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Islamic Nasheeds ( poems )

Were Nasheeds created to distance people away from the Qur’an?

Question:

“Anashid were created by innovators to distance people away from the Qur`an.” Imam Shafi’i, ● [مجموع الفتاوى لإبن تيمية ١١\٥٣٢]

What are your thoughts on this? Should we avoid listening to modern day anasheeds?

 

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

 

Before answering your query, we shall quote the original text along with the translation for the purpose of clarification:

سُئِلَ شَيْخُ الْإِسْلَامِ – قَدَّسَ اللَّهُ رُوحَهُ -:

عَنْ جَمَاعَةٍ اجْتَمَعُوا عَلَى أُمُورٍ مُتَنَوِّعَةٍ فِي الْفَسَادِ؛ وَتَعَلَّقَ كُلٌّ مِنْهُمْ بِسَبَبِ؛ وَاسْتَنَدَ إلَى قَوْلٍ قِيلَ. فَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ هُوَ مُكِبٌّ عَلَى حُضُورِ السَّمَّاعَاتِ الْمُحَرَّمَةِ الَّتِي تَعْمَلُ بِالدُّفُوفِ الَّتِي بِالْجَلَاجِلِ وَالشَّبَّابَاتِ الْمَعْرُوفَةِ فِي هَذَا الزَّمَانِ. وَيَحْضُرُهَا المردان والنسوان وَيَسْتَنِدُ فِي ذَلِكَ إلَى دَعْوَى جَوَازِ حُضُورِ السَّمَاعِ عِنْدَ الشَّافِعِيِّ وَغَيْرِهِ مِنْ الْأَئِمَّةِ.


فَأَجَابَ:

أَمَّا السَّمَّاعَاتُ الْمُشْتَمِلَةُ عَلَى الْغِنَاءِ وَالصَّفَّارَاتِ وَالدُّفُوفِ المصلصلات: فَقَدْ اتَّفَقَ أَئِمَّةُ الدِّينِ أَنَّهَا لَيْسَتْ مِنْ جِنْسِ الْقُرَبِ وَالطَّاعَاتِ بَلْ وَلَوْ لَمْ يَكُنْ عَلَى ذَلِكَ كَالْغِنَاءِ وَالتَّصْفِيقِ بِالْيَدِ وَالضَّرْبِ بِالْقَضِيبِ وَالرَّقْصِ وَنَحْوِ ذَلِكَ فَهَذَا وَإِنْ كَانَ فِيهِ مَا هُوَ مُبَاحٌ وَفِيهِ مَا هُوَ مَكْرُوهٌ وَفِيهِ مَا هُوَ مَحْظُورٌ أَوْ مُبَاحٌ لِلنِّسَاءِ دُونَ الرِّجَالِ. فَلَا نِزَاعَ بَيْنَ أَئِمَّةِ الدِّينِ أَنَّهُ لَيْسَ مِنْ جِنْسِ الْقُرَبِ وَالطَّاعَاتِ وَالْعِبَادَاتِ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ أَحَدٌ مِنْ الصَّحَابَةِ وَالتَّابِعِينَ وَأَئِمَّةِ الدِّينِ وَغَيْرِهِمْ مِنْ مَشَايِخِ الدِّينِ يَحْضُرُونَ مِثْلَ هَذَا السَّمَاعِ لَا بِالْحِجَازِ وَلَا مِصْرَ وَلَا الشَّامِ وَلَا الْعِرَاقِ وَلَا خُرَاسَانَ. لَا فِي زَمَنِ الصَّحَابَةِ وَالتَّابِعِينَ وَلَا تَابِعِيهِمْ. لَكِنْ حَدَثَ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ: فَكَانَ طَائِفَةٌ يَجْتَمِعُونَ عَلَى ذَلِكَ وَيُسَمُّونَ الضَّرْبَ بِالْقَضِيبِ عَلَى جَلَاجِلَ وَنَحْوِهِ ” التَّغْبِيرَ “.

