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Music In Islam


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#1 GhYaS

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 10:34 PM

Assalam Alaikum..

Just another thing that bothers me is about the issue of music. Some say music is forbidden. Some say if the music does not have certain frequencies it is allowed. Some say it is no harm in listening to any music.

Request for comments.

Wassalam
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#2 Myst

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 10:47 PM

Assalamu 3alykum,

This is one of the best resources I have come across regarding Music. It is a book by Mustafa Al-Kanadi, it contains the proofs from the Quran, Sunnah, Sahaba, Salaf, 4 madhabs, consensus etc.. that Music is haram.

http://members.tripo...aziz/music.html

Enjoy...
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#3 taqwa

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 10:50 PM

I have a funny feeling this thread is not going to die down quickly... :roll:
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#4 GreenOz

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 11:18 PM

I have a funny feeling this thread is not going to die down quickly...


Well, I am sure the thread will be over when the fat lady sings ...lol... :wink: :lol:

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#5 Cigdem

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Posted 04 February 2003 - 07:34 AM

I have a funny feeling this thread is not going to die down quickly...


lol...

It's weird how you've got those people who go fatwa shopping to legalise certain things... then you've got those who do the same only to prohibit certain things. I guess everyone's just got their own agenda.

fair enough, if its going to be that way, maybe we should start up a debate on how It is a necessity for men to work and earn a living as opposed to 'working in the path of Allah' and repeating the common phrase 'Allah will provide' (not that both couldn't or shouldn't be done at the same time)
- and dont be suprised if i quote the eskimo muslims from the north-pole for this one.

excuse me being WAY off the topic here, but if you think music's worth debating in todays world then so is this.
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Posted 04 February 2003 - 01:34 PM

Asalamu Alaykoum,

fair enough, if its going to be that way, maybe we should start up a debate on how It is a necessity for men to work and earn a living as opposed to 'working in the path of Allah' and repeating the common phrase 'Allah will provide' (not that both couldn't or shouldn't be done at the same time)


couldnt agree more..... im more than willing to discuss this issue.


salams

wesam

#7 Bok

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Posted 04 February 2003 - 11:43 PM

Salams & G'day,

As a musician (twenty odd years of violin lessons, a B.Mus and a passionate love for the second movement of Beethoven's 7th) I really have to contribute to this thread.

What is music?

The English dictionary (and since no one asked if "al-musiqaa" was forbidden) says:

1 a : the science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity b : vocal, instrumental, or mechanical sounds having rhythm, melody, or harmony
2 a : an agreeable sound b : musical quality
3 : a musical accompaniment
4 : the score of a musical composition set down on paper
5 : a distinctive type or category of music

Every time we call the adhan or chant Qur'an we are making music folks! So the question isn't is music forbidden, it is what types (if any) are forbidden.

Now, does anyone know roughly how many musicians there are in Islamic history? Bet you couldn't count them. If we don't include professional chanters I still bet you couldn't count them. And I'm not talking your folk musicians down at the coffee house, I'm talking respected historical figures, esteemed scholars and intellectuals too!

It was to Bilal (ra) that the Prophet (saw) is reported to have said: "O Bilal, sing us a ghazal" (1); Shirin was the name of Hassan ibn Thabit (ra)'s singing girl; 'Amr ibn Umayya (ra) aka Baba 'Amr or 'Amr Iyar s said to have played the da'ira (round tamborine) at 'Ali and Fatima's (ra) wedding; Baba Sawandik was an Indian credited with playing the kus (kettledrum) in the Prophet's military expeditions. (2)

Tuwais (The Little Peacock) was one of the earliest famous musicians, esteemed by nobility; and 'Azza al-Maila is probably the earliest famous female musician. Hasan al-Basri said: "Music (ghina') is a good help in obedience to Allah and man learns through it the ties of friendship). (3) Ibn Misjah was the first and greatest musician of the Ummayad era. Musicians studied music in the famed Abbasid Bayt al-Hikma (House of Wisdom) and the Abbasid caliph al-Wathiq was himself a musician. Kitab al-Aghani has that he was reportedly an excellent singer and skilled performer on the 'ud.

Three of the most famous Muslim philosophers al-Kindi, al-Farabi and Ibn Sina wrote volumes on musical theory. The equally famous al-Kwarizmi included a section on music in his Mafatih al'ulum (Keys of the Sciences) which includes a dictionary of music with an explanation of musical terms and their proper pronunciations. I could go on with the history of names but you get the picture

Western music has the Arab Muslims to thank for their translation of Greek works including that of musical theory. (We have the remnants of the various Greek modes (lydian, dorian etc.) although we don't know precisely what they sounded like). The Arab Muslims also incorporated the Persian 'fret's on the fingerboards of 'uds and tunburs.

There certainly is censure in (arguably later) Islamic thought for some forms of music, but these were invariable tied up with that corresponding sinful activities. (So singing a round of "Oh Danny Boy" in a pub is out!)

But it's a contentious topic. The relevant hadiths are thrown to and fro. There are esteemed scholars who doubt the anti-music hadiths authenticity. Imam al-Ghazali held the view that music was permissible so long as there was not a fear of temptation to sin. Of all the opinions I've come across, this has to be the most sensible. For the 'pro'-music side of the debate, the following are a start:


http://www.islamonli...questionID=2712
http://www.muslim-ca...org/music2.html
http://www.muslim-ca...ufi/ghach5.html

Bok!


(1) From Ibn Hisham quoted by Farmer, Henry George, A History of Arabian Music, (India: Goodword Books, 2001)

(2) ibid, 38

(3) ibid, 77
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#8 farkwald

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 12:48 AM

Personally, I love music. I'm a big fan of Arabic music, and it is obvious to any Arab (or Arabic music fan) that Latin music has Arabic roots. I watch the local Arabic music show regularly on a non-profit channel.

Agreed -Beethoven's 7th is a delight, even alongside DJ Sammy's tunes (not at the same time). Nah, I've never bought the music prohibition and most Muslims don't either. It's a Salafi plot that they can't enforce in their own homeland.

More to life than religion - as the Prophet himself said.
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#9 taqwa

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 02:29 AM

More to life than religion - as the Prophet himself said.


Where did you hear or read that?
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#10 farkwald

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 02:36 AM

Hi Taqwa,

I read a hadith somewhere (I'm no scholar - or a Muslim) that the Prophet said something along the line of:

Those who study and live too religously are overdoing it. Allah gave certain prescriptions and that is what he expects. More is not really needed.

Sorry I can't remember the exact wording - it was a couple years ago when I read it. If you like I'll try and track it down if one of our resident scholars can't find it.
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#11 Shibshib

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 09:33 AM

If only we had some resident scholars!
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#12 taqwa

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 11:45 AM

Farkwald, is this the hadith you are talking about?

Three men came to the houses of the Prophet (s.a.w.) to inquire about his worship. When they were informed by his wives, they tended to belittle its quantity. They said to one another: How can we compare ourselves to the Prophet (s.a.w.) when Allah has forgiven him all his sins, past and future? One of them said: I shall pray all night every night, for the rest of my life. The second one said: I shall fast all day every day of my life. The third said: As for me, I shall remain celibate and never get married. When the Prophet (s.a.w.) arrived, he asked them: Are you the ones who said so and so? By Allah, I am the one who fears Allah most and worships Him most among you, yet I pray at night and sleep; I also fast on some days and do not fast on others; and I also get married. Whoever turns away from my way of life is not a follower of mine. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)


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#13 reemziez

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Posted 07 February 2003 - 03:59 AM

Asalaamo alaykum warahmatullahi brothers and sisters,

i'm a new member to this group, inshAllah i will learn alot here :)

Alot of people have been giving their view of music, but not discussing exactly what Islam has to say about it. The only music that is allowed in Islam are NASHEEDS, Islamic songs, which use nothing other than percussion instruments and vocals, whilst singing the praises of Allah (swt).


Evidence of prohibition of music in the Qur’aan and Sunnah:

Allaah says in Soorat Luqmaan (interpretation of the meaning):

“And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks (i.e. music, singing) to mislead (men) from the path of Allaah…” [Luqmaan 31:6]

The scholar of the ummah, Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: this means singing. (Tafseer al-Tabari, 21/40).

