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Sama’ is the Sufi practice of singing spiritual songs which produces states on ecstasy in them. By Sufi here is meant some Sufis—a small minority. Since those Sufis who had indulged in sama’ were undoubtedly illustrious Auliya whom the entire world of Islam unanimously acknowledge as true Men of Allah Ta’ala, the need has developed to elaborate on this practice which the deviate, modernist ignoramuses are labouring to cite as substantiation for the lewd, shaitaani music and singing in which the world of shayaateen of the west and east excels. In relation to the unwary, but sincere masses, sama’ is a grievously misunderstood concept and practice. The masses have been deceived into a mire of confusion regarding this practice. As far as the juhala – both the modernist deviates and the bid’at qawwaali grave-worshipers – are concerned, it is the most deliberately distorted concept and practice pertaining to the issue of music and singing. This conglomeration of deviates of opposite poles – modernists and grave-worshippers – have in their own respective, devious methods and reasoning, intentionally misled the unwary and ignorant with their fallacious basis of sama’ to convince the masses that music – kuffaar music and singing– western and eastern music – pop, rock and rave music – Beethoven and Mozart music – folk and jazz music – ragtime and art music – ballard and saucy music, in fact the whole gamut of shaitaani music which Iblees-in-Chief had invented, patented in his accursed name and marketed in the abodes of vice and immorality where all jinn and human devils dwell and disappear into a quagmire of moral and spiritual destruction located in the abyss of Sijjeen. May Allah Ta’ala save His servants from this captivating snare of Dajjaal.

On the occasion of his expulsion from the heaven, Shaitaan implored Allah Ta’ala: “O my Rabb! Since you have made me accursed, grant me a muath-thin.” Shaitaan was in desperate need of a caller (muath-thin) to call to his evil path of falsehood. Granting his wish, Allah Ta’ala responded: “Your muath-thin will be musical instruments.” With musical instruments, Iblees announces his invitation, calling all those doomed in eternity to be his followers, into his fold.

Encouraged by the Divine approval of his supplication, Iblees ventured another wish for the sake of supplementing his armoury of wiles, attractions and snares. He cried: “O my Rabb! Grant me too a qur’aan.” Came the Divine Response in answer to the accursed being: “Your qur’aan shall be poetry and singing.”

A further eye-opening testimony for the votaries of music and singing is the following information:“The first being who had wailed (loudly) and the first being who had sung was Iblees.” (Mudhalush Sha-ra’) The modernist deviates and the qabar-pujaari singers may now conclude whose progeny they really are. The modernist juhhaal attempt to produce the sama’ of the Auliya in general, and Imaam Ghazaali’s statements in particular, as substantiation for the shaitaani music and singing of this age is indeed a colossal slander against the Auliya of Allah Ta’ala. When these Auliya themselves have conceded that even their own sama’ is erroneous, by what stretch of reasoning could permissibility of shaitaani music and singing be argued on the basis of sama’?

In order to formulate an order of the Shariah for any practice, the imperative requisite is to produce a viable and an accepted basis from the Qur’aan and Sunnah or from the Rulings of the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen. It is the height of folly and jahaalat (ignorance) to tender a practice which in itself is damaged, dubious and glaringly in conflict with the Shariah as a basis in a syllogism intended for the deduction of a hukm (ruling) for another practice. Sama’ itself stands in need of a hukm (ruling) of the Shariah. It is declared permissible or unlawful on the basis of solid Shar’i grounds. Sama’ does not possess the inherent potential to constitute a basis for the extraction of a Shar’i hukm for the musical instruments and singing in vogue. A ruling of the Shariah for music and singing has to be acquired from the Qur’aan, Sunnah or the directives of the Fuqaha which are all based on the former two primary Sources of the Shariah.

