Referring to the Quran as a Form of “Music” or Describing it as “Musical”

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful…

From the unique writings of the late scholar, Shaykh Bakr Aboo Zayd (may Allaah have Mercy on him), is a beneficial 700-page dictionary of “bad language” called “Mu’jam al-Manaahee al-Lafthiyyah” in which he identified and refuted incorrect, inappropriate, and/or impermissible words and phrases that some people use.

In this book (p.117), he included how some people refer to the Quran as “music” or “musical”, or having musical tones or rhythms, and commented:

These are unacceptable descriptions because of three issues:

[1] This is claiming a likeness between Quranic Verses and impermissible musical instruments.

[2] Music is an art form that draws people into disobedience and wickedness, so how could it resemble the Magnificent Quran, the Speech of the Lord of all the worlds, that which guides to eemaan (statements, actions, and beliefs of faith) and the Straight Path?!

[3] Allaah the Exalted has refuted the idea of the Quran being poetry and exonerated it above that (claim), so how could it (the Quran) then resemble the voices and instruments of musicians?! (something far worse)

As the Arabs who have picked up these kinds of repugnant phrases from books that the scholars have been warning against (like Sayyid Qutb’s “Thilaal” for example), it is also hoped that those who have lent their ears to certain ignorant and reckless preachers in the English language would also abandon the use of these kinds of phrases and distinguish themselves as people who speak about Allaah and His Book with respect.

And Allaah knows best.

Translation and commentary by Moosaa Richardson

8 thoughts on “Referring to the Quran as a Form of “Music” or Describing it as “Musical”

  1. As-Salaamu ‘Alaykum Wa Rahmatullaah,

    May Allah bless you, the article is informative.
    Is there anything on beat-boxing? Many many Muslims think it’s permissible and unfortunately it has become an instrument to their singing.

    Jazaakumullaahu khayr.

  2. As-Salaamu ‘Alaykum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuh,

    Ramadaan Mubaarak, akhee Moosaa. This was a good article, al-Hamdulillaah.

    Sister Umm Sufyaan has posed an interesting question, and I’d like to pose a more general version of it. What’s the ruling on using the human voice to make (sounds resembling) music? Examples may include humming tunes, beat-boxing, scatting, etc. I don’t know what Islam considers the human voice to be, but the kuffaar pride themselves in believing that the human voice is one of the most versatile of musical instruments, wa Allaahul Musta’aan. This was precisely what I was taught when I took music courses before subscribing to the Salafee da’wah.

    Baarak Allaahu feekum,

    Rofi Syedul Islam

  3. asSalaamu ´aleykum wa rahmatullaah wa baraaktuh,

    Mayy Allaah increase you in Knowlendge of His Deen. I was wondering if it was the same Shaykh Bakr Aboo Zayd who has been refuted by Shaykh Rabee´ hafidhahullaah?

    jazaakAllaahu khair

    • wa ‘alaykas-salaamu wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh.

      Yes, it is the same one – may Allaah have Mercy on him. Refutations transpired between these two great scholars regarding Sayyid Qutb and issues related to academic criticism.

  4. Assalaamaleykum warahmathuhloahi wabarakaatuhu

    I would like to know Is poetry haram in islam? Even Islamic poems that are written? And other kinds of poems like calling towards Deen with Motivational words in poems and different kinds of poems which there aren’t any harm like entertaining funny poems?

  5. Alhamdulillah, my instincts guide me to the truth, I always felt from my own understanding that it is an insult to put Qur’an recitation in the same category as music and it turns out that is exactly correct!

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