Praise be to Allaah.
The aayaat of the Quraan and the Ahaadeeth of the
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) indicate that musical instruments are
condemned, and warn us against them. The Quraan teaches that playing these
instruments is one of the things that leads people astray and constitutes mockery of the
Signs of Allaah. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
And of mankind is he who purchases idle talk to mislead (men)
from the Path of Allaah, without knowledge, and takes it (the Path of Allaah, the Verses
of the Quraan) by way of mockery. For such there will be a humiliating torment (in
the Hell-fire). [Luqmaan 31:6]
Most of the scholars interpreted lahw al-hadeeth (idle
talk) as meaning singing and musical instruments, and every voice that diverts
people from the truth.
Al-Tabari (Jaami al-Bayaan, 15/118-119), Ibn
Abil-Dunya (Dham al-Malaahi, 33) and Ibn al-Jawzi (Talbees Iblees,
232) all reported that concerning the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):
[Allaah said to Shaytaan;] And istafziz [literally means
befool them gradually] those whom you can with your voice, make assaults on them with your
cavalry and your infantry, mutually share with them wealth and children, and make promises
to them. But Shaytaan promises them nothing but deceit [al-Isra 17:64]
Mujaahid said, This refers to singing and flutes.
Al-Tabari reported that al-Hasan al-Basri said:
His voice is the tambourine.
Ibn al-Qayyim said in Ighaathat al-Lahfaan (1/252):
The grammatical structure here (idaafah genitive or
possessive) is used to make something specific (idaafat al-takhsees), and in all these
words in the aayah it refers back to the Shaytaan [addressed here as you by
Allaah, may He be glorified]. Everyone who speaks about anything other than obedience of
Allaah or plays a reed pipe, flute, tambourine or drum, all of this is the voice of
Al-Tirmidhi reported in his Sunan (no. 1005) from Ibn Abi Layla
from Ata from Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: The
Messenger of Allaah
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went to to al-Nakhl with
Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Awf, when his son Ibraaheem was dying. He took the child in
his lap and his eyes filled with tears. Abd al-Rahmaan said, Are you weeping
when you have forbidden us to weep? He said, 'I do not forbid weeping. What I have
forbidden is two foolish and evil kinds of voices: voices at times of entertainment and
play and the flutes of the Shaytaan, and voices at times of calamity and scratching the
face and rending the garments and screaming.
Al-Tirmidhi said: this is a hasan hadeeth. It was also reported by
al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak, no. 1683, al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra (4/69),
al-Tayaalisi in Musnad (no. 1683) and by al-Tahhaawi in Sharh al-Maaani,
4/29, and it was classed as hasan by al-Albaani.
Al-Nawawi said: What is meant here is singing and musical
instruments. See Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi, 4/88.
It was reported in a saheeh hadeeth from the Prophet
blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: In my ummah there will be people who allow
fornication/adultery (zina), silk, wine and musical instruments [maaazif].
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.
Come back to us tomorrow. Then during the night Allaah will destroy them 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.
(Reported by al-Bukhaari in al-Saheeh muallaqan, 51/10.
Reported mawsoolan by al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra, 3/272; al-Tabaraani in al-Mujam
al-Kabeer, 3/319; and Ibn Hibbaan in al-Saheeh (8/265-266). Classed as saheeh
by Ibn al-Salaah in Uloom al-Hadeeth (32), Ibn al-Qayyim in Ighaathat
al-Lahfaan (255) and Tahdheeb al-Sunan (5/270-272), al-Haafiz in al-Fath
(10/51) and al-Albaani in al-Saheehah (1/140)).
Al-Haafiz said in al-Fath (10/55): Maaazif refers
to musical instruments. Al-Qurtubi reported from al-Jawhari that maaazif
meant singing, and what it says in his book al-Sihaah is that it refers to musical
instruments. It was also said that it is the sound of musical instruments. In a footnote
by al-Dimyaati it says: maaazif is tambourines and other kinds of drums. The
word azif is applied to singing and all other kinds of instruments that may
Ibn al-Qayyim said in Ighaathat al-Lahfaan (1/256):
The evidence for this is that maaazif refers to all kinds
of things used for entertainment. There is no dispute among scholars of the Arabic
language on this point. If they were halaal, he would not have condemned those who
permitted them, or compared permitting them to permitting wine and zina.