قَالَ الْحَسَنُ بْنُ عَبْدِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَرَّانِي: سَمِعْت الشَّافِعِيَّ يَقُولُ: خَلَّفْت بِبَغْدَادَ شَيْئًا أَحْدَثَتْهُ الزَّنَادِقَةُ يُسَمُّونَهُ التَّغْبِيرَ يَصُدُّونَ بِهِ النَّاسَ عَنْ الْقُرْآنِ وَهَذَا مِنْ كَمَالِ مَعْرِفَةِ الشَّافِعِيِّ وَعِلْمِهِ بِالدِّينِ فَإِنَّ الْقَلْبَ إذَا تَعَوَّدَ سَمَاعَ الْقَصَائِدِ وَالْأَبْيَاتِ وَالْتَذَّ بِهَا حَصَلَ لَهُ نُفُورٌ عَنْ سَمَاعِ الْقُرْآنِ وَالْآيَاتِ فَيَسْتَغْنِي بِسَمَاعِ الشَّيْطَانِ عَنْ سَمَاعِ الرَّحْمَنِ

Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) was asked about a group of people who gather for a variety of corrupt purposes (i.e. for gatherings involving music and singing). And each one of them adhered to (one or another) reason and he supports his reasoning by relying on some opinion which has been mentioned (by a scholar). From amongst them are those who are ardent on joining such haram musical gatherings that play drums that have bells and flutes that have become popular in our time. (Such gatherings) that are attended by men and women. In order to support such gatherings, they claim that Imam Shafi`i and other Imams (rahimahumullah) allowed people to attend such gatherings of music and singing.

Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) replied:

 In regard to musical gatherings that include singing and the playing of flutes and tambourines that jingle, the Imams of this Din are unanimous that such gatherings are not a means of gaining closeness to Allah or considered to be acts of virtue. Rather, even if such gatherings did not include singing, clapping, beating drums, dancing, etc. and even if there are certain elements in these gatherings out of which some are permissible, some are disliked, and some are impermissible or allowed for women but not men, there is no difference between the Imams of this Din that such things are not from acts that bring one closer to Allah or are considered to be acts of virtue or acts of worship. (Furthermore,) none from the Sahabah, Tabi`ūn, Imams of this Din, or others scholars would attend such gatherings (of music and singing); not in Hijaz, not in Misr, not in Sham, not in `Iraq, and not in Khurasan. (Such gatherings were never established;) not in the times of the Sahabah, the Tabi`ūn, or in the time of the Tab` Tabi`in. However, such gatherings were invented after their time. There would be a group of such people who would gather for such things and they would call this playing of drums, bells, etc. “Taghbir.”

Imam Hasan ibn `Abd al-`Aziz al-Harrani (rahimahulah) says, “I heard Imam Shafi`i (rahimahullah) saying: ‘I left Baghdad behind as the heretics amongst them invented something which they call Taghbir by which they hinder people from (coming towards) the Qur’an.’ This (action of Imam Shafi`i) is a sign of Imam Shafi`i’s (rahimahullah) deep insight and his knowledge of Din. For it is certain that when the heart becomes accustomed to listening to such verses and lines of poetry and it starts to feel pleasure from it as well, then it forms a sort of distaste for listening to the Qur’an and its verses. In the end, it (i.e. the heart) feels that listening to the Shaytan (i.e. poetry with music and singing) suffices in place of listening to Al-Rahman (i.e. the words of Allah Ta`ala).[1]

It goes without saying that the words used in your query are an absolute misquotation of Imam Shafi`i (rahimahullah) and are also completely out of context. In matters of Din, we should carefully consider the sources of our knowledge and be very careful when quoting such great scholars of the past.

Nevertheless, it should be clear that the quotation above is not referring all type of anashid we are used to hearing today; rather, it is referring to the gatherings of a group of deviant people who would hold congregations where they would sing Islamic songs and poetry that was often accompanied by musical instruments. These people would further believe that such musical gatherings are a form of attaining proximity with Allah Ta`ala. Some would even declare such congregations as acts of virtue where those attending would be deserving of reward.

