Saturday, October 01, 2005

Where Art Thou, Andalusia? ...

Once upon a time, there lived in a far off place a very beautiful garden. It was a garden of such exquisite beauty as had never been seen or heard before. People would come from far away to experience the look and feel of this beautiful garden. Some would never leave. Those who left would leave with an everlasting impression of beauty and wonder. This was a garden where the captivating mosaic of flowers never seemed to fade before the eyes, where streams of sparkling, crystal water flowed with abundance and without abandon. This was a garden where the sweet perfumes of jasmine filled the air with an aura of eternity and engulfed the senses like a mother embraces her beloved child. This was a garden where the thorn could not hurt the delicate petals of the rose and the sparrow would sing his melodious songs all day, uninterrupted, unbothered, and unassuming. The fragrant flowers and the green carpet of soft grass would be all ears to the unique and haunting melodies that evoked a strange mixture of sorrow and happiness. This garden was a garden from Heaven that we created on Earth; this garden was the Jewel of the World.

Where art thou, Andalusia?


George Carty said...

I've read in several places that Spanish flamenco music has it roots in al-Andalus - how does this square though with the fact that many of the more puritanical Muslims (including the Almohads who once ruled al-Andalus), held that music is haram?

Renaissance Scientist said...

That is a very good question. The issue of whether music is haram or not is easily settled when one considers the fact that the MAJORITY of scholars have ruled that music is permitted, BUT UNDER THE CONSTRAINTS OF PROPRIETY. The kind of music and singing that one finds in Spain today, with its half-naked women dancing in the arms of men, is certainly haram! A balanced view of the status of music in Islam is available at the following page:

I will also refer you to the following article for a comprehensive account of the amazing contribution of Muslims to the development of Music:

This article is present at the Muslim Heritage website and is formatted as an Adobe Acrobat document. (The Adobe Acrobat Reader is required for reading this document. It can be downloaded free of cost from

It will be obvious that the majority of the people of Al-Andalus during the Middle Ages did not consider music to be haram as such and music flourished during these times.

George Carty said...

I wonder if the reason why many Muslims today are so sternly puritanical is because they believe that the liberalism of al-Andalus doomed it to destruction at the hands of the Christians.