Quran vs. Music: 12 Simple Truths to Ponder

Music is a big part of our lives. It is a social trend, ever growing and popular worldwide.

Quran vs Music:
No doubt, you get constantly bombarded by music of all types – at shopping malls, high streets and open markets; jingles playing back-to-back on the radio, TV channels and the internet.

Nowadays, music also plays an explicit role in many educational settings and workplaces. If you are faced with such circumstantial contact with music, it could be a source of never-ending worry and stress. For many, however, especially the youth it could be a deliberate choice – living with music as nourishment and balm for the mind, body and soul.

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It may be perceived as a harmless activity and a source of inner peace, relaxation, creativity and inspiration. After all if it doesn’t stop you from praying, fasting and performing good deeds, what is the big deal… right?

A Case of Parallels

I look back to a learning session a few years back. Our teacher explained that Qur’an and music can never thrive harmoniously in the heart of a believer. I struggled with this simple truth for many months afterwards. And it was such a big deal for me.

Although I was learning to be a good Muslim, I continued feeding my desire albeit a negative one. This had grave consequences on my thoughts, acts of worship and lifestyle in general. I tried to think of a way to find a middle point with this seemingly parallel case. You could be faced with similar desires and inner battle right now.

‘Music or Quran?’

quran and music
Music & Quran


The Noble Qur’an needs no introduction. It is a mercy, guide and protection for mankind. It is also a powerful reminder, miracle and divine revelation. As the great scholar Ibn Qayyim said, “The Qur’an is all about tawheed”. And nothing should rank higher in terms of priority for the Muslim than upholding tawheed.

Music on the other hand is all about everything but tawheed. While you may still argue about the many benefits of music, I present you with 12 simple truths to ponder.

1. Origin

Qur’an: Speech of Allah .
Music: Created, reproduced and distributed by humans.

2. Theme

Quran: Tawheed (Oneness of Allah ), Aqeedah (creed), issues related to worship, eternal gains.
Music: The most common is lowly desires and worldly gains .

3. Benefit

Qur’an: 100% beneficial at all times, whether its being recited, listened to or pondered upon.
Music: Slight benefit for certain types and at certain times e.g., soothing music to calm down, motivational lyrics, etc.

4. Content

Quran: Related to success in this world and hereafter; also related to virtuous character, good deeds and worship.
Music: Related to acquiring success in this world only; also related to corrupt character, alcohol, drugs, carnal desires and suicide.

5. Calling

Quran: Invites to the sunnah, obedience, worship, guidance, good character, forgiveness, paradise.
Music: To a large extent, invites to sin and all things leading to possible sin (lowly desires, wealth, power, disbelief, nudity).

6. Goal

Quran: Remembrance of Allah .
Music: Distraction from remembrance of Allah .

7. Production and Replication

Quran: Has never been and cannot be produced. Allah  challenged mankind in various verses to do so.
Music: Anyone can re/produce music. There are many courses, schools and experts dedicated to learning the art.

8. General Effect

Quran: Gives soothing internal effects that are long lasting and soul nourishing; long term feel-good-effect.
Music: Gives an external soothing effect that is temporary; short term feel-good-effect.

9. Effect on Soul

Quran: Pure nourishment for the soul through spiritual cleansing and purification.
Music: Junk food for the soul through lowering of spritual strength and draining the nafs.

10. Effect on Heart

Quran: Builds a sound heart, free of diseases.
Music: Increases diseases of the heart, from doubts to desires.

11. Lifestyle

Quran: Message can blossom subliminally into a positive lifestyle and a stable personality.
Music: Message can transform lifestyle into a negative one producing an unstable, corrupt personality.

12. Connection with Allah 

Quran: Makes one develop a high degree of consciousness of Allah , taking one closer to Him.
Music: Brings about ‘gaflah’ (heedlessness) of Allah , increasing attraction to musicians.

quran and music
Quran and music

Way Forward
The believer has a purpose driven life, seeking worldly good as well as eternal good. You may take various means and processes while seeking this good, striving to overcome your desires and remaining firm upon the truth. There is no doubt the Qur’an is the greatest personal development tool for mankind; driving self and spiritual growth, reinforcing the truth of tawheed, directing towards the fitrah and promoting self reflection.

”This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah” (Al Baqarah, 2:2)

The global music industry is worth billions of dollars and steadily increasing in revenue. Yet, they are busy innovating new ways to oppose the message of guidance by promoting music and musicians to such a high status, as a means of finding worldly success, happiness and inner peace. Don’t fall into heedlessness. Fight your nafs. And keep pondering these simple truths.

Your turn – What other striking contrasts can you find between Qur’an and music? Please share below.

