Battlefront: Music

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I seek refuge with Allah from satan the accursed.

In the name of Allah Most Compassionate Most Merciful

It used to be that as soon as I got in the car, I turned on the radio and surfed around to find a good tune.  I looked forward to driving or sitting in the car just so I could hear music.  It is a different experience listening to music in the car versus at home or at work.  In the car, I feel like I can fully enjoy the music because there is nothing else to do.  At home, I might play some music but often tune out mentally while in the midst of some chore or activity.  But for the last couple of months I have been fighting my old habit of listening to whatever sounds good.  I am literally at war with myself when it comes to music.

 

A couple of months ago my father made a comment about how the lyrics in many popular songs are disgusting and he ended by stating that he didn’t understand how we (his children) could continue listening to that stuff.  His words deeply resonated with me and later that night I vowed in my heart to at least make an effort to refrain from listening to songs that promoted immorality.

 

It was a much tougher battle that I thought it would be.  Sometimes a song would come on and the beat got me in a great mood, but then I realized that the lyrics were filled with shameful ideas.   Then came the battle between my conscience and me.  My conscience would be yelling at me to change the station while my hand would hover over the frequency dial, the excuse being, “But this is the best part!”  I got some extra help from Allah SWT, as one day, while I expected to delay changing the station my finger somehow touched the dial and in less than a second my ears heard a new, “clean” tune.  It almost felt like a trance had just been broken.  I asked myself, “It was pretty easy to change the station so how come I had been delaying or not changing it all these years?”

 

Another really big problem I initially had was that nobody else around me cared enough about this topic.  When I was the passenger and someone else was picking the radio station, I sometimes felt a little foolish to tell the other person to change the station, especially if the person was clearly enjoying the song.  But soon after, my heart would sink and I would get upset with myself for being a coward.  Eventually I began to muster up strength and began discussing how I had decided to change the station when an immoral song came on. Often my plea was met with silence and indifference, but soon enough people in my life started turning the dial every time I brought it up, and before I knew it they were actually changing it by realizing themselves.

 

Once I had more control over the music in my life, I felt a little stupid for my reluctance earlier to follow the right path.  Research shows that the mind is designed for two purposes and that is to protect us and to ensure our survival.  Therefore, once a set of actions become a part of our lives, the mind will fight to keep it that way as change could be threatening in its effects. This has both positive and negative sides depending on what habits we acquire.  Hence, anything new and different from what we are accustomed to requires extra effort and discomfort on our part until it becomes habitual and as a result, comfortable.

 

This is what I had to go through for the last couple of months and by the grace of Allah SWT I have developed much better self-control when it comes to the songs I enjoy.  When in the beginning I was slow and reluctant to change the station because the song sounded good despite the wrong message, I am now quicker to change the station once I realize the song contains something immoral.  Sometimes that means giving up the pleasure of listening to something very melodious and upbeat.

I urge you to make a sincere commitment between Allah SWT and yourself when it comes to music.  Promise yourself that you will try your best to only listen to songs that do not cross the limits set by Allah SWT, for music is a beautiful gift from God Almighty.  It captivates our attention and gives us great joy.  Therefore it should be every person’s desire to keep this medium pure and free of shameful and immoral ideas and words.  Once a large number of people start tuning out songs with immoral lyrics, musicians and record companies will be hit hard on their wallets and will be forced to reconsider the types of messages and words they project through their songs.

 

So understand that life is a war with yourself.  This war is full of battles that must be fought sometimes on a daily basis.  It is easier to give in to your habits and cultural norms, especially when it comes to music.  But if you remind yourself that you can only enjoy the blessings of Allah SWT within the boundaries of decency and good morals then you will make it a little easier for yourself to make the right choices.

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13 responses »

  1. Hmmm. I would disagree with you on general principle; e.g., that it is not music predicates sin, but the reverse; immorality is reflected in the music. Stopping yourself from listening to sin is not going to change your reality or your society; in fact, it will do the opposite. You will withdraw from cultural icons and references that are extant within your community. I would suggest trying to change your community values rather than shutting off the radio. Ultimately, it won’t work. It might for you, but I’ll bet more than a couple of bucks that your kids will crank that thing up once you leave the room.

    My humble $.02.

  2. I see your point. But the songs affects our consciousness and if we are constantly listening to songs that promote promiscuity and glorify violence and excess then the cumulative effect would definitely damage our sensibilities to some extent, even if it is limited to our thoughts. I still listen to mainstream music but I have started making conscious choices and I don’t expect to force my kids to not listen to mainstream music. Not all mainstream music has immoral messages. It depends what you choose to listen. It is our duty as Muslims to not consciously put ourselves in situations that can lead to the breach of boundaries set by God, because overtime it can potentially lead us astray.

