Napoleon Outlawed

Mutah Beale AKA Napoleon From Outlawz to Outlawed

Music

All praise is due to Almight God, Allah. We praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. And we seek refuge in Allah from the evil of our own selves and from our wicked deeds. Whosoever has been guided by Allah, there is none to misguide him. And whoseover has been misguided by Allah, none can guide him. I bear witness that there is no other god except Allah, alone, without partner or associate. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger. May Allah, the Exalted, bestow His peace and blessings on Prophet Muhammad, upon his good and pure family, as well as upon all of the noble companions and upon those who follow them in righteousness until the Day of Reckoning.

Verily, the most truthful speech is the Book of Allah, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him); while the worst affairs are novelties, for every novelty is a blameworthy innovation. Every innovation (in matters of religion) is misguidance and every misguidance is in the Fire.

The legality of music and singing in the Islamic shari’ah (the divinely-revealed law) is an issue which is hotly debated among individuals and scholars in Islamic societies of our present day. Arriving at the correct view requires unbiased, scholarly research of the available literature which must be supported by authentic, decisive proof.

A considerable amount has been said and written both for and against this subject, and the proliferation of doubt and confusion necessitates another more critical, meticulous analysis and assessment of this whole matter, in order for one to come to a clear, decisive conclusion which leaves not the least bit of doubt in the mind of the reader.

In hope of acheiving such a difficult and lofty goal, I have applied a distinctive method which I trust, by Allah’s leave, will succeed in achieving these treasured aims and objectives.

Firstly, I analysized and assessed the claims made by differing factions that certain Quraanic verses support or prohibit the legality of the issue at hand. Secondly, I stringently researched the area of pertinent hadeeth literature in order to shed light on the issue as well as to dispel a number of misconceptions about the authenticity of certain traditions. Thirdly, I presented a consensus of the Islamic scholars with special reference to the pious predecessors of the Islamic ummah; i.e. the noble companions, the taabi’een, the famous imams and other jurisprudents (fuqahaa). Fourthly, I attempted to explain the infinte wisdom which underlies the ruling of prohibition as ordained by the divinely-revealed shari’ah. Fifthly, I cited examples of exceptions to the general rule of prohibition, as either defined by the authentic sunnah or agreed upon by the scholars. Finally, I presented a synopsis of the shar’iah texts and a conclusion which clarifies the prohibited aspects of music, singing and their adjuncts.

I pray that Allah grants success in this endeavor, accepting it as a work done purely for His sake and bestowing upon us and our brethren in faith, sincerity and guidance to His straight path.

Abu Bilal Mustafa Al-Kanadi
Ramadaan 1406/May 1986
Makkah Al-Mukarramah

ANALYSIS OF QURAANIC TEXTS AND COMMENTARIES

It is vital that one critically assesses the extent to which certain verses of the Quraan allegedly stand as proof for or against the legality of music and singing. Some of those verses which might be misconstrued to indicate that music, singing, dancing etc are permissible, are mentioned first. They are then followed with a sample of verses, which certain scholars have claimed to be proof of prohibition regarding this issue.

VERSES CLAIMED TO INDICATE THE LEGALITY OF MUSIC

The following verses regarding the Psalms of Dawood (upon whom be peace) is case in point.

THE FIRST VERSE:

{And verily,We did favor some of the prophets over others, and to Dawood We gave the Psalms.}(*1)

How does this verse purport to be proof for those who claim legality? It is a common misconception of certain Muslims-especially those having a western background or living in the west-that Dawood (peace be upon him)composed the Psalms and sang them to the accompaniment of music.(*2) There are even some commentators of English translations of the Quraan who fall prey to the same error. For example, Abdullah Yusuf Ali comments on this verse saying, “The spiritual gifts with which the Prophets came, may themselves, take different forms according to the needs of the world and the times in which they lived, as judged by the wisdom of God. A striking example here given is the gift of song and music as given to David…(*3) The fact is that the Psalms were not composed by Prophet Dawood (upon whom be Allah’s peace and blessings), but rather were revealed to him(*4) by Allah, the exalted, as is clearly stated in the Quraan.(*5) Additionally, nowhere in the Quraan or in the authentic traditions(*6) is there any support for this accompanying the psalms with musical instruments .

In order to properly understand the true nature of the Psalms (Az-Zaboor), one must look to some of the dependable Quraanic commentaries (tafaseer). Ibn Katheer (Allah’s mercy be upon him), explains the meaning of the term Az-Zaboor saying, “Az-Zaboor is the name of the book revealed by Allah to Dawood (peace be upon him).”(*7) Al-Aloosi further confirms this saying, “Az-Zaboor is the name of the book sent down to Dawood (upon whom be peace); it was revealed to him gradually, by installments.”(*8)

As to the nature of these psalms, Al-Qurtubi states, “Az-Zaboor is the book of Dawood, consisting of one hundred and fifty chapters; however, it contained no rulings of divine law on matters of prohibited or allowed things. Rather, it consisted of words of wisdom and admonishment.”(*9) Al-Aaloosi adds to this description that “the Zaboor also contained divine praises and glorification of Allah, (exalted be His praise).”(*10)

Prophet Dawood’s captivating, melodious voice was exceedingly beautiful and effective. When he recited the Zaboor, men, jinn, birds and wild animals gathered around him.(*11)

THE SECOND VERSE:

Some ignorant people claim that the following text regarding Prophet Ayyoob(Job), whom Allah tested with various trials and tribulations, permits music and dancing:

{Allah, the Exalted and Mighty, commands His messenger, Muhammad in the Quraan, “And recall Our servant, Ayyoob, when he cried unto his Lord, ‘Verily, Satan has afflicted me with distress and suffering.’ It was said unto him, ‘Strike the ground with your foot; here is a spring for a cool bath and water to drink.’}(*12)

In these verses Allah, the Glorious and Exalted, directs His Prophet, Ayyoob, to strike his foot upon the ground, whereupon a spring came forth. He bathed in its cool, soothing water which healed the disease afflicting the outer surface of his body. He also drank from the spring which removed the illness that afflicted his innermost body. Thus, after putting His faithful servant, Ayyoob, to excruciating tests and trials, Allah Ta’aala judges him to be firm, patient and unwavering in his faith, saying: {Truly, We found him firm in patience and constancy; how excellent a slave. Verily, he was ever turning in repentance (to his Lord).}(*13)

Regarding this verse, Al-Qurtubi mentions in his tafseer that certain ignorant ascetics and common Sufis have sought proof for the permissibility of dancing in Allah’s saying to Ayyoob, {Strike the ground with your foot.}(*14) He relates the reply of some scholars to such baseless claims. Abul-Faraj Ibnul-Jowzi says, “This is an empty argument. Had there been a command for the striking of the foot as an act of joy, there might be some slight excuse for such a view; however, the fact is that the command for striking the ground with the foot was in order to get the spring water to flow from it”(*15) Ibn Aqeel gives a further rebuttal by questioning, “How is the proof of the legality of dancing deduced from the simple fact that an afflicted person is ordered as a means of miraculous healing to strike the earth with his foot in order to cause water to spring forth?”(*16) He further suggests that if such reasoning were correct, “It would also be right to interpret Allah’s saying to Moosa, {Strike the stone with your staff.}(*17) as a proof for the legality of striking [rhythmically] upon [stuffed] cushions with sticks!(*18) We seek refuge in Allah from such fraudulent playing with the Shari’ah.”(*19)

Obviously, one could make endless far-fetched analogies between certain verses of the Quraan and various, false, preconceived notions which one might hope to substantiate. May Allah protect us from such evil manipulation of the divinely-revealed law.

It is essential at this point to mention that if it were established – for the sake of argument – that Dawood (peace be upon him) did in fact have musical accompaniment to his psalms; such a thing would not be proof that music, singing to musical accompaniment, etc. are followed in Islam. This is substantiated by the agreed upon principle from the science of usoolul fiqh(*20) which states that the revealed law (shar’un) of those who came before us(*21) is considered applicable insofar as such law is not explicitly abrogated by the texts of the final divine;y-revealed law of Islam as embodied in the Quraan and the authentic sunnah.(*22) However, as will be presented later, there is abundant authentic proof from the Islamic Shari’ah which prohibits music. Therefore, this prohibition by the Islamic Shari’ah abrogates all previously-revealed law and nullifies any support it may have made for the legality of music. With this in mind, it becomes abundantly clear that the attempts of certain persons to use such previously-mentioned verses as proof for the permissibility of music are baseless and untenable .

QURAANIC VERSES ALLEGED TO INDICATE PROHIBITION OF MUSIC

In his tafseer, Imam Al-Qurtubi mentions that there are three verses which have been used by the ulaama as proof of the contempt for and the prohibition of singing.

THE FIRST VERSE:

The first of these verses appears in Soorah An-Najm(*23) as follows:

Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, addresses the disbelievers from the tribe of Quraysh, {Do you marvel at this statement, and laugh and do not weep, while you amuse yourselves [proudly] in vanities? Rather, prostrate before Allah and worship Him.}

The important phrase is Allah’s saying, {Wa antum saamidoon} (“while you amuse yourselves [proudly] in vanities). Due to the root ‘samada’ having various interpretations in the Arabic language, the scholars differ about this phrase’s meaning. As a result, different interpretations are given by the commentators of the Quraan, such as the companions, taabi’een and later scholars of tafseer.

Al-Qurtubi refers to the various derived meanings mentioned by the linguists (*24). Among the meanings understood from the root’ samada’ is the raising of one’s head up proudly or in disdain. When conjugated, the noun form ‘sumood’ means leisure or idle play, while ‘saamid’ (the doer of the action) means one who plays idly with musical instruments or other objects of play. It is said to the singing girl, “Asmideena!”(“Amuse us with your singing!”) However, ‘saamid’ can also designate one who lifts his head in pride and haughtiness, as mentioned in the ancient dictionary, As-Sihah.(*25) A further meaning derived from the root ‘samada’ is the notion of standing motion less or idle. This was mentioned by Al-Mathdawi,(*26) one of the famous grammarians, but he added that the common, established meaning in the language points to the idea of turning away by making fun and amusement. Finally, Al-Mubarrid mentions the meaning of ‘saamidoon’ saying, “Saamidoon means khaamidoon [silent, motionless].”(*27)

At-Tabari mentions in detail the various narrations traced to the sahaabah and taabi’een.(*28) According to Ibn Abbaas, the word ‘saamidoon’ in this verse refers to the mushrikeen’s habit of singing and playing noisily whenever they heard the Quraan being recited, in order to drown out the reciter’s voice so that others wouldn’t hear it.(*29) This meaning is used by the people of Yemen. Ibn Abbas also indicated a second, more general meaning for the word ‘saamidoon’; namely, that they were playing and amusing themselves and making light of the affair. The same opinion was held by some taabi’een such as Ikrimah and Ad-Dahhaak. A third meaning given by Ibn Abbaas is that they held their heads up in pride. Other tabi’een have indicated certain meanings similar to the preceding linguists’ views. Thus, Qataadah reports Al-Hasan as saying that ‘samidoon’ is the mushrikeen’s being inattentive and negligent. Mujaahid says it indicates their being in a state of extreme anger or rage.

