Men, women, children, young and old all around us are making, buying, selling and consuming a particular poison today, just like they do for water. This poison attacks the heart first, which then results in the whole body deteriorating as well. The final result of this poison is blurred consciousness of the dunya around, and worst of all a dead, or at least a near-dead faith in Islam.
So you guys are probably thinking: OK sister, cut the drama and get to the point. What’s this poison you’re talking about?
Promise me one thing first; after I mention what this poison is, you’ll struggle in the path of Allah and continue to read this post to the end inshaa’Allah 😀
Keep your word kay, cuz you know it was narrated by Abu Hurairah (radiyallahu anhu) that Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:
“The signs of a hypocrite are three: Whenever he speaks, he tells a lie; and whenever he promises, he breaks his promise; and whenever he is entrusted, he betrays (proves to be dishonest)”.
Sahih al-Bukhari 6095
This poison is none other than music.
Many of us who are aware that Islam has some stance about music, but don’t really know what it is, have probably asked an Ustadh/Ustadha/Imam/elder etc about the ruling. I’ve asked such questions before and also watched people ask these questions, but what I found unsatisfactory was that a lot of the answers began with “In my opinion..” or “I feel…” or “I think…”. I’m like bro, I honestly don’t care what you think, all I wanna know is what Allah says about this -.- The fall of this Ummah to the lowest of the low state that we are in now is largely due to our carelessness about the authenticity of the Islamic knowledge we are given.
Once MS.FAT was having a discussion with someone and was asking her whether or not what her teacher had told her was supported by authentic proofs and evidences (she was mentioning some strange benefits of going to attend an Islamic gathering). She replied saying that it is not good adab to question the teacher.
OH OK, I guess all the background checking and verification of authenticity that the sahabah, tabi’een, atba’ut-tabi’een and all the righteous predecessors did before taking knowledge from someone was wrong and inappropriate. I guess we can disregard what Allah tells us to do as well…?
‘O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful.’
Surah Al-Hujurat Ayah 6
‘…Say, “Produce your proof, if you should be truthful.”‘
Surah Al-Baqarah Ayah 111
Music is not something new that was created recently. It was actually created after the death of Adam (alayhissalam). The history of music needs a post of it’s own. But in a nutshell, it was created by Shaytan and the aim was to destroy the Muslims. As a result of music, adultery and fornication was started as well.
I also got a blanket “No, music is haram” once, but no one gave me solid evidence from the Qur’an and the Sunnah to support what they were saying.
I’m not gonna tell you all whether this music thing is halal or haram. Inshaa’Allah all I’m gonna do is walk you through some of the authentic textual evidences regarding this subject, and at the end of it it’ll be evident and you guys’ll be able to come to the conclusion on your own inshaa’Allah. This is one of the battles against whims and desires in our time…so gear up and get ready tackle this issue head-on. This post is quite long 😛
We’ll be going through the evidences in the order of what Allah says in the Qur’an, what the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, what the Sahabah, Tabi’een and the other righteous predecessors including the 4 imams have said about the issue of musical instruments and professional singing.
Or you guys could just read these websites:
The Words for Musical Instruments in Arabic
Ma’aazif is the plural of mi’zafah, and refers to musical instruments (Fath al-Baari, 10/55), instruments which are played (al-Majmoo’, 11/577). Al-Qurtubi (may Allaah have mercy on him) narrated from al-Jawhari (may Allaah have mercy on him) that ma’aazif means singing. In his Sihaah it says that it means musical instruments. It was also said that it refers to the sound of the instruments.
Ghina’ is also used, which includes the meaning of both music and singing.
Let’s begin. These evidences and narrations are not exhaustive. I selected only a few for simplicity’s sake. If you look into the unabridged tafseer books, you’ll see maaaaaaaany narrators of the hadiths and interpretations of the ayaat.
What Allah Says In The Qur’an
“And of the people is he who buys the amusement of speech to mislead [others] from the way of Allah without knowledge and who takes it in ridicule. Those will have a humiliating punishment.”
Surah Luqman Ayah 6
The words in Arabic used for “amusement of speech” are lahuwal hadeeth. The tafseer for these words is as follows:
a) It refers to singing and listening to songs
b) Purchasing professional singers
c) Musical instruments.
