Regarding the Permissibility of Music


http://www.flickr.com/photos/yatofoto/7107713063/in/photostream/
Question:

Some scholars and many zealous laymen claim that there is a consensus among jurists as to the prohibition of listening to any music with musical instruments. Some Imams say the opinion that allows it is a strange (شاذ) opinion, which is rejected as baseless by all prominent scholars and schools of thought. If this is true, how can so many Imams and scholars allow this new phenomenon of Islamic music using instruments?

Answer:

بسم الله والحمد لله والصلاة و سلام على رسول الله

In the name of Allah, and all praise and thanks is due to Allah,  and may He send peace and blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad

It is quite true that—historically—the prevalent (جمهور) opinion in Islamic jurisprudence regarding the use of and listening to musical instruments is that of prohibition (حرام). It is the official opinion of the four schools of thought, although various scholars from different schools held it is only disliked (مكروه) and many others deemed it permissible with the condition that the song is not immoral. It is not true that there is a consensus on it or that the opinion of permissibility is a strange opinion, which is a divergence from clear teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah. In today’s world there are a growing number of prominent scholars that allow listening to instruments that don’t accompany sinful poetry (song).

We will—with divine support—show that this issue is a matter of legitimate disagreement based on scholarly derivation and interpretation (اجتهاد). Unfortunately, one of the main reasons for this research is that there is actually a movement among modern scholars to dismiss, suppress, or misrepresent the opinion of permissibility!

There is a claim that no prominent scholars ruled for the permissibility of musical instruments except for Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who is purported to solely rely on a strange opinion of Imam Ibn Hazm. This is false. There are hundreds, dare I say thousands, of scholars who held the permissibility of listening to music as long as the song is morally upright. The following are some of the most prominent scholars (mujtahideen) in our history who, not only deemed it permissible, but in some cases wrote a whole research to prove it!

  • Abdullah bin Ja’far bin Abi Talib (al-Aqd al-Fareed 6/12)
  • Sh. Abu Hamed al-Ghazali (vol. 6 pg. 1150 al-Ihyaa’)
  • Imam al-Shawkani (Ibtal da’wa al-Ijmaa ala mutlaq al-Sama’)
  • Imam ibn Hazm (Al-Muhallah)
  • Imam Abdul-Ghani al-Nablusi (Idaahat al-Dalalaat fee sama’ al-alaat)
  • Sultan al-Ulema al-Iz ibn Abdul-Salam (Rislat al-Sama’)
  • Al-Qadi Ibn Qutaiba al-Daynoor (al-Rukhsah fi al-Sama’)
  • Imam Ibn Tahir al-Qaysirany (pg. 31 al-Sama’)
  • Imam al-Thahabi (al-Rukhsah fil-Ghinaa wa al-Turb)
  • Abu Talib al-Makky (Qoot al-Quloob)
  • al-Qady Ibn Al-Araby al-Makky (Ahkam al-Quran vol. 3 pg. 1494)
  • Sh. Yusuf al-Majishoon the prominent Muhaddith (#3399 ibn al-Khuthayma)
  • Ibn Daqeeq al-Eid (Iqtinas al-Sawanih)
  • Sh. Jad Ali jad al-Haqq (fatawah #3280)
  • Sh. Mahmood Al-Shaltoot (pg. 375 fatawaah)

May God shower them all with His Mercy!

Some scholars try to say that many of these scholars were simply saying that it is permissible to listen to songs a cappella—and some of their works do make that point in addition to the permissibility of also using musical instruments. Each one of these references refers to the opinion of permissibility for songs with instruments.

The following are the juristic proofs used to illustrate prohibition and the response from the scholars who are not convinced by the evidence or who see the evidence in a different way:

From the Qur’an: There are two verses which are interpreted as justifying prohibition supporting the clearer hadith (narration) on the subject. They are as follows:

31_6

“There are some people who buy distracting/entertaining speech without knowledge in order to mislead people from the path of God…” (Qur’an 31:6)

Only a couple out of the dozens of exegetes thought this had anything to do with musical instruments.

Many exegetes took the more common path of general meaning in the absence of an authentic text and said it refers to preferring or liking to listen to false speech, thus distracting one from Islam.

The vast majority of exegetes said it is talking about the singing of jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic days). Imam al-Qurtubi said that this and the other verse are those that the scholars use as evidence for the disliked (مكروه) nature of singing. Imam al-Qurtubi also narrates that this verse was revealed in the life of the Prophet ﷺ when a man bought a slave known for singing unIslamic songs of jahiliyyah (ignorance).

Many exegetes pointed out a weak hadith that is strengthened by the aforementioned circumstantial cause of revelation. The weak hadith states:


“.لا يحل بيعُ المُغنّياتِ ولا شِراؤهنّ وثمنهنّ حرامٌ”

“It is prohibited to buy or sell women singers of jahiliyyah. The price of such transaction is prohibited.”

The evidence for prohibition of Islamic Music in this verse is very weak. Any true scholar will surely admit that the verse is not evidence in and of itself; rather it is supportive to a couple hadiths and the position of many Companions.

The second verse is:

17_64

“(God is saying to Satan) Incite whoever you can among them with your voice…” (Qur’an 17:64)

Some scholars from the early generations said this is literal and it means that Satan is whispering to us to follow him and disobey God as is mentioned in the famous verse in Surah Ibrahim, “I had no authority over you except that I called you and you followed me…” (Qur’an 14:22). The great Imam of tafsir (exegesis) al-Tabari took the position as is his style that it is general and since there is no clear evidence specifying what is meant by “your voice” then it is taken literally and generally.

Many other scholars noted that the verse is talking about playing (لعب) and wasting time (لهو). Once again, no real scholar will claim that this verse in and of itself can be used to prohibit listening to music.

Let’s see what evidence we can find from the Sunnah (traditions of the Prophet ﷺ):

There is a hadith mentioned as an attachment (معلق) to a section in the authentic collection of Bukhari under the chapter of drinks #5590 titled those who seek permission of drinking alcohol by calling it another name. Imam al-Bukhari did not put the Hadith as an official Hadith in his authentic collection. According to Imam al-Muhallab the reason was because Hisham was not sure of the name of the companion (Al-Ibtal Al-Shawkani pg. 9) The hadith goes:


“…ليكونَنَّ من أمَّتي أقوامٌ ، يستحلُّونَ الحِرَ والحريرَ ، والخمرَ والمعازِفَ”

“There will be a group of people from my nation who will deem silk, alcohol and musical instruments as permissible…”

Some hadith scholars found a connected chain for this type of hadith. The most famous is the book by Ibn Hajr in his book “closing the attachments” (تغليق التعليق). There are scholars who argued against his assertions, but even if we were to accept his findings about a connection between al-Bukhari and Hisham bin Ammar there is still a problem with Hisham as a narrator among some prominent hadith scholars.

There are many concerning issues with this hadith. According to Imam al-Thahabi in his famous 4-volume book Mizan al-I’tidaal which accounts for all the weak narrators he could gather. Imam al-Thahabi mentions that Hisham bin Ammar used to be a veracious narrator, then he changed. He has narrated 400 hadiths that have no basis. He used to not narrate unless someone paid him. He was accused of changing the text. Imam Ahmad said he was reckless. Some narrated that he said the Qur’an has words from Gabriel and Muhammad ﷺ and is created speech.

Ibn Hajar acknowledges this, but justifies his ruling of the hadith through a different narration that has someone else narrating it other than Hisham. That hadith varies in text but does mention the people deeming musical instruments as permissible (which linguistically and logically doesn’t necessarily mean that it is prohibited). The next problem with this hadith, which is not solved by Ibn Hajar’s book, is a narrator named Atiyah bin Qays.

Atiyah bin Qays was a righteous man who hadith scholars agreed regarding his character and honesty (عدالة), but there is an issue among some scholars about his precision of memory and narrating (ضبط). Some famous scholars of hadith call him trustworthy (ثقة) just because he is a known pious man while the issue of his precision with hadith is unknown (مجهول). Some of them said although he is acceptable (far from Saheeh ) to be careful in narrating from him. This is mentioned by the hadith scholar Abu Hatem al-Razi in his book al-Jarh wa al-Ta’deel 2/37 and by Abu Bakr al-Bazzaar in his book Kashf al-Astar 1/106.

This is the best proof that the proponents of prohibition bring forth according to them. Other hadiths are relying on this one. For example:


“.ليكونن في هذه الأمة خسف، وقذف، ومسخ، وذلك إذا شربوا الخمور، واتخذوا القينات، وضربوا بالمعازف”

“There will be disgrace and defamation in this nation when they will drink alcohol and listen to music (literally female singers while beating on instruments).” (al-Suyooti al-Sagheer 7720)

Even a layman can see that the linguistic connotation does not in any way show a prohibition for listening to music, but rather a prohibition of the “party” scene. There are many other hadiths like this one that show that the combination of alcohol and music is a shameful and immoral scene. On this fact there is a consensus among scholars.  Even in the narration of the other hadith seen as the strongest proof, there are variations which focus on drinking alcohol by a different name and don’t even mention musical instruments. Thus Imam Bukhari’s precise classification.

Many people feel that even though we see the issues in the proofs used for prohibiting music, still it is the official opinion of the 4 main schools of thought and that shows that it was clear to those scholars who know better than us. The assumption here is that every scholar from the different schools of thought over the centuries was a mujtahid and was willing to challenge the opinion and evidence of his own school. This was simply just not the case as Dr. Mana’ al-Qattan narrates in his book on the history of legislation in Islamic history. He elucidates on the well-known unfortunate part of our history known as the closing of the doors to juristic reasoning (إغلاق باب الاجتهاد). For close to 8 centuries, most of the scholars passed down by memory and book most of the rulings of Islamic Law. For various reasons, they were uncomfortable with people changing or questioning popular rulings. Some of those who didn’t agree with this methodology like Ibn Taymiyyah (ra) or al-Suyooti (ra) were seen as dissidents. There is also some historical evidence that this ruling of prohibition of all music was heavily promoted toward the end of the Abbasi Caliphate because of the widespread immorality with music and drinking as many of the hadiths indicate. In my research, which really requires a whole book, there is more than meets the eye on the prevalence of the opinion prohibiting all instrumental music.

Proofs for the Permission of Good, Morally Upright Music:

  1. There is a false claim that the Companions all prohibited it. Abdullah bin al-Zubair used to keep women playing guitars (lutes) and singing in his presence. (Idahaat al-Dalalat al-Nablusi 96)
  2. There is no disagreement about the Ibrahim bin Sa’d bin Abdul Rahman bin Awf listening to songs with guitars (al-Sama’ Ibn Tahir 63)
  3. Jews have always attributed music to Prophet David ‘alahi assalatu wassalam (peace and blessings be upon him). It is in the Bible, “The priests stood in waiting at their assigned places, along with the descendants of Levi who carried musical instruments used in service to the LORD that King David had made for giving thanks to the LORD—because his gracious love is eternal…” (2 Chronicles 7:6). So in the following hadith and commentary we have some solid evidence for the praise of good music:

“يا أبا موسى ، لقد أوتيتَ مِزمارًا مِن مزاميرِ آلِ داود”

“Abu Musa, Surely you have been given a voice like the music of David.” (Bukhari 5048)

Many scholars want to say that this hadith is simply referring to a beautiful voice. When we look into Ibn Hajar’s explanation of this hadith he comments with another sound hadith, “I entered Abu Musa’s house and I have not heard a cymbal, lute or a flute better than his voice.” (al-Fath)

The clear linguistic indication here is that the Prophet ﷺ is talking about musical instruments as though they are beautiful and delightful. That cannot be the case in something prohibited. It would be like him saying to his companion who earned a lot of money, “That’s even better than hijacking a caravan!”

  1. Imam al-Thahabi’s recordings about scholars in his book on prominent Muslims. Here are two examples:

“Ishaaq al-Nadeem an Imam who was a great scholar master of many sciences. Known for music with untainted poetry…” (Siyar 11/118)

“Ulayyah sister of the commander of the faithful Haroon al-Rasheed ‘Well-refined poetess known for singing and music with a pleasant voice. A modest pious women of precedence…’” (Siyar 10/187)

There are hadiths that led many scholars from the schools of thought to permit listening to drums. Other prominent Malikis and Shafi’ees (two different schools of thought) allowed trumpets, flutes and tambourines. Those are all musical instruments and the Islamic legal practice of analogy (قياس) allows other instruments in the absence of a clear text prohibiting them.

Whichever opinion you feel is stronger, you are welcome to follow. Please don’t judge someone else because they follow a different opinion than you. Our scholars teach us the following principle in dealing with law—there shall be no rebuking in matters of legitimate disagreement.

.لا إنكار في مسائل الاختلاف

Islam has a rich tradition of knowledge that by divine decree has differing interpretations as to the details of law. Only God owns the absolute truth.

If you choose to listen to music, observe piety and do not listen to immoral music or choose to be in immoral environments. There is no doubt that much of today’s music is prohibited by Islam and even some Islamic music still brings bad environments.

Print Friendly

206 Comments

  1. Sister FYH says:

    Salam
    I just KNEW peeps would get fired up about this in a rude way! when I first read the above hadiths mentioned, I carried on listening to music. What made me stop was the fact that the songs and beats would crop up in my head just as I was about to pray. i finally got fed up of hsving my concentration ruined, and chose to stop listening. In hindsight I saw the benefits of not listening to music. But I think the truth is as Muslims grow older and meet more people, priorities and outlook of life changes. When I was at uni I’d happily follow whatever was the most “religious” sounding way of life, because I didnt have the confidence to go against a Muslim Crowd and find out things for myself, ESP as Muslims can be very harsh to one another if you don’t agree with their particular view. I’d expect most of the pp who are being aggressive will grow out of this black/white mentality by their 40s because by then their kids would have grown up and they’d have more pressing things to worry about than arguing with imam John about music.

    • AbdurRahman says:

      My True story about why Music is Haram!!!

      I am a computer scientist,who works on complicated mathematical algorithms.

      Once in a while ,I get distracted by these algorithms while praying, based on some of the replies I have seen in this forum (about Music is Haram because it is distracting)I have given up my job and now working as a butcher because this is the only job which doesn’t distract my mind.(???)

      My Second take on Why Muslims are great People
      ————————————————-

      We are very smart than our creator you know.

      Allah didn’t forbid Music despite explicitly prohibiting every sin you can imagine (gambling,stealing,riba,adultery,killing,back biting,intoxication,prohibited food,prohibited relatiohsip etc) but “ibn blah blha” and “abdul blah blah” and “abu blha blah” all are smart and more concerned and understood human souls so they banned Music and I will follow these great scholars than my Rab.

