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In the Name of God بسم الله

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(salam)

I recently had a discussion with a sunni friend about music and musical instruments. He was sure all wind and string instruments were forbidden by the Prophet himself and thus almost all kinds of music were forbidden with the probable exception of the tambourine. My question is, from a shi'i perspective, is ALL music forbidden? Even classical (western or arabic) music?

(wasalam)

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salam.gif

I recently had a discussion with a sunni friend about music and musical instruments. He was sure all wind and string instruments were forbidden by the Prophet himself and thus almost all kinds of music were forbidden with the probable exception of the tambourine. My question is, from a shi'i perspective, is ALL music forbidden? Even classical (western or arabic) music?

wasalam.gif

All Music and its Instruments are HARAAM (only DAF is permissible)

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Habeel,

Guess you must be new here. You're not going to get much conclusive here. You're basically going to get people saying "is not!" and "is too!"

(salam)

Well, I'm not exactly new here. I started my investigations about Islam some few years ago here at ShiaChat. But I couldn't find any shi'as here in Spain until last Saturday, when I was introduced to some Iraqis. I found, however, a lot of sunni moroccans and practised Islam with the Ahl us Sunnah. Now, I have my opportunity to study Islam from a Shi'a perspective and I don't want to miss the chance Allah has put on my way...

(wasalam)

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(salam)

It is the stand of ayatolllah fadlullah as well as I, that no music is haram except sinful music. i also think fadlullah advises no jazz and music that has to do with love as it excites the desires. also it seems that Ayatollah Khamenei also don't forbid all music only what is sinful and that has a vocal singing rising and falling to cause a rapture, this may however have something to do with high and low octaves which most singers do not have.

You may read more of what everyone is saying here, and i am sure these hadiths we have must be weak or misunderstood since our ayatollah's (some of them) do not forbid music but rather only certain kinds of it. similarly some sunni's may say it is forbidden, some may say it is all allowed and some say only what is halal.

http://www.shiachat....ip-hop-satanic/

(wasalam)

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Habeel,

Be cautious of putting too much stock in what this guy is telling you. As you can see from the link and its intro paragraph, it's a bit of a slanted perspective, and not overly honest to boot.

If you go directly to what our actual leading scholars say about music, the common line from virtually everyone about music is "it depends." Depends on the type of music, how it affects you as an individual, etc. It is clear from narrations and from common sense that there are some forms of music which are harmful and should be avoided. Where to draw the line however is not clearly drawn, and is left to some extent to the individual to determine for himself based on some basic guidelines "not music appropriate for gatherings of crude or vain entertainment," etc.

Matter of fact is that there is no black or white answer on this matter, and anyone who tries to tell you so is lying to you, misinformed, or oversimplifying because of the audience they are talking to.

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This is what Allamah Majlisi says in "Essence of Life:"

About Prohibition of Music

On Ghina or song the opinion of all the Shia jurists is united that it is haram because the singer is termed a person destined for the Hell. Therefore Ghina is considered a major sin in Shia Islam.

Ghina is Haram in all the schools of Sunni jurisprudence too. The only exception is that of their Sufi cult.

Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.) says that the house in which songs are heard will be the abode of misfortunes, the prayers made from there will not be answered and angels will not descend in that place. The household will be denied the Blessings of Allah.

Song & Music

Riyan bin al Salat inquired from Imam Ali Reza (a.s.), “ O Imam (a.s.)! Hisham bin Ibrahim says that you have given permission to listen to music?”

The Imam (a.s.) replied, “ It is a falsehood! When he asked me, I told him that someone asked Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.) about music. The Imam (a.s.) replied,’ If Rgiht and wrong are separated, on which side will be song and music?’ The man said, ‘ On the side of wrong!’ The Imam (a.s.) affirmed, ’You are right!’

Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.) said, “ Allah’s Blessing will not be on a gathering assembled to listen to music. Song is the mirror of hypocrisy and the woman who sings is accursed and also those who share her earnings.

It is recorded in Ayoon al Akhbar ar Reza that someone asked Imam Reza (a.s.),

“ What do you say about song and music?” The Imam (a.s.) replied,” The people of Hijaz think it is legitimate. But song is taboo and is an amusement and a waste of time. Therefore Allah says in the Holy Quran,” Iza marru billagwe marru ikraman- when they pass by the vicinity of undesirable activity, they pas quietly like the merciful ones.” Whoever keeps himself away from music, will have a tree in the Heaven which, when shaken with Allah’s orders, will produce musical notes that no one has ever heard. Those who had been listening to music in the world, will not have this privilege in the Heaven.”

Ghina has been defined by the Ulema as modulation of the voice in the throat in such a way that the listeners enjoy hearing.

Ghina is that which gets appreciation for the reciter and the listeners go into a stupor of happiness or sadness. Doing such thing is Haram. There are very few occasions when music is allowed. Some do not put a condition that the song should create the feeling of joy or of sadness. Because the musical notes generally has a profound effect on the heart. If a particular person takes no effect from music, then it cannot be taken as the reason for ineffectiveness of the music. For example, honey is sweet and pleasing to the taste. But if a person doesn’t like the taste of the honey, it cannot be a proof against its generally accepted quality. To the contrary, the person who expresses aversion to honey will be questioned about his taste! During the functions at the weddings, when men are not there, some people are of opinion that a domni, a singing-dancing girl, can entertain the ladies with her performance according to some people. Some others say that this practice is undesirable. But there is a tradition that approves of the practice.

