Discourse about music in Islam

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Refer to websites specializing in various Topics in Islam




The Qur'an says nothing explicit about music, but certain verses are interpreted as supporting or condemning music and singing.

Likewise, the Hadith contains various texts, which may be interpreted as either supporting or condemning music.

Sufism and Sufi poetry are full of music.

There is an extensive discourse on music in the Islamic tradition, including the use and effects of music in religious ritual (especially the sama`, spiritual audition), and the legality of music generally. While the Qur'an neither explicitly proscribes nor allows music, various passages have been interpreted as implying either position. The second principal sacred source for Muslims, Hadith (descriptions of sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad), occasionally refers to music and singing, but once again passages may be located to support either position. Thus the legality of music depends on the perspective of the interpreter. Such interpretation continues to the present day, as is evident from the large number of web sites devoted to this topic.

Polemics on music: is music haram or halal?

Islamic websites

Websites proliferate...

(note: some of these links may have broken - I will be finding new sites if the old ones are down...)

Relatively tolerant position towards music:


Middling position:

Relatively anti-music position:

Musical metaphors in mystic poetry

Here the circle is completed in the connections between text and context, poetry and performance; mystical images of music in Sufi poetry refer to the ritual of sama`; when performed in ritual, such poetic symbolism refers to itself...


Music in the sacred ayin ceremony of the so-called whirling dervishes, the Mevlevi Sufi order founded upon poetry and teachings of the mystic Jalal al-Din Rumi (1207-1273], who so loved the sama`...

Listen to the reed flute and its cry of separation...


Jalal al-Din Rumi's musical imagery:

Remembered Music

Listen to this reed...

We are as the flute

Umar and the Harpist

The Drum of the Realization

Poetry by Shaykh Abu al-Huda al-Sayyadi (19th c), as sung by Shaykh Yasin al-Tuhami of Egypt.

Shaykh Yasin al-Tuhami

Excerpt of poem by Abu al-Huda al-Sayyadi

Another poem sung by Shaykh Yasin