Music was a big thing for me when I was growing up. I used to record MTV and play the videos over and over again and was hardly seen without a pair of headphones in my ears. I was first in line at the music store when U2’s Achtung Baby was released – actually, I got there before the shipment of the album arrived and had to return a few hours later. I felt really “together”.
But I wasn’t really.
My being so ‘together’ cost me a great deal – money I could have spent on charity and on beneficial reads … time I could have spent cultivating good habits instead of acquiring wicked ones that stubbornly dog me … energy I could have spent on pursuits that could have drawn me closer to my Lord… the list goes on.
Even after I gave up listening to music, I resisted throwing my CDs and tapes away. I guess I was still, in some small and twisted way, enthralled with these musicians, their beguiling tunes and poetic lyrics. I don’t know why I wanted to maintain some tie to my past and my former ‘role models’. It is funny how strong a hold the dunya has and how foolish the human being can be.
I began reading more about my religion and I felt small. I felt really small. I read about giants who truly had the stuff that legends are made of. They had so much love, passion and drive for the deen. I wondered why my heart felt so impervious… so dead.
Then I read this hadeeth: Anas said that a man came to the Prophet and asked, “When will the Last Hour come, Messenger of Allah?” , “What have you prepared for it?” he asked? He replied, “I have not prepared a lot of prayer or fasting or charity for it, but I love Allah and His Messenger.” The Prophet said, “You will be with the one you love.” (al-Bukhari) I realised then that I was just hanging on to dead weight. Did I really want to be raised with the likes of Mick Jagger, Kurt Cobain and James Hetfield? The very idea scared me. It took several garbage bags to get rid of the physical burden. The emotional ties? For the most part erased, but still a constant struggle.
I would like to spare my kids of all this. I know I may not be able to shield them from all the evils and temptations in this world, but I make du`aa that they will form a deep attachment to the Qur’an and Sunnah and that they will have such a deep love for the true heroes that they will not look up to lesser characters, who will only disappoint them with their compromise, misplaced tolerance and about turn on ideals.
As a hadeeth states: It is related that a man came to the Prophet and said, “Messenger of Allah, I love you more than my family and my possessions. I remember you and I cannot wait until I can come and look at you. I remember that I will die and you will die and I know that when you enter the Garden, you will be raised up with the Prophets. When I enter it, I will not see you.” Allah then revealed, “Whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger, will be with those whom Allah has blessed: the Prophets, the men of truth, the martyrs and the righteous. And such people are the best of company!” (an-Nisaa 4:68) The Prophet called the man and recited the verses to him. (at-Tabarani)
Sister Fatima Barakatullah has written a timely article that touches on music and the nasheed culture. She expresses what I haven’t the eloquence to say. Please read it here:
Global Peace & Unity Event by Fatima Barakatullah