Sunday, December 04, 2011
15
Hello everyone,

Just a little post to say that I'm back from my month long vacation, and so will get back to blogging shortly!



I'm sure those of you that are regular readers of Oman based blogs will have already heard about the on-going drama caused by His Eminence the Grand Mufti of Oman, Sheikh Ahmed bin Hamad Al Khalili's comments regarding the new Opera House in Qurum.

For those that don't know, I've copied the transcript so helpfully provided by Nadia on her blog Dhofari Gucci :

Question: My Mother, may God grant her health and long life, wants to visit the newly opened Royal Opera House to admire the architecture and beautiful designs. Is this acceptable, given the fact that such venues host musical events known to the world as 'opera'. This is the main purpose of the venue.

Mufti: since the dedicated purpose of this venue is music and dance, then visiting it is not acceptable. As for the architecture and designs, they're not exclusive to this location only and can be found at other locations, and Allah knows best.

Now, Dhofari Gucci, Lino and Balqis have all blogged about this topic so I wont spend too much time discussing it, but I will say that it's worth reading all three of these bloggers comments about this. As a non-Muslim I'm not really too involved in these discussions but it does appear evident that music is not allowed in Islam, which I find rather amusing seeing as most calls to prayer I hear the person is usually singing, but lets not get into that.

I think the Opera House is a timeless classic that will outlast every single one of you that is reading this. It's beautiful and is something I think people should be proud of. I think that saying that people can not go to the ROH because it "hosts musical events" is totally ridiculous and narrow minded. One could extend this concept further and say people should not have mobile phones because they are capable of playing music, or watch TV because there might be some music played on it, or drive cars because they have stereo's in them. I'm being pedantic but hopefully you get what I'm saying, and to be fair, Dhofari Gucci said the same thing, to quote her, "if you want to instill sound Islamic beliefs in the new (and coming) generations of Omanis, religious leaders must make their teachings relevant".

And before the haters weigh in: No I'm not anti-Islam, I'm just bemused amazed by this particular situation.

More posts coming soon!

le fin.

15 comments:

Omer said...

Debates about religion seldom prove fruitful when discussed online (as compared to being face-to-face). Hence, I'll only explain the point about the call to prayer (Adhaan).

The 'singing' (we refer to it as reciting) doesn't end there. If you were to hear the imam (prayer leader) reciting the verses from the holy book (qur'an) during the actually prayers (evening, night and early morning) you will find it even more melodious than the call to prayer at times. This is because humans naturally get drawn to melody. So, as muslims, we realize there is no harm in using ur voice melodiously. But only for the praise of the Almighty Allah and Without any musical instruments (except for a traditional drum called 'Duff' in Arabic).

Please understand that I do not intend to start a debate but just wanted to elaborate a point. But to me music is totally Haraam (Not permitted. At all).

Balqis De Cesare said...

Well it can sound strange for the follower of another religion or one who doesn't follow a religion at all, but is a legitimate position and debate
If one is of the opinion that music in Islam is not allowed, that doesn't mean mobiles and televisions should be thrown out of the window, simply that they can be used accordingly
The issue goes beyond the controversy of do this do that or haram vs halal
It means that we can live our life following some standards
One can watch tv without wasting time and focusing on programs that can enrich our life
It is not the music itself to be condemned but that way it diverts our attention from the important things of our life, that is in our case God
I don't think this is narrowminded, just a different way to view and live life, placing different limits
One may argue that each individual can be affected or not by music and that command is not that rigid, but that is our problem actually
Scholars in traditional Islamic countries are not investigating further, those in the West are so obsessed by changing rules to have a more comfortable life that they often come up with things totally out of Islam
The real ijtihad is stuck on nothing

Lover, Lover said...

Omer- to not permit music. At all. Is preposterous and archaic.
Balqis- How do you use a phone or TV accordingly? I have never seen people so infatuated with nonsense TV soaps (with music and dancing) as people of this part of the world!

