Music & Its Effects
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F O R
E W O R D
people are getting more & more involved in Music & for
them, it has become a part of their daily life. Their mind
has become so saddled with tension, & tempo of life is so
fast that they seem to accept high blood pressure & nervous breakdown as the unavoidable side effects of modern
civilization. It is a pity that they do not pause to think
the adverse effects of music on their physical & mental
I have endeavored to present in this booklet the scientific
& spiritual points of views on music & dance etc. These
observations have been quoted from various books of Persian,
Urdu & English languages.
I am very grateful to Maulana Seyyid Saeed Akhtar Rizvi, the
Chief Missionary of the Bilal Muslim Mission of Tanzania for
editing & scrutinizing this effort of mine.
I hope this booklet will help the readers in understanding
the philosophy of the rule of Islam which forbids music.
W H A
T IS M U S I C ?
according to the New National Dictionary, means "Art of
combining sounds or sequences of notes into harmonious
patterns pleasing to the ear & satisfying to the emotions;
According to the Great Encyclopedic Dictionary, this
combining of sounds is "for reproduction by the voice or
various kinds of musical instruments in rhythmic, melodious
& harmonious form so as to express thought or feeling & affect the emotion;"
& the word is also used for the
"sound so produced," & for 'written or printed score of
musical compositions." Not so technically, it is also used
for "pleasant sound, e.g., song of a bird, murmur of a
stream, cry of hounds."
In Islam music is called Ghina, & in Shia sheriat is
counted as one of the 'great sins'. At first, it may seem
unrealistic to ban every "pleasant sound"; but there is no
need to be alarmed. The Sheriat has defined 'Ghina' in a
different way. In Islam, vocal music means: "Prolongation
& vibration of sound with variation of the pitch to such
an extent that people may say that 'he/she is singing'."
It is evident from the above definition that the sheriat
does not forbid 'pleasant sounds'; but if someone recites
any thing with prolongation of sound & variation of pitch
so much so that a common man thinks that he/she is singing,
then & only then it will be 'Ghina' & sin.
And it makes no difference whether the thing recited was the
Quran, religious poem or love song.
O R I
G I N OF M U S I C
No doubt music is one of the
most ancient methods of merrymaking & enjoyment, of
expressing feelings & emotions. It is called
'international language', because it encompasses the whole
world & does not know any geographical or political
Let us find out what is the reason for its worldwide
prevalence. We have it on the authority of Imam Jaffer Sadiq
(AS) that when Hazrat Adam (AS) died, his infamous son
Cain (Quabil) & Satan were very happy. Both gathered at a
place & invented some musical instruments to celebrate the
death of Hadhrat Adam (AS). & in the words of Imam (AS),
all such musical things which people now use for merrymaking
have originated from that. (Wasael-us-Shia; Babu
So, religion & anthropology both agree that musk is a very
ancient thing; & therefore, no wonder it has spread widely
with the spread of the human race. But how dare a sensible
'child of Adam ' especially if he is a Muslim) "enjoy"
music, which is an invention of Satan & Cain, the
rebellious & disloyal son of Adam ?
Here one may ask: But what is the harm in music ? Why it has
been forbidden in Islam ?
The answer is that
music does have harmful effects on nervous system & is
the cause of many ailments including ulcer, diabetes & madness. It creates imbalance in human faculties,
retards spiritual development, & lowers the ethical
For details, read the following chapters.
E F F
E C T S OF M U S I C O N
N E R V O U S S Y S T E M
explaining its effects on nerves it is necessary to briefly
describe an intricate & awe-inspiring part of the nervous
system itself. These details are quoted here from the
"Foundation of Biology" (by William D. McElory & Carl P.
Swanson & others; published by Prentice-Hall, Inc;
Englewood Cliffs, New Jersyy U.S.A. 1968) & "How your
Nervous System Works" (by J.D. Ratcliff; Reader's Digest -
Book of Human Body) :-
reflexes that help control the internal environment
involve a special part of the nervous system (ANS). This
system consists of nerves making up the motor pathway to
the heart, stomach, intestine & other internal organs
These nerves are not under voluntary control; that is,
you can not make your heart beat faster on command."
"The two major divisions of the automatic nervous system
are called the sympathetic & parasympathetic nervous
Sympathetic nerves leave the middle regions of the
spinal cord "Parasympathetic nerves leave the central
nervous system from the upper regions where they travel
in cranial nerves (i.e., 12 pairs of nerves attached to
the brain & serving head & neck), & from the
lowermost regions of the spinal cord where they travel
in spinal nerves.
"Most internal organs of your body are supplied with
both parasympathetic & sympathetic nerve fibers."
"In general, these two types of nerves work in opposite
ways. For example, impulses traveling along sympathetic
nerve fibers toward the heart increase your heart-beat
rate, whereas impulses traveling along the
parasympathetic nerves leading to the heart disease its
"When we examine the effects of sympathetic stimulation
of various organs, a pattern begins to emerge. We find
that sympathetic stimulation causes a number of events:
1. Widening of
air passage leading to the lungs;
2. Constriction or narrowing of blood vessel in the
skin & in the
intestinal tract, resulting in blood being shifted
from the digestive organs
and skin to the muscles;
3. A general slowing down of movements in the
4 An increase in the force & rate of heart-beat:
5. Release of the blood sugar from the liver;
6. Release of the hormones adrenaline.
these activities prepare the human being for emergencies
such as running or fighting. The widening of air passages
makes it easier for the human being to breathe faster & get more oxygen. Blood is shifted from regions where it will
not be needed during the emergency (the intestinal tract,
for example) to skeletal & heart muscle which will need
oxygen & blood sugar.