      My Question
      When Sahaba’s went to farthest lands ,how they would have proved the prohibition of Music to their people using Quran.
      It is fair to say they are not privy to these hadiths (which came hundreds of years later)?

      • Adam says:

        My problem is very simple, In Islam Haram and Halal are clear and there are doubtful matters that prophet said many people are not aware.
        I like music and I play when I’m in the gym and whenever I feel that I like to listen to something soothing.
        Why people can’t mind their business and let people evolve, freeing them to decide for themselves if Music is allowed for them or not since it has been debated among scholars.
        Sometime I feel I’m more afraid of people, because God will forgive you but people don’t and won’t.
        I respect, if anyone hold an opinion of prohibition and at the same time it’s an obligation on them to respect others.

        • 2134 says:

          @sarah..
          Please give me a reference people of past, right from the companions who rejected ahadith! can you? All you can do is start a conspiracy ..
          Here you go, Allah said :
          And We have sent down unto you (O Prophet) the book explaining (tibyanan) everything and as a guidance, and mercy, and glad tidings for those who have surrendered (to God) (16:89).
          -Read it again.. explaining ‘EVERYTHING’..
          Following your baseless ideology of “qur’an only”.. you don’t need to refer to your parents.. because learning how to pray MUST be from the Qur’an itself(according to your own ideology of following the Qur’an).

          And one more thing..
          The Qur’an says that we must obey Allah AND THE MESSENGER(Surah 3:31-32,132; Surah 4:13-14, 59, 61, 64, 69, 80; Surah 24:56)
          Tell me, from the Qur’an itself you are given the command to follow the messenger (s.a.w).. So if one book tells you to refer to another, will you still reject it? Wait a minute, doesn’t that refute the argument of “Qur’an only” from the Qur’an itself?

      • 2134 says:

        Came 100 of years later? they were recorded in front of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.. just because you want to prove music, you are ignoring ahadith and scholarly views.. we have to respect other’s opinion.. music has disagreement but one of the worst fitnah ever created is to reject ahadith! How will you pray..? From parents..? then they used ahadith (or maybe thier ancestors) which you don’t

        • sarah says:

          Asalaamualaikum. Actually the old ‘how would you pray’ argument is rather defunct. Because surely if people could memorise the Quran they could definitely remember how to pray. People didn’t originally learn to pray through hadeeth (obviously). Therefore those who prayed at the prophets (saw) time taught their children to pray and so on and so forth.Also we have been told ONLY the Quran has never and will never be changed. So from this we also summise the hadeeth have been changed. No one on this earth can say 100% which are without a doubt correct. Allahu Alim.

        • sarah says:

          Asalaamualaikum. I reiterate Allah told us, yes ALLAH that ONLY the Quran will never be changed. Therefore if you want to believe that every single hadeeth is 100% right and never changed… Well you can draw your own conclusion. May you forgive me for obviously making you extremely angry That is not my intention. You are entitled to your opinion as an I. On the day of judgement you will not answer for me and visa versa.I actually think you haven’t read my posting correctly? Anyway may Allah forgive me for any wrong that I have done or said insha’Allah. Have a good day.

      • 2134 says:

        @sarah.. it’s true that not every single hadith is 100% correct.. that’s why there a whole hadith science and the science of jarh wa ta’deel. that deals with the issue of authencity of a hadith (depending on how good the narrator is, memory wise.. and so on.. )
        The “how to pray” argument is not defunct. There are many areas in the world where people don’t know how to pray (as in there position during the prayer, etc.).. For example, in some places in Africa, there were people praying in front of the imam! How will you correct those people if they follow Qur’an only and nothing else [except for parents, etc.].. we could have so many problems such as % of zakah.. which is only proven through ahadith.. Since the words of Qur’an don’t change.. and Qur’an itself tells to refer to ahadith (categorically).. then won’t you do it? (and sorry for assumptions, I thought you reject ahadith completely, but you never told your opinion..I assumed you had the same opinion as AbdurRahman)..

  2. Raiiq Ridwan says:

    Assalamu alaykum shaykh

    Just a quick question. Imam ash-Shawkani, did he follow the opinion that it is permissible or did he just list the various opinions on the subject in his book?

    • Imam John says:

      WAS Raiiq,

      Imam al-Shawkani was a prominent scholar he was showing the large evidence for the permissibility and didn’t make a clear preference although leaning to permissibility over prohibition. His main goal was accomplished- The utter destruction of the claim of consensus among scholars as to its prohibition!

      • Abu Ashari says:

        first of all, there is no Ijma on what Ijma is upon. This itself is differed. Then if there is a difference of opinion, how can you claim ijma ?

  3. Abdul Gaffoor says:

    Salaam and barakallah feek for putting forth such an insightful and well-balanced article.

    Especially considering some on the comments that are being made.

    With peace.

  4. Yahya Ederer has provided us with an excellently researched article.As a musician myself these are some points I would like to add in response,at least to let the ummah know that thought is given by musicians on the issue in question.We are not all seeking to be famous for a loud egotistical noise or promote immorality.My knowledge of Arabic comes mainly from the pages of this website,and quite often I jot down notes in my notebook of the english meaning of the arabic phrases wether they be from the Qur’an or the Hadith. On one occasion I listened to a recitation of a passage from the Qur’an at the house of a muslim sister for whom I had done some pretty substantial repair work.This was in Rochdale in Northern England.To my ear the recitation in Arabic seemed as much musical as it was spoken,for there was inflection and note in the passage from a certain Surah.
    I have also thoughtthat Allah gave the blackbird its voice,its song. He gave the crickets the percussive sound they make in the fields.He gave them this as much as The Qur’an says He gave the rain to ensure the sprouting of seeds.He gave the whale a communicable language and He gave the geese a mighty honk.Who are we to be so deficient in sound. We can abuse it of course, but as much as any other human endeavour surely we can make the effort to practise with modesty in mind.Because if we are
    going to be faced with the blow
    of a mighty trumpet then we must learn to recognise the genuine calll from the false.In my opinion this must be true of song,wether accompanied by instruments or no.In Blues music there is a whole culture of the history of a people to whom redemption means much. In the different lands there are different scales of musical notes to be seen&noted
    as how we can learn from each other.Dont the wind and the river and the air have voices,and does not The Qur’an so many times ask us to b mindful of these elemental things. Then as musicians are we not very often attemping to recreate these inspiring
    sounds of nature as it were,through whatever medium ,ancient or modern, that the musical scales give us.All is a not a tv show in this world, and when the Gershwin Brothers, George & Ira, wrote the song ‘Summertime’ for the Broadway musical musical ‘Porgy & Bess’ they weren’t thinking of their bank balences,they were thinking of the human heart and how to make an honest expression of its condition.What are we most famous for here in Northern England? The Beatles I’d say & perhaps the rugged landscape of The Pennine Hills,the moorland and the cries of The Curlew.I suppose y
    ou could say we loved The Beatles
    as much as we were familiar with the cries of the Curlew, because through their songs in 1960′s & since they gave us nothing less than a world view. Such a view in my opinion is a marvelous antidote to intolerance.Surely Man must have a purpose under Heaven to show a care for this world, Allah’s creation,as it is
    as much as a regard for The Hereafter & behaviour according to islam.
    That’s what I hear in the song of a Blackbird. That’s what I hear in The Beatles’song of the same name.Inshallah. Brian Cokayne,/Stockport ,England

  5. zaki hammaad says:

    Asalaamu alaikum,

    There are not many books that are thorough in dealing with the topic of music and its impermissibility. Ibn Hajar al-Haytami for example, has two invaluable books:

    كف الرعاع عن محرمات اللهو والسماع
    الزواجر عن اقتراف الكبائر

    In the first book, he gathered approximately forty ahadeeth and concluded: “All of this is explicit and compelling evidence that musical instruments of all types are unlawful.” – In the second book, he brings the statement of scholars (like al-Qurtubi al-Maliki) who said there was no difference of scholarly opinion that it is haraam to listen to musical instruments. Al-Qurtubi lived in the 7th century hijri, and for anyone to come in the consequent centuries and try to disturb an established consensus can only be seen as a desparate revisionist effort. It also suggests at the very least that opinions permitting musical instruments are unreliably weak.

    Shaykh al-Islam also cited the view of the four imams and apparent concensus in his Fataawa (11/576, 597, 603; 28/118). At-Tabari, Ibn Qudamah and an-Nawawi also cited ijma. The following link additionally provides references for 23 scholars (inc. Malikis) from different time-periods who declared music to be haraam by concensus.

    In one of his articles, shaykh Haitham Al-Haddad wrote:

    “Al-Awza’i (d.157 A.H.), a very famous scholar of the second generation, narrated that the righteous Caliph Umar Ibn Abdul‘Aziz (d.101 A.H.) sent a letter to one of his governors with the words, ‘…and your presentation of musical and woodwind instruments is an innovation in Islam. I had resolved to dispatch to you someone who would shear the hair on the back of your head, such vile hair!’ Likewise, Imam Malik (d.179 A.H.), who resided in Madinah – the home of the vast majority of the Companions of the Prophet stated, ‘Only the very sinful amongst us listen to music’. Imam Malik’s opinion was in fact a Madinian opinion, which reflected their consensus: a source of authority if not legislation. Can it be reasonably argued that while so many early scholars greatly detested using musical instruments, there were those who believed it was acceptable? This cannot be the case and is precisely the reason why some scholars negate the opinion (of allowing music) being attributed to any of the early scholars. The famous Hanbali scholar Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (d.795 A.H.) stated, ‘Whoever attributes the opinion permitting music to any of the scholars who are respected in legal issues has surely erred.”

    And Tawfeeq is from Allah alone.

    • Imam John says:

      WAS Zaki,

      We’ve all heard these claims before. Do you think with your comment you have clearly solved the matter??? LOL

      This article was to show the other side of the story. But I’m not sure you read it…

      The clear point is that there is a difference among scholars all with valid principled juristic reasoning behind it.

      If you are convinced with the opinion of prohibition then don’t listen, but as the scholars say don’t rebuke others for following in matters of legitimate disagreement.

      • zaki says:

        Of course our opinions do not count when the scholars, as a collective group throughout the centuries have already spoken. I suggest you read about what makes a “difference of opinion” valid, and what the rule of “ijma” necessitates. Imam Ash-Shawkani or any other scholar of repute is unable to come centuries later and disturb or re-open a matter that has long been settled.

      • Gibran says:

        Wa alaykumusalam wa wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

        Not everything is legitamate disagreement. When Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter, there is no disagreement among the believers.

        “We’ve all heard these claims before. Do you think with your comment you have clearly solved the matter??? LOL

        This article was to show the other side of the story. But I’m not sure you read it…”

      • Abdullaah says:

        As salaamu ‘alaikum,

        Mawlaan Zameelur Rahman of Daarul Iftaa, has done research on this article and has published it as a fatwa (no, not the “you are a kaafir!” fatwa) at http://askimam.org/public/question_detail/28271

        It deconstructs Imam John Yahya’s argument, contextualising the hadiths and assessing their academic position.

        It takes up each of Imam Ederer’s proofs, researches the books and sources mentioned.

        Though it has cut down some of this article’s proofs by refuting the status of its authors (and I’m not challenging his answer but merely stating this as some people may be put off by it), it is still noteworthy for going through the books Imam John has used in support of the permissibility of music, and presenting that the book’s opinions are contrary to Imam John’s.

        The answer has an introduction by Mufti Ebrahim Desai of Darul Iftaa, has been checked and approved by him, and has been cited by him as “The deconstruction of the wrong premises on hadiths presented by Mawlana Zameelur Rahman after contextualising them and assessing their academic position makes an interesting read in hadith.”.

        On a personal note – even though Mawlaana has added a note at the end to the contrary – I did feel that the answer attacks the author of the article and not just the author’s methodology. This is Mawlaana’s note:
        “Finally, it should be noted that this is not a personal attack on Yahya Ederer or his scholarly credentials. Rather, the purpose is to draw attention to what we feel are serious misrepresentations of Islāmic scholarship and the dangerous implications of them…”

        Again, it’s worth a read because every point of this article has been taken up and researched and answered in detail.

        One thing that Mawlaana missed and which I would like to point out, is Imam John’s closing statement, which I felt was good advice:
        “If you choose to listen to music, observe piety and do not listen to immoral music or choose to be in immoral environments. There is no doubt that much of today’s music is prohibited by Islam and even some Islamic music still brings bad environments.”
        ———————————————–
        “Disagreement but not disrespect.”
        Abdullaah

        • Abu Ashari says:

          The introduction put forth in Zameel’s article says: “Mawlana Zameelur Rahman deconstructs Imam John Yahya’s argument which is premised on a wrong analysis of historical facts and hadiths. The deconstruction of the wrong premises on hadiths presented by Mawlana Zameelur Rahman after contextualising them and assessing their academic position makes an interesting read in hadith….. In the course of our discussion, we hope to shed light on some serious flaws in Yahya Ederer’s methodology and conclusions, on the basis of which we advise caution in reading his articles.”

          The serious blunders and flaws are with zameel’s understanding of hadeeth terminology. I will just give you two samples: rest is on the forum.

