My Friend. The Concert. and Me.

>> Saturday, May 19, 2012

Ok so I have a problem that's been bugging me all of a sudden. I have a Muslim friend who wears hijab but is absolutely in love with music. I don't talk to her about her music I don't show interest in it just to give her the idea that you know maybe if I'm like that you shouldnt either kind of thing, to be an example. But obviously that doesn't work, as I've come to realise in this case. So I guess since I haven't showed any interest she talks about her music with people who care like non Muslims and such. Keep in mind this has happened since like high school and now I'm in university. Now sheis planning to go to some concert in our town to see her favorite band.
Anyways, the thing is that I know that I'm to blame to some degree for this because I encouraged her by ignoring this love for music she has. I know that I should be a better friend and stop this by giving her sincere advice. The problem I have is how do i do this?
We're close friends although it's hard to explain since I don't share this love for music with her. I chose to ignore it because I knew that if I cared to acknowledge this I would become just like her, like the Prophet (SAW) said.
The thing is that I want to connect with her on an islamic level and advise her in a way where i don't hurt her feelings, or give advice that will not make her think Im doing it because she thinks im better than her. I know I have to do it properly, so please givee me advice on how to give advice. I dont want to see her do this, to go to that concert. I know if I can connect with her maybe this will be the first step to connecting with her on a more islamic level.
Jasakullah Khair,A confused/worried friend

Dearest a Worried Friend, 

First of all, I want to say that it's really refreshing to see that you are concerned with your friend's Hereafter. What's even more beautiful about your email is that you are concerned even with the part you might have played or not played in your friend's addiction. See, so many of us would be like "I don't listen to music. I don't tell her about any songs. Alhamdullialh, I'm all good. IF she chooses to listen to music, what she does is nona my beezwax". But your email shows that you are aware of a greater role you have.  You're aware that your role includes the role of a "protector" as the Quran says:
And the believers, men and women, are protecting friends (awliyah) one of another; they enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and they establish worship and they pay the poor-due, and they obey Allah and His messenger. As for these, Allah will have mercy on them. Lo! Allah is Mighty, Wise.} [9:71]

This is something many of us forget. We forget that that "ignoring" something is an action, itself. It's a "choice" that we make. By not saying anything about it, we shine the green light. We tell them that what they're doing is "okay".  [We wouldn't let our friends jump off a cliff, would we? Why do we let them jump into sins which could be more dangerous to them in the Hereafter?]

I'm saying this not to you (who seem to have already  understood this) but to myself first of all and the other sisters who are reading this. It's something so many of us have fallen into.

So now..what can you do about it? How can you go bring up the issue with her without "hurting" or 'offending her"?

The first method is the "honest and sincere friend" method. It's the direct approach. 

To do this you need to first talk about what she does that is good and then bring up what you would like to help her with. Make sure to mention how difficult it is for you to talk about this and the reason why you are talking about it: to help her. Let her know how you would appreciate her help, too, in whatever you need help in.

 Most of all, talk to her from your heart just like you did in this email--

Try saying something like this:

"Sara/Fatimah/whatever, there's something I really need to talk to you about. It's been eating me up for the past few weeks...I really am not sure how to say this..You know, right, how I've always admired the fact that you're one of the few girls with us who choose to wear hijab and *e.g* pray the prayers regularly, ma'shaAllah ta'barakAllah? That really shows how you're proud to be a Muslim and how you are trying to put Allah first, ma'shaAllah. Well, the thing is, you know that concert you want to go to? I know you love that group and you're really excited about it, but as your Muslim sister who loves for you what she loves for herself, I'm not really sure that's a great idea. I know you might be thinking "Spare me the lecture" and honestly, I thought a lot before being able to say anything about it..The only reason why I'm telling you this is because Allah told us to help each other on His path. The thing is, subhanAllah, scholars today actually talk about how music itself isn't permissible..what about going to a concert where there's going to be people dancing and maybe even drinking and doing other things? Can you really imagine telling the prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam that you're going to a concert? What about Allah who gave you the gift of your ears?  

 Give her a chance to talk....Hear her out. Wait for her to finish.

Once she's done talking and it's your turn, it can be very tempting to "pounce/ show where her thinking is "wrong".  But what I've found out (especially from a book about teaching, lol) is that doesn't usually get someone to listen to you. If you want her to continue listening to you, it's important to reaffirm her feelings. Acknowledge her feelings/ what she's said. You can say something like "I really do know that you were really looking forward to it/ I can tell that what I told you made you a little hurt/ I know you don't need another mommy. You definitely could have more imaan in your heart than me and I'm definitely not judging you, but the thing is, about what you said..

And then, calmly address whatever she has to say:

- For example, if she brings up having already bought the ticket: "Since you already bought the ticket and you feel bad about wasting that money, what if you consider that by not going you spent that much money trying to please Allah? Getting a ticket to Allah's pleasure? or even: I'd gladly get that ticket off your hands and have no problem paying you for it. "

IF she tells you:  "Everyone's going" you can smile and say "Well,you know, I'm not going and I was thinking of having a nice little gathering in my house with some halaal nasheeds, good food,and good friends. It would be a chance to get out our hair curlers and make up and dress up :P

If she says something like " You live only once" , you could say "It's true that our culture says that but in reality, we live twice. Every action we take, we're going to have to face on the Day of Judgment".   

