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Music


Abdullah Ibn Masud SAID: The love of the Quran & the love of Music can not combine in the heart of a believer

The view of the four Imaams is that all kinds of musical instruments are haram: Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah

Ibn Al Qayyim said:

 “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. Such things block the Quraan from people’s hearts and make them devoted to sin and disobedience. For song (to musical accompaniment) is the Quraan of Ash Shaytaan (Satan). It is a dense veil and barrier, preventing nearness to Ar-Rahmaan! (Allah) 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.”

quote from Mustafa Al-Kanadi’s (rahimuhullah) book

Page 224, vol. 1 of Ighaathatul Lahfaan

Shaykh Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Concerning (music) which a person does not intend to listen to, there is no prohibition or blame, according to scholarly consensus. Hence blame or praise is connected to listening, not to hearing. The one who listens to the Qur’aan will be rewarded for it, whereas the one who hears it without intending or wanting to will not be rewarded for that, because actions are judged by intentions. The same applies to musical instruments which are forbidden: if a person hears them without intending to, that does not matter. (al-Majmoo’, 10/78).

Imaam Maalik (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about playing the drum or flute, if a person happens to hear the sound and enjoy it whilst he is walking or sitting. He said: He should get up if he finds that he enjoys it, unless he is sitting down for a need or is unable to get up. If he is on the road, he should either go back or move on. (al-Jaami’ by al-Qayrawaani, 262). He (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “The only people who do things like that, in our view, are faasiq’s.” (Tafseer al-Qurtubi, 14/55).

Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: It is not permissible to make musical instruments. (al-Majmoo’, 22/140). And he said: According to the majority of fuqahaa’, it is permissible to destroy musical instruments, such as the tanboor [a stringed instrument similar to a mandolin]. This is the view of Maalik and is the more famous of the two views narrated from Ahmad. (al-Majmoo’, 28/113). Ibn Abi Shaybah (may Allaah have mercy on him) reported that a man broke a mandolin belonging to another man, and the latter took his case to Shurayh. But Shurayh did not award him any compensation, i.e., he did not make the first man pay the cost of the mandolin, because it was haram and had no value. (al-Musannaf, 5/395).

Al-Baghawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) stated in a fatwa that it is haram to sell all kinds of musical instruments such as mandolins, flutes, etc. Then he said: If the images are erased and the musical instruments are altered, then it is permissible to sell their parts, whether they are silver, iron, wood or whatever. (Sharh al-Sunnah, 8/28)

Shaykh Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) made allowances for certain types of musical instruments at weddings and the like, and he made allowances for women to play the daff at weddings and on other joyful occasions. But the men at his time did not play the daff or clap with their hands. It was narrated in al-Saheeh that he said: “Clapping is for women and tasbeeh (saying Subhaan Allaah) is for men.” And he cursed women who imitate men and men who imitate women.

Because singing and playing the daff are things that women do, the Salaf (men of the far past) used to call any man who did that a mukhannath (effeminate man), and they used to call male singers effeminate – and how many of them there are nowadays! It is well known that the Salaf said this.

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 wilful intention). Abu Haneefah’s closest disciple, Abu Yoosuf, stated that if the sound of musical instruments (maazif) 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 abominable things (munkaaraat) is mandatory, and cannot be established if such entering rests upon the permission of the residents of the premises.This is the madhhab (position) of the rest of the Kufic scholars as well, such as Ibraheem An-Nakhai, Ash-Shabi Hammad and Ath-Thowri. They do not differ on this issue. The same can be said of the general body of jurisprudents of Al-Basrah (114).

Imaam Maalik

It is related by Ibnul-Jowzi that Ishaaq bin Eesaa At-Tabaa 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 jurisprudent 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 religous sciences. He did, and his view became that such things were prohibited.(118) Al-Qurtubi confirmed Maaliks 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 labour 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 such as flutes, string instruments etc such is haraam (forbidden) (119).

 Imaam Shafi’ee

In the book, Aadaabul Qadaa, As-Shafiee 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 Shafiite scholar, Ibn Hajar Al-Haythami. He related that one of the Ash-Shaafiites disciples, Al-Haarith Al-Muhaasibi (d.243 H) said, “Song is haraam, just as the carcass (maytah).” (123). Further more, the statement that singing is haraam is found in the treatise, Ash-Sharh Al-Kabeer, by the authoritative Shaffiite Scholar, Ar-Raafiee (d.623 H). This is further corroborated by the accomplished Shaaffi’ite jurisprudent, Imam An-Nawawi (d.676 H) in his Rowdah) (124). Such is the correct view of the dependable scholars of the Shaffi’ite madhab. However, due to limited knowledge and personal fancy and desire, a few of their later day scholars disagree with this view. (125)

Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal

Imaam Ahmads (126) position regarding this issue has been narrated in detail by the Hanbalite jurisprudent and Quranic commentator, Abul Faraj Ibnul-Jowzi (d.597H.) in his treatise, Tablees Iblees (Sataan’s deception). He tells us that ghinaa during Ahmads era consisted primarily of a rhymed, rythmical chanting (inshaad)of poems (127) whose puropse 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 hypocricy in the heart;it doesnt please me.” The scholar, Ismaeel bin Ishaaq ath Thaqafi, reports that Ahmad was questioned regarding ones listening to those poems (qasaaid) to which he replied, “I despise it, for it is a bidaah(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 Gayyath reports him a s saying that he despised at-taghyeer and prohibited ones listening to it.(130) Ibnul-Jowzi then mentioned some narrations related by Abu Bakr Al-Khallaal and Ahmads son Saalih, which indicate Ahmads not being averse to poetry sessions. It is related that Ahmad heard a singer (qawwal) and didn’t reproach him, whereupon Saalih said to him, “Oh father, didn’t you used to criticise 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 30000 dirhams, whereas if she were 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 ones being.This is proof that such singing is haraam, for if it were not so, the incurred loss of the orphans sons wealth would not be permissible (133). Furthermore, it is reported by the jurisprudent Al-Marwazi 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 Ahmad’s 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, Taabieen 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).

From Abu Bilaal Mustafa al-Kanadi’s (rahimahullah) book on Music and Singing

Notes

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

(108) The first of the four famous imaams.He was born in Koofa, Iraq in the 80th year of the Hijrah. He died in Baghdad in the year 150H see Adh-Dhahabis Seeyar Alaamin 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 shariah, 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 Mabood Sharhu Sunan Abi Dawood”, vol.13, pp.273-274.

(114) Stated by Abut Teeb Taahir At-Tabari and quoted in Al-Qurtubis Al-Jaamili 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 Ayyads Tarteebul Madaarik, vol.1, pp.107-147.

Evidence from Qur’an

Allaah says in Surah Luqmaan (interpretation of the meaning):

“And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks (i.e. music, singing) to mislead (men) from the path of Allaah…” [Luqmaan 31:6]

The scholar of the ummah, Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: this means singing. Mujaahid (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: this means playing the drum (tabl). (Tafseer al-Tabari, 21/40).

Al-Hasan al-Basri (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: this aayah was revealed concerning singing and musical instruments (lit. woodwind instruments). (Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 3/451).

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“[Allaah said to Iblees:] And befool them gradually those whom you can among them with your voice (i.e. songs, music, and any other call for Allaah’s disobedience)…” [al-Israa’ 17:64]

It was narrated that Mujaahid (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “And befool them gradually those whom you can among them with your voice” – his voice [the voice of Iblees/Shaytaan] is singing and falsehood.

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: This idaafah [possessive or genitive construction, i.e., your voice] serves to make the meaning specific, as with the phrases [translated as] “your cavalry” and “your infantry” [later in the same aayah]. Everyone who speaks in any way that is not obedient to Allaah, everyone who blows into a flute or other woodwind instrument, or who plays any haraam kind of drum, this is the voice of the Shaytaan. Everyone who walks to commit some act of disobedience towards Allaah is part of his [the Shaytaan’s] infantry, and anyone who rides to commit sin is part of his cavalry. This is the view of the Salaf, as Ibn ‘Abi Haatim narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas: his infantry is everyone who walks to disobey Allaah. (Ighaathat al-Lahfaan).

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

Narrated Abu ‘Amir or Abu Malik Al-Ash’ari that he heard the Prophet saying, “From among my followers there will be some people who will consider illegal sexual intercourse, the wearing of silk, the drinking of alcoholic drinks, and the use of musical instruments as lawful.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari ta’leeqan, no. 5590; narrated as mawsool by al-Tabaraani and al-Bayhaqi. See al-Silsilah al-Saheehah by al-Albaani, 91).

as you can see the Rasul (s) used zina, drinking alcohol and musical instruments together, so is it not easy to conclude that all are in the same level?

this hadith is narrated by Bukhari himself, when it comes to hadith from Bukhari and Muslim they are sound hadith

Al-Nawawi said: “The scholars have agreed that the soundest of all hadith compilations are the two Sahihs of al-Bukhari and Muslim, and their vast majority have agreed that the soundest and most beneficial of the two was al-Bukhari’s ”

ALSO

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The view of the four Imaams is that all kinds of musical instruments are haraam. It was reported in Saheeh al-Bukhaari and elsewhere that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said that there would be among his ummah those who would allow zinaa, silk, alcohol and musical instruments, and he said that they would be transformed into monkeys and pigs… None of the followers of the imaams mentioned any dispute concerning the matter of music. (al-Majmoo’, 11/576).

