By Abdul Rehman Raza
In this age of troubles, when Islam has become difficult to follow, music is one of the most common problems for the youth. Music is now a multi-billion-dollar industry and has taken the form of an addiction for many. If you are reading this because you are looking for a way out, CONGRATULATIONS!! You have taken the first step and are going the right way. I was a big fan of music myself, but struggled and finally found a way out. I’ll share some practical tips that I used, hoping they will help you as well InshaAllah.
1. Know It Is Wrong
The very first thing is telling yourself and believing that music is wrong. You’ll find many people saying “Oh it’s okay”, “Oh it’s not that bad”, “It’s not clearly mentioned as haram” etc. Your friends may even quote “some religious scholar” to prove that music is OK; sometimes you’ll even try to convince yourself. On the inside, however, you always have a faint feeling that it is wrong.
The following hadith should clear it once and for all:
Narrated Abu Malik Al Ashari that he heard the Prophet ﷺ saying, “From among my followers there will be some people who will consider illegal sexual intercourse, the wearing of silk, the drinking of alcoholic drinks and the use of musical instruments, as lawful.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol.7 Hadith No.5590]
When we are deeply addicted to music, it’s not easy to quit. One of the best ways to do it is to replace your songs with other activities. I used to listen to music while driving or travelling so I replaced my playlist with better things. I deleted all songs from my phone and laptop, and downloaded a full audio of the Quran with translation. Moreover, there is a lot of interesting Islamic content available on the internet. One of the best recommendations I can give is that you download the “Muslim Central” app on your smartphone. You can find talks of almost every scholar there. If not that, you may even listen to reminders given by our very own Raja Zia ul Haq! (you should be able to find all of them on his Facebook page)
3. Step By Step Is NOT An Option
One of the worst strategies of quitting music is to do it gradually. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that, or at least it didn’t work for me! Take a deep breath, hold your heart, pick up your phone, select all those songs that are ruining your relationship with your creator, say “Allahu Akbar” and press delete! This will never be easy but you have to take things head on! Ask Allah for His help because nothing is possible without it. Ask Him to make this sacrifice easy for you and “guide you to the straight path”; for I believe that it is not possible that you sincerely ask Allah for guidance and Allah does not guide you.
• https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.muslimcentralaudio (Muslim Central App)
• http://www.nooresunnat.com/Audio/Complete%20Quran/Shuraim-Sudais-Urdu/Recitation-Audio-Urdu-Quran-Sudais-Shuraim.php (Full Quran audio with Urdu translation)
Masha Allah – so practical and awesome. 15 years ago I deleted 1.5 Gig (which was a terribly huge size of data 15 years back) of songs in a flash (not so much of a flash – it actually took so long deleting the huge mess too) right before I was heading for Taraweeh one particular roza.
Ever since, I slipped on and off, a song or two – but never got addicted again Alhamdolilah.
I hooked on to listening nasheeds/lectures and at some point in time even Quranic Recitation too. And Alhamdulillah it is amazing.
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I wanted to point out that changing my company was the biggest and most important step for me! All these steps will be very difficult to accomplish when surrounded by company that routinely listens to music and encourages it. It’s a very challenging decision but absolutely worth it.
I suppose this point could be mentioned under ‘Replace’. I believe there is so much more replacing to be done than simply replacing what you listen to! You need to replace your friends and your priorities and even the channels and people you follow on social media, because they do influence our thoughts and decisions.
Also sharing your issues with a pious, trustworthy friend also helps, as does making a new commitment which would keep you occupied and away from music.
Personally, when I decided to memorise the Quran I decided to eliminate music from my life as much as I possible could. For me, the biggest motivation was that these filthy words were replacing the Word of Allah in my mind and that was totally unacceptable!
I just felt that the ‘Replace’ section of this article was too simplistic and impractical. These are good suggestions, but the sad reality is that ears which are accustomed to hearing music 24/7 will not immediately enjoy hearing the Quran. It’s a long process that involves a plan, fear of Allah, and self-accountability, plus countless other changes.
Also dua, dua, dua. And more dua. (You were 100% correct on this one.)
I quit music a few years ago just like you did, and I shared my experience in the hopes that it would help others.
In the end, we all have different stories and different inspirations but our goal is the same.
Thank you for hearing me out, and I hope you understand where I’m coming from.
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sounds good, will try it this ramzan insha Allah
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It’s great to know your story,
And yes, you are very right. Company matters a lot, in fact it affects our whole life, each and everything we do. This should have been mentioned.
And I agree again, “replace” part was a bit short. The truth is that this whole article is very short and simplistic. Any sort of change requires a huge amount of effort and pain. It’s a long, planned and focused process.
But I had to keep track of the article word limit!
Thank you for your insight, Jazak Allah!
SubhanAllah! What an inspiring story!