In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful…
Muslims are required to hold the Book of Allah in the highest regard, as it is the Speech of Allah, the infallible revelation of guidance to all of humanity. In the time of the Prophet Muhammad there were disbelievers who attacked the Quran and said it was “poetry” and that Muhammad (may Allah raise his rank and grant him peace) was a “poet”. Allah, the Mighty and Majestic defended His Speech and His beloved Prophet from such an attack, describing the claimants as transgressors [52:31], and saying:
وما هو بقول شاعر قليلا ما تؤمنون
“It is not the speech of a poet, very little do you believe!” [69:41]
And Allah has said:
وما علمناه الشعر وما ينبغي له إن هو إلا ذكر وقرآن مبين
“And We have not taught him poetry, now would that not be befitting for him. It is only a Reminder and a clear Quran.” [36:69]
This shows clearly that Allah considers those who say “the Quran is poetry” to be transgressors with little belief. While poetry itself is a halal (permissible) art form, what could be said about the misguided people today who speak and write much about Allah beyond their level of knowledge, and they say that the Quran is a form of music!? Not poetry, which is halal, but music, which is haram (impermissible)?! Refuge with Allah is sought from uttering such heedless disrespect regarding the Speech of our Almighty Creator!
Sadly, it is the controversial American preacher, Yusuf Estes (may Allah guide him), who has spoken about the Book of Allah in this manner. He has said:
The Quran is the best music for the soul I ever heard. As soon as I heard Quran, I said: I can forget all this other music. I can enjoy that.
Instead of claiming that Yusuf Estes intended to praise Allah and speak well of Him, let us assess his open words for what they are, in light of sound Islamic principles and the guidance of the scholars of Islam, and let us leave his intentions to Allah.
If you have understood that Allah clearly rejected the notion of the disbelievers that the Quran is some kind of poetry and blamed them for that, then you know with absolute certainty that no one who respects Allah could ever refer to His Book as music!
Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd (may Allah have Mercy on him) in his refutations of some of the erroneous writings of Sayyid Qutb discussed Qutb’s reference to the Quran as “music” and “musical”, and having musical tones and rhythms. Shaykh Bakr commented:
These are unacceptable descriptions because of three issues:
 This is claiming a likeness between Quranic Verses and impermissible musical instruments.
 Music is an art form that draws people into disobedience and wickedness, so how could it resemble the Magnificent Quran, the Speech of the Lord of all the worlds, that which guides to eman (statements, actions, and beliefs of faith) and the Straight Path?!
 Allah the Exalted has refuted the idea of the Quran being poetry and exonerated it above that (claim), so how could it (the Quran) then resemble the voices and instruments of musicians?! (something far worse)
Source: Mu’jam al-Manaahee al-Lafthiyyah (p.117).
We pray that Allah guides Yusuf Estes to honor the Book of Allah as a true Muslim honors it, and that He guides him to sincere repentance from this and his many other transgressions against the Book of Allah.
For more detailed discussions on the severe errors of Yusuf Estes in basic Muslim beliefs, browse this website, or read this enlightening e-book.
Written by: Moosaa Richardson