Contemporary Issues Part 11 (Music – Art – Photography)

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Bilal Philips

Channel: Bilal Philips

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Topics: Contemporary

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Episode Transcript

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Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim, the name of a lot of the benefits in the Most Merciful. I greet you with Islamic greetings. aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato. And welcome you to our program, contemporary issues in which we continue to look at certain

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Islamic issues, which have come under the spotlight of world attention, where some practices and beliefs, you know, are questioned by Western civilization

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threat, really pointing out that these things are irrelevant, not

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logical, or they, you know, go against modern thinking, etc, etc. And, unfortunately, some Muslims have ignorant in ignorance falling into these traps and have become diluted by the arguments which have been presented. So we tried to look at some of the issues and try to understand them. Some of the issues or issues where both Muslims and non Muslims alike really don't understand why. Why does Islam take a position on this or that, and we hope to try to clarify these issues in our program. In this segment, we're looking at, we will be looking at the issue of music from the Islamic perspective, music, which

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most people are aware that you know, there is something in Islam regarding music, you know,

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some degree it appears that it is prohibited outright or some people feel that, you know, Muslims are, okay, music, in fact, musicians, okay, it's quite popular amongst Muslims. And, in fact, even the guitar in Spain was this developed by Muslims when they were in Spain. Now, the actual issue involved here concerning music is that God has created human beings with a nature which loves music.

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We can see it with a mother singing for a child.

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Something like this, of course, Islam is not going to prohibit something which is part of the very nature of human beings to prohibit the just for the sake of prohibition.

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So, in fact, Islam does not prohibit music outright,

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but it prohibits the harmful aspects of it.

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Music is accepted within a particular framework, but outside that framework, it has been forbidden, perhaps or seldom prohibited the use of wind and stringed musical instruments. And a very famous Hadith in which he said there will be people of my nation who will legalize fornication, the wearing of silk, for men, the drinking of wine, and the use of musical instruments. This is a hadith which is recorded by Imam Al Bukhari, it is very authentic hadith. Furthermore, he said that some people from my nation will drink wine calling it by another name,

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merriment will be made for them by the playing of musical instruments, and the singing of adult female singers. This is also an authentic hadith, which indicates the prohibition of the use of musical instruments in general, as well as that of adult female singers.

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Now, folk songs, which which are

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sung by females who are not not adults, and this is to a mixed audience, for example, and or by males, you know, accompanied by the Duff, which is like a small hand drum. This is something which has been made permissible the Prophet sallallahu encouraged its use in weddings and festivals. And in terms of the recitation of the Quran, it is it is encouraged to be in a melodious voice by Solomon said Whoever doesn't sing the Quran is not of us. So there's this element of music is accepted within the Muslim society, but that is kept within the bounds of certain festivals, festivities, the recitation of the Quran, etc. You know, and it's not it doesn't become like an

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obsession, it's the intent is that it should not become an obsession in the society because these instruments etc. They have a tendency to captivate the heart. They

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captivate the heart in such a way that it becomes the means that people will find solace. When they're down, they turn on the music, you know, and you know, this is where instead of turning to God, instead of reflecting on God, they get their solace in music becomes a subsidy and they become attached

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Do it in such a way that you know,

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you know, this becomes like an addiction. And when we look at the element that produces music in the society, because some people argue, but you know, it helps me to study some students will tell me, you know that I study better when I listen to music, you know, and you know, others have variety of different explanations. The point is that if music were beneficial, then the musicians would demonstrate that benefit in their lives.

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Where what you see instead, is that corruption, some of the most corrupt elements of society are found amongst the musicians,

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the drugs, the deviations in homosexuality, people, these type of things, and in all the corruption, that's there, people committing suicide, and all this kind of thing, concentrated in the area of the musicians Why? If this thing that they're producing is so good, then why don't they benefit from it? reality is that it, in fact, does carry an evil and the dark side, which produces that type of corruption amongst themselves, and in the end ends up, you know, corrupting elements of the society. You know, if you listen to them, the songs that are out there, I mean, they're promoting promiscuity and adultery and sin, and there it is loaded in the songs. And unfortunately, this is a very

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corruptive element in the society.

