Music and Singing: Footnotes

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The Islamic Ruling on Music and Singing
By: Abu Bilal Mustafa al-Kanadi
Preface
Analysis of Quraanic Texts and Commentaries
Critical Analysis of the Hadeeth Literature
Consensus of Companions, Taabi'een, and others
Wisdom Behind Its Prohibition by the Shari'ah
Exceptions to the Rule of Prohibition
Synopsis of Shari'ah Texts along with Conclusions
Footnotes
Chapter 1: Analysis of Quraanic Texts and Commentaries[edit]

[1] Soorah Al-Israa, 17:55.

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

[3] The Holy Quran: text,translation and commentary, vol. 1, p.709, footnote no. 2241.

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

[5] For example, see Soorah Bani Israeel, 17:55 and Soorah An-Nisaa, 4:163.

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

[7] See Tafseerul Quraanil Adheem, vol.2, p. 422.

[8] Refer to the tafseer (commentary) entitled Roohul Ma'aani, vol. 6, p. 17.

[9] See Qurtubi's Al-Jaami'li Ahkaamil Quraan, vol. 6, pp. 16-17.

[10] Tafseer Roohul Ma'aani, vol 6, p. 17.

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

[12] Soorah Saad, 38:41-42.

[13] Soorah Saad, 38:44.

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

[15] See Qurtubi's Al-Jaami'li Ahkaamil Quraan, vol. 15, p. 215.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Soorah Al-Araaf, 7:160.

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

[19] See Qurtubi's Al-Jaami'li Ahkaamil Quraan, vol. 15, p. 215.

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

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

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

[23] 53:59-62.

[24] For details, see pp. 123-124 of vol.17 of his tafseer.

[25] See Al-Jowhari's As-Sihaah, vol. 2, p. 489.

[26] Al-Jaami'li Ahkaamil Quraan, vol. 17, p. 123.

[27] Ibid.

[28] See Jaami'ul Bayaan'an Taweeli Aayil Quraan, vol. 27, pp. 82-84.

[29] See also Qurtubi's tafseer, vol. 17, p. 123.

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

[31] Soorah Al-Israa, 17:64.

[32] See Qurtubi's tafseer, vol. 10, p. 289; Ibn Katheer's Tafseerul Quraanil Adheem, vol. 5, p. 91 and At-Tabari's tafseer, vol. 15, p. 118.

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

[34] See At-Tabari's tafseer, vol. 15, p. 118, for details.

[35] 31:6.

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

[37] See At-Tabari's Jaami'ul Bayaan, vol. 21, p. 61 for the various narrations related to Ibn Abbaas.

[38] Ibid., vol. 21, p. 62.

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

[40] See the commentaries of Ibn Katheer, vol. 6, p. 334 and At-Tabari, vol. 21, p. 63.

[41] Roohul Ma'aani, vol. 21, p. 67.

[42] Soorah Luqmaan, 31:7.

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

[44] That is, every form of communication.

[45] Quoted from p. 63, vol. 21, of his Jaami'ul Bayaan'an Taweeli Aayil Quraan.

Chapter 2: Critical Analysis of the Hadeeth Literature[edit]

[46] The wearing of silk is lawful for females but has been forbidden for men.

[47] See Fathul Baari, vol. 10, p. 51.

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

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

[50] For details, refer to vol. 10, p. 52 of the Salafi edition, Cairo.

[51] This is the short title of Al-Bukaari's collection, and it means, "The Authentic Compilation." It is most deserving of this title as it is the most authentic book after the Quraan.

[52] See Fathul Baari, vol. 5, pp. 17-22, for details.

[53] Such as Al-Bukaari's history, At-Taareekh Al-Kabeer, Ibn Hibbaan's Mawaarid Adh-Dhamaan and At-Tabaraani's Al-Mu'jam Al-Kabeer.

[54] i.e whether the companion's name (rather his kunyah, signifying the appellation, "father of so and so") was Abu Maalik or Abu 'Aamir.

