Staying away from Music

Music. Something that the youth is freely hearing these days, sometimes we come up with excuses like: “it is just a song” or “what is the big deal?”, ignoring the fact that it’s haram without exception in Islam.

Growing up in Saudi Arabia, I’ve noticed that Music is something which both adults and youth listen to, which is a shame considering Saudi is a Muslim country.

I’ve spoken to people who talk about Allah and the Quran, prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings he upon him) but at the same time they’ll say things like “I’m not sure why when I was growing up my teacher would say Music is haram” eventhough Islam provides a clear explanation for this issue.

The point is, as Muslims we have to try our best to obey the rules of Islam, not taking the ones we agree with and leaving the ones we disagree with. It is not a matter of opinion, but it is what Allah has told us to do.

So if you are somewhere or with someone, and music is being played, do not be afraid to say: “can you please turn that down” or “can you please turn that off” and explain why you are making this request. Dawah is something we are obligated to do, and it is not solely for non-muslims, we too are in need of the remembrance. Do not feel embarrassed or awkward, and do not feel concerned about them judging you, we are here to worship Allah swt, and we should continuously strive enjoin the good and forbid the evil regardless of the situation we are in.

We should encourage ourselves to develop a relationship with the Quran, as when we have the words of Allah with us, we will find that they suffice and we need nothing more.

This is an Ayah that always sticks with me when I am thinking or talking about this subject –

﴿شَهِدَ عَلَيْهِمْ سَمْعُهُمْ وَأَبْصَـرُهُمْ وَجُلُودُهُم بِمَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ﴾
(their hearing (ears) and their eyes and their skins will testify against them as to what they used to do.) means, all their deeds, earlier and later; not a single letter will be concealed.

The Noble Qur’an – Luqman 31:6

And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks (i.e. music, singing, etc.) to mislead (men) from the Path of Allah without knowledge, and takes it (the Path of Allah, the Verses of the Qur’an) by way of mockery. For such there will be a humiliating torment (in the Hell-Fire).

And this hadith:

Hadith – Bukhari 7:494

Narrated Abu ‘Amir or Abu Malik Al-Ash’ari that he heard the Prophet saaws saying,

“From among my followers there will be some people who will consider illegal sexual intercourse, the wearing of silk, the drinking of alcoholic drinks, and the use of musical instruments as lawful. And (from them), there will be some who will stay near the side of a mountain, and in the evening their shepherd will come to them with their sheep and ask them for something, but they will say to him, ‘Return to us tomorrow.’ Allah will destroy them during the night and will let the mountain fall on them, and Allah will transform the rest of them into monkeys and pigs and they will remain so till the Day of Resurrection.”

Arrogance: A hated characteristic in Islam

There are several characteristics that are looked down upon and detested in Islam, one of the greatest being arrogance. Undoubtedly, arrogance is a sin that is hated by Allah swt, and has no place in the religion of Islam. Muslims are constantly encouraged to be humbled and modest before their Lord and with other human beings too. In an authentic hadith, the prophet sallallahu alayhi wasalam said: The one who has an atom’s weight of arrogance in his heart will not enter Jannah” [muslim] SubhanAllah! This alarming hadith shows the severity of this sin, contemplate the size of an atom for a minute, it is tiny! And yet the prophet sallallahu alayhi wasalam is warning us that even if we possess such a tiny amount of arrogance, we will not be amongst the inhabitants of paradise.

The reasons why arrogance is a toxic characteristic and sin are many, I will highlight a few below to enlighten us on this issue, and remind myself primarily, and other servants of Allah swt to beware about being arrogant.

Arrogance as a disease:

It is no secret that many diseases, although present within our bodies, are manifested externally. For example, an individual may have a cold or flu, and although it is a sickness from within the body, its symptoms and effects are visible outside too. One would be able to detect someone who has a cold due to the person sneezing, perhaps looking visibly weak, coughing and so forth. Arrogance is a disease amongst the diseases of the heart. Like soot, arrogance covers the heart in darkness once it penetrates it, and its symptoms and effects begin to manifest themselves. A person with arrogance isn’t appreciated in any community, they are perceived as being haughty and proud, ungenerous and neglectful in many regards. Arrogant people are careless about what they say and how they act, hurting many others in the process. Such a disease doesn’t affect a believer in this life only, but in the hereafter too.

Why is arrogance despised in Islam?

Arrogance is one of the sins that can lead to kufr (disbelief). The one who is too arrogant fails to realise what he or she was created for, and doesn’t fulfil their objective in life. They consider themselves too proud to worship Allah swt as commanded. The one who has arrogance is generally too caught up in his narcissistic self and trapped within his vain desires to adhere to the commands of Islam, arrogant people are constantly disobeying Allah swt, and too proud to seek His forgiveness.

Arrogance corrupted those before us.