A person asked the Imam (a.s.), “ A singing girl lives in my neighborhood. When I go to the toilet, I hear her singing. Sometimes I am attracted to the singing and purposely delay coming out of the toilet.” The Imam (a.s.) asked him to avoid the practice. He said, “ I don’t go to the toilet with the purpose of listening to the songs. It is just that the sound comes to my ears and I listen.” The Imam (a.s.) said, “ Have you not heard that the ears, eyes and nose will give witness about the person’s actions on the Day of Reckoning?”

The prophet of Allah (a.s.) told to Salman e Farsi, “ O Salman! In the last epoch the worst thing that would emerge will be the recitation of the Holy Quran in sing-song voices!” Also the Prophet (a.s.) said,” Recite the Quran in Arabic intonation and don’t recite in the tone adopted by the disobedient ( fasiq) people because it is a major sin.

Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.) said that buying and selling singer slave girls is Haram. One who earns a livelihood from this profession is accursed.

Some scholars have permitted singing to encourage the camels to run at good speeds while travelling. Some other scholars have permitted singing the marsias (elegies) of Imam Hussain (a.s.). It is better to refrain from these.

Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.) says,” Singing is one of the major sins. Allah will punish its practitioners with Hell Fire. Then the Imam (a.s.) recited the following verse from the Quran, “ Wa minannaase maineshtari lahulhadeese leyuzilla un sabeel illahe beghaire ilmin wa ettakhizaha huzuwan wa ulaieka lahum azaabun muheen ( Luqman)- there are some amongst the peoplewh buy the false voice that takes them away from Allah’s Way. They are ignorant and ridicule those who are steadfast on Allah’s Way. For them there is stringent retribution.”

Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.) has said commenting on the following verse of the Quran,” Fajtannebuurrijsa minal autaane wa ajtanebu qaulazzoor ( Al Hajj). Here Qaul az zoor refers to Ghina or songs.

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In response to the original question, many Shi'a scholars nowadays say that some music is permissible (if it does not contain haram lyrics and would not be suitable for haram environments). They would hold that instrumental/'theme' music in films is, by itself, not haraam.

However this is not a unanimous view and some scholars hold the view that it is haram.

There are Shi'a ahadith prohibiting music, and historically among Shia, it was considered sinful. I believe that the main reason for the difference of opinion nowadays was that music in that context was something lascivious and sinful, and was associated with sins such as prostitution and drinking. Whereas nowadays a church choir, for instance, is associated with being godly and not with committing sins.

I would venture that most of what is listened to out there by 90% of young folk falls under the category of 'haraam music', so it is important not to 'bend the rules' even if one accepts the permissibility of certain types of music

I personally lean more towards the side of caution, that is 'all music is haraam'; however, if someone is playing Eine Kleine Nachtmusik or a sufi chant with some sort of music accompaniment or a video game with a really annoying (but not necessarily sinful) song, I don't really think anything of it. However, I don't actually intentionally listen to music (by playing CD's, MP3's, etc, for the sole purpose of hearing a song)

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BintalHoda,

The danger with the too cautious approach that is common amongst Muslims with regards to how they view and value art, music being only one form that is held controversial - is that we cripple, through atrophy, our inner sense of beauty, and lose our ability to distinguish the beautiful from the ugly, and in so doing risk losing the ability to transform ourselves into "Beautiful Souls." The ancient Greeks were on to something when they recognized a link between The Beautiful, The Good, and The Truth.

What is seen to be beautiful lies in measure and proportion, harmony and balance; these are good things whether in a painting, a song, or a civilization. There is something deep there. Music, ultimately, is largely mathematics. Cyclical repetition combined with progression forward. Harmony, whether synchronous (chords) or diachronic (tonal progression/scales), comes down to proportions between pitches, mathematical structure. As Kepler noticed, the same ratios of frequency that create musical harmony are reflected in the ratios of orbital frequencies of adjacent planets.

God is a musician. Music, and art, as a blend between the emotional and the rational is a bridge between mind and heart.

One can choose to avoid the whole matter of art entirely as a "precaution," but I think the reduction in risk doesn't justify what you lose in exchange.

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Whereas nowadays a church choir, for instance, is associated with being godly and not with committing sins.

I'd go along with nearly everything that you have said. But I'd draw attention to the above. People need to bear in mind that a lot of choral works say that Jesus (a.s.) is the son of God (astighfirullah) and this is as bad (worse?) as any cursing/bad language.

I think the overall mindset that people have is misplaced. Too often it is on the basis that Islam *cramps your style* when it comes to music and the questions that I see posed to ma'rje are usually trying to get an answer that allows the questioner to listen to the type of music that they like.

I think the believers' approach should be fundamentally different. If so many Imams have forbidden something then it must be because it is in some way bad for you, in this world or the hereafter. The prohibition is therefore in order to benefit the believer rather than reduce their enjoyment of life for the hell of it.

Caution, as you suggest, is therefore advisable.

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BintalHoda,

The danger with the too cautious approach that is common amongst Muslims with regards to how they view and value art, music being only one form that is held controversial - is that we cripple, through atrophy, our inner sense of beauty, and lose our ability to distinguish the beautiful from the ugly, and in so doing risk losing the ability to transform ourselves into "Beautiful Souls." The ancient Greeks were on to something when they recognized a link between The Beautiful, The Good, and The Truth.

What is seen to be beautiful lies in measure and proportion, harmony and balance; these are good things whether in a painting, a song, or a civilization. There is something deep there. Music, ultimately, is largely mathematics. Cyclical repetition combined with progression forward. Harmony, whether synchronous (chords) or diachronic (tonal progression/scales), comes down to proportions between pitches, mathematical structure. As Kepler noticed, the same ratios of frequency that create musical harmony are reflected in the ratios of orbital frequencies of adjacent planets.