Recommended Reading
Dr. Gohar Mushtaq (2011). The Music Made Me Do It. An In-Depth Study of Music through Islam and Science. International Islamic Publishing House (IIPH). Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

RULING ON SO-CALLED “ISLAMIC” SONGS WITH MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

Islamic Songs:

Praise be to Allah.

The aayaat of the Quran and the Ahaadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) indicate that musical instruments (islamic songs) are condemned, and warn us against them. The Quran teaches that playing these instruments is one of the things that leads people astray and constitutes a mockery of the Signs of Allah.

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

Islamic Songs
Islamic Songs

“And of mankind is he who purchases idle talk to mislead (men) from the Path of Allah, without knowledge, and takes it (the Path of Allah, the Verses of the Quran) by way of mockery. For such there will be a humiliating torment (in the Hell-fire).” [Luqmaan 31:6]

“[Allah said to Shaytaan;] ‘And istafziz [literally means befool them gradually] those whom you can with your voice, make assaults on them with your cavalry and your infantry, mutually share with them wealth and children, and make promises to them.’ But Shaytaan promises them nothing but deceit” [al-Isra’ 17:64]

Al-Tirmidhi reported in his Sunan (no. 1005) from Ibn Abi Layla from ‘Ata’ from Jaabir (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) went to to al-Nakhl with ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn ‘Awf, when his son Ibraaheem was dying.

He took the child in his lap and his eyes filled with tears. ‘Abd al-Rahmaan said, ‘Are you weeping when you have forbidden us to weep?’ He said, ‘I do not forbid weeping. What I have forbidden is two foolish and evil kinds of voices: voices at times of entertainment and play and the flutes of the Shaytaan, and voices at times of calamity and scratching the face and rending the garments and screaming.’”

Al-Tirmidhi said: this is a hasan hadeeth. It was also reported by al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak, no. 1683, al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra (4/69), al-Tayaalisi in Musnad (no. 1683) and by al-Tahhaawi in Sharh al-Ma’aani, 4/29, and it was classed as hasan by al-Albaani.

Islamic Songs & Music
Islamic Songs & Music

It was reported in a saheeh hadeeth from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “In my ummah there will be people who allow fornication/adultery (zina), silk, wine and musical instruments [ma’aazif]. Some people will stay at the side of a mountain, and they will have flocks of sheep. When a poor person comes in the evening to ask them for something he needs, they will say. ‘Come back to us tomorrow.’ Then during the night Allah will destroy them by causing the mountain to fall upon them, while He changes others into apes and swine. They will remain in such a state until the Day of Resurrection.’”

(Reported by al-Bukhaari in al-Saheeh mu’allaqan, 51/10)

Al-Haafiz said in al-Fath (10/55): Ma’aazif refers to musical instruments. Al-Qurtubi reported from al-Jawhari that ma’aazif meant singing, and what it says in his book al-Sihaah is that it refers to musical instruments. It was also said that it is the sound of musical instruments. In a footnote by al-Dimyaati it says: ma’aazif is tambourines and other kinds of drums. The word ‘azif is applied to singing and all other kinds of instruments that may be played.

The evidence for this is that ma’aazif refers to all kinds of things used for entertainment. There is no dispute among scholars of the Arabic language on this point. If they were halaal, he would not have condemned those who permitted them, or compared permitting them to permitting wine and zina.

We may understand from the hadeeth that all kinds of musical instruments are forbidden. This is clear from the hadeeth for a number of reasons:

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said “… there will be people who allow…” It is clear that the things listed here, including musical instruments, are forbidden in sharee’ah, but those people will allow them.

He compared musical instruments to things that are definitely known to be haraam, namely zina and alcohol. If instruments were not haraam, he would not have made this comparison. The evidence of this hadeeth that singing is haraam is definitive.

Music And Islam | Islamic Songs
Music And Islam | Islamic Songs

Even if no other hadeeth or aayah spoke about musical instruments, this hadeeth would be sufficient to prove that they are haraam, especially the kind of singing that is known among people nowadays, the essence of which is obscenity and foul talk, based on all kinds of musical instruments such as guitars, drums, flutes, ouds, zithers, organs, pianos, violins and other things that make it more enticing, such as the voices of these effeminate singers and whores.

As for these anaasheed (islamic songs) which are described as “Islamic” but are accompanied with musical instruments, giving them this name lends them some measure of legitimacy, but in fact they are singing and music, so calling them Islamic nasheeds is falsehood and deception. They cannot be a substitute for singing, as an evil thing cannot be substituted for another evil thing. We should replace something evil with something good. Listening to it on the grounds that it is Islamic and an act of worship is bid’ah, and Allah does not allow this.