The heart beats faster & stronger so that blood circulates
through the muscles at a higher rate. Blood sugar is
released from storage in the liver into the blood stream
where it will be available to supply muscles with energy.
In short, sympathetic stimulation prepares the man for
emergencies, & in this process, increases the blood
pressure, retards the function of digestive system & increases the sugar contents of the blood.
The function of Parasympathetic nerves system is opposite to
the sympathetic system "It widens the veins, releases
noradrenalin hormones & generally retards activities.
two nervous systems run parallel to each other & in
co-operation from one part of the body to another. The
co-operation of the two systems is essential for
maintaining the equilibrium of the body, which in turn
has a great bearing & effect on the physical & mental health of man.
at any time there be a lack of co-operation between
these two systems, physical or mental disorders could
arise resulting in one disease or another."
actions or movements outside human body can adversely affect
the natural equilibrium of these two systems. One of those
things is music.
A brisk & lively musical programme, particularly if it is
accompanied by musical instruments, disturbs this
equilibrium of the various systems; digestion is badly
affected; palpitation of the heart is increased; blood
pressure goes high & abnormal secretion of hormones leaves
a lasting bad effect upon general health.
Music stimulates mostly the sympathetic nervous system; & it may create insomnia (lack of sleep); it may cause tempers
to flare-up; sudden laughter or nonsensical talks are
amongst its possible effects. It may even lead to mania (a
kind of madness)..
Such people may be seen to move their hands & feet in
dancing pattern even when not listening to music.
Dr. Vollf Adler, who was a professor in the Columbia
University, found out that a best melodious record of music
can badly harm the nerves of a human body; & the warmer
the weather the more the harm. He proved that music upsets
the nervous systems unnaturally, & causes considerable
This research of Dr. Adler had a widespread effect on many
Americans; many stopped listening to music altogether. The
belief that music was harmful for a progressive nation like
U.S.A., reached a stage when a member of the Senate proposed
a resolution to ban the music in the country. Relevant
proofs & arguments were put before the Senate. But in a
nation steeped in lust & materialism, not many senators
could be found to vote for that resolution.
(Illustre Dimanche; No. 630; Paris; as quoted in, "Falsafa-e-Tahrim-e-Musiqui",
published by the institution "Dar Rah-e-Haqq", Qum, Iran)
S O M E
O T H E R A I L M E N T S A N D
M U S I C
It is an
accepted fact that mental tension creates many ailments.
Excitement & tension are like a fire which destroys the
natural functions of human body.
And it has already been shown
that music creates excitement & tension.
Not only madness & nervous breakdown, but even
ulcers & heart diseases are caused by mental tension.
It has been mentioned earlier that music releases the
hormone 'adrenalin' in abnormal quantity. This hormone clots
the blood vessels, & finally leads to heart attack. This
relation between excessive release of adrenalin & heart
attack was discovered in France in 1957. (Falsafa-e-Tahrim-e-Musiqui).
Professor Celie experimented by injecting adrenalin into a
monkey. Its skin became paralyzed & the animal suffered
a heart attack (Ibid).
Dale Carnegie quotes Dr. Joseph Montagu to have said that
stomach ulcer is caused by mental tension & violent anger.
Many of the present-day common diseases are the legacy of
our so-called civilization which creates tension & exhausts the tolerance of physical
& mental faculbes.
One of the main causes of this tension & exhaustion is
music. The ailments, which are caused by such condition,
are diabetes, rheumatism, & even the birth of deformed or
disabled children. (Ibid).
Concentration on listening to musical concerts or Jazz bands
at times causes such violent tension that mental stability
is thrown out of window.
The daily 'Kayhan' (Tehran), in its issue No 6626, published
a news of the Reuter Agency: About 50,000 youths had
gathered in Melbourne (Australia) for a musical concert. The
concert overwhelmed them so much that they started
assaulting each other with fists & knives. Many were
seriously injured; some girls were molested The police was
called in & with much difficulty controlled the situation.
The point to ponder is this: The youths were so much excited
that they did not know what they were doing.
Now that we have come to Jazz, & important finding must be
quoted here from The Reader's Digest (Vol. 49, No. 565, May,
"Otologists say that youngsters are going deaf by
blasting their ears with electronic pop music.
"Experts know that prolonged exposure to a noise level
above 85 decibels will eventually result in a
reduction of hearing acuity in the frequency range
most important for understanding human speech. Dr.
Charles Lebo, of the Pacific Medical Centre took
measuring instruments into two San Francis co dance
halls where the cacophony from amplified instruments
caused sound intensity from 100 to 119 decibels in the
low frequency range.
"Lebo estimates that under such conditions 80 per cent
have their hearing sensitivity temporarily reduced by 5
to 30 decibels; 10 per cent suffer a temporary 40
decibel impairment. Some might suffer permanent
damage after a year of steady listening. (Time).
high blood pressure, insomnia, emotional instability
mania & madness, nervous break downs, ulcers, heart
troubles, diabetes, rheumatisms temporary permanent deafness
& birth of deformed or disabled babies are the effects of
No wonder, Islam, being a religion from Allah, has warmed us
against this disabling habit.
F R O
M P H I L O S O P H I C A L P O I N
T O F V I E W
According to the philosophy of Islam, man has been endowed
with two main
& (ii) Emotions.
may be divided into two categories: Positive & Negative. We may
call them 'Attraction' & 'Repulsion', or 'Love' & 'Hate'; or 'Desire'
& 'Anger' respectively. Let us call them here 'Desire' & 'Anger'.
