Meri Soch aur Meri Awaz

The treasure of a fool is in his tongue, so think before you speak

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

On singing and pastime

There are some things that are and will always stay unclear to a lot of ppl be it for any reason. The likes of which are "eating the food of theppl of the book", "listening to music", "singing" and the "celebration of festivals in the name if religion". Singing is declared by some scholars in different parts of the world and mostly is looked as a bad thing if not forbidden. So here is Adil Salahi's take on this issue..

On singing and pastime

In his book Al-Adab Al-Mufrad, which is devoted to Hadiths concerned with morality and good manners, Al-Bukhari gives a heading: "A chapter on singing and pastime." We should note that in this book, which is independent of his other great work, known as Sahih, Al-Bukhari applies a criterion for the acceptance of Hadiths which is less stringent than that he applies in the Sahih. Some Hadiths he relates in both books, which means that they are highly authentic. Those which are related only in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad are reliable, but some of them may be of a degree less than absolutely authentic.
The first Hadith in this chapter may be translated as follows: "Abdullah ibn Dinar reports: ‘I went to the market place with Abdullah ibn Umar where we passed by a girl who was singing.’ He said, ‘Had Satan left anyone alone, he would have left this girl alone’." This is certainly not a Hadith attributed to the Prophet. It simply quotes a scholar of high repute who was one of the Prophet’s companions. Scholars of Hadith consider that the Prophet’s companions would not have said something directly related to religion unless they were absolutely certain of their grounds, relying on guidance from the Prophet. Hence, they treat their statements as if they were attributed to the Prophet.
Some people quote this Hadith in support of their view that singing is forbidden, but this Hadith does not signify prohibition. It is well known that to pronounce anything as forbidden, we need very clear evidence, because the authority to prohibit anything belongs to God alone. All that this statement by Abdullah ibn Umar signifies is that the girl’s action has been encouraged by Satan. This may refer to what the girl was singing, which means that the words or the poetry she was singing was not appropriate, or to the fact that she was singing in the market place.
As for singing itself, it is subject to different rules according to the words, the person singing and the way the singing is done. If the singing is of the chanting type, like one does when repeating a poem or saying some poetry with affected voice, to indicate one’s pleasure or to give pleasure to his audience, all this is permissible. If, on the other hand, one is singing something that describes a certain woman’s beauty, or a poem describing wine and its effect on one’s mind so as to encourage drinking or to associate it with pleasure and happiness, or to arouse some other evil thoughts, then such singing is forbidden.
All this shows that singing may be permissible in certain situations and forbidden in others. What influences the verdict is the type of the song, its words, the aim of the singer and the way it is sung.
When singing is only a pastime, then the ruling differs according to situation. If we are listening to singing in order to have some relaxation, after which we go back to our serious work, then that is perfectly legitimate. If we are just killing time by listening to singing, we may be close to committing something forbidden, because killing time aimlessly and without benefit is close to prohibition. It is in this framework that we should understand the next Hadith in this chapter which quotes the Prophet as saying: "I do not belong to idle play and idle play does not belong to me in any way." (Related by Al-Bukhari in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad).
This Hadith makes it clear that the Prophet does not approve of killing time in any profitless pursuit. Islam is serious and it wants people to benefit by their time so that they improve their situation in this life and in the life to come.
Another Hadith given in this chapter quotes Abdullah ibn Abbas commenting on a verse which may be rendered in translation as follows: "Among men there is many a one who prefers a mere play with words so as to lead others astray." (31: 6) Explaining what "play with words" refers to here, Ibn Abbas said: "It is singing and similar things." Scholars agree that the verse has a much broader significance. It is anything that people use to divert others from following God’s guidance and to lead them astray. This applies to any temptation or seduction that encourages people to abandon God’s guidance in preference to something that draws them away from the right path. Some singing falls in this category and some does not. If it does, it is forbidden.
Al-Bukhari mentions two more Hadiths in this chapter. The first of these quotes the Prophet as saying: "Spread the greeting of peace and you will attain safety. Idle play is evil." Apart from Al-Bukhari in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad, the first sentence of this Hadith is related by Ibn Hibban. This Hadith encourages us to spread the greeting of peace, which is characteristic of Muslims. It encourages friendly relations, since we tell people that we wish them peace and happiness the first moment we see them. It is a much better greeting than what other communities have, such as "good morning" and its equivalents. However only the second sentence relates to the title of this chapter, and it is relevant only to wasting time which the Prophet describes as evil. It has nothing to do with singing.
The last Hadith in this chapter mentions that Fudhalah ibn Ubayd was with a group of people when he was informed that some people were playing with dice, or backgammon. He was very angry and he spoke against it in the strongest of terms. He said, "A person who plays it to devor what it brings him is like one who eats the flesh of swine or performs his ablution with blood."
This Hadith is more specific than the earlier ones, but it is related merely to playing games with a dice. Scholars say that games that rely merely on chance, like those decided with the throw of a dice, such as backgammon, cards and the like, are forbidden.
They are not only a way to pass time in useless pursuits; they often lead to friction between friends. But when such a game is used as a means of gambling, as when the two players or parties to the game pledge a wager which the winner of the game receives, while the loser gets nothing, then they are doubly forbidden. This is what Fudhalah spoke about very strongly, likening the game of taking such reward to eating pork or using blood for ablution. Both are obviously forbidden.
As we see, there is nothing in the Hadiths quoted by Al-Bukhari in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad that may be interpreted as clear prohibition of all singing. As we have said above, singing may have different rulings according to the words sung and the way they are sung.


