14 January 2009

A Song and Dance..and a Hijab: Love it or Shove it?

I never knew there were so many hijabi singers in the world, but apparently there are and I'm a tiny, tiny bit surprised. I'm not singling out hijabis, I think Muslims in general should steer quite clear of singing careers. Obviously there's the whole nasheed thing that you have to bear in mind but singing as an actual career choice is not something I really approve of.. but maybe that's because of the way I have been brought up as it doesn't really have that much of a religious basis. But Islam does encourage humans to do useful work for their society, singing is not a useful job in my opinion.

It seems, Arab TV, as well as others like Malaysia don't agree with me, what with shows on many channels similar to the X Factor etc. Which brings me to some interesting photos I found:

These were taken in Malasiya, I'm not sure what the event is exactly but it looks like a singing contest:

Now, I am quite an open minded person and I hate saying that this is "haram or that is bida or you're a kaffir" at the end of the day everyone has logic and that's what they will be judged by however, I really think hijab is not just a bit of cloth or an extra layer of clothing.
The Quran talks a lot more about acting in an appropriate, modest manner than dressing modestly. I think a hijab is something you create around you, an actual barrier built by lowering your gaze and the way in which you act and talk around the opposite sex. I feel like singing in a 'modern' world breaks this barrier for both males and females and no amount of cloth can put it back up. Or am I just a bit uptight? I feel uptight writing it! But what do you think?

22 comments:

*~Ange~* said...

i think it all depends. music is haram fullstop.. but some girls get out there and sing about their boyfriends, sex, dating etc.
other sing about marriage/love etc.
and because these girls are on show they are somewhat under a bit of pressure to look sexy and appealing while singing.. which may be worse than than music...
hhmm i dunno

MuslimahComments said...

Music does have a power and a use. I am also of the camp that thinks Music is NOT haram. Although, like anythin in excess or wrongly used it can cause haram behavior.

If Allah gave someone the talent and they are modest it is fine with me : )

Candice said...

I don't think there's anything wrong with being a hijabi singer. I don't think that music is haram and I don't think that a female singing, even to a mixed audience, is haram. Not in and of itself anyway, but there are many ways to make it "doubtful". Dressing in certain ways to attract the wrong kind of attention, singing about questionable subjects, etc.
I just don't think that a woman singing hurts her modesty.

Millz said...

I don't think music itself is haram although the content of music can be VERY inappropriate. Like MuslimahComments said Allah did give us all talents and we should be modest with them. I don't see anything wring with as long as you're not compromising you religion to do it. I also think that it is possible to do good work with musical talents - you can teach, you can perform to raise money for charities, etc.

Carib Muslimah said...

Agreeing with Millz, Candace and MuslimahComments.

Hijabis On Ranting Tour. said...

As far as I know, Voice is an aurat for ladies. and as we all know we are to conserve our aurat. as much as I love singing, i think I shouldn't :)

Hey, sister a question are u malaysian? :D

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Ch.el.la said...

I think its ok to be a singer and be modest, but honestly, how often does that happen? How many muslim women singers do you know that DONT dress super-sexy, that DONT sing about haraam subjects, or DONT dance around the stage seductively? I can't think of any.

Anonymous said...

hi, just a random reader...

Hmm, the singer in the posted pix in this entry (1st n 4th pic) is Siti Nurhaliza from Malaysia...She wasn't wearing a hijab b4, but durin that time,she dressed quite modestly on stage, and rarely sang suggestive songs hence the suggestive dances.. in fact in most Malayians' opinions, she's "too polite for a non-hijab wearing person"..

Most of her songs r ok-rated..but i shan't say their religious either..juz sum common songs abt love, r/ship n such..even folklore songs..n yes, she dressed quite modestly then n now...that's her.. the siti nurhaliza that we know ;)

her hijab now, tho', is not really what i call hijab..but she says she's learnin to wear it slowly..n i think that's ok..

let's juz all pray that she'll start wearing the real hijab that really covers all parts of her head n neck.. insyaAllah. ;) cuz she's already a very polite n well-mannered lady..for a singer.. ;)

Saloua said...

I agree, its not a useful career.
And besides that it adds fitnah for me. Thats all we need more women on TV and mags shoved in the mens faces.
And besides, it is actually bidah for a woman to sing. The prophet SAW said a womans voice goes straight to a mans heart. We are not even meant to read quran beautifully. We are meant to talk monotone,
Now there are a billion studies out there that have proven that when women talk to men, thier voices go higher in pitch and obviously body language changes.