Thus, we have three faculties in all :
Intellect: Its function is to think & understand;
2) Desire: Through it man tries to attain things which are
beneficial to him
or which give him satisfaction & enjoyment;
3) Anger: By this facility man defends himself against,
& repulses the
things which he considers harmful to himself.
Of the above three faculties, the first one, i.e.,
Intellect, has been designed by Allah to guide & control
the remaining two, i.e., Desire &
Anger. If a man wants to remain on right path, he must
ensure that the two
perform their functions under the guidance of Intellect.
For example, the ambition to get rich is the result of
Desire. But it is the
Intellect which guides the man that the wealth should be
obtained by honest labor, hard work & not by robbery or fraud.
Likewise, the Anger inspires the man to resist pain. But it
is the Intellect
that tells him, for example, to submit to the surgical
operation, so that he
may avoid greater pain in future.
When the Faculty of Intellect is sufficiently developed
& dominates over
the other two faculties, the man advances spiritually & ethically;
& surpasses the angels, because angels have got only the
Intellect & do not
have to contend with desire & anger.
Uncontrolled desire & anger are dominating factors of
animals. If these
faculties were to be nourished by the man beyond the ethical
freed from the control & guidance of Intellect, he would
sink to the
abysmal depth of depravity, & would become worse than
After understanding this principle, it is easy to appreciate
behind laws of Islam forbidding various actions.
It has been already described that the
music is among those
boost the emotions & arouse the sensual powers beyond
their natural limit;
music gives desire or anger an upper hand, & makes them
dominant over the
Intellect. As has been shown with a few examples, this state
could reach a
stage where Intellect ceases to function altogether; man
becomes the slave
of his emotions - desire & anger.
A time comes that he forgets his Creator & does not
remember the real aim
of his life (which is to know his Creator & obey Him).
The Love & Fear of Allah promotes virtues & good deeds,
& restrain the
man from sins & evils. Islam aims at producing best of the
its followers; & therefore, it has forbidden those things
which tend to
divert attention from Allah & from man's divine duties.
Music is one of
those things which have toxic effect on human mind.
Therefore, Islam has
forbidden not only the playing of music, but also listening
to it; also
forbidden is participation in musical programmes whether it
be in places
like theaters, night clubs & cinemas or in one's own home.
Incidentally, the same is the reason behind the law
forbidding liquor & gambling.
F R O
M E T H I C A L P O I N T
O F V I E W
In the last chapter, I explained the harm which music brings
upon the spiritual wellbeing of a man. Connected with it, is the
effect of music on
the ethics & morals.
Those intoxicated by the music should try to reply these
Why those engaged in singing
& dancing profession almost
always sink to
the lowest level of immorality?
Why the film actors & actresses change their wives
& husbands with every
change of weather ?
Why singing & dancing was considered a 'Must' for
prostitutes in Indian
Why marital sanctity & conjugal bliss are words without
meaning in the
world of singers & dancers ? Why ? Oh ! Why ?
The following quotations from 'The Bridal Bed' (by Joseph
published by Corgi books, Ransworld Publishers Ltd., London;
provide an answer to these questions :-
(Dance) is the start of culture. Though some of these dances
sensationally erotic, the sexual element is present in most
of the world's
dancing. It is sublimated even in ballet.
Many primitive dances, the world over, serve as
preliminaries to mating,
being closely connected with the choice of a marriage
description or two will make this clear.
The Dinka, a gentle pastoral tribe, live on the east bank of
the White Nile.
They are astonishingly tall, sometimes more than six & a
half feet high.
Blacker than charcoal, often above a naked body, the hair
glistens a longish
pale gold mop, when it has been dyed with cow's
urine. Dinka buy their
wives.. But first they see the women in dance.
Within a village clearing the drums & gourd rattles are
ready. Possibly as
many as three hundred Dinkas have been waiting an hour or
more under the yet
powerful & declining sun, the tall girls standing together
in a line, by
now worked up to a pitch of excitement bordering on hysteria
as they await
the moment for the dance to develop. But what is strange
here is that,
although the dance will mirror by no means deeply buried
sexual desires, it
remains curiously abstract & impersonal.
The magnificent nubile Negresses, with narrow hips & slim
bronze antiquely proportioned statues Full of shy giggles,
they begin to shuffle with their feet, beads & bracelets jangling on
smooth wrist & dusty ankle. A laughing girl retreats, advances, invites her
partner, her arms tapering into the narrow palms of clasped
stretched out behind her, her pointed breasts trembling. Her
rattles & sways, as she jerks her lacquer-like thighs
forward & backwards as in love. Her partner guides her movement with
thrusting his loins forward in a mime of pursuit."
In Siera Leone the 'Dance of the Susu Bundu girl's has much
more actual color. Previously, the girls will have been circumcised in
the Bundu Bush
according to the ancient rites, & instructed in household
to prepare them for marriage. They are presumed to be
virgins. It is night,
but little fires flicker red in a moon-lightened darkness.
Parents & relations of the participants cluster together with the rest
of the village
to watch. Monkeys chatter noisily from the trees.
As the girls step forward, they show gleaming teeth & the
whites of their
eyes. They are wearing their best finery: lengths of garish
cloth are wound about their thin waists to the ground; high
of flaring colored silk scarves decorate their small
Behind, over their skirts fall black velvet kirtles sewn
with rows of bells.
Each girl carries a showy handkerchief in one hand. Naked
above the waist,
her breasts, with prominent nipples, are thrust forward.
the shoulder-blades, her upright back shines as though
oiled. She dances
with a proud, unspoiled grace of carriage.
No sudden crash of drums heralds the opening of this dance.