[55] That is from both of the companions, Abu Maalik and Abu 'Aamir. Thus, the question regarding the difference of the name is no longer an issue.

[56] Taghleequt Ta'leeq, vol. 5, p. 22.

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

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

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

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

[61] Page 401 of his biographical work, Mukhtasar Tabaqaati Ulamaail Hadeeth.

[62] The monumental Arabic dictionary, vol. 9, pp. 244-245.

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

[64] In this form dufoof is plural of daff or duff, a small hand drum which is like the tambourine except that it doesn't have the steel objects which rattle. It consists of a narrow wooden rim. Around one side of it, a thin animal hide is bound tightly. Sound is evinced by tapping it with the fingertips or palm of the hand.

[65] As-Sihaah, vol. 4, p. 1402.

[66] Taajul 'Aroos min Jawaahirul Qaamoos, vol. 6, p. 197.

[67] A dictionary in which terms of the prophetic traditions appear.

[68] See vol. 3, p. 230 of An-Nihaayah.

[69] i.e. Fat-hul Baari, vol.10, p. 55.

[70] When singing has musical accompanient it takes on the description of 'azf or mi'zaf, i.e. musical entertainment.

[71] Music, instruments and singing to musical accompaniment.

[72] See vol. 2, p. 3 85 of the edition edited by Muhammad Mustafa Al-Adhami.

[73] See 'Ownul Ma'bood, vol. 13, p. 271.

[74] Vol. 1, hadeeth no. 90, pp. 136-139.

[75] Vol. 5-6, p. 105, hadeeth no. 5530.

[76] Page 228, hadeeth no. 402.

[77] See Ahmad's Musnad, vol. 1, pp. 289 and 350, vol. 2, pp. 158 and 171-172.

[78] See Ahmad's Musnad, vol. 2, pp. 165 and 167.

[79] The Arabian guitar, termed qinneen in the text of the hadeeth.

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

[81] Vol. 1-2, p. 106, hadeeth no. 1743 and 1744.

[82] Vol. 2, p. 1276, hadeeth no. 4503.

[83] Vol. 4, pp. 283-285, hadeeth no. 1708 and p. 422, hadeeth no. 1806.

[84] Entitled Al-Mustadrak 'alas Saheehayn; the hadeeth appears on p. 40 of vol. 4.

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

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

[87] A type of flute.

[88] Its isnaad is authentic.

[89] Al-Musnad.

[90] Vol. 3, page 13.

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

[92] Soorah Qaaf, 50:37.

Chapter 3: Consensus of the Companions, Taabi'een, Imams and other Fuqahaa[edit]

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

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

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

[96] Kaffur Ra'aa, p. 65.

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

[98] Kaffur Ra'aa, p. 66.

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

[100] Quoted from Kaffur Ra'aa, p. 67.

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

[102] Page 293 of his book, Al-Halaal wal Haraam.

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

[104] See Soorah Luqmaan, 31:6.

[105] Authentically related by Al-Bayhaqi, Ibnul-Mundhir and others.

[106] See Al-Qurtubi's tafseer, vol. 14, pp. 51-52, and Al-Aaloosi's tafseer, Roohul Ma'aani, vol. 21, pp. 66-68.

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

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

[109] Such as flutes, pipes, horns and related wind instruments.

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

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

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

[113] Quoted from 'Ownul Ma'bood Sharhu Sunan Abi Dawood, vol. 13, pp. 273-274.

[114] Stated by Abut Teeb Taahir At-Tabari and quoted in Al-Qurtubi's Al-Jaami'li Ahkaamil Quraan, vol. 14, p. 55.

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

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

[117] The previous sayings related to Maalik were quoted from Ibnul-Jowzi's Talbees Ibless, p. 229.

[118] Al-Jaami'li Ahkaamil Quraan, vol. 14, p. 55.

[119] Ibid., vol. 14, p. 54.

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

[121] See Al-Qurtubi's tafseer, vol. 14, p. 55 and Ibnul-Jowzi's Talbees Iblees, p. 231. Also refer to footnote no. 111.

