Monday’s Music: Lauryn Hill

I know she’s no one’s favorite person right now but today’s Monday’s Music selection is from Lauryn Hill. Her 1998 song “Doo Wop (That Thing)” opens with part of a line from Al-Fatiha, which has to be the most often repeated surah in the Qur’an since Muslims utter it while praying several times a day. When I first heard the song with Lauryn–that was back when she still answered to “Lauryn”–speaking Arabic, I said to myself, “Hey, how does she know about that?” It was like she had breached a secret society and would finally succeed in bringing Islam into the mainstream. You have to remember, after the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was released, she was the crossover success; she graced the cover of Time magazine, won five Grammy Awards and went multi-platinum. So hearing her say, “Don’t forget about the deen,” and then in Arabic, “guide us on the straight path,” was really something.

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