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As far as the Ummah is concerned, the final word in any matter of the Shariah is the ruling of the Fuqaha (the Jurists) of Islam, the highest of whom were the Aimmah-e- Mujtahideen such as Imaam Abu Hanifah, Imaam Maalik, Imaam Shaafi and Imaam Ahmad Bin Hambal (rahmatullah alayhim). These were the greatest authorities of the Shariah after the Sahaabah.

The Qur’aan and all the Ahaadith pertaining to an issue were infront of them. It is the height of stupidity, insolence and absurdity for any one in this belated age to attempt to negate and refute the rulings of these illustrious Fuqaha by citing certain Ahaadith which ostensibly conflict with their rulings. It is kufr to refute the rulings of the Shariah which the illustrious Fuqaha have formulated on the basis of the Qur’aan and Sunnah. No one can ever hope to understand the Qur’aan and Sunnah better than the Aimmah Mujtahideen and the Fuqaha in general.Ignoramuses, zindeeqs and mulhids see contradictions between the rulings of the Fuqaha and the Qur’aan and Hadith. It is the kufr and nifaaq lurking in their hearts, which impel them to refute the rulings of the Fuqaha of Islam.

On the issue of singing and music, there exists a consensus which is as old as Islam. This consensus of the Fuqaha cannot be scuttled by the nafsaani corrupt opinions of the modernist deviates and ignoramuses of this age. We say to them, don’t cite Imaam Ghazaali (rahmatullah alayh) and don’t cite any Wali who had practised sama’ to justify your baatil and lustful desires which are being presented in Deeni guise. Imaam Ghazaali (rahmatullah alayh) and certain Auliya whose statements and acts appear to conflict with the Consensus of the Ummah are not among the Proofs (Dalaail) of the Shariah. Islam did not develop centuries after the demise of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). This sacred Shariah was revealed to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) via the agency of Wahi and it attained its perfection in his very time.

Furthermore, there is a difference of heaven and hell between the sama’ of some Auliya and the shaitaani music and singing of the modernist deviates. Insha’Allah, this will be pointed out in detail further on in this treatise. There is absolutely no justification in sama’ for the haraam shaitaani western and eastern music which has deranged the hearts and brains of the juhhaal. Let us now state the sacred rulings of the Shariah issued by the illustrious Fuqaha of Islam.

(1) “Musical instruments are haraam by the consensus of the Fuqaha of all the lands (of Islam).” (Baghawi)

(2) “The Fuqaha say: ‘Singing is haraam on the basis of this aayat (already discussed) and on the basis of the Ahaadith…” (Tafseerul Mazhari)

(3) “Playing musical instruments and listening to it are haraam.” (Al-Mut-tafaq)

(4) “The musical drum (tablah) and listening to it are haraam……” (Al-Fataawal Kubra)

(5) “Singing even without musical instruments is forbidden, and so is listening to it.” (Minhaajut Taalibeen)

(6) “The Math-hab of Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh) as narrated by Abu Tayyib Tabari is: ‘Imam Abu Hanifah forbade singing. He assigned listening to singing to the category of sins.” (Talbees-e-Iblees)

(7) “Imaam Maalik (rahmatullah alayh) said: ‘Singing is the occupation of fussaaq.” (Fatawa Rahimiyyah)

(8) “Singing and listening to singing are haraam. The Ulama are unanimous in this prohibition. In fact, they have stressed this prohibition.” (Fataawa Khairiyyah)

(9) Imaam Nawawi (rahmatullah alayh) who is an authority in the Shaafi Math-hab, states:“The singing of a person is either with or without instruments. If it is without instruments, it (singing) and listening to it are Makrooh.” (Raudhatut Taalibeen)

If the singing is without any instruments, and the singer is not a female singing to males, then too it is Makrooh. If the singer is a female, Imaam Nawawi says:“If a male is listening to the singing of a female, the prohibition is extremely severe.” (Raudhatut Taalibeen)

Imaam Nanawi continuing the discussion on singing, says:“Al-Qaadhi Abu Tayyib narrated that it is haraam.’ If there is the fear of fitnah in listening, then it is haraam without anydifference of opinion. Similarly is listening to (the singing) of a child when there is fear of fitnah. (E.g. males listening to girls or young lads singing).” (Raudhatut Taalibeen)

In fact, Hakimul Ummat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (rahmatullah alayh) said that it is not permissible for men to listen to even the Qur’aan recitation of young lads with sweet voices because of the fear of fitnah.

Imaam Nawawi further says: Abul Farj Az-zaaz narrated one view that much listening to singing is haraam, except of it is a little. Another view (narrated by Abul Farj) is that it is completely haraam (whether much or little).” (Raudhatut Taalibeen)

The ruling of the Shaafi Fuqaha differ between Makrooh and Haraam if the singing is without instruments, the singer is not of the opposite sex and there is no fear of fitnah
(arousal of passion, etc.) Practically both rulings mean not permissible. Technically haraam is more severe than Makrooh.