Instead, a sweet
wailing music from a native instrument, almost bell-like,
blends with the
controlled drums & the gentle swish of calabash, as the
girls sway like
dark columns of smoke, bending, skimming the earth with the
fingers of first
one hand, then the other. More instruments join the rhythmic
emphasizing the flowing snake-like movements. On the girls'
faces appears entranced concentration. The orchestra speeds
the tempo; the
sensuous vigor of the Negresses changing to such a
vibrating single energy
of supple writhing forms that individually the dancers can
separated. The speed is so great that the girls appear to be
mingled in one
florid streak of color.
But from among the audience the boys have been watching with
attention, picking out the girls they would like for brides.
Often at the
end of such a dance, a girl will fall to the ground
exhausted. Then, in a
flash, a boy will dash out, pick her up in his alms & carry her into the
bush nearby, where, with a sigh, she may thank the darkness
the myth of her virginity.
The reader should not think that these rites of the
primitive tribes have no
connection with the 'refined' dances of the so-called
civilized world. It
has been quoted above that "the sexual element is present in
most of the
European civilization celebrates a marriage with dancing.
The bride is
obliged to dance with the guests. Have you ever stopped to
think what is the
significance of this custom ?
In early feudal times the bride might have spent her wedding
night not with
her husband but with her feudal lord, who had the right to
Old writers of the history of Schotland say that King Evenus
contemporary with the emperor Augustus - 'made a law by
which he & his
successors in the throne were authorized to lie with every
bride, if a woman
of quality, before her husband could approach her; & in
this law the great men of the nation had a power of the same
kind over the
brides of their vassals & servants.
It would seem that this law remained effective throughout
the kingdom, for
more than ten centuries, until St. Margaret persuaded her
Malcom III to have it abolished. After this, any vassal or
wished to redeem the first night of his bride had to pay a
tax in money.
In almost all countries of Christendom, "sometimes even
monks, who were
feudal lords, held the right of sleeping with the bride on
her first night
as a married woman.
Now, such customs have been diluted, & the dance with the
bride has been
substituted in place of sleeping with her on her first
At Swedish country weddings it is still usual for the bride
to dance with
all the men; elsewhere in Europe, as in parts of Germany,
there is tradition
that every guest who dances with the bride must pay her some
In Hungary, on the day of marriage, many rites are
performed. "At lasts
about midnight, comes the ritual putting bed. First every
man present dances
with the now almost exhausted bride, each giving her money
privilege." Not only in weddings but even in social dances
the erotic factor
dominates & survives. You must have seen in Western
countries (and in
their blind `followers) that when a state guest arrives, the
wife of the
host stands with the guest & the wife of the guest stands
with the host. & the same thing happens during the dances given in honor
of the guest.
Do you know the origin of this custom ? In ancient times
there was a custom
which still survives in the Chukchee tribe of Asiatic
Eskimos. It is the
system of "Group marriage" which anthropologists believe to
be the most
primitive form of marriage.
(Dr. Bogoras) states that marriage among the Chukchee does
not deal with one
couple only but extends over an entire group. The men
belonging to such a
marriage union are called 'companions in wives'.. but
takes advantage of
his right comparatively seldom, namely, only when he visits
for some reason
the camp of one of the 'companions'. Then the host cedes him
his place in
the sleeping room.
As the author says, "the custom of loaning wives to
strangers or friends,
for a fee or just as an act of hospitality, has been common
over many lands from time immemorial, & not only among
And this system survives in the form of loaning the wife to
the guest in the dance room, in place of the bedroom.
Now that we have seen the relation between the dance & music on one hand
& sexual promiscuity on the other, we can easily
understand the following
tradition of the Holy Prophet of Islam: Music is the magic
E F F
E C T O N T H E C H I L
D R E N
It is no secret that the songs music
& films depend upon
their success. The more sexy a song the more its sale; the
more suggestive a
music, the more its market value. & also it is no secret
that building the
character of the children begins from their very tender age.
If they are
exposed to obscene songs sexy music & suggestive dances
childhood, their entire outlook on the matters of sex
morality & marriage-sanctity will become jaundiced. They will lose the
distinguish between moral & immoral modesty & immodesty
chastity & promiscuity.
Some people think that the children do not understand these
people are wrong.
Thus, by listening to the songs & seeing the dance on
television, we ruin
the moral uprightness of our children. If we believe that
the children are
given to us by Allah as a trust & that we are responsible
to give them
such a training that they become good Muslims & virtuous
Allah, then we must abstain from songs & music; & must
keep them safe
from the evil influence of these sinful habits. You will
find this subject
adequately explained in the Appendix.
T H E Q U R
A N O N M U S I C
After briefly explaining the evil effects of Music
& dance, now time has
come to give here some of the ayats of the Quran &
some of the traditions of the Holy Prophet (saww) & Imams
(AS) on this
Here are four Ayats of the Quran which forbid the Muslims
"So abstain from the pollution of the idols
& abstain from
The Arabic word
"Zoor" has several meanings which include
falsehood & the
musical expressions. According to Imam Jaffer Sadiq (AS)
the idols" means Chess; & "Vain words" means music.
See how 'Music' has been joined in this Ayat with the
pollution of idols";
only then you can appreciate the seriousness of the sin of
"And of the people there is he who buys a 'vain talk' so
that he may lead
others astray from the path of Allah without (real)
knowledge & takes it
(the revelation of Allah) for a mockery; for these shall be
chastisement (punishment)." 31:6.