[122] See 'Ownul Ma'bood, vol. 13, p. 274.

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

[124] Kaffur Ra'aa, p. 61.

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

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

[127] In Arabic these are called qasaaiduz zuhd.

[128] "Singing" here means without musical accompaniment.

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

[130] Talbees Iblees, p. 228.

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

[132] Refer to footnote no. 116.

[133] The loss incurred by selling the slave girl not as singer but as an ordinary worker.

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

[135] Talbees Iblees, pp. 228-229.

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

[137] Quoted from Ibn Taymiyyah's Majmoo'ul Fataawa, vol. 11, p. 576.

[138] From the first and second century of the Islamic era.

[139] See p. 55, vol. 14 of Al-Qurtubi's Al-Jaami'.

[140] Refer to the section under the title, "The Position of the Companions on this Issue."

[141] See the preceding section, entitled "Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal," for details.

[142] Who died in the year 456 of the Islamic calendar.

[143] He lived during the years 435-532 of the Hijrah.

[144] He was born in the year 450 H. and died in 505 H.

[145] Refer to the section on the sunnah, entitled "The Traditions and their Degree of Authenticity: The Narration of Al-Bukhaari."

[146] Refer to the whole of the section, entitled "A Critical Analysis of the Hadeeth Literature" (on the issue of the ruling regarding music).

[147] Soorah An-Nisaa, 4:65.

[148] Such as Yoosuf Qardaawi in his Al-Halaal wal Haraam Fil Islam, pp. 292-293.

[149] See Ibnul-Qayyim's Madaarijus Saalikeen, p. 493.

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

[151] Authentically related by Imam Al-Bukhaari.

Chapter 4: The Wisdom Behind Its Prohibition by the Divively-revealed Shari'ah[edit]

[152] Authentically related by Ahmad and Ibn Khuzaymah.

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

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

[156] They claim that dancing, singing and music raise their "spiritual consciousness" and elevate them to a higher "mystical level", thus bringing them nearer to the divine presence!!

[157] Whenever he uses the word song or singing (ghinaa), he means the forbidden form to musical accompaniment.

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

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

[160] Page 224, vol. 1 of Ighaathatul Lahfaan.

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

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

[163] Condensed from Ighaathatul Lahfaan, vol. 1, p. 224.

[164] Ibid., vol. 1, p. 241.

[165] Obeying its commands, desisting from its prohibitions and adhering to its guidance, in all walks of human life.

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

[167] Abridged from Ighaathatul Lahfaan, vol. 1, pp. 248-250.

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

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

[170] Soorah Al-Hajj, 22:54.

Chapter 5: Exceptions to the Rule of Prohibition as Indicated by the Authentic Sunnah[edit]

[171] Those who fight solely for the cause of Allah and for the establishment and protection of Islam and its followers.

[172] i.e. during preparation for the "Battle of the Ditch," which was achieved by excavating a ditch surrounding the city of Madeenah, in order to prevent the enemy from storming the city.

[173] The reference is to the disbelievers who rebelled against the call of the Prophet and his companions inviting them to Islam. They reacted by trying to make the companions apostates by torturing them, by confiscating their property and wealth and by killing them. However, they stood fast in their belief and refused this fitnah (discord and tribulation), consequently being rewarded with victory.

[174] Reported in the compilations of Al-Bukhaari and Muslim.

[175] The Muhaahireen are those companions who emigrated to Madeenah in obedience to divine orders. The Ansaar were the people of Madeenah who belived and supported the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).

[176] For details, see Mirqaatul Mafaateeh, vol. 9, p.236.

[177] Soorah Al-Anfaal, 8:45.

[178] Islam.

[179] Soorah At-Towbah, 9:29.

[180] As is mentioned in many specific as well as general texts of traditions such as the authentically-related hadeeth in Sunan Abi Dawood: "Whosoever resembles a people is one of them."