Al-Hasan al-Basri (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: this aayah was revealed concerning singing and musical instruments (lit. woodwind instruments). (Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 3/451).


It is a known fact that music is one of the most influencial forms of media. It can be used in a good way- in the form of nasheeds, which increase spritiuality and bring peace to the mind and soul. Or in a bad way- in the form of pop, rap, r&b, etc, which are created by kufars and promote nothing but evil ideas and those things which are unlawful in the eyes of Islam.

Now lets use a little common sense here. We know that prophet Mohammad (saw) is our role model, so we should aim at doing all things which he did, and control our desires from doing things which he did not do. Now, if prophet Mohammad (saw) was living in our time, could u imagine seeing him listening to JLo or emimen or the like?! Never. Rather he would listen to nasheeds by Yusuf Islam, Zain Bhika, Raihan, and the like.

And Allah knows best.

Walaykum asalaam warahmahtullahi.
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#14 Bok

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Posted 07 February 2003 - 08:20 AM

i'm a new member to this group, inshAllah i will learn alot here :)


Assalamu 'alaykum Reem,

Good to meet you, this is an exciting forum and lots of people have different points of view which they are encouraged to share and defend. Welcome to the fray!

When you say that no one has discussed what "Islam" has to say about the topic, that is not entirely true. Basically the scholars are divided on the topic and that there is no consensus.

Allaah says in Soorat Luqmaan (interpretation of the meaning):

“And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks (i.e. music, singing) to mislead (men) from the path of Allaah…” [Luqmaan 31:6] 

The scholar of the ummah, Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: this means singing. (Tafseer al-Tabari, 21/40).


I think the main problem in discussing the topic is using the English language :) The word referred to in this ayat as "idle talk" is
laghw which doesn't mean "music"*. Certainly some of the early Muslims considered the "idle talk" to mean a censure of the poetry in sung form as was practiced by the anti-Muslim poet minstrels such as Al-Nadr ibn al-Harith who attracted the foolish to him more than the revelations of Allah did. But this is not a blanket condemnation of all music, indeed all singing (for nasheeds are forms of singing). For example, Anas ibn Malik related that the Prophet (saw) used to make him sing the huda (caravan song) when travelling, and that Anjusha used to sing it for the women and al-Bara ibn Malik (the brother of Anas) for the men.(1)

Instructive is al-Shafi'i who held that music in itself was lawful. He said: "I do not know one of the learned in al-Hijaz who disliked music and singing except what consisted in amatory descriptions; as for the huda' (caravan song) and the mention of the traces of the encampment and of the spring pastures, and the making beautiful of the voice in singing poems, they are permitted." (2)

Al-Zuhri held the view that (good) singing is permissible from his interpretation that the first ayat of surah Fatir (35:1) refers to the "beautiful voice". Furthermore al-Ghazali held the view that singing is allowable because of the ayat Al-Araf 7:30.

I'm going to quote the fatwa I referenced above because I do think it is relevant.

* Various relevant Arabic words
saj' (rhymed prose)
music (al-sama')
singing girl (qaina)
singing (ghina')
huda (caravan song)
stringed instruments (ma'azif)
mizmar (reed-pipe)
shahin (fife)
tabl (drum)
wilwal (wailing)

(1) Al-Ghazali quotes this hadith in his Ihya see MacDonald's translation p248

(2) ibid. 242-3
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#15 Bok

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Posted 07 February 2003 - 08:24 AM

Question: Salaam,
Why is music not allowed in Islam? People told me it is a sound of the devil, but seriously I never find there any diabolic thing. People told me it is not allowed because it makes you forget God. But why, do we remember God in every second of our life? If it were like that, existence would be perfect. But it isn’t. And frankly music makes me remember the glory of God more than a lot of other things. And many composers as well were inspired by the love for Him and as a result gave us wonderful masterpieces. Why we shouldn’t listen to them? I would be grateful if you could answer my question. May god bless you.

Answer: Dear sister Ana, we really appreciate your forwarding your questions to us.

Responding to your question on music, I’d first of all pause briefly to ask this question: What is Music? The reason for posing this question is to draw you to an important point, i.e. Islam is not just about making something haram (prohibited) and the other halal(allowed). Islam addresses every issue before categorizing it as this or that. Take music for instance, we need to know what is it in order to put it under a certain category.

Music lexically means art of combining sounds of voice or instruments to achieve beauty of form and expression of emotion. So we can say that music is a pleasant sound, regardless of where it comes from. It’s one of the purest and most beautiful things in the universe. Thus, whenever we hear a pleasant sound that makes one fascinated, we simply feel we should praise Almighty Allah, Who sets the tone and rhythm of every sound in the universe.

Thus, music constitutes an important part of our daily life. Music is there in our day-to-day life: the pleasant sound of birds, the melodious mew of cats, the unique coo of doves, etc. All these are forms of music. No one can deny this. This is even reflected in our daily activities and habits: crying, laughing, yelling and so on.

Then, when it comes to conceptualizing music from an Islamic perspective, Muslim scholars make it clear that love for singing and melodic voices are part of man’s instincts. This reminds me the words of Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, who says: “We can observe an infant lying in his cradle, soothed and sleeping by the sound of a lullaby. Mothers and nannies are always in the habit of singing for babies and children. Moreover, birds and animals respond to nice voices and rhythmic melodies. Thereupon, if singing is thus a human instinct, it is not for Islam to defy humankind’s instincts. Islam came to refine and promote the human instinct.”

So, in the light of this, we come to know that Islam has no objection to music and singing, as a form of art. This is as long as one abides by the noble principles of Islam. As we know that art is a form of expression and communication. It covers religious, intellectual, and cultural aspects of each society. Thus, Islam does not go against art, as long as it conforms to Islamic guidelines. This is whether it is expressed in literature, architecture, drawings, photography or film.

This actually makes it clear that Islam has its say in all man’s actions, in every corner of man’s life. This is the religion that regulates everything, in order to secure a happy and comfortable life for man. When you ask about eating, Islam says that you are free to eat anything, as long as you keep away from haram (things that are forbidden to eat) and from excessiveness. Allah says:
O Children of Adam! wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer: eat and drink: But waste not by excess, for God loveth not the wasters.

Surah 7 Verse 31

And in the verse that follows this immediately, Allah says:
Say: Who hath forbidden the beautiful (gifts) of God, which He hath produced for His servants, and the things, clean and pure, (which He hath provided) for sustenance? Say: They are, in the life of this world, for those who believe, (and) purely for them on the Day of Judgment. Thus do We explain the signs in detail for those who understand.

Surah 7 Verse 32

So Islam does not simply deprive its followers from good things of life. It just sets the rules to enjoy these things in a way that will not make us forget the main reason of our existence in life. This is the very point that is greatly stressed by some scholars who have aversion to music. Their main concern is how does man strike a balance between the enjoyment of all what Allah Almighty made lawful for him and the duty of maintaining close relation with Allah.

So for me, I don’t see any argument among scholars on the permissibility of music in Islam. The same applies to other forms of art. This is because the argument of those who oppose music is that it’s a form of laghw (idle talk). Meaning that it normally distracts believers from observing religious duties, and it corrupts the mind. So what they are saying is that a Muslim should not lend his ears to what will distract him from observing his religious duties and should not listen to what will corrupt his mind or distort his heart. This is exactly the same condition stipulated by scholars, who maintain that music is permissible. They never say that a Muslim should indulge himself or herself to any form of entertainment, which would take him as far as neglecting his religious duties.

Let me cite the renowned scholar, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, in his remarkable statements on the permissibility of music:



Not all sorts of singing are permissible. Rather, the permissible song should comply with the Islamic teachings and ethics. Therefore, the songs praising the tyrants and corrupt rulers collide with Islamic teachings. In fact, Islam stands against transgressors and their allies, and those who show indifference to their transgression. So, the same goes for those songs that imply giving praises to such attitude!


Also, the way the song is performed weighs so much. The theme of the song may be good, but the performance of the singer – through intending excitement and arousing others’ lusts and desires, along with trying to seduce them – may move it to the area of prohibition, suspicion or even detested things. The Glorious Qur’an addresses the wives of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, saying:
O Consorts of the Prophet! Ye are not like any of the (other) women: if ye do fear (God), be not too complacent of speech, lest one in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire: but speak ye a speech (that is) just.

