Fatwa

Q:

A.O.A

I’d be really grateful if my question is forwarded Sheikh Ahmed Kutty please since I believe they can address this issue better.

This question may be long because I want to relieve myself of all doubts regarding the issue of music because I am really stressed regarding this issue.I don’t listen to songs/music a lot but some scholars labelled it haram and it’s really worrisome for me because I can’t avoid it even if I want to.There’s music on television even if you use it to watch the news,there’s music in ads,there’s music in background on videos whether educational or be any video so I’m really stressed.Should I stop watching t.v?  Should I stop using social media because in literally every video there is music.

I researched a lot and want to clear my confusion on the evidence provided by both sides-those who say it’s allowed and those who say it’s not.

I know music that is vulgar or goes against the guidelines of Islam is without doubt haram but what about good music and music that is in background of videos.

The most famous evidence provided by those who are against music quote the hadith in Bukhari “”From among my followers there will be some people who will consider illegal sexual intercourse, the wearing of silk, the drinking of alcoholic drinks and the use of musical instruments, as lawful”

I found out that this hadith is mualliq.Bukhari himself did not include it in his Sahih collection and only used it against khamr and  that this hadith is weak since it contains a companion with a weak memory Attiya ibn Qays and also contains Hisham Ibn Ammar who is not accepted as well.A few websites said that if this was a prohibition against musical instrument then Bukhari would have included this in a new topic on the prohibtion of instruments.Moreover,due to the weakness of this hadith,it is not reported in Muslim or Sunan Abi Dawud.

Please correct me If I’m wrong^

I also think that if musical instruments were forbidden then why would the Holy Prophet allow the duff to be played on Eid and on weddings according to traditions mentioned in Bukhari because the duff is also a musical instrument.

Secondly they quote this hadith which according to Darussalam is graded Hasan in Ibn Majah “People among my nation will drink wine, calling it by another name, and musical instruments will be played for them and singing girls (will sing for them). Allah will cause the earth to swallow them up, and will turn them into monkeys and pigs.”. This hadith is said to be quoted by Bukhari in his chapter title,the same where the musical instrument hadith is quoted.

They say that the great Imam Ibn Hazm al-Zahiri wrote:

“There is nothing in the wording of this hadith that this warning is tied to listening to musical instruments, nor that it is about singing girls. The apparent meaning of the hadith is that the warning is for their making khamr lawful by giving it a different name. We do not base our religion on conjecture.”

Some scholars even said that singing is itself prohibited,it doesn’t matter if they are accompanied with musical instruments or not.They then quote the the following verses from the Holy Quran:

“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.” (Surah Luqman 31:6) and “And incite whoever you can of them with your voice, mobilize against them all your cavalry and infantry, manipulate them in their wealth and children, and make them promises.” But Satan promises them nothing but delusion.” (Surah Isra)

The verse quoted for Surah Luqman is said to be regarding a specific incident where a man purchased a singer with the intention to distract muslims whenever the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) was teaching..They say that this was intentionally done to distract the Muslims away from getting teachings of Allah and is not a prohibition against singing/music itself.The verse of surah isra is also said not to be about music but is of Satan’s voice generally.

I searched and found out that these two surah’s are MAKKI surahs so my point is if singing and music was haram then it is known that there were young Ansari girls and women were singing on the Prophet (S.A.W)’s arrival to Madinah,if it was haram then why would he have allowed it.Moreover,it is seen in the authentic Bukhari hadith how the Prophet (S.A.W) allowed the young girls to sing and play the duff on Eid.He also encouraged singing on weddings.Moreover,it is in Sahih Bukhari as well how the call to prayer was established in the second year of hijrah ,if musical instruments were haram then why would the companions would even mention bells and horns.

The only hadith that confuses me is the one quoted in Sunan Abi Dawud in the book of drinks in the chapter regarding vessels

“The deputation of ‘Abd al-Qais asked (the prophet):From which(vessels)should we drink ? He (the prophet) replied: Do not drink from the pumpkins, vessels smeared with pitch, and hollow stumps , and steep dates in skins. They asked: Messenger of Allah, if it ferments? He replied: infuse water in it. They asked: Messenger of Allah…” (repeating the same words). He replied to them third or fourth time: Pour it away. He then said: Allah has forbidden me, or he said: He has forbidden me wine, game of chance and kubah(drums). He said: Every intoxicant is unlawful. Sufyan said: I asked ‘All b. Badhimah about kubah . He replied:Drum.