God is a musician. Music, and art, as a blend between the emotional and the rational is a bridge between mind and heart.

One can choose to avoid the whole matter of art entirely as a "precaution," but I think the reduction in risk doesn't justify what you lose in exchange.

salaam

on a practical level, i hold this view because i have seen how addictive music is, and nowadays most of the younger generation is wired up almost nonstop. an elderly friend of mine (who has now passed away) said once that she felt there was a direct relationship between the deterioration of morals in society and the increasingly worse and worse type of music people listen to. there are certain things that people will listen to in a song that they would never listen to in speech.

of course you might say 'well that is haraam music', but for most people, especially teenagers, it doesn't seem they can't or won't distinguish

also, i used to play classical music myself, so i am very well aware of the artistry and also the mathematics behind it. however at this point in my life, i do see it as something false and something which constructs a false reality, as well as something which can take over your life. it sounds nice, and may alter your brain chemistry for a short time.... but in the end, it doesn't leave anything of substance. while, at one time, playing music was very important to me (indeed, the #1 most important thing), i now feel it would be a waste of my time and effort; and in fact i feel that spending money on a CD would also be a waste of money. (for me, at any rate)

therefore, this is my perspective (combined with the hadith of course). i feel that i became a more improved person when i adopted this perspective, and i am also better able to express myself (and to cope with my own emotions and psychology) in ways that don't involve tonal ratios.

of course i don't impose it on others especially since i follow a marja' who now permits certain types of music (even though he did not in the past) but this is how i feel about it.

however i am not against tonal expression of any sort; even in the islamic tradition, we have forms of tonal expression (such as well-recited tajweed) that are not 'music' in the sense of 'tonal entertainment' or 'lahw and la'ib') and this is a very high form of artistry as well

^ about the church choir yes you are right, what i meant was the morality behind it

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The ancient Greeks were on to something when they recognized a link between The Beautiful, The Good, and The Truth.

What is seen to be beautiful lies in measure and proportion, harmony and balance; these are good things whether in a painting, a song, or a civilization. There is something deep there. Music, ultimately, is largely mathematics. Cyclical repetition combined with progression forward. Harmony, whether synchronous (chords) or diachronic (tonal progression/scales), comes down to proportions between pitches, mathematical structure. As Kepler noticed, the same ratios of frequency that create musical harmony are reflected in the ratios of orbital frequencies of adjacent planets.

i do also think there is some virtue in questioning the values we import. what you are telling me is a very traditional value in certain circles in western culture. (indeed, this is what i was aiming at above, where i was saying that music in some contexts is considered godly)

however, the greeks had a lot of ideas that sounded good on paper, but weren't quite right. (for instance, the heliocentric universe - or heck, polytheism) they were very into theory and had many philosophies.

some of these ideas persist today as being unquestioned, but that doesn't mean they are axioms. it just means we have inherited them and may simply be believing them because we think they're right.

similarly, there are many things that are beautiful, but aren't necessarily good for us, but which people find as a sign of god. a person may indulge in many love relationships and say love is from god, but at the end of the day it is still zina.

anyway i am not saying you are necessarily wrong, but i am saying that we should be careful which axioms we take on without questioning them

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I used to be more of the liberal mindset myself on this as well. I now recognize though it was really more a matter of liking something and trying to stretch the rules to accommodate your own want. What changed it for me (not overnight, it took me a long time to get to this point) was in actually studying the sources for this issue myself. Ironically it was from a book whose author concludes on a more permitting note (the "some types of music are haram but not all, and it more depends on the effect it has on you, the content, etc." type). The nice thing about the work though is that he brings together just about every mention of something related to the subject in our hadiths giving analysis of them in terms of isnad and so on, the views of famous jurists, even Sunni hadiths on it. It's quite a comprehensive work. Thing is though, by actually looking directly at the evidence I found that the arguments for a more permissive attitude really are stretching it, and a clearer reading what the texts actually state seems to favor a more restrictive approach on this topic. Basically, you will find a _lot_ of hadiths that are strongly critical of this. Some have weak chains, some are stronger. The sheer number of them though (weak and strong) makes it very hard to simply dismiss it outright. Read these for example (and I have included the isnad gradings on these, so folks can't turn around and just say oh that's might be weak and dismiss them):

http://www.*******.org/hadiths/forbidden-transactions/ghina-singing

As to the "positive" hadiths on it (much, much less in quantity) even calling them positive is applying a heavy dose of interpretation upon them. Let me give you an example:

In Qurb al-Isnad:

1158 - عبد الله بن الحسن ، عن جده علي بن جعفر، عن أخيه موسى ابن جعفر عليه السلام ، قال: وسألته عن الغناء، هل يصلح في الفطر والأضحى والفرح ؟ قال:

«لابأس به مالم يعص به(1)»(

`Abdullah b. al-Hasan from his grandfather `Ali b. Ja`far from his brother Musa b. Ja`far عليه السلام. He said: And I asked him about ghina (singing), is it appropriate in the (`eid of) al-fitr, al-adha, and al-farih (joy?). He said: There is no harm with it so long as one does not sin by it.

So this hadith, which is asking something fairly specific will be taken and interpreted to cover not only singing at the `eids and so on, but to cover all music wherever so long as it is not of a sinful sort. There's problems with this though from a number of angles. One, this version of the Masa'il is majhool in sanad. Ok, in itself I wouldn't dismiss it as such, but there's another version of the Masa'il, with a sahih isnad, and with the above question in it, but with a different response. Instead of saying مالم يعص به at the end, it says

[219] وسألته عن الغناء ، أيصلح في الفطر والأضحى والفرح يكون ؟

قال : « لا بأس ما لم يزمر به »(1)(2

And I asked him about ghina, is it appropriate that it be in al-fitr and al-adha and al-farih.