[181] The preceding quotation is from Silsilatul Ahaadeeth As-Saheehah, vol. 1, p. 145.

[182] The songs of Bu'aath contained lyrics commemorating the battle which took place between two warring tribes from the Ansaar of Madeenah, the 'Aus and Khazraj.

[183] During the three days after the 'Eed day of sacrifice, which occur during the major pilgrimage (Hajj) at Mina.

[184] They must sing in total privacy and out of men's eyesight and hearing, otherwise the result would be a clear invitation to immorality and vice.

[185] This authentic hadeeth was related by At-Tirmidhi and others. Some scholars too as-sowt (the voice) to mean announcing the wedding among the people and making its occurrence well known. As will be seen in texts to be mentioned shortly, others are of the view that it refers to the permissible form of singing. For details, see Tahfatul Ahwadhi, vol. 4, p. 208.

[186] Reported by At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Hibbaan and others, with an authentic chain of narrators.

[187] Authentically related by At-Tabaraani and others.

[188] The girls referred to were still children and not "young ladies" as it is sometimes wrongly assumed.

[189] Authentically related by An-Nasaa'i.

[190] Upon the occasion of the wedding feast.

[191] As indicated in authentic narrations of Ahmad bin Hanbal and At-Tabaraani.

[192] See Tahfatul Ahwadhi, vol. 4, p. 210.

[193] One's glorifying Allah by reciting certain specific invocations.

[194] Authentically related by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim.

[195] Authentically related by Ahmad and others.

[196] This term refers to the best of the early generations of Islamic scholars after the Prophet's time, such as the companions, the taabi'een and their followers, including the four imams.

[197] See vol.11. p.565 of Ibn Taymiyyah's Majmoo'ul Fataawa.

[198] Similar to the tambourine without the small jingling discs.

[199] She vowed to do so in expression of joy and thanks for the safe arrival of the Prophet from one of his expeditions. See Mirqaatul Mafaateeh, vol. 7, p.41.

[200] Authentically related by Abu Dawood.

[201] As an expression of her joy and thankfullness for Allah's bounty in granting safe return to the beloved Prophet (upon whom be peace and blessings).

[202] The slave was less restricted in her dress and manner than the free woman owing to her situation and the nature of her duties.

[203] A vow made by a person must be fulfilled by him as long as the vow relates to a permissible act or deed, otherwise it is not to be carried out.

[204] This indicated that although the act of singing and beating upon the daff is permissible on such an occasion, it is still preferable to desist from it, unless one has made a vow, in which case he is obligated to carry it out.

[205] Authentically related by At-Tirmidhi and others.

[206] The strongest proof indicated that the joyful singing of poetical verses accurred on both occasions; the Prophet's arrival at Madeenah during his flight (hijrah), and again upon his return from Tabook. For details, see Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtoom, p. 193 and Rahmatan lil 'Aalameem, vol. 1, p. 106.

[207] See, for example, Muntaqan Nuqool, p.329 and Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtoom, p. 193.

[208] The full moon (al-badr) alludes to the coming of Prophet Muhammad, whose arrival was like the light of the full moon, illuminating the dark world of ignorance so that the path to Allah could be easily followed.

[209] A few mountain passes on the outskirts of Madeenah.

[210] For safe arrival in Madeenah of the final guide to all mankind, Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's choicest blessings and peace), and consequently, for the bounty of Islam.

[211] See Zaadul Ma'aad, vol. 3, p. 551.

[212] Reported by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim.

[213] Songs of this noble nature may by sung spontaneously. They need not be restricted to the above mentioned occasions specified by the texts of the sunnah. However, they should not be rigidly and habitually tied to certain dates or occasions such as before or after every Jumu'ah prayer. Such a regimented, habitual performance would then become a bid'ah, a blameworthy innovation in deen.

[214] Such as the celebration of a birth (aqeedah) or circumcision (khitaan). In modern times they might add such things as a graduation ceremony, a promotion celebration and so on, endlessly.

