Issam Bayan is a young Muslim living in Germany and quite a special nasheed singer. In a few years, he grew out to be a social media personality and motivational coach hundreds of thousands Muslims look up to. We’ve had the chance to ask him a few questions about his journey so far and his plans for the future.
Issam started a nasheed group when he was only 15 years old. ‘I started to sing as a child in the mosque with other children. We also started to learn Tajweed [rules of reciting the Holy Quran] together. When I was 15 years old, we decided to create a nasheed group to sing at public events. From year to year, more and more people asked me to perform at events and weddings.’
Those who follow him on Facebook and Twitter know he has many fans from around the world. But does he also get any criticism? ‘In the beginning, my own friends criticised me. When I started to present my nasheeds online, it was something strange for them, because I live in Germany and it’s not usual to see someone who sings Islamic songs in public. But after a while, they started supporting me, alhamdulilllah (all praise and thanks be to Allah).’
He’s not just known for his great songs, but also for sharing motivational words on his social media channels. ‘I used to only present my work, my nasheeds. Sometimes I posted motivational words, to encourage someone at his point of life. Words are weapons and I realised that more and more. I never thought that I would reach that many people. They motivated me to go on and to do this more. When I can change someone’s world in a positive way, why should I stop? That is my motivation.’
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His motivational quotes reach more than 700,000 people on Facebook alone, how does he deal with this reality? ‘Until now, I still don’t realise how many there are. It’s something weird for me. I was a big enemy of that social media stuff, and I’m actually still not a big fan of it. But I try to use it for the good, to reach my Muslim brothers and sisters and to spread the real meaning of Islam. I also use this opportunity to show non-Muslims that Islam isn’t like what you see daily in the media.’
With all this success, a world tour seems a logical next step. ‘As a student, it’s not easy. I set my goal to finish my study in the next 12 months inshaAllah (if God is willing). After I’ve finished studying, I can start thinking of it. Right now, I just accept single events and I haven’t planned any tours.’
And last but not least, what does he think of Mvslim.com? ‘Many talk about how Muslims should be, but this page just talks openly about how Muslims really are. It shows the different types of Muslim there are. So you get another view of the “real” Muslim. Nobody is perfect, but we don’t need to act like all Muslims are the same.’ We couldn’t have said it better!