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The Evils of Singing and Music

22nd June 2008

Allah (swt) says: ‘And of Mankind is he who purchases idle talks (i.e. music & singing) to mislead (men) from the Path of Allah without knowledge, and takes it (the Path of Allah/Verses of the Quran) by way of mockery. For such there will be a humiliating torment (in Hell fire).’ (Luqman, 21)

It is mentioned in the tafsir of Qurtubi that Nazar Bin Harith who was a rich man amongst the Makkan polytheists used to purchase singing & dancing slave girls and invite people to gatherings where they would perform. His main objective in doing so was so that the people would be prevented from hearing the Quran related from Nabi Karim (saw) and the message of Islam.

RasulAllah (saw) has stated: ‘ that individual who sits where women are singing (for entertainment), on the day of Qiyamah molten glass will be poured into their ears. (Tafsir Qurtubi, Hashiya of Abu Dawood)

Hazrat Ali (ra) relates that Nabi (saw) stated: ‘there are many reasons due to which the Muslims will be afflicted with the punishments of Allah, one of which is that singing girls and musical instruments will become common.’ (Tirmidi v2, p45)

Hazrat Aisha (ra) relates that Nabi (saw) stated: ‘that person who dies in a state that he is listening to music, do not read the Funeral Prayer of that individual)’ (Tafsir Qurtubi v7, p51)

From the above tradition, the dislike of Nabi (saw) for music & singing can be understood, at how severe the punishment is for that person engrossed in this sin, that the Muslims have been told to leave performance of the Funeral Prayer of such a person.
It is pertinent that unfortunately, in this day and age, the very Muslim youth for whom the Quran has been revealed as guidance drive their cars and have music sounding so loud that it can be heard down the street…Allah forbid, if their death was to come in this state then what would their status be in front of Allah and His Rasul (saw) according to this hadith?

Hazrat Jabir (ra) relates RasulAllah (saw) stated: ‘Music and singing grows hypocrisy in the hearts, just as water causes plants to grow.’ (Mishkat Musabih, Baihaqi)

RasulAllah (saw) stated: ‘2 voices in the Dunya and Akhirah are deserving of being cursed – (1) the sounding of Music on a happy occasion (2) to scream/shriek at the time of grief or affliction’ (At Targib wal Tarheeb)

RasulAllah (saw) stated: ‘Some people of my nation will verily drink alcohol, but will call it by another name and they will have musical instruments played around them. So Allah (swt) will cause the Earth to devour some of them, and from them some will be disfigured into apes and swine.’ (Baihaqi no.5114)

Music and Singing in the light of Ulema and Fuqahas writings

The above Hadiths prove the impermissibility of Music and Singing in Islam. For this very reason (the proof of narrations & Quran) the Ulema and Fuqaha have always been unified on the reality of Music and Singing being Haram.

Imam Shabi (ra) states: ‘the one who sings and for whom it is sung, both are cursed by Allah (swt).’
Fudayl bin Ayaz (ra) states: ‘the act of singing and music inclines one towards zina.’

Hazrat Nafi (ra) the teacher of Imam Malik (ra) states: ‘he was once travelling with Abdullah bin Umar (ra) and he (Abdullah bin Umar) happened to hear a flute, he (Abdullah bin Umar) stuck both his fingers in his ears and walked far away from that area so that he could no longer hear that flute. He said, whenever RasulAllah (saw) would hear such a noise as this, he too would do exactly as I have done.’ (Baihaqi v4, p283)

RasulAllah (saw) stated: ‘To listen to useless things (music and singing) is a sin, and to sit in such gatherings where this is done is transgression of Allahs laws, and to get pleasure from this sin is to deny the blessings and bounties of Allah (swt) on his servant. It is for this reason that one safeguards themselves from these actions.’ (Fatawa Shami)

The Shariah of Islam has very strictly prohibited Muslims from taking part in & listening to Music and Singing, it is unfortunate that the Muslims are engrossed in this great sin nowadays. And instead of the sound of Quranic recitation coming from the homes of the Muslims, day & night the sound of Music is emitted. Many a time, it is not enough for some to be engrossed in this sin, they have to include others in this sin also by making them hear excessively loud car stereos etc…and take that sin upon themselves also.

Today the most pleasing things for our youth are the latest mp3 music players, DVD players etc…due to which they forget the meaning of day & night, destroy the morals of dignity and respect and causes immodesty to be rife.
The strange thing is that in this day and age through these HARAM means people try to propagate Islamic values and the listeners take it as a form of worship to listen to these nasheed artists etc…however, they do nothing but mock the name of Islam and the Shariah.
It is similar to claiming to do a good deed by reading the Quran & Hadith through a musical medium, the Muslim Ummah can never accept this. In the same manner the shame of a Muslim in front of Allah (swt) is that we cannot accept that the name of Allah and His Prophet (saw) is taken with impermissible voices and mediums in any way, shape or form.

May Allah (swt) grants us the understanding of His deen and purify our hearts, Ameen.

Mufti Yusuf Danka