And as muslims we shouldnt be wastign our time on this career path that has no palce in islam. It is idolising. People practically worhip famous singers. You always here them say it "they are my idol" astagfirallah.

So it does give me a headache when i see both women and men who are "muslim" do these stupid things. Just have to pray they wake up one day.

Anonymous said...

assalamualaikum...i'm just a new comer in ur website...huhu..just drop by n i attracted to ur colourful n cute blog. nice work!keep it up gurl.. :)i agree with u zaenab with ur quote here i just copy n paste 'Now, I am quite an open minded person and I hate saying that this is "haram or that is bida or you're a kaffir" at the end of the day everyone has logic and that's what they will be judged by however, I really think hijab is not just a bit of cloth or an extra layer of clothing.
The Quran talks a lot more about acting in an appropriate, modest manner than dressing modestly. I think a hijab is something you create around you, an actual barrier built by lowering your gaze and the way in which you act and talk around the opposite sex. I feel like singing in a 'modern' world breaks this barrier for both males and females and no amount of cloth can put it back up. Or am I just a bit uptight? I feel uptight writing it! But what do you think?'
i hope all muslims come back to the REAL QURAN LESSONS. Even Rasulullah s.a.w has taught us the right way in hijab n aurah for muslimat including "muslimat's voice while they're singing" is also aurah. It is worried that "their beautiful voice while they're singing" could attract ajnabi males. it's more dangerous if the ajnabis have bad intentions to the muslimat. nauzubillah...

Enon said...

Woman's voice is aurat. Singing infront of non-mahram is haram. Wearing tight outfit and hijab that doesn't follow the guide in Quran is haram. These are stated in the Holy Quran. How clear do u need it to be? Haram is haram. Don't make up excuses to justify things that are clearly haram. Astaghfirullahal'azim.

Enon said...

salam'aleykum sister.
sorry. i was replying to one of the comments. :) my bad. ur post was really good. and i luv all the things that u put together. really nice. :)

Anonymous said...

ouch,zaenab!i think that women shouldn't sing publicly!

C said...

Asalaamu Alaikum

I'm not Malay but my husband is. From what I've seen and experienced with malays is that they don't think that music is haram, they even play guitar and such. I've found that most malays don't read hadith and are mostly 5 pillar muslims with hijab thrown in the mix. I don't want to offend my husband's people but they really need to study their religion better. Dating is also extremely popular in Malaysia even with women wearing hijab. Some malays are trying to change though as you can witness in the book The Gift by Zaipah Ibrahim.

Shabana said...

there is an ayah in the quran which says that women should not be "pleasant in speech" or something...basically making their voices beautiful when talking with men in case you come upon someone in whose heart there is a "disease". I would imagine that a singing voice would come under that same category since you are making your voice sound beautiful. Singing about halal things in female only company would be acceptable.

Aisha B., UK said...

Well, I am not going to discuss the issue of whether music is haraam or not, but to my understanding, there is NO clear religious proof in the Qur'an and the Sunna that the music should be completely haraam. Exist hadithes that actually allow music and the Scripture (Qur'an)doesn't state plainly iiii's haraam. Thus, to me, there is nothing harmful in singing. Dancing, however, can be considered immodest when in presence of the opposite sex. I agree dance is haraam in front of the opposite sex, but when one is around mahrams only, there is no harm in it. Of course, it should be graceful and without immodest movements. Even in the Western world dance that was appropriate for respectable people with position was only the one which was not provocative, but rather graceful, danced with dignity. Only nowadays that has changed.

I personally view it as a kind of exercise to simply relax and keep fit. When you go to a gym where you work out in hijab or when you are a sportswoman in hijab, you of course move a lot. While dancing, you also have to move. It's not haraam though to do sports for women in public, they exercise in full hijab, too, and it's viewed as ok among many Muslims, even those quite conservative. Dancing involves just as much movement as exercise, I suppose, I think though that the modesty is the reason why it is not allowed to dance in front of the opposite sex. However, dancing alone at home with no-one watching, as an exercise that you can also enjoy by the way, is a great thing.

