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Muslims: Do you disagree on Yusuf Islam about music not being haram?

This what Yusuf Islam has said.

Interestingly, the word music is not to be found anywhere in the Quran and there
is no such word ever used by the Prophet in his authentic sayings. [1] However,
there are many different opinions, and valid ones at that, about music which
indicates that it is not to be taken as a hard and fast question of faith, but is
simply a matter of fiqh (juristic interpretations regarding rules of life) over
which scholars may legitimately differ. [2]

When I embraced Islam on 23rd December, 1977, I was still making records. After
informing the chief Imam at Londons Central Mosque of my work in music, he
encouraged me to continue composing and recording.

Nevertheless, it didnt take long to realise that apart from the creative side,
there were many other aspects about the music industry which infringed negatively
on the Islamic way of life so I simply decided to give up the music business. As a
new Muslim this allowed me to concentrate fully on learning and practising Islam,
getting married starting a family and returning back to look after my parents.

In the first interview I ever gave to a Muslim magazine back in 1980, I was asked
about my thoughts on music, I said in reply:

I have suspended my activities in music for fear that they may divert me from the
true path, but I will not be dogmatic in saying that I will never make music again.
You cant say that without adding, Insha Allah (if God Wishes). [3]

There were many Muslims offering me advice and telling me their opinions about all
sorts of issues, some where very convincing. Nevertheless, legitimate variant
opinions exist on all sides dealing with the subject of music. When closely
studying the details of Prophetic evidences, there are many which point to the
possibility of wide-ranging conclusions. Now, after having studied the subject for
more than a quarter of a century, I can say that it is certainly not as black and
white as some have tried to make it out to be.

In Islam, as with religion and life generally, there always will be room for
cultural and artistic expression. Some of the most beautiful works of art in human
history have been lovingly dedicated in praise of the Divine. Their enjoyments are
part of the gifts given to mankind by the Creator. As we read in the Quran itself:

Say: Who has forbidden the beauteous (gifts) of God, which He has produced for His
worshippers, and the pure and clean provisions? Say: They are, in the life of this
world, for those who believe, and purely for them on the Day of Judgement. Thus do
We explain the Signs in detail for those who understand. [4]

Music is part of Gods universe. We need all sorts of nourishment and music fulfils
and satisfies the hunger we all experience and the need for harmony and aesthetic
beauty to decorate our daily lives, particularly when times are hard.

Sometimes songs are vital in keeping peoples spirits high in times of trial and
hardship. This understanding was brought home to me when I listened to the
inspiring cassettes coming out of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the early 1990s after
the onslaught of the genocide against Muslims; a turning point in my understanding
of the need for music in certain conditions and times.

[1] There are some references to musical instruments in certain reported sayings,
but the definition is not clear as to exactly what instruments the word, maazif
(the word quoted in the Hadith) refers to in the most authentic source, Al-Bukhari.
It is well known that the Prophet (peace be upon him) allowed the drum and even the
flute to be played in his presence without ordering them to be broken or destroyed,
so it leaves a question open. The Hadith referenced here also mentions silk as
being amongst other prohibited articles, however, every scholar knows that silk is
not completely forbidden and there are allowances for ladies to use it freely as
well as for medical reasons; buying and selling silk and using certain amounts for
ornament and decoration are also allowed.

[2] Fatwas are usually made and issued by scholars in cases like these where such
issues are not clear cut and are ambiguous.

According to Sheikh-ul-Islam Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri music which incites the love of

Allah, His Prophet (??? ???? ???? ???? ????), Owliya, and that of country (or
Jihad) etc does not come under the category of haram.

1. Almost every Hadith which talks against music also speaks against drinking
(alcohol), doing zina with girls etc. So these Ahadith criticize that kind of music
which can arouse sexual desires and can lead a person to drinking and zina etc.
According to those scholars, the music used in Qawali etc doesnt arouse sexual
desires, but incites the love of Allah and His Prophet (??? ???? ???? ???? ????),
so it does not come under the prohibited category.

2. There are many events where music was played in the presence of the Prophet (???
???? ???? ???? ????) and he didnt forbid it. As the Prophet
(??? ???? ???? ???? ????) cannot allow a haram thing in his presence, so music is
not haram (according to those scholars).

3. On some occasions, when some Sahabi tried to stop someone from playing music,
the Prophet (??? ???? ???? ???? ????) asked them to continue with their music. This
kind of acceptance was not possible for a haram act (according to those scholars).

4. At some marriage occasions the Prophet (??? ???? ???? ???? ????) ordered Sahaba
to play some music and said that the difference between a marriage and zina is
music (which serves as an announcement of that marriage).
424 Muqam e Mahmood kya hei- 2005-05-12 MIRPUR

Sins are only allowed when your life is at risk. There are hadiths where the
prophet said its okay. The prophet never was allowed to make his own rules...just
make more explicit rules that comply with the quran. The quran might've been a bit
ambiguous as situations change over time (arrogance differs from society and time).
So the concept stays the same although what that exactly means differs over time.
The quran is explicit in certain situations though.....zina is explicitly mentioned
for instance.

Now...if the prophet allowed music in situations....it couldn't have been

previously forbidden. It makes more sense that it was a clarification about the
appropriateness. For instance...lets just say music is halal....its still
inappropriate to blast it in the masjid parking lot. .
The one hadith was that girls were dancing and singing on eid and a companion
wanted to stop them. THe prophet said its a joyous day..let them (paraphrasing).
Personally, I see this as meaning....the companion thought this was inappropriate
activity on a "religious holiday"....then the prophet cleared it up that this isn't
a day of praying....but a day of joy.
Not that eid magically lets a haraam activity become halal. Again, the prophet had
no authority to do that.

Subhan Allah, Muslims! It seems that we can't have a life without giving "opinions"
of our brothers & sisters without been asked.
Why are we so hungry of our Muslims brothers & sister flesh when we are being
eating by our enemys do to our divisions based on ignorance?
Why is it that we can't cover the faults of our brothers & sister, so Allah may
cover ours?
Umar Ibn Al Hathab on one occasion struck Abu Huraira's chest when he was narrating
to a group of new converts the hadith "whoever say la ilaha ila Allah will enter
paradise" do to his (Umar) dislike of such a hadith been misplace in that
environment surrounded by ignorance, he dislike the masses of new Muslims occupying
themselves in the studies of hadiths before Qur'an in that early stages when a few
hadith were sufficient for them, that's the kind of wisdom today's scholars need to
apply instead of being acting like a powerful dry wind in a wild fire, so much
stuff to learn and so little time that it is a tragedy to see how we waste the
blessing of internet and social media.

It All comes together from 8:03 -- Regardless of having valid Islamic opinions
about him or Music, you got to admit one thing though. The guy, being influential
as he is, does not cause dissensions, "takfirs", pits one Muslim against another
and as far as I know, he does not actively promote people to join the Music Scene.
There are far too many "so Called" Muslims in the Music or Entertainment Industry
who are immersed in many immoral acts so much so that we both (us and them) feel
ashamed that they are call themselves Muslims. But Unlike them, Yusuf Islam does
his own thing (debatable) but he keeps his core values intact, even in a field
where no shred of modesty is left intact. Yusuf / Cat Stevens may not be the best
example to follow, but it could very well be that Allah (swt) may guide those Rock
and Roller's towards Islam through him - Allah is the best of planners. And that is
the wisdom I take away from this post.
There are many who are debating (very ferociously and I must add a bit un-
Islamically - Insults, back talk, name calling) about legality and extent of Music
in Islam. But in their arguments all they are doing is exposing the limited number
of brain cells they have. This is a "Fiqh" issue which is not as simple as quoting
a Qur'anic verse or pointing to a Hadeeth. And that wasn't even the point of the
video clip. From the video I could easily gather that there is a Muslim who is
being facilitated and he has the courage to remember and Thank Allah (swt) in an
audience where there is appreciation for every thing, except Islam and Yusuf is
clearly seen trying to make that connection between a non Muslim audience and Islam
and that is commendable!

A lesson for all of us is...that it is not our job to judge other people's
actions, when the Day waits for us all. Sheikh Yasir Qadhi, makes it beautifully
clear that even without agreeing (or maybe you do agree with him) you can love your
brother in Islam. Islam is peace and unity, not about being judgmental and
divisive. Only Allah knows how many people Yusuf has lead to Islam and his
countless other good may have exceeded our own.

Let's leave the judging to Allah the all Wise. May Allah keep us all on the
straight path, ameen.