Clearly, the term ‘saamidoon’ has various possible meanings, e.g that those referred to were singing noisily and amusing themselves with music and idle play, that they were holding their heads in pride, or that they were exhibiting extreme anger and hatred for what they heard of the Quraan and the message of Islam. Furhermore, it could indicate that they were indifferent, negligent and rejectionist in their attitude. All of these meanings are possible, and are not – in essence – contradictory. Most likely, ‘saamidoon’ is a comprehensive description of their different reactions upon hearing the verses of the Quraan and the new message of tawheed. However, it must be said that when a Quranic term yields a number of different possible meanings and we have no clear, authentically-reported statement from the Prophet defining it in a strict sense, then such a verse containing the said term cannot be used as an unequivocal, decisive proof (daleelun qat’ee) of any particular meaning. Thus, this verse cannot stand alone as an uncontestable proof of the prohibition of singing, music, etc. Rather, other evidence, either from the Quraan itself or from the authentic sunnah, must prove such a position.(*30)

THE SECOND VERSE:

Another verse alleged to be proof of the illegality of music, singing, etc is mentioned in Soorah Al-Israa as follows:

After Iblees (Satan) refuses to bow before Adam as ordered, he requests that Allah grant him respite until the Day of Resurrection, so that he may misguide all but a a few of the descendants of Adam (peace be upon him). Allah, the Glorious and Exalted, addresses Satan thus, {And excite any of them whom you can with your voice. Assault them with your cavalry and infantry, be a partner with them in their wealth and children, and make them promoses. But Satan promises them nothing except deceit.}(*31)

It is related that some of the commentators from the generation of the taabi’een, such as Mujahid and Dahhaak,(*32) interpreted Satan’s exciting mankind with his voice to mean through the use of music, song and amusement. Ad-Dahaak said it was the sound of wind instruments. However, according to Ibn Abbaas, the voice mentioned in the verse refers to every form of invitation which calls to disobedience to Allah, the Exalted.(*33) After mentioning the various interpretations of the commentators, At-Tabari says, “The most correct of these views expresses that verily, Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, said to Iblees, {Excite whosoever of Adam’s progeny you can with your voice,} and He did not specify any particular type of voice. Thus, every voice which is not an invitation to Allah’s worship and to His obedience is included in the meaning of Satan’s ‘voice’ which is referred to in the Quraanic verse.”(*34)

In conclusion, this verse – like the preceding one – is too general in its meaning, and is not by itself an explicit and unequivocal proof of the prohibition of music and singing, except in the case that such singing and music invites or leads to disobedience to Allah. Therefore, one must look at other unambiguous texts, which clearly show music, singing, etc. to be prohibited intrinsically and not due to some extraneous variable.

THE THIRD VERSE:

The final verse, and the one most often presented as proof of prohibition, is located in Soorah Luqmaan:(*35)

Allah, the Exalted, says, {And there are among men those who purchase idle talk in order to mislead others from Allah’s path without knowledge, and who throw ridicule upon it. For such there will be a humiliating punishment.}

After mentioning the condition of the felicitous (those who are guided by Allah’s Book and who benefit from listening to it), Allah, the Glorious and Exalted, reveals the condition of the miserable ones who refuse to benefit from hearing the word of God. They only devote themselves avidly to idle and foul talk, empty amusements and all other false works and deeds whose purposes are to turn others away from Allah’s path and to make it the butt of mockery.

Ibn Jareer At-Tabari, in his Jaamiul Bayaan, mentions that the interpreters of the Quraan differed as to the meaning of the term {lahwal hadeeth} (idle talk) which occurs in the above-quoted verse. Their views regarding its meaning can be formulated into three basic categories.

The first category defines the term {lahwal hadeeth}: (a) singing and listening to songs, (b) the purchasing of professional male or female singers and (c) the purchase of instruments of amusement; namely, the drum (tabl). The elements of this category revolve around reference to the blameworthy usage of instruments of idle amusement, in short, music and song. This view was held by a number of companions such as Ibn Masood, Jaabir and Ibn Abbaas. It is related that the former was questioned regarding the meaning of the verse under discussion to which he replied, “I swear by the One other than Whom there is no god that it refers to singing [ghinaa]“; he repeated it three times to emphasize his position.(*36) It is related that Ibn Abbaas said it referred to “singing and the like.”(*37) Jaabir is reported to view its meaning to signify singing and listening to songs.(*38) This general view pointing to censure of music and song was also held by a great number of taabi’een, such as Ikrimah, Mujaahid, Makhool and Umar bin Shuayb, to name only a few.(*39)

The second category of interpretation centers around the idea that {lahwal hadeeth} indicates conversation inviting to or consisting of shirk (polytheism). This view was the view of some tafseer scholars from the generation after the companions, such as Ad-Dahaak and Abdur-Rahmaan bin Zayd bin Aslam.(*40)

The third category conveys the meaning of all false talk, actions or deeds, whose nature it is to divert people from Allah’s path and from His worship and remembrance. For example, Al-Aaloosi relates that Al-Hasan Al-Basri was reported as saying that {lahwal hadeeth} includes “everything which distracts one from worship and the remembrance of Allah such as whiling the night away in idle conversation or entertainment, jokes, superstitous tales, songs and the likes thereof.”(*41) Al-Aaloosi supports this view, saying that the verse should be interpreted to include all such blameworthy words and deeds which divert one from Allah’s path.

After having conveyed the previously-mentioned categories of tafseer, Ibn Jareer relates the commentary of Ibn Zayd about the verse, {And there are among men those who purchase idle talk in order to mislead others from Allah’s path without knowledge, and who throw ridicule upon it.} Ibn Zayd said, “The people referred to [in this verse] are the disbelievers. Don’t you see that it says [in the immediately following verse], {And when Our revelations are recited to such a person he turns away in pride as if he hadn’t heard them, as if there was a deafness in his ears.}(*42) The people of Islam are not as those described here, although some say the verse refers to Muslims [as well]. The verse refers to the disbelievers who pitched their voices in a tumultuous clatter in order to drown out the hearing of the Quraan.”(*43)

At-Tabari concludes by offering his own weighted preference for the general, inclusive meaning as conveyed in this final category. He states, “The most correct view regarding the meaning of {lahwal hadeeth} is the one which indicates every form of conversation(*44) which diverts from Allah’s path – the hearing of which has been prohibited by Allah or His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him). This is because the statement by Allah, the Exalted, is general and inclusive, and does not exclude certain forms of conversation. Therefore, His statement remains in its general context unless proof which specifies it appears; and singing and polytheism [shirk] are included in this general statement.”(*45)

From what has preceded, it is to be understood that a specific or exclusive meaning such as singing or shirk cannot be proven; rather, the verse and particularly the phrase {lahwal hadeeth} should be interpreted as anything which diverts one from Allah’s path. Music, singing, etc. (since they occupy people’s attention and distract them from Allah’s worship and remembrance and invite to His disobedience), no doubt fall under the general censure, blame and rebuke cast upon those who fall into this category. However, this verse is not itself an explicit, unequivocal proof for the prohibition of music, singing, etc. Rather, its prohibition is conditional and incidental as stated above. Thus, this issue requires other external proofs which are both clear and categorical, so as not to leave the least bit of doubt in the mind of the conscientious, truth-seeking believer. In order to achieve such a lofty, yet absolutely vital objective, it is necessary to turn to the second source of the Islamic shari’ah, the authentic sunnah of Allah’s Messenger (upon whom be blessings and peace).

CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE HADEETH LITERATURE

A meticulous, critical analysis of the relevant texts from the hadeeth literature reveals that, contrary to the commonly-held belief, there are a number of authentic narrations from the prophetic sunnah which clearly point to the indisputable fact that music, instruments, singing to accompaniment, etc. are objects prohibited by the Islamic Shar’iah. The exceptions to this general rule are specific, limited types of innocent singing or chanting without any instrumental accompaniment or to the accompaniment of the simple hand drum (daff) on certain occasions designated by the sunnah. Their details require discussion later.

Unfortunately, due to certain modern scholars’ blind imitation (taqleed) of a few earlier scholars, many Muslims entertain the misconception that all the hadeeths relating to music, singing, musical instruments, etc. are either weak (da’eef) or forged (mowdoo’). A critical analysis of the available hadeeth literature clearly reveals that this is an untenable position. In order to substantiate this claim and to dispel such false notions, it is necessary to quote a number of authentic traditions along with the translation of their meanings.

THE TRADITIONS AND THEIR DEGREE OF AUTHENTICITY

THE NARRATION OF AL-BUKHAARI:

The translation of the hadeeth follows: The Prophet (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “There will be [at some future time] people from my Ummah [community of Muslims] who will seek to make lawful: fornication, the wearing of silk,(*46) wine-drinking and the use of musical instruments [ma'aazif]. Some people will stay at the side of the mountain and when their shepherd comes in the evening to ask them for his needs, they will say, ‘Return to us tomorrow.’ Then Allah will destroy them during the night by causing the mountain to fall upon them, while He changes others into apes and swine. They will remain in such a state until the Day of Resurrection.”(*47)

A CRICTICAL DISCUSSION OF ITS ISNAAD:(*48)

Prior to a discussion of the meaning of the part of this hadeeth relevant to this treatise, it is necessary to refute certain unfounded criticisms of its authenticity directed at it by a few scholars of the past and present, struggling under unfortunate misconceptions.

At the beginning of the isnaad, Imam Al-Bukhaari related, “Qaala Hishaamu-bnu Ammaar…”(“Hishaam bin Ammaar said…”) This statement was misconstrued by Ibn Hazm to indicate that there is a missing link between Al-Bukaari and the next narrator (i.e Hishaam),(*49) implying that the hadeeth’s isnaad is disconnected (munqati’) and therefore not valid as proof in the prohibition of music, song, musical instruments, etc. This type of isnaad, termed mu’allaq, contains a missing link. However, Al-Bukaari’s hadeeth is authentic, because there exist fully-connected chains for it which fulfill the condition of authenticity. This was stated by the great critical scholar of hadeeth, Shaykh Ibnus-Salaah, in his celebrated work, Uloomul Hadeeeth (his treatise on the science or methodology of hadeeth criticism and assessment). In his commentary of Saheehul Bukhaari, entitled Fat-hul Baari, Ibn Hajar mentioned Ibnus Salaah’s meticulous refutation of Ibn Hazm’s statement.(*50)

Among the other great critical scholars of hadeeth who mentioned that the isnaad is soundly connected (mowsool) is Ibn Hajar’s shaykh, Al-Haafidh Al-Iraaqi. He stated that the isnaad is found connected in Al-Ismaa’eeli’s work, entitled Al-Mustakhraj, which collects together other chains of narrators (or similar ones) for the same hadeeths mentioned in Al-Bukhaari’s collection.

