The title of this blog was borrowed from a 1965 musical entitled, The Sound of Music. While its theme is about the transformational power of music, there is an ongoing debate within Islam about whether or not it is a permissable form of expression.
Although not expressly addressed in the Koran, Islamic militants such as the Taliban have used Mohammed’s alleged hostility toward music to enforce brutual punishment against people singing and dancing at weddings.
Many moderate Muslims, on the other hand, believe that Islam forbids music when played in public places such as bars and taverns, where alcohol is consumed. Muslim musicians such as Salman Ahmad, from a Pakistani-American band, Junoon, and Yusuf Islam, formerly Cat Stevens, believe that musical expression has a place in Islam. Ahmad draws inspiration from Sufi poets, who subscribe to the less well-known denomination of Islam. Ahmad is regarded as the Bono of the muslim world, in his lobbying for Third World development, and building bridges between the islamic and western worlds.
Cat Stevens had stopped recording music after he first converted to Islam in 1978. After a lot of time and reflection, he concluded that there are no real guidelines about instruments, or the business of music in Islam. “Whenever one is confronted by something that is not mentioned in the scriptures, one must observe what benefit it can bring. Does it serve the common good, does it protect the spirit, and does it serve God?”
From the YouTube link below you can hear a song sung by the Pakistani band, Junoon, about the theme of world peace