Unlike in the case of Hinduism, in Islamic monotheistic thought, music is not attributed as having a divine origin. There are no Gods and Goddesses who entertain themselves or desire to be entertained with song and dance. Mosques, unlike temples, are not a centre of the arts. Chanting in the services is also not considered as music. All this notwithstanding, and despite the conflict between Muslim rulers and their orthodox religious advisers, the Muslim rulers in India were lavish patrons of the arts in their courts. However, unlike earlier, music was not seen as a path to self realisation for those who wished to pursue it. It was seen as a means of pure entertainment. In court sessions (darbars) and in private living quarters, troupes of dancers and musicians were retained for the enjoyment of the royal households. It is not too often heard that a Muslim King himself learned to play, or that the wives and daughters did so. More and more, the performing was left to certain families and to any others whom such families might agree to teach.
However, as in the case of the Hindu courts, the listeners were expected to know a great deal about the music they were listening to. They were expected to respond to the performance accordingly. This capacity was not the intuitive receptivity to emotion suggested by the music that is involved in rasa it was a more empirical approach. It was an expectation that kept performers on their toes and made the listener-performer relationship an intensely personal one. The result was an elitist ideal of a musical sort. The Nawabs and rulers of the time encouraged musical performances in their homes as well as the courts, and served as a vital part of entertainment.
It may be noted here that it was the impact of Persian rule that brought about a significant change in the Indian Classical Music scenario. It was due to this very influence that Classical music slowly started branching out into the Northern Hindustani style, the outcome of Muslim influence, and the Southern Carnatic style. Since the impact of the Muslims south of the Deccan was not felt too strongly, musical traditions herein remained intact and were a continuation of the Classical Hindu style. Music in the North adopted and imbibed various elements from the invaders and developed a different style of its own.
Thus it is evident from the foregoing discussion that music under the Muslims received a great boost and support from the rulers. Even though not for religious purposes, it was a prime means of entertainment. The most significant contribution however lies in the field of Hindustani Classical Music.