Music is Not Prohibited

We have a saying: music is the soul’s nutrition. It is so true. My soul always feels hungry to listen to music. Music is my companion in my loneliness.

Seventeen years ago, I left my motherland in hopes of having a safe and secure life. My family and I were very close. For the first time, I had to leave my family without any hopes of seeing them again. When I left, I was so depressed. I cried a lot. I wanted to be with them like a baby who always feels safe in her mom’s arms. Sometimes I looked at the sky with tears in my eyes and talked to the stars and moon: “You are so beautiful and calm. You kindle our dark nights. You make the dark sky glow with your borrowed light. You cover the whole world. Can you do me a favor? Please tell my mom and my sisters that I missed them so much. Convey my regards to them.”

I was very lonesome away from Afghanistan and felt like listening to music, but we didn’t have enough money to buy a music player. One night I couldn’t sleep. I went outside and sat in the dark. Everyone was sleeping, and there were no cars on the street. The silence of the night relaxed me. I could hear the voices of nature. I heard the wind blowing among the trees. It gave a nice sound like a viol. It touched my heart. I closed my eyes. I focused and tried to concentrate. Then I heard the sound of a waterfall and, far away, the distant tone of frogs. All together, it reverberated like Beethoven’s romantic and relaxing music, full of love, inspiration, delight, enjoyment and pleasure. It is not necessary to understand the language of the singer; your soul and heart can feel the inspiration of the music.

At that point, I realized I had relaxed and my head was not heavy anymore. I realized that the world is so beautiful, nature is full of cheer, and those voices which were created by nature calmed and delighted me.

When I came back to Afghanistan after seventeen years, my lovely mother had suffered a terrible sickness and died, and my sisters had gone to other countries. As we Muslims believe in destiny, it was my destiny to be lonely and far from my family. When I feel lonely, I always listen to music.

I don’t understand why fundamentalist Muslims say music is haram (religiously prohibited.) I asked them, but no one had a proper answer. They said: “God prohibited it and we don’t want to listen to it.” Unbelievable. If music is rest-giving and soothing, then why is it prohibited? When nature creates music with waves, blowing wind, singing birds, then why is it prohibited? I am Muslim but will not believe it. God created the world, the birds, the water, the sky and human beings. All these elements make sounds. God will never make a mistake. Music is not prohibited. God created it.

By Elay


11 responses to “Music is Not Prohibited

  1. Hi,

    I want to address some of the points that you mentioned at the end of your post. It seems that the real questions you have, are mentioned at the end of your post.

    First of all, you mentioned the phrase “Fundamentalist Muslims”. The word fundamentalist means a person who believes and follows the fundamentals of something. For example: when we say that a person is a fundamentalist scientist, it means that he is an expert in fundamentals of science and follows the fundamentals of Science. Therefore, the people who really believe in the fundamentals of Islam and strive and struggle to practice the fundamentals of Islam are the true Muslims and should be called “Fundamentalist Muslims”.

    Secondly, you asked the question why music is prohibited. Before I answer this question, I want to ask you two questions and then I will try to answer your question. So, my questions are:
    Do you believe that Quran is the literal word of God? and Do you believe that Prophet Muhammad was the messenger of God, and whatever he said was with God’s permission and that he didn’t speak of his own?
    Once you answer the above two questions then I will try to answer your question.

    Thirdly, you said that “Music is not prohibited. God created it”

    This is not a logical and correct reason to say that because God has created music, then it is not prohibited.

    For example: God has created Alcohol and Pork as as well, right? Then will you say that drinking alcohol or eating pork are also not prohibited?
    I am looking forward to the above two questions that I mentioned in my second paragraph. Then I will try to answer your question of why Music is prohibited in Islam based on my knowledge.



  2. If God wanted music prohibited the birds would be mute. Chanting is like singing…is chanting allowed. And isn’t the call to prayer music? Babies coo before they speak. This kind of prohabition just does not make sense. You are correct to question this.

  3. I am not a Muslim but I find it hard to believe that any God would ban music (although there are a few Christian sects who also believe that). I believe music nurtures our spirits and feeds our souls and binds us together as humans when words will not be understood. Music is all around us and God put it there for a reason.

  4. When I was a child, growing up in Canada, I took my freedoms for granted. It is unthinkable to me, a musician and singer that any society would BAN music. It is ludicrous at best and criminal at worst.

  5. Beautiful essay. Music is prayer, just a different form.

  6. I loved you essay! You completely made me feel as if I were sitting next you. There are many questions I ask about my religion too. It’s always good to keep an open mind. Anyways loved the essay and love music as if it was my best friend there’s always a song for whatever mood you’re in. keep up the good work. (thumbs up)

  7. It’s always important to independently investigate truth. Wherever that may take you. Music has a great affect on the heart and soul. It has the power to transform and inspire.

  8. I grew up around “Fundamentalist Christians” many of whom wanted to ban music too. Thank you for being brave enough to question this thinking with your beautifully written essay. Well done!

  9. when in lack of words, music can tell, even communicate with people who does not speak your own language. Banning music, in my opinion, is equal of denying a divine spirit..
    the sound of life..

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts
    Thank you for showing such a courage


  10. I am someone who quit music sometime last year, but it was not because I believed in those fundamentalist ideas. It was a personal matter in fact; as I had been too involved in it until I’d forgotten what reality was like. I did not want to be like people who chose to forget and run away from reality’s troubles by immersing themselves blindly into music or other forms of entertainment. But I still agree with your views, and especially liked your last paragraph; it made a lot of sense.

  11. I feel that music is a part of life as well. You were also very strong and brave by being able to leave your family for so long. I also think that you were right in questioning other people’s interpretation of God prohibiting music. But what matters is how you feel; you love music and without it you would not be the person you are today.

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