Noting that Islamic law forbids musical instruments and music itself except in some strictly defined circumstances will bring you swift charges of “ignorance” and “Islamophobia.” I guess Bilal Philips is an ignorant Islamophobe.
Hadith Qudsi 19:5: “The Prophet said that Allah commanded him to destroy all the musical instruments, idols, crosses and all the trappings of ignorance.” (The Hadith Qudsi, or holy Hadith, are those in which Muhammad transmits the words of Allah, although those words are not in the Qur’an.)
Muhammad also said:
(1) “Allah Mighty and Majestic sent me as a guidance and mercy to believers and commanded me to do away with musical instruments, flutes, strings, crucifixes, and the affair of the pre-Islamic period of ignorance.”
(2) “On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will pour molten lead into the ears of whoever sits listening to a songstress.”
(3) “Song makes hypocrisy grow in the heart as water does herbage.”
(4) “This community will experience the swallowing up of some people by the earth, metamorphosis of some into animals, and being rained upon with stones.” Someone asked, “When will this be, O Messenger of Allah?” and he said, “When songstresses and musical instruments appear and wine is held to be lawful.”
(5) “There will be peoples of my Community who will hold fornication, silk, wine, and musical instruments to be lawful ….” — ‘Umdat al-Salik r40.0
Sharia Alert: “Islamic former guitarist now preaches against music,” by Stewart Bell for the National Post, February 15 (thanks to Twostellas):
Bilal Philips was once a guitar god. Now he is trying to convince Muslims that God doesn’t want them listening to guitars.
A Saudi-trained Canadian, Mr. Philips is among a small group of lecturers who preach against most forms of music — a controversial prohibition that surfaced in Manitoba recently, where a dozen Muslim families want to pull their children from music class.
“A heart filled with music will not have room for God’s words,” he writes in his book Contemporary Issues, which also defends child marriages, wife beating, polygamy and killing apostates while calling homosexuality “evil and dangerous.”
While Mr. Philips argues that Islam does not prohibit all music, he says it only allows adult male singers and “folk songs with acceptable content sung by males or females under the age of puberty accompanied by a hand drum.”
“Wind and stringed instruments have been banned because of their captivating power,” he continues. “Their notes and chords evoke strong emotional attachments. For many, music becomes a source of solace and hope instead of God. When they are down, music brings them up temporarily, like a drug. The Koran, the words of God filled with guidance, should play that role.”
In his book, he also says adult women are forbidden from singing “in order to keep the sensual atmosphere of the society at a minimum. Men are much more easily aroused than females as has been thoroughly documented by the clinical studies of Masters and Johnson.”
Music is an integral part of life in the Arab and Muslim world, but Mr. Philips and a band of Saudi-influenced lecturers have been trying to convince Muslims to turn off their radios and iPods and focus on their religion.
Zakir Naik, the president of the Islamic Research Foundation in Mumbai, India, who pulled out of a Toronto conference last year following a controversy over his views, claims music puts people into a “trance” and “frenzy.” Yasir Qadhi of Texas, dean of the Al Maghrib Institute, argues that you “can’t love the Koran and music at the same time.”
A video on the Gardens of Paradise blog (whose Canadian administrator left Toronto to fight for the al-Qaeda-linked Al Shabab in Somalia) claims music goes hand in hand with such un-Islamic activities as dancing, inappropriate clothing, mingling of the sexes and alcohol.
But the Islamic Institute of Toronto says on its website that many scholars disagree with that interpretation, and consider music permissible as long as it does not contain “sensual, pagan or unethical themes” or subliminal messages.
“Thus to say that all music is forbidden in Islam does not seem to agree with the balanced approach of Islam to issues of human life and experience,” says a ruling on the “ask the scholar” section of the site.
The debate over the permissibility of music in Islam has stirred controversy in Winnipeg, where several families who recently immigrated to Canada have told the Louis Riel School Division they want their children excused from compulsory music class, as well as co-ed physical education….
After immigrating to Canada from Jamaica at age 11, he took up the guitar. He played at nightclubs while studying at Simon Fraser University in B.C. When he moved to Malaysia, he was known as the “Jimi Hendrix of Sabah,” the district of Borneo where he lived.
But after converting to Islam in 1972, he put down his guitar for good. In the biography on his website he says, “when I became a Muslim, I felt uncomfortable doing this and gave it up both professionally and privately.”
Mr. Philips, who has degrees from the Islamic University of Medina and the University of Riyadh, and founded the Islamic Online University, lives in Qatar but remains a popular conference speaker in Canada. He gave a lecture about “music and dating” at a Toronto mosque last April….
Degrees from the Islamic University of Medina and the University of Riyadh, and founder of the Islamic Online University. Clearly he is a Misunderstander of Islam.