Friday, July 10, 2009

music 2

Healing Through Sacred Sound and Music
By Hwaa Irfan

When the recitation of the Qur'an is purely inspired, it acts like a button awakening one from within. The art and science of tajwid recitation inspires, heals and educates, as do many - but not all - forms of music.

While there is much debate regarding the status of music in Islam, Imam ibn Hazm referred to ahadith that forbade music as fabricated (Beliefnet p.2).

The Tariqat Gul Nur Jihaniyya (Sufi) informs us that the ulema (scholars) of early Islam accepted musical recitation in Islamic poetry - as it emphasized the expressive and artistic manner of rhythmic speech - e.g. chants, song, sacred music and rhetoric.

What Prophet Muhammad (saw) did not approve of was:

a) The clapping of hands in public performances of either a religious or secular nature; but he allowed artistic clapping.

b) Sensual singing and dancing by both male and females in public taverns (Tariqat, p.2).

Music or rhythmic chanting can have a healing affect on the body.

The word 'music' from the Greek 'mousike' - by way of the Latin 'musica' - is formed from the Greek root 'mousa', the ancient Egyptian root 'muse' and Celtic suffix 'ike'.

The Egyptian word 'mas' or 'mous' signifies generation, production, and development outside a principle. It is composed of the root 'ash' which characterizes the universal, primordial principle, and the root 'ma', which expresses all that generates, or manifests itself, taking an exterior form.

Music is seen by many as a spiritual phenomenon that can help awaken the mind and body. Theosophist, linguist, doctor, musician and musical theorist Fabre d'Olivet paid homage to music by saying that, "There has never been a man on earth capable of inventing a science, and there never will be. No science is invented. It is a gift that the human spirit makes to humanity by means of its inspirational faculties" (Music Explained, p.85, 90).

Famous Islamic scholar and teacher, Abu Hamid al-Ghazali - in his Ihya Ulum al-Din (The Revival of Religious Sciences) - wrote that music and singing are spiritual, evoking the truth in one's heart and soul, which reveal themselves and their contents to only Allah (swt).

Born into a musical family versed in the northwestern Indian tradition, musician Hazrat Inayat Khan wrote, "The physical effect of sound has also a great influence upon the human body. The whole mechanism, the muscles, the blood circulation, the nerves, are all moved by the power of vibration, as there is resonance for every sound, so the human body is a living resonator" (Music, Mysticism and Magic, p.261, 263).

Indeed the human bone structure is highly responsive to vibration (Gurudas, p.52).
In Field Theory each particle (atom) "sings its song" - thus producing rhythmic patterns of energy in dense and subtle forms (Capra, p.269).

The laws of physics state that when sound vibrations are projected on an object of the same natural frequency as the projected sound, the object will begin to vibrate in sympathy with that sound. At this point, object and sound are in resonance (Williams, p.65, 66).

The human voice affects the molecular structure of the body. Whining voices attract negative conditions. A hostile condemning voice incites violence and can cause accidents, strokes and heart attacks.

By releasing tension and stimulating circulation and nerve energy in the body, the act of toning can help provide healing through one's voice, much in the same way as chanting and verbal prayer.


Beliefnet. "Messages." 08/22/01. 1-3. Community: Discussions. 08/26/01.

Capra, Fritjof. "The Tao of Physics." Britain: Flamingo (Fontana Paperbacks) 1989.

Godwin, Jocelyn. "Music Explained as Science and Art" Canada: Inner Traditions International Ltd. 1987.

Godwin, Joscelyn. "Music, Mystcism and Magic." Britain: Arkana Paperbacks.1987.

Gurudas. "Gem Elixirs and Vibrational Healing. Vol.1." USA: Cassandra Press 1989.

Tariqat Gul Nur Jihaniyya. "Music Art Science." 1-7. 09/27/01.

Williams, David. "The Harmonics of Sound, Color & Vibration." USA: Devorss & Company Publishers 1988.

adapted from


Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

“Music is an issue that has been hotly debated by scholars of the past and the present. While many of them have been generally inclined to condemn all forms of music, with the singular exception of ad-duff (tambourine) in weddings, quite a few of them have taken a more positive approach of considering only music containing sensual, pagan, or unethical themes or subliminal messages as being categorically forbidden.

The latter view seems to be more consistent with the general nature of Islam, which is undoubtedly a complete way of life that caters to all of the genuine human instincts and needs within permissible limits. 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.

Traditions often cited by the first group scholars to justify condemnation of all musical instruments and music, according to some scholars, are considered as either spurious, or phrased in such way solely because of their associations with drinking, dancing, and sensuality.

While everyone agrees that all forms of music that contain pagan, sensual themes, or subliminal messages are clearly forbidden, the latter group of scholars considers all forms of music free of such themes and messages as permissible.

As a matter of fact, we know from the authentic traditions that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, not only allowed music in the weddings but also listened to girls singing: While listening to girls singing on such an occasion, he interrupted them only once when they sang the following verse, “In our midst is a prophet who knows what will happen tomorrow”; whence, the Prophet, peace be upon him, told them, “Cut this sentence out, and continue singing what you have been singing earlier.” There is nothing in the sources to indicate that the above permission is limited to the occasion of wedding, as some people tend to think.

In light of these, according to the last mentioned group of scholars, music that is deemed to be free of un-Islamic and unethical themes and messages, the same is true of musical instruments so long as they are not used for the above, have been considered as permissible. But we have to stress that Islam clearly prohibits mixed dancing of males and females.”

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from:

Allah Almighty knows best.