Happiness and suffering were the most authenticity for humankind. Along his life, human always attempts to get happiness and avoids himself from suffering. But everyone has different illustration about the meaning of happiness and suffering, based on his system of faith. Although, there is always a certain belief about experiencing happiness and suffering in each lives.
In the religion traditions, illustration of happiness and suffering explained in the concepts of Heaven and Hell. To get the happiness and avoid their adherents from suffering, every religion has the unique ways, such as meditation, ritual, and listening to music as medium to obtain spiritual atmosphere that filled with love and affection to God and creatures.
Using music as emotion and mind awakener medium was stated by ancient Greek philosopher, like Plato (470-399 BC) and Aristoteles (348-322 BC). They said that music can keep and recover harmony in the parts of soul, while the medicine remedying the parts of body.
Even Pythagoras (572-497 BC) said that voice was an accidence stayed in the substantion with movement. The rotation and revolution of Universe that move the planets and the stars have their rythm and produce music to elevate and honor deeply of God.
In the eastern world, Mahabarata epic from India explained, that was God who creates various simetric and numeric which based on the structure of body. In China, I Ching or The Book of Changed, reflected the same sense of harmony.
In the western world, Bible stated that the origin was an Utterance. In Greek, “logos” not only means “word”, but also “voice”. In the Ancient Time, one listened to David’s holy harp, Orpheus and Apollo. Music in the ancient is a mysterious and amazing instrument for creating harmony between mind and body.
In the sufis world, actually, music became soul awakener medium since the beginning, but how it was practiced was drawn not so clearly by the earlier sources. In the sufi tradition, music is arising soul for being closer to God.
For sufi, music can be used for healing mind from problems and conforting human characters. It is such a stimulation to look at the Hidden Miracle of God. The all possibility of Divine basic pattern wich laid away in the hidden treasure rhythm and tones as universal paradigm of the whole worldly form in the sacred music melody. In the previous time, voice and music were related to creating universe itself.
Listening music for sufi is something to reach for perfection. Because the music contains thousands of joy, which could help human passing through the thousand-years-journey to reach an ecstassy of pure happiness, that had never been reached by music listener who mixed it up with something intoxicated.
Strained situation in nerves can be relaxed after listening music, and the all of nerves full of glowing still as obtained by sacred ritual. While listening music, one must submit his whole soul to God in order to be free from desire. But it will not be obtained except with the strongest will striving to God.
Sufi music is the audision and vision from God presence. It is miracle beyond the miracle, because the gladness of each soul in listening music can be enjoy appropriately with the soul sacred phases. But to obtain it, one who listened sufi music has been given rules in order to reach the truly sacred of soul.
Jalaluddin Rumi said, voice that coming from music and poems deeply touched is a stimulae which can lead the way to loving God in higher position. With stronger love, one would feel God presence, The One Who created the true happiness, deeper and deeper.
In the psychology perspective, sufi music can break through consciousness and take ones to the unimaginable places somewhere, so it can heal diseases and illnesses. The process that gives more values than other worldly process can create psycho-physiologies response while the ones’ conditions changed. If the music used for relaxation, ones abstract minds move to normal condition. While the processes are to be continued, they will follow a conscious condition, rising sensory, dream, trance, meditation, amazed and true happiness phases to the next higher level.
Principally, listening sufi music is something sacred because the essential of music is the essential of soul itself, which placed in the listener soul in the level of perfection.
The same music has the same function as well as Ravi Shankar for Hindu, Honkyoku and Chanting for Buddha, Canonical Music for Roman Catholic and Masanori Takahashi or Kitaro for New Age groups.
Finally, sufi music and the music alike can be the point and dialogue medium among faiths, because they had genuine goals to help human get their happiness with the ways of soul awakeness towards God. Because, the true happiness of humankind is while one feels closer to God’s presence■
Thobieb Al-Asyhar works as the Officer of Ministry of Religion Affairs and a doctor candidate in the Islamic Psychology in State Islamic University (UIN) Jakarta.