The Islamic Ruling on Music and Singing: Part 1. [Especially Directed towards the Youth]

The Islamic Ruling on Music and Singing


In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
by Abu Bilaal Mustafa al-Kanadi

PREFACE

All praise is due to Almight God, Allah. We praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. And we seek refuge in Allah from the evil of our own selves and from our wicked deeds. Whosoever has been guided by Allah, there is none to misguide him. And whoseover has been misguided by Allah, none can guide him. I bear witness that there is no other god except Allah, alone, without partner or associate. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger. May Allah, the Exalted, bestow His peace and blessings on Prophet Muhammad, upon his good and pure family, as well as upon all of the noble companions and upon those who follow them in righteousness until the Day of Reckoning. 

Verily, the most truthful speech is the Book of Allah, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (Allah's blessings and peace be upon him); while the worst affairs are novelties, for every novelty is a blameworthy innovation. Every innovation (in matters of religion) is misguidance and every misguidance is in the Fire. 

The legality of music and singing in the Islamic shari'ah (the divinely-revealed law) is an issue which is hotly debated among individuals and scholars in Islamic societies of our present day. Arriving at the correct view requires unbiased, scholarly research of the available literature which must be supported by authentic, decisive proof. 

A considerable amount has been said and written both for and against this subject, and the proliferation of doubt and confusion necessitates another more critical, meticulous analysis and assessment of this whole matter, in order for one to come to a clear, decisive conclusion which leaves not the least bit of doubt in the mind of the reader. 

In hope of acheiving such a difficult and lofty goal, I have applied a distinctive method which I trust, by Allah's leave, will succeed in achieving these treasured aims and objectives. 

Firstly, I analysized and assessed the claims made by differing factions that certain Quraanic verses support or prohibit the legality of the issue at hand. Secondly, I stringently researched the area of pertinent hadeeth literature in order to shed light on the issue as well as to dispel a number of misconceptions about the authenticity of certain traditions. Thirdly, I presented a consensus of the Islamic scholars with special reference to the pious predecessors of the Islamic ummah; i.e. the noble companions, the taabi'een, the famous imams and other jurisprudents (fuqahaa). Fourthly, I attempted to explain the infinte wisdom which underlies the ruling of prohibition as ordained by the divinely-revealed shari'ah. Fifthly, I cited examples of exceptions to the general rule of prohibition, as either defined by the authentic sunnah or agreed upon by the scholars. Finally, I presented a synopsis of the shar'iah texts and a conclusion which clarifies the prohibited aspects of music, singing and their adjuncts. 

I pray that Allah grants success in this endeavor, accepting it as a work done purely for His sake and bestowing upon us and our brethren in faith, sincerity and guidance to His straight path. 

Abu Bilal Mustafa Al-Kanadi 

Ramadaan 1406/May 1986 


Makkah Al-Mukarramah 


ANALYSIS OF QURAANIC TEXTS AND COMMENTARIES
It is vital that one critically assesses the extent to which certain verses of the Quraan allegedly stand as proof for or against the legality of music and singing. Some of those verses which might be misconstrued to indicate that music, singing, dancing etc are permissible, are mentioned first. They are then followed with a sample of verses, which certain scholars have claimed to be proof of prohibition regarding this issue. 

VERSES CLAIMED TO INDICATE THE LEGALITY OF MUSIC 

The following verses regarding the Psalms of Dawood (upon whom be peace) is case in point. 

THE FIRST VERSE:
{And verily,We did favor some of the prophets over others, and to Dawood We gave the Psalms.}(*1)
 
How does this verse purport to be proof for those who claim legality? It is a common misconception of certain Muslims-especially those having a western background or living in the west-that Dawood (peace be upon him)composed the Psalms and sang them to the accompaniment of music.(*2) There are even some commentators of English translations of the Quraan who fall prey to the same error. For example, Abdullah Yusuf Ali comments on this verse saying, "The spiritual gifts with which the Prophets came, may themselves, take different forms according to the needs of the world and the times in which they lived, as judged by the wisdom of God. A striking example here given is the gift of song and music as given to David...(*3) The fact is that the Psalms were not composed by Prophet Dawood (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings), but rather were revealed to him(*4) by Allah, the exalted, as is clearly stated in the Quraan.(*5) Additionally, nowhere in the Quraan or in the authentic traditions(*6) is there any support for this accompanying the psalms with musical instruments . 

In order to properly understand the true nature of the Psalms (Az-Zaboor), one must look to some of the dependable Quraanic commentaries (tafaseer). Ibn Katheer (Allah's mercy be upon him), explains the meaning of the term Az-Zaboor saying, "Az-Zaboor is the name of the book revealed by Allah to Dawood (peace be upon him)."(*7) Al-Aloosi further confirms this saying, "Az-Zaboor is the name of the book sent down to Dawood (upon whom be peace); it was revealed to him gradually, by installments."(*8) 

As to the nature of these psalms, Al-Qurtubi states, "Az-Zaboor is the book of Dawood, consisting of one hundred and fifty chapters; however, it contained no rulings of divine law on matters of prohibited or allowed things. Rather, it consisted of words of wisdom and admonishment."(*9) Al-Aaloosi adds to this description that "the Zaboor also contained divine praises and glorification of Allah, (exalted be His praise)."(*10) 

Prophet Dawood's captivating, melodious voice was exceedingly beautiful and effective. When he recited the Zaboor, men, jinn, birds and wild animals gathered around him.(*11) 

This article is directed towards today's youth, specially those who've watched the movie "KHUDA KAY LIYE". this article refutes the claims made in that movie that music is not HARAM.

ELSE ALLAH KNOWS BEST


MAY ALLAH GUIDE US ALL :)

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