          Zameel ur Rahman made mistakes and I am surprised to see Zameel using hardcore salafis to further his opinion that music is haram ( cut and paste from some salafis who wrote refutation of Qaradawi and from other places )

          “First, Imām al-Bukhārī narrated in his Sahīh that Rasūlullāh (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:
          “There will certainly be from my ummah groups [of people] who will regard illicit sexual intercourse, silk, wine and musical instruments (ma‘āzif) as halāl.” (Sahīh al-Bukhārī)

          The hadīth is authentic according to Imāms al-Bukhārī, al-Ismā‘īlī, Ibn Hibbān, Ibn al-Salāh, Ibn Jamā‘ah, Ibn Kathīr, Ibn al-Mulaqqin, al-Irāqī, Ibn Rajab, al-‘Aynī, al-Asqalānī, al-Sakhāwī and others.[[31] الرد على القرضاوي والجديع، ص٢١٠-١٣
          ]

          and this is where Zameel ur Rahman makes blunder because of his blindly following salafis when he says “With regards to the claim that the hadīth of Sahīh al-Bukhārī is mu‘allaq (meaning, there is a gap between al-Bukhārī and the first narrator of the chain), and is, therefore, not an official hadīth of his collection, the scholars of the sciences of hadīth (‘Ulūm al-Hadīth) have not accepted this claim. ”

          Again this claim of his and his likes has been refuted over here http://forums.islamicawakening.com/f16/music-how-accurate-is-the-claim-that-69841/index3.html

          قال الذهبي [تذكرة الحفاظ 4/88]: «أخرجه البخاري عن هشامٍ عن غير سماع»

          and another mistake Zameel makes
          And in al-Jarh wa l-Ta‘dīl of Ibn Abī Hātim al-Rāzī he narrates from his father (Abū Hātim al-Rāzī) that ‘Atiyyah ibn Qays is “suitable (sālih) in hadith”[63], which in Abū Hātim’s usage is ambiguous[64].”

          it is not ambiguous at all. Abu Hatim al-Razi himself makes this clear

          ابن أبي حاتم الرازي كما في الجرح والتعديل (6/383) :
          سئل أبى عن عطية بن قيس فقال : صالح الحديث. أ ـ هـ
          معنى قول أبي حاتم الرازي : صالح الحديث
          قال ابن أبي حاتم في الجرح والتعديل (2/37) :
          إن أهل المنزلة الأعلى الثقات ، وان أهل المنزلة الثانية أهل الصدق والأمانة ، ووجدت الألفاظ في الجرح والتعديل على مراتب شتى :
          وإذا قيل للواحد انه ثقة أو متقن ثبت فهو ممن يحتج بحديثه .
          وإذا قيل له انه صدوق ، أو محله الصدق ، أولا بأس به فهو ممن يكتب حديثه وينظر فيه وهي المنزلة الثانية .
          وإذا قيل شيخ فهو بالمنزلة الثالثة يكتب حديثه وينظر فيه ؛ إلا أنه دون الثانية .
          وإذا قيل صالح الحديث فإنه يكتب حديثه للاعتبار .
          وإذا أجابوا في الرجل بلين الحديث فهو ممن يكتب حديثه ، وينظر فيه اعتبارا .
          وإذا قالوا ليس بقوي فهو بمنزلة الأولى في كتبه حديثه ؛ إلا انه دونه أ ـ هـ
          فها هنا أن الراوي إذا قال فيه أبو حاتم الرازي : صالح الحديث : فهو ممن لا يحتج بحديثهم عند التفرد .

          why does not Zameel answer the idrab ?
          الاضطراب :
          من خلال تتبع روايات الحديث نجد أن هناك اضطرابا في المتن ، فمرة تذكر لفظة “المعازف ” ، ومرة لا تذكر ، ومرة تذكر لفظة “الحر” ، ومرة تذكر بدلا منها “الخز” ، ومرة لا تذكر هذه ولا تلك ، وكذلك اضطراب في ذكر الصحابي ، وهذا بطبيعة الحال يضر بالراوي الذي انفرد بالحديث ألا وهو عطية بن قيس .

          This boils down to your scholars vs my scholars, if you want to do taqlid then be just instead of making false claims.

        • Ahmad al Husaini says:

          Salam Abu Ashari,

          Please provide proof the author of الرد على القرضاوي والجديع is a “hardcore salafi”.

          You say the claim that Imam Bukhari’s taliq from his shaykh is not regarded as inqita “has been refuted.” Regardless of whether it has been refuted or not, that is the view of major scholars of Mustalah, like Ibn al-Salah and others. Even if there is inqita in this chain, it is muttasil in other chains. Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani said as quoted in the respnse: “This is a sahīh hadith. It has no defect and no scope for criticism.”

          Abu Hatim’s statement “salih al-hadith” does not necessarily mean the narrator is weak. This is proven by his usage of the term for narrators he regards as trustworthy.

          قد قال في جَبَلَة بن سُحَيْم التميمي: صالح الحديث، وقال مرة: هو ثقة [6، ج-2، ص ص 508 - 509].
          - وقال في ذكوان أبي صالح السمَّان – المتَّفق على توثيقه -: “صالح الحديث، يُحتجُّ بحديثه” [6، ج-3، ص ص 450-451].

          The narrator’s hadith being acceptable for i’tibar does not mean the narrator has to be weak. It may also mean he is strong.

          Regarding the so-called “idtirab” over the name of the Sahabi, it has been mentioned that this does not affect the reliability of the hadith. Slight variations in wording is found in other hadiths also, and noone says those hadiths are weak on account of these small variations.

        • Abu Ashari says:

          > Please provide proof the author of الرد على القرضاوي والجديع is a “hardcore salafi”. You say the claim that Imam Bukhari’s taliq from his shaykh is not regarded as inqita “has been refuted.” Regardless of whether it has been refuted or not, that is the view of major scholars of Mustalah, like Ibn al-Salah and others. Even if there is inqita in this chain, it is muttasil in other chains. Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani said as quoted in the respnse: “This is a sahīh hadith. It has no defect and no scope for criticism.” Abu Hatim’s statement “salih al-hadith” does not necessarily mean the narrator is weak. This is proven by his usage of the term for narrators he regards as trustworthy. >
          قد قال في جَبَلَة بن سُحَيْم التميمي: صالح الحديث، وقال مرة: هو ثقة [6، ج-2، ص ص 508 - 509].
          - وقال في ذكوان أبي صالح السمَّان – المتَّفق على توثيقه -: “صالح الحديث، يُحتجُّ بحديثه” [6، ج-3، ص ص 450-451].

          The narrator’s hadith being acceptable for i’tibar does not mean the narrator has to be weak. It may also mean he is strong. <> Regarding the so-called “idtirab” over the name of the Sahabi, it has been mentioned that this does not affect the reliability of the hadith. Slight variations in wording is found in other hadiths also, and noone says those hadiths are weak on account of these small variations. <<

          again, this person has absolutely no idea what is talking about. I was referring to
          اضطراب في المتن apart from name of sahabi . Name of the sahabi , i will agree, how about the matn, are you 100% certain about the matn
          فمرة تذكر لفظة “المعازف ” ، ومرة لا تذكر ، ومرة تذكر لفظة “الحر” ، ومرة تذكر بدلا منها “الخز” ، ومرة لا تذكر هذه ولا تلك

          – حدَّثنا عبدُ الوهَّابِ بنُ نجدةَ، حدَّثنا بِشرُ بنُ بكْرٍ، عن عبدِ الرحمن ابن يزيدَ بنِ جابرٍ، حدَّثنا عطيةُ بنُ قيسٍ، سمعتُ عبدَ الرحمن بنَ غَنمٍ الأشعريَّ
          حدَّثني أبو عامِرٍ، أو أبو مالِكِ، واللهِ يمينٌ أُخرى ما كذبني، أنه سَمعَ رسولَ الله – صلَّى الله عليه وسلم – يقول: "ليكونَنَ من أُمَّتي أقوامٌ يستحلُّونَ الخزَّ والحَرِيرَ -وذكرَ كلاماَ، قال:- يَمسَخُ منهم آخرين قِرَدَةً وخنازيرَ إلى يومِ القِيَامَةِ"

          arnuat comments
          (2) إسناده صحيح.
          وأخرجه الإسماعيلي في "مستخرجه" كما في "تهذيب السنن" لابن قيم الجوزية 5/ 271، ومن طريقه البيهقي 3/ 272 عن الحسن بن سفيان، عن عبد الرحمن بن إبراهيم =
          = دُحيم، عن يشعر بن بكر، بهذا الإسناد. ولفظه بتمامه: "ليكرنن في أمتي أقوام يستحلُّون الخَزَّ والحرير والخمر والمعازف، ولينزلن أقرام إلى جنب عَلَم تروح عليهم سارحة لهم، فيأتيهم طالب حاجة، فيقولون: ارجع إلينا غداً، فيُبيِّتُهم، فيضع عليهم العلم، ويمسخ منهم آخرين قردة وخنازير إلى يوم القيامة".
          وقوله: "الخَرّ" كذا جاء في (أ) و (ب) و (ج)، وكذا هو في رواية ابن الأعرابي كما في هامش (هـ) وضُبطت في (هـ): "الحِرَ"، وجاء في هامشها ما نصه: "الحِرَ" وقع في رواية ابن الأعرابي بالحاه المنقوطة والزاي، قال أبو عمر أحمد بن سعيد بن حزم: رواه لنا حميد بن ثوابة: "الحِرَ، بالحاء مكسورة وبالراء، وقال لي حميد: وقفت إسحاق أبا عيسى الرمليَّ على وجوه الكلمة كيف سمعتَها من أبي داود، فقال:
          "الحِرَ والحرير"، وقال: هذا لفظ أبي داود كأني أسمعُه … حدَّثنا أبو عمر النمري، حدَّثنا أبو زيد العطار، حدَّثنا أحمد بن سعيد بن حزم، حدَّثنا أبو الحسن الباهلي بمصر، قال: حدَّثنا محمد بن الوزير السلمي الدمشقي، قال: حدَّثنا يحيى بن حسان، عن يحيى بن حمزة، عن أبي وهب، عن مكحول، عن أبي ثعلبة، عن أبي عبيدة بن الجراح، عن النبي – صلَّى الله عليه وسلم – قال: "إن أول دينكم نبوة ورحمة، ثم ملك ورحمة، ثم ملك أغْفر، ثم ملك وجبروت، يستحل فيها الحِرَ والحرير" قال لنا الباهلي: هكذا هو "الحر" بكسر الحاء، وقال: هو الوجه، وهكذا في أصل أحمد بن دُحيم، عن أبي عيسى [يعني الرملي] أيضاً: "الحِرَ والحرير" .. قلنا: لكن نقل العيني في "عمدته" 21/ 176 عن ابن دقيق العيد: أن في كتاب أبي داود والبيهقي ما يقتضي أنه "الخز" بالزاي والخاء المعجمة، وقال ابن الأثير في "النهاية" في مادة حرر: والمشهور في رواية هذا الحديث على اختلاف طرقه: "يستحلُّون الخَزّ، بالخاء المعجمة والزاي، وهو ضرب من ثياب الابريسم معروف، وكذا جاء في كتابي البخاري وأبي داود. قال الحافظ في "الفتح" 10/ 55: كذا قال، وقد عُرف أن المشهور في رواية البخاري بالمهملتين.
          قلنا: أخرجه البخاري (5590) معلقاً بصيغة الجزم عن هشام بن عمار (وفيه ضعف) عن صدقة بن خالد، به. ولفظه كلفظ رواية الحسن بن سفيان إلا أنه جاء عنده "الحِرَ" بدل: "الخز". قال الحافظ في "الفتح" 10/ 55: ضبطه ابن ناصر بالحاء المهملة =
          = المكسورة والراء الخفيفة، وهو الفرج. وكذا هو في معظم الروايات من (صحيح البخاري"، ولم يذكر عياض ومَن تبعه غيرَه، وأغرب ابن التين، فقال: إنه عند البخاري بالمعجمتين، وقال ابن العربي: هو بالمحجمتين تصحيف، وإنما روياه بالمهملتين، وهو الفرج، والمعنى يستحلوُّن الزنى.
          وأخرجه دون قوله: "الخز" أو "الحِرَ" ابن حبان (6754)، والطبراني في "الكبير" (3417)، وفي "مسند الشاميين" (588)، وتمام بن محمد في "مسند المقلين" (8)، والبيهقي 10/ 221، والمزي في "تهذيب الكمال"في ترجمة عطية بن قيس، من طريق هشام بن عمار، بإسناد البخاري.
          و"الخز" المقصود بالنهي عنه هو الثوب الذي جميعه حرير، فقد أخرج الإِمام أحمد في "مسنده" (2856) و (2857) عن ابن عباس قال: إنما نهى رسول الله – صلَّى الله عليه وسلم – عن الثوب المُصمت حريراً. والمصمت هو الذي جميعه حرير، لا يخالطه فيه قطن ولا غيره. وسيأتي عند المصنف من حديث معاوية بن أبي سفيان مرفوعاً: "لا تركبوا الخز ولا النمار".
          وأما "الخز" الذي لبسه غيرُ واحد من الصحابة، فهو الثوب الذي اتخذ من وبر ذكر الأرنب. قال في "المصباح" ومثله في "المُغرب": الخز اسم دابة، ثم سمي الثوب المتخذ من وبره خزاً. والخُزَز كصُرَد ذكر الأرانب. قال في "القاموس": ومنه اشتق الخَزُّ.

          =====

          ولابن مَاجَهَ: عن أبِي مَالِكِ الأَشْعَرِيِّ: قال رسولُ الله – صلّى الله عليه وسلّم -:
          "لَيَشْرَبَنَّ نَاسٌ مِن أُمَّتِي الْخَمْرَ، يُسَمُّونَهَا بِغَيْرِ اسْمِهِا، يُضْرَبُ عَلَى رُؤُوسِهِم بِالْمَعَازِفِ وَالْقَيْنَاِت، فَخَسَفَ الله بِهِم الأرضَ، وَيَجْعَلُ مِنْهُمُ الْقِرَدَةَ والْخَنَازِيرَ"

          – أَخْبَرَنَا الْحُسَيْنُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ الْقَطَّانُ، قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا هِشَامُ بْنُ عَمَّارٍ، قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا صَدَقَةُ بْنُ خَالِدٍ، قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ"1" جَابِرٍ، قَالَ:
          حَدَّثَنَا عَطِيَّةُ بْنُ قَيْسٍ، قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنُ غَنْمٍ، قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو عَامِرٍ، وَأَبُو مَالِكٍ الْأَشْعَرِيَّانَ سَمِعَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُ: "لَيَكُونَنَّ فِي أُمَّتِي أَقْوَامٌ يَسْتَحِلُّونَ الْحَرِيرَ وَالْخَمْرَ والمعازف" "2". [3: 69]

          وَقَالَ هِشَامُ بْنُ عَمَّارٍ: حَدَّثَنَا صَدَقَةُ بْنُ خَالِدٍ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنُ يَزِيدَ بْنِ جَابِرٍ، حَدَّثَنَا عَطِيَّةُ بْنُ قَيْسٍ الكِلاَبِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنُ غَنْمٍ الأَشْعَرِيُّ، قَالَ: حَدَّثَنِي أَبُو عَامِرٍ أَوْ أَبُو مَالِكٍ الْأَشْعَرِيُّ، وَاللَّهِ مَا كَذَبَنِي: سَمِعَ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُ: " لَيَكُونَنَّ مِنْ أُمَّتِي أَقْوَامٌ، يَسْتَحِلُّونَ الحِرَ وَالحَرِيرَ، وَالخَمْرَ وَالمَعَازِفَ، وَلَيَنْزِلَنَّ أَقْوَامٌ إِلَى جَنْبِ عَلَمٍ، يَرُوحُ عَلَيْهِمْ بِسَارِحَةٍ لَهُمْ، يَأْتِيهِمْ – يَعْنِي الفَقِيرَ – لِحَاجَةٍ فَيَقُولُونَ: ارْجِعْ إِلَيْنَا غَدًا، فَيُبَيِّتُهُمُ اللَّهُ، وَيَضَعُ العَلَمَ، وَيَمْسَخُ آخَرِينَ قِرَدَةً وَخَنَازِيرَ إِلَى يَوْمِ القِيَامَةِ "

          Is Daff included in the Musical Instruments ?
          YES or NO.

          If you say YES, then it should be haram because of the hadeeth in Question where as we know for a fact that Daff – musical instrument is permissible.

          If you say DAFF is not a musical instrument then we ask: what it is ?

          (" وَالْمَعَازِفَ ") ، بِفَتْحِ الْمِيمِ أَيْ: آلَاتِ اللَّهْوِ يُضْرَبُ بِهَا، كَالطُّبُولِ، وَالْعُودِ، وَالْمِزْمَارِ، وَنَحْوِهَا،

        • Ahmad al Husaini says:

          Well, you didn’t answer any of my questions. You could not back up you assertion that the author of the book is a “hardcore salafi”. Nor could you deny that major scholars of Mustalah from Ibn al-Salah onwards regard the hadith of Bukhari as muttasil and not mu’allaq. And you did not address Abu Hatim’s “ambiguous” usage of “salih al hadith”.

          Yes, daff is a musical instrument and it is an exception to the rule, some jurists restricting it to weddings & eid, others to only weddings, and others say only for women. Plus, it is an instrument used for “announcement” (i’lan) not to create a beat (tarab). You can’t use an exception to disprove a rule.

  6. fahad says:

    complete the following:
    1) ‘who let the…..
    2)’oops i…
    3)’baby……

    Now try these:
    1)’wa nafsiyoon w’…
    2)da likal’kitaboo….
    3)lahu ma’fis….

    which of them would we like to be played in our heads at our death bed?

  7. Shibli Zaman says:

    Its hilarious how all these haters clearly didn’t read the article. Its rather simple.

    1) Can you quote a SINGLE verse of the Qur’an that says Music is forbidden? Not what SOMEONE (no matter how noble) other than the Prophet (peace be upon him) said the verse meant. What the verse clearly SAYS. You can’t.

    2) Can you cite a SINGLE authentic Hadith that says Music is forbidden. Again, an authentic Hadith from the Prophet (peace be upon him), not an Athar from a Sahabi or Tabi`i. You can’t.

    Remember, Hadith of Ashrat al-Sa`ah that speak of future events aren’t legitimate variables in deriving a Hukm. Such a Hadith would not be an Amr.

    • art says:

      ’2) Can you cite a SINGLE authentic Hadith that says Music is forbidden’

      =Excuse me, but the article mentions the bible as evidence, not to mention stories with no isnad of people listening to music !!! Wow

      1. ‘musical instruments as though they are beautiful and delightful. That cannot be the case in something prohibited.’
      => The beautiful women and their bodies are delightful for us, but its forbidden outside marriage – false logic

      2. Hadith that make music prohibited not mentioned in article

      a) “A people of my ummah will drink wine calling it by other than its real name, cheer and joy will be made for them through the playing of musical instruments ad the singing of lady singers, Allah will cleave the earth under them and turn others into apes and swine ” ibn Maja, Bayhaqi, Ibn Asakir

      => the prophet mentions people drinking wine while cheering with something not halal, otherwise he wouldnt mention it if it was halal and the lady singers + wine = forbidden, all 3 parts are foridden

      b) “Allah has made forbidden upon the ummah intoxicants, gambling, and Quba(drum). And every intoxicant is forbidden”
      Musnad Ahmad, Ebu Dawud, Bayhaqi, Musnad Abu Yala, Ibn Hibban, Tabarani-Mujam Kabir
      => the drums are explicitly made forbidden

      c) “I have not been prevented from crying, however I have been prohibited from two shameless idiotic sounds: A voice singing alongside musical instruments and Satans Wind instruments ” Hakim

      => Explicitly mentioned voice+instruments and wind instruments
      —-
      d) “There shall be among my Ummah some who will be stoned from the skies, some who will be transformed, and others which will be swallowed by the earth.
      They said: When will that happen o Messenger Of Allah ?
      -He said: When musical instruments become popular, abundant and when singing slave girls become abundant and people drink alcohol !” Tirmidhi

      => Again, all 3 things are forbidden not just 1 or 2
      —–

      Ibn Abas: “Duff is forbidden, musical instruments are forbidden, Quba-drum is forbidden, and the flute is forbidden”

      etc etc

      • Waqqas says:

        art: that didn’t really address anything at all.

      • 2134 says:

        i think you have not read the article, or you are just not getting it.. as mentioned in the article.. the ahadith are describing a ‘party scene’ that inclused immoral music, dance, alchohol,.. the hadith are in that context, not in the context of good music.. again read this hadith that [in directly] talks about [good] music:
        Narrated Abu Musa:
        That the Prophet (s.a.w) said to him’ “O Abu Musa! You have been given one of the musical windinstruments of the family of David .’
        (Sahih Bukhari Book 66, Hadith 72 ;Sahih al-Bukhari 5048)

        • ameen says:

          This Hadith have been interpreted as “You have been given the voice of David” because Dawood (AS) had such a beautiful voice. Some translate the Arabic word as as instrument. Maybe someone who knows Quranic Arabic can provide proof of this hadith and its correct interpretation.

      • Gibran says:

        People who reject the Sunnah are disbelievers. Rejecting the Sunnah is rejecting the Quran. It’s like saying, one can believe part of the book of Allah aza wa jal and disbelieve another part.

        So, it’s not necessary for any scholar to provide daleel from the Quran when Allah and His Messenger have made it clear in the very book of Allah that Allah and His Messenger are to be obeyed.

        • sarah says:

          Asalaamualaikum. The Quran is the ONLY thing that is 100% Unaltered and this cannot be disputed. Not all ahadeeth are correct and this is common knowledge. In other words don’t blindly follow all hadeeth. Do your own research. Then make your own informed decision.

    • Abu Ashari says:

      too many haters and bigots, one of them just displayed above is zameel ur rahman and others are on the IA forum

      I don’t see any difference between these people and madkhalis = all the same but different flavors and colors, same tone, same style , same speech , same manners and same fanaticism.

  8. Foxymardy says:

    I’ve read the article and still find music to be something that should be avoided. I agree with Abdullah the previous commentator. These arguments / justifications seem to be very vague and long winded for me to comprehend. When in doubt, avoid. So since music is causing such a difference of opinion for you to bring up an article about its permisibility, i think its best if i stick to what is clearest to me. I love Kamal el Mekki’s lecture on The End of Music. By Allah’s will after listening to that lecture I completely stopped listening to any type of music and just listened to Quranic recitations. And it actually changed my life subhanAllah. Instead of singing along to songs or even anasheed, I found myself reciting Quranic verses instead. I don’t think nasheed with music can give me the same effect, but this is just me and my opinion.

    and Allah knows best

    • Ahmed says:

      Yes it is your opinion but others may feel differently! But what is clear is that the Quran does not prohibit music and Allah’s commands are in the Quran only! Medieval scholars may have their views but these are just opinions, not binding on anyone.

      • 2134 says:

        ‘Allah’s Command are Quran only????”
        “Believers! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you…” (Qur’an 4:59)
        obey the messenger and those who are in authority among you AS WELL!
        There are things that have difference of opinion, but not a lot of them are that way.. sometimes there is a conses among muslims that this is haram.. for example: someone mat bring up this argument that eating a dog is halal.. why would he say that? He would say that because the Quran doesn’t say so.. but we can categorically prove that Quran says to follow the messenger (s.a.w) and ‘Ijma (consensus).. then only we will stay towards the safer side.. if we just say “oh these are just opinion of scholars.. and they can be wrong”.. yes they can be.. but they can’t just conspire a view.. they derive it from authentic sources such as hadith, (remember: hadith were written at the time of prophet muhammad s.a.w and btw.. through quran’s teachings we are told to obey the authority.. and muslim authorities take hadith as a source for islamic rulings) and these scholars also derive the ruling that was taken.. like ahadith that are acted upon.. etc. and then these scholars gave authentic views…

  9. Asma says:

    I’m happy to read this research. I think we should leave it to the individuals to decide. I am indifferent to music. I sometimes listen when I like to. For those who have addiction problems e.g. let’s say shopping then they should control themselves and stop listening to music altogether including television.

  10. Kirana says:

    i find myself relating to brian’s point. Music can have a very uplifting effect. A lot of research is done on the effect of rhythm on the brain, and what makes music more or less attractive. It soothes, inspires, and for many, helps learning and memory. Lullabies are universal, and every culture makes rythmic sounds from instruments, and sings. We humans respond greatly to acoustic signals. What really is the reason to allow creation, manipulation and play in a visual art context such as fine calligraphy, embroidery, architecture etc. as well as in other senses such as gastronomy etc. but not in an acoustic art context? Just as visual arts can be perverted to reflect idolatry and sin, e.g. pornographic images, so can music, as they are both sensory media that tap into our emotional stimuli and response mechanisms. But the prohibition of one is more context-specific, and the other is blanket? It seems that hadith may be describing this scenario of sin, which perverted music is usually a part of. To extrapolate it to mean any and all music, which is such a ubiquitous thing and creatable with virtually anything that creates sound, seems quite preposterous.

    I think if we cared a bit more about acoustic beauty as we do about beauty in other forms, perhaps finally we would be more serious about acoustics in our buildings, about choosing muezzins for the beauty of their azan and their musical ability, about balancing silence and pleasant musical sounds in public spaces – many would say that these are not forbidden, but you cannot learn and explore sounds if you have forbidden its play form, music. Sound is ubiquitous, banning its form of beauty and art simply means its absence is filled with discordance and noise, like what impairs so many cities, especially in the crowded East. So much of learning and discovery is inspired from things discovered through ‘play’ forms of knowledge – through puzzles and art and music and games. Excellence in any field is driven by a cultural love for that field’s highest form of beauty, often expressed as art. I think there has not been a culture who excelled in a field of endeavour, without that field’s art/play form also being beloved by its people.

    • Faiza says:

      Love, love, love your response. These are things I think about when I listen to good, clean, thought-provoking music. You and Brian have hit it on the nose. Thank you guys for articulating it with such insight!

  11. sam says:

    If music is permissible in Islam, then how does one deem it Islamic? Perhaps the finest response comes from Imam al-Ghazali, the giant polymath and Sufi of the 12th century. He wrote that music inflamed the passions. However, if music drew the person nearer to Allah it was beneficial, but if it didn’t, it was detrimental. It has to be noted that Imam Ghazali was wise enough not to lay down absolutes!

    Over the years I have learnt that Imam Ghazali’s approach has been the most appropriate. Too often, issues of halal and haram (especially in music) have been pre-determined by pure like or dislike, rather than any juristic principle. And too often, when assailed with new sound, the most convenient Muslim response has been to cry haram – even though the music may not be alien to Islamic theology.
    I think that its wise to concede to Imam Ghazalis approach,thus leaving the door ajar that was left open by the beloved Prophet (upon Him peace and blessings) for Muslims to develop the lingua-franca of spiritually uplifting, and permissible music through ijtihad, or informed collective thought.

    As an Islamic art form, music falls under the category of Mercy and Beauty, and that Allah has written beauty upon the face of all things. The Prophet’s(upon Him peace and beauty) Hadith that “Allah loves Beauty” serves to reinforce this idea. The lingua-franca of music is its beauty, or as the violinist, Yehudi Menuhin, commented when he heard Iranian classical music:
    “This music is the ladder between the soul and God.”

    It is this connection to the Divine, through beauty and ecstasy, that Islamic music gains its currency. And the premier instrument is the Qur’an – an amazing compendium of metre, rhythm and rhyme – that almost “sings” its deeply profound message as it moves like a heartbeat from verse to verse. The miracle of the Qur’an is witnessed in as much the human voice, which is a Mercy from Allah, as it is in its words and message.

    This is perhaps why the music of the masjid, the place of worship, is the human voice and the Qur’an; and why the market-place, the material world, expresses its awareness of Allah through the voice and instrument, its melodic timbre drowning out the jarring sounds of the dunya so that the senses can savour beautific splendour.

    Afterall if music be the food of love play on

  12. Zainab says:

    Salaam u alaikum Sheikh Yusuf Ederer,
    Can we please have the sanad of the report which says that Abdullah bin Zubair used to listen to music?

    And, what is the name of your book on music?

  13. Getoom says:

    Allaah says in Soorat 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).

    Al-Sa’di (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: this includes all manner of haraam speech, all idle talk and falsehood, and all nonsense that encourages kufr and disobedience; the words of those who say things to refute the truth and argue in support of falsehood to defeat the truth; and backbiting, slander, lies, insults and curses; the singing and musical instruments of the Shaytaan; and musical instruments which are of no spiritual or worldly benefit. (Tafseer al-Sa’di, 6/150)

    Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The interpretation of the Sahaabah and Taabi’in, that ‘idle talk’ refers to singing, is sufficient. This was reported with saheeh isnaads from Ibn ‘Abbaas and Ibn Mas’ood. Abu’l-Sahbaa’ said: I asked Ibn Mas’ood about the aayah (interpretation of the meaning), ‘“And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks’ [Luqmaan 31:6]. He said: By Allaah, besides Whom there is no other god, this means singing – and he repeated it three times. It was also reported with a saheeh isnaad from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them both) that this means singing. There is no contradiction between the interpretation of “idle talk” as meaning singing and the interpretation of it as meaning stories of the Persians and their kings, and the kings of the Romans, and so on, such as al-Nadr ibn al-Haarith used to tell to the people of Makkah to distract them from the Qur’aan. Both of them are idle talk. Hence Ibn ‘Abbaas said: “Idle talk” is falsehood and singing. Some of the Sahaabah said one and some said the other, and some said both. Singing is worse and more harmful than stories of kings, because it leads to zinaa and makes hypocrisy grow (in the heart); it is the trap of the Shaytaan, and it clouds the mind. The way in which it blocks people from the Qur’aan is worse than the way in which other kinds of false talk block them, because people are naturally inclined towards it and tend to want to listen to it. The aayaat condemn replacing the Qur’aan with idle talk in order to mislead (men) from the path of Allaah without knowledge and taking it as a joke, because when an aayah of the Qur’aan is recited to such a person, he turns his back as if he heard them not, as if there were deafness in his ear. If he hears anything of it, he makes fun of it. All of this happens only in the case of the people who are most stubbornly kaafirs and if some of it happens to singers and those who listen to them, they both have a share of this blame. (Ighaathat al-Lahfaan, 1/258-259).

    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).

    Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

    “Do you then wonder at this recitation (the Qur’aan)?