Is this hadith authentic or reliable? If yes then are all drums prohibited or is the ‘kubah’ a special type of drum that is prohibited because the duff is also a drum which is allowed?

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

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

(Al-Mustadrak ‘alas Saheehayn)

Is this hadith reliable as well?

Please answer all my queries and tell in light of all the evidences quoted is music/musical instruments allowed or not in detail.Will be extremely grateful.

A:

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

On the issue of music, one may find a diversity of opinions handed down from the scholars of the past: some of them permitting the music in general, except the lewd and obscene, others consider it undesirable, and still others declare it wholly forbidden.

You may be surprised to know that all three views have been attributed to a single imam: Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal. One may ask why he gave three conflicting opinions?

The answer is: his answer differs according to context. His verdict is strict when it comes to lewd music promoting promiscuity; he permits it when it is clean and free of such associations on occasions such as a wedding, and otherwise, merely undesirable on other times.

Those who consider all music as forbidden have no proof. The traditions prohibiting music, in general, are all dubious, weak, or fabricated as a number scholars such as Ibn Hazm, Ghazali, and others have said.

Such traditions cannot be accepted as they contradict the well-attested traditions that prove that the Prophet and his companions listened to music on some occasions, such as a wedding, and eid and the Prophet even asked for it stopped those who wanted to prohibit.

On one occasion, a professional girl singer visited Aishah. When the Prophet inquired who she was, Aisha told him she was the professional singer, and the Prophet heard her singing.

If the music were forbidden, how would the Prophet allow her to sing in his home? Remember, the Prophet’s house is where the Quran is revealed day and night!

Another important principle to consider is that Islam is a religion that caters to all of the legitimate instincts and needs of humans.

It is a natural religion, which does not suppress or deny any genuine human needs. Having outlets for relaxation is a legitimate need; it enhances human productivity and performance. Caliph Ali said, “Have outlets occasionally to recuperate.”

Furthermore, we can enjoy beauty; the Prophet said, “Allah is Beautiful, and He loves beauty.”

The Quran asks, “Who can dare to prohibit the beauty that Allah has sent down for His servants?”

Music is part of nature: the singing of birds, and beautiful sounds of the rain forest, and pouring rains and the sounds and smells of trees are all part of nature, which every human being enjoys.

Hasan b. Muhammad al-Attar, the author of the well-known commentary on Jam’ al-Jawami, was asked whether music is halal or haram. His response was: “One who cannot appreciate the music of nature such as that of birds and sounds of nature (like rain forest) is not different than a donkey devoid of any aesthetic sense!”

So there is no way that Islam would condemn music in general. Imam Ghazali further said, “In so far humans invent music and musical instruments, they do so imitating or copying the music in nature.” So, there is no way to rule that Islam would condemn music in general.

As for the traditions ( including the ones you have cited), they are all deemed as dubious, weak, or outright fabrications.

They have been rejected by the scholars who specialize in hadith criticism: Let me cite Ibn Hazm: “Not a single tradition that people cite in this respect is authentic; all of them are fabricated. If we could trace them or any one of them to the Prophet through reliable chains of transmission, we would never hesitate to uphold it. But that is not the case; so we would reject them altogether for the following reasons:

There is no authority we are bound to accept other than the Prophet, peace be upon him.

Secondly, such reports contradict the Companions and successors’ well-attested statements of the permissibility of music, based on authentic traditions from the Prophet. They used to hear music and enjoy it.

Thirdly, they cite the following verse of the Qur’an:

“And among mankind are those who purchase idle discourse to lead astray from the way of God without the knowledge and who take it in mockery; for them, there shall be a humiliating punishment.” (Qur’an: 31:6)

There is no evidence in it. It speaks of the disbelievers using their idle discourses to turn the people away from the truth.

Therefore, it in no way can be used as evidence against the use of music as a lawful source of entertainment.

Almighty Allah knows best.

Thursday, Jan. 01, 1970 | 00:00 - 00:00 GMT

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