Monday, April 02, 2012

Vacancy: Ustaz

I watch with much interest how religion has made its niche in the entertainment biz. Soaps and movies with Islamic theme where the actresses have their heads covered, and then you have pop icons who reverted and now teaches religion. You also have celebrity preachers, young and old, who give talks, write books and conduct ‘summer camps’.

Certainly much better to have celebrity ustazs as idols than the Malaysian Idol. Certainly better to have more Nur Kasih dramas than the likes of Niyang Rapiks.

If I say, lets be careful, would I be throwing a wet blanket?

I remember when nasyid was the in thing, when it first entered the pop stream. All wanna-be singers instead of coming out with rock or ballad album came out with nasyid album instead. Because it made economic sense, at that point, nasyid sold like nothing else. A launch pad was needed, and nasyid as a genre served the purpose. Fitnah occurred when the nasyid singer was found cruising the night clubs. Well, he said, going clubbing does NOT mean i am drinking. Is it just about alcohol intake? Singing nasyid songs to him is just singing another song. Big deal.

My office is looking to invite a certain ustaz for its regular Friday lessons. The ustaz that we have in mind, apparently is so well-sought that his calendar is only free for a Friday in September. That is a good 5 months away.

A certain friend is on Ustaz Hunting mode. She would go to wherever this particular celebrity ustaz went. She described to me a dinner event hosted by the ustaz where all tables were bought, and the queue during photography session was very long. Did the ustaz give lessons that night? No, it was just dinner - a bit of Q&A plus photography. Oh wow.

Religion certainly sells.

The public’s demand for ustaz seems to exceed ASTRO Hijrah’s production capacity. WANTED! Good Ustaz with sound Islamic knowledge, young and hip, good presentation skills, good humour and good looking is urgently needed. If the ustaz is single, even better. Sounds good to you? It probably is. And I should be contented that this is something to be taken positively.

I only hope that those applying will not be mere job-seekers.


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