Is Music Prohibited in Islam? Part 1

Praise be to Allaah.

While writing this article, I stumbled on a clipping from a newspaper called “EVENING STANDARD” that had an article with the heading: “At home I’m dead. But on stage, I’m God”. The article explained how the musician called Angel Haze thinks of her music as a confessional. The former Raeen Roes Wilson had a dramatic childhood. She joked about her mum trying to kill her multiple times, claiming that it is funny now that she isn’t dead. The fact that she is disregarding it shows some form of passive aggressiveness. She also identifies herself as “agender” meaning she is gender neutral. She went on saying “I sound like four people when I get written about as ‘they’. It drives me crazy.” She continues to say that “I don’t consider myself of any sex. I consider myself as an experience”.

This story mirrors the lives of many musicians.  Angel Haze’s report of being repeatedly raped as a child growing up in the Greater Apostolic Faith – a cult vaguely attached to the Pentecostal Church – sends chills down my spine. Interestingly enough, she was forbidden from secular music and wearing trousers.

In any case, we see a lot of famous musicians being depressed and having suicidal thoughts. Katy Perry opened up about her depression in Marathon Livestream; “I built up this Katy Perry thing that everybody knows and that’s the reason why they’re tuning in and it’s fantastic, but it’s more of a facade,” she told the therapist Siri Singh. Katheryn Hudson breaks down as she points out; “Look at Katy Perry — she’s so glamorous, she’s rich, she’s luxurious, successful and, like, Katheryn Hudson — I didn’t have any money, I didn’t have any influence, I didn’t have anything.” She also speaks of herself in the third person and as she talks about her depression – crying at length she goes on to specify that “I’m ashamed because of course Katy Perry is so strong, but it’s hard because I feel ashamed that I would even have those thoughts and feel that low or that depressed,”.

Beyonce describes her alter ego as being Sasha Fierce. The Mirror published an article saying ‘The singer, currently wishing she was a man too in current Number One single If I Was A Boy, says: “I turn into Sasha. I wouldn’t like Sasha if I met her off stage. She’s too aggressive, too strong, too sassy, too sexy! I’m not like her in real life at all. I’m not flirtatious and super-confident and fearless like her.

“What I feel onstage I don’t feel anywhere else. It’s an out-of-body experience. I created my stage persona … so that when I go home, I don’t have to think about what it is I do. Sasha isn’t me. The people around me know who I really am.”

Allaah says: وَاسْتَفْزِزْ مَنِ اسْتَطَعْتَ مِنْهُم بِصَوْتِكَ وَأَجْلِبْ عَلَيْهِم بِخَيْلِكَ وَرَجِلِكَ وَشَارِكْهُمْ فِي الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَوْلَادِ وَعِدْهُمْ ۚ وَمَا يَعِدُهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ إِلَّا غُرُورًا – 17:64

“[Allaah said to Iblees:] And incite [to senselessness] whoever you can among them with your voice and assault them with your horses and foot soldiers and become a partner in their wealth and their children and promise them.” But Satan does not promise them except delusion. [al-Israa’ 17:64]

It was narrated that Mujaahid (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “And befool them gradually those whom you can among them with your voice” – his voice [the voice of Iblees/Shaytaan] is singing and falsehood. Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: This idaafah [possessive or genitive construction, i.e., your voice] serves to make the meaning specific, as with the phrases [translated as] “your cavalry” and “your infantry” [later in the same aayah]. Everyone who speaks in any way that is not obedient to Allaah, everyone who blows into a flute or other woodwind instrument, or who plays any haraam kind of drum, this is the voice of the Shaytaan. Everyone who walks to commit some act of disobedience towards Allaah is part of his [the Shaytaan’s] infantry, and anyone who rides to commit sin is part of his cavalry. This is the view of the Salaf, as Ibn ‘Abi Haatim narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas: his infantry is everyone who walks to disobey Allaah. (Ighaathat al-Lahfaan).

Allaah says in Surat Luqmaan (interpretation of the meaning):

“And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks (i.e. music, singing) to mislead (men) from the path of Allaah…” [Luqmaan 31:6]

(To be continued)


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