Recently I was talking to a young Muslim gent about a book I was reading. The book is called The Personal MBA Master The Art Of Business by Josh Kaufman (which I would highly recommend it to anyone with a product or service to sell). At this particular point in the book I was reading about a topic titled “Hooks”. The idea is to be able to succinctly capture the essence of your brand in a few words (i.e. Macdonalds > I’m lovin it, or Nike > Just do it, more here) in this day and age we musicians need to be part business if we hope to succeed ..
Anyhow, I was talking to Farhan about the book (he asked) and the topic, and I shared some thoughts I had about my website and music in general and then he hit me with something I never knew. He told me in Islam music and singing are considered sinful, and he shared a quote from some high ranking Muslim leader; “Music is the whisper of Satan”….! I was taken completely by surprise. I had never heard this before, and I doubted he was being accurate. “After all” I reasoned to him “we have in Christianity many splinter groups with beliefs that are unbiblical, and even heretical” surely this is the case here. Maybe Farhan was in the minority? Not so, here are some excerpts from the Islam Q and A rulings on singing and musical instruments;
Al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The four madhhabs are agreed that all musical instruments are haram (forbidden). (al-Saheehah, 1/145).
The author of Kifaayat al-Akhbaar, who was one of the Shaafa’is, counted musical instruments such as flutes and others, as being munkar (evil), and the one who is present (where they are being played) should denounce them. (He cannot be excused by the fact that there are bad scholars, because they are corrupting the sharee’ah, or evil faqeers – meaning the Sufis, because they call themselves fuqaraa’ or faqeers – because they are ignorant and follow anyone who makes noise; they are not guided by the light of knowledge; rather they are blown about by every wind. (Kifaayat al-Akhbaar, 2/128).
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The madhhab of Abu Haneefah is the strictest in this regard, and his comments are among the harshest. His companions clearly stated that it is haraam to listen to all musical instruments such as the flute and the drum, even tapping a stick.
Perhaps – for fair-minded and objective readers – this summary will make it clear that the view that music is permissible has no firm basis. There are no two views on this matter. So we must advise in the best manner, and then take it step by step and denounce music, if we are able to do so. We should not be deceived by the fame of a man in our own times in which the people who are truly committed to Islam have become strangers. The one who says that singing and musical instruments are permitted is simply supporting the whims of people nowadays, as if the masses were issuing fatwas and he is simply signing them! If a matter arises, they will look at the views of fuqahaa’ on this matter, then they will take the easiest view, as they claim. Then they will look for evidence, or just specious arguments which are worth no more than a lump of dead meat. How often have these people approved things in the name of sharee’ah which in fact have nothing to do with Islam!
I could not express my sheer and utter shock and disbelief. Here was a young man with his whole wonderful life in front of him listening to and attempting to meet the (false) law of music being evil.
Wow. We talked about music in Christianity, what I believed, what he personally believed (he does listen to music and believes he is sinning), worship, celebration and life in general. It was quite eye opening. While I believe Farhan is deceived, and while I believe Islam is a false religion (demonic), I could not help but to have a sad empathy for his right to allow this lie to suck the very joys of life straight out of his soul. After all, we are free in the final analysis to do either Gods will or our own will (and when I speak of God I do mean the One and true God in the Father of Christ Himself, and btw our Father when we accept Christ as our Savior). This freedom to choose brought home the ramifications of choosing self deceit. He knows where I stand with my walk with Christ…maybe some seeds of hope were sown. It also makes me wonder how many of us – Christian or not, are living according to what we really believe…right up to our secret concepts of right, wrong and truth.
I hope you are enjoying music today…and again the quote from Luther “Next to the Word of God,” he said, “the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world! The riches of music are so excellent and so precious that words fail me whenever I attempt to discuss and describe them.” Amen to that!