Again about singing... Firstly, female voice is NOT al-'awrah and woman can speak in public. If it was awrah, then no-one would have the right to hear a woman speaking except her mahram or husband... Singing involves using her voice, too. Although it's not the same as speaking, it is still perfectly fine for a woman or man to sing.

The question is whether the song's content is haraam or not. Of course that it is always bad to listen or sing about sex, man-woman relationships and other stuff like this, which is but a cheap and immodest kind of entertainment without any moral value.
But...

Aisha B., UK said...

But now, there are songs that are completely ok to sing and to listen to. And I'm not talking of religious songs, not necessarily. Nasheed is sth different. I am talking about ''normal'' songs that do NOT contain anything bad, that, to the contrary, have some good values like song a loving son or daughter about her mother - very Islamic, because we are supposed to love and respect our mothers - or the like... There are plenty of really good musical pieces out there, if we only open our minds...

Now, another reason why I think music in itself is ok, is by default allowed... Well, we as humans, have the need of beauty. When we hear a beautiful music, beautiful voice singing a beautiful song, especially if the song has got a good point, it's not without meaning - our time is not wasted because it gives us the opportunity to reflect on the beauty we experience, so we actually praise God, the Creator, thankful for this beauty that we experience. Music can lead us to faith, so it cannot be haraam. This is what I know from personal experience.

Yet another thing, is that music is also used in a therapy for patients with emotional problems - it can be a great stress reliever and it can cure people with depression... It is just as useful in this context, as any other thing. Why would someone actually think that making this life a beautiful experience is not useful at all? I know we are supposed to value more the hereafter than this worldly life. But it doesn't mean we have to completely deprive ourselves of everything that seems to be worldly... Well, clothes we wear, food we eat - are both worldly things, so is music and its beauty. The beauty of art and music actually has effect on our soul, our heart and thus, on our life quality, on our personality etc. We must be careful when choosing what to listen to, as we are not supposed to listen to songs about things which are haraam. But we can listen to songs that are haraam-free, that have a good effect on our personal development, and that is something we can't misunderstand, as open-minded people. ;-)

That is my point of view. I do not expect that you will share this opinion, this is up to you what you think about the whole issue. I just want to share my thoughts with you, sisters. Salaam.

Aisha B., UK;-)

Noor said...

thank u for the post zaenab .. yes i agree with u ..singing and hijab do not come along !! and hijab is not just about what you wear .. it is about how you behave ..

i believe that music is not haram if it does not lead to bad behavior .. but singing in front of men is .. the whole point of hijab is to prevent men from being attracted to a woman .. and singing does attract men .. whether it's the woman's voice or her appearance that attracts them .. (but this is only my opinion)

personally i love music, i listen to music and i play music at home and at school

but at the end .. everyone has a different point of view !!

ankur dang said...

Sisters, I never get it that why is it that the only thing we are scared about is what is haram and what is halal. we try and follow the Qu'ran and the sunnah to the best of our abilitie but do we ever care about how much we should just focus on loving God, counting our blessings and remaining pious in general. singing, dancing, painting...all of these could be used for good purposes and we could practice these art form even while remaining modest. The idea is to believe in God, love him, not read the holy scriptures literally but actually getting the uderlying context and relevence behind each verse. We should be damned for being muslims if we believe in Allah SWT only for the love of Jannah or the fear of Jahannum. We must love Allah for we are his creations and no other reason behind that. If we really manage to make the 'Niyat' come alive in our hearts, I see no reason for any eveil to even touch us no matter how beautifully we express ourselves through art !
Salam to Everyone

Samar Dahab said...

I am a new Shahadah and this subject really has me confused. I've read such divergent opinions on whether music is haram. I am a professional dancer and I'd probably start wearing hijab now if it weren't for my dance performances. I can't imagine dancing on stage in hijab. I don't think it would be wrong but I'm sure I'd get alot of flack for it. I don't believe that music is haram nor do I believe all dancing is haram. I know that dancing is my gift and I think it would be a sad shame for me to turn my back on the gift Allah (swt) has given me.

Anonymous said...

Total outsider here. I know a little bit about Islamic custom and rules, but I'm not Muslim. I do appreciate the ideas of modesty though and do think performers can be modest. The thing I find amusing though about these posts is that I can totally see the same objections and how the behavior (and or song content) doesn't fit the professed belief that the rest of you all see. I see the same thing in the music industry of my own belief system and people who's behavior doesn't match what they claim to believe, don't usually last long in the "religious music" business.