It might have happened to you that when there is a ladder leaned against a wall and as you want to pass under it, someone calls you and says: “Do not pass under a ladder!” You might think it's crazy, or you might find it acceptable and even follow it. Which one is true? If you decide to follow Islam as your faith, should you follow those superstitious beliefs or ignore them all at once?
Collins Concise English Dictionary defines superstition as an irrational belief usually founded upon ignorance or fear and characterized by obsessive reverence for omens, charms, etc. . Superstitious beliefs are not limited to a particular faith or region; all nations and clans have their own beliefs, followed by their fears and ignorance. They are mostly routed in the past of a nation, transferred from generation to generation.
Islam defines superstition as all the words, manners and beliefs without a religious or logical base and backbone .
The Quran defines superstition as a burden put upon the human mind and soul by his/her own hands. It introduces Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) to us as the last messenger of Allah, responsible to make things clear for his followers to see what to do and believe in, and what not to do and ignore .
"Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet, whom they find written in what they have of the Torah and the Gospel, who enjoins upon them what is right and forbids them what is wrong and makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil and relieves them of their burden and the shackles which were upon them. So they who have believed in him honored him, supported him and followed the light which was sent down with him - it is those who will be successful.” (7:157)
Shackles are those beliefs human beings had or might have, which made them do things and stop doing some others with no definite reason or scientific study and research. It is the duty of Islam to guide people to accept everything they believe in with their hearts and minds sure of it, which requires research and reasoning.
Well, there was a time when superstitions were limited to passing under a ladder or seeing a black cat. But now, superstitions are more woven in the lives of people. Reports have shown that a quarter of adults in the United States consider themselves to be so. American Youths are more superstitious than the elders, and 70 percent of them rely on luck charms for better academic results. According to some scientific research, this occurs because people think superstitions can relieve their anxieties, improve their performances and help them pay the extra costs of an adverse outcome, be it financial, mental, or whatsoever .
As you might also conclude, superstitions have not only been less common, but also they are becoming more frequent among young Americans. There are ways to overcome those beliefs which we are going to discuss in our next article. Still, aside from that, these words uncover one fact: when you follow superstitions and believe in them, they will take the lead in your life and the life of your children, family, friends, etc. One day you might come up with the fact that many of your friends' fears passing under a ladder, too.
The other outcome of following superstitious beliefs is a weaker mental belief in a superpower. Put simply, when you believe in superstitions, you see other powers, be it of Satan, natural elements, or any other thing, stronger and more effective than that of Allah. You might not mean or think that way, but being superstitious makes you so.
One last important aftermath of this system of thinking is a feeble religious mind, one which is easily broken, misled, and gone far away from the straightway of truth. Superstitions weaken your faith, and then they weaken you. A weak person goes forward with a slow speed.
These are the least consequences of superstitious beliefs. You might think about the ways of overcoming these thoughts and getting rid of them which we will discuss later.
So, Are you still afraid of passing under a ladder?
- Collins Concise English Dictionary at Word Reference Online Language dictionaries
- Mokhtaripour, Marziyeh Islam, Superstitions and their Prevention Pasdar Islam, Vol. 385
- Makarim Shirazi, Nemuneh Interpretation of Quran, Vol 1, P 184
- Sandoiu, Ana How do Superstitions affect our Psychology and Wellbeing September 2019
It may not be a great deal for Muslims even to check if hanging around in social networks in Islam is Lawful (Halal) or forbidden (Haram) for them. The question may sound very dogmatic when you hear it at first, and you may reply: “What are you saying? We are living in the 21st century. We live in a world of technology. All our communications and a high percentage of our work depend on social networks.”
Okay! Stop answering me before you let me finish my words. I know that we are living in a world of technology and as you see, I am communicating with you via the internet, using social networks. But what I’m talking about is not about the advantages of social networks. We are all aware of how useful cyberspace is in our daily life. But here I want to invite you to think about your habits and behaviors in the cyberspace.
In this article I would like to go through the pathology of our use of social networks and to see if we are going astray at some point, then we can bold it out, so we can solve it.
