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.