Pop star and beauty and fashion entrepreneur Rihanna has apologised after using a song that samples an Islamic hadith as part of her lingerie show.
“I’d like to thank the Muslim community for pointing out a huge oversight that was unintentionally offensive in our savage x fenty show,” she began an Instagram stories apology, saying she does not tolerate any “disrespect toward God or any religion.”
The trouble began when the Barbadian singer held a fashion runway for her lingerie line Savage x Fenty, live-streamed on Amazon Prime on Friday (October 3). During a portion of the show, models danced to a track named ‘Doom’ by music producer Coucou Chloe. The song chops up a sacred hadith about judgement day, which ignited backlash in the Muslim community. Hadith are a collection of sayings which are attributed to the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and his nearest companions; they are considered the largest guidance to Muslims outside of the Quran.
Both Rihanna and the original producer have now issued apologies. “I would more importantly like to apologise to you for this honest, yet careless mistake. We understand that we have hurt many of our Muslim brothers and sisters, and I’m incredibly disheartened by this!” wrote Rihanna. “I do not play with any kind of disrespect toward God or any religion and therefore the use of the song in our project was completely irresponsible!”
Producer Coucou Chloe also “deeply apologise[d]”, writing: “The song was created using samples from Baile Funk tracks I found online. At the time, I was not aware that these samples used text from an Islamic Hadith.”
Muslims blasted Rihanna for using the song across social media and the issue trended on Twitter. Some social media users revisited a 2013 incident when Rihanna was “asked to leave” the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi after posing for a photo shoot outside. Concluding her most recent apology, the 32-year-old ‘Diamonds’ singer wrote: “Moving forward we will make sure nothing like this ever happens again. Thank you for your forgiveness and understanding, Rih.”