"They have a way of getting into the heart," he explains. "And you remember the notes long after you forget the words of a song." Addressing a largely subservient, unchallenging audience, he says with an easy finality that, according the the prophet Muhammad, "We're not supposed to use these instruments".
In fact many scholars challenge this view. They point out that prohibitions are stated very clearly in the Quran and these do not include music. Quran, a complete work on its own as far as Islam is concerned, teaches that God is extremely displeased with those who prohibit things not specifically prohibited by its verses.
Yet representatives of Jamiyathul Salaf, inspired by Muslim "scholars", have waged a long campaign against music in the Maldives. They refer to some Quranic verses, for instance 31:6 of Luqman Sura, and simply interpret words such as "idle talk" to mean "music". More often than not, however, they draw on Hadiths to give the credence to claims for which they fail to find any in the Quran.
For a more thorough discussion on music in Islam, see the chapter on music and singing in www.submissions.org.
Last year, a host of Islamic "scholars", including a member of the human rights commission, lent sound bites to an anti-music propaganda video. Jamiyathul Salaf also has several YouTube clips proclaiming music is haraam in Islam.
Many people would find it ironic that Ali Rameez, who must have plagiarised more than 500 Hindi tunes to make a fortune, is now the champion anti-music advocate.
So far, however, Maldivians haven't paid much attention to their propaganda.
But in one respect, Jamiyathul Salaf does seem to have affected a change. After the 2004 tsunami, the organisation wasted no time in releasing an audio album which suggests that the natural disaster was God's wrath against women who don't wear the buruga. The album, which boasted the saccharine voiceover of TVM's Mohamed Asif, was advertised in the print media with a quotation from the Quran stating that women should be modest and lower their gaze. In fact the original verse first tells men to lower their gaze, but somehow the part about men requiring to be modest was deleted.
Nevertheless, the album appears to have struck a chord and the buruga has taken off in a big way in post-tsunami Maldives.
It remains to be seen if Maldivians will also surrender their love of music to Bilal Philips.
"Music and singing were never prohibited by God. They are part of the most beautiful creations of God."