I’m not deaf. Neither are you! I’ve got two ears. So have you! Alhamdolillah. What a great, amazing blessing of Allah it is! Let’s imagine for a moment that we were deaf. Think: What would we miss out on apart from the loving voices of
friends and family? Listen carefully! There are so many sounds around us- from the whirring of the fan to the slamming of the door. Let’s step outdoors. We are greeted by a beautiful melody of nature’s orchestra: the rustling of leaves, the chirping of birds, the howling of winds, the lapping of winds, the purring of cats. So again, Alhamdolillah for this amazing input device: my two ears.
Think also of other sounds that enter your ears. When you stuff your earphones in your ears to focus on that one sound- your favorite music accompanied by the honey-coated or throaty (depending on ur choice) voice of your favorite singer. In our times, music has become so common that to call it Haram is like calling bread and jam Haram! Despite this, there is a very strong underlying belief in our society that there is something wrong with music. When I was in college, the notion that you shouldn’t listen to music during Ramadan was always there. Even the die-hard music fans would avoid it. And I would wonder: ‘Was it out of respect for Ramadan? Does Allah not like music during Ramadan? So does He like it out of Ramadan?’ I was never motivated enough to look for the answer to these questions, but yes I wondered about it often. Aren’t we all guilty of such careless attitudes in matters of religion? For our own ease, we like to stay in the gray areas. Ignorance, we believe, is bliss. To put it in simpler and blunter terms, we never fell in love with Allah. So we never bothered to find out His likes and dislikes. Just imagine if the Prophet (S) visited you, would you discuss your favorite songs with him? Do you think he would like it? He loved you and me to bits. Peace and blessings be upon him. But we never truly loved him either. Peace and blessings be upon him. So we became totally indifferent. Ignorance- planned, deliberate ignorance- is a curse.
I will not discuss the Halal or Haram aspect of music with you. Why not? Because if love is ignited in your heart, you will make a sincere effort to find it out for yourself; and if the love is not there, simply knowing will not benefit you in the least. Just think about the lyrics that keep ringing in our ears. The lyrics I remember from my time are: Preeto meray naal wiah ker lay, Asaan tay jana billo tay kaar, Channo ki aankh main aik nassha hy etc. And what the youngsters are listening to these days is stuff like “Pyaar ki pungi” and “tu mera Hero”. Ponder over the lyrics. The message being conveyed by the overwhelming majority of songs is that of romance bordering on lewdness and indecency. Lots of songs have blasphemous content and glorify Hindu gods and goddesses. Many Indian songs even contain the sacred name of Allah or Rabb and Maula accompanying the most vulgar lyrics and dances. Take just one mild example from the popular Desi Boyz:
1) Tauba Tauba Tere pyar mein
Lut gaya Iqraar mein
Tujhse mohabbat ho gayi
Allah maaf kare
Tauba Qayamat ho gayi
Allah maaf kare
Dekha tujhe toh saansein ruk gayi
Sajde mein yeh aankhien jhuk gayi
Teri ibadat ho gayi
Allah maaf kare
The only reason I am quoting such nauseating lyrics is to jolt the reader in to their senses. Just because its packaged in music, we lap up the disgusting garbage. Like mindless puppets, we dance on their tunes at our parties and mehndis.
Isn’t it your input that defines your output? Garbage in, garbage out! Just for two weeks, try giving your soul a break from music and listen regularly to beautiful Qur`anic recitation with translation and see if you don’t enjoy it. See if it does not alter your thoughts, words and actions. JUST TWO WEEKS. I CHALLENGE YOU!
Why am I so sure? Because this is a path that I have trodden myself. A few years back, I stopped listening to music for the sake of Allah’s Pleasure. I experienced something phenomenal: Allah gave me the Qur`an instead. This led me to strongly believe that if you leave something for the sake of Allah, He does NOT leave you empty-handed. He replaces it with something better. This I knew, for sure. This is what I experienced. Years later, I was overwhelmed when I read the same concept in the hadith: “Whosoever leaves something for the sake of Allah then Allah, the Mighty and Magnificent, will replace it with something better than it.“[Ahmad]
Anyway, I simply fell in love with the Quran. I loved to connect to Allah by listening to the recitation and translation at all times: when I was happy, when I was sad, when I was bored. I experienced first-hand that all the lyrics in the world cannot be compared with Alif Laam Meem. How can the words of the Creator ever be compared to the words of the creation? The Quran spoke directly to my soul. My soul responded and resonated. The Creator of my soul had sent a feast for it and my sick, starving soul was finally satiated and dancing with joy. Those who say that music is food for the soul have not realized the true worth of the soul. Something that comes directly from the heavens, from Allah Himself, can be fed by a genuine heavenly dose only- melodious Quranic recitation. Reciting the Quran in a melodious voice has been stressed in ahadith too.
“Beautify the Quran with your voices” (Sunan Abi Dawood)
“He is not of us who doesn’t recite the Quran in a melodious voice”. (Sahih Bukhari)
But, yes, my journey from music to the Quran has been unsteady. Sometimes I drift back to music again while flipping through channels. Sometimes, music becomes unavoidable, like in malls and at weddings. And in my unsteadiness, Allah has taught me an extremely important lesson. The closer I come to music, the farther I go from the Quran and vice versa. I now believe with certainty: The love of Quran and music cannot co-exist in one heart.
Editor`s note: If you missed Part I of the “Debunking Music Series” series click here.