    And you laugh at it and weep not,

    Wasting your (precious) lifetime in pastime and amusements (singing)”

    [al-Najm 53:59-61]

    ‘Ikrimah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: it was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas that al-sumood [verbal noun from saamidoon, translated here as “Wasting your (precious) lifetime in pastime and amusements (singing)”] means “singing”, in the dialect of Himyar; it might be said “Ismidi lanaa” [‘sing for us’ – from the same root as saamidoon/sumood] meaning “ghaniy” [sing]. And he said (may Allaah have mercy on him): When they [the kuffaar] heard the Qur’aan, they would sing, then this aayah was revealed.

    Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning) “Wasting your (precious) lifetime in pastime and amusements (singing)” – Sufyaan al-Thawri said, narrating from his father from Ibn ‘Abbaas: (this means) singing. This is Yemeni (dialect): ismad lana means ghan lana [sing to us]. This was also the view of ‘Ikrimah. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer).

    It was reported from Abu Umaamah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not sell singing slave women, do not buy them and do not teach them. There is nothing good in this trade, and their price is haraam. Concerning such things as this the aayah was revealed (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].” (Hasan hadeeth)

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

    “Among my ummah there will certainly be people who permit zinaa, silk, alcohol and musical instruments…” (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).

    Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: This is a saheeh hadeeth narrated by al-Bukhaari in his Saheeh, where he quoted it as evidence and stated that it is mu’allaq and majzoom. He said: Chapter on what was narrated concerning those who permit alcohol and call it by another name.

    This hadeeth indicates in two ways that musical instruments and enjoyment of listening to music are haraam. The first is the fact that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “[they] permit” which clearly indicates that the things mentioned, including musical instruments, are haraam according to sharee’ah, but those people will permit them. The second is the fact that musical instruments are mentioned alongside things which are definitely known to be haraam, i.e., zinaa and alcohol: if they (musical instruments) were not haraam, why would they be mentioned alongside these things? (adapted from al-Silsilah al-Saheehah by al-Albaani, 1/140-141)

    Shaykh al-Islam (Ibn Taymiyah) (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: This hadeeth indicates that ma’aazif are haraam, and ma’aazif means musical instruments according to the scholars of (Arabic) language. This word includes all such instruments. (al-Majmoo’, 11/535).

    Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: And concerning the same topic similar comments were narrated from Sahl ibn Sa’d al-Saa’idi, ‘Imraan ibn Husayn, ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr, ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abbaas, Abu Hurayrah, Abu Umaamah al-Baahili, ‘Aa’ishah Umm al-Mu’mineen, ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib, Anas ibn Maalik, ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Saabit and al-Ghaazi ibn Rabee’ah. Then he mentioned it in Ighaathat al-Lahfaan, and it indicates that they (musical instruments) are haraam.

    It was narrated that Naafi’ (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Ibn ‘Umar heard a woodwind instrument, and he put his fingers in his ears and kept away from that path. He said to me, O Naafi’, can you hear anything? I said, No. So he took his fingers away from his ears and said: I was with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and he heard something like this, and he did the same thing. (Saheeh Abi Dawood). Some insignificant person said that this hadeeth does not prove that musical instruments are haraam, because if that were so, the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would have instructed Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them both) to put his fingers in his ears as well, and Ibn ‘Umar would have instructed Naafi’ to do likewise! The response to this is: He was not listening to it, but he could hear it. There is a difference between listening and hearing. Shaykh al-Islam (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).

    Ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: the listener is the one who intends to hear, which was not the case with Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them both); what happened in his case was hearing. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) needed to know when the sound stopped because he had moved away from that path and blocked his ears. So he did not want to go back to that path or unblock his ears until the noise had stopped, so when he allowed Ibn ‘Umar to continue hearing it, this was because of necessity. (al-Mughni, 10/173)

    (Even though the hearing referred to in the comments of the two imaams is makrooh, it was permitted because of necessity, as we will see below in the comments of Imaam Maalik (may Allaah have mercy on him). And Allaah knows best).

    The views of the scholars (imaams) of Islam

    Al-Qaasim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Singing is part of falsehood. Al-Hasan (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: if there is music involved in a dinner invitation (waleemah), do not accept the invitation (al-Jaami by al-Qayrawaani, p. 262-263).

    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: The madhhab of Abu Haneefah is the strictest in this regard, and his comments are among the harshest. His companions clearly stated that it is haraam to listen to all musical instruments such as the flute and the drum, even tapping a stick. They stated that it is a sin which implies that a person is a faasiq (rebellious evil doer) whose testimony should be rejected. They went further than that and said that listening to music is fisq (rebellion, evildoing) and enjoying it is kufr (disbelief). This is their words. They narrated in support of that a hadeeth which could not be attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). They said: he should try not to hear it if he passes by it or it is in his vicinity. Abu Yoosuf said, concerning a house from which could be heard the sound of musical instruments: Go in without their permission, because forbidding evil actions is obligatory, and if it were not allowed to enter without permission, people could not have fulfilled the obligatory duty (of enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil). (Ighaathat al-Lahfaan, 1/425).

    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 faasiqs.” (Tafseer al-Qurtubi, 14/55).

    Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Among the types of earnings which are haraam by scholarly consensus are ribaa, the fee of a prostitute, anything forbidden, bribes, payment for wailing over the dead and singing, payments to fortune-tellers and those who claim to know the unseen and astrologers, payments for playing flutes, and all kinds of gambling. (al-Kaafi).

    Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, explaining the view of Imaam al-Shaafa’i: His companions who know his madhhab (point of view) stated that it is haraam and denounced those who said that he permitted it. (Ighaathat al-Lahfaan, 1/425).

    The author of Kifaayat al-Akhbaar, who was one of the Shaafa’is, counted musical instruments such as flutes and others, as being munkar (evil), and the one who is present (where they are being played) should denounce them. (He cannot be excused by the fact that there are bad scholars, because they are corrupting the sharee’ah, or evil faqeers – meaning the Sufis, because they call themselves fuqaraa’ or faqeers – because they are ignorant and follow anyone who makes noise; they are not guided by the light of knowledge; rather they are blown about by every wind. (Kifaayat al-Akhbaar, 2/128).

    Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: With regard to the view of Imaam Ahmad, his son ‘Abd-Allaah said: I asked my father about singing. He said: Singing makes hypocrisy grow in the heart; I do not like it. Then he mentioned the words of Maalik: the evildoers (faasiqs) among us do that. (Ighaathat al-Lahfaan).

    Ibn Qudaamah, the researcher of the Hanbali madhhab – (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Musical instruments are of three types which are haraam. These are the strings and all kinds of flute, and the lute, drum and rabaab (stringed instrument) and so on. Whoever persists in listening to them, his testimony should be rejected. (al-Mughni, 10/173). And he said (may Allaah have mercy on him); If a person is invited to a gathering in which there is something objectionable, such as wine and musical instruments, and he is able to denounce it, then he should attend and speak out against it, because then he will be combining two obligatory duties. If he is not able to do that, then he should not attend. (al-Kaafi, 3/118)

    Al-Tabari (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The scholars of all regions are agreed that singing is makrooh and should be prevented. Although Ibraaheem ibn Sa’d and ‘Ubayd-Allaah al-‘Anbari differed from the majority, (it should be noted that) the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Adhere to the majority.” And whoever dies differing from the majority, dies as a jaahili. (Tafseer al-Qurtubi, 14/56). In earlier generations, the word “makrooh” was used to mean haraam, then it took on the meaning of “disliked”. But this is to be understood as meaning that it is forbidden, because he [al-Tabari] said “it should be prevented”, and nothing is to be prevented except that which is haraam; and because in the two hadeeths quoted, music is denounced in the strongest terms. Al-Qurtubi (may Allaah have mercy on him) is the one who narrated this report, then he said: Abu’l-Faraj and al-Qaffaal among our companions said: the testimony of the singer and the dancer is not to be accepted. I say: if it is proven that this matter is not permissible, then accepting payment for it is not permissible either.

    Shaykh al-Fawzaan (may Allaah preserve him) said: What Ibraaheem ibn Sa’d and ‘Ubayd-Allaah al-‘Anbari said about singing is not like the kind of singing that is known nowadays, for they would never have allowed this kind of singing which is the utmost in immorality and obscenity. (al-I’laam)

    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). And he said: …Ibn al-Mundhir mentioned that the scholars were agreed that it is not permissible to pay people to sing and wail… the consensus of all the scholars whose views we have learned about is that wailing and singing are not allowed. Al-Shu’bi, al-Nakha’i and Maalik regarded that as makrooh [i.e., haraam]. Abu Thawr, al-Nu’maan – Abu Haneefah (may Allaah have mercy on him) – and Ya’qoob and Muhammad, two of the students of Abu Haneefah said: it is not permissible to pay anything for singing and wailing. This is our view. And he said: musical instruments are the wine of the soul, and what it does to the soul is worse than what intoxicating drinks do. (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 10/417).

    Ibn Abi Shaybah (may Allaah have mercy on him) reported that a man broke a mandolin belonging to another man, and the latter took his case to Shurayh. But Shurayh did not award him any compensation – i.e., he did not make the first man pay the cost of the mandolin, because it was haraam and had no value. (al-Musannaf, 5/395).

    Al-Baghawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) stated in a fatwa that it is haraam 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)

    An appropriate exception

    The exception to the above is the daff – without any rings (i.e., a hand-drum which looks like a tambourine, but without any rattles) – when used by women on Eids and at weddings. This is indicated by saheeh reports.

    • Abu Ashari says:

      oh i like your exception which you put for Daff a musical instrument. From where did you get this exception while you quoted so-and-so who did wholesale prohibition of musical instruments.

      so singing poetry is haram ?

  14. Salman says:

    There seems to be a lot of conflict regarding this issue, I just think it’s safer not to listen to music in case Allah has actually forbidden it, but the people who say it is permissible might be right. Only Allah knows. And why has Allah allowed such divisions to take place in Islam? Shouldn’t He have explained everything in great detail, or left behind clear proofs so that we can unanimously agree on an issue that didn’t exist back then (eg- WMDs)? Can anyone explain this? Jazak allahu khayr, assalamu alaikum

    • Truth Seeker says:

      @Salman
      The conflict is in people who have sacrificed music and they get bothered when the point you brought up is made. If it is as such then how come in the whole Quran there is no one verse that prohibits it like alcohol, gambling, theft, corruption, oppression, violence etc…

      Why we need some scholars to interpret a vague text to prohibit it. The same goes for the sunnah. We do not have one clear cut text with a mutawatir authentic transmission that prohibits it. Yet we do have some authentic texts permitting and even praising music and singing.

      All of this and music and singing was quite prevalent in Arabia in the time of the Prophet (PBUH). No matter what the control freak haram police say, what is evil of singing is evil and what is good is good.

  15. D. says:

    very interesting I listen to Sufi worship music & sense no conviction

  16. Iftikhar says:

    Asalam-o-Alaikum,

    Just want a clear opinion on whether I can listen to music while I exercise – Just to rev up my workout – Nothing more.

    Please guide.

    Thank you!

    • Hafsa Garcia says:

      Yes that’s what I’m wondering! I’m not an avid listener of music but one time I do listen when I’m working out, and I can’t listen to a nasheed or similar because it doesn’t feel appropriate!

      Plus I love dancing to work out (not in public obviously!), or just dancing with my husband (salsa etc). Sometimes the music will have words about love etc that might not be considered appropriate music to listen to in all situations, but in this case if it promotes love between a husband and wife surely it’s a good thing? Obviously if you’re listening to the same song in a bar and dancing with a non-mahram than it’s totally wrong!! But it’s not really the music itself but the situation and what it promotes in that situation.

      I also have a baby boy and he loves music – I play him songs to help him learn the alphabet etc. As a teacher I find it provides a brilliant aid to learning. Music can be such a positive thing. I find it strange how so many people are so negative about it.

      anyway just a few of my thoughts on the topic!

      • Imam John says:

        There are many scholars who would permit you to listen to music while working out or otherwise AS LONG AS THE MESSAGE IS NOT IMMORAL. I listed a bunch of these Mujtahid scholars of the highest caliber beyond any that you can find alive today in the beginning article.

  17. Darius says:

    “It is prohibited to buy or sell women singers of jahiliyyah. The price of such transaction is prohibited.”

    When you see when happens nowadays with the music industry and the artists… quite strange but it sound similar to me.

  18. Hassan Talal says:

    Salam u alikum,

    I have read Sheikh Qardawi’s opinion also on music and listened to scholars who state music is haram. However, as Brian mentioned music can be uplifting and encouraging specially e.g. listening whilst working or studying (listening to Quran in these instances will be disrespectful as we are not concentrating fully).

    Now, I have a few questions to those who oppose all kind of music:

    1) I listen to BBC/Aljazeera news. These have music- is it then also forbidden to listne to these news channels?
    2) I watch a lot of documentaries and these also contain music- are these also forbidden?
    3) I watch family movies and go to cinema once in a while. These contain music as well- are these then also forbidden?
    4)Going out to restaurants which have music- is this also forbidden?
    5) Listening to Islam Channel (UK), they also have music- is this also forbidden?

    Jzk and may Allah keep us all on straight path and forgive if we err.

    Hassan

  19. shaz says:

    salam,

    # Ibn Abas: “Duff is forbidden, musical instruments are forbidden, Quba-drum is forbidden, and the flute is forbidden”

    # There will be disgrace and defamation in this nation when they will drink alcohol and listen to music (literally female singers while beating on instruments).” (al-Suyooti al-Sagheer 7720)

    # “(God is saying to Satan) Incite whoever you can among them with your voice…” (Qur’an 17:64)

    # “There are some people who buy distracting/entertaining speech without knowledge in order to mislead people from the path of God…” (Qur’an 31:6)

    # There will be a group of people from my nation who will deem silk, alcohol and musical instruments as permissible…” (buhari chapter drinks)

    Islam forbids people from drinking alcohol one main reason .a muslim has to be consious due to praying and be ready for the angel of death .the same principle applies to music.
    The angel of death is indeed ready “ARE YOU” ?
    Will music benefit you when the angel of death takes your soul . The answer is within yourself brothers and sisters may allah guide you in the right path ameen .

    • Hafsa Garcia says:

      whilst you’re right about being ready for the angel of death i’m not sure its possible to be in a full state of preparation at every moment unless you wan to become a monk and do nothing but hide away reading Qur’an 24/7… not practical or attainable for most of us.
      will music benefit us? well the same question could be asked of many things we do in this life, will sports benefit us? will watching tv benefit us? will going out for dinner benefit us? what any activity that it not worshipping God benefit us? not really…

  20. DONT BE JUDGMENTAL says:

    Asallam Alaikom,

    Everybody knows the Angel of Death is coming. What’s your point??