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The other area of the arts and, you know, is that of art itself,

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where Islam, like Judaism, prohibited the use of pictorial representation of living beings. Islam prohibits it. It's in the Mosaic law, and it's part of the tradition of the prophets on Solomon's, as the prophets are maintained, you know, although in reality, one may find find examples of image making, you know, in the, in later Muslim states that developed whether it is in Spain, or mobile India, or suffered Perth Persia, or the Ottoman Empire, the reality is that this was something quite severely prohibited according to Islamic law. Prophet Muhammad settlement said, laws receiving the most severe punishment on the Day of Judgment, or the image makers.

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And from the explanations given to us by the prophet may God's peace must be upon him. idolatry began amongst the descendants of Adam, through the making of images. The prophets are subtle, Solomon said, that,

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in the time of Prophet nor

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there were some righteous individuals who, when they died, Satan came to the people, and suggested to them to make statues, and named the statues after them to remind them of the goodness of these people, and that people did so. And they place the statues in the places where they used to gather, you know, and

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in that generation, people, whenever they saw the statues, it reminded them of the good of those people and encourage them to do good. However, when that generation died out, Satan came to later generation, and suggested to them that, in fact, their ancestors, their,

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their grandparents, etc, were in fact worshipping these idols, and that it was because of their worship, that their crops were successful, the rain came and they had no good crops, cultivation was, you know, very healthy, etc.

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And with that delusion of this

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lies which were promoted at that point in time, people fell into the trap of idolatry. So, the issue of, of

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creation of images of human beings, etc, is forbidden, fundamentally, because of this. And if we look at those people involved in idol worship throughout the world, the vast majority of the items which they worship, idols of living beings, you know, few people worship idols of planets or, or trees, etc, most of the items that we're talking about are living beings, and whether it's a human being with an elephant's head, you know, or a monkey's head or whatever, you know, you know, or it's a fish or a dog or whatever. People worship idols that are made in the form of human human beings or animals. And so it has been prohibited across the board. Now, somebody might say, Well, you know,

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what's the harm? You know, really, you know, what about people making, you know, we've grown out of this is ideology business, you know, but, you know, we want to make it for the purpose of our own enjoyment and entertainment, etc. Well, the reality is that the vast majority of the world or much of the

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World is still involved in idolatry. So it's still alive and well today. And furthermore, what it does is it creates this, this love in the minds of people, so much so

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that the artists, you know, many times we speak to artists or you hear artists talking about their works, they will talk about how they're trying to create something greater than life.

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You know, something greater than life, which embodies something which you can't even find in nature itself is their goal. And this is where it's kind of like, have a challenge with the Creator. And this is why, you know, one of the statements of the prophet may God's peace be upon him that, you know, on the day of judgment, those who are making the images will be asked to bring life back to their intimate images and their challenge to the creator trying to imitate the Creator. Anyway, I mean, if we find a an art lover,

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and we and they, and we are told that, hey, this museum is burning down.

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There's a picture of Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci's work.

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And there's a baby in there, you can only take one out, are you going to take out person, the art lover will not think twice, they'll get the picture more or less? And we said, well, what about the child? We says, they'll say, Well, you know, there are many children born in the world, you know, if we lose a child, no big deal, this other kids being born, but if you lose the Mona Lisa, this is something invaluable. So

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that work of art takes on an even greater value than human life.

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Is this the sad state, that those who love images have reached? So from Islamic perspective,

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the making of images, you know, along with the production of music, you know, is has been prohibited in Islam to protect the society from the harm, which comes from it, of course, as I mentioned, the Muslim world today, you know, and in having deviated away from much of the teachings of Islam, I mean, one might be surprised to hear that say, Well, why we we see images all the time in the society, you know, in our Muslim societies that we've been in, etc, you know, we see you we hear music all the time, you know, these type of things. However, I mean, the principle of understanding Islam is not that Islam is what people do. You know, Islam is not what Muslims do, but what Muslims

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should do,

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and to know what they should do what needs to learn, what are the in fact the teachings of Islam, and then after knowing that, then you judge Muslims, in accordance with what Islam is not to judge Islam, according to what Muslims do.

