Is Music a Food for the Soul or Is It a Poison?
Many people say that music is a food for the soul and they promote it as an essential ingredient for peace of mind. But I don’t agree with this statement: “Music is food for the soul”; rather, I think It is a poison for the soul". I have justification for it. Here I am going to prove how music is detrimental to your emotional and spiritual health and I myself have observed and noticed these side effects on people who were used to the habit of listening music, watching movies and reading romantic novels. Let’s explore the problem together!
What happened when we listen to sad music and read sad poetry? Sadness goes deep and deep in us and we feel further depressed. We lose interest in our important daily activities and diverge from our real purpose of life. Life seems hopeless to us. Doesn’t Islam forbid us to be hopeless or too depressed or too sad during troublesome times? It is Satan’s trick to divert us. We become lazy and lethargic due to extreme sadness. Allah (SWT) instructs us to be hopeful, thankful and contented. It’s true that human beings are emotional and they get depressed in certain situation; it’s ok to be sad for a moment but don’t intensify your sadness too much that you become a victim of hopelessness and depression. This annihilates your emotional health which indirectly affects your spiritual, then mental and ultimately your physical health as well. As all these health forms are integrated.
Music plays its role in intensifying our emotions, either they are feelings of happiness or sadness. On the other hand, Islam educates us to balance our emotions.(Surah Al Hadid, 57:23)
In Surah Al Hadid Allah (SWT) says: -That you may not sorrow over what eludes you, nor exult over what He has given you."
Now let’s see exciting and romantic music, poetry, movies or stories. Some people indulge in such activities to entertain themselves or to feel relaxed at weekends. Whatever we see or listen has psychological effect on us, e.g. when we listen to a national song, it develops love for our country in our heart. Even if we are not patriots, but when we listen to patriotic music, it feeds feeling of patriotism in us. Similarly, when we listen to some Hamd or Na’at, it enhances our love for Allah (SWT) and Rasool (SAW) as again it intensifies our emotions and feelings in that way, doesn’t it? In the same fashion, when we listen to the music that describes beauty of a girl or a boy or expresses feelings towards opposite sex for love and affection. the feelings of love automatically develop in us and we assume that we like that girl or boy. although actually we don’t. This is only a psychological effect on those girls and boys who are used to involve in listening to music and watching movies. Islam forbids us to love na-mehram. Even in the mehram relations (spouse, father, mother, brother, etc.), we must keep balance in our feelings towards them. There are boundaries and limits for them as well. If we don’t keep balance then we may expect a lot from them which they may never be able to fulfill because they are humans like us and we may get hurt too quickly and get depressed. Sometimes, their demands exceed too much and in trying to please them. you end up in going towards immoral ways. Don’t let your feelings to intensify at the level that you forget Allah (SWT) and your final destination Jannah. It is Allah’s (SWT) right upon you to remember Him all the time while sitting, standing or moving. When we intensify our feelings for other people, we keep thinking about them and Allah’s right is given to them. We should love people, our relations and fulfill our duties towards them but for the sake of Allah (SWT). We should be moderate in our daily life activities and keep focused towards getting Allah (SWT)'s pleasure and He (SWT) should be in our mind and heart all the time.
Another aspect of music and watching movies is also there. Now-a-days, the content of movies and music is mostly based on the expression of sexual feelings. When the people get used to listening to music and watching movies or even reading romantic novels, the desires they inculcate, intensify in them. When they are not able to get it through halal means like marriage, they move towards haram means; it may become the main reason for major sins like drinking alcohol, unethical behavior towards opposite sex. etc.
Some people would say that it’s not music or movies but the content they contain is basically destructive. But we should keep in mind that it is the starting point for the major sins. It should be eradicated. We should remind ourselves about the basic purpose of our lives and indulge in productive activities, talks and methods that lead us towards that purpose. We should feel excitement in getting Allah’s pleasure and reaching Jannah. We should make Allah (SWT) and His deen a hub of our thoughts and deliberately guide our activities towards our basic purpose. May Allah (SWT) help us to understand the evil behind these haram activities that are common in our society and protect us from them. May Allah (SWT) help us to correct our lifestyle, be moderate and have balanced emotions. Ameen Live a purposeful life, not a life of desires!