Safe programming for a whole season isn’t an option for the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir…
ISC is commissioning a new work, Zabur by Mohammad Fairouz, based on the “idea of interfaith connectivity and the use of the Psalms [of David],” explained Dr. Eric Stark, ISC’s artistic director.
But the work isn’t being written from “the safe” Judaic/Christian perspective.
Rather the piece is inspired by the Islamic faith and takes its structure from the arc of four Revelations that comprise the Islamic Holy Books: Tawrat revealed to Musa (Torah, the Five Books of Moses); Zabur revealed to Dawud (the songs/ poems of David); Injil revealed to Isa (The Gospels of Jesus); and Qur’an revealed to Mohammed.
Fairouz’s music will be accompanied by a libretto by Najla Said based on three of David’s songs, starting with Psalm 2, where as the king he ponders, “Why do the nations rage so furiously together?”
The other two songs are Psalm 22, where he laments directly to God, “Why have you forsaken me?” and Psalm 102, where he cries out for divine guidance and help, “Hear my prayer.”
This choice of texts brings out the similarities between the inter-nation confrontations dealt with by David and those of our time…
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Well, how about that! More “art” that is really political commentary — not to mention trying to connect Islam with the Psalms of David.
But there is a very slim connection:
Zabur (Arabic: زبور) is, according to Islam, the holy book of Dawud (David), one of the holy books (or religious text) revealed by God before the Qur’an, alongside others such as the Tawrat (Torah) of Musa (Moses) and the Injil (Gospel) of Isa (Jesus).
In the Qur’an, the Zabur is mentioned by name only three times. The Qur’an itself says nothing about the Zabur specifically, except that it was revealed to David, king of Israel and that in Zabur is written “My servants the righteous, shall inherit the earth”
I am sure this will really help Jew-hating Muslims countries’ relations with Israel! Or is it another excuse to pander to Islam?