Islamic Worship - Koran - Instrumental Music in Worship

Mustafa Sabri in, A Topic of Dispute in Islam: Music, translates from Turkish and spells out the destructive nature of instrumental music during assembly. This was the view of the Hebrews and Christianity until recently. Copyright and credits appear at the end of the article.

No Arab would refuse food and housing out of the BLINDING WIND STORMS! Officially they do not believe in instrumental music.


HADHRAT Abdullah Ibn Abbaas (Radiallaahu Anhu) narrates the following Hadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi was sallam):

"Iblis, the accursed one petitioned Allah Ta'ala "O my Rabb! You have sent down Aadam (Alayhi salaam) onto the earth and You know that for him will be sent Revelations and Messengers.

What will be his Books and how will be his Messengers?"

Allah Ta'ala replied: "I will send Angels to them (progeny of Adam) and from them (mankind) will raise Messengers. Their revelations will be the Tauraah, Injeel, Zabur and the Quraan.

Iblis said: "What will be my book?"

The Divine Answer came: "Your writing will be to tattoo; your reciting will be poetry;

your messengers will be the fortune-tellers and astrologists; your food will be that food on which Bismillaah was not recited;
your drink will be
your truth will be falsehood;
your home will be
the toilets;
net (to ensnare) will be women;
muezzin will be the musical instruments,
and your
musjid will be the market-place."

Bismillaah. Is the name of Allah. All actions of a Muslim should begin with Bismillaah to ensure good and meritorious conduct.

Muezzin calls out the daily prayer.

Why would Muslims give you anything but trouble when you bring THREE GODS and INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC into their "tent."

History of Music and Serpent Worship
See how the Shaitans chanted sorcery. in the Koran
Shatitan in the Koran
Ibliss in the Koran
Jinn in the Koran
Spirit in the Koran
The Holy Spirit in the Koran
Christian in the Koran

See women in Ezekiel.

"Instrumental music was forbidden by the orthodox in the formative stages of Islam. As for vocal music, its place was largely taken by

a sophisticated and artistic form of the recitation of the Qur'an known as tajwid.
Nevertheless, the Muslim
princely courts generously patronized and cultivated music.

Arab music was influenced by Persian and Greek music. Al-Farabi, a 10th-century philosopher, is credited with having constructed a musical instrument called the arghanun (organ). In India, Amir Khosrow, a 14th-century poet and mystic, produced a synthesis of Indian and Persian music and influenced the development of later Indian music.

"Among the religious circles, the Sufis introduced both vocal and instrumental music as part of their spiritual practices. The sama', as this music was called, was opposed by the orthodox at the beginning, but the Sufis persisted in this practice, which slowly won general recognition. The great Sufi poet Jalal ad-Din ar-Rumi (died 1273)--revered equally by the orthodox and the Sufis--

heard the divine voice
in his stringed musical instrument when he said
head, its veins (strings) and its skin are all dry and dead;
whence comes to me the voice of the Friend?"
Britannica Members

Augustine-Anti-Manichaean WineSkinHist.html

Again, if you prefer to test the presence of God by the agreeable effects on the hearing, and not sight, or smell, or taste, harps get their strings and pipes their bones from animals;

and these become musical by being dried, and rubbed, and twisted.
So the
pleasures of music, which you hold to have come from the divine kingdom,

are obtained from the refuse of dead animals, and that, too, when they are dried by time, and lessened by rubbing, and stretched by twisting. Such rough treatment, according to you, drives the divine substance from living objects; even cooking them, you say, does this. Why then are boiled thistles not unwholesome? Is it because God, or part of God, leaves them when they are cooked?

"The Divan-e Shams (The collected Poetry of Shams) is a true translation of his experiences into poetry; its language, however, never becomes lost in lofty spiritual heights or nebulous speculation. The fresh language, propelled by its strong rhythms, sometimes assumes forms close to popular verses. There would seem to be cause for the belief, expressed by chroniclers,

that most of this poetry was composed in a state of ecstasy,
induced by the music of the flute or the drum, the hammering of the goldsmiths, or the sound of the water mill in Meram, where Rumi used to go with his disciples to enjoy nature.