He said: There is no harm so long as one does not play the reed pipe with it.

By translating it as playing the reed pipe, I'm given a more literal translation, however it could be argued that it's referring to musical instruments in general (there was no actual word for music in Arabic, eventually they ended up incorporating the Greek to get al-musiqa). So anyhow, that version rather than being a positive for music, turns out to be (at least partially) negative. And as to ghina itself, still you need to balance it with all those ones that are condemning it.

As to the views of `ulama, historically there has been pretty much unanimity that what we'd call music is haram in general, with maybe only very specific exception. This finding of wider exceptions is really a more recent development, though even there when you look at the contemporary maraji`s fatawa most of them are still on the more restrictive side. Some who give exception, the exception is such that still it'd seem to negate most of what passes as music listening (e.g. the music of entertainment and amusement). It's really more a handful of some more recent (and controversial) scholars that have gone further than that. To try to back up their lack of precedent amongst past scholars, I've seen one of them (Fadlullah) try to cite the view of Mulla Muhsin Fayd Kashani as a backup. The thing there though is that while yes, Mulla Muhsin did state (with the `ulama following after him roundly criticizing this view) that ghina is dependent on content (i.e. it's not just all singing period), he listed amongst sinful types of ghina that which is accompanied by musical instruments, which does rather defeat the force of citing him as a support on this...

Whatever personal enjoyment I might have of something, it's certainly no criteria for judging whether it's good for me. Like Bint said, I can say that in separating myself out from active music listening, I find actually music wasn't helping me think clearly, making me appreciate beauty, ascending my soul, or whatever other excuse for a habit one wants to cook up, but actually it was a huge distraction from the real world. I really look at it like a drug. It warps reality to you, warps your emotions and self control, is pleasurable when taken, but hard when withdrawing and as such is highly addictive. In terms of the effects on society at large, I don't think it's a coincidence to see how much decadence and immorality surrounds it. And it's not just modern music, at one time "classical" music was the contemporary, getting played at parties and gatherings of immorality. Even a number of the classical composers themselves seem like they had a bad end in life.

So anyhow, what I decided eventually was that it just wasn't worth it. I have all this evidence in front of me strongly saying how sinful this is, warning of punishment for engaging in it. So even if somehow that all turned out to be wrong (which is pretty unlikely to say the least), why take the chance? If on the day of judgment I find out I actually would have been allowed to listen to Bach and Mozart, oh well, so I missed out on a little pleasure. But if in fact as the evidence seems to say this stuff is not fine, and that by engaging in it I'd be committing a huge offense that is punishable in the afterlife (such as the narration that talks about getting lead poured in your ear), well I'd certainly want to be staying clear.

I'm certainly no example to be emulated though, there is still a level of unclarity for me (or is willfully ignoring?) some things, but the basic decision of "put on the CD and listen to music in the car, computer, etc or not" is one that thank God I have taken and found positive results from. And for all of those still addicted to the stuff ever wondering who you could get off it, honestly it's not as hard as you might think it is. Remember that before the advent of recording devices (i.e. for most of human history) people generally were not immersing themselves in the stuff like they do in our time (even moreso with the availability of such things as iPods).

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I'm surprised the level to which singing (ÇáÛäÇÁ) itself is disproved of in Shia hadiths. In Sunni hadiths the emphasis seems to be much more on the use of instruments. That is why you find Sunnis listening to nasheeds that have singing, but no musical instruments. Conversely, ours seem to be much heavier on singing in general. However, what if one were to listen to the piano, but with no singing? Does ÇáÛäÇÁ encompass musical instruments? "ÇáÛäÇÁ" definitely seems to be the emphasis in the hadiths, so it's important to know what this means. Does it mean singing in a certain atmosphere, for a certain goal, accompanied by debauchery? Something contextual they could have understood better than us? You can read over all the hadiths here:

http://www.rafed.net/books/hadith/wasael-17/v15.html

http://www.rafed.net/books/hadith/wasael-17/v16.html

Although there are ones about musical instruments, it seems to be very heavy on ÇáÛäÇÁ.

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(wasalam)

I'm surprised the level to which singing (الغناء) itself is disproved of in Shia hadiths. In Sunni hadiths the emphasis seems to be much more on the use of instruments. That is why you find Sunnis listening to nasheeds that have singing, but no musical instruments. Conversely, ours seem to be much heavier on singing in general. However, what if one were to listen to the piano, but with no singing? Does الغناء encompass musical instruments? "الغناء" definitely seems to be the emphasis in the hadiths, so it's important to know what this means. Does it mean singing in a certain atmosphere, for a certain goal, accompanied by debauchery? Something contextual they could have understood better than us? You can read over all the hadiths here:

http://www.rafed.net/books/hadith/wasael-17/v15.html

http://www.rafed.net/books/hadith/wasael-17/v16.html

Although there are ones about musical instruments, it seems to be very heavy on الغناء.

Perhaps the A'immah had focused on talking about ghina because of the Sunni emphasis on instruments?

Though correct me if I'm wrong, but the Sunnis tend to disagree on the issue of music. Imam Ghazali from the Shafi'i school, for example, said that only the instruments used in the jahiliyya were banned by the Sunni prophetic ahadith.

Of course, the Ja'fari position seems to be much more clear on the issue.