In the reference above, Imam Shafi`i (rahimahullah) is expressing his fear about the eventual outcome of holding such gatherings; if such gatherings continue to take place, people’s hearts will become infatuated by “Islamic” musical recitals and their love for hearing the Qur’an would be overtaken by the love of these musical gatherings. This is besides the fact that such gatherings would include musical instruments, the use of which is categorically declared as haram.[2]

 

On the other hand, if a nashid does not include any musical instruments[3], the subject of the nashid is acceptable and free of derogatory terms[4], and the one reciting is not a grown woman (i.e. if it is a young female child, it is permissible to hear her voice)[5], then it is permissible to listen to such anashid on the condition that it does not lead one to be negligent in one’s Islamic obligations.[6] As a matter of fact, reciting such forms of Islamic poetry, even in public, is established from the ahadith.[7] Consider the following narrations:

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، قَالَتْ: كَانَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَضَعُ لِحَسَّانَ مِنْبَرًا فِي الْمَسْجِدِ يَقُومُ عَلَيْهِ قَائِمًا يُفَاخِرُ عَنْ رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، أَوْ قَالَتْ: يُنَافِحُ عَنْ رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَيَقُولُ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُؤَيِّدُ حَسَّانَ بِرُوحِ القُدُسِ مَا يُفَاخِرُ، أَوْ يُنَافِحُ عَنْ رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ.

`Aishah (radiyallahu `anha) narrates that the Messenger of Allah  had a minbar placed in the Masjid for Hassan (radiyallahu `anh) to stand to boast (poetically) about the Messenger of Allah ” – or she said: “to defend the Messenger of Allah . And the Messenger of Allah  said: ‘Indeed Allah has aided Hassan with the holy spirit (Jibril) as he boasts about – or – defends the Messenger of Allah .”[8]

 

عَنْ سَعِيدِ بْنِ المُسَيِّبِ، قَالَ: مَرَّ عُمَرُ فِي المَسْجِدِ وَحَسَّانُ يُنْشِدُ فَقَالَ: كُنْتُ أُنْشِدُ فِيهِ، وَفِيهِ مَنْ هُوَ خَيْرٌ مِنْكَ، ثُمَّ التَفَتَ إِلَى أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، فَقَالَ: أَنْشُدُكَ بِاللَّهِ، أَسَمِعْتَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُ: «أَجِبْ عَنِّي، اللَّهُمَّ أَيِّدْهُ بِرُوحِ القُدُسِ؟» قَالَ: نَعَمْ

Sa`id ibn al-Masayyib (rahimahullah) narrates that `Umar (radiyallahu `anh) came to the Masjid while Hassan was reciting a poem. (`Umar radiyallahu `anh disapproved of that). On that Hassan said, “I used to recite poetry in this very Masjid in the presence of one (i.e. the Prophet  ) who was better than you.” Then he turned towards Abū Hurayrah (radiyallahu `anh) and said (to him), “I ask you by Allah, did you hear Allah’s Messenger  saying (to me), “Retort on my behalf. O
Allah! Support him (i.e. Hassan) with the Holy Spirit?” Abu Hurayrah said, “Yes.”[9]

 

It is important to point out that today many artists have incorporated music and other haram elements into their anashid. Often we listen to radio stations playing anashid with instruments such as drums and pianos playing in the background. This deceives the Muslim public into thinking that as long as the subject of a nashid is Islamic, then it is completely permissible to listen to such a nashid even if it incorporates music. Not only is this contrary to the style of poetry permitted in the ahadith[10], it is also against the consensus of all four schools of thought.[11] This is in fact a manifestation of the exact fear that Imam Shafi`i (rahimahullah) exhibited when he made the statement quoted above.

Especially in nowadays times, nasheeds are a very important alternative to the haraam hollywood /  bollywood, mtv, rap / pop culture which is so prevalent amongst muslims more so the youth who are drowning in the satanic western music.

In conclusion, the statement of Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) is referring to a specific portrayal of Islamic poetry that involves haram elements (such as music) and further defocuses people from attending to  their Islamic duties and other rewarding acts of worship such as reading the Qur’an. However, if such gatherings of anashid conform to the conditions mentioned above, then they will not be included under this prohibition.

And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Bilal Mohammad

Student Darul Iftaa
New Jersey, USA

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

www.daruliftaa.net

 

[1] Majmū` al-Fatāwā, v. 11 p. 531-532, Published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

[2] Fatāwā Mahmūdiyyah, v. 17 p. 435, Maktabah Mahmūdiyyah

[قال الحصكفيفِي السِّرَاجِ وَدَلَّتْ الْمَسْأَلَةُ أَنَّ الْمَلَاهِيَ كُلَّهَا حَرَامٌ وَيُدْخَلُ عَلَيْهِمْ بِلَا إذْنِهِمْ لِإِنْكَارِ الْمُنْكَرِ قَالَ ابْنُ مَسْعُودٍ صَوْتُ اللَّهْوِ وَالْغِنَاءِ يُنْبِتُ النِّفَاقَ فِي الْقَلْبِ كَمَا يُنْبِتُ الْمَاءُ النَّبَاتَ. قُلْت: وَفِي الْبَزَّازِيَّةِ اسْتِمَاعُ صَوْتِ الْمَلَاهِي كَضَرْبِ قَصَبٍ وَنَحْوِهِ حَرَامٌ لِقَوْلِهِ – عَلَيْهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ – «اسْتِمَاعُ الْمَلَاهِي مَعْصِيَةٌ وَالْجُلُوسُ عَلَيْهَا فِسْقٌ وَالتَّلَذُّذُ بِهَا كُفْرٌ» أَيْ بِالنِّعْمَةِ فَصَرْفُ الْجَوَارِحِ إلَى غَيْرِ مَا خُلِقَ لِأَجْلِهِ كُفْرٌ بِالنِّعْمَةِ لَا شُكْرٌ فَالْوَاجِبُ كُلُّ الْوَاجِبِ أَنْ يَجْتَنِبَ كَيْ لَا يَسْمَعَ لِمَا رُوِيَ «أَنَّهُ – عَلَيْهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ – أَدْخَلَ أُصْبُعَهُ فِي أُذُنِهِ عِنْدَ سَمَاعِهِ»

[قال ابن عابدين] (قَوْلُهُ وَدَلَّتْ الْمَسْأَلَةُ إلَخْ) لِأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا أَطْلَقَ اسْمَ اللَّعِبِ وَالْغِنَاءِ فَاللَّعِبُ وَهُوَ اللَّهْوُ حَرَامٌ بِالنَّصِّ قَالَ – عَلَيْهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ – «لَهْوُ الْمُؤْمِنِ بَاطِلٌ إلَّا فِي ثَلَاثٍ: تَأْدِيبُهُ فَرَسَهُ» وَفِي رِوَايَةٍ «مُلَاعَبَتُهُ بِفَرَسِهِ وَرَمْيُهُ عَنْ قَوْسِهِ وَمُلَاعَبَتُهُ مَعَ أَهْلِهِ» كِفَايَةٌ وَكَذَا قَوْلُ الْإِمَامِ اُبْتُلِيت دَلِيلٌ عَلَى أَنَّهُ حَرَامٌ إتْقَانِيٌّ، وَفِيهِ كَلَامٌ لِابْنِ الْكَمَالِ فِيهِ فَرَاجِعْهُ مُتَأَمِّلًا…(قَوْلُهُ كَضَرْبِ قَصَبٍ) الَّذِي رَأَيْته فِي الْبَزَّازِيَّةِ قَضِيبٍ بِالضَّادِ الْمُعْجَمَةِ وَالْمُثَنَّاةِ بَعْدَهَا

