Guest Author - Linda Heywood
Music is a gift from God. God did not forget to put things in the Quran and the Quran does not forbid music or singing. Music and singing are not ‘haram’.
The beat of a solitary drum banging a rhythm or the voice of a singer singing a song, an orchestra playing a Vivaldi concerto or a Broadway show, things associated with music, the sounds and the instruments, came as inspirations from God. When I hear that Rock and Roll is the Devil’s music, I say ‘Rock on, each to his own’. We cannot all like the same thing and different sounds stir different people in different ways. How boring would it be if all we had to listen to was just one sound?
Ludwig van Beethoven composed and conducted beautiful symphonies even though he was deaf, his music is world famous. Umm Kulthum, considered one of the greatest Egyptian singers, was respected by anyone who heard her sing her beautiful love songs. There are millions of people in the world making a living from music. Where did such gifts and inspiration come from?
Music helps sooth a restless soul. Music inspires rhythmic dancing. Music stirs the emotions and it is documented that music heals the brain. How perfect is the musical scale? All of those notes ascending and descending in harmony. ‘Doe ray me far so la tee doe’ sang Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music.
God inspires those of us who are fortunate enough to be musical. It is a gift to be able to sing and stir the hearts and souls and minds of those who listen. Every society that has been, every culture that has existed, every human who has lived knows the sound of music in one form or another. There are numerous musical instruments around the world and endless ways of singing.
Babies love to bounce along to their favourite songs and every generation has grown up with a different sound, a new beat or a strange rhythm. God inspires all of these sounds, all of the rhythms and nowhere in the Quran does God say music is forbidden, evil, bad, wicked.
Singing is not forbidden in Islam. The Quran does not tell us not to sing. Where are the verses in the Quran that say God forbids music and singing? There are none and if singing is wrong, forbidden etc. etc. Then why do those who read the Quran aloud chose to use a kind of voice that sounds more like singing than reading?
God is gracious in his gifts to us, and music just happens to be one of those gifts. It is how we use those God given gifts that matters not the gifts themselves.