B.C. Dodge & R. Mordant Mahon are joined by local musician and community activist Khalil Ismail for this episode of “What a Relief!” — IRUSA’s official podcast.
At a time when hate and intolerance seem to be steadily rising, podcast guests like Khalil Ismail remind us of the power of positivity and the importance of promoting good works in the community.
Khalil Ismail devotes his time to making conscious art and serving the community. His music career began about 9 years ago and he now travels the world performing. His work has appeared in places like The Discovery Channel and PBS. What makes it different is the content. “It’s all universally conscious,” he says.
He shares his experiences using music to promote the understanding of all religions through collaborations with organizations like Sacred Music NY. For him, music is less threatening and offers something that dialogue often can’t: “I found music to be a tool universally in my travels that eases and brings peace to people who would normally have tension.”
Khalil has spent a vast amount of time doing charity work in Baltimore, particularly lending his services to a Muslim women’s shelter called Muslimat Al Nisaa. “Domestic violence is a human problem,” he says. “It’s a human issue that spans religions, races and cultures. We as Muslims are commanded to protect women and protect them from oppression. When someone hits their wife, they are not acting as a Muslim. Our duty as Muslims is to protect them.” He shares how it was the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) whose work inspires his own.
His experiences with the women’s shelter inspired a song about domestic violence titled Live Again. “In doing music, I try to draw from life experiences,” he says. “Doing charity, for me, is not a thing where I’m doing something for someone. It’s almost like a favor has been conferred upon me and a responsibility.”
But Khalil’s work doesn’t stop there. He started his own organization called the Finding Peace Project that aims to help organizations with their legitimacy and marketing. It’s also an art program that hires artists to do performances at soup kitchens.
Tune in to this episode to hear more about this important work and other groundbreaking efforts, such as a series at the American Muslim Heritage Museum called, “The History of Muslims in America.” The series will document the history of Islam in America back to the 1400s and will expel the notion that Muslims were not a part of this country’s origin.
You can find out more about Khalil Ismail’s work, including two recently released albums, at khalilismail.com and liftingsouls.com.
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“What a Relief!” is the official podcast of Islamic Relief USA. Co-hosted by social media specialist B.C. Dodge & Mordant Mahon, IRUSA’s “What a Relief!” puts a human face on what’s going on in the world and how you can enact positive change in it. New episodes every week!
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