Surah 33 Verse 32


So, one has to show caution to music when there is softness of speech accompanied with rhyme, melody, and special effects!


Singing should not be accompanied with something that is prohibited such as alcohol, nakedness, mixing of men with women, like that is common in pubs and nightclubs.


Islam has declared excessiveness prohibited in everything, even in acts of worship. The same goes for excessiveness in leisure and recreation even though these things are permissible! This indicates that the emptiness of mind and heart has to be identified and tackled during man’s short-term life. One should know that Allah Almighty will ask every one of us about his life and his youth in particular, how he spends it.


Dear sister, you see, this is a clear-cut evidence that Islam does not consider music as something haram. It just stipulates for music to keep its permissibility, it should not involve anything haram, it should not be taken as a means of committing unlawful things. Music should not be used as a form of stirring desires in man. This will definitely open the door for Satan, and this is what Islam goes against. So music can be lawfully or maliciously used.

Thus, what I want to make clear is that music can be corrupted just as what people do to fresh air and water. But this corruption does not make all music haram (prohibited). Just as the pollution people cause to some water or fresh air, it does not make all the water and air haram.

It’s nice that you are saying that music reminds you of God’s glory. That’s something good, and that’s the purpose music and songs tend to serve. To refresh the mind and relax the soul, hence giving praise to the Great Lord that shows us signs of His Perfection in everything He creates!

Thanks, once again, for your questions.
]http://www.islamonline.net/askaboutislam/d...tionID=2712[/b]
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#16 reemziez

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Posted 07 February 2003 - 11:38 AM

Asalaamo alaykum warahmatullahi

okies bro bok, if u believe that interpreting the arabic language is the problem here, let me ATTEMPT to prove u wrong :D

Here's a very VERY detailed artical about the Islamic perspective of music, its quite long, but should be enough to refute people and scholars who make ALL FORMS OF music halal.

Ma’aazif is the plural of mi’zafah, and refers to musical instruments (Fath al-Baari, 10/55), instruments which are played (al-Majmoo’, 11/577). Al-Qurtubi (may Allaah have mercy on him) narrated from al-Jawhari (may Allaah have mercy on him) that ma’aazif means singing. In his Sihaah  it says that it means musical instruments. It was also said that it refers to the sound of the instruments. In al-Hawaashi by al-Dimyaati (may Allaah have mercy on him) it says: ma’aazif means drums (dufoof, sing. daff) and other instruments which are struck or beaten (Fath al-Baari, 10/55).

Evidence of prohibition in the Qur’aan and Sunnah: 

Allaah says in Soorat Luqmaan (interpretation of the meaning):

“And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks (i.e. music, singing) to mislead (men) from the path of Allaah…” [Luqmaan 31:6] 

The scholar of the ummah, Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: this means singing. Mujaahid (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: this means playing the drum (tabl). (Tafseer al-Tabari, 21/40). 

Al-Hasan al-Basri (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: this aayah was revealed concerning singing and musical instruments (lit. woodwind instruments). (Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 3/451).

Al-Sa’di (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: this includes all manner of haraam speech, all idle talk and falsehood, and all nonsense that encourages kufr and disobedience; the words of those who say things to refute the truth and argue in support of falsehood to defeat the truth; and backbiting, slander, lies, insults and curses; the singing and musical instruments of the Shaytaan; and musical instruments which are of no spiritual or worldly benefit. (Tafseer al-Sa’di, 6/150) 

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The interpretation of the Sahaabah and Taabi’in, that ‘idle talk’ refers to singing, is sufficient. This was reported with saheeh isnaads from Ibn ‘Abbaas and Ibn Mas’ood. Abu’l-Sahbaa’ said: I asked Ibn Mas’ood about the aayah (interpretation of the meaning), ‘“And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks’ [Luqmaan 31:6]. He said: By Allaah, besides Whom there is no other god, this means singing – and he repeated it three times. It was also reported with a saheeh isnaad from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them both) that this means singing. There is no contradiction between the interpretation of “idle talk” as meaning singing and the interpretation of it as meaning stories of the Persians and their kings, and the kings of the Romans, and so on, such as al-Nadr ibn al-Haarith used to tell to the people of Makkah to distract them from the Qur’aan. Both of them are idle talk. Hence Ibn ‘Abbaas said: “Idle talk” is falsehood and singing. Some of the Sahaabah said one and some said the other, and some said both. Singing is worse and more harmful than stories of kings, because it leads to zinaa and makes hypocrisy grow (in the heart); it is the trap of the Shaytaan, and it clouds the mind. The way in which it blocks people from the Qur’aan is worse than the way in which other kinds of false talk block them, because people are naturally inclined towards it and tend to want to listen to it. The aayaat condemn replacing the Qur’aan with idle talk in order to mislead (men) from the path of Allaah without knowledge and taking it as a joke, because when an aayah of the Qur’aan is recited to such a person, he turns his back as if he heard them not, as if there were deafness in his ear. If he hears anything of it, he makes fun of it. All of this happens only in the case of the people who are most stubbornly kaafirs and if some of it happens to singers and those who listen to them, they both have a share of this blame. (Ighaathat al-Lahfaan, 1/258-259). 

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“[Allaah said to Iblees:] And befool them gradually those whom you can among them with your voice (i.e. songs, music, and any other call for Allaah’s disobedience)…” [al-Israa’ 17:64] 

It was narrated that Mujaahid (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “And befool them gradually those whom you can among them with your voice” – his voice [the voice of Iblees/Shaytaan] is singing and falsehood. Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: This idaafah [possessive or genitive construction, i.e., your voice] serves to make the meaning specific, as with the phrases [translated as] “your cavalry” and “your infantry” [later in the same aayah]. Everyone who speaks in any way that is not obedient to Allaah, everyone who blows into a flute or other woodwind instrument, or who plays any haraam kind of drum, this is the voice of the Shaytaan. Everyone who walks to commit some act of disobedience towards Allaah is part of his [the Shaytaan’s] infantry, and anyone who rides to commit sin is part of his cavalry. This is the view of the Salaf, as Ibn ‘Abi Haatim narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas: his infantry is everyone who walks to disobey Allaah. (Ighaathat al-Lahfaan). 

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Do you then wonder at this recitation (the Qur’aan)? 

And you laugh at it and weep not, 

Wasting your (precious) lifetime in pastime and amusements (singing)” 

[al-Najm 53:59-61] 

  ‘Ikrimah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: it was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas that al-sumood [verbal noun from saamidoon, translated here as “Wasting your (precious) lifetime in pastime and amusements (singing)”] means “singing”, in the dialect of Himyar; it might be said “Ismidi lanaa” [‘sing for us’ – from the same root as saamidoon/sumood] meaning “ghaniy” [sing]. And he said (may Allaah have mercy on him): When they [the kuffaar] heard the Qur’aan, they would sing, then this aayah was revealed.

Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning) “Wasting your (precious) lifetime in pastime and amusements (singing)” – Sufyaan al-Thawri said, narrating from his father from Ibn ‘Abbaas: (this means) singing. This is Yemeni (dialect): ismad lana means ghan lana [sing to us]. This was also the view of ‘Ikrimah. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer). 

It was reported from Abu Umaamah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not sell singing slave women, do not buy them and do not teach them. There is nothing good in this trade, and their price is haraam. Concerning such things as this the aayah was revealed (interpretation of the meaning): ‘And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks (i.e. music, singing) to mislead (men) from the path of Allaah…’ [Luqmaan 31:6].” (Hasan hadeeth) 

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: 

“Among my ummah there will certainly be people who permit zinaa, silk, alcohol and musical instruments…” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari ta’leeqan, no. 5590; narrated as mawsool by al-Tabaraani and al-Bayhaqi. See al-Silsilah al-Saheehah by al-Albaani, 91). 

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: This is a saheeh hadeeth narrated by al-Bukhaari in his Saheeh, where he quoted it as evidence and stated that it is mu’allaq and majzoom. He said: Chapter on what was narrated concerning those who permit alcohol and call it by another name. 

