Nikita Richardson
December 14, 2015 2:56 pm

While other nations hem and haw over whether or not to keep their longstanding promises to allow Syrian refugees into their countries, Canadians have been pretty single minded in their approach: Syrians and other followers of the Muslim faith are welcome in Canada.

Over the weekend, newly-minted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau personally greeted the country’s first wave of refugees, telling them “You are home. Welcome home,” and now a group of schoolchildren and their choir director have gone above and beyond in sharing their respect and admiration for Islamic culture by singing a song close to the hearts of many Muslims.

As Buzzfeed News reports, students at École secondaire publique De La Salle in Ottawa recently performed “Tala’ al-Badru ‘Alayna,” a traditional song that, according to the Muslim faith, was sang to the prophet Muhammad when he arrived in the holy city of Medina, now known as the prophet’s burial place. At more than 1400 years old, it is one of the world’s oldest songs.

Though choir director Robert Filion insists that the song was meant more as a sign of acceptance and appreciation for Islamic culture rather than a welcome message to Syrian refugees, Muslims around the world are praising Filion and École secondaire for their moving performance of a song that has long been a source of comfort for those in the Muslim faith.

 

 

 

“It had nothing to do, for us, with the Syrian refugee crisis or anything else going on in the world right now,” Filion told Buzzfeed, adding, “It’s just tremendous and we could not ask for anything more.”

But as anyone who creates something beautiful and noteworthy will tell you, you can’t control what meaning people attach to it once it makes its way out into the world.

Check out the performance of “Tala’ al-Badru ‘Alayna” below:

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