When Ramadan starts in Dubai, the city changes. People fast, pray, and spend time with family. It’s a special time. But if you’re like me, you might be wondering: Is it okay to listen to music during Ramadan?
This question might seem easy, but it’s not. Different people have different thoughts about this. Want to find out more? Keep reading as we look into music, Ramadan, and what it’s like in Dubai. You might learn something new and cool!
Is it permissible to listen to music during Ramadan in Dubai?
It’s generally recommended to avoid playing music at high volumes during Ramadan as it may be considered disrespectful to those who are fasting.
However, listening to music through headphones is considered permissible and acceptable. This allows individuals to enjoy their favorite tunes while maintaining a peaceful environment during the holy month.
Why is music prohibited during Ramadan in Dubai?
During Ramadan in Dubai, public playing of music is often avoided not as a religious rule, but out of cultural respect for this period of fasting and prayer.
Music, being a form of entertainment and pleasure, is often seen as a distraction from the spiritual reflection encouraged during Ramadan.
This is why in Dubai, public places such as restaurants, malls, and even gyms, tend to either avoid playing music or switch to more subdued, instrumental sounds.
There is no explicit prohibition of music in the Quran or Hadith during Ramadan or otherwise. However, the interpretation of Islamic principles varies among scholars and believers, leading to diverse viewpoints.
What kind of music is allowed during Ramadan?
Respect for others’ beliefs is a cornerstone of harmonious coexistence. In multicultural societies, understanding and abiding by the local customs and traditions, including those around Ramadan, is key.
While there are varying viewpoints on music’s role in Ramadan, it’s essential to distinguish between secular and religious music.
Secular music is any form of music that isn’t religious and is often associated with materialism and worldly pleasures. Although not exactly prohibited, it’s more likely to be discouraged during Ramadan.
However, there are a few exceptions – for example, it’s permissible to play music at weddings and other private events, as long as the volume isn’t too loud. Some hotels and restaurants may play low background music during the day too.
During Ramadan, listening to music in public spaces can be seen as disrespectful, particularly in regions with a strong Islamic cultural influence. The ethical approach is to use headphones or maintain a low volume, minimizing disruption to those observing the fast.
In contrast, religious music is commonly accepted during Ramadan. Nasheeds or Islamic vocal music in particular, is often recited acapella or with non-musical instruments to express devotion to Allah and the teachings of Islam.
Some examples of nasheeds that have been performed in Dubai include “Ya Syria” by Mishary Rashid Alafasy at the Dubai Peace Convention in 2012 and “Nasheed Al Wasl” at the World Expo in 2020.
Moreover, Qawwali, a form of devotional music rooted in Sufism, is prevalent in South Asian Islamic communities, often performed during Iftaar parties or at Sufi shrines.
Traditional Arabian music and sacred chants of Quranic verses also resonate in the city’s vibrant evening festivities post-Iftar.
Customs to Respect and Observe During Ramadan as a Non-Muslim
As a non-Muslim in Dubai during Ramadan, one is expected to respect local customs such as abstaining from eating, drinking, and smoking in public during daytime hours.
During Ramadan in Dubai, one doesn’t necessarily need to practice Islam to show respect and understanding for the customs of the period.
If you’re a non-Muslim living in or visiting Dubai during Ramadan, there are a few key customs and rules that you should be aware of to respect the holy month:
- Respecting Fasting Hours: Even if you’re not fasting, it’s important to respect those who are. From sunrise to sunset, refrain from eating, drinking, or smoking in public. There are designated areas where non-fasting individuals can eat and drink during daylight hours.
- Dressing Modestly: During Ramadan, modesty is of the essence. Dress appropriately when you’re out in public, covering the shoulders and knees. Both men and women are expected to adhere to this rule.
- Keeping Noise to a Minimum: As we’ve touched on before, Ramadan is a time of reflection. Thus, keep noise to a minimum. While you can listen to music in private, avoid playing loud music or creating noise in public spaces.
- Show Respect During Prayer Times: During prayer times, be quiet and respectful. Many shops will close for a short period while their staff takes time for prayer.
- Participate in Iftar: Iftar, the meal at sunset that breaks the fast, is a time of community and hospitality. Non-Muslims are often invited to partake in Iftar meals, which can be a beautiful way to experience the culture and community spirit of Ramadan.