By Zahra Anjum
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
With all its charm and magnetism, music, no doubt, is hard to let go off. However, when a heart becomes inclined to what is dearer, Allah and His Messenger (sa), and the longing surges to please Allah (swt), the love of music is overtaken by the love of Quran. Music may appear to have a temporary soothing effect on the soul; however, it actually destroys the soul and is followed by acts forbidden in Islam. This is why we never see those close to Allah listening to music.
The Quran, on the other hand, is pure and brings nothing but relish. Allah (swt) mentions in the Quran: “O humankind, there has to come to you instruction from your Lord and healing for what is in the breasts and guidance and mercy for the believers.” (10:57)
The two are opposites of each other; the Quran being the word of Allah and music being the tool of Shaitan.
At times, we understand the right and wrong, but there is a constant struggle within ourselves. A part of us wants to increase in righteousness, while another part pulls us back and reminds us of the pleasures that come with sins.
How can we leave the habit of listening to music altogether and replace it with the Quran? Below are some tips that can help us, Insha’Allah:
Make a firm decision
Once you have understood the position of music in Islam, make a strong resolve to never return to it. Remember the love and wrath of Allah, and that He knows all and sees you all the time.
We claim to love the Prophet (sa) and wish that we were born in his time. But imagine, if Prophet Muhammad (sa) comes to meet you, will you be able to share your playlists and CDs with him? Or would you wish that he does not see any of those? Ask yourself; will music add to your scale of good deeds or bad deeds? It has to be either of the two as there is nothing in between.
Allah (swt) warns in the Quran: “Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart – about all those [one] will be questioned.” (17:36)
Get rid of the resources
Do not linger or delay separating yourself from the sources of sin. When the Companions of Muhammad (sa) heard the announcer telling them that alcohol was forbidden, they did not wait. They acted instantly and without any second thought broke all the vessels containing alcohol.
Similarly, delete all the music files that you may have in all your devices. This makes it easier to stay steadfast and control the desire to return to the sin.
Quran and Nasheeds
Replace the songs and music in your devices with Quran and beneficial Nasheeds (Islamic poems) without music or instruments. Download the recitations of various Quran reciters and accustom yourself to listening to the Quran. At first, you may find it difficult but with the passage of time, the Quran will indeed bring delight to the heart.
Nasheeds that contain words of wisdom and encouragement to do good deeds can act as an alternative to music and songs, but we must take care to not replace the Quran with them. We should not regard them as a habit to engage in on a regular basis. Rather, it should be something that we listen to from time to time and on appropriate occasions (Source: IslamQA)
The Sahabah (Companions) did at times say words of poetry, while they were digging the trench, travelling for jihad, and building the Prophet’s Mosque, but it was not the focus of their daily tasks.
Sports and hobbies
When there is an urge to listen to music, divert your attention by engaging in other fruitful activities that you enjoy. Busy yourself with physical sports that are beneficial for your health, or in other hobbies like crafting, cooking, graphic designing, writing, and so on.
Nothing is possible without the help of Allah and nothing remains difficult when the aid of Allah is by our side. Ask Allah to give you the love of Quran and other deeds beloved to him. Following are two of the supplications taught by Prophet Muhammad (sa):
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ حُبَّكَ وَحُبَّ مَنْ يُحِبُّكَ وَالْعَمَلَ الَّذِي يُبَلِّغُنِي حُبَّكَ اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْ حُبَّكَ أَحَبَّ إِلَىَّ مِنْ نَفْسِي وَأَهْلِي وَمِنَ الْمَاءِ الْبَارِدِ
“O Allah, indeed, I ask You for Your love and the love of those who love You, and for the actions that will cause me to attain Your love. O Allah, make Your love more beloved to me than myself, my family, and cold water.” (at-Tirmidhi; reliable but odd)
اللّهُـمَّ إِنِّي عَبْـدُكَ ابْنُ عَبْـدِكَ ابْنُ أَمَتِـكَ نَاصِيَتِي بِيَـدِكَ، مَاضٍ فِيَّ حُكْمُكَ، عَدْلٌ فِيَّ قَضَاؤكَ أَسْأَلُـكَ بِكُلِّ اسْمٍ هُوَ لَكَ سَمَّـيْتَ بِهِ نَفْسَكَ أِوْ أَنْزَلْتَـهُ فِي كِتَابِكَ، أَوْ عَلَّمْـتَهُ أَحَداً مِنْ خَلْقِـكَ أَوِ اسْتَـأْثَرْتَ بِهِ فِي عِلْمِ الغَيْـبِ عِنْـدَكَ أَنْ تَجْـعَلَ القُرْآنَ رَبِيـعَ قَلْبِـي، وَنورَ صَـدْرِي وجَلَاءَ حُـزْنِي وذَهَابَ هَمِّـي
“O Allah, I am Your servant, son of Your servant, son of Your maidservant; my forelock is in Your Hand; Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just. I ask You by every name belonging to You which You named Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the unseen with You, that You make the Quran the life of my heart, the light of my breast, the departure for my sorrow, and the release for my anxiety.” (Ahmad; authenticated by al-Albani)
When something is forsaken for the sake of Allah, Allah (swt) does replace it with something much better. Every struggle that we do to obey Him is counted and will come in the form of a cherished reward in the hereafter.
Zahra Anjum is a freelance writer, editor and translator based in Islamabad, Pakistan.
© IIPH 2016