Rihanna apologises for Islamic verse at Fenty lingerie fashion show

Rihanna has apologised after using a controversial song at her latest Savage X Fenty fashion show.


She received a backlash online for using the song Doom by artist Coucou Chloe, which includes a Muslim text known as a Hadith.

Rihanna says the use of the song was “irresponsible” and an “honest, yet careless mistake.”

A Hadith is part of a collection of texts believed to be the spoken words of the Prophet Muhammad.

After the holy book the Koran, the Hadiths are seen as some of the most important religious texts to Muslims.

The Arabic verse used in the song is part of a Hadith about judgement day.

Coucou Chloe has apologised, saying she wasn’t aware that the song contained the Islamic verses.

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‘Islam is not an aesthetic’

Rihanna’s fashion and beauty brand Fenty has been praised for its commitment to diversity in the past.

But some Muslim supporters questioned the use of the song when the lingerie show streamed on Amazon Prime on 2 October.

Hodhen Liaden, 26, is a beauty blogger who’s a fan of Rihanna and Fenty but felt it was a misstep to include the song in the show.

She says it’s “refreshing” to see Rihanna’s apology but thinks big brands “need more Muslim people in these industries that can pick up on things like this”.

“Islam is not an aesthetic, religion is not an aesthetic,” Hodhen tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.

“Do you actually celebrate people like me or does it just look good for you?”

A screenshot of the apology


Hodhen has bought Fenty products before but says this incident might change her mind now.

She might not even use the free products the brand sent her to promote online.

“I don’t think I’ll be buying products or even promoting it on my Instagram. I literally have a box of Fenty products I’ve been sent to create content with and I don’t know how I feel about that.”

Hodhen Liaden

HODHEN LIADEN Image caption,

Hodhen says she may stop buying Fenty products

Hodhen isn’t the only one feeling disappointed. Arooj Aftab is a fashion blogger who has spoken online about the importance of diversity by brands.

Speaking to BBC Asian Network before the apologies from Rihanna and Coucou Chloe, she said: “When I saw that video, it made me feel a bit sick.

“This is a Hadith and it’s been put into a song where women are dancing around in lingerie.

“Islam is very modest – [this is] opposite to that. I think every single Muslim has a right to be offended.”

Arooj Aftab


Image caption,

Arooj says seeing the song being used made her feel “a bit sick”

‘Inappropriate pictures’

This isn’t the first time Rihanna’s been accused of insensitivity towards Islam.

In 2013, she was asked to leave a mosque in Abu Dhabi after posing for “inappropriate pictures”.

The fashion industry has been accused of “appropriating” Islam before, too.

In August, Kanye West was criticised by some for naming his Yeezy Boost trainers Israfil and Asriel – after two Islamic angels.

And online retailer Shein apologised in July for advertising Muslim prayer mats as “frilled Greek carpets”.


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