This was the position of Ibn Abbas (radiyallahu anhuma), who was the cousin of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). He was the most knowledgeable of tafseer, and the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) also made dua for him:
It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbas said:
“The Messenger of Allah embraced me and said: ‘O Allah, teach him wisdom and the (correct) interpretation of the Book.'”
Sahih Sunan Ibn Majah Vol. 1 Book 1 Hadith 166
Ibn ‘Abbaas (radiyallahu anhuma) said: this means ghina’ (music and singing) and things like it. (Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 1265)
Ibn Mas’ud (radiyallahu anhu) said: By Allah, besides Whom there is no other God, this means ghina’ (music and singing) – and he repeated it three times.
Mujaahid (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: this means playing the drum (tabl). (Tafseer al-Tabari, 21/40).
Al-Hasan al-Basri (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: this ayah was revealed concerning singing and musical instruments. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 3/451).
Al-Sa’di (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: this includes all manner of haraam speech, all idle talk and falsehood, and all nonsense that encourages kufr and disobedience; the words of those who say things to refute the truth and argue in support of falsehood to defeat the truth; and backbiting, slander, lies, insults and curses; the singing and musical instruments of the Shaytaan; and musical instruments which are of no spiritual or worldly benefit. (Tafseer al-Sa’di, 6/150)
“(Allah said to Iblees:) And befool them gradually those whom you can among them with your voice (i.e. songs, music, and any other call for Allah’s disobedience)…”
Surah Al-Israa’ Ayah 64
Mujahid (may Allah have mercy on him) said that “with your voice” means with idle entertainment and ghina’ (music and singing). (Tafseer Ibn Katheer, At-Tabari 17:490)
>>>Mujahid was Ibn Abbas’ (radiyallahu anhu) most excellent student.
Ibn al Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said, “everyone who speaks in disobedience to Allah and or user of musical instruments, flute, haram duff, drums is the voice of the shaytan.”
“Do you then wonder at this recitation (the Qur’aan)? And you laugh at it and weep not, wasting your (precious) lifetime in pastime and amusements”
Surah An-Najm Ayaat 59-61
‘Ikrimah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: it was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas that al-sumood (“amusements”) means ghina’ (music and singing). Sufyan Ath-Thawree narated the same from his father Ibn Abbas (radiyallahu anhuma) (Tafseer Ibn Katheer)
What the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:
Narrated Abu ‘Amir or Abu Malik Al-Ash’ari that he heard the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) saying,
“From among my followers there will be some people who will consider illegal sexual intercourse, the wearing of silk, the drinking of alcoholic drinks and the use of musical instruments, as lawful. And there will be some people who will stay near the side of a mountain and in the evening their shepherd will come to them with their sheep and ask them for something, but they will say to him, ‘Return to us tomorrow.’ Allah will destroy them during the night and will let the mountain fall on them, and He will transform the rest of them into monkeys and pigs and they will remain so till the Day of Resurrection.”
This hadeeth indicates in two ways that musical instruments and enjoyment of listening to music are haraam. The first is the fact that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “[they] permit” which clearly indicates that the things mentioned, including musical instruments, are haraam according to sharee’ah, but those people will permit them. The second is the fact that musical instruments are mentioned alongside things which are definitely known to be haraam, i.e., zinaa and alcohol: if they (musical instruments) were not haraam, why would they be mentioned alongside these things? (adapted from al-Silsilah al-Saheehah by al-Albaani, 1/140-141)
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: This hadeeth indicates that ma’aazif are haraam, and ma’aazif means musical instruments according to the scholars of (Arabic) language. This word includes all such instruments. (al-Majmoo’, 11/535).
This hadith is also mentioning one of the signs of the Day of Judgement. (The End of the World: Signs of the Hour, Major and Minor by Dr. Muhammad al-‘Areefi, pg. 113)
For an explanation of what is intended by “…He will transform the rest of them into monkeys and pigs and they will remain so till the Day of Resurrection.” watch this video. Shaykh Ahmad Musa Jibril explains the meaning from 13:34 onwards.
“A people of my ummah will drink wine, calling it by other than its real name. Cheer and joy will be made for them (they will be entertained) through the playing of musical instruments and the singing of female singers. Allah will cleave the earth under them and turn others into apes and swine.”