(رد المحتار علي الدر المختار، ج ٦، ص ٣٤٨، ايج ايم سعيد كمبني)

[3] Najmul Fatāwā, v. 1 p. 99, Dārul `Ulūm Yāsīn al-Qur’ān

[4] Imdādul Fatāwā, v. 6 p. 197, Maktabah Dārul `Ulūm Karāchī

[5] Kitabul Fatāwā, v. 4 p. 257, Zam Zam Publishers

[6] Fatāwā Mahmūdiyyah, v. 15 p. 280, Darul Iftaa Jāmi`ah Fārūqiyyah

[قال الحصكفي] أَوْ شِعْرٍ إلَّا مَا فِيهِ ذِكْرٌ

[قال ابن عابدين(قَوْلُهُ أَوْ شِعْرٍ إلَخْ) قَالَ فِي الضِّيَاءِ الْمَعْنَوِيِّ: الْعِشْرُونَ أَيْ مِنْ آفَاتِ اللِّسَانِ الشِّعْرُ سُئِلَ عَنْهُ – صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ – فَقَالَ: «كَلَامٌ حَسَنُهُ حَسَنٌ وَقَبِيحُهُ قَبِيحٌ» وَمَعْنَاهُ أَنَّ الشِّعْرَ كَالنَّثْرِ يُحْمَدُ حِينَ يُحْمَدُ وَيُذَمُّ حِينَ يُذَمُّ. وَلَا بَأْسَ بِاسْتِمَاعِ نَشِيدِ الْأَعْرَابِ، وَهُوَ إنْشَادُ الشِّعْرِ مِنْ غَيْرِ لَحْنٍ. وَيَحْرُمُ هَجْوُ مُسْلِمٍ وَلَوْ بِمَا فِيهِ، قَالَ – صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ – «لَأَنْ يَمْتَلِئَ جَوْفُ أَحَدِكُمْ قَيْحًا خَيْرٌ لَهُ مِنْ أَنْ يَمْتَلِئَ شِعْرًا» فَمَا كَانَ مِنْهُ فِي الْوَعْظِ وَالْحِكَمِ وَذِكْرِ نِعَمِ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى وَصِفَةِ الْمُتَّقِينَ فَهُوَ حَسَنٌ، وَمَا كَانَ مِنْ ذِكْرِ الْأَطْلَالِ وَالْأَزْمَانِ وَالْأُمَمِ فَمُبَاحٌ، وَمَا كَانَ مِنْ هَجْوٍ وَسُخْفٍ فَحَرَامٌ، وَمَا كَانَ مِنْ وَصْفِ الْخُدُودِ وَالْقُدُودِ وَالشُّعُورِ فَمَكْرُوهٌ كَذَا فَصَّلَهُ أَبُو اللَّيْثِ السَّمَرْقَنْدِيُّ، وَمَنْ كَثُرَ إنْشَادُهُ وَإِنْشَاؤُهُ حِينَ تَنْزِلُ بِهِ مُهِمَّاتُهُ وَيَجْعَلُهُ مَكْسَبَةً لَهُ تَنْقُصُ مُرُوءَتُهُ وَتُرَدُّ شَهَادَتُهُ. اهـ.

[7] Fatāwā Mahmūdiyyah, 3 p. 250, Darul Iftaa Jāmi`ah Fārūqiyyah

[8] Jāmi` al-Tirmidhī, 2846, The Chapters on Manners

[9] Bukhārī, 3212, The Book on the Beginning of Creation

[10] Fatāwā Mahmūdiyyah, v. 17 p. 430, Maktabah Mahmūdiyyah

[11] Please note that there are many who use ahādīth that mention the use of a daff at times of nikāh and isolated opinions of some of our predecessors to prove the permissibility of using musical instruments in anāshīd and listening to them. However, this is contrary to ijmā` and a misrepresentation of the actual context of such ahādīth. Please refer to the following article for more details: http://www.askimam.org/public/question_detail/28271

 

 

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