  3. Alhumdullilah, 🙂 it’s great you’ve stopped listening to “immoral” songs with the help of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, but to say that music is a blessing from Allah is wrong and a misconception. ALL music is haram as indicated by the Qur’an and hadiths.

    “And there are among men, those that purchase idle tales, to mislead (men) from the path of Allah and throw ridicule. For such there will be a humiliating punishment” (Surah Luqman, v.6) The great companion Ibn Masud (RA) swore to Allah that this ayah refers to music/singing.

    We know the companions (RA) didn’t swear by Allah about petty issues or if they were unsure of something. They only swore by Allah when they were completely certain about something. One of the great scholars Al-Hasan al-Basri (Rahimahullah)said: “this ayah was revealed concerning singing and musical instruments.” The four madhhabs are agreed that all musical instruments are haraam.

    Bukhari Book 7 Volume 69 Hadith 494
    Narrated Abu ‘Amir or Abu Malik Al-Ash’ari: that he heard the Prophet saying, “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. And there will be some people who will stay near the side of a mountain and in the evening their shepherd will come to them with their sheep and ask them for something, but they will say to him, ‘Return to us tomorrow.’ Allah will destroy them during the night and will let the mountain fall on them, and He will transform the rest of them into monkeys and pigs and they will remain so till the Day of Resurrection.”

    This is an authentic hadith. Some people entertain the misconception that all the ahadith prohibiting music are weak, which is untrue. Some of them are weak but the scholars still allow them because this one is authentic.

    So it’s clear that music is haraam. The people that say otherwise are just following what this hadith states, they want to make music halaal.

    The only instrument permitted is the duff, and it’s ONLY for little girls to play at weddings and should just be amongst women.

    Ibn Tammiyah said that any man who plays the duff is a feminine man and it was not permitted.

  4. I respect your views regarding music but there are differing views from different scholars. I find the strongest argument regarding music and the arts is that the medium is not prohibited in our faith but it is rather anything that promotes obscenity, therefore the lyrics have to be monitored and if there is a video to promote it then the video must stay within the bounds of moral decency. As far as musical instruments are considered one has to keep in mind that since the piano, violin and drums were not even invented at the time of the prophet pbuh it does not make sense to make modern instruments haram. We are free to make our life choices and only Allah SWT is worthy of judging us. May Allah SWT make it easy for us to judge truth from falsehood. Ameen.

  5. SubhanAllah the evidence provided above isn’t enough for you? One of the Greatest companions (Ibn Masud RA) swearing by Allah that the ayah is referring to music/singing is not sufficient evidence? Was there any sahabi who said music is allowed? The sahabah were the best of people, they learned Islam directly from the Prophet, which is why he SAW said that the best people from this ummah were those of his generation, then the ones after them, and then the ones after them. The great scholars of the past were all agreed upon the fact that all music is haram with the exception I posted above. Do u think these Great scholars declared music haram without clear evidence from the Qur’an and Sunnah? The same explanation has also been narrated from Mujahid, Ikrima, Ibrahim Nakha’i, Mak’hul and others (Allah be pleased with them all). The above verse of the Qur’an, along with the statements regarding its meaning is clear in the prohibition of music. It also serves as a severe warning for those who are involved in the trade of music in any way, shape or form, as Allah warned them of “Humiliating punishment”. There is a consensus of the whole Ummah on this. Since the first century, the Companions (sahaba), their followers (tabi’een), jurists (fuqaha) and the scholars have been generally unanimous on this ruling. The flute was around at the time of the Prophet SAW and he HATED the sound of it.

    Abu Dhar said: “I was with the Prophet (SAW) one day and I heard him saying: “There is something I fear for my Ummah than the Dajjal.” It was then that I became afraid, so I said: “Oh Rasool Allah, which thing is that?” He (SAW) said: “Misguided and astray scholars.” Recorded in Musnad Imam Ahmad.

    Keep in mind that we don’t just take knowledge from anyone nowadays, as there’s more people who are on innovations and deviations than people on the Sunnah, so one must be very careful about whom he takes his knowledge from. We have to look at what the great scholars of the past said and what the present scholars strictly on the sunnah have said.

