A Saudi religious scholar has been praised and criticised in equal measure after he publicly urged a singer to leave the world of music and turn into a preacher. “You are a believer and you love God,” Mohammad Al Arifi posted on his Twitter account as he addressed UAE singing star Ahlam. “Why don’t you make today a turning point in your life so when Ramadan is here, you are Ahlam the Preacher, and not Ahlam the singer?”
Responding to the tweet, Ahlam, a highly remarkable member of the judging panel at the Arab Idol show  currently beamed twice a week to millions of Arabs, posted: “God bless you. Do pray for us, Shaikh Mohammad Al Arifi. We implore God to accept our good deeds.” The exchange of tweets  sparked an intense debate in the blogosphere across the Gulf where the religious figure and the singer have a high number of admirers.
Abul Hasanain said that he “admired Al Arifi for his courage and determination”. “He is a successful man and it is really rare to find people like him devoted to serving God,” the blogger posted.
However, Kalima, a blogger, said that Al Arifi was among the new breed of preachers who used the media to assert themselves. “I do not particularly appreciate what they are doing and I do urge Al Arifi to try harder to resist the temptation of the media in order to be a better achiever,” Kalima posted on Kuwaiti daily Al Watan site.
Should Ahlam listen to the cleric and turn preacher? Please share your thoughts by commenting below!