'Lahw' means any thing which diverts the mind from serious
talk" has been interpreted by the Imam as some talk sound or
diverts the attention of man from the ultimate aim of his
creation; in other
words makes him forget Allah & His commands. For example,
romantic stories, & such useless talks. "It includes
'Music', intoxicants & all such diversions." (Tafseer As-Safi)
Imam Muhammad Baquir
Music is among the things
for which Allah
has promised the Fire (of Hell). Then he recited the above Ayat. (Kafi;
Wasael us Shia; Tafseer As-Safi)
"Indeed successful are the believers those who in their
prayer are humble & those who keep themselves aloof from Vain (words
& deeds)." (23:1-3).
'Laghw' (Vain words
& actions): The first Imam Ali (AS)
that is void of the remembrance of Allah is 'Laghv'.
According to other
authentic traditions of Imams, 'Laghv' means all useless
wasteful of times among which music has been specifically
included in this term are vain games played just to while
away the time.
"And the servants of the Merciful Allah are
bear not witness to what is false, & when they pass by
what is vain they
pass with dignity". (25:72).
The words 'Zoor'
& 'Laghv' have been explained earlier. According to the
traditions of Imams (AS), the first part may also be
translated in this
way: "who do not witness what is vain"! & accordingly, it
interpreted in the exegesis of the Quran as
"do not listen
The following two traditions explain the second part:
Jaffer Sadiq (AS) asked some of his companions:
"Where are you
They replied: "With so & so, who has singing
Imam said: "You should have dignity."
thought that Imam (AS) had advised them to treat that
But they were not sure; so they returned to the Imam & requested him to
explain his meaning to them.
"have not you heard Allah saying `when they pass
by what is vain
they pass with dignity' ?
Imam meant that you should not stay with a man who has
singing & dancing
Second tradition: Muhammad bin Abi Ibad was known to indulge
in music & liquor. He once asked Imam Ali Ar-Ridha (AS) about
listening to music.
Imam said: Some people in Hijaz have their own view about
it; but that view
is absolutely wrong. Have you not heard the word of Allah
'when they pass by
what is vain they pass in dignity'?"
this much should be enough for a follower of, Muhammad (saww)
& Ahul ul Bait (AS).
S O M E T R A D I T I O N S O N M U S I C
After Ayats of the Quran, I mention here some of the
traditions of the Holy
Prophet of Islam (saww) & Imams (AS) about musical
instruments, & musical parties.
The Holy Prophet (saww) said:
- "When my Ummat
(followers) will acquire
fifteen habits they will be visited by disasters:
1) When the booty will be treated as personal property;
& trust will become like a booty of war;
3) & charity will be (disliked) like a loss;
& man will obey his wife & disobey his mother;
& will be generous to his friend & tyrant to his
8) & voices will be high in the mosques;
9) & a man will be respected as a safeguard against his
10) & the leader of the people will be the worst of them;
& men will wear silk;
12) & people will keep singing
& dancing girls;
13) & will keep musical instruments;
& will drink intoxicants;
15) & fornication will increase;
at that time expect red storms or depression of land-mass or
faces like the image of animals & the victory of your
enemy upon you; &
then you will not be helped (by Allah)."
- The Holy Prophet of Islam describing the signs of the Day
said: "Verily amongst the signs of the Hour is that people
prayers (will not pray in the preferred time)! & will
follow their desires, & will incline towards their own
In those days, there will be people who will learn the
Quran for other than
Allah (i.e.; for earning worldly benefits), & will treat
the Quran as
musical instrument (as is happening today in Islamic
countries where Quran
is recited on the radios just to entertain the listeners); & there will be
people who will study religion for other than Allah (for
earning prestige or
wealth as is happening today when the main purpose of study
of religion is
to be come a good orator, so that higher & higher fees may
from the audience), & number of illegitimate children will
people will sing the Quran,.. & will adore
musical instruments, & will dislike enjoining the good & forbidding the
evil,.. These are the people who will be called
unclean & dirty
in the kingdom of heaven."
- Imam Jaffer Sadiq (AS) said: "Music is the nest of
- Also he said: "Music is the worst of the sounds."
- Imam Jaffer Sadiq (AS) said: The place where music is
does not look at its participants (with mercy).
- Also the Imam (AS) said: "Listening to music
hypocrisy as the water grows the plants.
- Hassan (a companion of Imam Jaffer Sadiq a.s.) said:
There was a man in
my neighborhood who had singing girls; & he always
remained immersed in
music & dance. When I went to W.C., I used to stay a bit
longer (to listen
to those sounds). When I want to Imam Jaffer Sadiq (AS),
he told me: O
Hasan, Verily the ear, & the eye & the heart, all of
them will he asked.
The ear & what it listened to, the eye & what it looked
at & the heart & what it intended."
When I heard that Ayat of the Quran, it was as
though I had
never heard it before. Then I repented (from my sin of
listening to music)
and made a convent with Allah not to do it again.
The Imam (AS) said: "Stand up have bath & pray to Allah
as much as you
wish. How bad would have been your position if you had died
with this habit.
Repent before Allah & ask His forgiveness for every evil
does not dislike but evil, leaves evil for evil people;
because for every
thing are its people.
In a list of
major sins which he sent to Caliph Mamun
Rashid, Imam Ali
Ar-Ridha (AS) mentioned the participation in the musical
M U S
I C A S P E R T H E
C O M P A N I O N S O F T H E
H O L Y P R O P H E T (saww)
Caliph Omar heard the sound of a flute of a shepherd & he
his ears with his finger & turned his mouth to a different
path saying : "The Prophet (saww) heard the sound of a
shepherd once when
I was with him.
He did not like it."
Abu Aamah reported on the authority of the Holy Prophet (saww) that Holy
Prophet (saww) prohibited trade in singing slave maids & training them
for singing & said that their sale proceeds were unlawful.
