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Islamic Culture (07 Aug 2018 NewAgeIslam.Com)

God Is Beautiful and He Loves Beauty That Regenerates and Moves the Feelings of Humanity

By Sattam Al-Megren

07 August 2018

MUSIC is a controversial topic that has triggered a big debate among religious scholars and other members of society. Some of them argue that music being an instrument of devil is part of temptations that prevent people from remembering God and the five-time obligatory prayers. For them it promotes hypocrisy and arouses base feelings to commit prostitution.

Some scholars have allowed singing songs without the support of musical instruments at weddings and Eid festivities. However, entertainers in such events are permitted to use drums. There is another group who considers music as permissible like other good things on the earth allowed by God.

The negative approach toward music has led to fighting all forms of art. The prohibition was not limited to singing and music, but transcended to all forms of art including cinema and theatre. I will discuss the reason why some of the religious advocates rejected art and abhorred it.

The ban on painting and sculpture had a negative impact on creativity and it contributed to a decline of fine arts in Saudi society where theatrical dramas and musical concerts have disappeared as a result of a decline in material support for different forms of art.

Music was banned at restaurants and markets and was replaced by voices of birds and sounds of waves while sound effects were considered an alternative to music. Individuals feel guilty while listening to music while music lovers are being insulted by those who hate it.

We have seen some artists including actors and singers leaving the field with repentance while some others practice the profession secretly away from people's eyes. People have been warned against sending video clips with music content through social networking sites. Some extremists keep their cell phones in mute mode to avoid accidentally listening to such content.

In light of the above, it is obvious that art in all its forms is a matter of constant contention within the Islamic community and many people look at artists with suspicion. An artist in their eyes is a lecherous and indecent person who has disobeyed God and must repent to get His pardon.

As a result of this attitude, they suppressed the creativity of artists and this caused chaos and confusion among people. As a result, society opposed singing, painting and acting, considering them as professions that brought disgrace and humiliation.

In order to understand the reason for the hostile attitude of some religious clerics toward art, music in particular, I would like to review a few of the statements made by them.

For example, a preacher said in response to a question on the permissibility of music: "Did you ever hear that a song encouraged people to perform Salah, Zakat or Haj? All their songs are related to love and passion.”

Another cleric says songs are centred on love between a young man and woman. This often leads to forgetting God and engaging in lust.

It is clear that some preachers have prohibited singing based on obsolete principles of jurisprudence, which links art to lust and intoxication. Thus prohibition of music is an imitation of the past. Opponents present exclusion of music as an essential part of the Islamic faith.

This prohibition kills beauty and life in the hearts of people although one of the most important goals of the Islamic faith is to rejuvenate human hearts. Art is beauty that regenerates and moves the feelings of humanity. The religion calls for movement, renewal and revival of self, and this means art is valid for all time and place.

Some preachers believe that art contradicts morality and it refutes humanity and reason. Art is imagination, which helps creativity. Singing and poetry represent creative imagination. When a poet or artist talks about love, he/she imagines and evokes emotions and goodness and beauty in the soul. Same is the case of an artist who paints beautiful drawings reflecting his perception of life. But imagination in the eyes of religious clerics is less important than prudence; therefore they will not consider a singer or actor as a prudent person.

Some clerics promote illusion at the expense of imagination, which is the secret of creativity and beauty. For example, they support the concepts of black magic and genie while at the same time they speak against fine arts that communicate with others about love, beauty and humanity.

The Islamic faith promotes goodness and love to people irrespective of their religion, colour and race. This is the essence of the true religion. Art helps communicate with others in the language of beauty, humanity, love and goodness. God is Beautiful and He loves beauty.

Islam calls for intellectual freedom and breaks any restrictions that stand in its way. So arts must go out to the horizons of freedom so that an artist will be able to perform with greater creativity. When will we have institutes and colleges that teach fine arts? And when will we teach music at public schools? These are two ways for arts to get out of its cage in our society.

Source: saudigazette.com.sa/article/540569/Opinion/Local-Viewpoint/On-music-life-and-beauty

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-culture/sattam-al-megren/god-is-beautiful-and-he-loves-beauty-that-regenerates-and-moves-the-feelings-of-humanity/d/116060


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