Sharia Law’s Implications for Music pb


by Jane Bate, AFofM, Local 186, and Kelly Cook, ACT! For America

(May 25, 2013) — My mom used to laughingly say that when she could no longer shop for clothes, we might as well bury her. For me, the essence of what brightens my days has always been  music; take away my opportunities to listen to it, teach it, play it and write it, and life is far less joyful.

Alarmingly, any engagement in music is becoming illegal in some corners of the globe, and the ideology behind this snuffing out of a beautiful art form threatens to affect the rest of the world as well. I am referring to Islamic sharia law.

Already, in countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Mali, musicians have been killed or threatened with removal of their fingers or tongue simply because they make music. Music stores and instruments have likewise been destroyed in the hopes of silencing virtually all styles of music.

Lest you think that these acts are confined to non-Western areas, the picture below shows one of a multitude of “Sharia Controlled Zone” signs that have gone up in neighborhoods in Great Britain. The signs detail the sharia prohibitions against such vices as alcohol, drugs and smoking, gambling, porn and prostitution, and….wait for it… and concerts! Yes, this scourge is affecting our neighbors and allies “across the pond.”

As one views the spread of sharia, it is vital to understand the supremacist nature of Islamic law:

Qur’an 8:39  “So fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief [non-Muslims]) and all submit to the religion of Allah alone (in the whole world).”

“But,” you may say, “there’s no sharia law in the U.S.” Though I’m unaware that our music industry has yet been impacted, we’re seeing many examples of cultural, financial and legal jihad, not to mention violent physical jihad such as we experienced with 9/11 and the Ft. Hood massacre. For several years now, financial giants such as Citibank and AIG have dealt in sharia-compliant products; when we invest in such products, a significant portion of the profits flow into vehicles selected by radical Islamic scholars to help finance jihad. School textbooks have been consistently written over the past twenty years to whitewash the history of Islamic Jihad and expansionism over the past fourteen centuries.  (See for an extensive research study on the subject). There is even a sharia court in Texas, of all places! And the list goes on.

Is this article anti-Muslim? Not for a minute. The very treatment of women and gays in particular, coupled with death threats for apostates suggests to me that there are likely many Muslims who would much prefer to live under our Constitution’s guarantee of religious freedom than under sharia. I’ll stand shoulder to shoulder with those folks any day. The object of my objections is the ideology of Islam with its repressive political laws and, by extension, those who seek to force sharia on the rest of us.

Where does the concept that music is bad come from? While there is tremendous disagreement among Islamic scholars on whether (or what type of) music is prohibited by the Islamic doctrinal trilogy, the section on music in “The Reliance of the Traveller,” the compendium of Islamic law, is clear and enforceable in the minds of many religious Muslims:


r40.1 (Ibn Hajar Haytami:) As for the condemnation of musical instruments, flutes, strings, and the like by the Truthful and Trustworthy (Allah bless him and give him peace), who “does not speak from personal caprice: it is nothing besides a revelation inspired” (Koran 53:3-4), let those who refuse to obey him beware lest calamity strike them, or a painful torment. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) 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….”

All of this is explicit and compelling textual evidence that musical instruments of all types are unlawful (Kaff-al-ra’a’ ‘an muharramat al-lahw wa al-sama’ (y49), 2.269-70).

r40.2 Nawawi:) It is unlawful to use musical instruments – such as those which drinkers are known for, like the mandolin, lute, cymbals, and flute – or to listen to them. It is permissible to play the tambourine at weddings, circumcisions, and other times, even if it has bells on its sides. Beating the kuba, a long drum with a narrow middle, is unlawful. (Mughni al-muhtaj ila ma’rifa ma’ani alfaz al-Minhaj (y73), 4.429-30).


r40.3 (Ibn Hajar Haytami:) As for listening to singing that is not accompanied by instruments, one should know that singing or listening to singing is offensive except under the circumstances to be mentioned in what follows. Some scholars hold that singing is sunna at weddings and the like, and of our Imams, Ghazali and ‘Izz ibn ‘Abd al-Salam say that it is sunna if it moves one to a noble state of mind that makes one remember the hereafter. It is clear from this that all poetry which encourages good deeds, wisdom, noble qualities, abstinence from this-wordly things, or similar pious traits such as urging one to obey Allah, follow the sunna, or shun disobedience, is sunna to write, sing, or listen to,  as more than one of our Imams have stated is obvious, since using a means to do good is itself doing good (Kaff-al-ra’a’ ‘an muharramat al-lahw wa al-sama’ (y49), 2.273).

Thus, though there may exist geographical areas under Islamic rule where at least some forms of music are allowed – witness the fact that Cat Stevens (a.k.a. Yusuf Islam) has, after a long post-conversion hiatus, resumed performing –  nonetheless, the events of recent years show clearly the global support for restrictions upon and silencing of music.

