^ Maher Zain bintangi sinetron Harian Metro retrieved 26 June 2012
  21. ^ Radikal: Barış için müzikal birlik (In Turkish)
  22. ^ Zaman Online: Savaşın karşısına Hocaefendi’nin şiirlerinden oluşan albümle çıktılar (In Turkish)
  23. ^ Maher Zain receives 8 platinums in Malaysia Awakening Worldwide, retrieved January 2011
  24. ^ "Meet Maher Zain". New Straits Times. Digital Collections DC5: Text Archive. 25 April 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-09. 
  25. ^ S. QAZI. "Islamic Relief Canada Declared War On Hunger to Support Poor People". push.pk. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  26. ^ "Islamic Relief Canada seeking donations for typhoon victims in Philippines". InsideHalton.com. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  27. ^ "Sound Of Light Official Website". Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  28. ^ "Muslim pop megastar Maher Zain sings for Syria aid". BBC. 13 November 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  29. ^ "My Birthday For Clean Water". charitywater.org. Maher Zain. 
  30. ^ "KOBA MENDER COMMUNITY". 
  31. ^ "Maher Zain - Freedom at the London demonstration GAZA protest 19/07/2014". YouTube. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  32. ^ Human Appeal: Great Wall of China Trek 2014 with Maher Zain & Omar Regan
  33. ^ "Maher Zain treks through China for Gaza". The Voice of the Cape. 18 August 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  34. ^ "Maher Zain Instagram". Instagram. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  35. ^ "Maher Zain's Journey". UNHCR. Retrieved 8 October 2014. 
  36. ^ "UNHCR presents Nansen Refugee Award to courageous Colombian women". UNHCR. 29 September 2014. Retrieved 8 October 2014. 
  37. ^ "Colombian activists risk their lives to protect women from gang warfare". 8 October 2014. Retrieved 8 October 2014. 
  38. ^ "Le chanteur Maher Zain: " Que la paix l'emporte "". Saphirnews. 27 October 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 

External links[edit]