This hadeeth indicates in two ways that musical instruments and enjoyment of listening to music are haraam. The first is the fact that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “[they] permit” which clearly indicates that the things mentioned, including musical instruments, are haraam according to sharee’ah, but those people will permit them. The second is the fact that musical instruments are mentioned alongside things which are definitely known to be haraam, i.e., zinaa and alcohol: if they (musical instruments) were not haraam, why would they be mentioned alongside these things? (adapted from al-Silsilah al-Saheehah by al-Albaani, 1/140-141) 

Shaykh al-Islam (Ibn Taymiyah) (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: This hadeeth indicates that ma’aazif are haraam, and ma’aazif means musical instruments according to the scholars of (Arabic) language. This word includes all such instruments. (al-Majmoo’, 11/535).

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: And concerning the same topic similar comments were narrated from Sahl ibn Sa’d al-Saa’idi, ‘Imraan ibn Husayn, ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr, ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abbaas, Abu Hurayrah, Abu Umaamah al-Baahili, ‘Aa’ishah Umm al-Mu’mineen, ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib, Anas ibn Maalik, ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Saabit and al-Ghaazi ibn Rabee’ah. Then he mentioned it in Ighaathat al-Lahfaan, and it indicates that they (musical instruments) are haraam.

It was narrated that Naafi’ (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Ibn ‘Umar heard a woodwind instrument, and he put his fingers in his ears and kept away from that path. He said to me, O Naafi’, can you hear anything? I said, No. So he took his fingers away from his ears and said: I was with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and he heard something like this, and he did the same thing. (Saheeh Abi Dawood). Some insignificant person said that this hadeeth does not prove that musical instruments are haraam, because if that were so, the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would have instructed Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them both) to put his fingers in his ears as well, and Ibn ‘Umar would have instructed Naafi’ to do likewise! The response to this is: He was not listening to it, but he could hear it. There is a difference between listening and hearing. Shaykh al-Islam (Ibn Taymiyah) (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Concerning (music) which a person does not intend to listen to, there is no prohibition or blame, according to scholarly consensus. Hence blame or praise is connected to listening, not to hearing. The one who listens to the Qur’aan will be rewarded for it, whereas the one who hears it without intending or wanting to will not be rewarded for that, because actions are judged by intentions. The same applies to musical instruments which are forbidden: if a person hears them without intending to, that does not matter. (al-Majmoo’, 10/78 ).

Ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: the listener is the one who intends to hear, which was not the case with Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them both); what happened in his case was hearing. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) needed to know when the sound stopped because he had moved away from that path and blocked his ears. So he did not want to go back to that path or unblock his ears until the noise had stopped, so when he allowed Ibn ‘Umar to continue hearing it, this was because of necessity. (al-Mughni, 10/173) 

(Even though the hearing referred to in the comments of the two imaams is makrooh, it was permitted because of necessity, as we will see below in the comments of Imaam Maalik (may Allaah have mercy on him). And Allaah knows best).

The views of the scholars (imaams) of Islam 

Al-Qaasim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Singing is part of falsehood. Al-Hasan (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: if there is music involved in a dinner invitation (waleemah), do not accept the invitation (al-Jaami by al-Qayrawaani, p. 262-263).

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The view of the four Imaams is that all kinds of musical instruments are haraam. It was reported in Saheeh al-Bukhaari and elsewhere that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said that there would be among his ummah those who would allow zinaa, silk, alcohol and musical instruments, and he said that they would be transformed into monkeys and pigs… None of the followers of the imaams mentioned any dispute concerning the matter of music. (al-Majmoo’, 11/576). 

Al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The four madhhabs are agreed that all musical instruments are haraam. (al-Saheehah, 1/145).

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The madhhab of Abu Haneefah is the strictest in this regard, and his comments are among the harshest. His companions clearly stated that it is haraam to listen to all musical instruments such as the flute and the drum, even tapping a stick. They stated that it is a sin which implies that a person is a faasiq (rebellious evil doer) whose testimony should be rejected. They went further than that and said that listening to music is fisq (rebellion, evildoing) and enjoying it is kufr (disbelief). This is their words. They narrated in support of that a hadeeth which could not be attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). They said: he should try not to hear it if he passes by it or it is in his vicinity. Abu Yoosuf said, concerning a house from which could be heard the sound of musical instruments: Go in without their permission, because forbidding evil actions is obligatory, and if it were not allowed to enter without permission, people could not have fulfilled the obligatory duty (of enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil). (Ighaathat al-Lahfaan, 1/425). 

Imaam Maalik (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about playing the drum or flute, if a person happens to hear the sound and enjoy it whilst he is walking or sitting. He said: He should get up if he finds that he enjoys it, unless he is sitting down for a need or is unable to get up. If he is on the road, he should either go back or move on. (al-Jaami’ by al-Qayrawaani, 262). He (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “The only people who do things like that, in our view, are faasiqs.” (Tafseer al-Qurtubi, 14/55). 

Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Among the types of earnings which are haraam by scholarly consensus are ribaa, the fee of a prostitute, anything forbidden, bribes, payment for wailing over the dead and singing, payments to fortune-tellers and those who claim to know the unseen and astrologers, payments for playing flutes, and all kinds of gambling. (al-Kaafi). 

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, explaining the view of Imaam al-Shaafa'i: His companions who know his madhhab (point of view) stated that it is haraam and denounced those who said that he permitted it. (Ighaathat al-Lahfaan, 1/425).

The author of Kifaayat al-Akhbaar, who was one of the Shaafa’is, counted musical instruments such as flutes and others, as being munkar (evil), and the one who is present (where they are being played) should denounce them. (He cannot be excused by the fact that there are bad scholars, because they are corrupting the sharee’ah, or evil faqeers – meaning the Sufis, because they call themselves fuqaraa’ or faqeers – because they are ignorant and follow anyone who makes noise; they are not guided by the light of knowledge; rather they are blown about by every wind. (Kifaayat al-Akhbaar, 2/128 ).

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: With regard to the view of Imaam Ahmad, his son ‘Abd-Allaah said: I asked my father about singing. He said: Singing makes hypocrisy grow in the heart; I do not like it. Then he mentioned the words of Maalik: the evildoers (faasiqs) among us do that. (Ighaathat al-Lahfaan). 

Ibn Qudaamah, the researcher of the Hanbali madhhab – (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Musical instruments are of three types which are haraam. These are the strings and all kinds of flute, and the lute, drum and rabaab (stringed instrument) and so on. Whoever persists in listening to them, his testimony should be rejected. (al-Mughni, 10/173). And he said (may Allaah have mercy on him); If a person is invited to a gathering in which there is something objectionable, such as wine and musical instruments, and he is able to denounce it, then he should attend and speak out against it, because then he will be combining two obligatory duties. If he is not able to do that, then he should not attend. (al-Kaafi, 3/118 ) 

Al-Tabari (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The scholars of all regions are agreed that singing is makrooh and should be prevented. Although Ibraaheem ibn Sa’d and ‘Ubayd-Allaah al-‘Anbari differed from the majority, (it should be noted that) the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Adhere to the majority.” And whoever dies differing from the majority, dies as a jaahili. (Tafseer al-Qurtubi, 14/56). In earlier generations, the word “makrooh” was used to mean haraam, then it took on the meaning of “disliked”. But this is to be understood as meaning that it is forbidden, because he [al-Tabari] said “it should be prevented”, and nothing is to be prevented except that which is haraam; and because in the two hadeeths quoted, music is denounced in the strongest terms. Al-Qurtubi (may Allaah have mercy on him) is the one who narrated this report, then he said: Abu’l-Faraj and al-Qaffaal among our companions said: the testimony of the singer and the dancer is not to be accepted. I say: if it is proven that this matter is not permissible, then accepting payment for it is not permissible either.

Shaykh al-Fawzaan (may Allaah preserve him) said: What Ibraaheem ibn Sa’d and ‘Ubayd-Allaah al-‘Anbari said about singing is not like the kind of singing that is known nowadays, for they would never have allowed this kind of singing which is the utmost in immorality and obscenity. (al-I’laam) 

Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: It is not permissible to make musical instruments. (al-Majmoo’, 22/140). And he said: According to the majority of fuqahaa’, it is permissible to destroy musical instruments, such as the tanboor [a stringed instrument similar to a mandolin]. This is the view of Maalik and is the more famous of the two views narrated from Ahmad. (al-Majmoo’, 28/113). And he said: …Ibn al-Mundhir mentioned that the scholars were agreed that it is not permissible to pay people to sing and wail… the consensus of all the scholars whose views we have learned about is that wailing and singing are not allowed. Al-Shu’bi, al-Nakha’i and Maalik regarded that as makrooh [i.e., haraam]. Abu Thawr, al-Nu’maan – Abu Haneefah (may Allaah have mercy on him) – and Ya’qoob and Muhammad, two of the students of Abu Haneefah said: it is not permissible to pay anything for singing and wailing. This is our view. And he said: musical instruments are the wine of the soul, and what it does to the soul is worse than what intoxicating drinks do. (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 10/417).