Edited by Qa'im
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Music can be addictive. When I was a teenager I had the headphones on my ears when my family was asleep. I would not go to sleep and would tell myself, just one more song. I could not stop. I would fall asleep with the headphones on. Now I stay away from music. I have four songs loaded onto my cell phone: two sad songs (Imam Hussain AS) and two happy songs (Imam Ali AS).

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Salaam all,

I started the same topic today lol, not realizing one already existed.

Anyways, before we proceed, I would like to know whether Ghina includes pure instrumental music without anyone singing in it.

If NOT, then I put forward this question to all those who believe ALL forms of music are forbidden. What about music that's calm to the core, without any lyrics, and eases your state of mind? What about those symphonic musical tracks that don't arouse any instincts or prompt you to commit sins? Is this really what many of you here have described as "stretching" and "bending" the rules to your own liking so that you come to believe the stuff you listen to is not haraam? I am not being liberal (at least I don't think so). I'm being reasonable here. Oh oh... I forgot to mention, what about short instrumental music that reminds you about the tragedy of Karbala? Isn't that a, in essence, a service rendered to Allah since you keep what happened to Imam Hussain (a.s.) in mind because of listening to it?

Keep in mind that I know for a fact now that all music with lyrics is an absolute haraam. That is why I listen to a limited selection of musical tracks, that have really calm beats and non-aggressive tunes. It goes without saying that I am NOT in any way hooked to listening to them. I only listen when I'm studying or when I'm just frustrated and I need to cool down. Would Allah really forbid something that would better ease our state of mind without altering us mentally?

Anxiously waiting for your responses. Please go easy on me as you all are definitely more knowledgeable than me in perhaps all Islamic matters.

Fi Amanillah

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i do also think there is some virtue in questioning the values we import. what you are telling me is a very traditional value in certain circles in western culture. (indeed, this is what i was aiming at above, where i was saying that music in some contexts is considered godly)

however, the greeks had a lot of ideas that sounded good on paper, but weren't quite right. (for instance, the heliocentric universe - or heck, polytheism) they were very into theory and had many philosophies.

some of these ideas persist today as being unquestioned, but that doesn't mean they are axioms. it just means we have inherited them and may simply be believing them because we think they're right.

similarly, there are many things that are beautiful, but aren't necessarily good for us, but which people find as a sign of god. a person may indulge in many love relationships and say love is from god, but at the end of the day it is still zina.

anyway i am not saying you are necessarily wrong, but i am saying that we should be careful which axioms we take on without questioning them

I'm quite satisfied with the Greek notion of The Beautiful being tied up with The True and The Good and The Divine. God is Beautiful and beauty - residing in balance and proportion - is grounded in and comes from God. That's a healthy idea to import.

Your example of physical beauty and zina is muddy. Physical beauty is a good. God placed it in us for us to be attracted to each other to further ends of family and procreation. Now does that mean it is right to focus on physical beauty in a one dimensional way, or to rest with the specific instance of the form of beauty while forgetting to look beyond toward the ultimate Form of Beauty that lies in the Divine? No. That would be a going out of proper balance. Is the goodness of physical beauty in itself undermined by the fact that we can potentially go out of balance with it? Not at all. Zina is only one possible response to physical beauty. A healthier response, that of a committed marriage relationship, is another.

Apply the same line of reasoning to the aural beauty of music.

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BintalHoda,

The danger with the too cautious approach that is common amongst Muslims with regards to how they view and value art, music being only one form that is held controversial - is that we cripple, through atrophy, our inner sense of beauty, and lose our ability to distinguish the beautiful from the ugly, and in so doing risk losing the ability to transform ourselves into "Beautiful Souls." The ancient Greeks were on to something when they recognized a link between The Beautiful, The Good, and The Truth.

What is seen to be beautiful lies in measure and proportion, harmony and balance; these are good things whether in a painting, a song, or a civilization. There is something deep there. Music, ultimately, is largely mathematics. Cyclical repetition combined with progression forward. Harmony, whether synchronous (chords) or diachronic (tonal progression/scales), comes down to proportions between pitches, mathematical structure. As Kepler noticed, the same ratios of frequency that create musical harmony are reflected in the ratios of orbital frequencies of adjacent planets.

God is a musician. Music, and art, as a blend between the emotional and the rational is a bridge between mind and heart.

One can choose to avoid the whole matter of art entirely as a "precaution," but I think the reduction in risk doesn't justify what you lose in exchange.

I never understood this romantic view of music.

Music is a series of noises that can affect ones emotional state. As such, I consider it to be a mild drug (like caffeine). However, unlike caffeine, people today can listen to music non-stop. Because of mp3 players, people listen while exercising, while working, while driving, etc. You can't tell me with a straight face that this type of constant stimulation is a good thing.

As sister Hameedeh said, music is addictive. I used to be addicted to music. Then one month I decided to not listen to any music. So for that month whenever I felt like listening to music, I listened to lectures instead (mostly Ali Shariati lectures). And guess what? During this month, I was far more focused when I read books, my emotions were much more tempered, and I even slept better at night. I think if more people tried this, they would understand the logic behind the argument that music is haram.

Just as you view music in a spiritual light, others may view marijuana in a spiritual light. The burden is on you to prove that your view is more legitimate than that of the weedhead. And it will take more than merely to cite the exalted position of music in a civilization which is today famous for sodomy and misogyny.