[215] See Al-Bardeesi's Usoolul Fiqh, p. 240.

[216] That is, arrogant, ostentatious pride or haughtiness.

[217] Authentically related by Imam Muslim. An-Nawawi relates that it means that if a Muslim had such a foul attribute, he would not enter Paradise without deserving a taste of the Fire; for pride, arrogance and haughtiness are of the gravest sins. See his Sharhu Saheeh Muslim, vol. 2, p. 91.

[218] Holy war in defense of the Islamic faith, where Allah's word and deen are raised to the height, while the word of the disbelievers is lowered to the depths. Perhaps the wisdom of allowing one's strutting in pride during war and victory over the enemies of Islam lies in the fact that such pride and haughtiness is not done for personal reasons, but for the sake of Allah and pride in His faith and not for personal or national reasons.

[219] Such as celebrating the naming of a newborn, circumcision ceremonies, etc.

[220] In fact, it is impossible. For Allah, the Lawgiver, ensures that the texts of His divine law (shari'ah) reach mankind so that they may have direction in every aspect of their lives.

[221] He would not prohibit them from singing and beating upon the drum, and his silence would thereby be taken as tacit approval by the people.

[222] Such as those related by Al-Bayhaqi and others.

[223] This critical information was supplied by the muhaddith, Muhammad Naasiruddeen Al-Albani, in a person letter to the author.

[224] That is, on occasions other than those supported by an authentic text as has preceded in the section, entitled "Examples of Occasions Specified by the Sunnah."

[225] From the collection of Ibn Abi Shaybah, entitled Al-Kitaab Al-Musannaf fil Ahaadeeth wal Aathaar.

[226] One of the great taabi'een scholars, a judge and dependable narrator of hadeeth. He was one of the most avid disciples and companions of the sahaabi, Ibn Mas'ood. He died in the year 78 of the Hijrah.

[227] The angels do not enter such a house if the daff is played at times other than weddings, 'Eed or other appropriate occasions as mentioned in the authentic sunnah.

[228] The degree of this athar and the following one was verified by the muhaddith, Muhammad Naasiruddeen Al-Albaani, in a personal letter to the author.

[229] A jurist and traditionist from the generation of the taabi'een. He died around 96 H.

[230] They were playing with the dufoof as had probably become a common practice with them.

[231] Authentically related by Ibn Abi Shaybah.

[232] This point was stressed by the eminent mufti, Abdul-Azeez bin Baaz, during a personal discussion with the author.

[233] Namely, singing, chanting of poetry or other innocent lyrics and the beating upon the daff.

[234] At the time of the 'Eed festivals, wedding ceremonies, etc.

[235] Singing, beating on the drum, etc. should be performed exactly in the manner indicated by authentic traditions, the details of which will follow in the next section.

[236] Quoted from Fat-hul Baari, vol.2, p. 443.

[237] Personal preference (istihsaan) is rejected, especially when it contradicts the specific texts of the divinely-revealed shari'ah or conflicts with general principles extracted from these sources.

Chapter 6: Synopsis of Preceeding Shari'ah Texts along with Conclusions to be Drawn from Them[edit]

[238] Except for the daff, the simple hand drum, which is allowed for use by women and children on specific occasions mentioned by the authentic sunnah. This has been clarified by a previous section of this work, entitled "Examples of Occasions Specified by the Sunnah."

[239] Such as flutes, horns, trumpets, accordions, saxophones, trombones, etc.

[240] Including guitars, violins, banjos, harps, sitars, lutes, basses, cellos, etc.

[241] Such as gongs, cymbals, bass drums, bongos, congas, tambourines, etc.

[242] For example, the piano, which combines percussion and string instrumentation.

[243] A type of guitar common to Arab lands.

[244] The complete text of these hadeeths has preceded in Arabic along with their translations in the second section of this study under the title, "Critical Analysis of the Hadeeth Literature."