On the authority of the Holy Prophet (saww) Hazarat Ayesha
narrates that the Prophet (saww) said that Almighty Allah has made
unlawful the trade in
singing slave maids, their training & listening to their
Abdur Rahman bin Auf narrates that the Holy Prophet said
that Almighty Allah
has forbidden two nonsensical & wicked voices, one is
melody & the other
is the cry in distress.
Akramah reports the words of Ibne Abbas that the Prophet (saww)
said that Almighty Allah has raised me to destroy flute & the drum.
Sahl Bin Saad narrates that Holy Prophet (saww) said,
"Submersion below the surface of the earth, raining of
stones from the sky & mutilation of
figures shall come about in my ummat."
The companions asked, "O the Prophet of Allah when shall it
happen.?" The Prophet (saww) there upon said:" When musical
instruments shall be in
abundance & there shall be a large number of the singing
girls & shall
Abu Talib Tibri says that Imam Malik condemned music & forbid listening to
it & said: "If you buy a slave maid & afterwards you
find her to be
singing girl, it shall be lawful for the buyer to restore
her to the
Imam Safii said that music was an abhorrent sport. It was
just like a filthy
thing & the one who listening to excessive music was a
fool. His evidence
shall be rejected.
Abu Tayyab says : Shafii declared music as abhorrent.
Tradition on abhorence of music has also come down from
Ahmad Bin Hambal.
Abu Tayyeb Tibri says that Imam Abu Hanifa considered music
as abhorrent and
held singing as sin. The same is the view of all the
scholars of Kufa like
Ibrahim, Shahabi, Hammad, Soufian Thousi & other. There is
even among the scholars of Basarah in respect of its being
forbidden. This was the reaction of the companions towards the ordinary
music of past
times. How forceful would have been their condemnation of
bands & dance of today.
M U S I C I N T H E L I G H T O F T R A D I T I O N S
Holy Prophet (saww) said,
"I forbid you to dance
play the flute, the
drum & the tambourines."
Holy Prophet (saww) said,
"Molten lead will be put in the
ears of that
person who listens attentively to music & songs.
Imam Ali Reza (AS) said,
"& to listen attentively to the
instrument (is also a greater sin)..." manufacturing,
buying or selling
musical instrument is forbidden, & the profits accrued
from such dealings
are illegal & the transaction is also null & void. Even
safe keeping of
musical instrument is forbidden & to destroy them is
Imam Jafar Sadiq (AS) said,
"Allah has prohibited the
such things which are used for harmful purpose. & the
things which only
create harm. Thus the manufacturing of harp, flute, chess,
instruments cross of crucification, idols is forbidden."
Imam Mohammed Baqir
Singing is one of those
sins for which
Allah has reserved the punishment of Hell.
The place where songs & music are played, Allah's
descends, as the
following traditions says:-
Imam Ali (AS) said,
& songs give rise to
hypocrisy, & is one
of the ways leading towards poverty & hunger.
Holy Prophet (saww) said,
"Molten lead will be put in the
ears of that
person who listens attentively to music & songs.
Imam Jafar Sadqiue (AS) said,
"Thus to teach singing
& music to learn to
play it or to receive payment for it & to indulge in any
kind of musical
pastime is forbidden."
Imam Jafar Sadqiue (AS) said,
"Don't enter a house in which
Blessings & bounties are turned away from the habitants of
the house, atsuch a place neither the Supplications are responded nor the
near such place."
Imam Jafar Sadqiue (AS) said,
"One who has been bestowed
with favors of
Allah; while in possession of such favors plays flute, he
unthankful to the favors of Allah."
M U S I C & T H E L A S T E P O C H
Masoomeen (AS) said," & you will see that music will
become so common
that no one will forbid others. Nor will anyone find himself
the courage to
The words masoomeen is a proved fact as we do experience the
our day to day lives.
S I N
G I N G & A D U L T E R Y
Singing becomes the cause of Adultery as the below mentioned
The Holy Prophet (saww) said,"Singing is a ladder to
Singing gives rise to the lust in man which ultimately gives
consequences. Not only he who sings but also the one who
to it becomes negligent towards Allah & is ready for
Imam Jafar Sadqiue (AS) said,"All those past times & amusement are major
sins, which makes a person negligent in remembering Allah.
indulging in singing, music & musical gadgets.
Yes, indeed its a fact that music not only makes shame & modesty
disappear, but also destroys love, brotherhood & generousness. In short,
it makes the whole environment a specimen of Hell.
E F F E C T S O F M U S I C
Imam Jafar Sadqiue (AS) said,
"One who plays music in the
house for forty
days, will be beset by a satan named Fogander. Allah will
cause that satan
to occupy each & every part of that persons body. When
this would happen
then shame would depart from him & he would not care what
he is saying,
nor what is being said about him. Then the Satan would blow
unto him and
after that his modesty would be completely destroyed. Then
he would not feel
ashamed, even if the chastity of his women is being
The Holy Prophet (saww) said, "the playing of
grow in the heart, in the same way as water becomes the
cause of the growth
Imam Ali (AS) said, "Angels do not enter the house which
has wine, drum,
tambourine or a flute. Even the innovations of the people of
that house are
not accepted, & the fortunate blessings from them are
Imam Ali Reza (AS) said, "That person in whose house is
kept for forty days
a drum' flute or any other musical instrument chess or
similar things that
person invokes the wrath of Allah & if that person dies
during those forty
days his death shall be of a transgressor & a libertine.
His abode shall
be Hell & what a terrible abode it is."
Holy Prophet (saww) said, "A person who sings will be
put in the group
of those people on whom Allah will not look with grace, on
the Day of Judgment."
