A House Concert

We recently attended a house concert by singer Dawud Wharnsby, hosted by our friends who graciously opened up their living room to more than twenty families. The radiant atmosphere and top-notch entertainment were second only to the faces of children rapt with attention.

I’ll try hard not to gush here, but our family was touched by the evening. It was refreshing to finally meet the down-to-earth, gentle entertainer who can make the audience laugh and sing and cry within the span of a few minutes. Our kids insisted on standing in line for almost 20 minutes to have their books signed, and Mr. Wharnsby took the time to chat with them, find out their favorite songs, and learn each of their names.

My appreciation for his work (which I admired as a teenager even though I may have been a little older than his target audience) deepened. His relationship with his own children shines throughout the performance, and his lyrics, as any fan of his children’s CD’s knows, has a spiritual depth and poetry that is not often found in music catering to the Muslim community. Listening to “Can You Hear the Rhythm of Allah’s Creation” as my beaming 4-year-old daughter shook the rattles on the makeshift stage, while my other young ones danced in the dim kitchen and my husband fed grapes to the baby, was a little too much and I found myself watching from behind blurred, grateful eyes.

My favorite part of the experience was that the traditional separation of families that often happens wherever we go–dads talking on one side, moms on the other, and children ushered away to another space to play, be bored or be entertained–was disrupted. Families sat together and children sat in each of their parents laps, with the babies rolling on the floor. More than fifty adults, children, and babies sat on the floor and lined up on the couches,  Our friends managed to host a spectacular event in their small living room, with only the simplest preparations and rearrangement of furniture, serving only fruit and water, and by charging a small admission fee to cover the booking costs. I was surprised that such a high-quality experience could be so simple–no elaborate meals, no kids high on sugar, or separate programs for different age groups, no expensive rented facilities.

As we walked to our car, our children whirling with excitement, I reflected on how rarely our community gatherings facilitate the kind of family bonding that we saw that night. Just one more addition to the long list of improvements we wish for our community, and a hope that we see more house concerts playing in more living rooms full of families.

Maha Ezzeddine
Maha is a homeschooling mother of four children (6, 4, 2, and 1) and lives in Michigan. She is an active MAS worker and loves being in nature, writing, and working for Islam. She blogs occasionally at Even Sparrows Pray.

  • mountaineermama

    ohhh..i want a house concert :) Loved the post. JAK.

  • mountaineermama

    ohhh..i want a house concert :) Loved the post. JAK.

  • Marwa

    What an inspirational figure masha’Allah- thanks for giving us a peek into those special moments, Maha!

  • Marwa

    What an inspirational figure masha’Allah- thanks for giving us a peek into those special moments, Maha!

  • fatima

    Maha, we had a similar concert (not in house, but close enough) in our area with Dawud Wharnsby, and it was truly spiritual and moving. He has a gentle way of teaching beauty in interaction; i loved it for myself, my husband and my children. And I totally agree; I loved that my husband and I, my children and us, were able to share in this experience together.

  • http://www.wharnsby.com Dawud Wharnsby

    Thanks Maha – but without you and your family, I may have just been singing to myself that night in a dim hotel room. Music is best when shared with others. Looking forward to the next time.

  • http://www.wharnsby.com Dawud Wharnsby

    Thanks Maha – but without you and your family, I may have just been singing to myself that night in a dim hotel room. Music is best when shared with others. Looking forward to the next time.

  • dove

    I have a special place in my heart for Mr. Wharnsby’s work, from the heart to the heart I guess(and to the inner child may I add). I pray Allah blesses his family for sharing him with the children (and adults :)) of the world.

  • dove

    I have a special place in my heart for Mr. Wharnsby’s work, from the heart to the heart I guess(and to the inner child may I add). I pray Allah blesses his family for sharing him with the children (and adults :)) of the world.

  • Oumu Abdurahman

    my question will be music or nasheeda?????????

  • Oumu Abdurahman

    my question will be music or nasheeda?????????

  • http://free5piritphotography.wordpress.com Free5pirit

    This is a lovely, heart warming post! Thanks for sharing! :-_

  • http://free5piritphotography.wordpress.com Free5pirit

    This is a lovely, heart warming post! Thanks for sharing! :-_


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