As we know, the prophet muhammed sallallahu alayhi wasalam is the final of many messengers and prophets sent by Allah before him. Among them were Ibrahim alayhi salam, Musa alayhi salam, Nuh alayhi salam and so forth. If you read and ponder over their incredible stories, you will find that their primary goal was to make their people worship Allah swt alone without associating partners with Him. Many of the people who denied or rejected the clear claims of these messengers did so out of arrogance, they refused to single out Allah swt in worship, and chose the actions of their forefathers over their intellect. Arrogance is also a characteristic of Iblees, as we know from the Quran, he was too proud to obey the command of Allah swt and prostrate before Adam. So when any of us are behaving arrogantly, we must remind ourselves of where this sin might take us, and Allah’s protection is sought.

I hope that this short reminder has instilled fear within us, and reminded us on the importance of abstaining from being arrogant Muslims. Many of us have and can fall short on this aspect, and the way to cure it is through worship of Allah swt, humbleness, piety and gratitude. We must reflect upon our weaknesses and deficiencies, and realise the Greatness of our creator. We mustn’t look down upon others, keeping in mind that they could be better and more beloved in the sight of Allah than us.

GPS

You slam on your breaks, your car stopping abruptly at an unexpected dead end, throwing you back against your seat from the sudden halt. “You have arrived,” your GPS chimes loudly from the little screen that you paid a good penny to install in your car. You look at it in frustration, jabbing the screen furiously, as it continues to chime that you’ve arrived, unmoved by your now swelling fingers. You huff in frustration and savagely turn off the engine, fighting with the seatbelt for release, as it tries to imprison you. You open the door and manage to slam it behind you, stumbling out not-so-gracefully and catching your fall with the palm of your hand scraping against an angry rock before you. You stand up, wiping off your knees with your throbbing palms. The sun is raging above you, intent on making you it’s victim, as you cover your eyes, tasting the heat, almost as if it were a solid, nearly suffocating you as you look behind you, aghast, as there is more than one route.

You’re not even sure which one you came from.

You’re lost.

The GPS took you to the wrong location.

You sigh heavily, opening the car door, and slump in; the GPS is now silent. You take a deep breath, reminding yourself that it’s just a gadget, as you inspect the coordinates you entered.

They’re correct.

Yet you’re at a dead end.

Suddenly, you remember a map your mother had given you last year “just in case” that you had promptly shoved into the glove box. Your hands shake as you reach for it; there’s hope, or at least you pray so. You pry it open, grabbing the neatly folded map and undo it with the gracefulness of a toddler as you spread it over your steering wheel, trying to pinpoint exactly where you are.

Sweat beads around your temple, trickling down your face. You wail in frustration as you realize that you’ve never really read a map. You lean back bitterly against your seat, tears stinging your eyes. You take a deep breath, determined not to give up as you look at the map again, batting down the desperation that threatens you, as your eyes scan it once more. You groan, banging your head against the back of the seat when you realize that you had been given an outdated map from 1993.

***

When thinking about dunya’a, worldly life, this story illustrates the significance of having accurate guidance in order to get where one needs to go. Likewise, this is additionally imperative when thinking about our journey to Akhirah, afterlife. We were not put on this Earth without direction. Contrary to what some philosophers believe, the pieces of the ‘map’ are not strewn across various religions in every corner of the globe. “…‘Our Lord, You did not create this aimlessly; exalted are You [above such a thing]…’” Aal-Imran (3):191

Rather, Allah, Exalted is He, in His Mercy and Wisdom, sent us both messengers and a book of guidance as our ‘map’ for the ultimate abode in the Akhirah. “This [Qur’an] is enlightenment for mankind and guidance and mercy for a people who are certain [in faith].” Al-Jaathiya (45):20

Unfortunately, many people go through life aimlessly, unsure or unaware that the accurate map is easily accessible. This leads to getting lost; making most of their efforts go to waste. Outwardly, things may seem to be going good in your life. Perhaps you have a good job, a significant other, but certain questions will never go away.

Why am I here? What am I supposed to be doing? What happens when I die? Is there life after death and if so, what should I be preparing?

If you don’t have a satisfactory answer for these questions, as you’re unsure where to look, they will continue to gnaw at your heart, no matter what other trappings of success you may achieve. Without this accurate map, the Quran and the Sunnah, a person may make choices that he will only realize were wrong after he dies, at a point where it is too late.

Don’t allow yourself to become lost, in a maze, confused and desperate whilst following an inaccurate source of guidance. There is no guidance except with Allah, Exalted is He. Realize that choosing to follow anything else is a guarantee of failure. Allah, Exalted is He, has sent the perfect GPS with the pages of Qur’an as our Guidance, sayings of the Prophet as our clarification, and Sunnah, the living example of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, as our example.

“…And We have sent down to you the Book as clarification for all things and as guidance and mercy…” An Nahl (16):89