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Caught In The Rhythm


AS Muslims we are commanded by Allah, the Lord of the worlds to submit to Him, fear Him by obeying His orders and refrain from His prohibitions and follow His Messenger in all our affairs. It is only then that we are going to find peace and success in this life and the Hereafter. Allah says in the Glorious Qur’an,

O you, who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice. He will [then] amend for you your deeds and forgive you your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment. [As he is saved from the hell fire and made to enter paradise]“(Al Qur’an 33:70-71)

Narrated Abu Hurairah, Allah’s Messenger [salAllahu alayhi wasallam] said, “All my followers will enter Paradise except those who refuse.” They said, O Allah’s Messenger! Who will refuse?” He said, “Whoever obeys me will enter paradise and whoever disobeys me, is the one who refuses (to enter it).” (Sahih Al Bukhari)

Music is one of the things that are prohibited by Allah and His Prophet but unfortunately is very common in our homes. Very few might know that music is the sound of shaytan…as Allah tells shaytan in Surah Al Isra (to test the humans),

And incite those whom you can among them with your voice……” (Al Qur’an 17:64)

Among the many other interpretations, in Tafsir Ibn Kathir and Tafsir Al Qurtubi, scholars Mujahid and Ad-Dahhaak interpretated “voice of shaytan” to mean music, song and amusement. According to Ibn Abbas, the “voice”refers to every form of invitation that calls to the disobedience to Allah Ta’ala.

Allah Ta’ala says in Surah al Luqman,

And of the people is he who buys lahw al hadith (i.e., amusement of speech) to mislead [others] from the way of Allah without [their] knowledge and who takes it [i.e., His way] in ridicule. Those will have a humiliating punishment.”(Al Qur’an 31:6)

Some companions of the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wasallam] described “lahw al hadith” as shirk, misleading stories, frivolous songs, or music but it includes all which distracts or diverts one from the Qur’an and remembrance of Allah.

According to the Companions Ibn Mas’ood, Jaabir and Ibn Abbaas, the term “lahw al hadith” refers to singing, listening to music and songs, purchasing of professional male or female singers and purchasing of instruments of amusement.

Another commentator, Qatadah said, “By Allah, he may not spend money on it but his purchasing it means he likes it and the more misguided he is, the more he likes it and the more he prefers falsehood to the truth and harmful things over beneficial things.

The Messenger of Allah [salAllahu alayhi wasallam] said, “From among my followers, there will be some people who will consider al-hirr (adultery), al-hareer (silk for men), al-khamr (alcoholic drinks) and al ma’azif (musical instruments) as lawful.” (Al Bukhari, -Book of Drinks, hadeeth 243/6)

It is important to note that in the hadeeth mentioned above, use of musical instruments has been forbidden along with the major and gravest of sins. According to most of the scholars, the Prophet [salAllahu alayhi wasallam] equated the use of musical instruments to the sins of adultery, alcohol and wearing of silk.This applies to instruments but singing in itself is not prohibited if the words are not contrary to Islamic rules, morals or beliefs.

Imran bin Husain (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah [salAllahu alayhi wasallam] said,

This Ummah will experience the swallowing up of some people by the earth, metamorphosis of some into animals, and being rained upon with stones.” A man from amongst the Muslims asked; “O Messenger of Allah! When will this be?” He [sallallahu alayhi wasallam] said, “When female singers and musical instruments appear and alcohol will (commonly) be consumed.”(At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah – Graded as Saheeh by Shaikh al-Albani)

The Messenger of Allah [sallallahu alayhi wasallam] forbade the use of all musical instruments except the duff which is the small one-sided hand drum on special occasions like battles, Eid and weddings.duff i

Furthermore, there is agreement among the four imams including Imam Abu Hanifah, that all musical instruments (al-ma’azif) are forbidden except the duff as stated by Ibn Taymiyyah.

In a hadith narrated by Al-Bukhari, Aishah mentioned that her father Abu Bakr came to her during the days of Mina (Eid Al Adha).There were two young girls with her beating upon the duff, while the Prophet [salAllahu alayhi wasallam] was covered with his cloth (sleeping). And when Abu Bakr began scolding the girls, the Prophet [salAllahu alyhi wasallam] uncovered his face and said, “Leave them Abu Bakr, for these are the days of the ‘Eid.’”

In another authentic hadeeth, Aishah related that the Messenger of Allah [salAllahu alyhi wasallam] said,

“Proclaim this marriage, solemnize it in the mosque and beat the duff upon its occasion.” (At-Trimidhi)

Some Muslims argue that the duff was the only musical instrument available at the time of the Prophet [salAllahu alayhi wasallam] and that is the reason why he [salAllahu alyhi wasallam] said that it is permissible.

Well, this claim is totally incorrect because at that time, the Byzantines, Romans and Persians were in power and music was very common on their streets, royal courts, etc.

