Deep thankfulness is my actual feeling towards our Swiss partner school who is organizing a big beneficial happening on our school’s concern – to collect money to support the école vivante here in Morocco.
Tomorrow the Swiss pupils sing, together with the well known Spanish musician Jordi Savall, in a concert for peace and international understanding.
Orient-Occident – music for peace
28. March 2012, Wednesday
in the catholic church Herz-Jesu-Kirche
in Buchs SG – Switzerland (near to Liechtenstein)
More information and tickets on www.scuolavivante.ch
That fills me with huge gratitude for all those who support our project.
Thank you so very much!
But to offer you this invitation not only fills me with gratitude, it puts me also into a difficult kind of position and I think I have to explain some things on the topic of music.
I personally do not listen to music. Not any more.
I did. I played more than 14 years the piano myself. I sang in a choral, I listened to all kinds of different music, from punk to reggae, from classic to country rock; I even went to discotheques in my youth.
But that was before.
My religion teaches me now that listening to music, and especially playing musical instruments, (more precisely: most sorts of music) is not good for us.
I know, this is a tuff and huge topic and lots of different opinions circulate on it.
So here I share my actual and personal point of view:
First I wasn’t convinced of this strict Islamic view. I didn’t get the reason behind that entire concept. I understood well that modern music that inspires people to move in tempting ways, that calls out for inconvenient behaviour, that praises drugs and sexual intercourse, just cannot be good. I knew that it can lead to immoral things and can cause mankind to suffer.
But when I became Muslim I still played the piano myself and I still listened to some mainstream songs – more modest ones, sure, such as Yusuf Islam or Cat Stevens etc., but I still listened to popular music and instruments.
And I still thought that music can have healing affects and that listening and playing old classic music is something that shows a very high level of education. I thought that it had to be something valuable and blessed if God gave great talent to some composers that causes them to create such beautiful melodies and such grandiose pieces…
But in small steps my mind changed.
My soul just slowly absorbed the islamic concept deep inside. Little by little I realized that the huge periods of time we spend in learning and training in music or playing an instrument might better be spent in things like worship or seeking knowledge, things that provide us with something more useful for the hereafter.
I also realized that there always is some influence of music which I cannot control. Often there are some old melodies or catchy hit tunes (“ohrwürmer”) that come to my mind and out of my mouth unconsciously, like magic or a spell.
I understand now that music can act like magic, without our conscience, in good but also in bad ways. I know now that music in general can cause us to forget everything really important and that it can cause things to happen that we cannot control.
I know now that music, especially that which is played by some instruments, acts on deeper levels of our body and spirit and that they might also influence the world of the unseen in ways we do not want – we just cannot control its effects.
I believe now that Allah, God the Almighty, gave mankind a voice and a sense of melody and musicality mainly for the use of praise for Him, to recite the qur’an in the most beautiful and soul healing ways, to remember and worship Him.
Today I do not listen to instrumental music anymore.
I cannot stand being in a shop where loud songs are played.
Hearing songs and pieces I formerly loved cause me now to feel very uncomfortable.
Today the singing of a bird fills me with deep peace – music doesn’t any more.
Today listening to the qur’an brings tears of joy into my eyes – music sometimes causes me now to feel quiet the opposite.
My soul became very sensitive.
I love now to listen to the music of my very heart.
I love to sing my own songs, to create my own melodies, to sing the way I actually feel, it’s mostly dhikr.
We sing a lot, a cappella, in school and at home. But mostly these songs are to praise Allah; and they never exceed the amount of our reciting of the holy qur’an, which sounds now anyway like the most beautiful music to me.
It was a slow transition from inside, and I am still learning – just as how everything of real deep faith takes place.
Because no one can force another to believe in a concept and everyone has his own point of view, his own approach to faith. Everyone goes his own way and everyone has to make his own choices. We cannot persuade nor force others into something like this.
“To you be your religion, and to me my religion. “ (Qur’an 109:6)
But we can explain things, tolerate and respect each other, to live in peace and harmony.
So this was my explanation on my personal relationship with music.
And even though I do not listen to instrumental music anymore, I still appreciate the aim of tomorrow’s concert which is to encourage an interreligious peaceful dialogue.
Thank you, dear friends in Switzerland. God bless you!
May peace be with you all! Assalamou aleikoum.