Dance halls are modern nurseries of the Divorce Courts,
training shops of
prostitution, & the graduating school of infamy & vice.
"Dr. l. l.
I attack the modern dance as a reversion towards savagery.
As a medical
man, I flatly charge that modern social dancing is
fundamentally sinful and
evil. I charge that it is the most insidious of the
monomers preliminary to
sex betrayal. It is nothing more or less than damnable diabolical animal
physical, dissipation. Do brother & sister dance like
that? Father &
mother ? Mother & son? I tell you the basic spell of the
dance is the spell
of illicit physical contact..... We doctors know trial of
broken homes prove
this." (Dr. E.S. Sonners)
M u s
i c i a n s F A T E
The Holy Prophet (saww) said," The person possessing
agiler WILL be
brought on the Day of Judgment with a black face he would
have a guitar of
fire in his hand, & above him will be seventy thousand
carrying the maces of fire. They would be striking the maces
on the head and
face of that person & the singer shall arise from his
grave blind, deaf
and dumb & the adulterer shall also be raised from the
graves in this way.
And the one who plays flute shall be similarly raised & the one who plays
the drum too."
The above Tradition clearly proves that all those people
themselves in singing, committing adultery or playing
will be gathered on the Day of judgment as Deaf, Dumb & Blind.
Let us seek refuge in Allah from the temptations of Shaitaan
so that he may
never lead us into the disgraceful vice of listening to
music. Let us make a
firm resolution to keep our houses clean of this ignominy,
let our children
listen to sounds invocating & glorifying Allah, rather
than the satanic
chants of music.
Let us not follow the habits promoted by the killers of Imam
Let us make a firm determination to eradicate this sin from
I N F L U E N
C E O F M U S I C
Often people are heard to say: "But music has so much
influence upon our
feelings; so why such a thing should be forbidden?" But it
because of its great influence upon heart & mind that it
There would have been no need to ban it if it were with out
any effect. The
thing which is to be decided is whether its influence is
good or bad. & it
has been shown in the previous pages that music & dance
effects physiologically, spiritually & ethically upon
Music is like intoxicants in that it makes one forget one's
and one does not know what is happening to him or her. The
is a good example of the effect of music:
Frank King is reported in 'Reader's Digest (Vol. E No. 481;
May 1962) as
"I returned home one evening
& noticed a large red mark
that looked like a
burn on my wife's right cheek. When I asked her what had
sheepishly told me the story. She set up the iron-board in
the living room
so that she could watch a favorite television programme
while doing the
ironing the telephone table was also near at hand. As she
was intently watching TV, the phone rang, & she
reached out automatically & answered the iron."
Another interesting story was published in the Tanganyika
(Dar-es-Salaam) some 23 years ago. A pregnant woman attended
programme in a local cinema. She became so much engrossed in
it that she
gave birth to a baby on the spot without realizing what was
her. 'Was it a cinema hall or maternity home?', asked the
Realizing the importance of this engrossing quality of
music, the scientists
are trying to use it as an aid in surgery. Reader's Digest
(Vol. 80, No.
477; January, 1962) writes:-
"Audio-analgesia, or painkilling by sound, is one of modern
discoveries. The combination of music & other sounds has
in dentistry, surgery & childbirth. Nobody can predict how
technique will be used, but those who have^ experienced it
hopes -like the new mother who wheeled from the delivery
`What a wonderful experience! I'll always remember South
Palcetry Galiard, while on the operation table, asked for
one of his own
musical tapes to be played in the room. The effect was a
spate of grief
which made as present cry; & the operation was performed
All this goes a long way to prove that the music has the
same effect on
nerves & mind as the anesthesia. Nobody, in his right
mind, would suggest
that chloroform should be daily used by the general public,
because it is
such a good thing in the operation theatre. If music is a
let it be used in surgery & deliveries of children. But
can that use ever
justify its common use in every home at all times & in all
A P P E N D I X
Note : Here I would like to include an article
Television - A Blessing or a curse?
If a child is afraid of something, expose him to it often & his fears will
diminish or disappear.
Dr. Victor B. Cline, a University of Utah (USA) Psychologist
& four year
research assistant, wrote, "Psychologists have for years
example, that you can overcome a person's fear of snakes by
exposing him to others who casually play with snakes."
He then adds, "It stands to reason that you can also change
emotional responses to violence, sex & various antisocial
Everyone, especially a Muslim, should seriously consider the
he exposes himself or his children to anti-religious
These days, it is a sign of "Education" & "intelligentsia"
Television at home, giving little thought to its long-term
especially on children.
Much research has been done in the United States of America
on the effect of
Television on its viewers. President Nixon had appointed a
study Causes & Prevention of Violence. The commission, in
published in; 1970, said that Television networks were
"pandering to a
public preoccupation with violence that television itself
has helped to
generate." The Commission concluded that on the basis of
studies "observed violence stimulates aggressive behavior."
Dr. Robert M. Liepert of the State University of New York at
(U.S.A.), after considerable research, concluded: "There is
a link between
televised violence & aggressive behavior for the majority
children." Although it has previously been assumed that only
children would be affected by viewing scenes of violence,
disagreed. He writes, "The data show no evidence that only a
influenced. This is a factual error."
Dr. Victor B. Cline, the Psychologist, says that "The media
teachers of values & ethical behavior, & sometimes may
play a more
significant role than the Church."
To this "Newsweek" commentator, Joseph Morgenstern, adds:
"If the effect of
Television violence on children has been finally
demonstrated, it's not un
reasonable to assume that ultra-violence in the movie has
some effect on
The real danger of films shown on Television lies in the
philosophy of life
or value system that they propagate very subtly in many
underlying more system does not get edited out for
television, as do most of
the sex scenes & profanity.