    People who allow music are simply fulfilling the prophecy of the Prophet SAW. Go through these links please if you are seeking the truth sincerely. Please don’t think I’m judging you or anyone as I am no one to do that. My job is to convey the truth (in fact that’s an obligation on every muslim). If you don’t want to stop listening to music, ok, but please don’t mislead other Muslims with your words. Remember you will be accountable for every person you misguide by saying music is allowed. I think you’re misinformed about music but we can’t reject the truth when it comes to us by the will of Allah. Let’s not be slaves to our desires. May Allah guide us all.

    http: //www. islamqa. com/en/ref/5000/music

  6. I really don’t want to argue with you. I have great respect for your passion regarding this topic but you have to understand that we have to be careful about what we call “haram.” Anything in excess is wrong which includes watching television, talking, sleeping, eating, music. My dear friend there are differences in opinion regarding music let me assure you. I am in no way trying to mislead anyone. Feel free to watch the following video also by a scholar. Let’s not make our faith so complicated. Salaam and peace.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/drkhalidzaheer#p/u/9/KUGOUIa8E7o

  7. Haram is clear and halal is clear. I dont understand whats so complicated about music being haram? Just shows how far we’ve strayed from the straight path and how we’ve become slaves of our desires and whims. I provided you with authentic evidence. I gave you proof from the Qur’an itself, yet you refuse to accept that music is haram. Can you refute the evidence I provided? I highly doubt it, so please brother, be humble enough to accept that music is indeed haram. Trust me you have nothing to lose and much to gain. There is no difference of opinion and never was and never will be in sha Allah about music being haram amongst the scholars of the Sunnah. Like I said before, be careful of who you take knowledge from. A person who isn’t very knowledgeable about Islam can be misled very easily. And just so you know, any person who reads and studies doesn’t become a “scholar”. There are people who speak about Islam and invite to it, theyre called Da’ees, not scholars. It’s wrong for us to take them to the level of a Scholar. The scholars are people who have studied a LONG time, and then you have to see what their Aqeedah and Manhaj (methedology) is. Muslims have to follow the righteous predecessors, namely the Sahaba (companions of the Prophet SAW), the tabi’een, and atba tabi’een. What they did, we do. What they left alone, we leave it alone as those were the best of people. So please brother, let’s be real with ourselves and others. I understand giving up music is hard, it took me some time to give it up but alhumdulillah with Allah’s help I was able to stop listening to it and wasting my time. Once the Qur’an goes in your heart, there will be room for nothing else. Music will become reprehensible. I know it’s not your intention to mislead people, but that’s what’s happening because of this article. We have to be VERY careful before we say that something is not haram when there’s more than sufficient evidence to prove it is. We could be falling into Kufr (disbelief) unknowingly by saying something is halal when its not. May Allah protect us and guide us all. Ameen. Please don’t take offense to anything I said and if I did offend you, please forgive me. Wa alaikum asalam.

  8. The evidence you gave from the Quran is not evidence about music at all. That verse is talking about some really serious stuff. One person interpreted that as being music. You have to think about it logically. You cannot force an interpretation on others. But this is it now I think we just have to agree to disagree on this topic. Feel free to post what ever you like here. I appreciate the difference in opinion you provide. This way everyone who reads can think and decide on their own. I am no longer going to post further proof about why music in itself is not haram because the evidence is pretty clear and in the end nobody is being forced to listen to music, as most people listen to it because they choose to. Salaam 🙂
    oh and don’t worry, you did not offend me. I want actually thank you for forcing me to really think about what I believe in.

  9. Salaam O Alaikum,

    I am very pleased to hear that your heart is in tune with the creator and his limits which is why He (swt) has chose for you to post here and for me to read and reply to it. It was all ordained and not a mere coincidence.

    I would start of by defining Islam which means “to submit” or surrender your desires to the will of Allah (swt). If one does not submit, or surrender their desires wholeheartedly and completely to the will of Allah, then in essence, they are not “Muslim.”

    Lets give some examples for clarification. If one loves wealth and money, and never gives zakat (if he is able), he is not submitting to the commands set forth by Allah (swt). If one never prays, he is not submitting himself (literally when in sujood) to the command of Allah (swt). So we see, that this person while he/she may have a Muslim name, is not really a Muslim, but in fact, a hypocrite.

    I have a few questions for you which you may answer here, or internally to yourself, whichever you may prefer. Do some introspection, in fact.

    When has listening to ANY type of music encouraged you to pick up the Quraan and read it? When has listening to any type of music brought you closer to Allah (swt)? Have you ever listened to music and then prayed Nawafil for Allah (swt) blessing you with good music? I am being serious, think about it. Even if you love Sami Yusuf who has good lyrics, and he talks about Allah (swt), and the Messenger (May Peace and Blessings be upon Him), when has even religious music brought you closer to Islam? Does this music inspire you to be God conscious? Does this music make you consistent in your Salah? Does this music promote or encourage you to become a better person? Does this music encourage you to be humble, modest, and patient? Because this is what Islam calls one to.