Al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The four madhhabs are agreed that all musical instruments are haraam. (al-Saheehah, 1/145).

 Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: How strange! What type of faith, light, insight, guidance and knowledge can be gained from listening to tuneful verses and music in which most of what is said is haraam and deserves the wrath and punishment of Allaah and His Messenger? … How can anyone who has the least amount of insight and faith in his heart draw near to Allaah and increase his faith by enjoying something which is hated by Him, and He detests the one who says it and the one who accepts it? (Madaarij al-Saalikeen, 1/485) Evience from Qur’a Allaah says in Surah Luqmaan (interpretation of the meaning):“And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks (i.e. music, singing) to mislead (men) from the path of Allaah…” [Luqmaan 31:6] The scholar of the ummah, Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: this means singing. Mujaahid (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: this means playing the drum (tabl). (Tafseer al-Tabari, 21/40). Al-Hasan al-Basri (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: this aayah was revealed concerning singing and musical instruments (lit. woodwind instruments). (Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 3/451).Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “[Allaah said to Iblees:] And befool them gradually those whom you can among them with your voice (i.e. songs, music, and any other call for Allaah’s disobedience)…” [al-Israa’ 17:64] It was narrated that Mujaahid (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “And befool them gradually those whom you can among them with your voice” – his voice [the voice of Iblees/Shaytaan] is singing and falsehood. Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: This idaafah [possessive or genitive construction, i.e., your voice] serves to make the meaning specific, as with the phrases [translated as] “your cavalry” and “your infantry” [later in the same aayah]. Everyone who speaks in any way that is not obedient to Allaah, everyone who blows into a flute or other woodwind instrument, or who plays any haraam kind of drum, this is the voice of the Shaytaan. Everyone who walks to commit some act of disobedience towards Allaah is part of his [the Shaytaan’s] infantry, and anyone who rides to commit sin is part of his cavalry. This is the view of the Salaf, as Ibn ‘Abi Haatim narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas: his infantry is everyone who walks to disobey Allaah. (Ighaathat al-Lahfaan). The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Narrated Abu ‘Amir or Abu Malik Al-Ash’ari that he heard the Prophet saying, “From among my followers there will be some people who will consider illegal sexual intercourse, the wearing of silk, the drinking of alcoholic drinks, and the use of musical instruments as lawful.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari ta’leeqan, no. 5590; narrated as mawsool by al-Tabaraani and al-Bayhaqi. See al-Silsilah al-Saheehah by al-Albaani, 91). as you can see the Rasul (s) used zina, drinking alcohol and musical instruments together, so is it not easy to conclude that all are in the same level? this hadith is narrated by Bukhari himself, when it comes to hadith from Bukhari and Muslim they are sound hadithAl-Nawawi said: “The scholars have agreed that the soundest of all hadith compilations are the two Sahihs of al-Bukhari and Muslim, and their vast majority have agreed that the soundest and most beneficial of the two was al-Bukhari’s ” ALSOShaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The view of the four Imaams is that all kinds of musical instruments are haraam. It was reported in Saheeh al-Bukhaari and elsewhere that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said that there would be among his ummah those who would allow zinaa, silk, alcohol and musical instruments, and he said that they would be transformed into monkeys and pigs… None of the followers of the imaams mentioned any dispute concerning the matter of music. (al-Majmoo’, 11/576). Al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The four madhhabs are agreed that all musical instruments are haraam. (al-Saheehah, 1/145).Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: How strange! What type of faith, light, insight, guidance and knowledge can be gained from listening to tuneful verses and music in which most of what is said is haraam and deserves the wrath and punishment of Allaah and His Messenger? … How can anyone who has the least amount of insight and faith in his heart draw near to Allaah and increase his faith by enjoying something which is hated by Him, and He detests the one who says it and the one who accepts it? (Madaarij al-Saalikeen, 1/485)

(116) In the time of Prophet Muhammad (saw), 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-Jowzis Talbees, p.29.

(118) Al-Jaamili 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-Bayhaqis Manaaqibush Shaafiee.

(121) See Al-Qurtubis tafseer, vol.14, p.55 and Ibnul-Jowzis Talbees Iblees, p.231.Also refer to footnote no.111.

(122) See Ownul Mabood, vol.13, p.274.

(123) Designates the carcass of the animal which has not been slaughetered in a manner acceptable to the shariah, 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 Raaa.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

(127) In Arabic these are called qasaaiduz zuhd.

(128) “Singing” here means without musical accompaniment.

(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 (duaa) 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, didn’t not mind a certain type of chanting, singing and recitation of poetry or stories, etc without musical accompaniment 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.

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Posted November 5, 2010 by thesunnahway in Music