He found in nature the reflection of the radiant beauty of the Sun of Religion and felt flowers and birds partaking in his love. He often accompanied his verses by a whirling dance.

A few years after Shams ad-Din's death, Rumi experienced a similar rapture in his acquaintance with an illiterate goldsmith, Salah ad-Din Zarkub. It is said that one day, hearing the sound of a hammer in front of Salah ad-Din's shop in the bazaar of Konya, Rumi began his dance. The shop owner had long been one of Rumi's closest and most loyal disciples, and his daughter became the wife of Rumi's eldest son. This love again inspired Jalal ad-Din to write poetry. Britannica Members


(Arabic: "listening"), the Sufi (Muslim mystic) practice of listening to music and chanting to reinforce ecstasy and induce mystical trance. The Muslim orthodox regarded such practices as un-Islamic, and the more puritanical among them associated the Sufis' music, song, and dancing with drinking parties and immoral activities. The Sufis countered such attitudes by pointing out that Muhammad himself permitted the Qur'an (Muslim scripture) to be chanted and that the adhan (call for prayer) was also chanted in order to prepare for worship.

Sufis maintain that melodies and rhythms prepare the soul for a deeper comprehension of the divine realities and a better appreciation of divine music. Music, like other beautiful things, draws the Sufi closer to God, who is the source of beauty.

Many Sufis have held that a true mystic does not lose himself in such forms as music but uses them only to bring himself into a spiritual realm, after which he must experience deeper meanings and realities. While Muslim fundamentalist legalists reproved sama' as an innovation (bid 'ah), some Muslim scholars held that it was a useful innovation since it might bring souls nearer to God.

Many Sufis, e.g., the Mawlawiyah dervishes, combined dancing with sama'. Often Sufis requested that after their death there should be no mourning at their funerals, insisting instead that sama' sessions be held to celebrate their entrance into eternal life. The Sufis warned, nevertheless, that the full appreciation of sama' requires strong ascetic training. An individual must be pure in heart and strong in character before indulging in sama';

otherwise music and song would arouse his base instincts instead of elevating his spirituality. Some Sufis reject the practice of sama' altogether. Britannica Members

See A Cappella music in the Bible and history.

See the use of Voodoo in much Christian Music.

Is Instrumenta Music Lawful in Christianity

A Topic of Dispute in Islam: Music
Mustafa Sabri Beyan-ul-Haq, issue: 63, year: 2, vol: 3, 1910 (A journal which used to be issued by the Islamic Scholars Society)

Mustafa Sabri was one of the top Ottoman scholars in the 20th century. He served as a shaikhulislam (Highest religious authority) in the Ottoman State. He died in 1954 in Egypt.

This translation was prepared by Muaz Özyigit. This article appeared in our printed magazine in Turkish.

If the head of the family is fond of tambourine,
It is no wonder why the whole family dances!

"Whether it is through natural/physiological means or instruments, or tunes, depending on the kind or the different ways, music may be forbidden or disliked or even allowed according to some Islamic religious edicts. However, it is also known that Islam avoids absolutely accepting or remaining indifferent to the issue of music. It is this latter fact, ie, a sort of position by Islam, of cautioning by not allowing music, or encouraging it without reservation. It is this position whose reason or essence we will be discussing.

It would not do justice at all to compare this position of reservation by Islam

with heartsick people who are unable to appreciate the joyful effect of music
which is considered by those who are
fond of pleasures, as of great spiritual value.

Our Note: Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. James 5:13

While this is not an "act of worship" it agrees with out comments that people suffering from depression can be damaged by "church services" which seem so "spiritual" to those who are happy and with no concern.Click For More

"Perhaps Islam does not see right to remain indifferent to music because it knows how delightful music is to our nature and how strong it is on our feelings.