FYI I do listen to music. I just don't try to sugarcoat something simply because I have formed a habit of it. And in fact, I am not even saying we should eliminate all music. I think the state (by which I mean the Islamic state) must assume control of all music. It must mold music in its particular vision, to advance its particular goals. The conditions of this music would be: 1) the greater part of the vocal portion of any given song must be sang by a choir rather than an individual, 2) the song must espouse ideals that are not in violation to the principles of the state, 3) the artists must remain tools of the state rather than independent actors. All art forms -- including music -- begin to degenerate when artists are given an inordinate level of freedom.

Here is an example of music that fits these guidelines: http://www.zshare.net/audio/72153856eeb9eb0e/

So basically, my approach is that we should keep music, but we must set boundaries for it in order to prevent it from devolving into what it generally devolves into. The third point is of particular importance. Artists have God complexes. We need to save them society -- as well as from themselves -- by depriving them of most of their freedoms.

Now say salavat

Edited by baradar_jackson
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There's nothing "romantic" to do with it. We're talking objective scientific reality. Clearly you are right in your self-assessment, namely that you do not understand. Why you continue on to comment about a topic you don't understand is a mystery to me.

Music is a series of noises that can affect ones emotional state. As such, I consider it to be a mild drug (like caffeine).

Such statements, dropped without a hint of shame, just go to show the state of aesthetic retardation of the Muslims at this time.

people today can listen to music non-stop. Because of mp3 players, people listen while exercising, while working, while driving, etc. You can't tell me with a straight face that this type of constant stimulation is a good thing.

This is a logical fallacy that a few others have tried to spin here. I'm sorry, it doesn't fly. The ability of something to be used in excess does not in itself argue for a prohibition. One can be "addicted" to sex, potato chips, donuts, exercise, going to extremes. That you are apparently a weak individual without self control does not really have any general bearing.

I think the state (by which I mean the Islamic state) must assume control of all music. It must mold music in its particular vision, to advance its particular goals. The conditions of this music would be: 1) the greater part of the vocal portion of any given song must be sang by a choir rather than an individual, 2) the song must espouse ideals that are not in violation to the principles of the state, 3) the artists must remain tools of the state rather than independent actors. All art forms -- including music -- begin to degenerate when artists are given an inordinate level of freedom.

Wow. You have a naive level of confidence in the state.

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I never understood this romantic view of music.

Music is a series of noises that can affect ones emotional state. As such, I consider it to be a mild drug (like caffeine).

As sister Hameedeh said, music is addictive. I used to be addicted to music.

I can't believe this coming from a person who belongs to the land of poetry and music. :no:

I don't understand the argument of addiction. You can get addicted to anything. It doesn't have to be a some sort of drug. Food can be addictive, a certain type of food. It can be really hard to control the addiction. For instance chocolate and cakes for girls. Some non-food, non-drug habits may also become addictions. Book reading for me. I don't think I can blame Snickers or verse of Ghalib for being so darn addictive. So comparing music to drugs is out of line.

FYI I do listen to music. I just don't try to sugarcoat something simply because I have formed a habit of it. And in fact, I am not even saying we should eliminate all music. I think the state (by which I mean the Islamic state) must assume control of all music. It must mold music in its particular vision, to advance its particular goals. The conditions of this music would be: 1) the greater part of the vocal portion of any given song must be sang by a choir rather than an individual, 2) the song must espouse ideals that are not in violation to the principles of the state, 3) the artists must remain tools of the state rather than independent actors. All art forms -- including music -- begin to degenerate when artists are given an inordinate level of freedom.

Here is an example of music that fits these guidelines: http://www.zshare.net/audio/72153856eeb9eb0e/

So basically, my approach is that we should keep music, but we must set boundaries for it in order to prevent it from devolving into what it generally devolves into. The third point is of particular importance. Artists have God complexes. We need to save them society -- as well as from themselves -- by depriving them of most of their freedoms.

There had been attempts in the past to ban "unIslamic" poetry. It was before or around the time the Sufi tradition and its metaphorical usage of language became popular among Muslims. The attempt to contain poetry failed, and failed miserably. The Persian verse filled with love and music is a proof of that. The attempt to "Islamise" music and to make it a propaganda tool for the state will also fail and fail miserably. Music is beauty and beauty is independent of politics and the ideology of state.

Edited by Marbles
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There's nothing "romantic" to do with it. We're talking objective scientific reality. Clearly you are right in your self-assessment, namely that you do not understand. Why you continue on to comment about a topic you don't understand is a mystery to me.

Such statements, dropped without a hint of shame, just go to show the state of aesthetic retardation of the Muslims at this time.

This is a logical fallacy that a few others have tried to spin here. I'm sorry, it doesn't fly. The ability of something to be used in excess does not in itself argue for a prohibition. One can be "addicted" to sex, potato chips, donuts, exercise, going to extremes. That you are apparently a weak individual without self control does not really have any general bearing.

Wow. You have a naive level of confidence in the state.

Now that's a reply worth a @#$%

Thank you brother.

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There's nothing "romantic" to do with it. We're talking objective scientific reality.

The supposed spiritual value of music is objective scientific reality?

Such statements, dropped without a hint of shame, just go to show the state of aesthetic retardation of the Muslims at this time.

Tell me why I should feel ashamed for that statement. I would prefer something that doesn't involve references to the Greeks.

This is a logical fallacy that a few others have tried to spin here. I'm sorry, it doesn't fly. The ability of something to be used in excess does not in itself argue for a prohibition. One can be "addicted" to sex, potato chips, donuts, exercise, going to extremes. That you are apparently a weak individual without self control does not really have any general bearing.

That's funny because I don't recall arguing for the prohibition of music. I was simply arguing against what I felt was your sugarcoated portrayal of music.

Wow. You have a naive level of confidence in the state.

And you have a naive level of confidence in the individual.