Once you've answered whatever she's said, it's up to her to decide to accept the nasiha or not. Give her some time to digest what you've told her. That's the first method :)

The second method is the indirect approach, where you post a video, hadith, fatwa, tafsir, etc. on your facebook page (for example) talking about music and you tag your friends in it. Or you email it to them (if they do not have facebook). You say something like "I've learned some more information about music in Islam and I thought it was too important not to share".

This method is riskier in the sense that she might not actually see it. You could however tell her in person that you watched something and it really changed your perception on music and invite her to watch it with you. The Deen Show had some interesting episodes on this :) 

Like this one, by a former musician who studied music and knows way more about music than most of us and shocking truths about it:

Once you've done either of these 2 steps, even if you feel like it didn't work and she's still into music, you can still connect more on an Islamic level by bringing up other topics. Turn your your attention to other things. You can share with her an interesting Islamic lecture such as Yasmin's "Love and Selecting Your Marriage Partner". 

Share with her an interesting story you heard about the Sahaba or funny joke of the prophet (sallah Allahoo alyhaee wa salm). Try getting her interested in nasheeds or discovering even interesting Islamic lectures (short ones like Quran Weekly)....Be patient and make dua for her =)

Well sister, that's my little advice for you. My deeeeeeeeepest apologies for the late reply!

7 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

Anonymous,  May 19, 2012 at 3:40 PM  

is really a music that prohibited? im a music lover too. :(

qatheworld May 20, 2012 at 12:45 AM  

Hmm I think if you want to talk to a sister about something like this you have to acknowledge that there are a lot of varying scholarly viewpoints on what types of "music" are prohibited, if any at all. She mentioned that the sister wears hijab, but this is not all related (and even that has varying takes on what is acceptable). Yes, undesirable situations may take place at a concert, but that's not really the core issue here. It's entirely possible that this sister does not follow the opinion that music is prohibited (I don't). I think when giving advice we have to be aware that there are some areas on which there is general agreement and other areas where there are multiple viewpoints, and perhaps if you want to talk to a friend about such things, familiarize yourself with the different viewpoints. You might also do this and find yourself looking at more of a gray area than you thought. Even the different scholars of Islam allow themselves to discuss and examine issues and respect other interpretations. Remember Allah said do not prohibit anything that I did not prohibit, so we need to remind ourselves even when you feel certain, to take a step back before you start calling haram to somebody. I have started down a path sometimes thinking I knew exactly what was what only to be shown a different viewpoint that bore thinking about. Especially a delicate road to tread with your friend. If she agrees with you but needs support in doing right that is a different approach than if she doesn't agree with you on this topic at all.

Anonymous,  May 20, 2012 at 2:14 AM  

Great post, mashaAllah! Shall be watching the Deen Show episode you posted later, inshaAllah. I ask Allah to purify our hearts and grant us the tawfeeque to first do good and to enjoin good.

Little Auntie May 20, 2012 at 7:30 AM  

Anonymous: there is a lot of discussion surrounding music. However, there is no "difference of opinion" on inappropriate subject matter. If someone is singing about what he "wants to do to a girl" [in other words giving you audio pornography], that's really something no one disagrees about.

Nouman Khan has a 5 minute video on "Hip Hop" that I think sums it up best:

Qatheworld, thank you for your contribution =)I think what you said about familiarizing yourself about different view points is a good reminder.

She could always ask the sister if she's aware that SOME people deem music as impermissible for this and that reason...And let the discussion carry on.

Bucketofdreams, Ameen to your wonderful dua :)

Anonymous,  May 20, 2012 at 7:54 AM  

What if my friend which i'm not that close to listens to those obscene songs? If I advice her, she would say things like "It's just a song!", "Don't be old-fashioned", "You're just jealous" etc.
Thing is, I've been her 'friend' since I was 7 and I've just ignored it when she listens to music:(
What can I do?
(She's a Muslim but is not really serious about Islam)

Aziza May 21, 2012 at 8:56 AM  

JazakAllah Khair dear little auntie! That was a great reply MashaAllah. I love how you included that episode of the deen show, it's a good one. :)

qatheworld May 21, 2012 at 4:17 PM  

Suhailah, personally I think it falls into the category of speaking up against something which is offensive, just as if people were making dirty jokes, watching a disturbing movie, or talking badly about somebody in your presence. If I am with someone I know and they are playing something with disgusting lyrics or obscene material I say that I find this disturbing (or whatever the case may be). Do not be afraid to say, "Can we listen to something else?" or "I feel uncomfortable listening to what this song is talking about. Doesn't it bother you?" or "Can we talk instead?" and so on. I hear non-muslims comment on music they don't like or ask to turn something off as well, so I don't think this is really uncommon or limited to religious objections. Part of it comes down to courtesy of others. Of course there are some people who play offensive/loud music for the express purpose of bothering others. It does not necessarily do much good to address those ones, but might make more sense to talk with your feet in that case and go somewhere else.

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Asalamu aialkum!
Well, what do you think? You know, you're part of the team, as well. Please help a sister out and share your own advice/experiences/etc. One for all and all for one =)
P.S. I reserve the right to remove any disrespectful comment ;)

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