Adil Salahi

13 Comments:

At 7:11 AM, Blogger comicsans said...

as i am against music in any form, and i confess that my knowledge isnot even close to what this great scholar says but lemme prsent some of my data :)
Abu Umamah (ra) narrates:
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Allah has sent me as a mercy to the
universe and as a guidance to the universe, and my Lord, Who is Great and
Glorious, has commanded me to annihilate stringed instruments, wind
instruments, idols, crosses and pre-Islamic customs. My Lord, Who is Great and Glorious has sworn, 'By My might, none of My servants will drink a mouthful of wine without My giving him a similar amount of pus to drink, but he will not abandon it through fear of Me without My giving him drink from the holy tanks.'"
Tirmidhi 3654
Abdullah ibn Masud (ra) narrates
Salam ibn Miskin, quoting an old man who witnessed AbuWa'il in a wedding feast, said: They began to play, amuse and sing. He united the support of his hand round his knees that were drawn up, and said: I heard Abdullah (ibn Mas'ud) say: I heard the apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) say: Singing produces hypocrisy in the heart.
Abu Dawood 4909
Quran says :“And befool them gradually those whom you can among them with your voice (i.e. songs, music, and any other call for Allah's disobedience), make assaults on them with your cavalry and your infantry, share with them wealth and children (by tempting them to earn money by illegal ways usury, or by committing illegal sexual intercourse), and make promises to them." But Satan promises them nothing but deceit.”
however.....

Muhammed ibn Hatib al-Jumahi (ra) narrates:
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "The distinction between what is lawful and what is unlawful is the song and the tambourine at a wedding."
Tirmidhi 3153

 
At 9:34 AM, Blogger Waqas said...

I dont find it to be haram but I dont think thisis something that hsould be done regularly..I think as far as it does not come in the way of you and your reilgion duties, then its ok since there is no direct reference to declare it haram. It is nto the best thing and that is a fact but I dont fid it Haram. I am not in favor of it as well btu as long is it is done for the purposes explained in the commentary below..i think its ok.. Allah knows best.

