In a lecture by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, he stated that he met a relative of John Coltrane who told him that Coltrane believed in Islam. This is also confirmed by academics such as Moustafa Bayoumi of Brooklyn College, City University of New York, who states that in Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” one can hear Coltrane and one of his bandmates chanting “Allah Supreme.” Other scholars, such as Dr. Hussein Rashid of Hofstra University, also have studied the effects that Islam has had on Blues, Jazz, and other forms of American music. You can read some of Dr. Rashid’s work here.
Coltrane, a deeply spiritual musician, married his second wife Juanita Naima Grubbs in 1957 and through her came into contact with Islam. It is also for her that he wrote the song entitled “Naima.”
In the inner linings of “A Love Supreme” Coltrane wrote:
“[d]uring the year 1957, I experienced, by the grace of God, a spiritual awakening which was to lead me to a richer, fuller, more productive life. At that time, in gratitude, I humbly asked to be given the means and privilege to make others happy through music.” In his 1965 album Meditations, Coltrane wrote about uplifting people, “…To inspire them to realize more and more of their capacities for living meaningful lives. Because there certainly is meaning to life.”
Below is the recording of “A Love Supreme.” Listen carefully from 7:07 to 7:43 and feel lifted by Coltrane and his fellow musicians chanting like Sufi mendicants the praise of “Allah Supreme”. Whether one acknowledges Coltrane’s faith or not is ultimately irrelevant, for every listener and lover of his music is already a witness.
Below, for good measure, is one of Coltrane’s other classics, “In a Sentimental Mood”
Please view the above link to register for tonight’s free teleconference with Dr. Umar Farooq Abdullah through Al Madina Institute.
In March, Meccastars wrote a piece on Senad Hadzic’s ambitious expedition from his home country of Bosnia-Herzogovina to Mecca with the intention of making it in time for Hajj. His faith, courage, and fortitude inspired many as he braved several countries, including war-ravaged Syria.
In an interview with BBC, Hadzic sheds light on his travels. He told BBC, “I walked across seven countries, two deserts, 5,650 kilometres, without money, only with a rucksack weighing 20 kilograms”.
Carrying both a Quran and a Bible, Hadzic believed God was with him throughout his journey.
“If I didn’t believe that God was with me, the he was protecting me and guiding me, I wouldn’t have even reached Bulgaria, let alone Mecca.”
He told BBC:
“I walked across seven countries, two deserts, 5,650 kilometres, without money, only with a rucksack weighing 20 kilograms.”
We pray Senad continues to inspire people with his message of love. Senad Hadzic’s journey of Hajj serves as a reminder to people of the timeless call of God in an age of increasing secularity.
Senad Hadzic’s facebook page can be found here.