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What Do You Mean “No Music”?

How halal are our weddings?Whether it’s the music, the attire, or the atmosphere, the answer can be found by referring to the books of jurisprudence and applying the appropriate ruling to each individual situation.

How halal are our weddings?“What do you mean no music?! A wedding without dancing?! Come on…why do you have to complicate things?!” Sound familiar? Maybe it’s the voice of a friend or family member? Maybe it reminds you of yourself at some point in your life? Even if the words about don’t ring a bell, the implication behind the mentioned words should be taken seriously.

Sometimes, many of us who don’t know any better seem to get caught up in the culturally idealized form of celebration, inadvertently trampling over Islamic principles in the process of having “fun”.

Then again, there are other times when some Muslims are totally aware of the fact that they are committingHaram acts, and yet are willing to disobey their Lord in exchange for a few hours of limited pleasure.

But hold on a second, is there no other way to have “fun”? Is there no other way to enjoy a celebration than to stomp over the guidelines of our beloved Master and Creator?

Better yet, before talking about alternative options, why should a Muslim even try to look for an alternative way to celebrate marriage, for example? After all, some family and friends are anxious to show off their “fashionable” attire in front of the other guests or, in some cases, on the dance floor. A wedding without music that “makes you move” would be a real bummer. Most importantly, if you’re a bride, this is your chance to look good for everyone in attendance. They will all be focused on you…paying close attention to your every move, many will be looking for anything to criticize. If you’re the groom, here’s your opportunity to be the topic of gossip circles…

Another Route

Here are some reasons why Muslims should strive to take another route:

Celebrating marriage is great, but the focus, naturally, should be on the marriage, before it is on the celebration! In other words, this sanctified relationship between husband and wife, under the umbrella of the Merciful Allah’s law, should be the core of any marriage celebration.

The whole point of having a legal marriage is that it is blessed by Allah. It would be foolish to commit acts which displease Allah in celebration of such a marriage. Let’s put it this way: if a husband and wife were truly sincere about having a sacred bond in the eyes of Allah, they would not start off their marriage on the wrong foot – by intentionally violating Allah’s commands.

The acts which Allah has forbidden are definitely harmful, either physically, metaphysically, or both – for the individual, others, or both. Usually, when there are Haram acts associated with weddings, Muslims, even the “not-so-religious” ones, can notice the negative effects.

In most cases when the celebration does not require Islamic attire, the atmosphere of the gathering is rather provocative and plants the seeds for gossip. “Oh look at his hair, he’s going bald… Oh look what she’s wearing… Hasn’t she gained weight?”

As for the forbidden music and/or dancing, one obvious negative effect is that, for the most part, people who actively participate in such acts neglect the remembrance of Allah, which in turn leads to vile consequences on the self and others. Many a time, the person committing the forbidden act is too neglectful of Allah’s remembrance to even notice the ill in his/her action. There are numerous other Haram practices which can be criticized, but the bottom line is that a celebration of marriage should revolve around pleasing Allah, not Shaitan.

So, how about alternatives? A sincere believer must first realize that Allah has said, “…and whoever is careful (of his/her duty to Allah), He will make for him/her an outlet” (65:2). The guidelines which Allah has relayed to us through His Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny) have been clearly stated in the books of our Religious Authorities.

Whether it’s the music, the attire, or the atmosphere, the answer can be found by referring to the books of jurisprudence and applying the appropriate ruling to each individual situation. Any celebration scenario that falls within the guidelines is perfectly fine.

But, why not ask this question: How did the Ahlul Bayt (peace be upon them) celebrate marriages?

To answer this important question, here is an excerpt from A Restatement of the History of Islam and Muslims by Sayed Ali Asgher Razwy:

“On the last day of Zilqa’ad (the 11th month), Muhammad Mustafa, the Apostle of God, invited the Muhajireen and the Ansar, to attend a banquet, on the occasion of the marriage of his daughter. He was going to be their host. When all the guests arrived, and were seated, he obtained, once again, the formal consent of his daughter for her marriage with Ali ibn Abi Talib (peace be upon him).

“Muhammad Mustafa praised Allah and thanked Him for all His mercies. He then read the sermon of marriage; declared Ali and Fatima husband and wife, and invoked the blessings of Allah upon both of them. All the guests congratulated the Apostle on this most auspicious occasion. After this ceremony, the guests feasted upon lamb meat, bread, date fruit and milk.

“A few days later, i.e., in Zilhajj (the 12th month), Fatima Zahra had to bid farewell to her parental home, so she could go to the house of her husband. Her father assisted her in riding his she-camel. Medina rang with the shouts of Allah-o-Akbar. Salman the Persian held the reins of the she-camel and walked in front of it, as he recited Qur’an. The Apostle of God walked on one side of the she-camel, and Hamza, the Lion of God, on the other. All the young cavaliers of Bani Hashim rode as escorts of the bride, with gleaming swords held high. Behind them were the Muhajir and Ansar women, and behind them came the Muhajireen and the Ansar themselves. They were reciting hymns from Al-Qur’an al-Majid to the glory of God. The recitation of hymns was punctuated from time to time by thunderous shouts of Allah-o-Akbar.

“This heavenly cavalcade made a circuit of the Great Mosque of Medina, and then halted at its destination – the house of the bridegroom – Ali ibn Abi Talib. Muhammad Mustafa aided his daughter in alighting from the she-camel. He held her hand, and symbolically placed it in the hand of her husband, and then, standing at the threshold of the house, said the following prayer:

“‘O Allah! I commend Fatima and Ali, Thy humble slaves, to Thy protection. Be Thou their Protector. Bless them. Be pleased with them, and bestow Thy boundless grace, mercy, and Thy best rewards upon them. Make their marriage fruitful, and make both of them steadfast in Thy love, and Thy service.'”