 
At 9:41 AM, Blogger comicsans said...

waqas shadee key gaaney halal hain..kyunkey i ahve attend a wedding of my Alimas daughter who taught us dars and tajweed aisa kuch nahi huwa..sirf aurtien thien aur u know woh dhoul hota hey na woh nahee tha..it was tambourine. Our aalimas dars and knowledge was approved by Saudia Auqaaf.
Most fo teh scholars say its haraam, and so do i accept it..ab kisi pey apnee opinion thoupna achee baat nahee and i wont argue with u on that.
but till now music mey hota he ekya hey? love and bakwaas..i stopped listening 5 yrs ago..i dont know what lyrics are written now

 
At 12:18 PM, Blogger Waqas said...

U see either muisic and singing is Haram or its not haram..If its haram then its haram in all circumstances unless its a matter of life and death. If music is not haram then its not haram in a way that it may not be the best thing to do. I do know a lot of scholars here in Canada have decalred it Haram but I also know a lot of scholars who say its not haram. I think its up to the person how one views music and when they do listen to it, what do they think of it. Like If I listen to music I listen to relax after the work that I am suppose to do and when I am tired at the end of teh day, i listen to some music to relax myself a little bit..It does not matter to me what the song says as long as it sounds nice to hear and I do not sing any song during the day cuz I heard it the day before cuz I find that wrong. Personally, I think that anything that takes you away from your religion and Allah is something you should avoid but if it does not come in the way and it does not break any Islamic laws, then its ok.

 
At 12:42 PM, Blogger comicsans said...

btw jub aap ko bohat ghussa ata hey aur saamney waaley ka sar tourney ka dil chahey tou wat do u do waqas bhai

 
At 4:55 PM, Blogger Waqas said...

kahan to mai youngster tha..ab waqas bhai..hehe..

mujhe jab ghussa aata hai to mai khamoshi ekhteyaar karta hoon..i try not to think about it...but then again sometimes..i puch the puching bag in my basement :)

 
At 5:13 PM, Blogger comicsans said...

aap mujhsey barey to hain na..to bhai to kehna parey ga. Youngster aap apnee jaga hain :)
U r very wise to keep quiet. Its so difficult for me to shut up :(
acha can you give some points that Islam doesnt oppress women

 
At 6:52 PM, Blogger Waqas said...

Loosing your cool does not benefit you or anyone else and it only results in making a wrong decision out of anger...so its better to stay calm..its not easy though..

Islam does not opress women. What ppl fail to understand is that muslims have duties as individuals..Man has different obligations in Islam and woman have different. The western media and all these ppl who dont understand Quran compare a woman and her rights to those of a man which is in some cases not possible. Lets take the Hijab and the convering of a woman which is made necessary for a woman..Not a lot of ppl know the reason behind this. In the Western culture, what value does a woman has..does she get paid the same range of salary where she worls and odes the same work like a man does.No she does not..in the west..a woman is looked on as a sex object..a woman dresses in a way which is revealing so that she would attract a man..and how does that do her good for her in life or her future but rather than a man having evil and sinful thoughts about that woman. This is when Islam comes in and teaches us the right thing that in Islam everyone should be treated the same..its a man;s nature to be attracted to a woman and it is hard to control emotions and that is why the hijab came into effect so no one looks at a woman only due to her looks..but would rather respect her for her knowledge and her education. This is one of several points..

You know that in Islam, a man is responsible to provide the necessities of life of a household..and what a woman makes if she works, she is not obliged to support the family as it is the duty of a man to provide food and living of his family..A woman's job is to give care to the children not because islam treats a woman inferior but because a child is naturally more attached to the mother than the father.

Theproblem is that a woman is often compared to a man and what he does and why a woman cannot do the same things..there is a reason for it..Men are different from women and therefore, there are different duties and responsibilities and the rewaqrd for both of them is the same..Allah treats them both equally and will reward them accordigly as per the duties assigned to them.
I hope this helps you a little cuz this is something we can talk about all day.

 
At 12:53 PM, Blogger comicsans said...

actually i have to write a controversial article for my frend where i oppose that Islam doesnt oppress women..so i was gathering info..jazakh allah..ur last parah helped

 
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