It depends on the interpretation. When people start calling for a musical festival where singers are banned, and then they call for a religious festival, they are actually trying to destroy the culture of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the religion of Islam, and the music is the source and goal of the religion. This is the reason why there is nothing in this letter, or this speech that gives any special rights to musical artists and singers.
There are several rules of behaviour, religious and otherwise, that the law of the land has laid down for all individuals and religious groups. These include things like wearing clothes in accordance with the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) rules and keeping the mosques clean and tidy. Also, we must not disturb any of Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) properties (which, of course, includes his private house).
Musical artists and singers have done nothing to deserve this kind of treatment by some Muslims. For example, we were told that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had asked his wives not to sing on stage. His wives had told him that singing was a sign which would invite death to the person. Yet that was all right in those days, but now it seems that the Prophet (peace be upon him) does not consider singing to be a sign of defaming him, even when it is a clear sin.
If we talk about the Islamic cultural heritage, then there should be a clear rule that music has nothing to do with the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) life, death, creed, or beliefs. Some of them will still be there when we come back, but the rest will have been buried with him as an inheritance.
The law of the land has been laid down for all Muslims, and in it, music has nothing to do with either one or the other. It is not like the musical rules which have been written by Muslim clerics in a document to be given to clerics who want to have a taste of their own medicine. It is not just the ruling of the law – it is also the customs of that culture – and it is not at all permissible to change them. It is not allowed for a singer to sing if she has a man in the audience.
So, there you have it. If musical music has anything to do with the Prophet’s life and work, or any part of his culture, then it is certainly not permitted and it has no place in a religion that is based on peace