And finally, there is Ibn Hajar’s distinctive work, Taghleequt Ta’leeq, a rare and stupendous masterpiece, which brings together connected, authentic chains (asaneed) of transmitters for those traditions which appear in Al-Bukhaari’s compilation in the form of the disconnected (mu’alliq) type of hadeeth, thereby dispelling accrued misconceptions regarding the claim of “weak” hadeeths occuring in the text (matn) of Al-Jaamis As-Saheeh.(*51)

After quoting other complete, authentic chains(*52) for the tradition under study, along with the sources wherein such chains of transmitters are mentioned,(*53) Ibn Hajar concludes by emphasizing (in reference to Al-Bukhaari’s narration):

“This is an authentic hadeeth. It has no deficiency or defect, and there is no point of weakness for any attack to be made on it. Abu Muhammed Ibn Hazam labeled it as defective by virtue of his claim that there is a break [intiqaa'] in the chain between Al-Bukhaari and Sadaqah bin Khaalid and because of the difference of opinion regarding the name of Abu Maalik(*54) As you’ve seen, I have quoted nine fully-connected chains of transmission (asaneed) whose narrators are thoroughly dependable. As for the difference regarding the kunyah of the companions, they are all of impeccable repute. Further more, in Ibn Hibbaan’s narration, the transmitter stated that he heard from both of them…(*55) I have in my possession yet other chains which could be presented here, however, I would not like to prolong this subject further by mentioning them. In what we have stated there is enough proof for the sensible, thinking person. And Allah is the grantor of success.”(*56)

In short, this particular narration of Al-Bukhaari is authentic and consequently constitutes a valid and binding text to be referred to in determining the ruling (hukm) regarding music.

It should be mentioned that certain modern-day writers, who blindly imitate previous scholars by quoting their views without applying the critical sciences of hadeeth research, have merely parroted the position of Ibn Hazm, and due to this, have caused many unwary persons to go astray regarding this issue. For example, Yoosuf Al-Qardaawi, in his popular book, entitled Al-Halaal wal Haraam fil Islam,(*57) says in regard to the extant hadeths on music: “As for what has been mentioned by way of prophetic traditions [relating to the subject of music], all of these have been assessed to have some point or another of weakness according to the fuqahaa of hadeeth and its scholars.(*58) The Qaadi Abu Bakr Ibnul-Arabi said, ‘There is no authentic hadeeth prohibiting singing.’ And Ibn Hazm said, ‘Every hadeeth related [prohibiting music and singing] is false and forged.”(*59)

Unfortunately, the statement that “all” the narrations are weak according to “scholars of hadeeth” is a gross error on Al-Qardaawi’s part and is not the result of meticulous critical research. Rather, it is due to an uncritical, blind acceptance of the words of Ibn Hazm and Ibnul-Arabi. Ibn Hazm was no doubt a virtuous, sharp-minded scholar; however, in the area of hadeth assessment and verification (as is the case in many aspects of his school of Dhaahiri fiqh), he has certain untenable and unfounded, even some very abnormal views.(*60) The accomplished hadeeth scholar and student of Ibn Taymiyyah, Al-Haafidh Ibn Abdul-Haadi, says of Ibn Hazm that “he often errs in his critical assessment of the degrees of traditions and on the conditions of their narrators.”(*61) In fact, there is unanimous consensus among the most reputable critical scholars of hadeeth regarding Ibn Hazm’s erroneous assignment of a ruling of d’af (weakness) to Al-Bukhaari’s hadeeth. Regarding the degree of this hadeeth, the views of Ibnus-Salaah, Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalaani and Al-Haafidh Al-Iraaqi have already been mentioned. Among the qualified scholars who also agree with his assessment are the great scholars, Ibnul-Qayyim and Ibn Taymiyyah. Ibnul-Arabi is similar to Ibn Hazm in that he is quick to give a ruling of forgery or weakness on a hadeeth, without the necessary, detailed analysis and synthesis of all extant chains of narration relating to the subject. Had he executed such an analysis, undoubtedly he would have arrived at a sound decision and avoided much blame and censure.

Having established the authenticity of the aforementioned narration recorded in Imam Al-Bukaari’s compilation, the meaning of his hadeeth and its stand as an indisputable proof of the unlawfulness of music may now be discussed.

COMMENTARY ON AL-BUKHAARI’S HADEETH:

The portion of Al-Bukhaari’s hadeeth, which is presently of concern, is that segment whose text states:

“There will be a people of my ummah [nation] who will seek to make lawful: fornication, the wearing of silk, wine-drinking and the use of musical instruments…”

The word of consequence here is the Arabic term ‘ma’aazif’. In order to discover what it implies, one must turn to Arabic dictionaries of hadeeth terms and other scholarly works. According to Lisaanul Arab,(*62) ma’aazif is the plural of mi’zaf or ‘azf,(*63) and indicates objects or instruments of play or leisure which are beat upon for their sound. If the singular form is used (mi’zaf), it specifically means a type of large wooden drum used mainly by the people of Yemen. The noun ‘azf also stands for the act of playing with ma’aazif, i.e. hand drums (dufoof)(*64) or other instruments which are struck upon. Al-Jowhari, the author of the ancient dictionary, As-Sihaah, asserts that ma’aazif signifies musical instruments, al-’aazif indicates one who sings, and the ‘azf of the wind is its voice.(*65) In the famous Taajul ‘Aroos min Jawaahiril Qaaamoos, besides quoting the above-mentioned meanings, the commentator Az-Zabeedi says that ma’aazif are instruments of leisure which are drummed upon or played, like the lute (‘ood), the drum (tanboor), the small hand drum (daff) or other such musical objects.(*66) And finally, in the famous dictionary, An-Nihaayah fee Ghareebil Hadeeth,(*67) Ibnul-Atheer mentions the meaning of ma’aazif as it is used in various hadeeths. He comments, “By ‘azf is meant playing with ma’aazif, consisting of dufoof [hand drums] or other instruments which are beat upon.” He also mentions the derived noun form, ‘azeef, which means “sound” or voice”, while ‘azeeful jinn signifies the ringing of the jinns’ voices. It is said that the people of the desert imagined the shrill ringing of the winds in the desert air to be the voice of jinns.(*68)

The commentaries of the scholars of hadeeth also agree on the above-quoted meaninings for the term maazif mentioned in Al-Bukhaari’s narration. In Ibn Hajar’s exhaustive commentary of Saheehul Bukhaari,(*69) he adds that an earlier hadeeth scholar, named Ad-Dimyaati, says that the word ‘azf is also used to describe singing (ghinaa).(*70)

Such a detailed analysis of the meaning of the term ma’aazif, as mentioned in the most authoritative dictionaries of the Arabic language, is necessary to refute any others’ possible attempts to “explain away” or “interpret” it in a matter suiting their preconceived notions or opinions. It clearly has been established that the word ma’aazif – according to correct Arabic usage – indicates a specific number of things: (a) musical instruments, (b) the sounds of those musical instruments (music) and (c) singing to instrumental accompaniment.

ANALYSIS OF THE TEXT AS A PROOF OF PROHIBITION:

An analysis of the hadeeth’s wording clearly indicates the unlawfulness of music. In the text it is said that people from the Prophet’s ummah will “seek to make lawful” that which is termed ma’aazif. This statement (“seek to make lawful”) is derived from the verb yastahilloona, whose first part, yasta, is the conjugated addition to the root ahalla. The conjugated form ista means to seek, try, attempt, desire, etc., while the root ahalla means to make lawful. Taken together it means “to seek to make lawful”. Obviously, one can only seek, desire or attempt to make lawful that which is not lawful. For if something is already lawful, it is nonsensical for one to seek to establish it. Other things which people will attempt to make lawful are named along with ma’aazif. These additional matters are definitely prohibited in Islam – namely, illegal sexual intercourse, the drinking of wine or liquor and the wearing of silk (for males). Had ma’aazif(*71) not been prohibited, they never would have been associated with other prohibited objects in one and the same context.

In order to dispel the common misconception prevalent among certain Muslims that “only one hadeeth” in Al-Bukkhaari’s compilation stands as proof of prohibition regarding this issue, it is necessary to mention a sample of other authentic hadeeth. The fact that the majority of traditions regarding music, instruments and singing are weak and rejected (munkar) does not negate the existence of an appreciable number whose degree is saheeh (authentic) or hasan (of good, acceptable quality).

THE NARRATION OF IBN MAAJAH:

There is a narration by Ibn Maajah in Kitaabul Fitan(*72) in the chapter on punishments. The translation is:

The messenger of Allah said: “A people of my ummah will drink wine, calling it by other than its real name. Merriment will be made for them through the playing of musical instruments and the singing of lady singers. Allah will cleave the earth under them and turn others into apes and swine.”

This is an authentic hadeeth. It was also narrated by Al-Bayhaqi and Ibn Asaakir with the same wording. The renowned scholar of hadeeth and fiqh, Ibnul-Qayyim, authenticated it as mentioned in the famous hadeeth commentary of the ‘allaamah, Abut-Teeb Muhammad Shamsul-Haqq Al-Adheem-Aabaadi.(*73) Furthermore, it was given a degree of saheeh by muhaddith of our era, Shaykh Muhammad Naasiruddeen Al-Albaani. He mentioned its detailed, critical evaluation and assessment in his Silsatul Ahaadeeth As-Saheehah(*74) and in his Saheehul Jaamis Sagheer.(*75) It is further mentioned and authenticated in his Ghaayatul Maraam, Takhreejul Halaali wal Haraam.(*76)

THE NARRATIONS OF AHMAD BIN HANBAL:

There are a number of narrations proving the prohibition of music and instruments in Ahmad bin Hanbal’s Musnad. Although many of them are weak, two narrations from his compilation, which have been verified to be authentic, follow.

THE FIRST TEXT:

The translation is:

The Prophet said: “Verily, Allah prohibited wine, gambling and al-koobah; and every intoxicant is prohibited.” Sufyan said, “I asked the narrator, Ali bin Badheemah, ‘What is al-koobah?’ He answered, ‘It is the drum.’”

THE SECOND TEXT:

It is translated thus:

Allah’s Messenger said, “Verily, Allah has prohibited for my ummah: wine, gambling, a drink distilled from corn, the drum and the lute;(*79) while He supplemented me with another prayer, the witr.”(*80)

These narrations have also been related by other compilers, such as Al-Bayhaqi in his Shu’ubul Eemaan with an authentic isnaad and At-Tabaraani in Al-Mu’jam Al-Kabeer with a jayyid (good) isnaad. The detailed proof of their verified authenticity are mentioned in Al-Albaani’s Saheehul Jaami’is Sagheer.(*81) It is further authenticated in his Mishkaatul Masaabeeh(*82) and in his work, Al-Ahadeeth As-Saheehah.(*83)

THE NARRATION OF AL-HAAKIM AND OTHERS:

It is reported by Al-Haakim in his Mustadrak(*84) that the Prophet (upon whom be peace and blessings) took the hand of the companion, AbdurRahmaan bin ‘Owf, and they proceeded to visit the Prophet’s ailing son, Ibraheem. They found the infant in the throes of death, so the Prophet took him to his breast and held him until his spirit left him. Then he put the child down and wept, whereupon Abdur-Rahmaan asked in astonishment, “You are weeping, Oh Messenger of Allah, while you prohibit crying!?” The following is the Prophet’s reply:

“Verily, I did not prohibit weeping [per se] but rather, I forbade two voices [sowtayn] which are imbecilic [ahmaq] and sinfully shameless [faajir]: one, a voice [singing] to the accompaniment of musical amusement [lahw] and Satan’s [wind] instruments; the other, a voice [wailing] due to some calamity, accompanied by striking of the face and tearing of garments. But this [weeping of mine] stems from compassion, and whosoever does not show compassion will not receive it.”

