Music and Islam have a complicated relationship. Even though religious chanting is allowed–even encouraged–in Islam, there is an ongoing debate whether other music is permitted. Some Muslim communities ban non-chanting music all together, while others allow it as long as it doesn’t contain messages that go against the teachings of Islam (sex, drugs, and alcohol being obvious examples).
Prominent Muslim jurists, such as Imam Ibn Hazm, Imam Ghazali, Imam Mufti Muhammad Abduhu and Shaikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi have held the opinion that good music is good and bad music is bad. If music promotes corruption and evil, it is not accepted. However, if it promotes sensitivity and a sense of beauty, then there is no harm.
This is the stance that I take, and for this reason I wanted to share with you some of the uplifting, spiritual music that me and my family listen to. With so many stereotypes of what a “religious Muslim” is supposed to be like, it is easy to forget that Muslims also have a culture of religiously inspired music that go a long way to promoting cross-cultural understanding. While I don’t expect any of you to like the same music that I do –God knows my younger brother and I still don’t see eye-to-eye on this– I felt it would be nice to offer you a window into the music inspired by Islam. . .
This first post of Muslims Making Music features Maher Zain, my personal favorite Nasheed Artist: