E-Book: Is Music Allowed in Islam?

Music In Islam

downloade-book: Is Music In Islam?

This book is primarily a research and analysis on the topic of music in Islam and is written in a unique way such that the misconceptions that people hold about music in Islam are highlighted in commas at the top of the page and the responses to those misconceptions are given underneath. Therefore the theme of the book is that of a conversation taking place between the one who listens to music and the one who is trying to clear up the listener’s misconceptions.

Throughout my conversations with music listeners (and having been a veteran music lover myself), I have heard these reasons and misconceptions that Muslims hold in favor of listening music. All I have done is taken those sentences that a person says in favor of music and analyzed their correctness and their reality using the Quran, Sunnah and a little thought.

All the errors and imperfections in this book are from me and Shaytan, and all the good is from Allah. I pray to Allah that he accepts this as a good deed from me and benefits the ummah of Muhammad (Peace be upon him).

Riddles of Marriage: “Only if I Say it”

only if i say itThere are rare moments in a married man’s life when his wife turns to him for advice. The man, baffled by this sudden appreciation of his existence, presents the wife with what he believes to be the most optimal decision, only to have his wisdom mocked at, and his suggestion ridiculed. However, moments later, the wife has an epiphany of the exact same solution and goes ahead with the decision to solve the issue. The husband is left in a state of confusion, not realizing that he has been a victim of only-if-i-say-it syndrome.

In this very common syndrome, wives, when they solicit advice for any problem are only looking for an answer that they can copy-paste as their own. Only then, will she feel the true satisfaction of solving the issue at hand. Besides, listening to husband’s advice is like agreeing with him, and this puts the wife under some sort of moral debt that she fears of being reminded some time in the future.

The mind of the husband, on the other hand, is not complicated enough to comprehend this plot along with all its causes, effects, ifs and buts. He simply hears his wife asking a question and, being a good husband, he answers with a possible solution. Upon rejection of one suggestion, the husband starts to analyze other possible answers. Meanwhile, the wife is trying to rephrase what she just heard and present it as the final decision. Clearly, men are lost when it comes to what women want, think, require and expect.

What happened to my gifts?

what happened to my giftsBirthday parties are among some of my earliest and sweetest memories of my childhood. It was not the cake (or the guests) that I cherished, but it was the act of receiving gifts, and the suspense at the time of opening them, that tingled my sense of delight and happiness. Usually the gifts included chocolates, toys, and video games (ahh! the joy). But if you had money (or clothes) to give me, then brace yourself for a fake smile, a broken heart, and a polite acceptance. In short, the overall experience of receiving gifts was awesome, and I never wanted it to end.

Then, Islam happened, and I realized that birthday parties are amongst many things in which we wrongly follow the non-Muslims. I gave up the ceremony and along with it the only major source of receiving (and giving) gifts. Yes, people give gifts on Eid but that is more of a dull tradition/obligation that everyone does without putting any real thought into the gift giving process (hence giving money is the most common gift at Eid).

The nostalgia of personalized, carefully selected, and delightful gifts struck me hard enough to go to the books of hadith and see what Islam had to say on this topic. And what I found was beautiful.

Narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “If I were invited to a meal of a sheep’s foot I would accept, and if I were given a sheep’s foot as a gift, I would accept.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5178).
Narrated ‘Aisha: Allah’s Apostles used to accept gifts and used to give something in return. (Book #47, Hadith #758)

Narrated ‘Azra bin Thabit: Anas said: The Prophet used not to reject the gifts of perfume. (Sahih Bukhari, Book #47, Hadith #756)

The Prophet said: “Exchange gifts, as that will lead to increasing your love to one another.” [Al-Bukhari]

Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “O Muslim women, no woman should look down on a gift given by her neighbor, even if it is the meat from a sheep’s foot.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (2566) and Muslim (1030).

Abdullah Ibn Masood (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “Accept invitations, do not refuse gifts and do not beat the Muslims.” Narrated by Ahmad in al-Musnad (1/404), It was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel (6/59).