This hadeeth’s degree is hasan,(*85) and it has been strengthened by another narration related by Abu Bakr Ash-Shaafi’ee in his work, Ar-Rubaa’eeyat.(*86) Its abbreviated text follows.

THE NARRATION OF ABU BAKR ASH-SHAAFI’EE:

Anas bin Maalik related from the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) that “two cursed sounds are that of the [wind] instrument [mizmaar](*87) played on the occasion of joy and grace, and woeful wailing upon the occurrence of adversity.”(*88)

A similar text with slightly different wording is related by Al-Bazzaar in his collection(*89) of hadeeths. Al-Haafidh Nooruddeen Al-Haythami mentioned it in his Majma’ Az-Zawaaid(*90) and indicated that the narrators of this isnaad are all dependable. Thus, these last three narrations prove the illegality of music and singing to musical accompanient, especially wind instruments (mazaameer), which are referred to as “flutes of Satan” in the tradition related by Al-Haakim.

The traditions quoted are not the only available authentic hadeeths which establish prohibition. There are others(*91), however the scope of this treatise does not allow a more detailed exposition. The sample mentioned is sufficient proof, for {verily, therein is a reminder for any who has a heart or who gives ear and earnestly witnesses [the truth].}(*92)

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Footnotes

(*1)Soorah Al-Israa, 17:55.

(*2)The common misconception is that he sang to the accompanient of harp. The origin of this is in Judeo-Christian sources which have suffered the effects of alteration and distortion; therefore, they cannot be depended upon.

(*3)The Holy Quran: text,translation and commentary, vol. 1, p.709, footnote no. 2241.

(*4)It must be noted that the “psalms” which are presently extant in the Old testament versions are erroneuosly attributed to Dawood and are not the original Psalms (Az-Zaboor) revealed to him by Allah. The reason for this is the extensive alteration and interpolation of later writers.

(*5)For example, see Soorah Bani Israeel, 17:55 and Soorah An-Nisaa, 4:163.

(*6)Traditions are authentic textual material containing clear and explicit sayings of the Prophet. His sayings in this matter only refer to the beautiful, melodious quality of Dawood’s voice in reciting from the Book of Psalms. It is true that a number of narrations (aathaar mowqoofah) reported on the authority of some of the taabi’een (the generation after the companions) refer to the wonderful qualities of Dawood’s voice in an exxagerated manner, and in some of these a mention of musical instruments is found. However, such narrations do not stand as valid proof in this issue because they consist of views and/or reports of the type known as israaaeeliyaat (reports gleaned from hearsay or the traditions of the People of Book). The criterion in such matters is to be based upon a reference to Allah’s Book and the authentic sunnah. For a sample of such narrations, see Ibn Katheer’s volumnious historic compendium, AlBidaayah wan Nihaayah, vol.2, pp. 10-11.

(*7)See Tafseerul Quraanil Adheem, vol.2, p. 422.

(*8)Refer to the tafseer (commentary) entitled Roohul Ma’aani, vol. 6, p. 17.

(*9)See Qurtubi’s Al-Jaami’li Ahkaamil Quraan, vol. 6, pp. 16-17.

(*10)Tafseer Roohul Ma’aani, vol 6, p. 17.

(*11)For details, see Qurtubi’s Al-Jaami’li Ahkaamil Quraan, vol 6, p. 17; Ibn Katheer’s Al-Bidaayah wan Nihaayah, vol. 2, pp.10-11 and An-Najjaar’s Qassasul Anbiyya, pp. 310-311.

(*12)Soorah Saad, 38:41-42.

(*13)Soorah Saad, 38:44.

(*14)The type of dancing most probably meant is that of the Sufi dervishes and others; for they considered their esctatic twirling to the accompaniment of certain ritual formulas (adhkaar) and musical instruments a form of worship (ibaadah) which brings one closer to Allah. Of course, such things are none other than bid’ah (blameworthy innovations and misguidance in deen).

(*15)See Qurtubi’s Al-Jaami’li Ahkaamil Quraan, vol. 15, p. 215.

(*16)Ibid.

(*17)Soorah Al-Araaf, 7:160.

(*18)The beating of the typically hard, stuffed cushions of the Arabic “majlis” decor, produces a hollow sound similar to the bass drum. This was a common musical accompanient for singers in Iraq during the early historical eras (circa 1st-2nd century of the Hijrah) See pp. 106-107 of Ibn Hajar Al-Haythami’s Kaffur Ra’aa.

(*19)See Qurtubi’s Al-Jaami’li Ahkaamil Quraan, vol. 15, p. 215.

*20)The codified science containing principles and methods for arriving at a jurisprudential ruling directly from the texts of the Quraan and sunnah, or by a referral to the general principles embodied in such texts or applied to to them.

*21)The law of those who received a divinely-revealed scripture before us, who are designated as the People of the Book (Ahlul Kitaab) – the Jews and Christians.

(*22)For details outlining the various scholars’ views regarding the application or abrogation of previously-revealed law, see Zakaria Bardeesi’s Usool Fiqh, p. 243-247.

(*23)53:59-62.

(*24)For details, see pp. 123-124 of vol.17 of his tafseer.

(*25)See Al-Jowhari’s As-Sihaah, vol. 2, p. 489.

*26)Al-Jaami’li Ahkaamil Quraan, vol. 17, p. 123.

(*27)Ibid.

(*28)See Jaami’ul Bayaan’an Taweeli Aayil Quraan, vol. 27, pp. 82-84.

(*29)See also Qurtubi’s tafseer, vol. 17, p. 123.

(*30)It is interesting to note that other major commentaries of “ahkaamul Quraan” (jurisprudential rulings derived from the Quraanic texts) do not even mention this verse as proof for the prohibition of music,etc. For example, see the works of Al-Jassaas, Ibnul-Arabi and Ilkeeya Al-Harraasi.

(*31)Soorah Al-Israa, 17:64.

(*32)See Qurtubi’s tafseer, vol. 10, p. 289; Ibn Katheer’s Tafseerul Quraanil Adheem, vol. 5, p. 91 and At-Tabari’s tafseer, vol. 15, p. 118.

(*33)As reported in the narration of At-Tabari traced to Ibn Abbaas and Qatadah. See his tafseer, vol. 15, p. 118 for details.

(*34)See At-Tabari’s tafseer, vol. 15, p. 118, for details.

(*35)31:6.

(*36)Related by Al-Bayhaqi, Ubnul-Munhdir and Al-Haakim in his Mustadrak, where he authenticated it; and it was confirmed by Adh-Dhahabi.

(*37)See At-Tabari’s Jaami’ul Bayaan, vol. 21, p. 61 for the various narrations related to Ibn Abbaas.

(*38)Ibid., vol. 21, p. 62.

(*39)For details, see the tafseer of Ibn Katheer, vol. 6, p. 334; Al-Qurtubi’s Al-Jaami’, vol. 14, pp. 51-53 and As-Suyooti’s Ad-Durr Al-Manthoor, vol. 5, pp. 158-160.

(*40)See the commentaries of Ibn Katheer, vol. 6, p. 334 and At-Tabari, vol. 21, p. 63.

(*41)Roohul Ma’aani, vol. 21, p. 67.

(*42)Soorah Luqmaan, 31:7.

(*43)Related by At-Tabari in his tafseer, vol. 21, p. 63. The reference is to Soorah Fussilat, 41:26, whose meaning may be rendered, {Those who disbelieve say, “Don’t listen to this Quraan. Drown out the hearing of it,so that perchance you may overcome.”} There are other interpretations of it, but Ibn Zayd’s, as mentioned above, is the most obvious. See Al-Qurtubi’s tafseer, vol. 15, p. 356, for details.

(*44)That is, every form of communication.

*45)Quoted from p. 63, vol. 21, of his Jaami’ul Bayaan’an Taweeli Aayil Quraan.

(*46)The wearing of silk is lawful for females but has been forbidden for men.

(*47)See Fathul Baari, vol. 10, p. 51.

(*48)Isnaad or sanad is the chain of narrators of prophetic traditions. In this case, it’s from Imaam Al-Bukhaari traced back to the Prophet. The narrator’s reliabilty in reporting, as well as other considerations connected with the science of verification and assessment of the degree of prophetic traditions, fall under these terms.

(*49)According to Ibn Hajar’s statement in Fathul Baari, vol. 10, p. 52, Ibn Hazm claimed that there is a break between Al-Bukhaari and the narrator, Sadaqah bin Khaalid. Whatever the case, both claims will be shown to be unfounded.

(*50)For details, refer to vol. 10, p. 52 of the Salafi edition, Cairo.

(*51)This is the short title of Al-Bukaari’s collection, and it means, “The Authentic Compilation.” It is most deserving of this title as it is the most authentic book after the Quraan.

(*52)See Fathul Baari, vol. 5, pp. 17-22, for details.

(*53)Such as Al-Bukaari’s history, At-Taareekh Al-Kabeer, Ibn Hibbaan’s Mawaarid Adh-Dhamaan and At-Tabaraani’s Al-Mu’jam Al-Kabeer.

(*54)i.e whether the companion’s name (rather his kunyah, signifying the appellation, “father of so and so”) was Abu Maalik or Abu ‘Aamir.

(*55)That is from both of the companions, Abu Maalik and Abu ‘Aamir. Thus, the question regarding the diference of the name is no longer an issue.

(*56)Taghleequt Ta’leeq, vol. 5, p. 22.

(*57)This book has been translated into English by various publishers under the title “The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam (Al-Hilal Wal Haram Fil Islam)” by Yusuf Al-Qaradwi.

(*58)The terminology “fuqahaa of hadeeth” used by Al-Qardaawi appears to reveal his unfamiliarity with proper designation of the various types of scholars of Islam according to their particular branch of Islamic science. Fuqahaa is a term applied to jusisprudents who study the legal issues derived from the shari’ah and who arrive at rulings in regard to them. Nowhere, to my knowledge, has the term fuqahaaul hadeeth been used in hadeeth criticism. The specialists in the area of criticism, verification and assesment of hadeeth literature are termed ashaabul hadeeth (those who relate and apply the hadeeth) or nuqqaadul hadeeth (critical assessors of hadeeth) or merely al-muhaddithoon (narrators of hadeeth). It appears that Al-Qardaawi depends on the views of “general “scholars, the likes of Al-Ghazaali, Ibnul-Arabi and Ibn Hazm rather than on the qualified specialists in the noble hadeeth sciences such as Al-Bukhaari, Muslim, Ahmad, Ibn Ma’een, Abu Dawood, Abu Zura’h, Ibn Abi Haatim, Ibnus-Salaah, Al-Iraaqi, Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Hajar. These and their likes are authorities. But Al-Qardaawi has not quoted these or any of their calibre, even though there is a conensus among such qualified authorities that authentic hadeeths prohibiting music and its variants do exist, as shall be seen futher on in this paper.

(*59)See p.293 of his Al-Halaal wal Haraam fil Islam. Such bold, all-encompassing statements (if correctly attributed to Ibn Hazm and Ibnul-Arabi) are unfortunate examples of overstepping the boundaries of the scholars’ domain. Not even the most accomplished specialists in the field of hadeeth criticism would dare to make such blank statements such as, “Every hadeeth relating to prohibition of music is false.” or “There is no authentic hadeeth prohibiting music,” etc. because they dont know every hadeeth which exists nor the degree of every hadeeth which exists!! Had these scholars confined their views somewhat by saying something like, “As far as I know, there are no authentic hadeeths…”etc. that would have been closer to the truth, would have protected their honor and would not have left them open to blame and censure. But as it is said, “Every prize courser is prone to a fall”, all are prone to error except the true, chosen Messengers of Allah (may He exalt them and grant them peace).

(*60)This was due to his stubborn insistence on aplying only the meaning of the shari’ah texts (i.e. the literal wording of the Quraan and traditions). This attitude often led him to have peculiar, even ridiculous views regarding certain jurisprudential issues. See his work, Al-Muhalla for details.

(*61)Page 401 of his biographical work, Mukhtasar Tabaqaati Ulamaail Hadeeth.

(*62)The monumental Arabic dictionary, vol. 9, pp. 244-245.

(*63)In this form (‘azf), it is an exception to the general principle of derivation by analogy. See Lisaanul Arab, vol. 9, p. 244.

(*64)In this form dufoof is plural of daff or duff, a small hand drum which is like the tambourine except that it doesnt have the steel objects which rattle. It consists of a narrow wooden rim. Around one side of it, a thin animal hide is bound tightly. Sound is evinced by tapping it with the fingertips or palm of the hand.

(*65)As-Sihaah, vol. 4, p. 1402.

(*66)Taajul ‘Aroos min Jawaahirul Qaamoos, vol. 6, p. 197.

(*67)A dictionary in which terms of the prophetic traditions appear.

(*68)See vol. 3, p. 230 of An-Nihaayah.

(*69)i.e. Fat-hul Baari, vol.10, p. 55.

(*70)When singing has musical accompanient it takes on the description of ‘azf or mi’zaf, i.e. musical entertainment.

(*71)Music, instruments and singing to musical accompaniment.

(*72)See vol. 2, p. 3 85 of the edition edited by Muhammad Mustafa Al-Adhami.

(*73)See ‘Ownul Ma’bood, vol. 13, p. 271.

(*74)Vol. 1, hadeeth no. 90, pp. 136-139.

(*75)Vol. 5-6, p. 105, hadeeth no. 5530.

(*76)Page 228, hadeeth no. 402.

(*77)See Ahmad’s Musnad, vol. 1, pp. 289 and 350, vol. 2, pp. 158 and 171-172.

(*78)See Ahmad’s Musnad, vol. 2, pp. 165 and 167.

(*79)The Arabian guitar, termed qinneen in the text of the hadeeth.

(*80)Witr refers to a voluntary prayer performed during the night after ‘Eeshaa (the night prayer). It consists of an odd number of units (raka’aat) from one to nine.

(*81)Vol. 1-2, p. 106, hadeeth no. 1743 and 1744.

(*82)Vol. 2, p. 1276, hadeeth no. 4503.

(*83)Vol. 4, pp. 283-285, hadeeth no. 1708 and p. 422, hadeeth no. 1806.

(*84)Entitled Al-Mustadrak ‘alas Saheehayn; the hadeeth appears on p. 40 of vol. 4.

(*85)For the details regarding the critical analysis and evaluation of this and related asaaneed, see Al-Albaani’s Silsilatul Ahadeeth As-Saheehah, vol. 1, hadeeth no. 428 and Al-Bagawi’s Sharhus Sunnah, vol. 5, p. 431.

(*86)Manuscript no. 2/22/1, as related by the scholars of hadeeth, Naasiruddeen Al-Albaani in his Al-Ahaadeeth As-Saheehah, vol. 1, p. 170 of the 5th section.

(*87)A type of flute.

(*88)Its isnaad is authentic.

(*89)Al-Musnad.

(*90)Vol. 3, page 13.

(*91)For other authentic traditions which will establish the ruling of prohibition, see the valuable treatise, entitled Ahadeeth Dhammil Ghinaa wal Maazif fil Meezan, pp. 35, 47, 50 and 53 (Kuwait, Maktabah Daarul Aqsaa, 1986).

(*92)Soorah Qaaf, 50:37.

CONSENSUS OF THE COMPANIONS,TAABIEEN IMAMS AND OTHER FUQAHAA

No doubt, the companions of the Prophet) were the best people after the Messengers of Allah. The companions received the knowledge of Islam from the Prophet and faithfully conveyed it to us. Therefore, it is useful to know their views regarding the subject of this treatise, for their consensus (ijmaa’) carries absolute weight(*93) in this matter and clarifies the correct view, removing any lingering doubts in the hearts of those who have not yet been graced with the gift of surety (yaqeen) and conviction.

In order to further strengthen the view previously established, it is necessary to review the opinions of the taabi’een, the four imams and other accomplished scholars of Islam. One of the attributes of sound Islamic methodology is the reference to the views and positions held by the pious predecessors of the Islamic ummah and the respectful consideration with which one approaches them. However, their views, as with the views of all, must be subjected to the criterion of Allah’s Book and the authentically-related prophetic traditions. Since the prohibition of music has already been established beyond the slightest doubt through detailed proof from the authentic sunnah, this section of the treatise is presented merely for the sake of the reader’s knowledge and Islamic awareness.

THE POSITION OF THE COMPANIONS ON THIS ISSUE

A few of the later Shafi’ite scholars related Ibn Taahir’s(*94) claim that the sahaabah and taabi’een unanimously agreed upon the permissibility of singing (ghinaa); therefore, those who came after them have no right to challenge their authority. The Shafi’ite scholar, Ibn Hajar Al-Haythami Al-Makki (909-974 H.), mentioned(*95) that some went so far as to claim the supposed consensus of ahlul Madeenah on this question. They even accused twenty-four scholars from among the sahaaabah, as well as innumerable taabi’een, their followers, and the four imams and their disciples of singing and listening to song. However, regarding the previously mentioned claim by Ibn Taahir and those who indiscriminately followed him, an authority on Shafi’ite scholarship, Shihaabuddeen Al-Adhraa’i (708-783 H.) refuted such facile reports and insisted that Ibn Taahir was not dependable in such matters. Al-Adhraa’i related that in Ibn Taahir’s book Safwatut Tasawwuf (The Vanguard of Sufism) and his treatise, As-Samaa’a (Listening [to music, singing, etc.]), one finds disgraceful, scandalous things, along with ugly instances of fraudulent presentations of material(in defense of his position on this issue).(*96) Al-Adhraa’i further clarified that what has been attributed to the companions could not be established by authentically-related narrations (aaathaar), but rather, their assertions were based on reports of certain companions listening to poetry, chants or songs.(*97) This does not substantiate their allegations, for such things are permitted by consensus and fall outside the realm of this area of dispute.(*98) Clearly, it was related that some companions performed permitted aspects of singing, etc., however, these actions were distorted out of context by such persons to include every type of singing, without specification or restriction.

Al-Adhaar’i then quoted an authoritative Shafi’ite imam, Abdul-Qaasim Ad-Dowlaqi, who clarifies in his book As-Samaa’a, the vital point which is at the crux of this issue. He says, “It has not been related regarding any one of the companions (may Allah be pleased with them) that he listened to the sort of singing which is of the disputed type;(*99) nor is it related that gatherings for song were organized for him, nor that people were invited to them – either publicly or privately, nor that he praised such song; rather, it was the companions’ habit to censure and blame such gatherings for the purpose of listening to it.”(*100)

Ibn Hajar Al-Haythami concludes his discourse by pointing out that it is clear from what has preceded that it is not permissible to blindly adhere to Ibn Taahir’s views, because he has deviated in both the point of view of his narrations (naql), and his personal opinions (aql). He was also a liar, innovator and a libertine. As for those who relate that the companions and others permitted the disputed types of song, they have committed an ugly mistake and have fallen prey to gross error. The issue of song and music is of two types: the first type is permitted by consensus, and the second type is disputed about as to its prohibition. To intimate that the companions’ listening to certain forms of poetry, singing, chanting, etc. is of the second type is invalid arbitrariness and is not based on the principles of jurisprudence and hadeeth science. Such principles clearly indicate that we must interpret whatever has been related on this issue regarding the companions as that type of song permitted by consensus.(*101)

Regarding this particular issue, Yoosuf Al-Qardaawi makes a bold and misleading statement. It reads: “It is related regarding a large number of companions and taabi’een, that they used to listen to song [ghinaa], and they didn’t see any harm in that.”(*102) This assertion is misleading for a number of reasons. Firstly, he claims that it has been “related”, however, he brings no valid proof of such a statement – not even a single pertinent tradition (athar) related to the companions(*103). Secondly, he leads the reader to believe that the sahabah listened to all types of song. This he accomplishes with the general wording “used to listen to song.” In reality, they only listened to particular types, as specified lawful in the sunnah. These types are restricted as to who may sing and who may listen, on what occasions they are allowed and in what manner they are to be delivered. The difference between what Qardaawi has intimated and what really occurred is like night and day.

In reality, the companions unanimously agreed upon the prohibition of music and song but allowed particular exceptions specified by the authentic sunnah. Many authentic narrations (aathaar) traced to the various sahaabah bear witness to this. For example, it is authentically related by Al-Bayhaqi that the companion, Abdullah bin Masood said, “Singing sprouts hypocrisy in the heart as rain sprouts herbs and greens.” As was related in an earlier portion of this treatise, when he was questioned regarding the meaning of the words {lahwal hadeeth}(*104) he replied, “I swear by Him besides Whom there is no other god that it refers to singing.”(*105) He repeated it three times over to emphasize his belief that the words from the Quraan were a rebuke and censure of singing. In addition to this, the same view was held by the four rightly-guided caliphs, the fuqahaa among the sahaabah such as Ibn Abaas, Ibn Umar and Jaabir bin Abdullah, as well as the general body of sahaabah (may Allah be pleased with them all)(*106). Anyone who claims differently is requested to bring proof. It is further requested that it be an authentically-reported, clear and unambiguous text that it relate specifically to the point of dispute (mahallun nizaa).

