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Music: Halal and Haram

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John Mohammad View Drop Down
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    Posted: 16 June 2011 at 6:48pm
As-Salamu 'Alaykum ~

Tonight I've been considering the role of music in Islam today, and I have a few points and/or questions to pose for your review:

1. Artists the likes of Sami Yusuf and Maher Zain are almost always shouted down in forums for having musical accompaniment to their songs. However, I know some of their songs are released without background music- voice only. Is it permitted to listen to these versions of their songs, or is that considered haram in the sense that those support the 'bad' versions as well?

2. If one agrees that listening to the voice-only recordings of the above artists (as well as others) is permitted, does it follow that attending a concert where only these types of songs are performed is permitted as well? Or does this fall into being haram based on the typical unrestrained crowd behavior at concerts?

3. If a song is performed solely by voice- no accompaniment- but is done in the style of, say, a Western rap song, or country/western song... does the STYLE of the song make it haram, even though the lyrics may be 100% in praise of Allah(swt)?

4. As Islam is making inroads into Western nations, is it not a good thing to expose non-Muslims to Islam in ways that are proven to be effective, i.e., music and film, but yet might not be considered 'traditional' Islamic methods? If an artist such as mentioned above brings a person to Islam and Allah(swt) through their music- even though the music itself is considered officially haram- is that not a good thing, and thus the good outweighs the bad in this case?

I ask these questions from the standpoint of one who happened upon such artists as mentioned in my early studies in consideration of reverting to Islam- and I found many of the songs to be very inspirational while at the same time I had none of the irrational 'popstar worship' that seems to accompany much music these days. Being an American by birth, I was raised in a very musical culture and finding "Islamically-themed" music was very surprising to me, in a good way, as it was a medium I was very familiar with.

I wish not to stir up a hornet's nest; if someone has a verified reference to such questions I would greatly appreciate a link.
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Chrysalis View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chrysalis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 July 2011 at 12:04am
Originally posted by John Mohammad John Mohammad wrote:

As-Salamu 'Alaykum ~

Tonight I've been considering the role of music in Islam today, and I have a few points and/or questions to pose for your review:

1. Artists the likes of Sami Yusuf and Maher Zain are almost always shouted down in forums for having musical accompaniment to their songs. However, I know some of their songs are released without background music- voice only. Is it permitted to listen to these versions of their songs, or is that considered haram in the sense that those support the 'bad' versions as well?



Wa'alaikum salaam Br.

Good Songs with good meaning and without musical instruments a.k.a nasheeds are completely halal. This is why these artists release 2 versions... one without instruments.

Here is an article that discusses your concern:

http://www.islamonline.net/i3/ContentServer?pagename=IslamOnline/i3Layout&c=OldArticle&cid=1158321483226

The above is just an opinon by a person, however it can help your thought process.

Quote 2. If one agrees that listening to the voice-only recordings of the above artists (as well as others) is permitted, does it follow that attending a concert where only these types of songs are performed is permitted as well? Or does this fall into being haram based on the typical unrestrained crowd behavior at concerts?


Islamically speaking we are discouraged from attending gatherings where there is free mixing of men & women, because there is a chance of crossing the boundaries set by Allah. Although if there is nothing islamically wrong  with the gathering, and people are following sunnah in terms of gender-interaction, and are with families and mahrams.... then there should be no harm. [Yes, I am no scholar, just helping a Br out with what I have read & heard. Allah  Knows Best].

Also, maybe you should  try looking up some good scholars who can help you with your queries? As a new muslim you will probably  have a LOT of questions in the future. Try looking up/googling scholarly opinions of people like Suhaib Webb, Hamza Yusuf, Yusuf Qardawi etc. I mentioned them because they live in the west and are well versed with the issues and factors faced by a Western Muslim. Arm yourself with knowledge Brother... Also, you will have lots of people tell you different things, and direct you  to all sorts of scholars, - but always look at what the scholars are saying, the litmus test should be Qur'an and Sunnah. A good scholar will always back up what they say with Qur'an and Sunnah. And if you have sincere intentions to find the truth, Allah will Help you inshAllah.



"O Lord, forgive me, my parents and Muslims in the Hereafter. O Lord, show mercy on them as they showed mercy to me when I was young."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chrysalis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 July 2011 at 12:13am
Originally posted by John Mohammad John Mohammad wrote:



4. As Islam is making inroads into Western nations, is it not a good thing to expose non-Muslims to Islam in ways that are proven to be effective, i.e., music and film, but yet might not be considered 'traditional' Islamic methods? If an artist such as mentioned above brings a person to Islam and Allah(swt) through their music- even though the music itself is considered officially haram- is that not a good thing, and thus the good outweighs the bad in this case?

I ask these questions from the standpoint of one who happened upon such artists as mentioned in my early studies in consideration of reverting to Islam- and I found many of the songs to be very inspirational while at the same time I had none of the irrational 'popstar worship' that seems to accompany much music these days. Being an American by birth, I was raised in a very musical culture and finding "Islamically-themed" music was very surprising to me, in a good way, as it was a medium I was very familiar with.

I wish not to stir up a hornet's nest; if someone has a verified reference to such questions I would greatly appreciate a link.



Btw I agree with you that some songs really are inspirational and can actually boost your imaan  faith. I have also talked to some reverts such as you who said they were moved by muslim music.

I attended a seminar with Imam Suhaib Webb once and he talked positive of Maher Zain.

Other musicians such as Lupe Fiasco etc have also inspired many young troubled americans...

Here is an opinion by Imam Suhaib Webb on Music, hope that helps inshAllah:

http://www.suhaibwebb.com/islam-studies/muslims-gone-wild-suhaib-webb/



"O Lord, forgive me, my parents and Muslims in the Hereafter. O Lord, show mercy on them as they showed mercy to me when I was young."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chrysalis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 July 2011 at 12:21am
Video of Suhaib Webb discussing Music.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ykFDuWUP3g
"O Lord, forgive me, my parents and Muslims in the Hereafter. O Lord, show mercy on them as they showed mercy to me when I was young."
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