[245] Its size, according to common usage or custom ('urf), varies approximately between twenty and thirty-five centimeters in diameter for the skin. The width of the circular wooden frame upon which it is strung is about a finger's length. Exceeding this stipulated size would result in a louder sound, which in turn exceeds the instrument's basically limited percussion potentiality. Conversely, a much smaller size diminishes its basic sound capability, and thus, the objective of "announcing" the wedding feast through its sound would not be realized. As it is said, "The best of affairs are intermediate" - in the middle ground.

[246] The term daff literally means the (one) side of a thing or its surface. For details, see Lisaanul Arab, vol. 9, pp 104-106.

[247] See Kaffur Ra'aa, pp. 94-95.

[248] These principles were mentioned in the previous section and are also applicable here.

[249] The width of four finger clinched together (which is basically the same) according to various authentic narrations of Iman Al-Bukhaari, Abu Dawood and others. The actual finger's length varies according to each individual, but an average finger length of the middle finger (the longest one), is about 8-9 centimeters.

[250] Threads made from minutely thin, but pure gold wires, woven together to make a garment.

[251] See Al-Bardeesi's Usoolul Fiqh, p. 240 and Abdul-Qaadir Ataa's Haadha Halaal wa Haadha Haraam, p. 211.

[252] Because by its very nature the exception (mustathna) differs from the original ruling to which it is an exception.

[253] In preceding texts of the authenic sunnah.

[254] The kooban is a drum with skin on both sides. The tabl is similar except it is usually larger in size. And the tablah has skin only at the top, with a long, open, hollow base made from wood, metal or clay.

[255] According to the principle that whatever is coupled with a prohibited thing becomes prohibited.

[256] Such as the 'Eed festival, wedding celebrations, etc.

[257] Such as those songs which describe sex, wine-drinking or any immoral subjects.

[258] This occurs when the singer purposely manipulates his/her voice in a throbbing, titillating manner which arouses sexual passions.

[259] One of the rare geniuses of the Islamic sciences, nicknamed "Sultanul Ulamaa" (the Monarch of Scholars). He definitely deserves this title. He was born in Damascus (577 H./1181 C.E.) and died in Cairo (660 H./1262 C.E.). For details, see Mu'jamul Muallifeen, vol. 5, pp. 249-250.

[260] The immediate reference in this passage is to the practice of some Sufis who dance according to a certain method as a so-called "spiritual" exercise. However, what has been said here applies generally to all dancing by males regardless of whether it's done for pleasure or for "worship."

[261] In variuos authentic traditions narrated by Al-Bukhaari, Muslim, et. al.

[262] Quoted from Kaffur Ra'aa, p 73.

[263] Quoted from the tafseer, Roohul Ma'aani, vol. 21, p. 71.

[264] In loose clothing from above the chest to below the knee, at the very minimum.

[265] Such as occurs during belly-dancing or various western dances such as soul, rock and funk.

[266] Just as is the case of wine, whose drinking, production, sale and even carrying is forbidden.

[267] By the proper authorities. See footnote no. 112.

[268] Unless he listens to it with the intent to hear it and seek pleasure in it.

[269] Soorah Al-Muddaththir, 74:38.

[270] See his foreword to The Glorious Quran, p. 3.

[271] Related by Iman Al-Bukkaari. The Quraan is to be melodiously chanted or sung, but not according to one's personal style dictated by fancy. The Quraan must be recited according to the rules of tajweed, the precise science which details the rules for Quraanic recitation. Notes are to be extended (al-madd) according to a certain number of beats; the letters noon and meem are melodiously held and their notes emphasized, etc. One is required to learn this method of recitiation.

[272] Authentically related by Abu Dawood and Ahmad bin Hanbal.

[273] I would certainly encourage the likes of Yoosuf Islam (the former Cat Stevens) and others to use this medium for Islamic revival and as a means for da'wah (invitation of non-Muslims to the path of Allah).

[274] Soorah Ar-R'ad, 14:28.

[275] Regardless of whether it be with crossbow, spear or firearms.

[276] Soorah Aali-Imraan, 3:138.


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