    The BOTTOM line is:

    If you don’t like it, don’t listen to it yourself.
    If you like it (music with a positive message), listen your heart out!

    BUT SEEING THAT SO MANY WELL KNOWN HUGE AND REPUTABLE SCHOLARS HAVE ALLOWED IT NOW AND IN THE PAST (WITH NO LEVEL OF HARAM OR MAKROUH), DO NOT EVER PUT ANY OF YOUR BROTHERS OR SISTERS DOWN FOR LISTENING TO MUSIC WITH A POSITIVE MESSAGE and be mindful of VALID differences of opinions.

    And if your shaykh tells you there is NO DIFFERENCE of opinion regarding Music, then it’s time to find a new Shaykh.

    Remember, putting one down or feeling your position is the best and only position is a sign of ARROGANCE and that is HARAM and does lead to the HELL FIRE (may Allah protect us all). ALLAH and his messenger Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) has warned us numerous times about the evils of this!

    • Imam John says:

      Amen to that bro! The problem is that many who embrace religion fanatically tend to have control issues or even a note of narcissism.

  21. fathi says:

    I’m sorry but I don’t get the point of arguing about whether music is halaal or haraam.
    I mean, it’s not like you’re getting sawaab / ajr for listening to music are you?! So honestly what is the point?
    Let’s just stick to Qur’aan, azkaar, poetry and the likes thereof as there’s definitely thawaab in these..
    As Allah says: “and I have not created man and jinn EXCEPT that he worship me” (i.e. all else is futile)

  22. O H says:

    The love of the Quran and the love of music cannot combine in the heart of a believer. -Ibn Mas’ud

    “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).

    Al-Sa’di (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: this includes all manner of haraam speech, all idle talk and falsehood, and all nonsense that encourages kufr and disobedience; the words of those who say things to refute the truth and argue in support of falsehood to defeat the truth; and backbiting, slander, lies, insults and curses; the singing and musical instruments of the Shaytaan; and musical instruments which are of no spiritual or worldly benefit. (Tafseer al-Sa’di, 6/150)

    Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The interpretation of the Sahaabah and Taabi’in, that ‘idle talk’ refers to singing, is sufficient. This was reported with saheeh isnaads from Ibn ‘Abbaas and Ibn Mas’ood. Abu’l-Sahbaa’ said: I asked Ibn Mas’ood about the aayah (interpretation of the meaning), ‘“And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks’ [Luqmaan 31:6]. He said: By Allaah, besides Whom there is no other god, this means singing – and he repeated it three times. It was also reported with a saheeh isnaad from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them both) that this means singing. There is no contradiction between the interpretation of “idle talk” as meaning singing and the interpretation of it as meaning stories of the Persians and their kings, and the kings of the Romans, and so on, such as al-Nadr ibn al-Haarith used to tell to the people of Makkah to distract them from the Qur’aan. Both of them are idle talk. Hence Ibn ‘Abbaas said: “Idle talk” is falsehood and singing. Some of the Sahaabah said one and some said the other, and some said both. Singing is worse and more harmful than stories of kings, because it leads to zinaa and makes hypocrisy grow (in the heart); it is the trap of the Shaytaan, and it clouds the mind. The way in which it blocks people from the Qur’aan is worse than the way in which other kinds of false talk block them, because people are naturally inclined towards it and tend to want to listen to it. The aayaat condemn replacing the Qur’aan with idle talk in order to mislead (men) from the path of Allaah without knowledge and taking it as a joke, because when an aayah of the Qur’aan is recited to such a person, he turns his back as if he heard them not, as if there were deafness in his ear. If he hears anything of it, he makes fun of it. All of this happens only in the case of the people who are most stubbornly kaafirs and if some of it happens to singers and those who listen to them, they both have a share of this blame. (Ighaathat al-Lahfaan, 1/258-259).

  23. Amr says:

    Here’s my response to all of the claims of Imam John, I think he was mistaken in so many things, subhan Allah.