THE VIEW OF THE TAABI’EEN IMAMS AND SCHOLARS AFTER THEM

The view held by the companions was generally adhered to by the taabi’een and their followers, the four imams and the great majority of dependable Islamic scholars up to the present time. From among the taabi’een and their followers, there are such authorities as Mujaahid, Ikrimah, An-Nakha’i and Al-Hassan Al-Basri.(*107)

IMAM ABU HANEEFAH:

Imam Abu Haneefah(*108) has perhaps the harshest view of the four famous Imams of jurisprudence. His school of thought is the strictest, for he detested singing and considered it sinful. As for his disciples, they have explicitly confirmed the prohibition of listening to all musical amusements and pastimes, including wind instruments (mazaameer),(*109) all types of tambourines, hand drums (dufoof)(*110) and even the striking of sticks(al-qadeeb). They have asserted that such actions constitute disobedience to Allah and that the performer of such action is sinful, therefore necessitating rejection of his testimony.(*111) They have further stated that it is incumbent upon the Muslim to struggle to avoid listening to such things, even if he were passing by or stationed near them (without any willful intention). Abu Haneefah’s closest disciple, Abu Yoosuf, stated that if the sound of musical instruments (ma’aazif) and amusements (malaahi) were heard coming from a house, the house could be entered without permission of its owners.(*112) The justification for this is that the command regarding the prohibition of abominable things (munkaaraat) is mandatory, and cannot be established if such entering rests upon the permission of the residents of the premises.(*113) This is the madhhab (position) of the rest of the Kufic scholars as well, such as Ibraheem An-Nakha’i, Ash-Sha’bi, Hammaad and Ath-Thowri. They do not differ on this issue. The same can be said of the general body of jurisprudence of Al-Basrah.(*114)

IMAAM MAALIK:

It is related by Ibnul-Jowzi that Ishaaq bin ‘Eesaa At-Tabba’a asked Imaam Maalik bin Anas,(*115) the leading jurisprudent of Madeenah, about the view of the people of Madeenah regarding singing (ghinaa). He replied, “In fact, that is done by the sinful ones.” Abut-teeb At-Tabari said, “As for Maalik bin Anas, he truly did prohibit singing and listening to it.” He further related that Maalik said, “If one purchased a slave-girl(*116) and found her to be a professional singer, he could return her to the original owner for reimbursement on the claim of having found fault in the merchandise.”(*117) The ruling of prohibition (tahreem) is generally agreed upon by the scholars of Madeenah. The Maaliki jurisprudence and commentator, Al-Qurtubi, reports Ibn Khuwayz Mandaad as saying that Imam Maalik had learned singing and music as a small boy until his mother encouraged him to leave it for a study of the religious sciences. He did, and his view became that such things were prohibited.(*118) Al-Qurtubi confirmed Maalik’s view by saying that the only exception to this general ruling was the type of innocent songs such as those sung to placate the camels during travel, or during hard labor or boredom or during times of festivity and joy, such as the ‘Eed days and weddings – the latter to the accompaniment of a simple daff (hand drum). Al-Qurtubi then said, “As for that which is done in our day, by way of the [blameworthy] innovations [bidah] of the Sufi mystics in their addition to hearing songs to the accompaniment of melodious instruments such as flutes, string instruments, etc., such is haraam [forbidden].(*119)

IMAAM SHAAFI’EE:

In the book, Aadaabul Qadaa, Ash-Shaafi’ee is reported as saying, “Verily, song is loathsome [makrooh]; it resembles the false and vain thing [al-baatil]. The one who partakes of it frequently is an incompetent fool whose testimony is to be rejected.”(*121) His closest and most knowledgeable disciples clearly stipulate that his position on this issue is that of prohibition (tahreem) and they rebuke those who attribute its legality to him.(*122) This is confirmed by the later Shafi’ite scholar, Ibn Hajar Al-Haythami. He related that one of Ash-Shaafi’ee’s disciples, Al-Haarith Al-Muhaasibi (d.243 H) said, “Song is haraam, just as the carcass [maytah](*123) is.” Furthermore, the statement that singing is haraam is found in the treatise, Ash-Sharh Al-Kabeer, by the authoritative Shafi’ite scholar, Ar-Raafi’ee (d.623 H.). This is further corroborated by the accomplished Shafiiite jurisprudent, Imam An-Nawawi (d.676 H.) in his Rowdah.(*124) Such is the correct view of the dependable scholars of the Shafi’ite madhhab. However, due to limited knowledge and personal fancy and desire, a few of their latter-day scholars disagree with this view.(*125)

IMAM AHMAD BIN HANBAL:

Imaam Ahmad’s(*126) position regarding this issue has been narrated in detail by the Hanbalite jurisprudent and Quranic commentator, Abul-Faraj Ibnul-Jowzi (d.597 H.) in his treatise, Tablees Iblees (Satan’s deception). He tells us that ghinaa during Ahmad’s era consisted primarily of a rhymed, rythmical chanting (inshaad) of poems(*127) whose purpose was to lead people to a pious, abstentious way of life. However, when such chanters began to vary their simple style to one of a throbbing, affected melody, the narrations regarding Ahmad began to differ. His own son and student, Abdullah, relates that his father said, “Singing(*128) sprouts hypocrisy in the heart; it doesn’t please me.” The scholar, Ismaa’eel bin Ishaaq Ath-Thaqafi, reports that Ahmad was questioned regarding one’s listening to those poems (qasaaid) to which he replied, “I despise it, for it is a bid’ah [innovation]. Don’t sit down to listen to its reciters.” Abul-Haarith relates that Ahmad said, “At-taghyeer(*129) is an innovation,” whereupon it was said, “But it sensitizes and softens the heart.” Ahmad rejoined, “It is a bid’ah [blameworthy innovation].” Yaqoob Al-Haashimi narrates that Ahmad said, “At-taghyeer is a recent innovation,” and Yaqoob bin Gayyaath reports him as saying that he despised at-taghyeer and prohibited one’s listening to it.(*130)

Ibnul-Jowzi then mentioned some narrations related by Abu Bakr Al-Khlallaal and Ahmad’s son Saalih, which indicate Ahmad’s not being averse to poetry sessions. It is related that Ahmad heard a singer (qawwal) a didn’t reproach him, whereupon Saalih said to him, “Oh father, didn’t you used to criticize and censure such a thing?” Ahmad replied, “That was because I was told that they were doing reproachable things, so i despised it; as for this, I do not dislike it.” Ibnul-Jowzi commented at this point, “Some of the scholars of our [Hanbalite] school mention that Abu Bakr Al-Khallaal (d.311 H.) and his disciple, Abdul-Azeez, permitted singing [ghinaa]. Such a statement refers to the spiritual poems [qasaaid zuhduyyaat] which were prevalent during their time. This is precisely the type of singing which was not disliked by Ahmad [as previously mentioned].(*131) Ahmad bin Hanbal attests to this in the instance where he was asked regarding a deceased person who left behind him a son and a [professional singing] slave-girl.(*132) The son then needed to sell her. Ahmad said that she was not to be sold on the basis of her being a singer. Upon this it was said to him that, [as a singer], she was worth thirty-thousand dirhams, whereas if she were sold only on the basis of her being simply a slave-girl, she would perhaps be worth only twenty dinars. Ahmad reaffirmed that she was allowed to be sold only on the basis of her being simply a slave-girl.” Ibnul-Jowzi explained, “The reason Ahmad said this is because the singing slave-girl doesn’t sing spiritual poems [qasaaid zuhdiyaat]; rather, she sings throbbing lyrics which incite passion in one’s being. This is proof that such singing is haraam, for if it were not so, the incurred loss of the orphans son’s wealth would not be permissible.(*133) Furthermore, it is reported by the jurisprudent Al-Mirwazi that Ahmad bin Hanbal said, “The earnings of the effeminate [mukhannath] singer are foul [khabeeth] because he doesn’t sing spiritual poems, but rather, he sings erotic poetry [al-ghazal] in a licentious, cooing manner.”

Ibnul-Jowzi concluded that it is obvious from what has preceded that the variant narrations relating to Ahmads dislike of (karaahah) or permission for singing depended upon the type of singing that was meant. As for the type of singing which is popular today,(*134) it would be forbidden according to Ahmad’s view. If only he could see what the people have added to it by way of innovation.(*135)

In conclusion, the general consensus of the companions, taabi’een and the following generations of Islamic scholars up to the present day, including the four Imams, points to the ruling of prohibition of music and song (other than the exceptions to be mentioned later).

THOSE WHO APPROVED OF SINGING AND ITS REFUTATION

There is agreement among the four imams that all musical instruments(*136) (ma’aazif) are forbidden. Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah affirms this in his celebrated Fataawa where he says, “The madhhab of the four imams is that all instruments of musical entertainment are haraam [forbidden]. It is authentically related in Saheehul Bukhaari and other compilations that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) foretold that some of his ummah would seek to make lawful: fornication, the wearing of silk, wine-drinking and musical instruments [ma'aazif]; and that such people would be turned into apes and swine. The term ma’aazif means musical entertainment, as has been mentioned by the scholars of the Arabic language. It is the plural of mi’zafah, the instrument upon which one makes musical sounds. None of the disciples of these imams has mentioned the existance of any dissension from the consensus on the prohibition of all instruments of musical entertainments.”(*137)

It has been indicated that a few scholars see no harm in singing and/or in the playing of music. In order to remove any doubt from the reader’s mind regarding this vital issue it is necessary not only to mention these scholars and their claims but also to establish the proof against them. Any such claims of permissibility made in reference to the noble companions or the four imams of the popular schools of jurisprudence have already been refuted in detail.

It is mentioned in various classical works that certain fuqahaa saw no harm in singing. Some of these early scholars(*138) are: Ibraheem bin Sa’d from the people of Madeenah, Ubaidullah Ibnul-Hasan Al-Anbari from Al- Basrah and Abu Bakr Ibnul-Khallaal from the Hanbalite scholars.(*139) The Shafi’ite faqeeh, Ibn Taahir, was mentioned earlier, and his claims were refuted in detail.(*140) Therefore, there is no need to mention him at this point. This reply regards what has been related in reference to the three above-mentioned scholars. It was narrated that they did not see any harm in simple ghinaa (singing), without musical accompaniment or licentious lyrics, etc. In addition to this, as has been previously detailed(*141) by Ibnul-Jowzi, Ibnul-Khallaal saw no harm in the recitation of spiritual poems (qasaaid zuhdiyaat) in a sweet and melodious voice. Therefore, even though those who would like to establish the ruling of permissibility sometimes exploit the positions of such scholars, it is futile, because what these scholars allowed is agreed upon by consensus and is not the point of contention (mahallun nizaa’).

A group of later scholars often referred to as maintaining the view of permissiblility are Ibn Hazm,(*142) Ibnul-Arabi(*143) and Al-Ghazaali.(*144) Some of the gross misconceptions of the former two have already been refuted.(*145) A final reply to them is a quotation from the oft-repeated words of Ibn Hazm himself: “It is incumbent upon us that we do not accept the saying of any person after Allah’s Messenger, unless such a person authentically relates it back to the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him).” Being aware of the previously-established, clear ruling of prohibition given by the Prophet on this issue,(*146) it becomes one’s obligation to reject all positions contradictory to his and to accept his decision as binding and final. Verily, Allah, the Majestic and Exalted, has made such an attitude of obedience to His Messenger the criterion of true faith (eeman). He says in His glorious Quraan:

{But no, by thy Lord, they [Muslims] do not have [real] faith unless they make you [Oh Muhammad] judge of all disputes between them, and then find within themselves no dislike of your decision, but rather, submit with full submission.}(*147)

The latter scholar of this group, Al-Ghazaali, is often quoted by some(*148) as having maintained a view of permissibility. It must be made clear that he argued in favor of only innocent singing, physical sport and entertainment. Nowhere did he mention or argue in favor of the permissibility of musical instruments or musical accompaniment to singing. Thus, those who quote him as a proof for the legality of music commit a gross error and do him a great injustice, for they impute to him that which he himself did not claim.