Ibn Abi Shaybah (may Allaah have mercy on him) reported that a man broke a mandolin belonging to another man, and the latter took his case to Shurayh. But Shurayh did not award him any compensation – i.e., he did not make the first man pay the cost of the mandolin, because it was haraam and had no value. (al-Musannaf, 5/395).

Al-Baghawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) stated in a fatwa that it is haraam to sell all kinds of musical instruments such as mandolins, flutes, etc. Then he said: If the images are erased and the musical instruments are altered, then it is permissible to sell their parts, whether they are silver, iron, wood or whatever. (Sharh al-Sunnah, 8/28 )

An appropriate exception

The exception to the above is the daff – without any rings (i.e., a hand-drum which looks like a tambourine, but without any rattles) – when used by women on Eids and at weddings. This is indicated by saheeh reports. Shaykh al-Islam (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: But the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) made allowances for certain types of musical instruments at weddings and the like, and he made allowances for women to play the daff at weddings and on other joyful occasions. But the men at his time did not play the daff or clap with their hands. It was narrated in al-Saheeh that he said: “Clapping is for women and tasbeeh (saying Subhaan Allaah) is for men.” And he cursed women who imitate men and men who imitate women. Because singing and playing the daff are things that women do, the Salaf used to call any man who did that a mukhannath (effeminate man), and they used to call male singers effeminate – and how many of them there are nowadays! It is well known that the Salaf said this.

In a similar vein is the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her), when her father (may Allaah be pleased with him) entered upon her at the time of Eid, and there were two young girls with her who were singing the verses that the Ansaar had said on the day of Bu’aath – and any sensible person will know what people say about war. Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “Musical instruments of the Shaytaan in the house of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)!” The Messenger of Allaah had turned away from them and was facing the wall – hence some scholars said that Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him) would not tell anybody off in front of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), but he thought that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was not paying attention to what was happening. And Allaah knows best. He (the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)) said: “Leave them alone, O Abu Bakr, for every nation has its Eid, and this is our Eid, the people of Islam.” This hadeeth shows that it was not the habit of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his companions to gather to listen to singing, hence Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq called it “the musical instruments of the Shaytaan”. And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) approved of this appellation and did not deny it when he said, “Leave them alone, for every nation has its Eid and this is our Eid.” This indicates that the reason why this was permitted was because it was the time of Eid, and the prohibition remained in effect at times other than Eid, apart from the exceptions made for weddings in other ahaadeeth. Shaykh al-Albaani explained this in his valuable book Tahreem Aalaat al-Tarab (the Prohibition of Musical Instruments). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) approved of young girls singing at Eid, as stated in the hadeeth: “So that the mushrikeen will know that in our religion there is room for relaxation.” There is no indication in the hadeeth about the two young girls that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was listening to them. The commands and prohibitions have to do with listening, not merely hearing, just as in the case of seeing, the rules have to do with intentionally looking and not what happens by accident. So it is clear that this is for women only. Imaam Abu ‘Ubayd (may Allaah have mercy on him) defined the daff as “that which is played by women.” (Ghareeb al-Hadeeth, 3/64).

An inappropriate exception
Some of them make an exception for drums at times of war, and consequentially some modern scholars have said that military music is allowed. But there is no basis for this at all, for a number of reasons, the first of which is that this is making an exception with no clear evidence, apart from mere opinion and thinking that it is good, and this is wrong. The second reason is that what the Muslims should do at times of war is to turn their hearts towards their Lord. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“They ask you (O Muhammad) about the spoils of war. Say: ‘The spoils are for Allaah and the Messenger.’ So fear Allaah and adjust all matters of difference among you…” [al-Anfaal 8:1]. But using music is the opposite of this idea of taqwa and  it would distract them from remembering their Lord. Thirdly, using music is one of the customs of the kuffaar, and it is not permitted to imitate them, especially with regard to something that Allaah has forbidden to us in general, such as music. (al-Saheehah, 1/145) 

“No people go astray after having been guided except they developed arguments amongst themselves.” (Saheeh)

Some of them used the hadeeth about the Abyssinians playing in the mosque of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) as evidence that singing is allowed! Al-Bukhaari included this hadeeth in his Saheeh under the heading Baab al-Hiraab wa’l-Daraq Yawm al-‘Eid (Chapter on Spears and Shields on the Day of Eid). Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: This indicates that it is permissible to play with weapons and the like in the mosque, and he applied that to other activities connected with jihaad. (Sharh Muslim). But as al-Haafiz ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: whoever speaks about something which is not his profession will come up with weird ideas such as these.

Some of them use as evidence the hadeeth about the singing of the two young girls, which we have discussed above, but we will quote what Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, because it is valuable:

I am amazed that you quote as evidence for allowing listening to sophisticated songs the report which we mentioned about how two young girls who were below the age of puberty sang to a young woman on the day of Eid some verses of Arab poetry about bravery in war and other noble characteristics. How can you compare this to that? What is strange is that this hadeeth is one of the strongest proofs against them. The greatest speaker of the truth [Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq] called them musical instruments of the Shaytaan, and the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) approved of that appellation, but he made an exception in the case of these two young girls who had not yet reached the age of responsibility and the words of whose songs could not corrupt anyone who listened to them. Can this be used as evidence to allow what you do and what you know of listening (to music) which includes (bad) things which are not hidden?! Subhaan Allaah! How people can be led astray! (Madaarij al-Saalikeen, 1/493).

Ibn al-Jawzi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) was young at that time; nothing was transmitted from her after she reached the age of puberty except condemnation of singing. Her brother’s son, al-Qaasim ibn Muhammad, condemned singing and said that it was not allowed to listen to it, and he took his knowledge from her. (Talbees Iblees, 229). Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: A group of the Sufis used this hadeeth – the hadeeth about the two young girls – as evidence that singing is allowed and it is allowed to listen to it, whether it is accompanied by instruments or not. This view is sufficiently refuted by the clear statement of ‘Aa’ishah in the following hadeeth, where she says, “They were not singers.” She made it clear that they were not singers as such, although this may be understood from the wording of the report. So we should limit it to what was narrated in the text as regards the occasion and the manner, so as to reduce the risk of going against the principle, i.e., the hadeeth. And Allaah knows best. (Fath al-Baari, 2/442-443).

Some people even have the nerve to suggest that the Sahaabah and Taabi’een listened to singing, and that they saw nothing wrong with it!

Al-Fawzaan (may Allaah preserve him) said: We demand them to show us saheeh isnaads going back to these Sahaabah and Taabi’een, proving what they attribute to them.  Then he said: Imaam Muslim mentioned in his introduction to his Saheeh that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn al-Mubaarak said: The isnaad is part of religion. Were it not for the isnaad, whoever wanted to could say whatever he wanted to.

Some of them said that the ahaadeeth which forbid music are full of faults. No hadeeth was free of being criticized by some of the scholars. Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The ahaadeeth which were narrated concerning music being haraam are not full of faults as has been claimed. Some of them are in Saheeh al-Bukhaari which is the soundest of books after the Book of Allaah, and some of them are hasan and some are da’eef. But because they are so many, with different isnaads, they constitute definitive proof that singing and musical instruments are haraam.

All the imaams agreed on the soundness of the ahaadeeth which forbid singing and musical instruments, apart from Abu Haamid al-Ghazzaali, but al-Ghazzaali did not have knowledge of hadeeth; and Ibn Hazam, but al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) explained where Ibn Hazam went wrong, and Ibn Hazam himself said that if any of (these ahaadeeth) were saheeh, he would follow that. But now they have proof that these reports are saheeh because there are so many books by the scholars which state that these ahaadeeth are saheeh, but they turn their backs on that. They are far more extreme than Ibn Hazam and they are nothing like him, for they are not qualified and cannot be referred to.

Some of them said that the scholars forbade singing because it is mentioned alongside gatherings in which alcohol is drunk and where people stay up late at night for evil purposes.

