Instrumental music is automatically an issue under sharia law due to the dictates of Muhammad. For example:
Narrated Abu 'Amir or Abu Malik Al-Ash'ari:
that he heard the Prophet saying, "From among my followers there will be some people who will consider illegal sexual intercourse, the wearing of silk, the drinking of alcoholic drinks and the use of musical instruments, as lawful. And there will be some people who will stay near the side of a mountain and in the evening their shepherd will come to them with their sheep and ask them for something, but they will say to him, 'Return to us tomorrow.' Allah will destroy them during the night and will let the mountain fall on them, and He will transform the rest of them into monkeys and pigs and they will remain so till the Day of Resurrection." (Bukhari 007.069.494v)
In addition, if the subject of Western music is to arise at all at Punjab University, its early history is inextricably linked to the Catholic liturgy and clergy, including at the time of the Crusades. Not to mention the time spent on Lutheran chorales in the instruction of music theory. Clearly, this could pose a problem.
Sharia Alert from The Daily Times: "Punjab University hires British music professor"
LAHORE: Punjab University has hired a British professor, Cambridge-graduate William Keith Timmney, and other international musicians to teach at the Department of Musicology despite threats by conservative elements, officials told Daily Times.
The department has received hundreds of admission applications for the two-year Master’s programme in Music and classes for the maiden batch will begin on October 6. Theory classes will be held at the old campus of Punjab University (PU) and practical classes will be held at Alhamra.
PU Registrar Professor Dr Naeem Khan has said the faculty was hired despite threats and pressure put by "anti-education elements" such as Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT).
"We have initiated the academic programme strictly for promotion of culture of our region," he said, "and will not let anyone impose their opinion over the majority." He said the university was "prepared to deal with miscreants".
He said the administration and the vice chancellor had envisioned the Musicology Department in response to demands by students and to promote the legacy of Muslim mystics such as Ameer Khusro, Khawaja Moeenuddin Chishti, Khushhal Khan Khatak and folksinger Pathanay Khan.
"We have started a Master’s programme initially, and Bachelor’s classes will follow soon," the registrar said. The programme was not meant to promote vulgarity, he said, "but to promote our culture internationally." The department will be part of the Institute of Art and Design (IAD) in the beginning, he said, but would become independent later. The IJT has already threatened to "physically resist" music classes on campus and threatened the administration with dire consequences against programmes for performing arts.