Thursday, March 5, 2009


Marasi is a derogatory term used to refer to musicians in Pakistan. Even though television, film and music are quite popular among the Pakistani masses but actors and singers have always been looked down upon by the more religious circles of our society.

Music is forbidden in Islam. Some people say its not, but it is a controversial topic of debate. Why is it forbidden you ask? I have heard various explanations but none of them made any sense. At the end, the debate is closed by saying the catch all phrase: God knows best.

The ban on music is an interesting topic of discussion in itself but I don't want to delve in to that in this post. What I want to discuss is the schizophrenic attitude of our society towards the fine arts.

Most of us listen to music, watch dramas and films yet these professions are still not considered respectable in our society. It is believed that going in to such a profession is a sure ticket to hell fire.

A friend of mine commented that he was surprised to see how people got emotional when Shoaib Mansoor's film Khuda Kay Liye (In the name of God) came out. Shoaib openly professed that he didn't believe that music and painting were haram and the film contained arguments for that. My friend commented that he hadn't realized how many people actually believed music to be haram, even music buffs.

The change in the attitudes of our society will be a slow and gradual process, but as individuals, its better that we either clearly state that something is wrong and stay AWAY from it, or we get our thoughts and beliefs sorted out so that we do what we say and be less hypocritical. Its a tough journey either way.

I realize that the human state is full of contradictions, and we often times do things we consider to be wrong in principle, but I do think that each one of us owes it to himself to at least try to walk his talk.


  1. Music isn't forbidden in the Quran, which is the most fundamental of religious sources.

  2. You stated a fact. If you are convinced that music isn't forbidden in 'Islam', then all is well and good for you.

  3. It depends on what counts as Islam. Perhaps we should consider that there are many different meanings that people give to 'Islam'. So, it's not correct to say that 'music is forbidden in Islam', but rather that some people interpret some Islamic sources as saying that music is forbidden.

  4. As long as there is not an iota of doubt in your heart and mind that music is wrong, then you are fine. If you are sure that you are not cherry picking the stuff you like from the version of Islam you follow, and not picking the stuff you don't like, then you are fine. The ambivalent attitude towards music being allowed and not allowed is what leads to its appreciation and condemnation at the same time in our society. That's a sickening attitude.

  5. Thanks for sharing this, it gives a good insight on the theme for people who don't know much about it :)