We can all point to things that brighten our day, but as diverse as those lists may be, music, of one sort or another, finds its way onto most people’s lists.
Alarmingly, any engagement in music is becoming illegal in some corners of the globe, and the ideology behind this snuffing out of a beautiful art form threatens to affect the rest of the world as well. We are referring to Islamic Sharia law.
Already, in countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Mali, musicians have been killed or threatened with removal of their fingers or tongues simply because they make music. Music stores and instruments have likewise been destroyed in the hopes of silencing virtually all styles of music.
Lest you think that these acts are confined to non-Western areas, the picture below shows one of a multitude of “Sharia Controlled Zone” signs that have gone up in neighborhoods in Great Britain. The signs detail the sharia prohibitions against such vices as alcohol, drugs and smoking, gambling, porn and prostitution, and….wait for it…..music and concerts. Yes, this scourge is affecting our neighbors and allies “across the pond.”
As one views the spread of Sharia, it is vital to understand the supremacist nature of Islamic law:
Qur’an 8:39 “So fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief [non-Muslims]) and all submit to the religion of Allah alone (in the whole world).”
“But,” you may say, “there’s no Sharia law in the U.S.” Though to date our music industry here in America appears not to have been impacted, we’re seeing many examples of cultural, financial and legal jihad, not to mention violent physical jihad such as we experienced with 9/11 and the Ft. Hood massacre.
For several years now, financial giants such as Citibank and AIG have dealt in Sharia-compliant products; when we invest in such products, a significant portion of the profits flow into vehicles selected by radical Islamic scholars to help finance jihad. School textbooks have been consistently written over the past twenty years to whitewash the history of Islamic Jihad and expansionism over the past fourteen centuries. (For an extensive research study on the subject, visit actforamericaeducation.com ). There is even a Sharia court in Texas, of all places. And the list goes on.
The treatment of women and gays in particular, coupled with death sentences for apostates, suggests that there are likely many Muslims who would much prefer to live under our Constitution’s guarantee of religious freedom than under Sharia. We need to stand shoulder to shoulder with those folks. The appropriate object of any objections to Islam is the ideology with its repressive political laws and, by extension, those who seek to force Sharia on the rest of us.
Where does the concept that music is bad come from? While there is tremendous disagreement among Islamic scholars on whether (or what type of) music is prohibited by the Islamic doctrinal trilogy, the section on music in “The Reliance of the Traveler,” the compendium of Islamic law, is clear and enforceable in the minds of many religious Muslims:
r40.1 (Ibn Hajar Haytami:) As for the condemnation of musical instruments,flutes, strings, and the like by the Truthful and Trustworthy (Allah bless him and give him peace), who “does not speak from personal caprice: it is nothing besides a revelation inspired” (Koran 53:3-4), let those who refuse to obey him beware lest calamity strike them, or a painful torment. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:
1) Allah Mighty and Majestic sent me as a guidance and mercy to believers and commanded me to do away with musical instruments, flutes, strings, crucifixes, and the affair of the pre-Islamic period of ignorance.”
2) “On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will pour molten lead into the ears of whoever sits listening to a songstress.”
3) “Song makes hypocrisy grow in the heart as water does herbage.”
4) “This Community will experience the swallowing up of some people by the earth, metamorphosis of some into animals, and being rained upon with stones.” Someone asked, “When will this be, O Messenger of Allah?” and he said, “When songstresses and musical instruments appear and wine is held to be lawful.”
5) “There will be peoples of my Community who will hold fornication, silk, wine , and musical instruments to be lawful….”
All of this is explicit and compelling textual evidence that musical instruments of all types are unlawful (Kaff-al-ra’a’ ‘an muharramat al-lahw wa al-sama’ (y49), 2.269-70).
r40.2 Nawawi:) It is unlawful to use musical instruments – such as those which drinkers are known for, like the mandolin, lute, cymbals, and flute – or to listen to them. It is permissible to play the tambourine at weddings, circumcisions, and other times, even if it has bells on its sides. Beating the kuba, a long drum with a narrow middle, is unlawful. (Mughni al-muhtaj ila ma’rifa ma’ani alfaz al-Minhaj (y73), 4.429-30).
SINGING UNACCOMPANIED BY MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
r40.3 (Ibn Hajar Haytami:) As for listening to singing that is not accompanied by instruments, one should know that singing or listening to singing is offensive except under the circumstances to be mentioned in what follows. Some scholars hold that singing is sunna at weddings and the like, and of our Imams, Ghazali and ‘Izz ibn ‘Abd al-Salam say that it is sunna if it moves one to a noble state of mind that makes one remember the hereafter. It is clear from this that all poetry which encourages good deeds, wisdom, noble qualities, abstinence from this-wordly things, or similar pious traits such as urging one to obey Allah, follow the sunna, or shun disobedience, is sunna to write, sing, or listen to, as more than one of our Imams have stated is obvious, since using a means to do good is itself doing good (Kaff-al-ra’a’ ‘an muharramat al-lahw wa al-sama’ (y49), 2.273).
Thus, though there may exist geographical areas under Islamic rule where at least some forms of music are allowed – witness the fact that Cat Stevens (a.k.a. Yusuf Islam) has, after a long post-conversion hiatus, resumed performing - nonetheless, the events of recent years show clearly the global support for restrictions upon and silencing of music.
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