Muslim youth should adhere to their Islamic identity – Ashley Chin

Sameer Nazir

KARACHI: The dire consequences of the absence of Islam as the governing system of today’s society are manifesting themselves in all aspects of our lives, this was stated by the renowned British Rap Music Star, Ashley Anthony Chin who has converted to Islam as Muslim Belal. Talking to the media people at after his lecture to the general masses at Dreamworld Family Resort on Sunday evening, Belal said that the detrimental effects of not having the Islamic social system can be felt regardless of whether we live in the Muslim lands or elsewhere. There is nothing more painful than seeing our youth grow up amidst a non-Islamic atmosphere leading, in some cases, to Muslim youth losing their Islamic identity, their values and even their Deen. He advised the youth of Pakistan to adhere to Islamic values in true spirit. He expressed his dismay over creating many sects in Islam who depict their own type of religion. 
“Although most of us would strive to maintain our Islamic identity within our family, we sometimes overlook who our youth are associating with when they are outside the house or on the computer. Islam has given us a road map to navigate through our lives in order to succeed both in Dunya and Akhirah. We must always abide by the hukm sharai’ in all aspects of our lives and choosing the right friends is no exception.
Belal who was born in Gypsy HillLondonEngland is visiting Pakistan on special invitation by the Dreamworld Family Resort and has arranged a public meeting at Dreamworld.

Belal achieved an A grade in GCSE drama and left school at the age of 15 in 1999, and embraced Islam at the age of 19. In 1999, he began his acting career in the BBC film Storm Damage directed by Lennie James. He then made his theatre debut as the role of Young Mal in Roy Williams’ Lift Off at the Royal Court Theatre. Since his conversion to Islam Chin has adopted the name Muslim Belal. In December 2005, under this stage name, he performed at the inaugural Global Peace and Unity Event in the ExCeL Exhibition Centre organised by Islam Channel at the Islam Expo in Olympia, London. In February and March 2009, he toured with other Nasheed artists including Mecca2Medina and Poetic Pilgrimage on the “I am Malcolm X Tour”.  In 2009, he released From the Streets to Islam, a CD in which he is being interviewed and responds to the questions by rapping. This was a preview to launching his first album Pray Hard, released August 2009, under Halal Dawa Records. In October and November 2009, he supported Shaam on their UK tour. In October 2010, he performed at the Global Peace and Unity Event where he also released his second album The Transition. In November 2013, he performed at the Global Peace and Unity Event, where he also released his very best of compilation album Black Slave. His poetry combines spiritualism with social issues and his own personal history. Chin also works as a life coach and delivers workshops and talks at youth clubs, universities and events. In his visit to Pakistan he delivers lectures and record few TV interviews at Dreamworld Family Resort, Karachi.

He has visited many countries including Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia Pakistan, etc. His mother and elder sister have also converted to Islam. In February 2014, Belal has also set up a charity NGO ABC Life.