The Religion of Islaam
has made clear the prohibition of Music, as is clear from the Qur'aan,
ahaadeeth of the Messenger
and the understanding of the Companions ,
when all three are taken together.
From the Qur'aan:
Allaah says, what means: "Do you marvel at this statement, and laugh and do not weep, while you amuse yourselves [proudly] in vanities ? Rather, prostrate before Allaah and worship Him [alone]." [Surah An-Najm (The Star) Verse 59 to 62 ]
According to Ibn Abbaas , the word 'saamidoon' in this verse refers to the mushrikeen's habit of singing and playing music noisily whenever they heard the Qur'aan being recited, in order to drown out the reciters voice so that others wouldn't hear it.
Also, Allaah says (regarding Satan) what means: "'And excite any of them whom you can with your voice. Assault them with your cavalry and infantry, be a partner with them in their wealth and children, and make them promises.' But Satan promises them nothing except deceit." [Surah Al-Isra (The Journey by Night) Verse 64]
Some of the taabi'een such as ad-Dahhaak and Mujaahid interpreted Satan's exciting mankind with his voice to mean through the use of music, song and amusement. Ad-Dahhaak said it was the sound of wind instruments. However according to Ibn Abbaas , the voice mentioned in the verse refers to every form of invitation which calls to the disobedience of Allaah the Exalted, which seems to be the most correct interpretation.
Finally, Allaah says what means: "And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks (i.e. music, singing, etc.) to mislead (men) from the Path of Allaah without knowledge, and takes it (the Path of Allaah, the Verses of the Qur'aan) by way of mockery. For such there will be a humiliating torment (in the Hell-fire)." [Surah Luqman (Prophet Luqman) Verse 6]
Ibn Masood said about this verse "I swear by the One other than Whom there is no God that it refers to singing [ghinaa].", and he repeated this three times. Ibn Abbaas said it referred to 'singing and the like' while Jaabir is reported to view its meaning to signify singing and listening to songs. Many taabi'oon such as Mujaahid, Ikrimah, Mak-hool and Umar ibn Shu'ayb viewed it as a censure of music and song.
From the ahaadeeth of the Messenger
Contrary to the commonly held belief, there are a number of authentic narrations from the Prophetic Sunnah which clearly point to the indisputable fact that music, instruments, singing to accompaniment, etc. are objects prohibited by the Islaamic Sharia. The exceptions to this general rule are specific , limited types of innocent singing or chanting without any instrumental accompaniment or to the accompaniment of a simple hand drum (daff) on certain occasions designated by the sunnah.
Unfortunately, many Muslims entertain the misconception that all the ahaadeeth relating to music, singing and musical instruments are either weak (da'eef) or forged (mawdoo') - a position that is untenable.
The Narration of al-Bukhaaree:
The Prophet said : "There will be [at some future time] people from my Ummah who will seek to make lawful fornication, the wearing of silk, wine drinking and the use of musical instruments [ma'aazif]. Some people will stay at the side of the mountain and when their shepherd comes in the evening to ask them for his needs, they will say : 'Return to us tomorrow'. Then Allaah will destroy them during the night by causing the mountain to fall upon them, while He changes others into apes and swine. They will remain in such a state until the Day of Resurrection." al-Jowhari, the author of the ancient dictionary 'as-Sihaah', asserts that ma'aazif signifies musical instruments, al-'aazif indicates one who sings, and the 'azf of the wind is its voice..
Az-Zabeedi also says that ma'aazif are instruments of leisure which are drummed upon or played, like the loot ('ood) , the drum (tanboor), the small hand drum (daff) or other such musical objects.
Ibn Hajar in Fathul-Baaree relates that 'azf is also used to describe singing (ghinaa).
This authentic hadeeth clearly establishes the prohibition of music and singing and this in itself is sufficient for the one who really wishes to see the Truth of the affair. However there are other authentic narrations on the subject that we quote below.
The Narration of Ibn Maajah :
The Messenger of Allaah said : "A people of my Ummah will drink wine, calling it by other than its real name. Merriment will be made for them through the playing of musical instruments and the singing of female singers. Allaah will cleave the earth under them and turn others into apes and swine."
This hadeeth has also been narrated by al-Bayhaaqi and ibn Asaakir, and has been authenticated by the renowned scholar of hadeeth Ibn al-Qayyim.
Narrations of Ahmed bin Hanbal :
The Messenger of Allaah said : "Verily Allaah prohibited wine, gambling and al-koobah; and every intoxicant is prohibited." Sufyan said : " I asked the narrator, Ali bin Badheemah, ' What is al-Koobah?' He answered, 'It is the drum'."
The Messenger of Allaah said : "Verily Allaah has prohibited for my Ummah wine, gambling, a drink distilled from corn, the drum and the lute; while He supplemented me with another Prayer, the witr"
The Narration of Haakim and Others :
That the Messenger of Allaah said : "Verily I did not prohibit weeping [per se], but rather I forbade two voices [sowtayn] which are imbecilic [ahmaq] and sinfully shameless [faajir]: one a voice [singing] to the accompaniment of musical amusement [lahw] and Satan's [wind] instruments; the other, a voice [wailing] due to some calamity, accompanied by striking of the face and tearing of garments. But this [weeping off mine] stems from compassion, and whosoever does not show compassion will not receive it."
This hadeeth is graded Hasan, and has been strengthened by other narrations.
The Narration of Abu Bakr ash-Shaafi'ee : Anas bin Maalik related from the Prophet that "two cursed sounds are that of the [wind] instrument [mizmaar] played on the occasion of joy and grace, and woeful wailing upon the occurrence of adversity."
These narrations should prove sufficient to show the illegality of music and singing to musical accompaniment to the one "has a heart or gives ear while he is heedful." [Surah Qaf Verse 37].
From the statements of the Companions
The Sahaabah were the best people after the Messenger of Allaah , and best understood the deen of Islaam as they understood it directly from the Messenger . The ijmaa' (consensus) of the Sahaabah is therefore binding upon the Muslim Ummah, as is the complete consensus of any generation of scholars on a certain religious issue.
The Companions unanimously agreed upon the prohibition of music and song but allowed particular exceptions specified by the authentic sunnah.
In the preceding sections we have already quoted some of the Sahaabah such as Ibn Masood and Ibn Abbaas . This was also the view of the Four Rightly Guided Khulafaa and the fuqahaa from amongst the Sahaabah .