Balqis De Cesare said...

Difficult but possible
I am not one of those saying that we should watch only religious programs
There are scientific, news, anything constructive could be fine
Those soaps are good to keep people busy and not let them think too much, but that is a political issue

Lover, Lover said...

Do you watch TV with a tin hat on?

Balqis De Cesare said...

now that I am back to Italy, which is my country of origin, I watch tv, listen to music, sometimes eat pork because it is everywhere without one even realizing it and many other things
Multiculturalism and minorities are unknown words in this country, at least in small centers
But I am alone as Muslim and for the time being I cannot do much about it
And I can tell you that is true that music and other stuff definitely brings away from religion
Maybe I am narrowminded, or just old enough to decide that some material things are just useless

Lover, Lover. said...

Music and dance aren't material things..... anyway, lucky you in Italy! Ciao!

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Welcome back.

I missed out on the debate but the best (and worst) has already been said so the news about the burgers is great;)

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Lover Lover Lover: Of all the OPNOs, we all hold differing Islamic beliefs, but I for one, generally, though not successfully 100% of the time, try to avoid music. So watching TV? I don't watch music channels and simply turn the volume down on things where the music isn't relative to the story. And I don't watch crap soap operas either lol, English or Arabic. Doesn't mean there is nothing at all on for me to see though. I think I'd regard the opera house the same. I won't go to a musical show (so another OPNO girl will blog about that:)) but I would think the architecture is fine in itself to admire or maybe some play depending on the content. Who knows? Context is everything. But the Grand Mufti's fatwa is based on the context that the Opera House will not provide anything other than dancing and music which more accurate Islamic narrations advise on avoiding.

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Lover Lover Lover: Of all the OPNOs, we all hold differing Islamic beliefs, but I for one, generally, though not successfully 100% of the time, try to avoid music. So watching TV? I don't watch music channels and simply turn the volume down on things where the music isn't relative to the story. And I don't watch crap soap operas either lol, English or Arabic. Doesn't mean there is nothing at all on for me to see though. I think I'd regard the opera house the same. I won't go to a musical show (so another OPNO girl will blog about that:)) but I would think the architecture is fine in itself to admire or maybe some play depending on the content. Who knows? Context is everything. But the Grand Mufti's fatwa is based on the context that the Opera House will not provide anything other than dancing and music which more accurate Islamic narrations advise on avoiding.

Slim said...

I can understand why alcohol, smoking, adultery etc are bad, but music generally makes people happy. Those who don't agree must be a pretty sad bunch.

Meanwhile in the real world, young Omani's are watching how their favourite local bands do in the 'Rock Oman' event:

http://www.theweek.co.om/disCon.aspx?Cval=5820

Desertman said...

If music is not allowed in Islam, then ALL Omanis I met (indeed all muslims I know) break the law of Islam. Most love music of one sort or another. Long may that continue.

Balqis De Cesare said...

laws are made to be observed or broken
And in each religion some laws are not observed at all
thats life

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Islam doesn't forbid all kinds of music ect (singing, certain instrument ect), it is all on content, and is also based on time, like times that are appropriate for celebration, so that music brings something to the experience of life, rather than being a mere wasteful activity ect. Even in the strictest Islamic opinions such as the one I personally hold****just to clarify. It isn't so bleak as, never take joy in sound and melody. It isn't really an important subject for non-Muslims to worry about. It is really a more in depth thing in Islam. What is more serrious, as Dhofari Gucci and The Linoleum Surfer as blogging, is how people come to their opinions in Islam, either by being informed about the whys, or just following someone eles' opinion without knowing why they are believing thus. :)

Anonymous said...

Are there any muslims anywhere in the world who actually are able to live the way they like to interpret their book? Sounds like they are setting each other up for failure and that is why so many of them cheat, lie and steal. It's all hot air if you ask me! Plus, it is the beauty and genius of classical music that inspires godly behaviour.

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