And Allah knows best.

We ask Allah to keep us safe and sound.
(Source – Islam Q&A)

Smoking!!! Every Intoxicant Is Forbidden

Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Every intoxicant is forbidden.
[Sahih Muslim :: Book 23 :: Hadith 4962]

Many Muslims regard smoking as disliked by the Sharee’ah but not forbidden. And whenever advice is given in this regard they choose to ignore it.

Though people know the evil effects of smoking, it seems that Satan wants them to keep on wasting their money and burning their chests.
Certainly, Cigarettes were not present during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammed (Sallaallahu alaihe wa-Sallam), however rulings with regards to similar substances are present in the two Revelations: the Qur’aan and the authentic Sunnah.

As a rule, the Qur’aan forbids every thing that is evil. As Allah says: “He (the Prophet Muhammed) allows them all that is good and lawful, and prohibits them as unlawful all that is evil.” {Soorah al-Ar’af (7): 157}

Evil manifests itself in things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods, drinks, etc. So, If it is proved that smoking is among the evil, this is in itself enough for the Believers to realize that smoking is forbidden, in the light of the above stated verse of Soorah al-Ar’af.

1. Smoking is a Killer:

Smoking

It causes diseases like lung cancer, tuberculosis and heart diseases (just to mention a few). And we know that Allah forbids us from killing ourselves. As He says: “And do not kill yourselves. Surely, Allah is Most Merciful to you. And whoever commits that through aggression and injustice, We shall cast him into the Fire and that is easy for Allah” {Soorah an-Nisaa’ (4): 29} Allah also says: “And do not throw yourselves into destruction.” {Soorah al-Baqarah (2):195

2. Smoking burns wealth:

And Allah says: “But spend not wastefully (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift. Verily spendthrifts are brothers of the devils.” {Soorah al-Israa’ (17) 26-27}
Do we not see the Muslims who smoke? Those who hold on to every penny, only to burn all of it in cigarettes! …. Subhaan Allah, along with their chests, waste on top of waste.

3. Smoking inflicts harm on non-smokers:

The Messenger of Allah said: “There should be neither harming, nor reciprocating harm.” [An Authentic Hadeeth reported by Sheykh al-Albani in Saheeh al-Jaami # 7517]
Many people encounter breathing problems when they accidentally inhale smoke from someone’s pipe or cigarette, especially people suffering from bronchial asthma. It is also proved medically that non-smokers are harmed when in the company of smokers (i.e. passive smoking). The smoking of parents has been linked to respiratory problems in children and crib death. It is also the cause of many devastating fires.

4. Smoking causes the spread of evil:

Since smoking in evil, Muslims who smoke should remember that they set a bad example on others and invite to sin and disobedience to Allah, when they smoke openly and therefore encourage others.

5. Smoking effects worship:

Many smokers dislike fasting and sitting in Islaamic study circles, because they constantly crave cigarettes. The smoker is an addict, both physically and psychologically.

6. Smoking makes the smoker smell bad:

Everything that a smoker comes in contact with smell of cigarettes; His car, clothes, home, etc. Therefore, when a smoker prays in congregation he hurts his fellow humans with his smell as well as the angels, as the Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever has eaten from such greens as garlic, onions or leek should keep away from our mosque. Truly, the angels are harmed by what harms the offspring of Aadam.”Saheeh al-Bukhari

smoking

The above points constitute clear evidence that smoking is evil, and is therefore Haraam (unlawful).

If a Muslim is under any kind of stress, then he must turn to Allah for help. Even medical science has rejected outright, the myth that smokings calms the nerves. What we know for sure, is that the rememberence of Allah is healing, as Allah says: “Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find tranquility.” {Soorah ar-Raad (13):28}

So when the urge for smoking arises, resort to the Qur’aan and strive to comply with Allah’s commandments. “Those who strive hard in Our Cause, We will surely guide them to Our Paths.” {Soorah al-Ankabut (29):69}
To Quit Smoking:

One may want to take some of the following measures while depending upon Allah, seeking His help and guidance:

1. Minimize contact with smokers (this being the most important step)

2. Try to minimize drinking the drinks that become mentally related to smoking like coffee, tea, etc. 

3. Whenever there is a urge to smoke, try to make yourself busy with something else, especially activities that keep your hands busy. 

4. Try not to accept a cigarette from anyone. 

5. Try not to finish smoking, the whole cigarette. 

6. Drink a lot of water when you quit smoking. Dehydration is the main cause of the symptoms of withdrawal. 

7. Try to remember that you want to gain the pleasure of Allah. Throw away all leftover cigarettes.

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