Our religion has an exceptionally good view in any case,
in discovering the
hidden dangers which
might be inherent in the sweetest and most pleasurable things.
Indeed, a
heavenly religion should lead to the
truths which are unattainable by man himself,
as this is expected in the guiding nature of the religion.

Firstly, music is a useless activity which in fact, is a state of passiveness. As we will explain in another article about gambling, the fact that such an inactivity, which is inherent in those so called professions, did not escape the attention of our religion.

Note: Amos, in the LXX said that they thought the music had "abiding value" when it was really just a "fleeting pleasure." There is no evidence that music makes one more spiritual or moral.

Secondly, the benefit and pleasure taken from music involves a meaning of deep slavery in passion. Since Islam is the only enemy of passiveness and slavery in passion, an important duty of Islam is to search their traces in unexpected hide-outs

Although it might be difficult for some to realize the fact that music has a sense of passiveness, those with a subtle mind would not hesitate to accept it, as it is not possible to imagine another worldly benefit of music. As for this world, it is useless as in the idiom of "no good for stomach"[2]. One should not ask hastily: how could this be claimed while there are many singers, instrument players in the West, for example, making a living or even a fortune? To make a living would not be proper unless it is done in a way which does not harm human dignity since it would not be at ease with conscience otherwise.

(One may think) that we are roaming from one bizarre opinion to another: Where on earth is the harm to human dignity in this? Again, one should not be hasty.

The acts of pure entertainment are considered low-level professions in the eyes of unpolluted human nature. You should not take seriously the applause and respect and perhaps requests given to the famous of these kinds of artists.

Those who pay respects and make requests do not mind doing so, since they do it, in a way, taking away a crumb of honour from the artist, by hiding this loss from him.

Likewise, a lot of respect is usually paid to some ladies in order to take sexual advantage of them.

Tertullian The Spectacle
For such is the power of
earthly pleasures, that, to retain the opportunity of still partaking of them,

it contrives to prolong swilling ignorance, and bribes knowledge into playing a dishonest part. To both things, perhaps, some among you are allured by the views of the heathens who in this matter

are wont to press us with arguments, such as these: commands

(1) That the exquisite enjoyments of ear and eye we have in things external are not in the least opposed to religion in the mind and conscience; and
(2) That surely no offence is offered to God, in
any human enjoyment, by any of our pleasures, which it is not sinful to partake of in its own time and place, with all due honour and reverence secured to Him.

But this is precisely what we are ready to prove: That these things are not consistent with true religion and true obedience to the true God.

There are some who imagine that Christians, a sort of people ever ready to die, are trained into the abstinence they practise, with no other object than that of making it less difficult to despise life, the fastenings to it being severed as it were.

They regard it as an art of quenching all desire for that which, so far as they are concerned, they have emptied of all that is desirable;

and so it is thought to be rather a thing of human planning and foresight,
than clearly laid down by divine command.

From such an entertainment point of view, it shows a quite bizarre mentality of some parents who are proud of having taught their daughters how to play an instrument. It is also bizarre to see some people wishing to marry a girl with musical training, in an attempt to imitate Western civilization which, they think, gives the utmost importance to the respect of woman. It might be said that being able to play an instrument is not a shame for a woman as it is her natural duty to make her husband happy with her company. However, such an objection is not valid because happiness and enjoying each other's company in a marriage is a mutual benefit. Then, one can imagine how bizarre and ridiculous it would be for a man to say he is lacking the qualities for marriage just because he does not know how to play an instrument!

Compared to singers and instrument players, although composers look, to some extent, free of the hidden disgrace explained above, the art of composing could not get rid of the pros and cons of singing or playing as they depend on each other. Also, while the waves of pride and dignity rise in teaching knowledge, as opposed to an atmosphere of of frivolity spreading from the classes of composers. Of course, we all appreciate the meaning of "playing music after forty years of age" [3]

That is why it would be quite offensive to ask a man of high rank in a government to sing a song no matter how good it is as it would be an affront to his dignity.