Al-Shawkaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The response to this is that mentioning these things in conjunction does not only mean that what is haraam is what is joined together in this manner. Otherwise this would mean that zinaa, as mentioned in the ahaadeeth, is not haraam unless it is accompanied by alcohol and the use of musical instruments. By the same token, an aayah such as the following (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, he used not to believe in Allaah, the Most Great, 

And urged not on the feeding of Al‑Miskeen (the poor).” 

[al-Haaqqah 69:33-34] 

would imply that it is not haraam to disbelieve in Allaah unless that is accompanied by not encouraging the feeding of the poor. If it is said that the prohibition of such things one at a time is proven from other reports, the response to that is that the prohibition of musical instruments is also known from other evidence, as mentioned above. (Nayl al-Awtaar, 8/107). 

Some of them said that “idle talk” does not refer to singing; the refutation of that has been mentioned above. Al-Qurtubi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: This – the view that it means singing – is the best that has been said concerning this aayah, and Ibn Mas’ood swore three times by Allaah besides Whom there is no other god, that it does refer to singing. Then he mentioned other imaams who said the same thing. Then he mentioned other views concerning the matter. Then he said: The first view is the best of all that has been said on this matter, because of the marfoo’ hadeeth, and because of the view of the Sahaabah and the Taabi’een. (Tafseer al-Qurtubi). 

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him), after quoting this Tafseer, said: Al-Haakim Abu ‘Abd-Allaah said in the Tafseer of Kitaab al-Mustadrak: Let the one who is seeking this knowledge know that the Tafseer of a Sahaabi who witnessed the revelation is a hadeeth with isnaad according to the two Shaykhs (al-Bukhaari and Muslim). Elsewhere in his book, he said: In our view this hadeeth has the same strength as a marfoo’ report. Although their tafseer is still subject to further examination, it is still more readily acceptable than the tafseer of those who came after them, because they are the most knowledgeable among this ummah of what Allaah meant in his Book. It was revealed among them and they were the first people to be addressed by it. They heard the tafseer from the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in word and in deed. And they were Arabs who understood the true meanings of (Arabic) words, so Muslims should avoid resorting to any other interpretation as much as possible.

Some of them said that singing is a form of worship if the intention is for it to help one to obey Allaah!

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: How strange! What type of faith, light, insight, guidance and knowledge can be gained from listening to tuneful verses and music in which most of what is said is haraam and deserves the wrath and punishment of Allaah and His Messenger? … How can anyone who has the least amount of insight and faith in his heart draw near to Allaah and increase his faith by enjoying something which is hated by Him, and He detests the one who says it and the one who accepts it? (Madaarij al-Saalikeen, 1/485)

Shaykh al-Islam said, discussing the state of the person who has gotten used to listening to singing: Hence you find that those who have gotten used to it and for whom it is like food and drink will never have the desire to listen to the Qur’aan or feel joy when they hear it, and they never find in listening to its verses the same feeling that they find when listening to poetry. Indeed, if they hear the Qur’aan, they hear it with an inattentive heart and talk whilst it is being recited, but if they hear whistling and clapping of hands, they lower their voices and keep still, and pay attention. (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 11/557 ff)

Some say that music and musical instruments have the effect of softening people’s hearts and creating gentle feelings. This is not true, because it provokes physical desires and whims. If it really did what they say, it would have softened the hearts of the musicians and made their attitude and behaviour better, but most of them, as we know, are astray and behave badly.

Conclusion

Perhaps – for fair-minded and objective readers – this summary will make it clear that the view that music is permissible has no firm basis. There are no two views on this matter. So we must advise in the best manner, and then take it step by step and denounce music, if we are able to do so. We should not be deceived by the fame of a man in our own times in which the people who are truly committed to Islam have become strangers. The one who says that singing and musical instruments are permitted is simply supporting the whims of people nowadays, as if the masses were issuing fatwas and he is simply signing them! If a matter arises, they will look at the views of fuqahaa’ on this matter, then they will take the easiest view, as they claim. Then they will look for evidence, or just specious arguments which are worth no more than a lump of dead meat. How often have these people approved things in the name of sharee’ah which in fact have nothing to do with Islam!

Strive to learn your Islam from the Book of your Lord and the Sunnah of your Prophet. Do not say, So-and-so said, for you cannot learn the truth only from men. Learn the truth and then measure people against it. This should be enough for the one who controls his whims and submits himself to his Lord. May what we have written above heal the hearts of the believers and dispel the whispers in the hearts of those who are stricken with insinuating whispers. May it expose everyone who is deviating from the path of Revelation and taking the easiest options, thinking that he has come up with something which  none of the earlier generations ever achieved, and speaking about Allaah without knowledge. They sought to avoid fisq (evildoing) and ended up committing bid’ah – may Allaah not bless them in it. It would have been better for them to follow the path of the believers.


That was VERY long i know, and i doubt any1 is going to read all of it, but it might help all those who believe that listening to todays top 40 is sin-free.

walaykum asalaam
sister reem

and yes, in future i'll try not to post such long replies 8)
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"The Sufis have been the strictest adherents to the sacred law, but they have a wonderful principle: that is be hard on yourself and be gentle with other people." -Shayke Hamza Yusuf

#17 Bok

Bok
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Posted 07 February 2003 - 01:37 PM

Salams & G'day again :)

At the risk of sounding redundant, the simple matter is that the scholars differ. For example Ibn Hazm rejected the anti-music hadiths as false and his definition of "idle talk" in 31: was not singing but:

"This verse condemns a particular behavior, that of doing something to mock the path of Allah. Anyone who does this is an unbeliever; if he even should buy a copy of the Qur'an, doing so in order to make it the object of his mockery and thereby leading people astray, he would be an unbeliever. It is this type of behavior which is condemned by Allah and not the idle talk in which one may indulge for mere relaxation, without intending to lead people astray from the path of Allah." (Ibn Hazm quoted by Sheikh Qaradawi in The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam, 302).

So it's not enough simply to say that the "idle talk" prohibited in the Qur'an refers to singing even though some scholars take that interpretation. Not *all* scholars do!

The article I am guessing comes from the Wahhabi-Salafi sect (the double vowels give it away) and they are loosely Hanbali aligned. Ibn Hanbal was one of the scholars who broadly disapproved of music. If you follow the Hanbali school, more power to you. But not all scholars hold that opinion which is one of the problems I find with Wahhabi-Salafi stuff. They don't give any intimation when there is legitimate difference of opinion. They also tend to be dismissive of scholars who hold a different opinion. So if Sheikh Sambluk, after much study and reflective prayer, decides that generally music is halal except for that which takes a person from the prayers, or glorifies sin etc. and gives a fatwa to that effect, then they tend to say Sheikh Sambluk is making haram halal. But that argument could easily be turned around on them in making halal haram.

And it's not just the Sheikh Sambluks of this world. The esteemed Mujaddid Imam al-Ghazali held that music and singing* are permissible based on his own proofs (which if you are interested you can read in his Ihya).

The article said:

All the imaams agreed on the soundness of the ahaadeeth which forbid singing and musical instruments, apart from Abu Haamid al-Ghazzaali, but al-Ghazzaali did not have knowledge of hadeeth


This is an even bigger problem with the Wahhabi-Salafi sect. They seem to be under the impression that all one needs to be a scholar, is to be an assessor of hadith. Now vital as the hadith sciences are, they are but one part of the interdependent sciences of Islam which includes jurisprudence, kalam, tasawwuf, tafsir and so on.

For the record, Imam al-Ghazali (may Allah be pleased with him) was an extremely eminent scholar who held professorship at the Nizamiyah University of Baghdad which was recognised as one of the most respected learning institutions of its day. He is recognised by both the mainstream Muslim world and even the non-Muslim west as one of the most outstanding theologians in Islam. One does not dismiss his reputation lightly.