As for the two traditions mentioned by Al-Ghazaali, neither one meets the criterion required as proof for permissibility. The first one refers to the ‘Eed day festival when Aaishah listened to two young girls sing for her and beat upon a small hand drum (daff). The text of this tradition merely mentions an innocent form of singing Arabic poetry whose lyrics describe courage, noble manners and war.(*149) This is all permissible by unanimous consent and in no way lends itself as proof of the permissibility of music and/or singing to musical accompaniment.(*150) The second tradition mentions Aaishah as a child watching Ethiopian warriors perform physical feats and display their abilities with spears and shields. In Islam, physical exercises and exhibitions of skill and prowess are not only permissible but praiseworthy as well, especially if they are done for the purpose of keeping the body in physical and mental readiness for jihaad. It is essential to point out that in this hadeeth there is absolutely no mention of either music or singing and, therefore, is invalid as a defense for what has been claimed.

Thus, one may surmise that Al-Ghazaali argued for nothing more than that for which legality has been established and agreed upon. For the sake of argument, if Al-Ghazaali or any other scholar had argued for the permissibility of music and/or singing to its accompaniment, the reply would be precisely what has been stated in the case of Ibn Hazm and Ibnul-Arabi: When it is in contradiction to the authentic sunnah, one cannot accept the view of any other person after Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be up on him.)

From what has preceded, it is no exaggeration to state that there is a general consensus of the scholars of the Islamic ummah regarding the prohibition of music and singing to musical accompaniment. This is true because the consensus (ijmaa’) was accomplished by those whose ijmaa’ is esteemed and binding: the companions, taabi’een, and the four famous and respected imams. These were the best of generations, as is witnessed by Allah’s Messenger when he said, “The best of people is my generation, and then those that follow them, and then those that follow them.”(*151) The fact that a few later scholars differed with these pious predecessors has no effect on their previously-established consensus. Rather, one must consider the later scholars’ dissension as a clear example of deviation (shudhoodh) bearing no weight in the scale of the divinely-revealed shari’ah

THE WISDOM BEHIND ITS PROHIBITON BY THE DIVINELY REVEALED SHARIAH

Perhaps the most salient feature of the divinely revealed shari’ah is its all-encompassing benefit (maslahah) for the sake of mankind, regarding all aspects of their spiritual and material welfare. Thus, it is, that various ordinances in the form of divine legislation have been given to man, directing him to pious works of worship (ibaadat)and social transactions (mu’aamlaat). Such works lead to spiritual peace and material prosperity. In accordance with Allah’s infinite knowledge, wisdom and mercy, it is necessary that He( glorified be His praise) should prohibit certain things whose effects are evil and harmful to His slaves. This principle is perfectly epitomised in the following authentic tradition of the Prophet (upon whom be peace and blessings):

“By the One in Whose hand is my soul, there is not a thing which brings you nearer to Paradise and distances you from the Fire, except that I have directed you to it; and there is not a thing which brings you closer to the Fire while distancing you from Paradise, except that I have prohibited it for you.”(*152)

From the foregoing hadeeth , as well as other texts of the Quraan and sunnah, the scholars of usool(*153) have formulated certain vital objectives (maqaasid) of the divine law. Among these is the principle that nothing has been ordained for man except that which is for his own good and benefit, while nothing has been prohibited except that which is harmful and detrimental to his welfare. With this principle in mind, one perhaps can have a general understanding of the infinite, divine wisdom behind the prohibition of music and its adjuncts. Its potential moral, spiritual and social evils are a danger to the Muslim individual as well as the Islamic community at large.

In order to convey some of the divine wisdom behind prohibition, it is useful to quote a few excerpts from the writings of the authoritative scholar, Ibnul-Qayyim,(*154) who has dealt with this subject extensively.(*155) In the section which exposes Satan’s deception of those who claim “spiritual mysticism” (tasawwuf)(*156) in their dancing, singing and listening to music, he says, “From among the artful machinations and entrapments of Allah’s enemy [Satan], with which he has snared those possessing little good sense, knowledge and deen [faith], and by which he has stalked the hearts of the false and ignorant people, there is the listening to whistling, wailing, handclapping and song to the accompaniment of forbidden [musical] instruments.(*157) Such things block the Quraan from people’s hearts and make them devoted to sin and disobedience. For song [to musical accompanient] is the Quraan(*158) of Ash-Shaytaan (Satan). It is a dense veil and barrier, preventing nearness to Ar-Rahmaaan!(*159) By way of such song, Satan deceives vain souls, making it appear pleasing to them through his cunning appeal to their vanities. He insidiously whispers false, specious arguments suggesting the ‘goodness’ in song. These arguments are accepted, and as a result, the Quraan becomes an object of neglect and abandonment.”(*160)

Ibnul-Qayyim describes in detail the physical and emotional change which overcomes the “Sufis” when they begin to hear such song and music. They begin to strike their feet in time to the rhythm, ans swaying effeminately to the tune, they whirl to a frenzy, screaming and wailing and tearing their clothes, like donkeys around the axis of a grinding mill. Such a laughing stock is the very joy of the enemies of Islam.(*161) Yet such people pretend that they are the very “elite”(*162) of Islam while taking their deen as an amusement and pastime. Hearing the [musical] instruments of Satan is dearer to them listening to the recitation of the Quraan.(*163)

He concludes by saying that “the result of preoccupation with song and music is that you never find its devotee other than astray from the path of guidance, in thought and deed. Such a person develops an aversion to the Quraan and a devotion to song. If he were offered a choice between listening to song/music or the Quraan, he would most certainly choose the former over latter, the audition of which is like a heavy burden upon him.”(*164)

Later on in his treatise, Ibnul-Qayyim specifies other aspects of the divine wisdom: “Therefore, know song has particular characteristics which faint the heart, causing hypocrisy to sprout therein, just as water sprouts plants. Among its qualities is that it distracts the heart and prevents it from among contemplation and understanding of the Quraan, and from applying it.(*165) This is because Quraan and song can never coexist in the heart, since they are mutually contradictory. For verily, the Quraan forbids the pursuing of vanities and ordains restraint of the souls passions and temptations to evil. Song, on the other hand, encourages the very opposite of these virtues, as it excites the hidden inner self and entices the soul to inequity by driving it towards every shameful desire…”

Among the signs of hypocrisy is one’s rarely remembering Allah(*166) and one’s laziness in rising to prayer along with its poor performance. Seldom do you find one infatuated by song except with such blameworthy attributes.

“Furthermore, hypocrisy is based on falsehood, and song contains the falsest lyrics. It attempts to beautify the abominable and encourages it, while seeking to make ugly and discouraging that which is good. Such is the very essence of hypocrisy. A person’s addiction to song peculiarly makes listening to the Quraan a heavy weight upon his heart, hateful to his ears. If this is not hypocrisy, then hypocrisy has no reality.”(*167)

Needless to say, the preceding exposition highlights the negative effects of music and song upon the Muslim. These effects induce in him hypocrisy, vice, neglect, vanity and a host of other attendant evils, the worst of which is its insidious ability to turn the devotee away from remembrance of Allah, His Book and His deen.

The adverse ramifications of music and song and their various attendant evils are well known facts experienced by all enlightened, thinking believers.(*168) It is this reality which has convinced a host of prominent American and European musicians and singers who have embraced Islam to leave this vile and ignoble profession(*169) {And verily, Allah guides the believers to a straight path.}(*170)

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Footnotes

(*93)The ijmaa’ (consensus or agreement) of any generation of scholars on a certain religous issue is binding upon the following generations. The Prophet has related in various traditions that the scholars from among his ummah (community) will never at a conensus that contains misguidance or error. Allah, the exalted, protects them from his. Because they were the closest generation to the Prophet, the companions were the most qualified to arrive at a consensus (ijmaa’).

(*94)Muhammad bin Taahir Al-Maqsadi (448-507 H.). Ad-Dhahabi says he has known to err and distort narrations of hadeeth in a gross manner (Meezanul I’tidaal, vol. 4, p. 587). Ibn Hajar says he deviated from the path of ahlus sunnah to a type of displeasing tasawwuf (mysticism). The critical scholars of hadeeth do not accept his transmissions because of his distortion of texts and errs in conveying them. Furthermore, he has written in defense of the permissibility of staring at young boys with sinful intent and his madhhab was one of licence (al-ibaadah). For details see, Ibn Hajar’s Lisaanul Meezan, vol. 5, pp. 207-210.

(*95)In his treatise, Kaffur Ra’aa’an Muharramaaatil Lahwi was Samaa’a (Desistance of the Rabble from Partaking of Unlawful Amusements and Audition Thereof), p. 25.

(*96)Kaffur Ra’aa, p. 65.

(*97)They listened to permissible recitations of poetry, chants or melodious songs by youths. They were lawful because they were not accompanied by musical instruments, nor were the words or methods of singing licentious.

(*98)Kaffur Ra’aa, p. 66.

(*99)The disputed type is other than the singing of innocent songs (without musical accompaniment) or the chanting of poetry and hymns which are pure and clean in subject matter and in form of delivery.

(*100)Quoted from Kaffur Ra’aa, p. 67.

(*101)Condensed from p. 67 of Kaffur Ra’aa. As for the types of song and music permitted by consensus, this refers to those particular examples of exception to the general rule of prohibition as mentioned in the authentic sunnah of the Prophet and the example of the companions. These examples will be dealt with in the latter part of this treatise.

(*102)Page 293 of his book, Al-Halaal wal Haraam.

(*103)It is incumbent upon anyone who makes a statement in religion to bring the isnaad (the chain of transimtters) on which that statement depends. No statement carries any value whatsoever unless its claimant presents the isnaad. Otherwise, as pointed out by the critical scholars of hadeeth, one could say whatever he wants in matters of religion. Any statement not supported by a validly related authentic isnaad is useless and rejected.

(*104)See Soorah Luqmaan, 31:6.

(*105)Authentically related by Al-Bayhaqi, Ibnul-Mundhir and others.

(*106)See Al-Qurtubi’s tafseer, vol. 14, pp. 51-52, and Al-Aaloosi’s tafseer, Roohul Ma’aani, vol. 21, pp. 66-68.

(*107)See pp. 67-68 of Kaffur Ra’aa; Al-Qurtubi’s tafseer, vol. 19, p. 51 and Shaykh Saalih Fowzaan’s Al-’Ilaam bi Naqdi Kitaabil Halaali wal Haraam, pp. 72-74.