Nafi’, the servant of Abdullah bin Umar reported, “Once I was traveling with Abdullah bin Umar and we heard the sound of a shepherd’s flute. Abdullah bin Umar put his fingers in his ears, turned his mule away from the road and said: ‘O Nafi’! Can you hear?’ I (Nafi’) replied in the affirmative. He carried on walking (with his fingers in his ears) until I (Nafi’) said: ‘the sound has ceased.’ He then removed his fingers from his ears, and said to me;’I saw the Messenger of Allah [salAllahu alayhi wasallam] doing the same when he heard the flute of the shepherd.’” (Narrated by Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawud & Ibn Majah)

SubhanAllah…may Allah help us attain such faith and such love of the Prophet [salAllahu alayhi wasallam].

There’s nothing that the Prophet [salAllahu alayhi wasallam] has done but it carries a special reason and benefit for us…He [salAllahu alayhi wasallam] indeed was sent as a mercy to mankind, but we get caught up in the temptations and glitter of this world and fail to believe and act on our dear Prophet’s way of life.

Unfortunately, there are many who argue that ’music is allowed in Islam’..,’its prohibition lies in special conditions’.., ’we can listen as long as we don’t flow with it’ …, ‘it provides relaxation to the heart and souls’, …etc…etc..

My fellow Muslims, our beloved Prophet [salAllahu alayhi wasallam] advised us in a saheeh hadeeth collected by Bukhari and Muslim,”what is halal is clear and what is haram is clear and between them are some doubtful matters. Whoever avoids the doubtful matters has protected his religious commitment and his honor but whoever falls into the doubtful matters will fall into that which is haram.”

When we study the above mentioned details carefully, we will know this is a matter about which all imams and scholars are in agreement.

Furthermore, many scholars have said that too many distractions make the mind unfocused. They advise us to avoid looking, listening, speaking, eating and sleeping too much. The meaning of too much is that for which there is no need and in which there is no benefit! It is, in fact, just a simple question that we can ask ourselves before committing any deed or action: “Will it improve our relationship with Allah?”

Allah Ta’ala says,

And do not pursue (i.e. do not assume and do not say) that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed the hearing, the sight and the heart- about all those will be questioned (on the Day of Judgment). (Al Qur’an 17:36)

According to a hadeeth narrated by Abdullah bin Mas’ud. the Prophet [salAllahu alayhi wasallam] once advised his companions,”Feel shy from Allah.” They said, ‘We do, O Rasoolullah!’ He replied, “No, the proper way to do so is to safeguard the head and what it contains (i.e. the brain, the sight and the hearing and the tongue) and the stomach and what it contains. (i.e. to consume only that which is allowed through allowed income and to avoid eating or drinking any unlawful things).”

Our beloved Prophet [salAllahu alayhi wasallam] used to say to Bilal (radi Allahu ánhu): “Relieve us with it [i.e., the prayer].” [Abu Dawood (4985) and Ahmad (23137)]

If something distressed him or pleased him, he [salAllahu alayhi wasallam] would hasten to pray and talk to his Lord. Anyone who finds himself faced by difficulties and problems and turns to prayer finds strength, patience, relaxation and peace.

Allah Ta’ala says,

Those who have believed and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.”(Al Qur’an 13:28)

He [subhanahu wa ta’ala] has sent to us the best Book containing the best words…which when recited in a beautiful voice provide tranquility and peace to the heart and soul. It is a relaxant… enough to keep us at peace and happy for an entire lifetime. Furthermore, when recited with understanding and with an intent to practice, there is tons and tons of reward…along with success guaranteed in this world and also the Hereafter!

There have been many professional singers who accepted Islam and gave up music. One of them wrote in his biography that after accepting Islam, his love for music has been replaced by the love for the words of Allah!

Why do we need music when we have a treasure whose wonders are never ending for common Muslims like us and scholars alike…nobody is ever satisfied of it…the more we listen and read a particular chapter of the Quran the more we like it and stronger we get in our faith.

Allah Ta’ala says,

Allah has sent down the best statement: a consistent Book wherein is reiteration. The skins shiver therefrom, of those who fear their Lord; then their skins and their hearts relax at the remembrance (i.e., mention) of Allah. That is the guidance of Allah by which He guides whom He wills. And one whom Allah leaves astray; for him there is no guide.”(Al Qur’an 39:23)

“And keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance. And let not your eyes pass beyond them, desiring adornments of the worldly life, and do not obey one whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance and who follows his desire and whose affair is ever in neglect.”(Al Qur’an 18:28)

The Messenger of Allah [sallallahu alayhi wasallam] said, “You do not give up anything for the sake of Allah, but Allah will give you something better than it.” (Ahmad)

May Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) guide us all; protect us from shaytan and the evil whispers of our own souls…May Allah help us in remembering Him, thanking Him and worshipping Him in the best of ways.

May the peace and blessings of Allah be on the best of men, Prophet Muhammad, his family, companions and all those who follow them in righteousness

Mariam Anwer

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