Pakistan: Religious music prohibition discussed in popular movie



Religious music prohibition discussed in popular movie

The highest grossing film of Pakistan of all time, ‘In the name of God’, is a story about a musician who gives up music because a fundamentalist cleric says music is forbidden according to Islam.

Click to go to the film's official website

The Pakistani Urdu-language movie ‘In the name of God’ (‘Khuda Kay Liye’) has won several awards, including the Award for Best Picture at the 31st Cairo International Film Festival. It is directed by one of Pakistan’s most renowned tv producers, Shoaib Mansoor. The film had a fatwa (religious edict) issued against it by radical clerics in Pakistan, and had the director of the movie fleeing the country as soon as the movie was released in July 2007, fearing for his life.

The movie revolves around two musician brothers who grew up in a well-to-do family of Lahore – Mansoor (Shaan) and Sarmad (Fahwad Khan). They run their own popular music group. Then, in very short span of time, their lives change as the younger brother, Sarmad, suddenly chooses a path for himself that none of his family members ever thought he would: Sarmad is inspired by a Maulana of the local mosque, Maulvi Tahiri (Rasheed Naz), and joins his ranks as a fundamentalist, giving up music and all other things which are perceived as forbidden by the fundamentalists.

‘In the name of God’ was released in India (courtesy Percept Picture Company) in April 2008.

IndiaGlitz wrote in a review of the film:
“The director Shoaib Mansoor deserves a standing ovation to firstly dare to make such a film being a resident of Pakistan and secondly for changing our perception about Pakistani cinema being low budget, mediocre quality flicks. (…) Mansoor has fused in various controversial issues such as religious extremism, racial profiling, status of women in Islam, music according to Islam and cultural contextualization of religion to provide a real hard hitting film.””His dialogues too are very effective as he describes music to be ‘haram’ and sends out his troop to fight the war stating it to be ‘Allah Miya’s’ call.”
“Naseeruddin Shah comes very late into the film as Maulana Wali but delivers some of the best dialogues of the film. He tackles various issues such as music in Islam and other cultural elements which aren’t a part of the religion. He intensifies and argues about the Muslim ‘Huliya’ (looks).”

Pakistani pop star Salman Ahmed:
“This movie reminded me that love always brings you to the right path. You can’t force ideology.”

Ali Azmat:
“This film will change Pakistan”

‘Aalim Online – Controversial Parts of “Khuda ke Liye” (3/5)’

6 August 2007

Discussion on controversial parts of Shoaib Mansoor’s film.
Host: Dr. Aamir Liaquat
Guests: Shabir Ahmed Azhari and Dr. Shakeel Ouj

Five teasers from ‘In the name of God‘ (‘Khuda Kay Liye’)


‘In the name of God’ official website – 2007:

Media coverage – links to articles:

IndiaGlitz – 2 April 2008:

‘Khuda Kay Liye – A fantastic film from across the border’

Dawn – 1 August 2007:

‘SHC asks for Quranic order against music’

The Internet Movie Database – 20 July 2007:

‘Khuda Ke Liye’

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