Islam and entertainment.

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Davethedog | 13:32 Thu 01st Jul 2010 | Religion & Spirituality
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Serious question and I would appreciate an answer from our Islamic friends.

There is a story in todays London Evening Standard that says that a number of Muslim pupils are being withdrawn from music lessons as playing a musical instrument is against fundemental belief.

1) Is this true?

2) Why?

3) Does your faith allow you any pleasurable pursuit at all.

Please don't quote the Koran or give me any deep theological meanings as it falls on deaf eras just straight answers.


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well it allows eating and sex!!
Impossible to answer without quoting the Holy Qur`aan
You have to be careful with this

There are many strands of opinion in the way there are amoungst Christians - not all are commonly held and it's easy for mischievious journalists to misrepresent them as being common to all muslims.

Much like suggesting that the Pope's views on contrception are common to all Christians

I'm reminded of the scene in Ghandi where the local meets the new Englishman wide eyed.

Are you a Christian?
er yes
I have a friend she is a Christian too - She drinks blood
Oh yes Blood of Christ - every Sunday!
Dave its a mixed bag from what I understand as some say it is forbidden and others say it is good. At weddings It also seems that many muslims depending from where they are in the world involve men and women together singing and dancing at some and other muslims from other places have women separated and only prayer and wedding vows allowed.
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Appreciate the words of caution Jake.

Another view why I can tell you tenent of the bible with out quoteing it
Having a quick look around it seems that this is quite a debate in the muslim world

Here for example is a liberal view


and here is a conservative one

the article is a bit vague though aint it. it reckons about 10% of all muslims have the belief that music should be forbidden. the ones withdrawn from the particular school in the article were perhaps more because it was rehearsing for a christmas concert .... ? also, many of those were withdrawn from music in ramadan only, during which muslims must "avoid obscene and irreligious sights and sounds" (and sex).

i don't think you or i will ever understand this particularly. its just the way they are.
As far as I'm aware, the Koran doesn't ban music, but other Islamic literature frowns upon it, so it depends upon what people are taught and, hence, what they believe. Like the other main religions, Islam has its fair share of selective believers. Some Muslims seem to think music is practically the Devil's work, enticing the innocent into sin, but I've been to plenty of clubs in Islamic countries - and seen plenty of belly dancers - so it's clear they aren't all such controlling killjoys. Let's face it - the snake charmers play their pipes - and even the muezzin sounds like he's singing when he calls the faithful to prayer. :o)

Having said that, I believe that some Muslims are moving further towards fundamentalism. For example, twenty years ago a burqa in Cairo would have been hard to spot, but not so now. Perhaps that's why the students you mention are being withdrawn from music lessons.
Do they have "Muezzin" X-Factor type competitions in Islamic countries?
^^Now that would be fun!
As long as stones are not thrown at the unfortunate worst singer.
-- answer removed --
I agree with several of the posts here - it is one extreme and another. I used to know a young man from the Afro-Caribbean who converted, married and had a baby, and was really exercised how he was going to keep his baby away from all musical influences. Some people do believe that anything to do with music and dancing inflames the sense and thus is bad, but others are at the other end of the spectrum and see nothing wrong with it. More staid older people worry about the sexual influences in modern rock music for instance, but music is such a soother to the soul at other times - I can't imagine life without a range of music from rock to classical. It is very much up to the individual and how constrained a religious path they follow. Davethedog, in answer to your OP - there is no "one size fits all" answer.
By the way ankou, you are right about Ramadan being a time of abstention - but you don't have to avoid sex altogether, just don't do it during daylight hours.
As has been said many times on here, the hang-ups the religious suffer often revolve around sex - and this one, in the main, is no different. I agree with Fender - it is very sad.
This is being discussed on Radio 4 at the moment. Clarification is being given that there in nothing in the Koran about a prohinition, but that there are weak Hadith (attributed to Mohammed) that music is related to the Devil). There is also a cultural link between music and prostitutes in some cultures . The person speaking says that in her experience, more pupils leave music lessons during Ramadan, but generally speaking only 1 or 2 pupils withdraw permanently because of parental disapproval. She said however that more Muslim pupils are generally able to study the subject at school, and that parents appreciate that playing a musical instrument benefits the child. Once again - interpretation of a Hadith - and a weak one this time - is being taken as a general instruction in some quarters, but by no means by all Muslims. The answes to dave therefore remains - no, not part of the fundamental belief (because it's not in the Koran) but it's what some Muslims bellieve to be true, because it's in tradition (according to them).

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