Apart from phone calls and necessary communications that have become easier via social networks, some people run their businesses using these networks. People can sit at home and instead of traveling far distances for work meetings, can stay home and manage their works, or some can even study and graduate via distance learning organizations.
There are loads and loads of advantages that we can keep counting for social networks, and I am not going to ignore all of them. But I want to make a few points that we may be neglecting in using social networks.
Let me remind you that Islam is a way of life and Muslims and those who convert to Islam believe that it is the best way of life for one who wants to achieve success in this world and the hereafter.
Believe it or not, YES. Just like any other aspect of life for which Islam tells us how to behave to achieve absolute success, it has recommendations for Muslims’ use of Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram, etc. it may not be directly mentioned in the Quran or narrations, but since social networks are types of virtual societies, the Islamic lifestyle and its rulings may apply to our behaviors in social networks.
Being in any gatherings or societies has its own conditions and requires its special behavior. It is important that we can analyze different situations and find out how we should behave according to our Islamic lifestyle. Social networks are also like a society that requires specific etiquette, and we, as Muslims, should discover these etiquettes. There are a few points that are very important to consider from an Islamic viewpoint, while talking about the etiquette of Muslims, hanging around in social networks in Islam:
Islam has specific rulings about the relationship between men and women in society. These rulings are presented to dignify and respect the character of both men and women. These may contain the following:
- Etiquette of speech and look.
- Not joking and praising the opposite sex for personal acts that are not common to be praised in real society.
- Sending heart or kind stickers that are not common to use in real gatherings.
- Posting photos of either men or women in different places. Muslim men and women do not keep the images of those who are of unmarriageable kin (non-mahram).
Usually, practicing Muslims try to keep these limits in social networks, just like controlling their manners in real society.
Another thing that is known to be abhorrent according to Islam is showing off to others. Islam says that Muslims are like sisters and brothers . And therefore they have to make sure that if one sister or brother doesn’t have the ability to have something or to go somewhere for any reason (financial, health-wise, etc.), you should not make them feel sorry for what they don’t have or cannot have at the moment.
Therefore, from an Islamic viewpoint sharing your moments of having fun with your friends, or eating at a fancy restaurant, or gaining a great opportunity at work or school, is not recommended.
Considering the above, you can conclude which of your posts on Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram, etc. are not liked by God.
Allah recommends Muslims that when they finish a task, they should start another task . It means that Muslims should not waste any time, and we all have the experience that hanging around on social networks consumes a lot of our time without we even realize it.
Therefore it might worth that we specify a specific amount of time to our use of social networks per day, and don’t allow the cyberspace to carry us with it wherever it wishes.
Too much of communication and too much of speech always makes the ground fertile for dangerous words such as wrong judgment of others, the humiliation of other groups or sects or races, insulting people (especially famous people) for no right reason, accusing people of what they haven’t done, etc. These are all forbidden (Haram) according to Islam . But Muslims may sometimes forget to be cautious about these issues in social networks in Islam.
Therefore, I strongly recommend that we specify some time and revise our manner in social networks in Islam. Then, we might realize that much of our use of social networks are useless and is preventing us from attaining our success in this world and the hereafter. Or on the other hand, we may again realize that our use of social networks has no contradictions with Islamic law, and we can keep up the good job!
Let’s be honest guys and not justify the importance of our presence in social networks. If we are wasting time, we need to make a firm decision. And if we don’t live based on an Islamic lifestyle, we shouldn’t expect to be the most successful.
- The Quran: Chapter 49, Verse 10
- The Quran: Chapter 94, Verse 7
- The Quran: Chapter 49, Verse 11-12
In answering questions about singing in Islam, we cannot say that singing is completely forbidden (Haram) in Islam. Like any other issue, we have to find out what kind of singing is allowed (Halal) and that if there is a prohibition, what is that makes it forbidden (Haram)?
In deriving the ruling of singing from the Quran, jurists usually refer to two main verses:
“Among the people is he who buys diversionary talk that he may lead [people] astray from Allah’s way without any knowledge, and he takes it in derision. For such, there is a humiliating punishment” (31:6).