But POVs on this topic go round and round in circles. My original point still stands, that "music" is not prohibited. Because when you chant the Qur'an you are making music. Nasheeds are singing. If you say music and singing are prohibited then you prohibit Qur'an and nasheeds. If you say certain forms of music whether it is wilwal or the types of songs sung by the qaina, are prohibited but some are permissible whether it is military marches or the huda etc., then we are getting closer to the scholarly discussion.

wasalam
Bok


* With the obvious exceptions of that which is denigrating the Prophet or Islam, or takes a person away from their prayers

Another interesting article on the topic is:
http://www.themodern...c/hh/music.html
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#18 reemziez

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Posted 07 February 2003 - 02:33 PM

asalaamo alaykum

i get a feeling this debate will go on forever if i post another big reply =P
just for ur information though, im not a wahabi. That fatwa was given by Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid from www.islam-qa.com, a VERY reliable islamic website indeed :)

I understand that different scholars have different point of views of music.. but regardless to what they all say.. u know that hadiths whereby the prophet (saw) said that the tongue can commit fornication by speach, the eyes can commit fornication by sight, and the ears can commit fornication by hearing bad things.. well if u look at the type of music most teens listen to these days, the ideas portrayed in them are pure EVIL. Islam doesnt allow the things that the top singers these days sing about. So if u listen to these sexually-oriented lyrics, isnt that like fornication of the ears? ..Allah knows best, and may i be forgivven by Him if what i say is incorrect. :(

Walaykum asalaam
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#19 Shibshib

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Posted 07 February 2003 - 03:09 PM

Assalamu `alaikum everyone,

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Sheikh Muhammad Salih al-Munajjid is widely regarded as a salafi/wahhabi scholar. And www.islam-qa.com may very well be a very reliable Islamic webiste, but most people who hold that view are also of the salafi/wahhabi school of thought. I do not say these things perjoratively, but rather just as objective facts.

well if u look at the type of music most teens listen to these days, the ideas portrayed in them are pure EVIL. Islam doesnt allow the things that the top singers these days sing about. So if u listen to these sexually-oriented lyrics, isnt that like fornication of the ears?


I think that's a fair point sis. But of-course, it has nothing to do with the topic of music. All scholars, even those who hold that music is halal, do not countenance listening or watching sexually explicit material.

I guess Bok is objecting to that being a pretext for a blanket prohibition on any and all forms of musical expression, and the intolerance of those who do not profess to hold such a view. It is one thing to have concerns about people wanting to watch J-Lo filmclips all day. It is quite another to become a fatwa-wielding nusiance who takes out a big stick whenever someone is listening to Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons' and proceeds to start whacking.

Ma salaama,

Shibshib.
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#20 reemziez

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Posted 07 February 2003 - 04:20 PM

asalaamo alaykum

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Sheikh Muhammad Salih al-Munajjid is widely regarded as a salafi/wahhabi scholar.


i ...never knew that. shocking though.. i ALWAYS use www.islam-qa.com for islamic sources. :(

It is one thing to have concerns about people wanting to watch J-Lo filmclips all day. It is quite another to become a fatwa-wielding nusiance who takes out a big stick whenever someone is listening to Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons' and proceeds to start whacking.


i totally agree. But to stay on the safe side, i just listen to nasheeds :)

ma3asalaamziez
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#21 Bok

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Posted 07 February 2003 - 04:39 PM

well if u look at the type of music most teens listen to these days, the ideas portrayed in them are pure EVIL.


Salams,

Yeah but that's a completely different issue. I don't think there is any scholar who would approve of music that includes lyrics that are misogynistic, glorify sex outside of marriage, racism etc.

You mention that to be on the safe side you only listen to nasheeds, and I would say that's a proactive response to a lot of the negative material that is spewing out from the music industry these days.

To be honest, these days I am starting to think the "idle talk" we have to worry about comes from the telly. (And I am saying this as someone who owns a telly and does enjoy the occasional *cough* flight from reality). I spent five stress-free weeks without access to a telly last year, and I definitely am starting to think getting rid of the thing is a more positive way to live my life.

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#22 taqwa

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Posted 07 February 2003 - 04:50 PM

Salams & G'day again :)

At the risk of sounding redundant, the simple matter is that the scholars differ.  For example Ibn Hazm rejected the anti-music hadiths as false and his definition of "idle talk" in 31: was not singing but:

"This verse condemns a particular behavior, that of doing something to mock the path of Allah.  Anyone who does this is an unbeliever; if he even should buy a copy of the Qur'an, doing so in order to make it the object of his mockery and thereby leading people astray, he would be an unbeliever.  It is this type of behavior which is condemned by Allah and not the idle talk in which one may indulge for mere relaxation, without intending to lead people astray from the path of Allah." (Ibn Hazm quoted by Sheikh Qaradawi in The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam, 302).

So it's not enough simply to say that the "idle talk" prohibited in the Qur'an refers to singing even though some scholars take that interpretation.  Not *all* scholars do!

The article I am guessing comes from the Wahhabi-Salafi sect (the double vowels give it away) and they are loosely Hanbali aligned.  Ibn Hanbal was one of the scholars who broadly disapproved of music.  If you follow the Hanbali school, more power to you.  But not all scholars hold that opinion which is one of the problems I find with Wahhabi-Salafi stuff.  They don't give any intimation when there is legitimate difference of opinion.  They also tend to be dismissive of scholars who hold a different opinion.  So if Sheikh Sambluk, after much study and reflective prayer, decides that generally music is halal except for that which takes a person from the prayers, or glorifies sin etc. and gives a fatwa to that effect, then they tend to say Sheikh Sambluk is making haram halal.  But that argument could easily be turned around on them in making halal haram.

And it's not just the Sheikh Sambluks of this world.  The esteemed Mujaddid Imam al-Ghazali held that music and singing* are permissible based on his own proofs (which if you are interested you can read in his Ihya).

The article said:

All the imaams agreed on the soundness of the ahaadeeth which forbid singing and musical instruments, apart from Abu Haamid al-Ghazzaali, but al-Ghazzaali did not have knowledge of hadeeth


This is an even bigger problem with the Wahhabi-Salafi sect. They seem to be under the impression that all one needs to be a scholar, is to be an assessor of hadith. Now vital as the hadith sciences are, they are but one part of the interdependent sciences of Islam which includes jurisprudence, kalam, tasawwuf, tafsir and so on.

For the record, Imam al-Ghazali (may Allah be pleased with him) was an extremely eminent scholar who held professorship at the Nizamiyah University of Baghdad which was recognised as one of the most respected learning institutions of its day. He is recognised by both the mainstream Muslim world and even the non-Muslim west as one of the most outstanding theologians in Islam. One does not dismiss his reputation lightly.


But POVs on this topic go round and round in circles. My original point still stands, that "music" is not prohibited. Because when you chant the Qur'an you are making music. Nasheeds are singing. If you say music and singing are prohibited then you prohibit Qur'an and nasheeds. If you say certain forms of music whether it is wilwal or the types of songs sung by the qaina, are prohibited but some are permissible whether it is military marches or the huda etc., then we are getting closer to the scholarly discussion.

wasalam
Bok


* With the obvious exceptions of that which is denigrating the Prophet or Islam, or takes a person away from their prayers

Another interesting article on the topic is:http://www.themodern...c/hh/music.html


Bok: Why do you keep saying the Quran can be classified as music? You're relying on that definition you got from the English dictionary where any kind of rhythmic sound is considered music. That is not important, what IS important is the shari'ah definition of music.

Also, Imam Ghazzali may have been a great scholar, but I dont think his expertise was in the hadith sciences. Also, isnt there a hadith which talks about people in the future making illegal sexual intercourse, consumption of alcohol, and musical intruments halal? I dont remember the exact wording.
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#23 Bok

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Posted 07 February 2003 - 05:08 PM

Bok: Why do you keep saying the Quran can be classified as music? You're relying on that definition you got from the English dictionary where any kind of rhythmic sound is considered music. That is not important, what IS important is the shari'ah definition of music. 


It's precisely my point! No where in any book of tafsir will you find the word "music". It's an English word. By the English definition of the word the recitation of the Qur'an is music. So when people come along and say that music is prohibited I am trying to point out how imprecise that language is!

Also, Imam Ghazzali may have been a great scholar, but I dont think his expertise was in the hadith sciences.


Fine but being a hadith scholar is not the sole qualifying attribute of being an authoritative voice in Islam. In fact being a hadith scholar qualifies you to talk about the science of hadith *not* jurisprudence. It is up to the scholars of jurisprudence to work with the material provided to them by hadith scholars but to use their skills in the science of fiqh to teach us about haram, halal etc.