We may understand from the hadeeth that all kinds of musical
instruments are forbidden. This is clear from the hadeeth for a number of reasons:
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said
there will be people who allow
It is clear that the things listed
here, including musical instruments, are forbidden in shareeah, but those people
will allow them.
He compared musical instruments to things that are definitely known to
be haraam, namely zina and alcohol. If instruments were not haraam, he would not have made
this comparison. The evidence of this hadeeth that singing is haraam is definitive. Even
if no other hadeeth or aayah spoke about musical instruments, this hadeeth would be
sufficient to prove that they are haraam, especially the kind of singing that is known
among people nowadays, the essence of which is obscenity and foul talk, based on all kinds
of musical instruments such as guitars, drums, flutes, ouds, zithers, organs, pianos,
violins and other things that make it more enticing, such as the voices of these
effeminate singers and whores.
(See Hukm al-Maaazif by al-Albaani, Tas-heeh
al-Ahkta wal-Awhaam al-Waaqiah fi Ahaadeeth al-Nabi
alayhil-salaam by Raaid Sabri, 1/176).
Shaykh Ibn Baaz said in Majmoo al-Fataawa,
Maaazif refers to singing and musical instruments.
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told us that at the end of time
there will come a people who will allow these things just as they will allow alcohol, zina
and silk. This is one of the signs of his Prophethood, for all of this has happened. The
hadeeth indicates that [musical instruments] are haraam, and condemns those who say they
are halaal, just as it condemns those who say that alcohol and zina are allowed. The
aayaat and ahaadeeth that warn against singing and musical instruments are many indeed.
Whoever claims that Allaah has allowed singing and musical instruments is lying and is
committing a great evil. We ask Allaah to keep us from obeying our desires and the
Shaytaan. Even worse and more seriously sinful than that are those who say it is
mustahabb. Undoubtedly this stems from ignorance about Allaah and His Religion; it is
insolent blasphemy against Allaah and lying about His Laws. What is mustahabb is to beat
on the daff [simple hand drum] at weddings. This is mustahabb for women only, in order to
announce the wedding and to distinguish it from fornication. There is nothing wrong with
women singing amongst themselves, accompanied by the daff, so long as the songs contain no
words that encourage evil or distract people from their duties. It is also a condition
that this should take place among women only, and there should be no mixing with men. It
should also not cause any annoyance or disturbance to neighbours. What some people do, of
amplifying such singing with loudspeakers is evil, because of the disturbance it causes to
other Muslims, neighbours and others. It is not permissible for women, in weddings or on
other occasions, to use any instrument other than the daff, such as the oud, violin, rebab
(stringed instrument) and so on. This is evil, and the only concession that women are
given is that they may use the daff.
As for men, it is not permissible for them to play any kind of musical
instrument, whether at weddings or on any other occasion. What Allaah has prescribed for
men is training in the use of instruments of war, such as target practice or learning to
ride horses and competing in that, using spears, shields, tanks, airplanes and other
things such as cannons, machine guns, bombs and anything else that may help jihaad for the
sake of Allaah.
Shaykh al-Islam said in al-Fataawa (11/569):
I know that in the golden age, the first and best
three centuries, in the Hijaaz, in Syria, in the Yemen, in Egypt, in the Maghreb, in Iraq,
in Khorasan, none of the religious and righteous people, the ascetics and those who
worshipped Allaah much, would gather to listen to this whistling and clapping and
drum-beating and so on. This was innovated after that at the end of the second century,
and whenever the imaams saw it, they denounced it.
As for these anaasheed which are described as Islamic but
are accompanied with musical instruments, giving them this name lends them some measure of
legitimacy, but in fact they are singing and music, so calling them Islamic nasheeds is
falsehood and deception. They cannot be a substitute for singing, as an evil thing cannot
be substituted for another evil thing. We should replace something evil with something
good. Listening to it on the grounds that it is Islamic and an act of worship is
bidah, and Allaah does not allow this. We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound.
For more information, see:
Talbees Iblees (237) and al-Madkhil by Ibn al-Haaj
(3/109); al-Amr bil-Ittibaa wal-Nahy an al-Ibtidaa by
al-Suyooti (99 ff); Dham al-Malaahi by Ibn Abil-Dunya; al-Ilaam
bi-anna al-Azif haraam by Abu Bakr al-Jazaairi; Tanzeeh
al-Shareeah an al-Aghaani al-Khaleeah wa Tahreem Aalaat al-Tarab by