I can't believe this coming from a person who belongs to the land of poetry and music. :no:

Land of poetry, certainly. But since when was Iran the land of music?

And frankly I don't understand the personality cults surrounding our old, dead, rotting poets. They were degenerates.

I don't understand the argument of addiction. You can get addicted to anything. It doesn't have to be a some sort of drug. Food can be addictive, a certain type of food. It can be really hard to control the addiction. For instance chocolate and cakes for girls. Some non-food, non-drug habits may also become addictions. Book reading for me. I don't think I can blame Snickers or verse of Ghalib for being so darn addictive. So comparing music to drugs is out of line.

It's funny that you liberals always talk about context while habitually taking my words out of context. I said music should be considered a MILD drug. And compared it to caffeine in terms of the extent of its effects on ones consciousness. Is that really out of line?

There had been attempts in the past to ban "unIslamic" poetry. It was before or around the time the Sufi tradition and its metaphorical usage of language became popular among Muslims. The attempt to contain poetry failed, and failed miserably. The Persian verse filled with love and music is a proof of that. The attempt to "Islamise" music and to make it a propaganda tool for the state will also fail and fail miserably. Music is beauty and beauty is independent of politics and the ideology of state.

Attempts to Islamise music will fail? There are no such attempts! The most famous singers in Iran today -- Sasi Mankan, Keyvan, Ashkin 0098, among others -- are all degenerates who sing about alcohol and womanizing. Not only does the government do nothing to stop them, but some of our politicians have actually met with them.

Beauty independent of politics and ideology of the state? That's exactly what the musicians would have you believe: that they are doing some kind of public service, or that their music is meaningful, or that their music does tangible good to the world. They are mistaken, and so are you. They are producing nice-sounding noises in exchange for an inordinate amount of money. Their freedoms must be restricted to prevent them from believing their self-delusions, as well as to prevent them from gaining an undue level of income. They need to know their role, and shut their mouth. And that goes the same for all the other artists.

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The supposed spiritual value of music is objective scientific reality?

As I have explained in depth earlier.

That's funny because I don't recall arguing for the prohibition of music. I was simply arguing against what I felt was your sugarcoated portrayal of music.

What in the world is "sugarcoated" about my portrayal of music? I portray music and art as inherent goods in the same way as sex, love, food, physical exercise, and other such things, but existing in both high and low quality forms and capable of being abused. What is sugarcoated about this observation?

And you have a naive level of confidence in the individual.

I have no clue what your basis is for this statement. There is a vast and happy medium between libertinism and the totalitarian approach you describe.

Let me try to find a bit of common thread here. Yes, the state does have some responsibility to regulate the common decency of the public space. And this mandate could reasonably be construed to include a mandate to regulate music content to some extent. As I described earlier, the value of quality music lies in balance, proportion, harmony, and the quality of the ideas it is trying to express. I acknowledge the existence of the vulgar and obscene, and that there is somewhere where art crosses into trash. But what you described earlier as the level of state control you would find desirable is too much. It crosses from regulation into strangulation.

Edited by kadhim
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The supposed spiritual value of music is objective scientific reality?

Tell me why I should feel ashamed for that statement. I would prefer something that doesn't involve references to the Greeks.

That's funny because I don't recall arguing for the prohibition of music. I was simply arguing against what I felt was your sugarcoated portrayal of music.

And you have a naive level of confidence in the individual.

Land of poetry, certainly. But since when was Iran the land of music?

And frankly I don't understand the personality cults surrounding our old, dead, rotting poets. They were degenerates.

It's funny that you liberals always talk about context while habitually taking my words out of context. I said music should be considered a MILD drug. And compared it to caffeine in terms of the extent of its effects on ones consciousness. Is that really out of line?

Attempts to Islamise music will fail? There are no such attempts! The most famous singers in Iran today -- Sasi Mankan, Keyvan, Ashkin 0098, among others -- are all degenerates who sing about alcohol and womanizing. Not only does the government do nothing to stop them, but some of our politicians have actually met with them.

Beauty independent of politics and ideology of the state? That's exactly what the musicians would have you believe: that they are doing some kind of public service, or that their music is meaningful, or that their music does tangible good to the world. They are mistaken, and so are you. They are producing nice-sounding noises in exchange for an inordinate amount of money. Their freedoms must be restricted to prevent them from believing their self-delusions, as well as to prevent them from gaining an undue level of income. They need to know their role, and shut their mouth. And that goes the same for all the other artists.

I'd say Kadhim is being reasonable, not overly liberal.

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I have no clue what your basis is for this statement. There is a vast and happy medium between libertinism and the totalitarian approach you describe.

My approach is not totalitarian. It is the only method of preventing art from devolving into degenerate and unacceptable forms.

Yes, this means the artists will have less freedoms. Boo hoo. Believe it or not, artists are not these brilliant minds that they want us all to believe they are. Many of them have talents. But it must not be left to them to utilize their talents in whatever way that pleases them. The arrogance of the artist was manifested brilliantly in George Clooney's speech a few years ago when he credited Hollywood for the black civil rights movement. :lol:

So when I advocate restrictions it is not without precedent.

And your path is not the middle path. You see it as the middle path, because as human brings our natural tendency is to view our views as the most reasonable, and therefore the most "moderate" (on a related note: I despise that word with a passion). But as far as I can see (and you may correct me if I have interpreted your views wrongly), you want music to be left unregulated. You want to leave both the musicians and the listeners to decide for themselves. But not everything must be left to individual decision: this is a general concept which has resulted in the obsolescence of classical liberalism in favor of a more tempered form of liberalism. And I think it can be applied not only to economics but also to art. If we leave music unregulated, unmoderated, uncensored, the result will be Lil Wayne, Rammstein, Lil Jon, Ozzy Osbourne, Lil Kim, Britney Spears, etc. (you get the idea).