    Evidences for the prohibitions of music:
    There are many evidences showing the prohibition of music, without exception:
    First: Evidence from the Qur’an:
    1) Allah* said, “And of the people is he who buys the amusement of speech to mislead [others] from the way of Allah without knowledge and who takes it in ridicule. Those will have a humiliating punishment.” [Qur’an 31:6] Ibn Mas`ud$ said, “By Allah, it is in reference to singing.” This was also the view of Ibn `Abbas$, Jabir$, `Ikrimah#, Sa`id bin Jubair#, Mujahid#, Mak-hul#, `Amr bin Shu`aib#, and `Ali bin Nadimah#. Al-Hasan al-Basri# viewed that it was regarding singing and usage of flutes.
    2) Allah* said, “And incite [to senselessness] whoever you can among them with your voice and assault them with your horses and foot soldiers and become a partner in their wealth and their children and promise them.” [Qur’an 17:64] The intent behind, “With your voice,” or, the voice of Satan, is music and singing, as mentioned by Mujahid#. Another interpretation is that of al-Dhahhak# that the intent is flutes. Al-Qurtubi# mentions that this verse contains a prohibition of musical instruments, in his Tafsir.
    Second: Evidence from the Sunnah:
    First: Abu Malik al-Ash`ari$ reported that Allah’s Messenger% said, “There will be people from my Ummah that rule fornication, silk [for men], alcohol, and musical instruments as lawful. And there will be some people who will stay near the side of a mountain and in the evening their shepherd will come to them with their sheep and ask them for something, but they will say to him, ‘Return to us tomorrow.’ Allah will destroy them during the night and will let the mountain fall on them, and He will transform the rest of them into monkeys and pigs and they will remain so till the Day of Resurrection.”
    Critique of this hadith:
    Some have judged this hadith as weak, however, when taking everything into account, it is clear that this is an authentic narration, saying that it is not connected in its chain of narration, which, even if it were true, can be responded to with the following:
    1) It was reported by Ibn Hibban in his Sahih (6719) with a connected chain of narration.
    2) Al-Tabarani reported it in al-Mu`jam al-Kabir (3417) with a connected chain of narration.
    3) Al-Isma`ili reported it in al-Mustakhraj `ala al-Sahihain, as well as al-Baihaqi in his Sunan (10/221) with a connected chain of narration.
    The next issue that is brought is that Hisham ibn `Ammar, one of the narrators of the hadith, was a weak narrator in the end part of his life. If this were the case, then we can prove that Hisham was not the only narrator who transmitted this hadith. Abu Dawud al-Sijistani reported in his Sunan (hadith number 4039) with his chain of narration from Abu Malik$ who reported that the Prophet% said, “There will be people from my Ummah who make fornication, silk… and he mentioned some things, some of them will made to become monkeys and swine until the Day of Resurrection.”
    However, as al-Albani says, the issue with this narration is that the part of the narration that speaks of musical instruments is not present. However, it has been mentioned by two other trustworthy scholars, the first of which is `Abd al-Rahman bin Ibrahim, who reported the hadith with the same wording as al-Bukhari. This chain of narration was reported by Abu Bakr al-Isma`ili in al-Mustakhraj (10/56), and others. The second is `Isa bin Ahmad al-`Asqalani, who also reported it. This variation was reported by Ibn `Asakir in Tarikh Dimashq (19/156). This last chain of narration was not mentioned by Ibn Hajar#.
    Furthermore, another issue is arisen through the narrator known as `Atiyyah bin Qais. Despite the scholars of hadith have mentioned that he is a trustworthy narrator, if we were to assume his reliability was unknown, it would still not affect the authenticity of the narration, because there are two other narrators who also narrated it with the same wording. One of which is Malik bin Abi Maryam, as reported by al-Bukhari in al-Tarikh (1/1/305), and the second of which is Ibrahim bin `Abd al-Hamid bin Thi Himayah, also reported by al-Bukhari in al-Tarikh al-Kabir.
    Wajh al-Dilalah (point of evidence):
    If this hadith is authentic, and as has been proven, is authentic, then what part of the hadith is to be taken to show that instruments are not allowed? The fact that the Prophet% described some of his Ummah as ruling those aspects as lawful shows that it was originally unlawful. Further, the fact that the Prophet% put them in the same sentence and line as those who perform other major sins, such as drinking alcohol, fornication, and wearing silk for men, it shows the grave nature of listening to music.
    Second: Anas bin Malik$ reported that Allah’s Messenger% said, “There are two sounds that are cursed in this life and the next: flutes at the time of blessings, and bells at the time of calamities.” When taking all the routes of this hadith, we can safely conclude that the hadith is authentic.
    Third: `Abdullah bin `Abbas$ reported that Allah’s Messenger% said, “Allah has made alcohol, gambling, musical drums, and every intoxicant unlawful for me.”
    Fourth: Nafi` said, “Ibn `Umar heard the sound of a flute, placed his fingers in his ears, and took another route. He said to me, ‘O Nafi`, do you hear anything?’ I said, ‘No.’ Then, he removed his fingers from his ears, and said, ‘I was with Allah’s Messenger% and he heard something similar to what we heard, and did as I just did.’”
    The evidence here is that the Prophet% and Ibn `Umar$ did so showing that mere Sama` (unintentional listening) is something one should avoid, showing that Istima` (intentional listening) is definitely something prohibited.
    Fifth: Abu Umamah$ reported that the Prophet% said, “Allah sent me as a mercy and guidance for all that exists, and my Lord* ordered me to eradicate musical instruments, flutes, idols, crosses, and matters of pre-Islamic ignorance.”
    Some scholars ruled this hadith as being slightly weak, while others ruled the narrators to all be trustworthy and have no issues. Regardless, if it were weak, it is still used as a Shahid (supplementary evidence) proving the impermissibility of listening to music.
    Sixth: Abu Malik al-Ash`ari reported that Allah’s Messenger% said, “Some people from my Ummah will drink alcohol while calling it by another name. Music will be played for them, and singers will sing for them. Allah will cause the earth to swallow them, and will turn some of them into monkeys and pigs.”
    Imam Ibn al-Qayyim# said, “This chain of narration is authentic.” (Ighathat al-Lahfan, 1/392) It was also narrated by various scholars of hadith through various chains of narration, on the authority of various companions, such as `A’isha, `Ubadah bin al-Samit, and Abu Umamah, causing al-Arna’ut to say, “It has supplementary evidences from other companions, and the narration presented in al-Hakim from `A’isha is authentic.” It was also ruled authentic by al-Albani (Sahih Ibn Majah, 3263), and acceptable by Ibn Taimiyyah (Bayan al-Dalil, pg. 92)
    Objection to this narration:
    The one raising doubts said regarding a hadith he quoted as, “There will be disgrace and defamation in this nation when they will drink alcohol and listen to music (literally female singers while beating on instruments).” Then, he quoted the source, saying, “Al-Suyooti al-Sagheer (7720).”
    Then, he says, “Even a layman can see that the linguistic connotation does not in any way show a prohibition for listening to music, but rather a prohibition of the “party” scene. There are many other hadiths like this one that show that the combination of alcohol and music is a shameful and immoral scene.”
    This is blameworthy on a few accounts:
    1) The translation he provided is weak, at best. The hadith in Arabic is:
    “.ليكونن في هذه الأمة خسف، وقذف، ومسخ، وذلك إذا شربوا الخمور، واتخذوا القينات، وضربوا بالمعازف”
    The actual translation is, “In this nation, there will be disgrace, reprehensible actions, and disfigurement, and that will occur when they drink alcohol, purchase and own songstresses, and use musical instruments.”
    2) The comment he made is even weaker than his translation. It would be asked of him to prove how these are to be taken when they are all together. Just because they have been mentioned all together does not mean that individually they are allowed. If he were to say that individually they are allowed, then that would necessitate that he make alcohol lawful. I doubt he would suggest that. The fact that purchasing and having songstresses and playing musical instruments have both been mentioned in the same context as alcohol shows that they are all to be taken to be unlawful, regardless if they are in a “party scene,” or not.
    3) The more shameless part of the objection to using this as evidence is the one who raised doubts’ inability to provide scholarly reference on how this only refers to the party scene, and instead, referring the layperson to judge the meaning of the hadith according to the linguistic makeup of the poorly translated English text. This is truly shameless for a number of reasons:
    a. The layperson’s view and understanding of the hadith is not taken into account when passing legal rulings.
    b. If the layperson were Arab, their understanding of the apparent text is still invalid, as they lack the tools of deriving meanings from texts.
    c. If the layperson’s view were to be taken into account, one would not be able to judge their view in this instance because the hadith has been poorly translated, showing the lack of skills the doubter has himself.
    Statements of the scholars:
    1) `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, “Singing plants hypocrisy in the heart.”
    2) Al-Qasim bin Muhammad said, “Singing is falsehood, and falsehood is in the hellfire.”
    3) Al-Nahhas said, “It is prohibited, as per the Qur’an and the Sunnah.”
    4) Abu Hanifah# said, “Singing is of the greatest sins that must be abandoned immediately.”
    5) Qadhi Abu Yusuf was asked regarding someone who hears the sound of an instrument in a house, and he said, “Enter their home without their permission, because prohibiting reprehensible things is obligatory.”
    6) Imam Malik said, “It there anyone with a sound intellect that would say that singing is allowed? To us, only sinners engage in it.”
    7) Ibn al-Qayyim said, “Love of the Qur’an and love of musical tunes can never be combined in the heart of a slave.”
    Rebuttal of doubts:
    After we have come to the conclusion that the verses and ahadith are to be understood that musical instruments are unlawful, save the Duff drums for women during festive occasions, then what of the doubts that those that discredit these narrations and verses mention? In this section, I will mention the doubts, then proceed to eliminate them, one by one, through the Help of Allah.
    First doubt: “[M]any […] deemed it permissible with the condition that the song is not immoral.”
    This is a misrepresentation of the issue. Imam al-Qurtubi mentions in his Tafsir (14/51), “As for what is free of [immoral elements], then it is permissible in small amounts during festive occasions, such as weddings, `Eid, and when one wishes to enthuse themselves when performing hard tasks, such as when the trench was dug, and Salamah bin al-Akwa` [recited some lines of poetry]. As for the innovation that the Sufi people do today, as in, insistence and additiction to listening to songs along with drums […] musical instruments, and stringed instruments, then that is forbidden; Ibn al-`Arabi said, ‘As for war drums, then there is no issue with them, because it incites the souls and frightens the enemy.”
    So, the issue that is being misrepresented is that they are speaking about music, when in fact, they are speaking about mere singing without any instruments. If it is without any lewdness, then according to al-Qurtubi, it is permissible in moderation. If it contains lewdness or musical instruments, then it is forbidden.
    This was also mentioned by Ibn al-Qayyim in al-Kalam `ala Mas’alat al-Sima` (pg. 453), when he said, “Whoever said that it is allowed, then if there are no drums, flutes, lewd speech, impermissible mention of love, then that is true, it is allowed. As for if it contains something reprehensible, such as looking at an unlawful image, listening to something inappropriate, and so forth, then this is not allowed; rather, it is unlawful. Al-Shafi`i allowed the first case, not the second.”
    Second doubt: Regarding scholars who supposedly listened to, or allowed music:
    In this section, we shall examine a list of scholars that supposedly allowed musical instruments.
    First: `Abdullah bin Ja`far bin Abi Talib:
    It is reported that `Abdullah bin Ja`far used to listen to Ghina’ (singing). This is reported by Ibn `Abd al-Barr in al-Isti`ab (2/276), as well as al-Thahabi in al-Siyar (3/456), and others. The way to respond to this doubt is on many levels:
    1) Al-Qurtubi# said, “[Ghina’ is] raising the voice in poetry, or something similar, by maintaining certain patterns in a specific manner.” (Kashf al-Qina`) So, the issue is not even pertaining to Ma`azif (instruments), but rather, is pertaining to Ghina’, which means singing. This is a prime example of what’s known as `Adam Tahrir Mahal al-Niza`, or, not knowing where the issue lies.
    2) Imam Ibn Taimiyyah said, “Anyone who uses the action of `Abdullah bin Ja`far must also use the action of Mu`awiyah as evidence, when he fought `Ali.” (Al-Istiqamah)
    3) `Abdullah bin Ja`far$ was one of the younger and less knowledgeable companions. So, how could one take his view in favor of the view of his seniors?
    4) Regardless of all of that, the narration of `Abdullah bin Ja`far is weak. Ibn `Asakir reported it in his Tarikh (31/177) through the narration of Khalaf al-Khiyam, someone who was weakened by:
    a. Ibn al-Jawzi.
    b. Abu Zur`ah al-Razi.
    c. Al-Hakim al-Naisaburi.
    d. Abu Ya`la al-Khalili.
    e. Al-Thahabi
    It is amazing how one would reject an authentic hadith from Bukhari, but then proceed to use fabricated narrations as evidence
    5) Furthermore, if one were to analyze the narration, it shows that `Abdullah was rebuked by his senior, `Abdullah bin `Umar! This, of course, if the narration was authentic, which it is not.
    6) The narration is also mentioned by al-Andalusi in al-`Aqd al-Farid, without a chain of narration.
    Second: Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali:
    Likewise, in his chapter regarding listening to singing, there is no mention of music! He was speaking of listening to poetry and songs of that nature. Actually, he explicitly mentions that music is haram, stating, “Musical and stringed instruments are prohibited.” (Al-Wasit (7/350)
    Third: Imam al-Shawkani:
    Imam al-Shawkani wrote a work called, “Refuting the claim that there is consensus that all Sama` (listening) is prohibited.” Just by reading the title of the book, one can infer that he is speaking about all types of singing, both those that involve musical instruments and those that do not. Otherwise, Imam al-Shawkani himself viewed that musical instruments are not allowed, as in Nail al-Awtar (8/107).
    Fourth: Imam Ibn Hazm al-Andalusi:
    The main arguments have come from Ibn Hazm. If one wanted to write an entire piece on why Ibn Hazm was mistaken, it would not be difficult. Firstly, he did not believe the hadith reported in al-Bukhari’s Sahih as authentic, which has been proven as authentic, already. Second, he did not know of the other narrations that show the strength of that narration, making his allegations discarded, because he was not aware of those narrations. So, using Ibn Hazm here is not the correct way to go about things!
    Fifth: Al-`Izz bin `Abd al-Salam:
    The Imam did not allow music, rather, allowed drums and flutes, not all types of musical instruments. He said, “The one that listens in this situation to the instruments that are forbidden to most of the scholars, such as stringed instruments and flutes, then such a person has committed a sin.” (Qawa`id al-Ahkam pg. 245)
    Sixth: `Abdullah bin al-Zubair:
    The narration mentioned by al-Adfawi is a lie that al-Adfawi made up, as said by Imam Ibn Hajar al-Haithami in his book Kaf al-Ri`a` `an Muharramat al-Lahw wa al-Sima` (pgs. 73-74).
    Third doubt: “Some scholars try to say that many of these scholars were simply saying that it is permissible to listen to songs a cappella—and some of their works do make that point in addition to the permissibility of also using musical instruments. Each one of these references refers to the opinion of permissibility for songs with instruments.”
    As has been amply proven, when referring to those works, one would see that they are speaking of a cappella songs, not songs that have musical instruments. It would be on the one who brings these doubts to prove and show the quotes from those references proving that it allows musical instruments; otherwise it is a shameless lie.
    Fourth doubt: “Imam al-Qurtubi said that this and the other verse are those that the scholars use as evidence for the disliked (مكروه) nature of singing.”
    Here is what al-Qurtubi said when speaking about Allah’s statement, “And of the people is he who buys the amusement of speech to mislead [others] from the way of Allah without knowledge and who takes it in ridicule. Those will have a humiliating punishment.” [Qur’an 31:6] He said, “This is one of the three verses the scholars use to show the disliked and prohibited nature of singing.” (14/48) So, the one who brought these doubts misunderstood what al-Qurtubi said, may Allah forgive him.
    Fifth doubt: “There is a false claim that the Companions all prohibited it. Abdullah bin al-Zubair used to keep women playing guitars (lutes) and singing in his presence.”
    This is actually a baseless narration that has no chain of narration. Using this narration only weakens the argument saying that music is halal. As we stated before:
    The narration mentioned by al-Adfawi is a lie that al-Adfawi made up, as said by Imam Ibn Hajar al-Haithami in his book Kaf al-Ri`a` `an Muharramat al-Lahw wa al-Sima` (pgs. 73-74).
    Sixth doubt: “There is no disagreement about the Ibrahim bin Sa’d bin Abdul Rahman bin Awf listening to songs with guitars.”
    Actually, the truth is what al-Thahabi mentions in the biography of Ibrahim bin Sa`d, saying, “He used to take the opinion that Ghina’ is permissible.” We have already established the difference between Ghina’ and Ma`azif.
    Furthermore, if we were to assume it means music, it would still be inauthentic. The report was narrated by al-Khatib, Ibn `Asakir, and others, with their respective chains of narration, all going back to a man by the name of `Ubaidullah bin Sa`id bin Kathir bin `Afir. This is problematic because he has been rebuked by Ibn Hibban, who said, “If he solitarily reports a narration, the narration is not to be used as evidence.”
    Seventh doubt: “Jews have always attributed music to Prophet David ‘alahi assalatu wassalam (peace and blessings be upon him). It is in the Bible, “The priests stood in waiting at their assigned places, along with the descendants of Levi who carried musical instruments used in service to the LORD that King David had made for giving thanks to the LORD—because his gracious love is eternal…” (2 Chronicles 7:6).”
    This is by far the weakest argument. The evidence in the Bible does not translate into evidence in Islam, especially when it conflicts with ahadith and ayat that state a prohibition.
    Eighth doubt: But, Abu Musa was given a Mizmar from the Mazamir of the family of Dawud:
    There is an authentic narration that al-Bukhari reported, stating:
    “يا أبا موسى ، لقد أوتيتَ مِزمارًا مِن مزاميرِ آلِ داود”
    “O Abu Musa, you have been given a Mizmar from the Mazamir of the family of Dawud.”
    The doubter said, “The clear linguistic indication here is that the Prophet ﷺ is talking about musical instruments as though they are beautiful and delightful. That cannot be the case in something prohibited.”
    So, the clear linguistic indication here is that it is referring to music. However, is that really the case, and what is the definition of a Mizmar?
    1) Ibn Mandhur said, “The Mazamir of the family of Dawud refer to what he would melodiously recite in terms of the Psalms and various supplications.” (Lisan al-`Arab)
    2) Shaikh al-Islam Ibn Taimiyyah said, “A human’s voice is called a Mizmar.” (Al-Istiqamah)
    3) Al-Qurtubi said, “The scholars said, ‘Mizmar means a beautiful voice.” (Tafsir al-Qurtubi, 14/265)
    4) An-Nawawi said, “Mizmar here means a beautiful voice. The root of the word means to recite melodiously, and Dawud, peace be on him, had a very beautiful voice.” (Sharh Muslim)
    5) The other narration al-Bukhari reported in Khalq Af`al al-`Ibad shows he was referring to voice of Dawud, not the flutes of Dawud. He% said, “It is as if this one (Abu Musa) was given one of the voices of the family of Dawud.”
    Therefore, when taking all of this into account, this may not be used as evidence to prove the permissibility of music.
    Is the permissibility of music an issue of differing?
    It has been made clear that the issue of music being prohibited has no difference of opinion, especially not in the first 5 generations of Islam. The scholars that rejected this claim were unaware of many of the narrations mentioned, so they are not to be blamed. Ibn Hazm himself said that had he found an authentic hadith he would have ruled it as unlawful, because, as he said, “Poetry suffices one from music.” So, it was not as it is today, where people make this issue lawful due to their own wishing and longing to hear these sounds.
    As for scholars that said there is Ijma` (consensus) regarding music being haram, they are:
    1) Ibn Rajab reported that Abu Bakr al-Aajurri ruled it as a consensus agreement regarding prohibition (Nuzhat al-Asma` fi Mas’alat al-Sama`, pg. 25)
    2) Abu al-Tayyib al-Tabari said, “As for instruments of play (music), then there has never been any disagreement [regarding their impermissibility] mentioned.” (Nuzhat al-Asma`, pg. 62)
    3) Al-Baghawi said, “[The scholars] have unanimously agreed that flutes, instruments of diversion, and music instruments are haram.” (Sharh al-Sunnah (12/383)
    4) Al-Muwaffaq Ibn Qudamah said, “Instruments of amusement, such as mandolins, musical instruments, and flutes, are instruments of sin, according to consensus.” (Al-Mughni, 9/115)
    5) Al-Nawawi said, “The `Iraqi flute, as well as stringed instruments, are haram without any difference of opinion regarding their impermissibility.” (Rawdhat al-Talibin 8/205)
    6) Likewise, the four Imams all agreed that it is haram.
    7) Ibn Rajab also said, “There is no difference of opinion according to the pious predecessors, and none of them have a dispensation regarding it. [The claim of a disagreement] only occurred on behalf of some latter-day scholars, including Dhahiris (literalists) and some Sufis, as in, those who are not taken as evidence.” (Nuzhat al-Asma` (pg. 69)
    There is no rebuking in matters of legitimate differing:
    The one who raised all of these doubts said, “Whichever opinion you feel is stronger, you are welcome to follow. Please don’t judge someone else because they follow a different opinion than you. Our scholars teach us the following principle in dealing with law—there shall be no rebuking in matters of legitimate disagreement.”
    This is true in matters of legitimate differing, however, as has been shown, this issue is an issue of consensus, so, one may rebuke and judge, as the scholars of before did:
    1) Imam Malik said, “It there anyone with a sound intellect that would say that singing is allowed? To us, only sinners engage in it.”
    2) Ibn al-Qayyim said, “Love of the Qur’an and love of musical tunes can never be combined in the heart of a slave.”
    3) Abu Hanifah# said, “Singing is of the greatest sins that must be abandoned immediately.”
    4) `Umar bin `Abd al-`Aziz said that singing and music brings hypocrisy to the heart.
    5) Imam Ahmad said that it brings hypocrisy to the heart.
    6) Al-Hasan# said, “If there were to be any instruments of amusement (music) at a wedding party, then one must not accept the invitation.”
    So, the one bringing the doubts should preach this to people like Imam Malik, Imam Ahmad, and others, not to us.
    Is the layperson forgiven for blindly following their scholar who says it is allowed?
    The truth is they are not. Al-Shatibi said, “The layperson must follow the more knowledgeable and virtuous scholar.” (Al-I`tisam (2/861) So, think to yourself, in this instance, who is more knowledgeable, the thousands of scholars who forbade it, including all companions, all Tabi`in, and all Atba` al-Tabi`in, including the four Imams, or the three scholars who allowed it (Ibn Tahir, Ibn Hazm, and Abu Talib al-Makki), none of whom lived before the 5th Century Hijri?
    So, everyone should fear Allah and avoid this major sin. We ask Allah to guide all Muslims to the truth.

  24. Abu Omar says:

    It’s a weird article actually because if someone didn’t look up the names of the scholars that the write posted, the majority of them are Sufis. Sorry, but I wouldn’t follow the opinions of Sufis. Yes, there are shaikhs there that are not, but the majority of scholars quoted are Sufis.

  25. Hafsa Garcia says:

    I’d like to respond to two points:

    First – to quote: “I’m sorry but I don’t get the point of arguing about whether music is halaal or haraam.
    I mean, it’s not like you’re getting sawaab / ajr for listening to music are you?! So honestly what is the point?”

    There is no point for someone who doesn’t like music and gets nothing out of it (I assume you fall within this category?). However, for someone who is a talented singer or musician, or someone who gains benefit from listening to music, there is a very valid point!

    Second, to quote:

    There are many evidences showing the prohibition of music, without exception:
    First: Evidence from the Qur’an:

    1) Allah* said, “And of the people is he who buys the amusement of speech to mislead [others] from the way of Allah without knowledge and who takes it in ridicule. Those will have a humiliating punishment.” [Qur’an 31:6] Ibn Mas`ud$ said, “By Allah, it is in reference to singing.” This was also the view of Ibn `Abbas$, Jabir$, `Ikrimah#, Sa`id bin Jubair#, Mujahid#, Mak-hul#, `Amr bin Shu`aib#, and `Ali bin Nadimah#. Al-Hasan al-Basri# viewed that it was regarding singing and usage of flutes.

    2) Allah* said, “And incite [to senselessness] whoever you can among them with your voice and assault them with your horses and foot soldiers and become a partner in their wealth and their children and promise them.” [Qur’an 17:64] The intent behind, “With your voice,” or, the voice of Satan, is music and singing, as mentioned by Mujahid#. Another interpretation is that of al-Dhahhak# that the intent is flutes. Al-Qurtubi# mentions that this verse contains a prohibition of musical instruments, in his Tafsir.

    Neither of these ayahs mention singing or music, that is just the way it has been interpreted. I’m not a scholar so I cannot say whether this interpretation is correct or not. But assuming it IS referring to singing/music, it seems clear to me in the ayah that Allah is talking about using it in a bad way. How can this then be taken to mean that all singing/music is haram?