Saheeh Ibn Majah, Al-Bayhaqi, Al-‘Asaakir in Silsilatul Ahadeeth As-Saheehah
The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “…I have not been prevented or prohibited from crying, however I have been prohibited and prevented from two shameless, idiotic sounds: A voice singing to the accompaniment of musical instruments and Satan’s wind instruments, and wailing at the time of calamity…”
I don’t know how much more explicit these ahadeeth could be…
“There shall be from my ummah some who will be stoned from the skies, some who will be transformed, and others who will be swallowed by the earth.” They said, “when will it happen, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “When musical instruments become popular and when singing slave girls will become abundant and people will drink alcohol.”
What some of the Companions, Tabi’een and other righteous predecessors said:
It was narrated that Naafi’ (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
Ibn ‘Umar heard a woodwind instrument, and he put his fingers in his ears and kept away from that path. He said to me, O Naafi’, can you hear anything? I said, No. So he took his fingers away from his ears and said: I was with the Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa sallam) and he heard something like this, and he did the same thing.
Saheeh Abi Dawood
Many of the following quotations have been collected in Ibn Jawzi’s book The Devil’s Deceptions:
Ibn Abbas (radiyallahu anhuma) said: “The duff is forbidden, musical instruments are forbidden, kuba (the drum) is forbidden and the flute is forbidden.”
Al-Hasan Al-Basri said: “The duffuf (hand drums) have nothing to do with the affair of the Muslims.” He also used to say: “The duff is not from the sunnah of any Prophet at all.”
Now, what’s with all the kompang playing by dudes at different festivals and occasions? Hmm…
Ibn Mas’ud (radiyallahu anhu) said: “Al-Ghina makes hypocrisy grow in one’s heart just as water makes grass grow.”
Al-Fudayl Ibn ‘Iyad said: “Ghina’ (music and singing) is the ladder leading to fornication (az-zina).”
Umar Ibn Abdul-Aziz wrote a letter to the caretaker of his son: Let the first thing that he (my son) learns from you is the etiquette of disliking instruments of play. They began with Satan and their ending is Allah’s anger. I have been told by trustworthy scholars that attending sessions of music and listening to songs causes hypocrisy to grow in the hearts just as water makes grapes grow. It is better for a person to avoid such sessions than to fain this (hypocrisy) in his hearts.
Al-Tabari (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The scholars of all regions are agreed that singing is makrooh and should be prevented. Although Ibraaheem ibn Sa’d and ‘Ubayd-Allaah al-‘Anbari differed from the majority, (it should be noted that) the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “Adhere to the majority.” And whoever dies differing from the majority, dies as a jaahili. (Tafseer al-Qurtubi, 14/56)
>>>IMPORTANT NOTE: The early scholars, out of fear of Allah and speaking of that which they had no knowledge about Allah, they used the word “disliked” (makrooh) when they were referring to something haram.
They have said, ” Allah has taken a son.” Exalted is He; He is the [one] Free of need. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. You have no authority for this [claim]. Do you say about Allah that which you do not know?
Surah Yunus Ayah 68
Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: It is not permissible to make musical instruments. (al-Majmoo’, 22/140)
Ibn Taymiyyah also said musical instruments are alcohol to one’s soul, and it does to one soul more than what alcohol does.
Ibn Abi Shaybah (may Allaah have mercy on him) reported that a man broke a mandolin belonging to another man, and the latter took his case to Shurayh. But Shurayh did not award him any compensation – i.e., he did not make the first man pay the cost of the mandolin, because it was haraam and had no value. (al-Musannaf, 5/395).
For the Hardcore Madhhabians:
Some of us insist that “according to their madhhab” music is allowed. Really? Time to put down that foam finger because not only is it an insult to the Imams, it’s also a lie against them.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The view of the four Imams is that all kinds of musical instruments are haraam. (al-Majmoo’, 11/576)
Al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The four madhhabs are agreed that all musical instruments are haraam. (al-Saheehah, 1/145).
-Imam Abu Haneefah (may Allah have mercy on him)
He had the strictest madhhab regarding music.
He detested singing and he considered it sinful. They would reject a person’s testimony if he was involved in music. He even went back to Judaism and Christianity’s standpoint regarding music and said that music is haram according to all religions!
He also said that listening to music is hypocrisy, defiant disobedience and enjoying it is kufr (disbelief).
