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Music and its effects
By: Hassan Tabatabai
Music is an issue that has been discussed intensely over the years and especially in the current times.
The Prophet of Allah (saww) said:
"And the person with the sin if singing (al-ghina') will be raised on the day of judgment blind, deaf, and dumb. The person with the sin of adultery, of wood-wind, and of the drum will also be raised in the same way."
"Whoever listens to the entertainment (song and music), leads will be melted inside his ear on the day of judgment."
"Singing and music are enchantments for adultery."
[As quoted in Imam Abul Qasim Al-Khoei's book al-Masael al-shar'iyya, vol.2, p.22-23]
MUSIC AND ITS EFFECTS
Islam does not recommend or encourage music amongst a community. This
may sound a drastic step to take, but we shall discuss some of the reasons in the text below.
Why do people listen to music? It is obvious they enjoy it, and the reasons for this may include passing time, as a form of relaxation, it is a fashionable habit to have.
There may not seem anything wrong in that, but as we go into further detail the reasons should become clear.
First of all, we must try to understand the concept of Halaal and Haraam.
Islam is a religion for all the people as well as the individual. Therefore, if there is something that affects a large percentage of the people in an undesirable manner, such as alcohol causing drunkenness and disorder, then Islam will make it haraam at the very beginning on the basis that "PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE." This means that it is better to stop something bad happening in the first place rather than doing something about it after it happens. This approach is common sense.
Music has an affect on the mind and the body. The effect depends on the type of music.
With some types of music, soft and soothing, one relaxes and opens up the mind, closes the eyes, and lets the music "flow" through the body. This causes the heartbeat and other electric signals of the body to start adapting to the beat of the music, and this can cause disorder.
With other types of music, the mind is almost possessed. Very often, with loud music, played at discos, and parties, the people begin to dance and move in rhythm to the music. This causes them to lose control of their nafs, so that they dance with partners, coming very close and losing all sense of shame, thinking and committing acts, which are the result of their desires.
It is also this type of music which tends to groups such as head bangers and heavy metal who lose all control over their actions and morals under the influence of such music.
Music then becomes like a drug, a person requires more and more of it and finds it very difficult to stop, and to obtain the same effect, they play the music louder and louder, this is bad for the ears as well as causing even more effect on the nervous system.
One of the more important reasons, is the effect music has on society. Many youngsters growing up in the western world identify themselves with a certain band and club. You will see posters in their bedroom, their clothes, and personality changes to emulate this idol. When you then see the screaming, dancing atmosphere in the concerts, you can imagine what powerful effect music then has on the mind and the body.
It is unfortunate that the society we live in, defines enjoyment as anything, which makes you forget the world. Music, alcohol, drugs.
They all have two common factors, (i) they are an escape from reality, and (ii) they are addictive. What does this tell you about the level of contentment in a normal life?
Music affects us in the same way as alcohol. It causes us to be unaware of our actions.
People often say that they listen to music very little, and don't open themselves up to it. Well, like all drugs, it is ADDICTIVE. If you start off with small quantities, you will soon increase until you become helpless.
There is a big difference between LISTENING to and HEARING a sound. When you hear something, it is just a sound, which enters your ears. you do not pay attention to it. While when you listen to something, it is an actual positive action, which you do consciously.
Not only should we avoid music, but also we should not go to places, which are designed to play music, or places where people dance to music. Such places, like discos and parties, cause people to lower their guard, and act in a loose and permissive manner.
One final point to be aware is that Allah makes things haraam for our benefit. We should try and understand why things are haraam and justify them as above, but at the end of the day, if we are convinced and have faith, we should accept the rules of Islam.
Verse 3 of Suratul Mu'minoon.
Al ladheena hum 'anil lagwhi mu'ridhuun.
and those who, from what is vain, keep themselves aloof.
Lghv ie Vain, the first Holy Imam Ali ibne Abi Taleb (A) says that all that is void of remembrance of God is meant by this term, with the Ahlul Bait (AS) this term included all useless entertainment's, wasteful of time, including musical enjoyments, and vain games played just to while away the time, are also covered by this term.
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