    I am asking these questions because this is the essence of Islam. Any type of entertainment medium or any other social interaction or outlet, that does not bring one closer to Ar Rahaman (Allah (swt)), is a waste of time. Allah swears by time in Surah Asr, that Every Man/Woman is in loss except for those who believe and do good deeds. Have you ever thought, if you could replace good music in your car, with the speech of Allah (Quran), just as you replaced vain, superficial music to better music, how many good deeds you will be attaining? What is better than the speech of Allah(swt)?

  10. I, personally can tell you, something that you already know. By tuning in and out of the radio and listening to the same repetitive songs, you may have memorized their lyrics. It is only natural since the songs repeat.

    Imagine if you listen to and repeat the last juzz of Quraan in your car, you know what will happen? You will memorize the Quraan, just as easily. Subhan’Allah. Each moment you spend if your car listening to the speech of Allah, will be a source good deeds for you. Wallahi, every moment that is not spent for the sake of Allah, will become a means of regret on Youm al Qiyaamah, when everyone will be holding onto their precious deeds. Would you have not wished then, that the amount of time you spent listening to decent music in your car (which can sum to a significant amount of time) could have been better spent to listening to the Quran. Because you know our level in Jannah will be decided according to how much of the Quran we memorized and internalized.

    My dear brother let me be practical now. I wish nothing but goodness for you. But I would like to know the contents (lyrics) of the music you listen to presently. Then I would like to compare those lyrics to the speech of Allah and let you be the judge. The miracle of Islaam is the Quran and being a Muslim, we should cherish it. We listen to music for entertainment and to feel happy and peaceful. When Allah (swt) reminds us in the Quran, that Surely hearts finds peace in the remembrance of Allah (ie Quraan, Dhikr).

    You always say in Salah, “Guide us along the straight path.” It is my belief if we are sincere when we recite this, Allah (swt) guides us. Perhaps Allah Loves you and wants that which is better for your car, your heart, soul, and mind (Quraan). Me commenting on your post is not a coincidence. 🙂

    I could easily referenced Quran and Hadith and Scholars and such but I wanted to personalize this post. I always experiment with Islaam. I will sometimes not put on the Alarm for Fajr and see if i wake up by the will of Allah. I gave up music, and you can only see music and songs for their hidden reality when the Quraan has entered your heart.

    I propose an experiment. Choose your favorite Qari and listen to the last Juzz or any part of the Quraan in your car, every time you drive for a month. If Allah has destined good for you, Quraan will find a place in your heart (whether you understand Arabic or not). Then you will be interested in knowing the meaning of that which you have memorized and things only get better after that insha’Allah.

    You do not want to be amongst those who say on the Day of Judgement, Oh I wish I had sent forth more good deeds when I was alive, as Allah says in Surah Fajr. I will pray for you and your continued success to gain nearness to your Lord. Allahuma Ameen.

  11. Lastly, as time goes on and in our current modern media and entertainment industry, you will be hard pressed to find songs or artists who are in accordance with the limits of Allah (swt) and his Messenger (May Peace be Upon Him). Either you take Quraan as an alternative to songs, or be ready to keep exercising your fingers as you turn the dial in your car, while we live in troubled times.

    If you can bring your close and loved ones, not to listen to obscene music, imagine how many good deeds will you get if you get them to listen to the Quraan in the car. Every time they listen to it, you will be rewarded for it as much as they will be without anything being decreased from them. That is why Islaam is beautiful. It seems to me that you have a love of Islaam in your heart, Masha’Allah. I hope you take my posts into consideration. 🙂 If anything I have said, is wrong, it is from my own faults and limitations and Allah (swt) and his Messenger (May Peace and Blessings be Upon Him) are free from it. If there is anything I said, which is correct, it is from the Grace of Allah (swt).

  12. Salaam Truth, and welcome to my blog. Thank you for reading my post. I enjoyed reading your response. Firstly I am sure this is obvious but i will say it anyways that my post is not about whether to listen to music or to Quranic recitations. Obviously, recitations would be a higher choice. But the fact of the matter is that most people need some sort of entertainment and relaxation, and since many turn to music, I was simply reminding everyone to be conscious of what they listen to and stay away from indecent and immoral songs. The prophet pbuh did not only just talk about the Quran or religious matters. History shows that he was a man who also enjoyed himself with his family and companions. It would be unrealistic to think that a person can live every day of their life only reading, listening, and talking directly about the Quran and sunnah. And actually there are many positive songs that help to motivate me to write these blogs, feel compassion for humanity, appreciate what I have and much more. And all of these things are part of worshipping Allah SWT because worship does not just mean salah, it means to obey his commands by fulfilling our rights and duties towards others in our life. Songs are simply a way to convey a message, just like there is this blog or a television show or a lecture, all of these are mediums to convey messages to the world. Thank you for composing your reply in very respectful and compassionate manner. Your integrity shines through your words. Jazak’Allah for your input. 🙂

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