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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Gangnam Style: A Question of Originality


Bismillahirrahmanirrahim.
Assalamualaikum wbt.

1. Much has been said about Oppa Gangnam Style. Some people opine that it is fun and likable, while some others prefer to think otherwise.

2. What is my response when people ask me mine?

3. Simple. I don't have problem with Oppa Gangnam Style. 

However....

4. Oppa Gangnam Style has a problem with me. Why?

5. Despite reaching millions of people and indulging a huge acceptance plus YouTube viewership across the globe, it is neither attractive nor enjoyable to me. It has failed to amuse me. Poor Oppa Gangnam Style. 

6. Hence, one point of demerit there for Oppa Gangnam Style. I assume it won't affect its rating though. After all, that doesn't really matter to me.

7. Let us now discuss Oppa Gangnam Style through my personal lens (please return my lens back after you finish. Thank you).

PART 1: Being Genuine 

8. I believe, we are actually dealing with a question of originality here. 

9. Beautifully enough, originality (according to English dictionary) has two meanings and both of them perfectly match the two different qualities I plan to elaborate in the first part of this article.

10. In general, originality can be defined as follows:

                         a) the quality or state of being original
                         b) the ability to think independently and creatively

11. Let's address each given definition above one by one.

First definition

12. With regard to being original, I would argue that we are most pure and original when we were born. Why? Because we were in the state of fitrah when we were still a baby. Fitrah means the innate nature of ourselves.


13. It is the environment and the process of our upbringing that shape us to be what we are today. So how do we maintain that fitrah we were born with?

14. Like all electronic devices that come with their own user manual, we were also created with our very own 'user manual', which in Islam we believe are the Quran and sunnah of Nabi SAW.

15. These two sources provide us the only ways to remain original as human being by living a way of life called Islam.

16. And why is it that Islam is the only way of life again? Because we are a creation. And definitely, Allah SWT as our Creator, He knows best and full well about what is best for His creation. And because He has made Islam as our way of life, we shall then submit to His perfect will.

17. Let's study the verse below from Surah Ar-Rum ayah number 30:


18. The above passage of the Quran clearly mentions that Islam is the way of life that suits our fitrah. It says, "So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. (Adhere to) the fitrah of Allah upon which He has created (all) people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know."

19. So how do we assess Gangnam Style from here? Isn't Islam too narrow-minded if it prohibits Gangnam Style?

20. Firstly, I don't see any threat or disposal of originality if we don't want to do Gangnam Style. Meaning, without Gangnam Style, we are still original aren't we?

21. Secondly, if Gangnam Style is taken as a form of entertainment or a form of exercise, all of you would agree with me that even if Gangnam Style has never existed on earth, we have plenty other examples as alternatives (for entertainment and exercise).

22. The point I want to highlight here is that, those who can not live without Gangnam Style, they are actually narrow-minded, not Islam. Because they only keep one option in mind- Gangnam Style ;-)

23. Next, no one can live alone without searching for an example. 

24. I would strongly argue that even all inventions we have on earth until today, through the imagination of the great scientists and inventors, are inspired from what they see around them. These are examples that help them come up with new ideas and innovation.

25. Let's take a simple example. The aircrafts. The fact that they have wings, isn't that similar to a bird? Ask ourselves; Which one existed first, a bird (creation of Allah) or an aeroplane (creation of men)?

26. The point here is that we need to follow an example given by the original Creator, and in the case of BEING A TRUE MAN (woman included of course), we already have one.

27. It is the great Mercy of Allah SWT that He has chosen the best of creation, Muhammad SAW as the best good example (uswatun hasanah) for all of us mankind.

Second definition

28. So now we have come to the second meaning of the word originality above i.e to think independently and creatively.

29. To be independent and creative doesn't mean that we have to come up with something completely new, out of nowhere.

30. That is virtually impossible.

31. Of course, we are susceptible to the condition of our society, and peer pressure.

32. However, there's one way to be independent, creative and be the one who shapes the society instead.

33. That one way is through knowledge.

34. When it comes to Gangnam Style lyrics for instance, do we understand the lyrics?

35. If we don't, then we ignore this aspect of KNOWledge i.e do we even know what we are singing about?


36. Some may argue that they understand every single word in the lyrics, but the next question is, do we have any idea on what is behind the meaning?

37. Let me cut it short here.

38. I skimmed through the English version of the lyrics and would like to comment that it has this essence of making women as an object of sex (and the video clip undoubtedly testifies to this).