(*108)The first of the four famous imaams. He was born in Koofah, Iraq in the 80th year of the Hijrah. He died in Baghdad in the year 150 H. See Adh-Dhahabi’s Seeyar A’laamin Nubalaa, vol. 6, pp. 390-403.

(*109)Such as flutes, pipes, horns and related wind instruments.

(*110)Small hand drums without steel jangles. This permitted type is to be used on certain restricted occassions as designated by the sunnah, the details of which will follow.

(*111)Testimony given by witnesses concerning matters or crimes involving punishments is only accepted from trustworthy, obedient Muslims.

(*112)In shari’ah, the mere suspicion of vice is not sufficient to warranat invasion of privacy by the authorities. Here, however, the violation is not confined to the privacy of the home and should be prevented, even forcibly, to avoid corruption of society.

(*113)Quoted from ‘Ownul Ma’bood Sharhu Sunan Abi Dawood, vol. 13, pp. 273-274.

(*114)Stated by Abut Teeb Taahir At-Tabari and quoted in Al-Qurtubi’s Al-Jaami’li Ahkaamil Quraan, vol. 14, p. 55.

(*115)He was born at Madeenah in the year 93 of the Hijrah and died there in 179H. For details of his life and times, see Qaadi Ayyad’s Tarteebul Madaarik, vol. 1, pp. 107-147.

(*116)In the time of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the world economy was almost completely based upon the institution of slavery. Wisdom and foresight demanded a gradual elimination of this deeply rooted social system. The Islamic method was to limit the ways in which slaves could be taken to only one – jihaad (lawful warfare), while at the same time imposing conditions under which a slave must be freed and encouraging the freeing of believing slaves as an act of worship which brings one closer to Allah. Mistreatment of slaves was strictly prohibited and they were always entitled to respect as human beings. These guidelines protecting slaves are still applicable today.

(*117)The previous sayings related to Maalik were quoted from Ibnul-Jowzi’s Talbees Ibless, p. 229.

(*118)Al-Jaami’li Ahkaamil Quraan, vol. 14, p. 55.

(*119)Ibid., vol. 14, p. 54.

(*120)He was born 150 H. in Gazzah in Palestine. He died and was buried in Cairo, 204 H. Details of his life and works are chronicled in Al-Bayhaqi’s Manaaqibush Shaafi’ee.

(*121)See Al-Qurtubi’s tafseer, vol. 14, p. 55 and Ibnul-Jowzi’s Talbees Iblees, p. 231. Also refer to footnote no. 111.

(*122)See ‘Ownul Ma’bood, vol. 13, p. 274.

(*123)Designates the carcass of the animal which has not been slaughetered in a manner acceptable to the shari’ah, but has died in a manner rendering it unlawful for food, such as dying from a disease, accident, naturally or by being hit by a blow, etc. However, the skin of such an animal may be used after proper curing.

(*124)Kaffur Ra’aa, p. 61.

(*125)Talbees Iblees, pp. 230-231. A sample of such scholars along with a refutation of their position will follow in the next section of this work.

(*126)He was born in Baghdad, 164 H. and died there in 241 H. See the excellent biography of his life as narrated by Ibnul-Jowzi in his Manaaqib Al-Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal.

(*127)In Arabic these are called qasaaiduz zuhd.

(*128)”Singing” here means without musical accompanient.

(*129)Indicates a change in the state of mind or disposition of a person who appears “overcome” by the mention (dhikr) of God in supplication (du’aa) performed in a humble, humiliating stance. Those who partake in this experience of being “overcome” are moved to extreme delight or grief by the manner in which such poetry is delivered. It is usually delivered in an affected, throbbing style which moves them to dance and gyrate to the beat and melody of such rythmic poems. Because of this “change” (taghyeer) which overcomes them, they were called al-mughayyarah. Refer to Talbees Iblees, p. 330.

(*130)Talbees Iblees, p. 228.

(*131)All of these scholars, including Ahmad, did not mind a certain type of chanting, singing and recitation of poetry or stories, etc. without musical accompanient or other prohibited aspects.

(*132)Refer to footnote no. 116.

(*133)The loss incurred by selling the slave girl not as singer but as an ordinary worker.

(*134)This statement was made during the 6th century of the Islamic era. Therefore, what could be said of what we hear and see of music and singing today!

(*135)Talbees Iblees, pp. 228-229.

(*136)Other than the simple hand drum known as the daff, because of authentic hadeeths allowing it on specific occasions as an exception to the general rule of prohibition.

(*137)Quoted from Ibn Taymiyyah’s Majmoo’ul Fataawa, vol. 11, p. 576.

(*138)From the first and second century of the Islamic era.

(*139)See p. 55, vol. 14 of Al-Qurtubi’s Al-Jaami’.

(*140)Refer to the section under the title, “The Position of the Companions on this Issue.”

(*141)See the preceding section, entitled “Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal,” for details.

(*142)Who died in the year 456 of the Islamic calendar.

(*143)He lived during the years 435-532 of the Hijrah.

(*144)He was born in the year 450 H. and died in 505 H.

(*145)Refer to the section on the sunnah, entitled “The Traditions and their Degree of Authenticity: The Narration of Al-Bukhaari.”

(*146)Refer to the whole of the section, entitled “A Critical Analysis of the Hadeeth Literature” (on the issue of the ruling regarding music).

(*147)Soorah An-Nisaa, 4:65.

(*148)Such as Yoosuf Qardaawi in his Al-Halaal wal Haraam Fil Islam, pp. 292-293.

(*149)See Ibnul-Qayyim’s Madaarijus Saalikeen, p. 493.

(*150)Other than that permitted by the texts of the authentic sunnah, namely the small hand drum (daff).

(*151)Authentically related by Imam Al-Bukhaari.

(*152)Authentically related by Ahmad and Ibn Khuzaymah.

(*153)The science outlining a methodology whereby a legal ruling issue may be derived, based upon the texts of the Quran and sunnah, or upon principles extracted from these two texts.

(*154)Imam Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Ani Bakr (691-751 H.), popularly known as Ibn Qayimmil Jowziyyah. He was one of the most erudite scholars of the Quraanic and hadeeth sciences and mujtahid in his own right. He was the most brilliant of the many disciples of Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah.

(*156)They claim that dancing, singing and music raise their “spiritual conciousness” and elevate them to a higher “mystical level”, thus bringing them nearer to the divine presence!!

(*157)Whenever he uses the word song or singing (ghinaa), he means the forbidden form to musical accompanient.

(*158)Literally, “reading “or “recital” used here with this general meaning in mind. Thus, such song is the “revelation” and “sacred recital” of Satan; whereas the text of the inimitable Al-Quraan Al-Kareem is the revelation of Allah and the sacred recital of His word.

(*159)Ar-Rahmaan, an attribute of Allah, means the One who has absolute mercy for all of His creations.

(*160)Page 224, vol. 1 of Ighaathatul Lahfaan.

(*161)Such as the Orientalists, missionaries and others who use the misguided deeds and beliefs such Muslims to suggest that Islam is without sense and decorum.

(*162)According to their reasoning, “elite” (khawwaas) means “the holy people” or “special chosen people” who follow one of their Sufic “paths”.

(*163)Condensed from Ighaathatul Lahfaan, vol. 1, p. 224.

(*164)Ibid., vol. 1, p. 241.

(*165)Obeying its commands, desisting from its prohibitions and adhering to its guidance, in all walks of human life.

(*166)This refers to dhikrullah, the rememberance of Allah in the heart and on one’s tongue, by mentioning His beautiful names and by praising and glorifying Him. The loftiest form of dhikr is reading Allah’s Book with contemplation and understanding.

(*167)Abridged from Ighaathatul Lahfaan, vol. 1, pp. 248-250.

(*168)All Muslims having a backgroung in the West can vouch for the manifold evils associated with music and song evident in so-called funk, soul, rock, acid rock, punk rock, blues and jazz. It is essentially libidinous, sexual music which drives ones passions and animal desires to a frenzy. Its objectives (especially when coupled with calculated themes embodied in certain lyrics) are sex, violence, desperation, suicide, hedonism and nihilism. In fact, every foul passion, sense, feeling, idea or thought is embodied in this demonic medium. It is truly another of Satan’s many vehicles harnessed in his apparent “joy ride” to Hell, the foulest destination and final abode of such evil doers.

(*169)A special case in point is the enlightened Yousuf Islam (originally Cat Stevens), formerly a prominent singer from Britian. Would that others of our western brothers take him as a noble example to follow.

(*170)Soorah Al-Hajj, 22:54.

EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE OF PROHIBITION AS INDICATED BY THE AUTHENTIC SUNNAH

Having established beyond a doubt the general ruling of prohibition regarding this issue, it should be stressed that Islam does not totally forbid all music and song. There are occasions when certain forms of music and song are lawful. The only way to determine these occasions is to refer to the texts of the authentic sunnah of the Prophet (upon whom be peace and blessings). In the highly-balanced Islamic system there is room for amusement, merriment and sport, for these are natural yearnings of the human soul. However, Islam provides facility for healthy, decorous merriment and sport which are pur

57 Responses to “Music”

  1. Soldier of Islam says:

    AssalamuAllaikum, Ramadhaan Mubarak brother!

    I just watched your interview on the Deen Show on youtube, Mashallah I have shown it to many ballerz and g’s who were sincerely touched by your message which will prove a positive turning point in many peoples lives InshaAllah. It is good because we always talk about how we could relate to the tracks and lifestyle of the Dunya and can now directly relate to your message of the Real world, Islam, and making ourselves better. Jazakallah for the reminder and for giving us reknowned hope and belief, may Allah(swa) accept your Jihad and Dawaah work and Inshaallah you will prosper in your future plans and projects.
    Have a blessed Ramadhaan brother, may Allah(swa) keep us on the straight and narrow path.

  2. Tidiane Diagana says:

    Assalamu Alaykum, I call Tidiane DIAGANA, I live in Senegal in West Africa, and I am an enthusiast of the rap game.
    I was pleasantly surprised to learn your conversion, I also took plenty of time to listen and I was pleasantly surprised to hear the depth of your mind and ample Machallah I thank God to have you guide in the right way.
    I was born Muslim and I admit that I learned a lot through your noble and humble person, and God willing I will continue to follow you and your debates that would apply are the words of God, the Omniscient, the Omnipotent, the the Omnipresent.
    I encourage you to move forward.
    Assalamu aleikoum!!

  3. Ride on brother. You are on course.

  4. mutah says:

    @omar wa alaikum salam brother make dua as Allah answer the dua of his servants, may Allah remove music away from you

  5. baffa says:

    Assalam alaikum mutah.iwas surprised the very first day I saw your interview on huda channel,but then I was not because you are destined to become muslim with the rest of the outlaws,I was touched and since then I always have a lot of love for you,I was a big fan of your music wit 2pac,I read a lot about you all.may ALLAH (swt)guide us all ameen.

  6. anas says:

    Barak Allah Feek !

  7. naila says:

    my old is 18.5 years i wanted to be singer and i don’t want do this anymore since i saw your interview so i just want to say thank’s and Allah keep us

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