Some interpreters have taken the phrase “diversionary talk” (Lahw al-hadith) as any sort of speech that deviates people’s minds from the righteous way and attracts the concentration of people to an unjust saying. Jurists have expanded the unjust saying to any sort of expression of mind which may contain poetry or singing or music .
Also, it is said in another verse: “So avoid the abomination of idols, and avoid false speech …” (22:30).
In the interpretation of “false speech” (Qowl al-zur) in this verse, it is said that a false statement is any word that deviates people from the righteous way and remembrance of God .
When jurists want to define the forbidden (Haram) singing in Islam, they use the term “ghina”. In Islamic jurisprudence, singing is not forbidden (Haram) unless it is known to be ghina.
Ghina is the voice of a human, which is produced in a rise and fall pattern to create the effect of rapture that is suitable for frivolous and carouse gatherings. It is forbidden (Haram) to engage in this type of singing; as well as listening to it, even if it does not lead to rapture in the listener .
Any kind of singing that deviates a person from a moderate mood (may it be happy or sad) is referred to as ghina. The most visible sign of this deviation from a moderate mood is when the person loses his self-control; like the feeling that occurs to man after drinking wine. Islam has always prevented Muslims from being stuck in such moods.
Gatherings of merrymaking and sin are those kinds of gatherings that are formed for singing, dancing, debauchery, and sensuality.
Also, there might be some songs that do not deviate one from his/her moderate mood but are common for gatherings of merrymaking and sin. Those are also known as ghina.
Have you ever seen in some concerts, how the audience lose their mind and apart from dancing or crying with the song, they shout or faint out of rapture? This kind of singing is ghina, and those sorts of gatherings are referred to as gatherings of merrymaking and sin. Any kind of singing that changes the normal and rational mood of a person is ghina .
Ghina is the type of song that is branded for amusement gatherings and parties.
Ghina is related to the type of song; meaning that if the lyrics of a song convey positive messages to the listener but the music of the song is jaunty, it makes that music forbidden (Haram) .
Ghina is when the lyrics of a song are about describing the beauties of a woman (whether physical or erotic description), or it has been written about wine, or dance or other prohibited (Haram) things in Islam .
Ghina is any song that changes the mood of the listener; makes him/her either happy or sad; any music or song that makes a gap between the present moods of the listener with his/her “real self” and weakens the control of the person over her speech or behavior.
Ghina is the sort of song that has such hopeless content, which destroys the positive motivations of the listener.
Ghina is any kind of song that by content, lyrics, or the specific sound of the musical instrument can arouse sexual temptation.
Having mentioned the criteria of forbidden (Haram) singing, we can say that those songs which do not contain the conditions mentioned above are lawful (Halah).
Overall, if the listener maintains that as per common view they are not enraptured, there is no problem in listening to the songs (with or without music). Thus, neither the intention of the singer nor the content have anything to do with this ruling .
In the matter of listening to a woman reciting poetry and other material with rising and falling her voice to the accompaniment of music, if the vocalization does not amount to ghina, listening to it is not driven by lust, and does not lead to a bad consequence, there is no problem in listening to it for women. If a woman’s signing is sexually exciting or listening to it leads to vile consequences, it is not allowed to listen to it at all. 
Regarding women’s singing to be heard by men, if it is not ghina and is not intended for questionable purposes or does not lead to vile consequences, as long as it is not sexually erotic, it is not forbidden (Haram). But as it often happens that listening to the beautiful voice of women is joyful for men, it is better if women do not sing for men and for men not to listen to women singing.
- Ma’aref and Ma’arief, vol. 8, p. 283
- singing in Islam
- Rouhollah Khaleghi, An overview of music, p.4
- muslim singing
- Sayyid Mujtaba Husseini, Questions and Answers by Students (Rules regarding Music), pg. 40-42
- Art from the point of view of the supreme leader, p. 32-4
- Tafsir –e Qartabi, vol. 7, p. 5136
- Are Muslim allowed to sing?