My children and I have an on-going competition to scare each other. Of course I am ahead of them so they have been trying all sorts of tactics to defeat me. Most times I catch a glimpse of them on my computer screen sneaking up behind me, one of their sisters will tell on them, or they start giggling before they follow through with their attempted scare. Sometimes we are just being silly and say ‘Boo’ while looking directly in each other’s face. After that we will taunt each other with “I scared you’ knowing full well neither scared the other.
This is what my son did tonight, claimed he scared me while I was looking right at him. It was what followed that shocked me. He then proceeded to do a little victory dance and said ‘party on the dance floor’. I told him there was no ‘party on the dance floor because he didn’t scare me’. Little did he know there was a party in my heart. He then went downstairs and a few minutes later I heard some wretched noise coming from a harmonica. I guess he was belting out his victory song. I don’t know where he got it because we’ve never had musical instruments in the house but I was so shocked to hear him play it that I didn’t care(here’s to hoping he’s not sick tomorrow because I guess he got if from the neighborhood kids).
The reason for my shock and happiness is that they have been raised in a ‘music is haraam’ atmosphere since birth. Thus the last thing you will catch them doing is listening to a song let alone talking about ‘party on the dance floor’. I learned of the fatwa early in my Islamic career and ditched all music probably within the first year of accepting Islam. While there are differing opinions about music in Islam, the strongest opinion is that it is haraam(not permissable) with the exception of beating of the duff.
Every Muslim is most likely guilty of sneaking around and listening to a song or two during their times of low eman(faith) but it isn’t every day standard fare. There are some Muslims who listen to it without a care in the world. They usually take some other opinion from some Shayhk no one has heard of. There are Muslims who listen to music that is only about Allah, the Cat Stevens types. And then there are the die-hard Muslims that will shriek ‘Astagfirullah’ if they catch you tapping your foot to jingle in a commercial. They will lecture you for 30 minutes about the monkeys and pigs from the Quran who listen to music, berate you about Hellfire, and remind you that the people of Jannah do not allow the shaytan to sway them with this idle talk.
We didn’t play instruments at home, we didn’t listen to music other than what was heard on television or my aerobics DVD’s. The mute button was selected when musical videos came on Disney. My ex-husband would go so far as to roll up the windows in the car if someone who pulled up next to us was playing music. I would roll them down because he wasn’t the one sitting in the heat all covered up. This would sometimes lead to “words” being exchanged. The again, alot of stuff led to “words” being exchanged.
Needless to say my kids definitely understood that music wasn’t allowed for the Muslim. After I apostated I began to see the effects of this training on them. They’ve looked at me with confusion when I turn the radio on in the car. Ironically, they’ve given me the same look that my oldest son did when he first saw me wear a face veil(he was 3 or 4 then). The look says “WTH?!” They’ve defiantly plugged up their ears when I put on some house-cleaning music. I’ve caught them turning on the mute switch when a commercial comes on. All this after I sat them down and explained that I was no longer Muslim and that they were free to listen to music if they liked. I thought just opening the gate would be enough. I never imagined their programming was so deeply ingrained that I would have to push them out.
There has been alot of goading and cajoling on my end. I sing lyrics to songs in their presence and I’ve seen them gradually relax. They notice I’m still their mother and have yet to be hit by a bolt of lightning or turn into a monkey. Because of phone service issues I’ve been able to downplay access to their Muslim side of the family and I think that has really made a difference. I know they desperately want to make their father happy and it won’t be long before the “your mother is a kafir” wars start. Until then, I will deprogram them as much as I can. Yesterday I turned on the car radio, let the windows down, and played some kickball with them and their friends. I did have a little mercy on them and not break out and do the electric slide.
I overheard my daughter dancing and singing in her room the other day. While she’s probably not ready for me to see her doing something like that, I feel glad that the wall is coming down where she feels it’s okay to try. I think about the children who are born deaf or people who have lost their hearing and would do anything to be able to listen to the sound of music. And here I was wasting away our ability to hear music for a God that supposedly creates it then orders His creation to stay away from it. The die-hard Muslims will say that people who are born deaf or have lost their hearing have been blessed by Allah because they don’t have to worry about the fitnah of music and the sins accumulated from listening to it. I say I have been blessed to no longer be a follower of their ridiculous rhetoric. Yes, I will probably hate the harmonica by next week if my son keeps playing it and most likely want to bash it with a hammer. But until then I say “party on the dance floor”.