Nu’man b. Bashir, reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) had said: Have you, besides him, other sons? He said: Yes. Thereupon he (the Prophet) said: Have you given gifts to all of them like this (as you have given to Nu’man)? He said: No. Thereupon he (the Holy Prophet) said: I cannot bear witness to an injustice. (Sahih Bukhari, Book #012, Hadith #3967)

Ibn ‘Amir reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) gave the gifts of goats to be distributed amongst his Companions. They sacrificed them, but a lamb of one year of age was left. (Someone) made a mention of that to the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him), whereupon he said: You sacrifice it. (Shahih Bukhair, Book #022, Hadith #4838)

As evident from the above ahadith, giving and receiving gifts has a great status in Islam. Furthermore, we don’t need birthdays to give gifts; we are supposed to give gifts all year round, whenever we want, to whomever we want. Giving of gifts increases the love, is the sunnah of our Prophet (Peace be upon him), and is a sign of a healthy community. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to accept gifts irrespective of how humble the present was and used to give something in return.

After reading these ahadith a few things happened in the back of my mind. I am now hopeful again that my friends and family would start showering me with gifts after they read this article (by the way, I like electronics, books, and chocolates). And I am not going to undermine any gift (even if it is clothes or money) because Prophet (Peace be upon him) forbade us to do so. And oh! I will also attempt to give some gifts as it increases the brotherhood and love amongst the Muslims.

So, give gifts to each other O! my Muslim brothers & sisters and become closer to Allah through the sunnah of His Prophet (Peace be upon him).

Multitasking for (Islamic) Productivity

multitaskingMultitasking; doing multiple tasks at one time, is a rather new concept and that which can be a blessing or a curse depending upon the way it is approached. Since time is one of the biggest scarce resources of this era and productivity is one of the biggest demands, multitasking is an obvious solution. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) warned us about the importance of time by saying;

Narrated by Ibn Abbas:
The Prophet said, ‘There are two blessings which many people lose: Health and free time for doing good”
[Al- Bukhari 76:421]

This hadith is basically saying that time is of the utmost importance in the life of a believer and that it should not be wasted at all. Today, a majority of the Muslims follow the idea of multitasking but unfortunately they follow the wrong approach. What do I mean by the wrong or the non-productive approach? Here is an example.

A person stands to pray the Maghrib Salah behind the Imam. The Imam is reciting the Quran and all the followers are listening. But this person is also thinking about what he is going to after salah and he is looking at his wristwatch and scratching his head repeatedly, In fact, this person is multitasking during salah. But this is the non productive and, in fact, wrong approach of multitasking. Multitasking should result in more productivity, not eat up the productivity (rewards) you were gaining. By constantly diverting his mind and body from prayer during the prayer, the person is losing on the rewards that Allah had decreed for him. Allah says in the Quran:

“Be ever mindful of prayers, and of praying in the most excellent way; and stand before Allah in devout obedience.” Surah Baqarah 238

Now consider this example of the right kind of multitasking. A person goes to gym and knows that he would be spending an hour lifting weights so he takes along his ipod that is full of Islamic lectures and Quran recitations. He starts working out, starts an Islamic lecture in the ipod and starts gaining best of the both worlds; good health and good Eman. By the time he is done with the exercise, his knowledge, understanding and eman have increased. He was practically working out with the scholars, the sheikhs or the imams on his side (Just imagine, going on a 2 mile run with Imam-e-Kaba). This is an example of a beautiful and productive multitasking on behalf of a believer.

Another example of productive multitasking can be seen during driving. If you find yourself traveling a lot, you could benefit from the time and resources you have during your travel. If you are the driver, you could listen to Islamic audios or recite the Quran yourself or do something else that would not divert attention from the road. If some one else is driving for you (like in a bus, train, plane) you could read a beneficial book, do zikr or use that time to make dua for other believers. Why did I specifically mention dua? Because we know form the hadith that dua of a traveler has more chance of being accepted.

