Yet those Muslims who have recently trashed music stores and brutalized musicians in Mali, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and elsewhere would dispute the very idea that such music – and particularly such joyful, exuberant, and strikingly individual, original music – should be or could be an instrument of dawah. And they would do so with good reason. Those who constructed the legends of the prophet of Islam knew what they were about when they depicted him forbidding music. They knew that music would not serve the purposes of their martial, expansionist society, for it would blunt the fighting edge of the mujahedin. They knew, as Lenin would come to know centuries later, that the just society on this earth could only be established by means of a reign of terror: “One must break heads, pitilessly break heads.”
As Muhammad himself put it, “I have been made victorious through terror” (Bukhari 4.52.220). That’s the core reason why Islamic law is hostile to music. Music brings joy, and joy is the opposite of terror. It’s no wonder, then, that the Ayatollah Khomeini said: “There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious.”
He probably wasn’t much of a jazz fan, either.
Updated: See Part 2 of Jazz and Islam:
Previously from Robert Spencer at PJ Lifestyle: