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The modernist deviates who labour intensely to legalize musical instruments and singing with the accompaniment of such instruments have miserably failed to provide even a single permissibility of the duff, the deviates seek to legalize a whole edifice of shaitaani music and singing which Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had described as the voice of shaitaan.

Besides the duff, no other musical instruments are entertained by the Ahaadith for any permissibility. On the contrary, there exists a large volume of Hadith narrations prohibiting musical instrument and even singing without instruments.

Inspite of the permissibility of the duff, primarily as an instrument of announcement, not for production of music, the Authorities of the Shariah differ on even this permissibility. While acknowledging its permissibility on only special occasions such as marriage, circumcision and war, the Fuqaha have not issued a ruling of blanket permission for the use of the duff. The many narrations which appear in the aforegoing pages discuss the conditions for the permissibility of using the duff on marriage occasions. These are basically:

(1) To be used on only marriage, circumcision and war occasions.

(2) There should prevail no haraam act at the function. Any evil or haraam act being perpetrated at the function renders the striking of the duff also haraam.

In fact, according to many Fuqaha only women are allowed to beat the duff on marriage occasions. The attitude of the Sahaabah too makes it abundantly clear that the duff was not allowed to be beaten or played at all times. The action of Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu), already mentioned, – setting of with his whip if it was no a marriage occasion – as well as of other senior Sahaabah, is ample testimony for the circumspection of the Shariah towards the duff.

The Ahaadith also state with clarity that the primary purpose of the duff was to publicly announce a Nikah. The relevant Ahaadith have already been mentioned. While it is that little girls were permitted to beat the duff and even sing along with it, this was not generally allowed nor was it something organised. It was part of Arab culture which was tolerated to a certain degree as long as it was an impromptu performance confined to certain occasions.

The statements of the Sahaabah confirm that the duff was allowed only on wedding and circumcision occasion. The apparent conflict of the categoric assertions of the Sahaabah in this regard and the general prohibition implemented against the duff by Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) and other Sahaabah—the conflict with the Hadith which informs of the little girls singing with the duff for Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) during her childhood days—is due to the fact that the prohibition of all musical instruments and singing was gradually implemented in the same way as the prohibition of liquor. Thus, if someone produces a Hadith in which a Sahaabi is reported to have consumed alcohol, this cannot by any stretch of imagination be cited as a basis for legalizing liquor.

Similarly, the Ahaadith and Qur’aanic aayaat which categorically criticize and prohibit singing and music override and abrogate whatever permissibility can be gleaned from different Ahaadith. Practices were abolished over a period of 23 years.

However, just as there are exceptions to almost every general rule, so too did Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) exclude the duff of marriage occasions from the general prohibition. This exclusion is abundantly clear from the statements of various Sahaabah who had unambiguously asserted that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had made the exception of the duff for marriage occasions, etc.

In view of the exception made by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), the Fuqaha of the four Math-habs also are of this same view, viz., the prohibition of all musical instruments and singing with the exception of the duff for marriage occasions.

If there had existed general permission to use the duff at all times, it would then be inconceivable for the Sahaabah and the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen to have ruled to the contrary. Some Fuqaha who are of the opinion that the duff is totally excluded from the prohibition have adopted the view of those Taabieen who were not aware of the duff coming within the purview of the general prohibition for occasions other than marriage. This is confirmed by the following narration:“Hadhrat Aamir Bin Sa’d says: ‘On one marriage occasion I met Hadhrat Qurzah Bin Ka’b (radhiyallahu anhu) and Hadhrat Abu Mas’ud Ansaari (radhiyallahu anhu). Nearby some little girls was singing. I said: ‘You both are the Sahaabah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and of the People of Badr, but this (singing) is happening in front of you.’ They responded: ‘If you wish, you may sit and also listen, and if you wish, you may leave. We were granted permission for amusement on marriage occasions.”

This narration indicates that Hadhrat Aamir Bin Sa’d (rahmatullah alayh) while aware of the general prohibition of singing, was unaware of the exception which was made for marriage occasions. There were many others too who were unaware although they were aware of the general prohibition of music and singing.

From the numerous Hadith narrations it transpires with clarity that the difference of the Sahaabah and Taabieen pertain to only the duff, not to musical instruments in general. One view is permissibility of the duff at all times provided no evil and haraam acts are associated. The other view is that the duff is permissible only on marriage occasions. This latter view has greater credibility and more narrations to support it. It is of vital importance to take note that none of the Authorities of the Shariah, even those who believe the duff to be permissible for all occasions, had attempted to legalize musical instruments on the basis of the permissibility of the duff. Inspite of accepting the permissibility of the duff, this permissibility was not extended to musical instruments.

It is a permissibility peculiar to the duff. If it were not for the various Hadith narrations, the Fuqaha would never have permitted the duff. However, since this ruling of permissibility is based purely on Nass (Hadith), it cannot be refuted. Nevertheless, since it is in conflict with rational reasoning (Qiyaas) in view of the general prohibition of musical instruments, it (the ruling of permissibility) will be confined to the duff. This is in terms of the principles of the Shariah governing the validity of Qiyaas. A ruling which is in conflict with Qiyaas may not be transferred to another act. Another factor of importance is the unanimous prohibition of the duff if it is accompanied by other musical instruments.

Although this is the position of the Shariah, we find the modernist deviates, abandoning the duff, but attempting to extend its permissibility to musical instruments in general. While the Fuqaha confine the permissibility of only the duff to marriage occasions, the modernist deviates abandoning the duff, seek to transfer its permissibility to musical instruments, not only for marriages, but for all time.

The culture of the duff has died almost everywhere, except in some primitive Muslim societies. If the modernists are so keen on the duff narrations, they should content themselves with striking the duff, not play musical instruments and indulge in shaitaani and nafsaani singing of immoral songs acquired from fussaaq, prostitutes, pop-groups, drugsters and the kuffaar of the west and east. It is palpably silly and ludicrous to present the duff-narrations in justification of western and eastern shaitaani music and singing, and for wholesale legalization of all sorts of musical instruments invented by shaitaan when the Shariah has ruled that on marriage occasions only the duff – not other musical instruments – may be employed.

The different Ahaadith, statements and practices of the Sahaabah and Taabieen pertaining to the duff establish the following Shar’i Rulings:

(a) Striking the duff on marriage occasions is permissible.

(b) If musical instruments are also present, then even the duff becomes haraam.

(c) The permissibility is only for marriage and war occasions.


An argument presented by the deviates is that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) did listen to a lady who was singing for Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) while she
(the lady) was beating on a metal tray which served the purpose of a duff. This is an apparent conflict with the many Ahaadith of prohibition. The Authorities of the Shariah respond to this narration in the following manner:

• This narration is dhaeef and munkar. It is thus not authentic.

• This narration is in conflict with all the authentic

Ahaadith which prohibit singing and music.

• Even in this narration, the following comment is attributed to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam):

“Shaitaan has blown into her nostrils.”

• If at all this narration could be said to be authentic, it refers to an incident prior to the prohibition.

• The fact that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Shaitaan has blown into her nostrils”, testifies for the satanism of the singing.

• In terms of this narration it is permissible for a man to listen to a ghair mahram female singing. But in the unanimous ruling of all the Fuqaha of the Four Math-habs, all the Mashaaikh and Sufiyah this is haraam. There exists consensus of the Ummah that it is absolutely haraam for a man to listen to the singing of a ghair mahram female.

This narration thus has no merit and cannot be cited in substantiation of musical instruments. The furthest that can be imagined here is the permissibility of the duff, not permissibility for musical instruments.

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