It is only an ignoramus who will argue that all pictures of human beings are permissible because the Ulama say that pictures for identity cards and passports are permissible. In this corrupt argument, the claim of permissibility of all pictures is based on the permissibility of identity card pictures. But this latter permissibility lacks the potential for being a maqees alayh (basis for a Shar’i analogy). It has been declared permissible on entirely different grounds which do not relate at all to all other pictures. This is the type of corrupt logic which the modernist juhhaal employ in their endeavour to legalize the voice of shaitaan.

(1) The declaration on sama’ of Hadhrat Suharwardi has already been presented above.

(2) “Those among the (Sufi) Mshaaikh who have permitted sama’, have done so for only those who are devoid of lust and are adorned with taqwa. They are in need of it like an ailing person is in need of medicine. The conditions (for listening to sama’) are:

1. Lads should no be present.

2. Only Sufis will participate. Faasiqs and worldly people are not allowed to be present.

3. The intention of the singer has to be sincere. The motive should not be obtainal of remuneration (or any other base or worldly motive),

4. The sama’ session should not be an eating function nor to celebrate victory (in battle).

5. During the sama’ if any Sufi stands up, it should be only in a genuine state of ecstasy.”
(Fataawa Khairiyyah)

(3) Shaikh Abu Uthmaan al-Maghribi said:“If it is the desire to reap the full benefit of sama’, one should dwell in solitude, renounce all thoughts of created things, and remember Allah and submit to His Will. One has to take flight from one’s ego and abandon worldly attachment.”

(4) Hadhrat Zunnoon Misri (rahmatullah alayh) said:“He who listens to sama’ for satisfying his sensual appetite becomes a heretic (zindeeq).”

(5) Hadhrat Abdullah Hasan Khirqaani (rahmatullah alayh) said: “Sama’ is for those who, when in its midst, are transported into the higher realms of roohaaniyat (spirituality). All veils are removed and they can see the activities of the angelic realm.”

(6) Hadhrat Junaid Baghdaadi (rahmatullah alayh) said:“When you see a mureed seeking permission to listen to sama’, then understand that he is still deficient (in the spiritual path).” It has been reported that Junaid Baghdaadi (rahmatullah alayh) had abandoned sama’ and had forbidden his mureeds (disciples) from it.” (Awaariful Ma-aarif)

(7) In condemnation of music and singing, Hadhrat Shah Abdul Haqq Muhaddith Dehlawi (rahmatullah alayh) writes in his Kitaab, Madaarijun Nubuwwah:“The greatest Arabian musician and singer was Tuwaylis, This Tuwaylis was a miserable, ill-omened, dismal and unfortunate person who was born on the day Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had died. Tuwaylis was weaned from his mother’s milk on the day Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) died. He attained puberty on the day Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was martyred. He married on the day Hadhrat Uthmaan (radhiyallahu anhu) was martyred, and a son was born to him on the day Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) was martyred.”

(8) Shaikh Nasruddin Muhaqqo says:“When the false sufi sways to and fro in his sama’ sessions, the devil pokes him from behind with his finger so that the tempo of his swaying increases – right and left.” (Fataawa Burhaanah)

(9) Hakimul Ummat Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thaanvi (rahmatullah alayh) said:“Sama’ is a remedy for certain spiritual ailments. It is a medicine. Therefore, whoever listens to sama’ (i.e. the sama’ regulated by the observance of the strict conditions imposed by the Sufis) without the permission of his mentor (Murshid- e-Kaamil), will fall into error.”

(10) The following appears in Fataawa Khairiyyah:“The summary (of this discussion on music/singing) is: There is no permission in our time for sama’ because Junaid Baghdaadi (rahmatullah alayh) had made taubah for (having participated in) sama’ in his age.” Hadhrat Nizaamuddin Auliya (Sultaanji) – rahmatullah alayh – who used to listen to sama’ had also repented.

Episodes relating to Sultaanji’s sama’ will be discussed further on in this treatise, Insha’Allah. (11) “The practice (of sama’) of the so-called sufis of our time is unlawful. It is no permissible to even make an intention of sitting in such gatherings. The (true) Sufis of former times did not act like these so-called sufis. What has been narrated from Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) regarding his listening to poetry is not an indication for permissibility of singing.” (Sharhul Multaqi)

(12) Hadhrat Shaikh Suharwardi (rahmatullah alayh) writes:“A person should reflect and decide with fairness the sama’ functions which are organised in our time. They should reflect on the singer, his sitting, his drum and musical instruments. Then he should ask: Was there ever such forms of function in the age of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)? Did the Sahaabah at any time invite a singer or a qawwaal? Did any of them ever assemble like moths around a singer? There is no doubt in the obtainal of a negative response. Thus, if there was any benefit in sama’, these great personalities (the Sahaabah) would not have totally abstained from it. Whoever claims that there is any goodness and virtue in sama’ and makes efforts to organise such functions he is totally devoid of understanding the attitude and disposition of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and his Sahaabah-e-Kiraam. Some of the later Ulama had extracted some concessions for sama’. But, alas! Most people have fallen into error in this regard.” (Awaariful Ma-aarif)

(13) Hadhrat Suharwardi (rahmatullah alayh), continuing his exposition on sama’ said:“When the singer is a beardless lad in the sama’ function, then fitnah (moral corruption) rears its head. According to all Allah-fearing people this sama’ is absolutely haraam. Hadhrat Baqiyyah Bin Walid (rahmatullah alayh) said: ‘The illustrious predecessors regard it as Makrooh (Tahrimi – forbidden and sinful) to cast even a glance at a beardless lad.’” (Awaariful Ma-aarif)

(14) Hadhrat Suharwardi (rahmatullah alayh) adds:“In conclusion: Now, for the Jamaa’at of Sufiya’ there remains only one way—they should totally abstain from these kinds of functions, and stay away from places of suspicion. Tasawwuf is the embodiment of sidq (truth/honesty) and haqeeqat (spiritual reality). Never contaminate it with futility and mockery.” (Awaariful Ma-aarif)

(15) Allaamah Ibn Hajar (rahmatullah alayh) writes:“Qurtubi (rahmatullah alayh) narrated from Imaam Tartusi (rahmatullah alayh) that he was asked about those people who gather at a place and begin the proceedings with Tilaawat of the Qur’aan-e-Kareem. Thereafter one person stands up and sings some poetry. Then all present lapse into ecstasy and begin swaying (in a form of a dance) simultaneously beating the duff. Is it permissible to join this company of people? He (Imaam Tartusi) replied: ‘According to the Akaabir Sufiya’ this practice is highly erroneous and deviation. Islam means only Kitaabullah and the Sunnat of the Rasool (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

It is never permissible for any person who has Imaan in Allah and the Aakhirah to join such people nor aid them in this unlawful practice. This is the Math-hab of the Four Imaams and of other Mujtahideen.

Some people cite the stories of the Mashaaikh in substantiation of dancing and singing……….. The most important argument in this regard is that we do not believe that these stories (which are attributed to the Mashaaikh) are true. It is quite probable that just as the zindeeqs have attributed many fabrications to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), so to have they done with regard to the Mashaaikh.

On the assumption that the Mashaaikh did practise these deeds, which obviously they did not, then it should be understood that for us proof is firstly Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), then the Sahaabah, then the Aimmah-e- Mujtahideen………

Imaamul Aarifeen, Qudwatul Ulama, Abu Ali Ruhaazi (rahmatullah alayh) responded beautifully to the following question which was posed to him: ‘A person enjoys himself with musical instruments and claims that this is permissible for him because he had attained such a position where changing states do not have any affect on him.’ He responded to this question: ‘Yes, he has indeed attained a position. But that is in Jahannum.”

