Why Music is Haram in Islam (With a Short Story)

Alamgheer was one of the past Moghul kings in India. It is said he was a devout Muslim and a staunch upholder of Islamic tenets. He banned all luxury items in his kingdom including listening to music.

No one dared do so even privately in his home. Those engaged in musical provision for their earnings, got together to discuss what to do. They decided to take out a procession on the streets of Delhi in protest.

So one day they staged a grand procession taking out a big JANAZA (coffin) and marched on the streets of the capital. They passed in front of the king’s palace. They raised their voice as well as the JANAZA to make their amusing protest march conspicuously before the king who was then sitting on the front

The king became curious and wanted to know which eminent personality had died to be given such a grand funeral. Some leaders from the procession approached the king and in a lamenting and wailing tone told him that the coffin was, in fact, that of ‘Music’.

Since it was strictly banned in the country, they were suffering the loss of daily income. On hearing this, the king smiled and said:

“Very good! Dig the grave so deep as to ensure that the DEAD MUSIC does not rise again for hundreds of years to come.”

Why Haram Music is not allowed in Islam

Let us ponder over the reasons why Islam has forbidden the playing, hearing and even the handling of musical instruments.

The Islamic philosophy of life dictates that this worldly life is transitional and a quick passing one, whereas the life hereafter is eternal and more important.

Therefore Islam has forbidden those things which distract our attention from this fact and which leads us towards the loose character and overlooking the moral duties of our life.

A number of these forbidden things in Islam are not only morally but physically and mentally harmful as proved by a number of modern scientists.

Professor Horst Hecheck of Vienna reports:

“The disharmonies of modern music frequently cause severe psychological and physical damage to musicians. Doctors and music experts say complaints range from nervousness, depression, and headaches to ulcers and impotence”

The toxic effect of the musical sound cannot be denied. Some years before, it was reported in a local newspaper in Daressalaam that a pregnant Hindu woman was much mentally engrossed in listening to a moving musical program in a cinema that she delivered a baby on the spot without realizing what was happening.

The newspaper in criticizing the incident remarked whether the place was a cinema hall or maternity home!

A professor at Columbia University in America, Dr. Adler, writes that the best melodious record of music can badly harm the human body nerves and the warmer the weather, more the harm. He also proved that music does upset the human nerves unnaturally causing considerable fatigue. The shaking effect of music also causes unnatural perspiration.

This research of Dr. Adler on music had such a widespread effect on the American people that many were led to stop listening to music. The belief that music was harmful to progressive nations reached a stage when a resolution to ban it by law was presented with relevant proofs and arguments in the American senate.

But in a nation where luxury and lust are widespread, how many could be expected to vote for such a ban?

It may be claimed that music has a soothing effect and as such, it is good entertainment, but taking into consideration that it causes more harm than good, it becomes undesirable and one should abstain from it.

Islam, as such, has forbidden music as we can see from the following Quranic Ayat and the traditions of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.):

“But avoid the uncleanliness of the idols and avoid vain (false) words” (22:30)

According to the interpretations of all the major sects of Islam, the above mentioned vain (false) words include false utterance and music.

It is worth noting that the divine instruction to avoid vain words (music) is in conjunction with the instruction to avoid the uncleanliness (pollution) of the idol.

Thus the condemnation of music is along with that of idol-worship. The Prophet of Islam had said:

“Two kinds of voices are resented by Allah: the wailing at the time of a calamity and musical rhythm at the time of rejoicing.” (Nafahat Risaliyya)

For More Information about Haram Music and its effects, read this book.

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