By Asma bint Shameem
What if I tell you that there is an issue for which there is solid evidence from the Qur’aan and Authentic Sunnah, the agreed opinion of all the four Rightly-guided Khalifas, the consensus of all the Sahaabah, the consensus of all the Tabi’een and their followers as well as the consensus of the four Imaams, Malik, Abu Haneefah, Shaafi’ee and Ahmad, along with the consensus of the great majority of dependable Islamic scholars up to the present time.
Would you doubt the validity of such as issue?
Would you think that this issue is ‘controversial’ or that there is a ‘difference of opinion’ about it?
I don’t think so.
The matter would stand crystal clear, way above any doubt or uncertainty. Right?
Then why is it that we treat the issue of music this way?
Music, dear brothers and sisters, IS the issue I am talking about.
There is clear, unmistakable evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah, that singing, and listening to music and musical instruments are HARAAM…….plain and simple.
And this was the opinion of all of the Four Rightly-guided Khalifas, all the Sahaabah, all the Tabi’een and all the Four Imaams and other great scholars.
There were no confusions, no arguments or debates, no questions, no ifs or buts about it. The matter was as clear as the day and no one had any problems accepting that.
Then, centuries after these generations, there come along a few, and I repeat, only a few of the scholars, like al-Ghazaali (1058) and ibn Hazm (1064), who start doubting this issue and saying that perhaps music is permissible.
And we, being the creatures of desire that we are, pounce at this ‘opportunity’ to grab any old variant or odd fatwa out there, just to suit our whims and follow our desires.
Are we really that blind?
Can we not see the clear evidences and the clear, clear opinions of ALL these Ulama?
How can we ignore the evidences from the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and the clear consensus of the Sahaba, and the opinion of all the greatest Ulama of Islaam up till now? We accept the opinion of a few ulama who came hundreds of years after the Prophet (sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) and yet reject the consensus of the Sahaabah that sat, walked, talked, worked and lived with the Prophet (sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam)?!
With all due respect to al-Ghazaali and ibn Hazm, did it ever occur to you that these Ulama were human beings and were not infallible! That may be they could be mistaken in their opinion?!
And ibn Hazm held the opinion that music was permissible because he thought the ahaadeeth prohibiting music were weak. And he himself said that if any of these ahaadeeth were Saheeh, he would follow that.
Yet, we ignore the opinion of great Sahabah and Scholars such as Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthmaan, Ali, Ibn Mas’ood, Ibn Umar, Ibn Abbaas, Abu Hurairah, Aisha, Anas ibn Maalik, Abdur Rahman ibnAwf, Hasn al-Basri, Qatadah, Mujaahid, Ikrimah, Imam Malik, Abu Haneefah, Shafi’ee, Imam Ahmad, Umar ibn Abdul-Azeez, Imaam Bukhari, Imaam Muslim, Ibn Taimiyyah, Ibn Qayyim, Ibn Baaz, Ibn Uthaymeen, Al-Albaani to name a few!
If you, truly and sincerely, want to follow what Allaah has said about the matter and want to really do what is pleasing to Him, all you have to do is to LOOK for the evidences and you will find it in the Qur’aan and Sunnah. Here are only a FEW of them:
Evidence of prohibition of music in the Qur’aan:
“And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks to mislead (men) from the path of Allaah…” [Luqmaan 31:6]
Ibn Mas’ood said about this ayah: “I swear by Allaah, besides Whom there is no other god, this means singing” – and he repeated it three times.
Ibn ‘Umar and Ibn ‘Abbaas said: this means singing. Mujaahid said: this means playing the drum (tabla)
Al-Hasan al-Basri said: “This aayah was revealed concerning singing and musical instruments.
“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]
Ibn ‘Abbaas said that the word used in this ayaah ‘saamidoon’, means “singing”
And he said: “When the kuffaar heard the Qur’aan, they would sing, then this aayah was revealed.”
“[Allaah said to Iblees:] And befool them gradually those whom you can among them with your voice…” [al-Israa’ 17:64]
Mujaahid said: “The voice of Iblees/Shaytaan is singing and falsehood.”
Ibn al-Qayyim said: “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.”
Evidence of prohibition of music in the Sunnah:
The Prophet (sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said the following saheeh ahaadeeth:
“There will be [at some future time] people from my Ummah who will seek to make lawful: fornication, the wearing of silk, wine-drinking and the use of musical instruments. Some people will stay at the side of a mountain, and they will have flocks of sheep. When a poor person comes in the evening to ask them for something he needs, they will say,’Return to us tomorrow.’ Then Allah will destroy them during the night by causing the mountain to fall upon them, while He changes others into apes and swine. They will remain in such a state until the Day of Resurrection.” (Bukhaari)
“Among this ummah will be (people who will be) swallowed up by the earth, transformed into pigs and monkeys, and pelted with stones from above.” A man among the Muslims said, “O Messenger of Allaah, when will that be?” He said: “When female singers and musical instruments appear, and wine is drunk.” (Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi)
“A people of my Ummah will drink wine, calling it by other than its real name. Merriment will be made for them through the playing of musical instruments and the singing of lady singers. Allah will cleave the earth under them and turn others into apes and swine.” (Ibn Maajah- authentic)
“Verily, Allah has prohibited for my ummah: wine, gambling, a drink distilled from corn, the drum and the lute;(Arabian guitar)…..”(Ahmed; saheeh by Albaani)
Evidence of prohibition of music from statements of Sahaabah, Tabi’een and Four Imaams:
Abdullah bin Masood said, “Singing sprouts hypocrisy in the heart as rain sprouts herbs and greens.” (Al-Bayhaqi)
Naafi’ 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 (sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) and he heard something like this, and he did the same thing. (Saheeh Abi Dawood).
3) Al-Hasan said: “If there is music involved in a dinner invitation (waleemah), do not accept the invitation.”
4) The Hanafis said: “Listening to music is fisq (rebellion, evildoing) and enjoying it is kufr (disbelief).”
5) Imaam Maalik was asked about playing the drum or flute. He said: “The only people who do things like that, in our view, are faasiqs (evildoers).”
6) Imaam al-Shaafa’i said: “Verily, song is loathsome; The one who partakes of it frequently is an incompetent fool whose testimony is to be rejected.”
7) Umar ibn Abdul-Azeez wrote to his sons’ tutor:
“Let your first lesson for them be the hatred of musical instruments that come from Satan and end with the wrath of Allah; for it reached me from trustworthy sources that attending a place where music and its instruments are played grows hypocrisy in the heart as water makes plants grow.”
Exception to the rule:
The only exception that the Prophet (sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) made to music and singing, is that he allowed women to sing and play the daff on Eid, weddings, and certain occasions as specified by the Sunnah. However, this is only allowed among women only where there will not be a chance of men listening to them.
THE MUSLIM’S DUTY REGARDING MUSIC:
Now that it is clear that listening to music and musical instruments as well as singing are prohibited, it becomes our obligation as a Muslim, who believe in Allaah and His Messenger, to reject all positions contradictory to this and to accept what the Sharee’ah tells us, as binding and final.
“It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allaah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allaah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error.” (Ahzaab:36)
And even if someone differed from the majority, remember the words of the Prophet (sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam). He said: “Adhere to the majority.” And whoever dies differing from the majority, dies as a jaahili. (Tafseer al-Qurtubi).