Thursday, March 12, 2009
The Power of Music
This subject has been on my mind a lot lately. Inshallah this will be very brief and just a few of my thoughts. I'm not going to get into whether or not music is haraam. There are plenty of different viewpoints on that: it's haraam, its halal if its only drums, is it cool if it's Islamic i.e. nasheed or groups like Native Deen.
A little background on my history with music. Okay so music has always been a big part of me and my life. My parents were big jazz fans and my name(real name) was inspired by Billie Holiday. Music has always had a deep emotional connection with me whether it's joy, sadness, anger etc. I have listened to ALL genres of music: classical, metal, pop, hip hop and jazz to name a few. I moved to Atlanta and was exposed to a whole new type of music that at first I was like this music is crazy and then later grew on me. Recently I have relocated to the sticks and music is just not that big a part of my life anymore. I don't watch the shows like TRL and 106th and park anymore, maybe because I'm older now and just can't get into or maybe because my mind state has just changed. I hardly listen to music anymore and if I do it's only in the car. I find that when I hear songs now I have no idea who the artist is and when I hear songs I used to listen to the connection is no longer there.
So I say all this to say that I've noticed that since I'm not listening to music as much I find myself listening to more quran and lectures online. Instead of looking up different artist on YouTube I'm looking up subjects like hijab, marriage, salah, surahs, etc. When I think about the number of lyrics that have been committed to my memory over the years its crazy to me! If I knew as many lyrics as surahs and ayas I could probably be hafiz by now. I view MOST music as a distraction from the siratal mustaqeem be it subtle or in your face. Look at the song titles that our out: I kissed a girl, My girl got a girlfriend, Juicebox, I'm in love with a stripper, Ms. independent and many more. Then to go along with the songs we have music videos which have a strong effect on how young women view themselves particularly in hop hop and pop. Many studies have been done on the negative effects of music videos and how they shape young girls self images.
So I'm not judging or saying stop listening to it now! I'm just saying if you listen to music(myself included) think about the effects mainstream music has and how much space it takes up in our minds that could be filled with Quran, ahadith, knowledge, etc.