And one cannot switch off the set as soon as some thing
appears, because often the viewer does not even realize the
implication of the film. Even an intelligent & educated
person can easily
be effected by such films.
On U.S.A. T.V., a film "Easy Rider" was show which made
heroes of two young
men who "earned their freedom to take a cross-country
motorcycle tour by
smuggling heroin into the United States from Mexico. NO
criticism of their
offense, nor even of their own indulgence in drugs was
implied in the film.
In fact, smoking marijuana was portrayed as perfectly normal
agreeable, & even the use of hard drugs left no
ill-effects. When these
points were discussed with a group of College freshmen-all
of them from
highly religious homes of them admitted that the film had
left them confused
about using drugs. "It (the film) made it look so nice, "one
(Eternity-October, 1971, pp. 29).
In some films the main characters are portrayed as sweet,
gentle, loving and
admirable young people, in spite of the fact that they are
in bed with
partners whose names they do not know. Even a person with
sexual morals & little temptation to change them begins to
these gentle youngsters & to feel that, after all, such behaviour is not
When children are exposed to such films, it gradually
changes their attitude
and undoes what the poor Mulla or Maulana has been trying to
Almost every evening he sees gnomes, dances, kissing,
scenes of night clubs; & eventually he accepts all these
things as normal
and starts considering all those who oppose these things as
It might be argued that not much violence or immoral films
are shown on
local Television. It should, however, be borne in mind that
small the dose, seeps in & does damage.
Furthermore, it should not be forgotten that the standard of
those who control showing of television programmes is
different from ours.
Things which in their eyes are "innocent" are most
objectionable from our
point of view. Drinking, dating, dancing, kissing, etcetera,
"innocent" to them but we would not like our children to
accept these ideas
and follow them.
Even with much noise being made by those in authority about
morality of the public, quite Often extremely objectionable
films, even from
their own point of view, are shown on television. Once such
objectionable film was shown on Nairobi television about
which "East African
Standard" had to write as follows:-
"The `Nana' controversy is just dying out the film having
"deported" to Mombassa. But another `Nana' in the name of
appeared on V.O.K. television last Wednesday, as the Midweek
Part of this otherwise excellent drama depicts Celestina's
in massage treatment to a charming & highly romantic young
The exercise develops into proper romance when Celestina's
undressing the girl, & she obliges. The bedroom scene
Enter Celestina, looking furious.
Having suspected what was taking place, she picks up a knife
& drives it
into her husband's heart. I would not mind seeing this film,
particularly the sex scene, in a cinema, as it would be my
decision to see it by paying for it.
What V.O.K. has done is to bring right in our homes such a
film with highly
romantic scenes. What are we expected to do in our houses
around ? Just look at such scenes & laugh them off ? One
wonders what sort
of society we are trying to build."
( E A S T A F R I C A N S T A N D A R D - 15 . 5 . 72 )
The "Perry Mason" & "Falk" series films which are often
shown on our
television are American films showing violence, immorality,
etc, which is
likely to have an effect, specially on children. Some of
propagate "ends justify the means" slogan.
In a film called "Evening Rider" shown on Cost television, a
shown married to a man her father's age & being tempted by
own son of the same age. (East African Standard, 19th April,
1983). It left
one with the impression that adultery, for such a teenager
"Grab Game" was shown on Nairobi television which showed a
for a job attacking the manager of the firm & the manager
tells him in
fear to "come next Thursday" (East African Standard,
12.3.73) it was nothing
but propagation of "Might is right".
That such films have an effect on even adults car be judged
from the reviews
of these programmes from accredited journalists who are not
but highly educated.
A reviewer of Television of East African Standard once
wrote, "I have in
mind the fact that a procrastinating father finds himself
sharing a girl
friend with his own son. One may turn round & blame the
poor girl for
having extended both hands, but what about difficult time
when the father,
and I bet he was doing it without the knowledge of his
starving family, offers assistance, including paying
overseas academic fees
and all that goes with it. ?
( E A S T A F R I C A N S T A N D A R D 26 . 3 . 73 )
It can be seen that instead of revolting against the
immorality of the girl,
viewers are made to sympathize with her & condone her
The censor Boards controlling showing of programmes on
and we may see a time when the Board is more lax & permissive. We may then
see highly objectionable films being shown on our television
brought chaos in the United States of America.
It will then be difficult to tell our children to stop
viewing TV when we
have introduced it to them & made them its addict.
However strict we may be at home in trying to control what
children should see, but once they are addicted to it they
will see even the
highly objectionable programmes as & when they get an
shall be held responsible before God for introducing
televisions to them and
weakening their moral fibre. God says in Quran, "O ye who
yourselves & your families from a fire whose fuel is men & stones."
Let us not expose our children to immoral behaviour & turn
them into fuel
(All quotations in this article unless stated or otherwise,
have been taken
from "ETERNITY " October, 1971 & July, 1972 Issues.
E N D
LIST OF THE BOOKS REFERRED TO:
Translation of the Holy Quran, by M.V. Mir Ahmad Ali
Ghina Ki Hurmat, by Seyyid Saeed Akhtar Rizvi
Falsafa-e-tahrime-E-Musiqui; published by 'Dar
4. Intisharate-e-Yazdahgana; published by Anjuman-e-Tablighat-e-lslami,
5. How your Nervous System Works; by J.D. Ratcliff; Reader's
Digest - Book
of Human Body
6. Foundation of Biology, by William D.Mc Elory & Carl P.
others; Prentice-Hall Inc., U.S.A.
7. The Bridal Bed,
by Joseph Braddock; Corgi Books, U.S.A.
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