-Imam Malik (may Allah have mercy on him)
He was asked what concession the people of Madinah had concerning ghina. He said: “I seek refuge with Allah. None does this here except the corrupt people.”
On another occassion he replied: “Allah says in the Quran ‘What is after the truth except deviance’. I ask you, is singing the truth?
-Imam Ash-Shafii (may Allah have mercy on him)
He said in his book Adab Al-Qada’ about the one who partakes in singing to be an incompetent fool or idiot whose testimony is to be rejected.
He also said: “I witnessed in Iraq something called at-taghbir. The heretics invented it in order to occupy people from reciting the Qur’an.” (predominantly the sufis…more on that later inshaa’Allah)
-Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on him)
His son Abdullah asked him about music and he said: “It does not surprise me that it cultivates hypocrisy in the heart.”
He said: Taghbir (a form of singing) is bid’ah (innovation),” he was told: “But it softens the heart,” he insisted: “It’s a bid’ah.”
The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:
“…The worst of things are those that are newly invented; every newly-invented thing is an innovation and every innovation is going astray, and every going astray is in the Fire…”
Saheeh Sunan an-Nasa’i 1578
This reminds me of a time I was discussing with someone whether or not the present day nasheed singers are doing a good deed by singing and using musical instruments to attract people to Islam. When I said no it’s not a good thing that people come to Islam because of their music, the people around me looked at me as if I had murdered someone.
People should be coming to Islam because of la ilaaha illallah not some music!! It’s almost comparable to inviting someone to a drink in a bar and doing da’wah to them over a glass of alcohol -.-
Imam Ahmad also said: “The wage of an effeminate man is unlawful, because he only makes money by singing.”
This one made me laugh a little…the so-called male nasheed singers are considered womanish, girly according to Imam Ahmad 😀
We could go on and on…
There are way more narrations and quotes from the righteous predecessor, even from contemporary scholars. It would be impossible to fit everything here. Inshaa’Allah what has been mentioned already is sufficient.
Inshaa’Allah in future posts we’ll discuss the issue of the Sufis; the who, what, when, where, why and hows of sufism. Lately we’ve been seeing a lot of issues come up about them with many prominent sufi speakers coming to town. When their upcoming events are posted on whatsapp or something we just briefly mention that it would be advisable to avoid their talks due to the inauthentic teachings that they convey which we may not be able to detect since we are not scholars or students of knowledge. It’s impossible and unhealthy to discuss these matters over something like whatsapp, twitter or facebook. Things like this need to be systematically and thoroughly discussed, otherwise people may get the wrong message.
Or you guys could get a head start and check out the video below and read Ibn Jawzi’s The Devil’s Deceptions…about 1/3 of this book has been dedicated to the Sufis!
Some Appropriate Exceptions
There are 2 exceptions as to when only the duff can be beaten, and they come with terms and conditions. Click here for the details.
May Allah make it easy for us to submit to Him in every aspect, may He guide us to the straight path and keep us away from deviance, ameen 🙂 I hope this post was of some benefit and has given somewhat of a summary of what Allah has declared about music.
“O you who have believed, enter into Islam completely [and perfectly] and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.”
Surah Al-Baqarah Ayah 208
Say, “Obey Allah and the Messenger.” But if they turn away – then indeed, Allah does not like the disbelievers.
Surah Al-‘Imran Ayah 32
Say, “This is my way; I invite to Allah with insight, I and those who follow me. And exalted is Allah ; and I am not of those who associate others with Him.”
Surah Yusuf Ayah 108
We urge the brothers and sisters who are engaged in music to give it up and submit to Allah. We know it may be difficult at first, but trust us, you will be able to see the difference in yourselves when you leave music inshaa’Allah. MS.FAT has been there and done that, so has teachers and scholars like Ustadh Abu Mussab and Shaykh Yusuf Estes. It’s not worth it. Maybe inshaa’Allah in a future post we can share a little more, but now that the reality of the situation has been made clear, give yourself a little push and leave music alone for the sake of Allah.
“And Allah invites to the Home of Peace and guides whom He wills to a straight path.”
Surah Yunus Ayah 25
Any mistakes in this post are my own. Please share with your family and friends. Feel free to comment (no trolling please!) 🙂