All praise be to Allah and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah.
Al Akhbar newspaper published in its religious page on Friday, the 6th of Safar 1412 the reply of his eminence, the Mufti, to one of the girls' messages about whether singing and music lawful or not? The newspaper placed a title to the reply of the Mufti reads: The Prophet used to listen to singing and there is nothing in the Qur'an or the Sunnah prohibits singing and music.
The one who ponders over the title finds some mistakes that are not hidden from a minor knowledge seeker in addition to the wrong content of the reply and using Hadiths in their improper positions or using weird interpretations. We shall not refute the reply of Al Mufti, but we shall explain only the interpretation of the Ayah concerning singing, the Hadiths, and some of the sayings of grand Companions about singing; then we shall leave the judgment to our readers.
As for the Ayahs of the Glorious Qur'an and the Hadith about singing particularly Allah's Saying in Surat Luqman: "And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks (i.e. music, singing, etc.) to mislead (men) from the Path of Allâh without knowledge, and takes it (the Path of Allâh or the Verses of the Qur'ân) by way of mockery. For such there will be a humiliating torment (in the Hell-fire)." [Surat Luqman: 6], Al Mufti said: Idle talks only means singing which is untrue because idle talks is not limited only to ugly singing, but includes any speech that diverts the heart from Allah's Obedience.
We agree with the Mufti that idle talks are not limited only to ugly signing, but the Ayah was originally revealed regarding singing as was reported in many of Tafsir books such as Tafsir Al Wahidy and others. Most commentators said that the meaning of idle talks is singing as said by Ibn `Abbas in the narration of Sa`id ibn Jubayr. When `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud was asked about the following Ayah: "And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks (i.e. music, singing, etc.)" [Surat Luqman: 6], he said: By Him who has no partner, it is singing. It was authentically reported from `Abdullah ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) that a man said to Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him): What are you saying about singing? Is it lawful or not? Ibn `Abbas said: I cannot say about it unlawful but after finding it in the book of Allah. The man said: Then, is it lawful? Ibn `Abbas said: I cannot say that. Then he said: Have you seen the truth and falsehood when they come on the Day of Recompense, where will be singing? The man said: It will be with falsehood. Ibn `Abbas said: Go, for you have given Fatwa to yourself. These are some sayings of the Companions about the Tafsir of the Ayah. Al Hakim Abu `Abdullah said in the chapter on Tafsir in his Mustadrak: "Let the knowledge seeker know that the Tafsir of a Companion who witnessed the descending of revelation according to Al Bukhari and Muslim is an authentic Hadith."
Ibn Al Qayyim (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) commented on the speech of `Abdullah ibn `Abbas regarding singing: "That was the reply of Ibn `Abbas to the singing of bedouins which did not contain praising to alcohol, adultery, homosexuality, describing marriageable women, voices of singers, and the sounds of music. Their singing did not contain any of these items, but if Ibn `Abbas were present today (at the time of Ibn Al Qayyim), he would have said something else; so what will happen if the Companions had seen what is happening in our time? The harm of singing is greater than drinking of alcohol."
The one who ponders over this Ayah shall realize that the Ayah is Makkan which means that Allah prohibited singing before prohibiting alcohol which was prohibited later in Medina after migration. This is a proof that singing is more harmful than alcohol because of its effect on hearts and souls where it blocks the way before hearts to obey the words of Allah and listen to His Commands. Ibn Al Qayyim (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) mentioned in his book Ighathat Al Lahfan some names to signing which was reported in the Glorious Qur'an and explained the views of the Companions and Successors about these names; and whoever wants more may refer to the mentioned book.
This is about singing, but as for music and musical instruments, explicit Hadiths were reported about the prohibition of using these instruments or listening to them. Ibn Majah reported in his Sunan on the authority of Abu Malik Al Ash`ary and Al Bukhari graded it as authentic in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Some of my people will assuredly drink wine calling it by another name, and musical instruments will be played for them and singing girls (will sing for them). Allah will cause the earth to swallow them up, and will turn them into monkeys and pigs." Likewise the Hadith of `Imran ibn Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) which was reported by At-Tirmidhy in which the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "This nation will face being swallowed up, metamorphosis and pelting rain. A man among the Muslims submitted, O Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and when will that be? He said: When singing girls and musical instruments show themselves up and wine is drunk."
Some people who permitted singing and music had overpassed all these texts and that severe threat, and tried to find a way out holding the Hadith of the two slave girls as a proof for deeming singing lawful as the Mufti did so.
It was reported in Sahih Al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim on the authority of `A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: "Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) came to my house while two girls were singing beside me the songs of Bu'ath (a story about the war between the two tribes of the Ansar, the Khazraj and the Aus, before Islam). The Prophet (peace be upon him) lay down and turned his face to the other side. Then Abu Bakr came and spoke to me harshly saying: "Musical instruments of Satan near the Prophet (peace be upon him)?" Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) turned his face towards him and said: "Leave them." When Abu Bakr became inattentive, I signaled to those girls to go out and they left."
The one who ponders over the previous Hadith finds the following: The two young singers were young slave girls who were singing in the house of the Prophet (peace be upon him) for `A'ishah and not before the audience as it is the case today where male and female singers swing as if they are afflicted by demons. Moreover, the two young girls were singing about the day of Bu`ath in which a great famous battle took place between Aws and Khazraj which means that singing was about courage and power and not the description of women and love as it is the case today.
Let us open the way before Ibn Al Qayyim's comment on the Hadith, for he was the best man who can explain that. He said: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) did not prevent Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) from naming it "the music of Satan" despite the fact that he approved the action of the two girls because they have not reached the puberty age yet and were singing words about war and courage, and the day was the day of `Eid. However, today people opened the way for the voice of a beautiful young woman or a young man whose voices and pictures are considered temptations, singing words about adultery, lewdness, and drinking alcohol along with musical instruments which the Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibited, clapping, and dancing…etcs. This deniable form of singing has not been allowable by all religious men let alone the people of knowledge and faith. People who deem that lawful hold the Hadith of the two young slave-girls as a proof, forgetting that they were young, singing the words of war and courage, on the day of `Eid, and without using a drum, dancing, or clapping. We say: We do not prohibit or deem reprehensible singing that was done in the house of the Messenger of Allah, but we do prohibit any singing that violates these conditions.
What is the opinion of his eminence, the Mufti, in the sayings of grand Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) and the views of the Successors of the best centuries? We have not heard any of them deem lawful signing or music or said that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to listen to singing or listened one day to musical instruments while the revelation was coming down day and night. He spent all his lifetime in Jihad and calling to Allah (Glory be to Him). On the other hand, that does not contradict the principle of having fun or entertainment which may help a person obey Allah, not to divert him away from him. May Allah forgive us, forgive you, and all Muslims. May Allah make us see our defects. May Allah grant us understanding of His Religion. He is All-Able over everything, and praise be to Allah in the first and at the end, and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and his Companions.
Please write: COMMENT in this box to verify that you are human