    That’s like saying TV is haram because some people watch bad stuff on it. But what about people who watch educational documentaries or islamic lectures? Is the TV still haram in this case? Similarly with music, I don’t see how you can put a rap song about sex for example, in the same category as a nasheed praising the prophet (saw), or an educational song to learn the alphabet, or any song which has good lyrics, and say the whole lot are haram. Doesn’t make sense to me…. What Imam John said about the ‘party scene’, now that makes a lot more sense!

    • Unin says:

      “And incite [to senselessness] whoever you can among them with your voice”

      I think this refers to whispers (waswas) more than singing. It’s pretty ridiculous since everybody has his/her own interpretation of it… Oh well

      • Amr says:

        Then again, it’s not your place to interpret the verse. The Sahabah had three views pertaining to the verse. What you interpret it as has no bearing on Islamic law.

  26. Iftikhar says:

    Having followed this thread for some time now it appears to me similar to the case of MUSA and his people when they dilly dallied the sacrifice of the cow and the QURAN is very clear when it says that these people never wanted to sacrifice in the first place. Also reminds me of the definition of TAQWA by the second Caliph UMER who said that TAQWA or the heighest good is to refrain from the doubtful – The very fact that there are so many differing opinions about this FITNA makes it ambigious and therefore the best course seems to stay clear –

    Rest each has to face his/her lord alone!

  27. Amr says:

    Salam Alaikum, Sr. Hafsa,

    If you understood the sciences of exegesis, you would realize that when the Sahabah explain a verse to mean something, most scholars consider it evidence in and of itself, because they spoke pure Arabic and witnessed revelation. So, the verses ARE in fact talking directly about music, because otherwise, we are claiming to understand the Qur’an more than the companions.

    Further, Imam John made another blunder in thinking that just because some scholars of exegesis have said it means A B or C means that they are all opposite. That’s not true, as in Tafsir, there is Ikhtilaf al-Tanawwu` and Ikhtilaf al-Tadhad. Tanawwu` type is when all of them enter into the meaning, and this is not really a difference of opinion, but merely showing the various usages and meanings of the verse, as Sahl al-Tustari said the Qur’an has unlimited meanings. Tadhad is when they are both incompatible and acceptance of one necessitates the rejection of the other.

    The thing with TV’s, scholars have ACTUALLY allowed it. I mean real scholars, and they actually did it, not as Imam John “quoted” in his article, which were all untrue, as I showed. If the song is without instruments then it’s allowed, however, there is consensus of ALL scholars saying that music is haram. Someone from today does not make a bit of a difference on what the scholars of 14 centuries have already agreed on.

  28. n1m says:

    Assalam alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

    This article seems to be very vague and almost sounds like the writer is desperately insisting that Music is not haram. Also, I don’t think I’ve heard of most of the people he quoted. Anyhow, even though I don’t quite understand why, I have accepted that music is haram because it is the opinion of the majority and the well known scholars. However, what I don’t understand is that why are a few certain instruments, for example ‘daff’, allowed if the have same effect as other instruments? Also, many a times, I’ve heard nasheeds where the singer (or even singers) is heard imitating the sound of musical instruments. What difference does it have, then?
    I hope someone can answer my question.
    Allah knows best!

    • John says:

      @n1m, a guitar, piano, violin, etc. can make a person very sad or very happy or very angry if played in certain keys, but a daff has no power at all to do that. As for nasheeds where the singer imitates instruments, I don’t know, either.

  29. Newbie says:

    Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

    As salamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

    Peace and blessing be to our beloved Prophet

    Thank you very much brothers and sisters for your comments and especially to the writer. It was very informative discussion and I learned so much. This is a great site, insha’Allah I hope many of our brothers and sisters will visit this kind of site also. IMHO I think I would refrain from listening to music because it has more weighty evidence of its being impermissibility, it is better safe than sorry. I likened it to a shepherd who tended his flocks to a pasture he wasn’t familiar with, he does not know whether the land belongs to his master or to his master’s enemy.

    Ya Allah guide us to the straight path. Ameen

  30. Jamni says:

    I’ve always seen music as a neutral thing. Can be good / can be bad IT JUST DEPENDS !
    You will find a lot of research that shows music stimulates parts of the brain and helps it develop, and of course other research claiming it causes people to become psychotic, do drugs, and have intercourse with women. It’s a neutral thing that cannot be defined.

    This has been going on for so long. People point to hadeeths that show the prophet and sahaba singing and beating the daff, others saying it’s forbidden. OK, you say wind, string instruments are forbidden.. What about chip tunes? computer generated music?? Whistling??? What if I just bang my hand on the table and clap? How about that? is that ‘music’ enough for you?

    People will keep arguing this for centuries. But I think people fail to understand that it’s much more dangerous to say something is FORBIDDEN OR NOT without having the knowledge or evidence. PERSONALLY, this is one of those situations where if somebody asks me I just say I DONT KNOW because how can you tell when theres so much evidence to each argument? It hurts my brain just thinking about it.

    • Hafsa Garcia says:

      Well said Jami, we must be very careful not to make something halal/haram when it could not be, and yeh, wat about tapping your feet on the floor or beat boxing? there’s so many examples, music is a natural human thing that can either be used for good or bad.

  31. Onani D says:

    ‘Hey guys! Let’s all argue and bash each other about how music is haram/halal!’

    Well, It’s official folks. If you want to see uptight, judgemental people, head over to any forum on religious topics and scream your lungs out.

  32. Amr says:

    Salam Alaikum Akhi Jamni,

    It’s nice to know what you think, but you should know that your thoughts have no bearing on Islamic Law.

    Anyone that has an ounce of knowledge in Islamic Law would know of something called Qiyas. All of your questions are answerable through Qiyas (analogy). As for whistling, you can find evidence in the Qur’an showing that it is makruh, as Ibn Muflih said. Allah said, {Their Salât (prayer) at the House (of Allâh, i.e. the Ka’bah at Makkah) was nothing but whistling and clapping of hands…….} [8:35]

    So, it’s not our job to figure out and use analogy to say what is haram and halal. Our job is: “We hear and we obey.” In general though, the scholars say that sounds made by human voice are allowed. It’s INSTRUMENTS that are allowed.

    I don’t know why people would argue about it, since we have evidence through Qur’an, Sunnah, and consensus, the three proofs of Islamic law, are used to determine that it’s not allowed. There’s no difference of opinion and anyone who claims there is, is either an ignoramus or claims that 14 centuries of scholars are mistaken but THEM. I proved that it’s an issue of consensus, and anyone who claims otherwise has to prove it. They will never be able.

    I mentioned so many evidences, just go back to my post and refer to it. If anyone with knowledge has a response to my post, go ahead. Otherwise, there’s no response, because this is a clear issue of Ijma.

    There’s no real evidence for those who say music is allowed.

  33. zainab says:

    When your heart & mind is filled with the verses of Quran, you will willfully & peacefully give up music, we all have been given free will to choose from right and wrong.
    “There will be a group of people from my nation who will deem silk, alcohol and musical instruments as permissible…” This is very clear indication that a group of muslim will argue on this music issue.
    AllahuAkbar!

  34. mujahid says:

    Subhan Allah sheikh beautifully presented with clear understanding

  35. abuhajira says:

    Respected Imam Yahya,

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    Kindly read the review of your writeup by Sheykh Zzameelur Rahman under the guidance of Mufti Ebrahim Desai at http://askimam.org/public/question_detail/28271

    I hope that your kind self will not take it as personal refutation and tackle it as an academic response, and perhaps offer your scholarly response to the respected Mufti at http://www.askimam.org . In case you decide to do that, I also humbly request you to cc me this response as well.

    Jazak Allah Wassalam
    Abuhajira (www.ilmhub.com)

    • Imam John says:

      Peace bro,

      Will do for clarity to those who understand the Islamic legal discourse. In a nutshell, the way most of the music prohibition campaign works is to spam you with a copy and paste of the OPINIONS of those who INTERPRETED it as permissible.

      Bottom line from the clear Quran and agreed upon authentic Sunnah… They got nothin!!!

  36. Hafsa Garcia says:

    Just a thought, how can music be so haram when a form of music is an important part of our religion in the calling of the athan and recitation of the Qur’an. Ask a non-muslim and they will see this as a form of singing – it basically is like singing when you recite in a melodious voice, if music and singing was totally haram then surely we would be required to read rather than recite and shout the athan without any melody – but would this have the same effect on heart as it does when we hear someone with a beautiful voice? Allah is said to love beauty no?

    • Abdullaah says:

      As salaamu ‘alaikum,

      I think the problem is said to be with musical INSTRUMENTS, and not singing with rhythm and a melodious voice which is the case with the Azaan and the recitation of the Qur’an.

      When it comes to singing without musical instruments, the lyrics and their context is used to decide whether a song is good or bad.

      In sha’ Allaah, I’ll add more to this comment soon… The way I understand it, this matter is more along the lines of losing the kingdom for want of a nail.

  37. Amir L says:

    So can I listen to Drizzy Drake?

  38. Basheer says:

    As salaamu ‘alaikum,
    I think we all agree that there is no verse from the Qur’an that prohibits music directly,bt the questions i will like to ask those claiming moral music are these: What do yo mean by “moral music”? can you sincerely say that you restrict your self to listening to only moral music alone, if sch music existed in these generation and time?

  39. Sarah says:

    Asalaamualaikum. Actually brother I used to listen to R&B but since I have had my child (she is now 4 mashallah)I stopped. I mainly listen to nasheeds but still do listen to some songs/music now and then. However I never listen to any songs with profanities or sexual connotations or anything that a child should not be listening to. So not only is it possible to listen to ‘moral’ music its rather easy.

  40. Mohammad Elroosy says:

    Music is Halal (As long as it is not associated with Haram)
    _______________

    There is no single authentic Hadith that prohibits Musical Instruments, even the famous Hadith
    “There will be a group of people from my nation who will deem silk, alcohol and musical instruments as permissible…”

    is a weak Hadith by this wording – even if connected- because of a weak narrator in the chain “Atteya ibn Qais” who is the only narrator to mention this Hadith that way that may consider music as Haram. all other narrators do not consider that meaning or such wording!
    instead it is “all about alcohol” , music is mentioned just as description of the scene that is very close to a night-club confirming the sinners’ carelessness and nothing more.

    So Why AlBukhari mentioned this Hadith?

    1- Albukhari did attach this hadith intentionally without mentioning its connected chain in order to direct our attention that this wording of Hadith is not part of his authentic connection.

    2- The general meaning of this Hadith (drinking Alcohol followed by divine Punishment) is repeated by several (weak) narrators and this repetition strengthens the authenticity of Hadith – only at the repeated meaning- which does not include prohibiting music which can be gleaned from Atteya ibn Qais wording only (Not relaible/ Weak i.e. Munkar)

    3- Al-Bukari himself did not consider anything related to music in the title he mentioned for this hadith “Book of Drinks” ” Those who consider alcohol as lawful (halal)”

    4-Albukhari did not consider music also for Luqman verse
    (“There are some people who buy distracting/entertaining speech without knowledge in order to mislead people from the path of God…” (Qur’an 31:6)
    he titled for this verse;
    “All fun is void if it will be at the expense of obedience to Allah”

    Music is just like a knife you can use it in the kitchen or you can kill someone with

  41. Ameena says:

    Whether or not music is permissible, I still can’t say. But I know for MYSELF, it isn’t. When I listen to just ONE of my favorite song, the melody or words sticks in my head for days at a time, even during my salah!(AstaghfirAllah) Right away, I know this can’t be good. This certainly DOES distract me from Islam, as Allah(swt) rightly stated.

    Many things are permissible in islam, but if you abuse/misuse/overuse it, it may lead to a distraction in your Deen. Also, not every permissible thing in Islam is permissible for everyone. For example, milk is halal for us to consume, but if you have a dairy allergy, then it becomes impermissible for you. Likewise, even if music is halal, but you find yourself playing or humming that song more than Qur’an, then you should limit or prohibit yourself from it all together. Just my opinion.

  42. Irshad Ahmed says:

    Why should Music be haram in the first place? It’s totally harmless. It’s soothing to your ears. Helps you come out of depression. Music has been with humans since time immemorial and till now no harmfulness of music has ever been discovered. There have been substantial proof that certain music does help with certain psychological diseases. On the other hand, cigarette smoking is definitely harmful but tobacco has not been even mentioned to be harmful in Islam. It’s something that needs a bit of thought.

  43. Abu_Abdil-Aziz says:

    I gather from all the arguments presented that the matter of the prohibition or permissibility of musical instruments remains a contentious and disputed matter. Disparity among earlier and later scholars that might be construed to either support or refute the prohibition of using Musical Instruments in song. What then should be the plan of action if one is of two minds regarding any issue?

    • ameen says:

      The reply to your question is to stay away from doubtful matter sand you will be surprised how peaceful you life become inshaa Allah.

  44. sarah says:

    Asalaamualaikum. I am cleaning up listening to music. It makes me happy and cleaning less of a chore. Once I have finished I will be reading my Islamic books. If you think that is haram, well to be honest I don’t really care. Only I will answer for my deeds good or bad.I follow what I believe. Not someone else’s opinion. This makes me a happy Muslim.

    • adam says:

      I agree, and just to add to what you just said, not that you don’t care but rather it’s a matter that has flexibility and between the two extreme, we choose middle path. We always rely on Allah for guidance.

    • Ameena says:

      “I follow what I believe. Not someone else’s opinion.” —Sis, our entire faith is established upon someone else’s opinion (i.e Allah and the Messenger-pbuh). We have not been given authority to decide what’s halal/haram nor the authority to follow OUR OWN desires and beliefs. Matter concerning Islam has been already made clear. And we, as servants of Allah, need to just listen and obey because HE knows whats best for us, not vice versa.

      May Allah guide us all on the straight path (ameen)

  45. hayyu says:

    peace be upon everyone. if i may quote from one of my sources of reading, it says

    “Not all sorts of singing are permissible. Rather, the permissible song should comply with the Islamic teachings and ethics. Therefore, the songs praising the tyrants and corrupt rulers disagree with Islamic teachings. In fact, Islam stands against transgressors and their allies, and those who show indifference to their transgression. So, the same goes for those songs that imply giving praises to such attitude! ”

    can anyone help me with regards to ‘let it be’ songs by the beatles in which the lyrics goes “mother mary comes to me, speaking word of wisdom let it be” is it considered as giving praising to others when we just sing that song?

    your reply will be a great help :)

    • Aafia says:

      I think that song should be fine because Hazrat Maryam is one of our religious figures, but I could be wrong.

Leave a Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

More in Entertainment, History, Hot Topics, Misconceptions, Sciences of Qur'an and Hadith (61 of 238 articles)