How I left Music – Raja Zia ul Haq 

Question:
Earlier, you mentioned that you have travelled to various countries around the globe, so I am assuming that you would have been a music lover at one point in time. Therefore, could you please tell youngsters about the turning point in your life after which you stopped listening to music?

When I began my journey towards Allah (SWT)’s path, music was actually one of the last things I left. Believe me, I was always looking for ways to justify my music addiction. I had three shelves across my bedroom wall full of music CDs. Not only this, but I also had about 10-15 GBs worth of music stored on my computer. But despite looking far and wide, I was unable to find reasons that would justify my love for music. I told myself that since I am trying to be a better person, a better Muslim and striving to live according to Allah (SWT)’s prescribed way; I should leave all things impermissible in Islam. 

For this reason, I asked my helper to remove all my CDs from the shelves, put them in a box and throw them in the big trash can outside my house. My helper even suggested that I sell these CDs instead, but I refused and immediately discarded the boxes. However, shortly after, I realised that scavengers and waste collectors could easily remove these boxes full of CDs from the trash and sell them in the market. This way, the CDs I had once bought would be circulated in the community again and could end up on someone else’s shelf. Therefore, I poured a small amount of kerosene oil on top of the CDs to melt them slightly or damage them enough to become waste so they could not be used ever again (do not try this at home). Upon returning home, I put all my downloaded music in one file, thousands and thousands of mp3s, by the way, and I simply pressed shift-delete. I breathed a sigh of relief, said ‘Alhamdulillah’ (praise be to God) and promised Allah (SWT) that I would not return to this, In Sha Allah (if God wills). This was my turning point. 

However, behind this achievement were my efforts to study the Quran and Sunnah (ways of the Prophet (SAW)) and my discussions with the ulema (scholars) regarding the hadith (sayings of the Prophet SAW). When I first began walking on Allah (SWT)’s path, I decided to consult the ulema (scholars) whenever I would have any issue, just like you would consult a doctor when you are ill. So, when all my efforts and my findings proved that music is, in fact, haram (impermissible) in Islam, I was left with no other choice than to sternly believe that I have to be honest with myself. If you can see the right way and know what the truth is, you cannot and should not find excuses within yourself to justify your wrong actions. 

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