With regard to musical instruments, Imaam Nawawi says:“All musical instruments – their use and listening to them are haraam.” (Raudhatut Taalibeen)

Commenting on the permissibility of a particular kind of a flute (yaraa’) mentioned by Imaam Ghazaali (rahmatullah alayh), Imaam Nawawi says:“The most authentic or correct view is that it is haraam.” (Raudhatut Taalibeen)

Regarding the duff, Imaam Nawawi (rahmatullah alayh) states the Shaafi position as follows:

“Striking the duff on a marriage and circumcision occasion is permissible. However, besides these two occasions, the Author of Al-Muhazzab, Baghawi and others say that it is haraam.” If invited to a Walimah which is free of evil and haraam acts, it is Waajib to attend. This Wujoob (compulsion) falls away if there are musical instruments and singers at the function. In Kitaabul Majmoo’-Sharhul Muhazzab, which is an authoritative kitaab of the Shaafi Math-hab, it appears as follows:“If invited to a walimah where there are evils such as wine and musical instruments, leave alone singers and dancers and the like, then if one is aware of this (the presence of musical instruments, etc.) before attending and one has the power to eliminate it, then it is incumbent to attend because it is Waajib to respond to the invitation and to eliminate the evil. If one is unable to eliminate the evil, then it is not incumbent to attend nor Mustahab…..”

The most authentic and official position of the Shaafi Math-hab, despite differences, is that singing without musical instruments is Makrooh With regard to sounds produced with instruments, the Shaafi Math-hab categorizes these into three classes: Haraam, Makrooh and Mubaah (permissible). The permissible category applies to only the duff. This is explained in Kitaabul Majmoo’ as follows:

“The Mubaah kind is the duff. It is permissible to strike the duff on marriage and circumcision occasions. It is not permissible to strike it at other times besides these two occasions……It is narrated that when Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) would hear the sound of a duff he would investigate. If it was a marriage or circumcision occasion, he would maintain silence. If it was a function other than these two, he would proceed towards them with a whip.”

(10) The Hambali Math-hab is similar to the Shaafi Math- hab regarding the rulings pertaining to music and singing. The following ruling appears in Al-Mughni, the authoritative Fiqh kitaab of the Hambali Math-hab:

“The instruments of amusement are of three kinds The first is Haraam. (After listing a number of instruments individually, it is mentioned): And haraam are all musical instruments……because it is narrated that Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) said: ‘Verily Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

‘When in my Ummah 15 practices become rampant, calamities will descend on them……” He then mentioned one of them being the profusion of musical instruments and amusements.” …

Abu Umaamah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘Verily, Allah sent me as a mercy to the worlds and He has commanded me to destroy musical instruments (ma-aazif and mazaameer).”

(11) The most authentic and official verdict of the Maaliki Math-hab is also prohibition. Discussing this question, and after mentioning the differences, the Maaliki Faqeeh, Shaikh Abu Abdullah Al-Maghribi, states in Mawaahibul Khaleel- Sharh Mukhtasar Khaleel:

“Saabbagh said: ‘I heard Ibnul Qaasim: He was asked about a person who is invited to a feast. On arrival there he finds amusement taking place. Should he enter? He (Ibnul Qaasim) said: ‘If the amusement is a little such as the duff with which women play, then I do not see anything wrong.’ Asbagh said: ‘I do not approve of it. He should return (i.e. not enter the place). Verily, Ibn Wahab informed me that he had heard Imaam Maalik being questioned about attending a feast where amusement is taking place. He (Imaam Maalik) said: ‘I do not approve of a man of honour to be present at amusement.’ Ibn Wahab informed me that Imaam Maalik asked about the duff, the musical reed and other (instruments) of play whose pleasure you experience while you are in the road or at a gathering, etc.

Imaam Maalik said: ‘It is my opinion that he should leave that gathering.’……..Asbagh said: ‘It is not permissible for men to beat the duff which has been made permissible for women on the occasion of marriage. And, whatever is not permissible for them to do, it is not permissible for them to attend (such functions). Besides the duff nothing else is permissible for women, neither singing with it (the duff) nor the baraabit (a musical instrument) nor the mizmaar (musical reed). All this is haraam. It has been made haraam in happiness as well as on other occasions except beating the duff a little…….’ Asbagh said: ‘Verily, Umar Bin Abdul Azeez instructed (his governors) to put a stop to all kinds of amusement except only the duff on marriage occasions.’……Qaasim Ibn Muhammad said: ‘When Haqq and baatil will be gathered on the Day of Qiyaamah, singing will be of the baatil, and baatil will be in the Fire. Asbagh said: ‘And all baatil is haraam for the Mu’mineen.”

The following statement of Imaam Maalik (rahmatullah alayh) has been reported in Al-Mudawwanah:“Difaaf (duffs) and Ma-aazif (musical instruments of all kinds) are Makrooh (detested and prohibited) on marriage occasions and on other occasions (as well).” (Mawaahibul Khaleel)

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