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  • masooma

    asalaam alaaykum,

    Very nice – lovely – alhumdooleluh.

  • Al-Ajal

    Salaam,

    This article is beautiful, MashaAllah!

    It is sad to see how easy it is for people to disobey Allah (SWT) for exactly that, a few hours of enjoyment.

    It is sad to see people setting their wedding times at the time of prayer, yet having no accommodation for people to pray.

    Its sad to see girls you have known all of your life, who practice and wear hijab, simply take it off on their “big night” as if Allah (SWT) said that its ok to have all the na-mahram men stare at you on your wedding night! Astaghfirullah.

    Its even more sad to see the same people start off their weddings with recitation of Holy Qur’an and Hadith-e-Kisa, as women place napkins on their head and people talk during Qu’ran (and not during Hadith-e-Kisa), and just minutes later on come the latest Bollywood hits.

    May Allah (SWT) guide us all and help us to attain His pleasure in our every action.

    Once again, bravo on the article!

  • Khadija naqvi

    how true!! as my sister jus got married a month ago….my feelingz on seeing her marriage in which family friends and relatives were yearning for that “FUN” quotient …there is no harm in getting together and celebrating….but in a halal way!!why is tht so hard ???ive heard ppl say endless times tht why is it that everything that is fun for us is made HARAM in Islam?? how can we bring the people to the light wen thy are so blinded by this world?Marriage is supposed to be something so beautiful and pure!it is the union of two souls!why ruin it by music and dance and disobey Allah’s commands??
    thank u 4 writing this wonderful article !!

  • ABD101

    you are absolutely right, music is haram! but why is it haram? i’m just wondering, but i dont listen to it. my friends do, and i really want them to stop. what are the reasons that music is haram? and what about islamic songs with drums, arent drums halal? and if anyone know, isnt yahya hawwa from syria?

  • Arsalan.Rizvi
  • wow.

    “Behind them were the Muhajir and Ansar women, and behind them came the Muhajireen and the Ansar themselves.”

    so the women of the muhajir and ansar weren’t “the Muhajireen and the Ansar themselves”? only the men count as such?

    it would be appropriate to write instead, “Behind them were the Muhajir and Ansar women, and behind them came the men of the Muhajireen and the Ansar.”

    also, “Allah-o-Akbar” is incorrect, and terribly pronounced. the closest to the original arabic would be “Allah-hu-Akbar.” try not to perpetuate ignorance.

    • hahahaha

      LMAO why would people give this guy a thumbs down? Because he told the truth? Hop off the author-loving bandwagon, and see the mistakes for what they are: problematic, and worthy of airing to the public.

    • funny

      It’s funny that you nitpick about silly transliteration issues, but you don’t realize that ‘Muhajireen” and “Ansar” are male terms. So it is absolutely correct to to talk about “Muhajir and Ansar women” and “Muhajireen and Ansar”. 😛

      • wow.

        to me, they seem like plural terms. can you provide a reference showing that they’re male terms? appreciated.

        and what about “Allah-o-Akbar”? it’s not nitpicking when all i’m trying to do is make clear what’s correct. shoot me if that’s some sort of sin.

        • funny

          no, definitely not a sin. but to accuse someone of “perpetuating ignorance” is a bit rude, considering the phrase is a quote from another author’s book, not written by the author of this article.

          yes, they are plural terms, but they are also male terms. i am not sure about ansar, but the female plural of muhajireen is muhajiraat.

          • wow.

            i take your point about it being a quote from another author, my mistake about that.

            in that case, what would be the plural of muhajir for a mixed group of males and females?

        • dot

          muhajireen and ansar are words indicating groups consisting of all males OR groups made up of males and females. So please do not accuse others of perpetuating ignorance — you are rightfully concerned about how something is being pronounced, but then you show quite a bit of ignorance yourself.

          I agree the sentence structure in the article was awkward, but what is worse is your manners. “Shoot me if that’s some sort of sin” is just an ugly thing to say, and that’s the least of it.

          • wow.

            it’s an expression, that’s all there is to it.

          • wow.

            if it can, indeed, be for a group of males and females, then would it not be proper to say it instead in the way that i mentioned up above?
            i apologize if i came off as crass, it wasn’t my intention.

          • Sayyid

            While translating and transliterating, many things get lost. Especially from a language as comprehensive as Arabic to one as limited as English. Nevertheless, even though muhajireen can be used for both male and female, however if we want to describe that the males were separate and the females were separate, then it’s logical to use both terms. Also, Allah hu Akbar, would show that the haa in Allah is tashdeed, (double) while there is only one haa with a dhamma. So if we are pronouncing it with two, then it is incorrect and we must correct that. Most importantly in our prayers, since our prayer starts with takeeratul ihram. Allahu Akbar or some like to use an o instead of u. either way, there is one haa with a dhamma. I pray we can express our views without offending each other. @ wow you are a strong person for being able to apologize for your mistakes. i hope the rest of us can take lesson from that.

            wassalam

          • dot

            Apology accepted.

            Arabic is a different language, there are many things that don’t translate well into English. The problem with going into detail is that the English then sounds funny. The same is true about English — there are many things in English that just do not work in other languages, like plurals that lack an apparent gender. This is not to say Arabic is a better language, just different. Translation requires proficiency in both languages and an awareness of context just as much as having and understanding of what the words mean by themselves.