As opposed to this, teaching knowledge regardless of rank is considered a means of increasing honour and pride.

An attempt to cover up the problem above, by claiming that a composer can concentrate on teaching music without having to put himself in a frivolous and disgraceful position by shouting or singing before students would, in fact, mean to admit our claim, let alone being an argument against it.

All these problems we have tried to expose above are about those who make a living through music. As for those who see it as a hobby, playing only for friends, the passiveness and the waste of time for both player and listeners are pretty obvious, not needing a special attempt to expose it.

During listening to music, people would not be doing anything for the good of humanity.

They would cause, instead, a lot of money to change hands.
And, in return for the money, what do these people get?

Consider this: Suppose a shoemaker sells you a shoe. And you wear it and walk to your shop. Let us say you sell books in your shop. You both make a profit and help knowledge and science spread in your country. This way you would serve in a chain of benefits in the society by making other people too to benefit, such as those who print or write books, and the manufacturers of paper or the cotton farmers and on the other hand, there are the craftsmen who process leather for shoes and the farmers who raise animals to provide leather.

When it comes to music, although those who manufacture instruments and those who offer their skills for your hearing appreciation, by playing them certainly benefit, this chain of benefits ceases at you!

Paying for music is not the same as hiring a horse-and-cart to go out for a picnic, because this way you could contribute more to your work of being a complementary part of the chain of human needs by benefitting your health in addition to helping the cart driver make a living. Besides, those carts are used for transportation at other times than those of picnic. In short, picnic is one thing and music is another. Of course, nothing could be said against music when it is a medical necessity for a patient like clean air being one of the most important necessities in treating patients. Nevertheless, it is not known yet that music is prescribed by physicians despite the fact that treatment with music has recently become a familiar term.

Now, let us talk about another face of musical pleasures, the one involving a deep indulgence in passion: Under what kind of influence are the feelings of those who are in an atmosphere which is full of emotional temptations caused by music? The effect of music can have various ways: with music, a lonely person feels his loneliness more, an orphan feels more the loss of his parents, a patient feels more sorrowful of his situation, and an aged person feels sorrier that the most of his life has already gone.

Yet again, with music, a lucky person with wealth and a high ranking position feels happy more than he usually is.

In short, music paints the reality in darker colours by increasing the sorrow of the the sorrowful and the happiness of the happy.

And this way, the effect of music resembles that of alcohol, causing people to perceive the reality in a more stretched way than it really is. Above all of these, music has a tremendous effect in agitating the feelings of romance and love. That is why a banquet with music is usually accompanied with pretty women and alcoholic beverages.

Therefore, the most intimate secrets of love are exposed first by poems, then, under the disguise of music, in a similar manner to some women making themselves more attractive under the disguise of the hijab. Or, the words that cannot be normally said by lovers can be uttered by means of music and poetry. That is why it is not considered rude, if a person who is too shy to say "I'm dying for her, I'm crazy for her" shouts the same words before others by music and poetry.

Furthermore, I wonder how parents who would like to raise their daughters in chastity and modesty with wisdom allow them to sing the most intimate words of love, considering this a good quality for a girl at the age of marriage despite the fact that it is shameful (in our society) for girls to utter even the word of marriage which is lawful in Islam. If the opinion of some thinkers of this century, who said "if women are not kept busy, they would think of some other things do to", is to be taken, then women who are fond of playing instruments would have found even an irresistible guide to those kind of thoughts.

However, is dreaming love and romance a bad thing? What else is like love that makes man feel angelic and gives compassionate and elevated feelings? Love is so strong that it is not possible to remain indifferent to the whining of the lovelorn and suffering hearts. Yes, this is quite true. However, there is no other issue, as delicate as this, vulnerable to abuse. Indeed, it was not an exaggeration when Hoja Nasruddin (Juha), when asked if he ever had a love affair, said: Yes, I was just getting involved once, but we were surprised! [4] Although love cannot be but mutual, it seems shameful for women in particular. And a man esteems a woman who only loves him. Besides, he would not excuse other women being in love with other men. And the woman he loves has no importance attached to her by others.

