Music and Islam
(The author of this article is the Editor in Chief of Al-Balaagh, a bi-monthly published from Lenasia, South Africa. He is a widely known Muslim writer, author of several books, and journalist. In August 2001 he received an Award of Honor for his 50 years of extraordinary service in the cause of Islam. He has written more than 30,000 letters in 50 years at the rate of 3 to 5 letters a night - to various people around the world, answering their queries, or thanking them for something).
Allow me the hospitality of your esteemed website to set the record straight on this simple subject of music, made vexatious and exacerbated by the sacerdotal community and their obsequious myrmidons!
At a time when the entire Muslim world is devastatingly traumatized and is at its nadir in history, here we have our self-appointed, self-glorifying, self-aggrandizing, euphemistically called “ulama”, pouncing snarlingly at the music-loving Muslims of the world with claws at the ready and fangs bared. But these are vacuous, feckless tantrums of paper tigers! No discussion on how to fight AIDS, drug abuse, and other rottenness in our hapless society, but their all-consuming passion and preoccupation is MUSIC - Haraam or Halaal!
I must unreservedly compliment the brilliant correspondents who have evinced great sanity and an irrefutably logical perspective to the subject of music, which is a FACT of nature never mind what the myopic, astigmatic priests say. The Almighty claims in the Quran that He has NOT (repeat NOT!) left out ANYTHING in the Quran (6:38). If so, then how come He “forgot” to include the “all-important” (to the mullahs) subject of music in the Quran?
Space limitations preclude my going into details, but ALL genuine SCHOLARS (NOT mullahs!) of Islam are unanimously agreed that every Hadith condemning music is DAEEF (weak). The Prophet was NOT an uncultured, uncouth barbarian, a Philistine and spoilsport who would proscribe a beautiful, aesthetic thing like music to his followers! He loved the good things of life, and music was one of them! The mullahs, who are artistically, educationally and culturally dry and desiccated, unpolished and unrefined, wish to cast the Prophet in their own mould!
When the anti-music group (the mullahs and their bootlickers) attacks the enlightened intellectuals, they resort to clichés and hackneyed expressions such as “copy-and-paste scholarship”, “unqualified”, etc. Their hallmark is that they dutifully and faithfully attack the man, never his arguments!!!
MUHAMED ISMAIL of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, says: “The Muslims of the world ... look up to the ulema bodies for guidance on Islam.” Absolutely WRONG! Muslims look up to the Quran and the Prophet for guidance on Islam. He also says: “The Traditions (Hadith).... are SECOND to the Quran as foundations of Islam.” The Prophet (according to Mr. Muhamed Ismail’s “Traditions”) gives his lice-infested head in the lap of ANOTHER MAN’S WIFE, in the ABSENCE OF THE HUSBAND, to look for lice; he eats at her place, and then sleeps in her apartment (all this when the husband is AWAY!). The Prophet Muhammad (S) had 11 (eleven) wives, and could have easily obtained a plate of food from any of his wives; he could have given his head in the lap of any of his 11 wives to look for lice, and he could have slept in the apartment of any of his 11 wives. But he preferred ANOTHER MAN’S WIFE, making sure the husband was not at home, for his lice-removing and hunger-satisfying needs!!!
Let Mr. Muhamed Ismail of P.E. inform the world how this ineffably, outrageously, unbelievably IMMORAL behaviour on the part of Prophet Muhammad (S)(as alleged by Bukhari!) which flagrantly violates ALL canons of decency and morality, is the “second source of Islamic foundation”?
Abul Kalaam Azad, the brilliant, outstanding, profound Islamic scholar (Aalim), orator, writer and theologian par excellence that India had the good fortune to produce, had this to say about music: “I can always remain happy doing without the necessities of life, but I cannot live without music. A sweet voice is the support and prop of my life, a healing for my mental labours. Sweet music is the cure for all the ills and ailments of my body and heart.” (Ghubaar-e-Khaatir)
In his Alchemy of Happiness, Imam Ghazzali says: “The heart of men has been so constituted by the Almighty that, like a flint, it contains a hidden fire which is involved by music and harmony, and renders man beside himself with ecstasy. These harmonies are echoes of that higher world of beauty, which we call the world of spirits; they remind man of his relationship to that world, and produce in him an emotion so deep and strange that he himself is powerless to explain it. The effect of music and dancing is deeper in proportion as the natures on which they act are simple and prone to emotion; they fan into flame whatever love is already dormant in the heart, whether it be earthly and sensual, or divine and spiritual.”
Jalaluddin Rumi says in his Mathnawi: “Therefore music is the food of lovers (of God), since therein is the fantasy of composure ... The fire of love is made keen (inflamed) by melodies……”
When such intellectual GIANTS of Islam as Ghazzali, Rumi, and others like Allamah Iqbal, Abul Kalaam Azad et al, advocate the absorption of music into one’s soul, then who on earth are these pygmy, Lilliputian mullahs to say that music is Haraam? The truth is that a wonderful, most beautiful and aesthetic thing like music is simply NOT in the “taqdeer” of these dry mullahs! That is why a wise man had so aptly remarked: “The mullahs are so DRY, that they would make excellent firewood to start the Fire of Jahannam!”
Courtesy-AL-BALAAGH, Vol.28, No.3, AUG/SEP. 2003
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