39. This is to me a complete disregard towards women, which I shall elaborate more about it in the second part below.

40. Just to end this part again, we as Muslims should learn and practice the sunnah of Nabi SAW because that is the knowledge we are looking for.

41. Being independent here means that whatever we do in life, we do it because we base it on a strong and pure knowledge of Islam and we are in no way affected or influenced by external forces, especially when they contain matters which are against our deen (Islam).

42. Before I begin the second part, please ponder on the profound saying of Nabi SAW below.

43. The prophet (S.A.W.) said, "You will surely follow the ways, steps, or traditions of those who came before you, span by span and yard by yard (very closely) even if they entered a lizard's hole you will enter it." The companions asked, "Oh prophet, you mean the Jews and Christians?" so he answered, "Who else!" 
(Reported by Imam Bukhari)


PART 2: Women as sex object

44. I think this is the most interesting part of the sharing I want to make in this article.

45. Once I posted on my Facebook wall, that I believe, Oppa Gangnam Style, like many other form of entertainment are not free from making women as an object of sex.

46. What this means is that, women are reduced, from a status of being a complete human, into a sub-human, or less a human, or an object- which in this case refers to an object of sex.

47. This is rampant almost everywhere.

48. On the billboards along the roads. On posters. On walls of shopping malls. Newspapers. Magazines. You name it, you get it.

49. Free show. Big show.


50. So what is the value of our women in our society nowadays?

51. Are they created only for the purpose of sex?

52. Excuse me if that sounds harsh, but the truth is even more harsh.

53. And I don't like this kind of harshness.

54. I believe women and their femininity are the greatest gift from God.

55. As a Muslim, I value women highly because Islam places the status of mother for instance, above all others.

56. And I tell you what. My mother, like yours, is a woman. We should never let them or even our sisters or even ourselves (if you are women) to be regarded only as an object.

57. In the video clip of Gangnam Style, the fact that the dance resembles riding a horse, symbolically makes women as the horses.

58. Seriously, do you not get it?

59. This is the biggest reason why I am completely switched off the moment I come across Gangnam Style. Really, I am not interested. May Allah protect us all ameen.

60. To end this part, let me share with you a study done in the West.

61. This is regarding women as an object.

62. Let say a chair, which is an object, if we just show a part of it, say, only the leg of the chair, we can still recognize it as a chair. This is because it is an object.

63. Even when we show a picture of a chair upside down, we can recognise that it is a chair.

64. However, it is quite different when it comes to human being, except that men and women are different in the way they are perceived.

65. In the research, when the picture of a man in underwear are shown upside down, it is difficult to recognise him as a man.

66. On the contrary, women in almost naked condition (seriously guys, I was not the participant of this research hehe) when shown in an upside down image, is still recognized easily as women.

67. Why?

68. Because certain body parts of women are easy to recognize in what ever position they are displayed!

69. And because of that, women are seen not as a complete human, but are focused at only on certain part of her sexy body and do you know what this means? It means that a woman is seen merely as an object!

70. Let me sum this up quickly for you.

Dear women,

71. You do have a dignity, honor and pride. Take good care of them.

72. You can choose to be sexy and display any part of your body to other people, but you know what? People may be interested in you (especially men), but not because they perceive you as a human (with rights, emotions, feelings etc), but only as an object (for sex etc) na'uzubillah!

73. So think again. Are you a human? Or just an object?

Conclusion

74. When I speak of issue that reminds women of what they should do, I always want to emphasize that the more serious attention should be made by people called men.

75. Why? Because men are created to be responsible towards women, and men have to protect and take care of women.

76. This means that all of us men, we have a mother. Also, we have sisters and aunties and many others who we love- and they are all women!

77. Therefore, the maintenance of women is the job of not only women, but also men.

78. The second conclusion is, I write this not to influence us to hate others (from different religions e.g the Jews and Christians), but the ultimate aim is to dilute the obsession, or even addiction (if any) in plethora of things that do not have any origin from Islamic teaching and traditions.

79. Lastly, let me say this.

80. We are entitled to ask the right question in life. When it comes to Oppa Gangnam Style, again, I would propose that rather than asking, is there any problem with Gangnam Style, the better question I think we should ask is that, is there any problem if we live without Gangnam Style? My personal answer is NO.