Edited by baradar_jackson
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Land of poetry, certainly. But since when was Iran the land of music?

Poetry and music go hand in hand and both are profoundly grounded in mathematics. The poetry recitals of the Persia of the past were always accompanied with music, classical and beautiful music. I'm amazed you don't seem to know about your Persia.

And frankly I don't understand the personality cults surrounding our old, dead, rotting poets. They were degenerates.

And with that you have declared yourself apostate to Iran. :dry: You don't like the best of you. What is good about Persia if you subtract music, poetry & literature [and with that your whole language] from it?

It's funny that you liberals always talk about context while habitually taking my words out of context. I said music should be considered a MILD drug. And compared it to caffeine in terms of the extent of its effects on ones consciousness. Is that really out of line?

Of course you may compare for yourself your [mild] addiction to music with the effect of the [mild] addiction to caffeine. But the extent of the effects of it don't hold true for all of us.

Beauty independent of politics and ideology of the state? That's exactly what the musicians would have you believe: that they are doing some kind of public service, or that their music is meaningful, or that their music does tangible good to the world. They are mistaken, and so are you. They are producing nice-sounding noises in exchange for an inordinate amount of money. Their freedoms must be restricted to prevent them from believing their self-delusions, as well as to prevent them from gaining an undue level of income. They need to know their role, and shut their mouth. And that goes the same for all the other artists.

Again, a state for the sake of its ideology cannot engineer fine arts. Every attempt in the past to do so have turned out to be a failure and an embarrassment. I think it's time we should drop the idea that the rulers know the best. Fine arts are self regulating. The good and beautiful enjoys fame and the bad and ugly is left to rot in the annals of history.

Edited by Marbles
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My approach is not totalitarian. It is the only method of preventing art from devolving into degenerate and unacceptable forms

Yes, this means the artists will have less freedoms. Boo hoo. Believe it or not, artists are not these brilliant minds that they want us all to believe they are. Many of them have talents. But it must not be left to them to utilize their talents in whatever way that pleases them. The arrogance of the artist was manifested brilliantly in George Clooney's speech a few years ago when he credited Hollywood for the black civil rights movement. :lol:

So when I advocate restrictions it is not without precedent.

The society, public, masses, receivers - we the common people for whom the art is created will eventually make the final judgment on the value of the piece of art. Rulers can't, they don't and they shouldn't.

Edited by Marbles
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Poetry and music go hand in hand and both are profoundly grounded in mathematics. The poetry recitals of the Persia of the past were always accompanied with music, classical and beautiful music. I'm amazed you don't seem to know about your Persia.

That's because I don't acknowledge anything called "Persia." It's Iran.

And with that you have declared yourself apostate to Iran. :dry: You don't like the best of you. What is good about Persia if you subtract music, poetry & literature [and with that your whole language] from it?

Umm... how about something far more tangible and meaningful? Something that the majority of the people can actually benefit from and take part in? Something like the notable improvements in literacy rate, infant mortality rate, real GDP per capita, human development index, employment rate, steel production rate, refinement capacity, and just about any other statistic related to the economic or social well-being of the country in the past 30 years? Forget about what a handful of insatiable degenerates did thousands of years ago. The elitist vestiges of our past culture belong in the trash bin. We have a new culture now, and those who don't want to go along with it need to check themselves.

And if that is REALLY what makes one Iranian, then I will renounce my Iranianness. "If Islam comes, everything will fall apart. Races will mix together. Every valueless slave could become king." (Ferdosi). If that's Iranian, then I will wear the title "apostate to Iran" as a badge of honour!

Of course you may compare for yourself your [mild] addiction to music with the effect of the [mild] addiction to caffeine. But the extent of the effects of it don't hold true for all of us.

But we can agree that it has an affect on ones consciousness. If that was not the case, we would not even have any such thing as "music."

Again, a state for the sake of its ideology cannot engineer fine arts. Every attempt in the past to do so have turned out to be a failure and an embarrassment. I think it's time we should drop the idea that the rulers know the best. Fine arts are self regulating. The good and beautiful enjoys fame and the bad and ugly is left to rot in the annals of history.

It can and will. And in fact some of the greatest pieces of art have been from the most closed countries in the world. Take cinema for example. The Soviet Union produced "White Sun of the Desert." What did the US produce? "American Pie." Freer is not always better.

Edited by baradar_jackson
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you want music to be left unregulated.

No, but it is only feasible to go so far with hard legal prohibitions. The rest can only be feasibly accomplished with softer regulation.

-Aesthetic education of common people so as to be able to understand what is quality and what is corrosive garbage

-Education of artists to develop a high aesthetic sense in artists so that they understand what is actually beautiful and desire to approach and represent it in their works

It all comes down to cultivation of the aesthetic sense. If a person understands what is really beautiful, and thus good, then you don't have to forcibly prevent him from the ugly; he will simply find it distasteful/vulgar.

It is a parallel to the notion of good and bad actions and their relationship with Law. If a person truly understands what is good and bad, then you don't need a threat of punishment to prevent a person from choosing the bad; he will simply find it distasteful.

In both cases, the call for the need to develop of the individual doesn't deny the usefulness of actual formal Laws. But in both cases there is a limit to how much can be accomplished by formal Law without being oppressive ti the society. Regulation of the society is not in either the individual or the government/law enforcement alone. Both together are necessary.

Edited by kadhim
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