Music: The Soul’s Nourishment or Punishment?

Farah Wafai

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَشْتَرِي لَهْوَ الْحَدِيثِ لِيُضِلَّ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ وَيَتَّخِذَهَا هُزُوًا أُولَئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُّهِينٌ
“And of the people is he who buys the amusement of speech to mislead [others] from the way of Allah without knowledge and who takes it in ridicule. Those will have a humiliating punishment.”
Al-Quran- Surah Luqman:6]

I grabbed my phone and shoved the headphones in my bag. I was all set to step out of the house. This has been a ritual of mine for the past 20 years.

With this gadget, I was transported into another world. I saw colorful lights, glitter and glamour. Suddenly, I was in a different time, place and best of all, I was a different person. I was fully engrossed in the music.

When I snapped out of my secret world, I looked around. I was completely unsatisfied with what I saw. Nothing had changed; the same walls, the same bed and the same old clothes.

I felt uneasy and discontent when suddenly, I remembered I had to finish my homework.

I am a student of the Qur’an!

I selected the Quran playlist on my Nokia C3 and selected Surah Luqman. I closed my eyes, relaxing to the Qari’s voice. I concentrated on the lesson and came across ayah 6 of Surah Luqman. I recalled the translation and the discussion we had had in class on Lahw Al-Hadith.

I paused and pondered on the concept of time. “How could I use my time in a wise manner instead of dreaming of a world that would never be real?” I asked myself.

Suddenly, my friend burst into the room and popped the question in extreme excitement, “I got tickets to the new movie playing at the movie theater! Want to go?”

With the ayah on Lahw Al-Hadith still playing in my ear, I answered, We just saw a movie last week.”

“I know, but there’s nothing else to do, I’m really bored,” she complained.

“Don’t you know that there is so much to do with very less time?” I told her.

“There is? What do you mean? What else can we do?” she asked.

“Invest our time into getting into Jannah.”

About Quran Reflections

Al-Huda's branch at Khayaban-e-Sehar is one of the few Quran courses being regularly conducted in Karachi, Pakistan, where the mode of instruction and examination is English. The students and teachers have decided to upload their reflections on the Quran and class notes on this blog, in order to be available to a global audience for the latter's benefit and inspiration.
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8 Responses to Music: The Soul’s Nourishment or Punishment?

  1. Mariam says:

    Although we tend to think that indulging in lahwal hadith isn’t really all that bad but in such a subtle way it makes a person develop an overall non serious attitude in life! Slowly from there one goes towards becoming desensitized to sins and more accepting of acts of disobedience! Eventually the heart and mind becomes preoccupied with feelings/thoughts most displeasing to Allah- in a state of darkness upon darkness instead of a condition of being light upon light!! May Allah illuminate our hearts and minds. Ameen.

  2. Zahra says:

    Jazakillah kheiran for writing this story.It’s a great reminder.We should imagine the ripple effect of sins from indulging in lahw al hadith such as plays,dramas,sports,gossiping etc for a few minutes everyday.With a heap of these sins what will our end be in Akhira.
    Moreover,there are people around us who are ignorant of lahw al hadith.I experienced this recently in our apartment building where our watchman who is so particular about prayers listens to music on his radio.My husband and I decided that we will get a cassette player for him and give some cassettes on deen to him inshaAllah so as to connect the creation to the Creator.InshaAllah once he develops maa’rfah of Allah he will try to stay away from lahw al hadith.

  3. Awaisha says:

    Great Reminder there, once again. We are blessed with so many gadgets but its totally upon us how we use them, in a positive way or in the wrong direction. Up till now I was using my i-pod for the sake of music, and games etc. Just few days ago I decided to replace all that stuff, with Qur’an. Our words have to proved by actions.

  4. sara naveed says:

    Aoa farah! I ws just thinking about this today that we all go through such situations or phases where we do get bored or perhaps a little depressed and we don’t feel like doing anything but watch a drama or movie or go out for shopping …. I don’t know what should we do to stop wasting our time and stop disobeying Allah like this?? I just don’t know how to stop! What else can I do??

  5. sana says:


    very well written mashaAllah! very often we don’t regard music as a waste of time, and allow ourselves to indulge in it esp at weddings etc. Most people listen to music to ‘pass the time’, but there are manu much better ways to do so:D

    Jkk wassalam

  6. Uzma says:

    Asa! Farah really enjoed your story! It was very well-written Mashallah and VERY applicable. May Allah make us strong in our convictions and help us make the right decisions all the time.

  7. Hiba says:

    it’s true we take sins of the limbs quite seriously – like murder, theft, zinaa etc, but it’s sad how we so easily take the sins of the tongue and ears so lightly – just because it doesn’t take much! i think the sin of the ears, however, is taken the lightest because the ears are not actively doing anything, whereas even with the tongue it has to move in order to backbite, etc. just because it’s easier to do, doesn’t mean it’s lesser in sin.

  8. samarhasan85 says:

    SubhaanAllah! Hiba, putting it that way really makes it so much stronger and real! It’s so true that we DON’T take the sins of the tongue, eyes and ears so seriously, just because, as you said, they’re so much lighter in visible consequences. But they’ll end up accounting for the heavier side of the scale since most of the time we’re not even aware that we’ve indulged in them.

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