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The next topic that we'll be looking at, is that of modern science and Islam. We know from the tradition which developed in Europe, where there was a clash between the church and science, where scientists were burnt at the stake, their books were burnt, and when their theories seemed to contradict, or to challenge the beliefs of the church, which was dominant, the Catholic Church, which is dominant in Europe, at the time, science was, there was an attempt to crush science and scientific inquiry, etc, etc. And from that experience, the general understanding in the minds of many is that science and religion don't

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mix, you know, they're at odds with each other. However, when one comes into the realm of Islam, one finds it No, this is not the case. Some of the leading scientists were of the Muslim world were great theologians, they're quite knowledgeable Muslims. In fact, much of the knowledge would spurn the the the the renaissance in the development of science in the West, it came through Muslim Spain and, and Syria and Baghdad, you know, Damascus and Baghdad, this is where the science was preserved during the Dark Ages, what was known as the Dark Ages, the Middle Ages in Europe, these are the ages of the Golden Ages of science in the Muslim world. So Islam is not opposed to science. In fact, from

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a on a conceptual level.

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Science involves the discovery of God's laws, and his creation.

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Human beings are not creating anything. They're only discovering these laws, and then applying them, right God gives them the ability to apply them. So the laws themselves are from whom from God.

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So knowledge of science, what is true science is ultimately from God. We're not talking about the theory and the false ideas that are in the minds of some scientists.

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Promote, for example, this world is about beginning. You know, the atheist among them who deny God's existence, etc. That's this is not scientific, is there is no scientific proof Why can I prove by science, God's non existence.

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In fact, science points to God's existence rather than to Islamic existence.

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However,

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saying that, when we look at the issue of scientific fact, we find that in fact it is in harmony with Islamic teachings, you find many verses in the Quran, which address points and issues which aren't modern science is only just begun to, to find to, to discover, you know, you'll find when Islam speaks about the issue of the, the Big Bang, for example, in modern times, we talk about the Big Bang, the development of the universe, you can find a verse in the Quran in the 51st chapter, verse 47, you will find a lot saying, I built the heavens with power, and it is I who I'm expanding it.

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In the 21st chapter, verse 31, you'll find similar statements of the expansion of the universe, you'll also find the movement of the Sun mentioned in the Quran, you know, that it's, it has its own cycle that is moving and that is running to an end, an ending point where the sun will end, followed in the 36th chapter, verse 38. And you even find mentioned in the Quran, that human beings will pass through the heavens leave the earth and pass into the heavens, you know, going to the moon or whatever we can find in the 51st chapter, verse 33, a law saying there or assembly of jinsan humans, if you can penetrate the regions of the heavens and the earth and penetrate them, you will not do

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that except with the authority, the meaning the authority of God. So, there is plenty you know, plenty has been written about the Quran and modern science, from the Sunnah of the Prophet Moses Allah, we find things which are only recently scientifically discovered based on modern scientific knowledge. So Islam is not in opposition to science, not science fact. And the use of science for the benefit of human lives etc. We have some sex amongst people, Christians who, who shun modern science, they will drive around in buggies they don't use electricity, they'll, you know, Islam is not in this kind of state. No, Islam will use whatever we can find in the society, which has

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beneficial scientific principles technology, using it for the benefit of human beings and their society. This is part and parcel of living and the right that humans have. Sam has no problem with this at all. But when we come to some of the theories of science, this is where we may find some problems. And one of the biggest problems is that of evolution.

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A modern scientific theory, though it's presented as a fact, which in fact, is in direct opposition to Islamic teachings. And the theory of evolution will be discussed at some length in our coming segment. And we hope that you will come along to the program with us to follow our next program, and, and be enlightened with regards to the Islamic position on evolution. As I said, evolutionary theory, not evolutionary fact. The facts which evolutionists use, no one can deny, we have bones his bones represent animals which are here on the earth which died out their ancestors to living animals today. We cannot no one can deny these things. But

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how do we interpret these bones

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that we will have a look at in our next program. Without their viewers I'd like to thank you for being with us this segment of our program, contemporary issues you may write into us charger television, PO Box 111. charger UAE if you have some suggestions of contemporary issues you'd like to hear

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otherwise, you may call into the television or you may email myself at F ld [email protected] You have certain questions and we hope to see you in our upcoming programs Salaam Alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh