One of the questions many people ask when they are considering converting to Islam is, “Why music is haram (forbidden) in Islam?” The answer to this question varies for each person; for some it’s easy to draw a straight line between music and Islam, while others look for a little more detail. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on the first question: why music is haram, or forbidden in Islam. For many Muslims around the world, music is viewed as a Western creation that takes away from the spiritual aspect of Islam. While this can certainly be true for some cultures, the majority of Muslim believers consider music to be a necessity, a tool to help them connect with their surroundings.
Many Muslims feel that music does more than just keep them entertained: it helps keep them spiritually connected with God. This is why music is considered to be a form of art, because it has its own intrinsic qualities that are intended to uplift and strengthen the soul. To put it simply, music expresses something that is meaningful to the listener, so that the listener feels inspired to do good or be creative. In addition, music has the ability to move people, so that the listener’s heartbeat quickens or slows according to the mood of those surrounding him or her. In many Islamic cultures, it’s illegal to perform music, which makes using music as a form of entertainment very difficult.
There are many arguments regarding this issue, but in general, the scholars hold a similar position. According to some Islamic scholars, music is haram because it takes away from the pure spiritual value of Islamic worship. To them, it’s necessary to use musical instruments in order to bring people closer to God, rather than performing what is deemed to be idolatry. This is because many scholars feel that non-musical instruments take away from the true essence of worship.
When discussing the debate between music and worship, it’s important to note that there are two schools of thought. Some scholars insist that all forms of worship must follow the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), and thus any deviation is haram, which includes using musical instruments. Others, however, believe that such worship can be carried out without using musical instruments. These scholars argue that some forms of worship can be performed without using musical instruments, but that each of these types of worship should abide by the rules of Sunnah, as articulated by the companions of the prophet.
Because there are certain rules for religious ritual, there are certain rules for religious speech, as well. The scholars claim that this difference between worship and speech is what renders music haram. For them, using nasik (laying with hands), dabeer (passing the hand over body parts while pronouncing the name of the Muslim god) and khazeer (sympathetic prayer) are not technically permitted because they entail the use of vocal cords. In contrast, it is permissible to perform Namaz (pray) and duha (supplication). Since the Arabic language has no word for “doo,” this is technically not permissible as well, even though many scholars do not hold this view. But since the Arabic language has words that denote actions that include singing (tunes), it’s believed that this action is not forbidden in Islam, but it must abide by certain rules.
The scholars have a different view on mixed gatherings. They believe that mixed gatherings should follow the guidelines of mixed bodies of people in order to be considered halal. However, the groupings may not use musical instruments. It’s considered maktubah (breaking the meat grinder). Again, the scholars believe that this should be a factor when determining whether a gathering is not performing halal.
The scholars have a different view of why music is haram according to non-islamic practices. They do not hold that all music is haram, only those that are in violation of Islamic law. They believe that all non-halal songs are allowed provided that they don’t push the boundaries of what is Islamic law. They also believe that the mixing of instruments is acceptable provided that it doesn’t overstep what is allowed in Islamic law. This is a gray area, since what is permitted is relative, while what is strictly not allowed is absolute.
A lot of contemporary musicians are doing things that scholars do not approve of. For instance, some are practicing duff, which is mentioned in the Quran as one of the most disliked actions. Some are practicing rakm, which is mentioned in the Quran as an act of disliking music. Others are mixing islamic songs with western music. Non-Muslims often point this out as an example of how music is haramist in nature when it should not be. scholars must have their reasons for saying something is haram, but non Muslims should be careful of what scholars say when it comes to matters of faith and worship.