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said; Three supplications will not be rejected (by Allah (SWT)), the supplication of the parent for his child, the supplication of the one who is fasting, and the supplication of the traveler. [al-Bayhaqi, at-Tirmidhi – Sahih]

So how do we differentiate between productive multitasking and non-productive multitasking? There are a few points we should remember when we decide to multitask or not multitask any of our deeds.

When to Multitask?

  • Multitask if there is no verse or hadith prohibiting any multitasking. For example, there are ahadith that prohibit moving unnecessarily or doing non-prayer-related actions during the Salah. Therefore Multitasking during prayer (for example, eating during salah) is not allowed.
  • Multitask if doing more actions at one time will not divert you from the main action that you were doing. For example, you should multitask by listening to audio or doing zikr while driving only if you know that doing so wont divert you from your main action; driving.
  • Multitask if more productive gains are anticipated. After all, there is no point to multitasking if you cannot achieve more productivity (more rewards). For example, if you are attending an Islamic lecture and reading a book at the same time, you are not really gaining the optimum productivity level at either of the actions that you are involved into and therefore multitasking is not advised.

Multi-Intentional Deeds

The above examples and discussion showed that deeds could be multitasked to improve productivity in rewards gaining. But in Islam we know that the proper intention is also a reward worthy action by itself, so can we apply the concept of multitasking to intentions? Kind of like saying, Multi-intentional deed?

Lets explore multi-intentional deeds by an example.

Ahmed wants to do an optional fast and picks Friday for that purpose. But then you come up to Ahmed and tell him that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to fast on Mondays and Thursdays and therefore it is Sunnah to fast on those days. Ahmed decides to fast on Thursday with the intention of following the Prophet’s (Peace be upon him) example. This way Ahmed has multiple intentions both of which are reward worthy; he is fasting to please Allah Subhano Watalah and has picked Thursday because of the Prophets’ (Peace be upon him) example.

One extremely important point for multiple intentions is that all the intentions must be made in order to please Allah Subhano Watalah. That is, Ahmed should not have the intention of fasting on Thursday to show off to people that he is a righteous person who follows the example of the Prophet. But, his intention should be solely for the sake of pleasing Allah. So, basically his multiple intentions should not violate the two golden rules of any deeds acceptance.

  1. The deed must be done purely for the sake of Allah
  2. The deed must be done exactly as per the example or guidance of the Prophet (Peace be upon him)

Any multitasking or multiple intentions or any deed in general, whether big or small, should not violate these golden and extremely critical rules.

If anything I have said in this article is wrong or shortsighted then I ask Allah to forgive me and correct it for me. If there is any benefit in this, then that is purely from Allah. May Allah accept our good deeds and forgive our bad ones.

Riddles of Marriage: “Selective Perception”

selective perceptionWhile handing today’s paper to my wife I said; ‘there were four bomb blasts today, 80 people were killed and 30 were injured. A plane crashed in the mountains and all 150 passengers onboard have died. Three children drowned in the river, tremors of earthquake were felt in our city, and our government is about to enter yet another period of martial law.’ What is the first thing she says while glancing at the paper? ‘Oh Look!, Mothercare has a sale today!’ Welcome to another episode of selective perception.

It is no secret that we see what we choose to see. How many times has it happened that an item keeps lying around uselessly in front of your eyes for eons but as soon as you need it, it magically disappears? And how many times has it happened that you drive your wife all the way across the city to her favorite shop that just happens to be closed today for no obvious reason. (Hint: It happens, and its your fault because, why the heck are they closed today?) And how many times did you proclaim your love for your wife but if you unconsciously sneezed towards the direction of a girl, who happens to be passing on the other side of the street (in complete Abaya), that you are questioned regarding your loyalty & love?

I was a victim of selective perception (& generalized criticism) in the pre-marriage days as well. Back then; it was my father who always happened to enter my room when I was playing video games after hours and hours of studies. He always used to say the same thing; ‘Playing huh!? How will you handle the real life when it hits you in the head?’ Well father, I guess those scolding sessions provided me with the juice to run this marathon of post-marital-selective-perception-syndrome-crisis.