Given the perennial presence of U.N. Res. 16/18 (designed to criminalize the criticism of any religion or religious figure), it is imperative that we all educate ourselves as to Islam and sharia (also spelled shariah) law and then, in turn, educate others. The best place to begin such an education is by reading original sources: the Quran (the word of Allah as dictated to Muhammad), Sira (the official Islamic biography of Muhammad) and Hadith (the words and deeds of Muhammad as reported by family members and other fellow Muslims). Since the verses in the Quran have been reordered (not by subject or date, but by length of the verse), adding to an already confusing writing style, my recommendation is to start by reading the Sira – not just any biography of Muhammad, but this officially sanctioned version; after all, since there are 91 verses in the Quran instructing the reader that Muhammad is the ideal man and is to be emulated, we must be familiar with Muhammad in order to understand Islam. I would follow that with the Hadith for the same reason. Both of these books will give you the necessary background on Muhammad and provide the context for the Quran.

Before beginning any study of Islam and sharia, however, it is imperative that you understand two basic principles. The first is that of taqiyya; taqiyya is defined as “lying to further the spread of Islam” and it is not merely sanctioned by the Quran, but is considered to be a duty of all good Muslims. The second is the Doctrine of Abrogation; under this principle, in any case in which two Quranic verses contradict each other, the one written later nullifies the one previously written. Unfortunately, the revelations of Muhammad’s murderous Medinan period abrogate the more peaceful revelations of his earlier Meccan period. Thanks to the Doctrine of Abrogation, we hear Muslims quote perfectly serene Quranic verses that have lost all authority through abrogation.

After reading the foundational texts of Islam, I would take up books written by apostates such as: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Nonie Darwish, Wafa Sultan and Mark Gabriel (nom de plume for a former Egyptian imam with degrees from al-Azhar University, the seat of Islamic jurisprudence). All of these authors have earned themselves death threats for their courageous writings and it behooves us to learn from their experience. If such books aren’t owned by your library, please request that they add them to their collection.

Qur’an 4:90  “If they turn back from Islam, becoming renegades, seize them and kill them wherever you find them.”

Finally, after satisfying yourself that sharia law is a threat to music and to so much more, you must become active and spread the word to everyone you know.  Eschew political correctness. Consider joining an organization designed to counter sharia (at least those aspects that are contrary to the Constitution) such as ACT! for America, SIOA or Women Against Sharia. There is a powerful lobby attempting to keep us from learning about sharia; this effort towards our continuing ignorance of sharia can be traced back as far as the Pact of Umar which forbade infidel parents from teaching their children anything about Islam. (You ought to question why any religion that seeks 100% of humanity as members would have such a mandate). Know where your legislators at every level of government stand on sharia and make sure that they know where you stand. Ditto for political parties.

Our world has changed and we must become acutely attuned to those changes. So continue making music, but take the time to learn about this virulent threat to our freedoms – both artistic and personal. Without your help in sounding the alarm, we stand to lose the most precious gifts of Western Civilization.

3 Responses to "Sharia Law’s Implications for Music pb"

  1. OPOVV   Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    I’d like to add:
    You mean “perfectly serene Qur’an verses” like two women in lieu of one man for a witness, or “kill Jews and Christians wherever ye may find them” and the death penalty for leaving Islam?
    Appeasement and excuses towards “wayward” Muslims isn’t the way to win the war.
    The reality is to be found in Pam Geller’s “Atlas Shrug’s” website where she has a gallery of “honor killing” victims.
    Welcome to the year 2013.

  2. michaelsr   Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    Sorry, just can’t help myself. I guess that I need to be very careful not to allow anybody from the enlightened portion of the human race, those wunderkids from the sixth century, to hear me when I sing lullabys to my grandkids. How is that wrong when those tone-deaf imams issue calls to prayer? They sing worse than I do.

  3. OPOVV   Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    But the savages don’t stop at music.
    They outlaw statues of humans, which means taking a sledge hammer to “David”, “Venus de Milo”, the large Abraham Lincoln at his memorial in Washington, DC, EVEN our statues of the “Raising the Flag at Iwo Jima”.
    No paintings of human, either. No “Mona Lisa”, no Picasso, Gilbert Stuart, Michelangelo’s “Sistine Chapel” with God’s hand reaching out.
    Forget photographs: no Mathew Brady’s pictures of our Civil War.
    No cartoons, no “Charley Brown”, “Dick Tracy”, “Superman”.
    No “Santa Clause”.
    Islam means “submission”.
    Deport each and every Muslim from our borders and then send our military to help our Allies.
    Let’s not talk or debate this to death, let’s just DO IT.
    Now sing the first verse of “Silent Night”.
    Thank you.

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