Having said these considerations about music, it has become easier to express an opinion about love odes which form the most elegant kind of poetry. As for the poetry of eulogy or satire they are not usually commendable as the former is a kind of flattery and the latter is fault-finding. As for the poetry to uphold the moral values we have no objection. Islam's position can be summarized as accepting the good poetry and rejecting its bad kind, anyway.

Although poetry is perhaps the best of the literal arts, Islam's uneasiness about poetry is because it does more harm than good. Even a student's obsession of poetry is considered a sign of going astray, leaning towards laziness even by scholars of the modern times. What consists of the capital of poetry is confessed by poets themselves:

"The material of poets never runs out
No end to lies even to an end this world is brought"

In ancient times when poets never made such confessions (out of their pride), the nature of their poetry was exposed by the Holy Quran:

As for poets, the erring follow them. Hast thou not seen how they stray in every valley, And how they say that which they do not? [6]

However, poetry is far more important than music as poetry sharpens the mind and can be informative.

Before we finish the topic of music, let us add that, if the effect of music on feelings must indeed be an important need for the soul, the recitation of the Quran serves that need in a much more dignified way.

This is also shown by the fact that harmonious recitation of the Quran is recommended in Islam.
However, it should also be noted that a
musical tune accompanying the recitation is not proper.
In other words, a
harmonious recitation is recommended in some hadiths of the prophet (pbuh),

yet the scholars are against the musical recitation of the Quran.

Ancient Greek was a pitched language, so melody had to be an outgrowth of the natural inflections of the spoken language.
vowels had long and short values that corresponded to long and short notes in the musical settings. Thus musical rhythms were derived from metric forms, and melodic movement was governed by the natural rise and fall of the text.

The reason of these two seemingly conflicting opinions can be understood by making a distinction between the two concepts of music:

If music is to be applied with its rules and techniques to the recitation it would violate the rules of tajweed [7]. So, this kind of music with notes and rules, like composed pieces, is not allowed in the recitation.

However, if a person recites the Quran, associated with the beauty of his natural tunes, this is commendable.

This way is very reasonable considering the fact that an abuse of the Quran with music must be avoided. That is why a piece of music is listened to for appreciation of its musical value, without necessarily understanding its words, for the most part.

Although the meaning of the words in some pieces of music can be realized to some extent, the composers usually have to fill the gaps with "la la"s to balance the piece of music. Obviously, such a practice in the Quranic recitation is out of the question.

Besides, nobody wants to listen to the music of a person with no talent for it. As for the talented, their natural tunes are more pleasant and impressive than their musical skills acquired through musical training. Our claim should not seem bizarre. We have witnessed the loss of purity and sweetness in the recitation of once famous Quran reciters, after being exposed to musical education. Therefore, natural music should be superior to the acquired musical skills, as the former is an extempore act while the latter consists of repeating composed and used tunes. At this point we have got one more claim: It is known that one nation may not enjoy the music of another. So it means that the effect of music is in proportion to its locality. Therefore, a person's natural music should be superior, as being his personal music, to his national music...

[1] In the original text, this was an Arabic poem.

[2] This is a Turkish idiom used for professions which are no good to make a living.

[3] This is a Turkish idiom implying that a person does not behave as mature as his age requires.

The reader should bear in mind the Islamic and traditional values prevailing in his time among the Ottomans, while reading this article. With Western values about dignity and music, his opinions might become quite difficult to understand.

[4] This is a famous remark attributed to the well known folk figure, Hoja Nasreddin, indicating that love affairs can reach dangerous levels very quickly, no matter how innocently they begin.

[5] This is a Turkish poem in the original text. No reference for it is given.

[6] The Holy Quran 26:224-226

[7] Tajweed: The method of proper authentic recitation of the Quran.

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