Some of the Aimmah of Yemen said that the sama’ which was prevalent in their time was undoubtedly haraam on account of the presence of evils. It is among the obligations of the ruler to prevent people from sama’.” (Kaffur-Riaa’)

(16) Qaadhi Humaidud Deen (rahmatullah alayh) said:“I suffer from an incurable heart problem. Its cure is only sama’. Hence for me it is permissible to listen to sama’ while for you it is haraam.” (As-Sunnatul Jaliyyah)

(17) Shaikh Naseeruddin Chiraagh Dehlawi (rahmatullah alayh) was the most senior khalifah of Hadhrat Nizaamuddin Auliya (rahmatullah alayh). Once he was present at a gathering of the mureeds of Hadhrat Nizaamuddin Auliya, they began with sama’. Hadhrat Naseeruddin left the gathering and went outside. Some of the mureeds commented: ‘Do you reject sama’ and have you abandoned the path of your mentor (Shaikh)?’ Shaikh Naseeruddin replied: ‘No one’s practice is proof (in the Shariah). If my mentor had practised sama’, it is his problem. His practising of sama’ is not proof for the permissibility of sama’. Only the Kitaab of Allah and the Sunnah constitute hujjat (proof).’ Some followers of their desires, reported this statement to Hadhrat Nizaamuddin Auliya, said: ‘Mahmood (i.e. Shaikh Naseeruddin) spoke the truth. What he has said is the Haqq.” (As-Sunnatul Jaliyyah)

(18) The following is recorded in Khairul Majaalis:“A close associate came to Shaikh Naseeruddin Mahmood (rahmatullah alayh) and said: ‘Tell me, how can musical instruments and the raqs (dervish dances) of the Sufis be permissible?’ The Shaikh replied: ‘There is consensus (Ijma’) on the prohibition of musical instruments. If someone leaves on Tariqah of Sulook and adopts another tariqah, he still remains in the Shariat. However, if he leaves the Shariat, where will he go? Furthermore, the difference pertains to only sama’, not to musical instruments. According to some Ulama sama’ together with its conditions is permissible for the Ahl-e-Hadhraat (the senior Auliya). But as far as musical instruments are concerned the consensus is that they are haraam.” (As-Sunnatul Jaliyyah)

(19) Shaikh Abdul Haqq Muhaddith Dehlawi (rahmatullah alayh) writes in Farul Ismaa’: “The mureeds of Shaikh Naseeruddin said: Our Shaikh had announced that anyone (from his circle) who listen to sama’ with instruments has left the fold of my bay’t (i.e. he is no longer my mureed).” (As-Sunnatul Jaliyyah)

(20) Shaikh Ali Bin Muhammad Jaandaar (rahmatullah alayh) narrated that according to Shaikh Nizaamuddin Auliya there are several conditions for the permissibility of sama’. These are:

* The singer has to be a man of spiritual excellence.

* The listeners have to be men of Allah, not slaves of the nafs.

* The content of the song should be lawful not evil or immoral.

* The sama’ should not be accompanied by musical instruments. (As-Sunnatul Jaliyyah)

The aforementioned statements and rulings of the Auliya have been extracted by Hadhrat Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ (rahmatullah alayh) from As-Sunnatul Jaliyyah Fil Chishtiyyatil Ulyah, which is a kitaab authored by Hakimul Ummat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thaanvi (rahmatullah alayh). We in turn have made these extracts from Hadhrat Mufti Muhammad Shafi’s kitaab, Islam or Museeki (Islam and Music).

(21) Shaikh Ahmad (rahmatullah alayh) states:“There is no doubt that the gatherings of sama’ which are prevalent in our times are no permissible. Such practices are kabeerah (major) sins. It clear is kufr to believe these practices to be permissible. This type of sama’ is within the scope of (the Qur’aanic aayat which prohibits) lahwal hadeeth (futile speech)…….
In this age a fatwa of permissibility (of unadulterated sama’) should be given even for those (Auliya) who are qualified to listen to it because the corruption in this age has reached such a degree that every person claims to be qualified to listen to sama’. It is entirely true that Hadhrat Junaid Baghdaadi (rahmatullah alayh) had repented from sama’ in his time despite him holding an extremely lofty status in ma’rifat and taqwa.” (At-Tafseeraatul Ahmadiyyah)

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