السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
ربي اشرح لي صدري و يسر لي أمري واحلل عقدة من لساني يفقه قولي
ربي زدني علما وارزقني فهما
The term music or musiqa has its roots in the ancient Greek language, which in contemporary times, is translated as ghina. However, there is a fundamental difference between the two in Islamic Jurisprudence. While ghina is restricted to chants, rhymes, folk songs, poetry etc. tuned to a melody, musiqa explicitly refers to sound produced by musical instruments to compose beats, rhythms and notes which may or may not include singing.
History of Music
Music came into existence during the time of Prophet Sheeth (AS), the third son of Prophet Adam (AS). In his time, his people lived on one side of the valley while the people of Qabeel resided on the other side. The two sides were forbidden to mingle with each other so they never had a reason to contact each other until Satan influenced them to disregard the command of their Lord and initiate contact.
Disguising himself as a young boy, Satan went first to the people of Qabeel, where he created rudimentary musical instruments in succession, which he beat to create sounds. The locals were enchanted by them, which were unheard of before, so much so that they set aside a Saturday especially for the purpose of listening to these sounds, which we now understand as music. He then visited some of the youth among of Sheeth (AS) and planted doubts in their minds about the law of Allah, and what prevented them from interacting with their relatives. Dissatisfied with the explanations of their elders, they snuck out to the other side where they too encountered the same music and experienced the same feelings. Eventually, the intermingling of men and women came about, hesitant at first until Satan beautified their basest desires. In this way, Satan not only introduced music to the world but also the heinous sin of fornication.
Psychology of Music
Music is often described as an art of expressing ideas and emotions through elements of rhythm and harmony. This definition gives music a sense of universality, immortalizing it beyond the barriers of race and language. Being an art, it symbolizes different things for different people.
The vibrational sound patterns produced by the music releases a neurotransmitter called dopamine, which produces the “feel-good” sensation in the body. This is why some therapies integrate musical interventions into traditional talk therapy techniques to achieve more effective results.
Music from an Islamic Perspective
Music is one of greatest fitna (trial) for the Muslim Ummah in the world. A controversial topic among the scholars, the issue of its permissibility is an ongoing debate, especially in the modern era. The majority of the scholars and muftis have issued the fatwa that listening to music is haraam (prohibited) based on evidence found in the Quran and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS). Abu Amir (RA) narrates that the Prophet (SAWS) said, “From among my followers there will be some people who will consider illegal sexual intercourse, the wearing of silk, the drinking of alcoholic drinks and the use of musical instruments, as lawful…” (Sahi Al-Bukhari, Book 74, Hadith 16). This Hadith explicitly states the impermissibility of music.
Allah (SWT) mentions the fate of those who indulge in such practices, “And of the people is he who buys idle speech to mislead [others] from the way of Allah without knowledge and who takes it in ridicule. Those will have a humiliating punishment.” (Quran 31:6). Ibn Mas’ood (RA), one of the Companions of the Prophet (SAWS) and a scholar of Fiqh interpreted the term “idle speech” in the verse as singing and his explanation is further supported by reputable Companions such as Ibn Abbas, Ibn Umar and Jabir bin Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with them). This was also the position taken up by the leaders of the 4 schools of thought and the Salaf.
In another place, Allah (SWT) says, “And incite [to senselessness] whoever you can among them with your voice…” (Quran 17:64). “Voice” here refers to music. The words of Satan cannot coexist with the words of Allah in the heart, one of them has to give. Some scholars describe music as the Azaan of Satan. Just like the Azaan is a call to Muslims to leave off their business and remember their Lord, the Azaan of Satan is a call to engage in sin.
Dangers of Listening to Music
Music is one of the great causes of diseases of the heart, the effects of which are not so much physical as they are spiritual. More often than not, songs are full of atheistic notions that take root in the mind of the believer, corrupting his beliefs and creating doubts about his faith. Their unrealistic ideologies spread like poison if they are not contained.
Songs filled with obscene and lewd lyrics stir up desires of the soul and beautify immoral acts, inciting the person to sin. The scholars have described music as a skipping stone to zina. In any case, the hadith“…the adultery of the ears is listening to voluptuous (song or talk)…” (Sahi Muslim, Book 46, Hadith 33) leaves no confusion about the danger of music. So what may start out as a seemingly harmless past-time might end in one committing the biggest regrets of his life.
Listening to music uproots Imaan and Ihsaan from the heart and cultivates hypocrisy and immorality. It makes one forgetful from the remembrance of His Lord and incurs the wrath of Allah (SWT). In brief, it is an act of disobedience for which he will be punished in this world as well as the next.
Leading scholars like Shaykh Uthaymeen, Ibn Ba’az and Albani (may Allah have mercy on them) have ruled reciting and listening to Nasheeds as permissible. Nasheed, in Arabic, refers to raising one’s voice with poetry, with beautification of the voice and fine poetry. They are often composed of verses glorifying the Lord and praising Islam, which act as a reinforcement of positive principles and abstaining from sin. However, one shouldn’t habitually engage in listening to them as as an excess of anything negates its original purpose.
We must constantly be on the lookout for all such agencies that threaten to weaken our Imaan. The best way to accomplish this is to strengthen our connection with our Lord. Here are a few tips on how to achieve this.
- Don’t be idle- “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” Engage yourself in acts of charity, learning and good deeds.
- Recite the Quran- The more you recite the Quran, the stronger is your relation with Allah and the less vulnerable you are to such things.
- Keep good company- “A man is on the religion of his friends.” Righteous friends help to keep our Imaan in check and influence us to do good deeds.
- Trust in Allah- No sin is too huge to be forgiven. If we turn towards him with sincere repentance and have faith in his forgiveness, then He will surely forgive us. After all, He is the one who says, “Call upon Me; I will respond to you.” (Quran 40:60)
- Abdullah Al-Athari, S. (2013). Singing & Music in Islamic Perspective. Riyadh: Darussalam Publisher.
بارك الله فيكم
وجزاكم الله خيرا
سبحانك اللهم وبحمدك أشهد أن لا إله إلا أنت استغفرك و أتوب إليك
والسلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
Written by: Mariam Kamran