Alastu bi-Rabbikum is a conversation with the Universe/Higher Power/Creator. Based on Quranic imagery of the Primordial Covenant that has a primary significance in Islamic mystical traditions (Sufism/Tassawwuf). “Alastu birabbikum” (Am I not your Lord?) the title and chorus of the song situates Shumaila Hemani aka Oak Tree in her faith of upbringing: Islam.
Since according to the Islamic story of creation, Allah asked the human soul “Am I not your Lord?” and the human soul replied, “Indeed, you are!” this song relates to the destined purpose of the human soul and inspires people towards Living with Purpose.
“Situated within an era of climactic transitions on Earth and systemic violence against minorities, these songs hope to inspire people to realize their purpose to serve humanity.”
Shumaila Hemani aka Oak Tree is a singer-songwriter and electro-acoustic composer from Pakistan and currently based in Edmonton, Canada. Blending poetry from South Asia, Muslim Sufi-Quranic imaginary, and popular lyric writing, Oak Tree expresses conflicts, aspirations, struggles, and overcoming of someone in-between: cultures, nationalities, faith/absence of, and rational/intuitive knowledge. Oak Tree is the new artist name for Edmonton’s Cultural Diversity Award recipient artist, Shumaila Hemani, Ph.D. in Music (Ethnomusicology), and currently Adjunct Instructor at the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Extension.