Also, isnt there a hadith which talks about people in the future making illegal sexual intercourse, consumption of alcohol, and musical intruments halal? I dont remember the exact wording.


Well Ibn Hazm held that all of the anti-music hadiths were weak and that's his perogative as a scholar. All I was doing was pointing out that not all scholars give weight to the anti-music argument.

Ultimately I think if you study the history of music in Muslim cultures I think we can generally discern a few points:

* Pre-Islamic music included the practice of putting poetry to song and this art form was used in a denigratory fashion towards the Prophet and Islam

* The Prophet himself was generally not in the habit of spending his time listening to music (except for a few brief times when he allowed himself relaxation such as at Eid or at weddings). Given the mission and duty that Allah required of him, this is hardly surprising. I imagine if there were tellies around in the first century that he probably wouldn't have watched much of it either. Nor indulged in many of the "hobbies" that we use to wile away our time. From the above two points we receive ahadith that express dislike or prohibition some of forms of music and singing.

* Music however did appear in early Islamic history, such as at the above mentioned Eids and weddings, going into battle, going on pilgrimage and other incidental moments. From this we receive ahadith that express a neutral or positive attitude towards some forms of music and singing.

* In Islamic history there were scholars who erred on the side of caution and expressed disapproval towards a variety of musically related things. On the other hand, Islam also contains a rich tradition of tasawwuf which has traditionally accepted forms of music as legitimate and praiseworthy

* In the dynastic period of Islam, there arose a class of people who were professional musicians. They were generally disapproved of by the scholarly elite (especially given that they tended to play music in less than sanguinous contexts). Nevertheless the upperclasses employed their services and enjoyed their fruit.

* The intellectual study of music was not seen to be negative, as a number of highly esteemed scholars have written treatises, played instruments themselves and written volumes on music theory, from which the Western world owes the debt of a musical heritage.

* In the modern world "music" has again become a site of contention for those who would like to take a puritanical approach to Islam. While puritanism has always existed alongside mainstream Islam (including as practiced by the mystic ascetics such as Hasan al-Basri) nevertheless it is feature of the iconoclastic Wahhabi-Salafi sect to divorce the practice of Islam from any cultural matrix. Along with this comes the complete censure of cultural art forms including music.

* Modern Muslims are also subject to the influence of Western globalisation through the mass media including the music industry. It is fairly safe to say that the industry as a machine does not run along any sort of moral or ethical line, and this can be seen in the increasing emphasis on sexuality (and even racism and misogyny in the case of 'gangsta-rap') that occurs in the lyrics and music videos produced by the industry.

* More people in our society are exposed to "music" than at any other time in history. When you walk into shopping centres, turn on the television or radio, even walking down the street hearing cars blasting by, in elevators, in schools, in a plethora of venues, you are being exposed to music.

* Muslims have the responsibility to assess what type of influences they allow into their lives.

Bok
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#24 reemziez

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Posted 07 February 2003 - 05:11 PM

asalaamo alaykum again

Also, isnt there a hadith which talks about people in the future making illegal sexual intercourse, consumption of alcohol, and musical intruments halal? I dont remember the exact wording.


i remember that hadith too... and if im not mistaken, it was one of the signs of the day of judgment.. the fact that all these things will be considered lawful.

anyhowz, if anyone wants to look for some good nasheeds sites, check out www.mynaraps.com (islamic raps!), http://shop.store.ya...labe/index.html, www.mountainoflight.com, and http://www.onlineisl...ds-tape-cd.html. these are the ones i use most often. bytheway, david wharnsby-ali and raihan are the best! :D


To be honest, these days I am starting to think the "idle talk" we have to worry about comes from the telly. (And I am saying this as someone who owns a telly and does enjoy the occasional *cough* flight from reality). I spent five stress-free weeks without access to a telly last year, and I definitely am starting to think getting rid of the thing is a more positive way to live my life. 


brother bok! even the tv can be used for islamic purposes, just like music :) instead of watching the "idle talk" stuff, i found "The Message" to be VERY interesting and informative :) and recently "The Legacy of the Prophet". All these too can be bought from some of the sites that i mentioned above (from astrolabe media for sure).:)

ma3asalaamziez
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#25 taqwa

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Posted 07 February 2003 - 06:06 PM

Sahih Al-Bukhari Volume 7, Book 69, hadith #494v
Narrated Abu 'Amir (raa) or Abu Malik Al-Ash'ari (raa) that he heard the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) saying, "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 [ma'aazif] as lawful. And (from them), there will be some who will stay near the side of a mountain, and in the evening their shepherd will come to them with their sheep and ask them for something, but they will say to him, 'Return to us tomorrow.' Allah will destroy them during the night and will let the mountain fall on them, and Allah will transform the rest of them into monkeys and pigs and they will remain so till the Day of Resurrection."

Are you saying that has been classified as a weak hadith? Sahih Bukhari :shock:
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Posted 07 February 2003 - 07:06 PM

salams

whats the use bok..... try as you may, bring as many scholars opinions as you may. reference the ahadith, Quran, scholars, and definitive meanings of words from now and till you die and some people will always have their set of bukhari to battle you with. *shrugs*

i too studied music in detail throughout highschool and received formal lessons for four years privately. having almost gone onto recording a cd with an ex band of ours i hear what your saying and can appreciate everything you said.

others will be bent on superficial definitions. let them be.

im gonna sing and recite till my throat drops and listen to pleasurable tunes till i go deaf. even then ill still feel the rythm n harmony of sound. once its in you, you cant let it go and you will taste a sweetness never before tasted when you hear the Quran recited in its beautiful forms. Why??? because u know the intricate details about music and can appreciate it when excellence in recital or palying is heard.


salams

wesam

#27 GreenOz

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Posted 07 February 2003 - 07:53 PM

Salam people

So has the fat lady sung yet, or is this going to go on and on :wink:

Peace
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#28 taqwa

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Posted 07 February 2003 - 08:00 PM

Anil8urself: I only asked him if he was referring to that hadith being weak or not. I didnt use that to make a 'fatwa' did I?
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#29 reemziez

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Posted 07 February 2003 - 08:01 PM

Asalaamo alaykum

others will be bent on superficial definitions. let them be. 

Superficial denfinations?!?! sahi bukhari is the most authentic set of hadiths!

and bro/sis, i believe i was just as addicted, if not more, to music as u r now. i studied it for years and was the top student in my class. But in 2001 i threw away all my western pop cd's and never attended a single music lesson after that because i read that artical that i posted earlier. Sometimes for islam u have to make sacrifices. But now, as i said b4, i only listen to nasheeds, and BELIEVE me, if u love music, listen to Yusuf Islam's songs, he knows all about music! he was one of the most successful singers back in the 70s, as Cat Stevens. His islamic songs are so peaceful... he praises Allah and the prophet (saw) in the sweetest tunes. and if u wanna start or keep a career in singing, y not sing about the beauty of Islam? many muslims do it, unfortunately no1 that famous in australia has done it so far. maybe u could be the first? :)

your choice ofcourse,

peace n blessings
ma3asalaamziez
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#30 GreenOz

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Posted 07 February 2003 - 08:18 PM

Salams

Ok I aint gonna give any Islamic references, but just give a little personal experience that can easilly be transferred to those funky top 40 sexually explicit Sugar Daddy, M & M, Shania sane?, J-Low, Erotic Avenue, Minogue no1 and Minogue wannabee no. 2 type of songs...

i remember in my musical hey days of listening to the latest songs in da car, while studying, while cooking, etc that it used to interfere in my prayers. How? While i would be reciting the surahs in prayer, my brain is also reciting the songs I was listening to on the radio. A few years ago, I kicked da habit and I am no music distraction free in prayer.

BUT how quickly that can easily creep back as last week i listened to a song on the radio and a few hours later while I was praying and i found it being repeated in me head and it was JUST ONE SONG! And this was years of barring myself from those latest hip hop, r&b, 'cool' songs.

I found that no matter how many anasheeds I listen to, the English ones, that they never interfered in my prayers...so thats cool...what i did with one song, the Celine Dione Titanic theme song is downloaded it with no words...that way i have no way of constantly reciting those words so it doesnt affect my prayers....

Anyways, would like to hear others experiences....(this is just my own experience and doesnt mean everyone else would/should/has felt or experiences this in the same way)

Peace
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