81. At the end of the day, with regard to the question of originality, we have to make a choice:

82. To either be an original or a print-robbed (read: cetak rompak). 

83. Thanks for your time and feedback is highly appreciated. Allahuaklam. Wassalamualaikum wbt.

The End..

4 comments:

nurARINAbtrosli said...

such a great entry 'bout gangnam style as most of us too obsesses w it.. :)

Amirul Asyraf said...

Jazakillah khairan kaseera ya ukhti. All that are good belong to Allah alone, and all that are not, are from my own weaknesses and mistakes.

We ask Allah for protection insya Allah.

Please make prayers for me and family.

May Allah grant His blessings upon us all ameen =)

shi91 said...

tq akhi. Im totally agree with dis entry..This helps me lots to xplain to d other friends bout this gangnam style~
got sumthing to share ; the lyrics, for those that didn't know the meanings yet~

oppan gangnamseutail
(Oppa is Gangnam style)
gangnamseutail
(Gangnam style)

najeneun ttasaroun inganjeogin yeoja
(A girl who is warm and humane during the day)
heopi hanjanui yeoyureul aneun pumgyeok inneun yeoja
(A classy girl who know how to enjoy the freedom of a cup of coffee)
bami omyeon shimjangi tteugeowojineun yeoja
(A girl whose heart gets hotter when night comes)
geureon banjeon inneun yeoja
(A girl with that kind of twist)

naneun sanai
(I’m a guy)
najeneun neomankeum ttasaroun geureon sanai
(A guy who is as warm as you during the day)
keopi sikgido jeone wonsyat ttaerineun sanai
(A guy who one-shots his coffee before it even cools down)
bami omyeon shimjangi teojyeobeorineun sanai
(A guy whose heart bursts when night comes)
geureon sanai
(That kind of guy)

[*] areumdawo sarangseureowo geurae naeo hey geurae baro neo hey!
(Beautiful, loveable. Yes you, hey, yes you. hey!)
areumdawo sarangseureowo geurae naeo hey geurae baro neo hey!
(Beautiful, loveable. Yes you, hey, yes you. hey!)
jigeum buteo gal dekkaji gabolkka
(Now let’s go until the end)

[**] oppan gangnamseutail
(Oppa is Gangnam style)
gangnamseutail
(Gangnam style)
Op op op op oppan gangnamseutail
(Op op op op oppa is Gangnam style)
gangnamseutail
(Gangnam style)
Op op op op oppan gangnamseutail
(Op op op op oppa is Gangnam style)
eh~ sexy lady. Op op op op oppan gangnamseutail
(Eh~ sexy lady. Op op op op oppa is Gangnam style)
Eh~ sexy lady. Op op op op

jeongsukhae boikiman nol ttaen noneun yeoja
(A girl who looks quite but plays when she plays)
ittaeda sipeunmyeon mukkeotdeon meori puneun yeoja
(A girl who puts her hair down when the right time comes)
garyeotjiman wenmanhan nochulboda yahan yeoja
(A girl who covers herself but is more sexy than a girl who bares it all)
geureon gamgakjeogin yeoja
(A sensible girl like that)

naneun sanai
(I’m a guy)
jeomjanha boijiman nol ttaen noneun sanai
(A guy who seems calm but plays when he plays)
ttaega doemyeon wanjeon michyeo beorineun sanai
(A guy who goes completely crazy when the right time comes)
geunyukboda sasangi ultungbultunghan sanai
(A guy who has bulging ideas rather than muscles)
geureon sanai
(That kind of guy)

Repeat [*] & [**]

ttwineun nom geu wie naneun nom baby baby
(On top of the running man is the flying man, baby baby)
naneun mwol jom aneun nom
(I’m a man who knows a thing or two)
ttwineun nom geu wie naneun nom baby baby
(On top of the running man is the flying man, baby baby)
naneun mwol jom aneun nom
(I’m a man who knows a thing or two)
You know what I’m saying

oppan gangnamseutail
(Oppa is Gangnam style)
eh~ sexy lady. Op op op op oppan gangnamseutail
(Eh~ sexy lady. Op op op op oppa is Gangnam style)
Eh~ sexy lady. Op op op op
oppan gangnamseutail
(Oppa is Gangnam style)

Amirul Asyraf said...

Alhamdulillah. Jazakillah khairan kaseera ya ukhti.

May Allah protect us and keep us forever in His guidance ameen ameen ameen =)

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