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The Qur’aan Majeed states:“And, among people are those who purchase talks of futility (lahwal Hadith) thereby misleading (others) without knowledge from the Path of Allah, and they make of it (Allah’s Path) a mockery. For such people is the disgraceful punishment.” (Aayat 6, Surah Luqmaan) “And, when Our aayaat are recited to them, he turns away in arrogance as if he did not hear it; as if there are plugs in his ears. Give him the tidings of a painful punishment.”
(Aayat 7, Surah Luqmaan)

(1) Ibn Jareer reports that Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) said: “This aayat was revealed in regard to a man among the Quraish who had purchased a slave woman who was a singer (for the purpose of singing).”

It was the practice of a certain enemy of Islam to divert people from listening to the Qur’aan Majeed with music and singing. He had purchased a slave woman for this specific purpose.
The Qur’aan Shareef, in its inimitable eloquence describes this singing and music with the terms ‘lahwal Hadith’, bringing within its scope not only music and singing, but all futile activities such as play and amusement which divert man’s attention from the purpose of his creation and from the Thikr of Allah Ta’ala. In addition to the applicability of the Qur’aanic aayaat to their relevant specific incidents which occasioned their revelation, the terms employed by the Qur’aan constitute directives for all present and future exigencies having the same common effect (illat). In line with this eloquent style and the timeless nature of the Ahkaam, the Qur’aan brings music and singing within the ambit of the generical terms, lahwal Hadith. Hence, all futile, nonsensical and evil acts which divert man from Allah Ta’ala are ordained haraam by this aayat. Among the acts which have such a diversionary effect to the highest degree are music and singing. Even mubah (initially permissible) acts will become unlawful if due to excessive indulgence they divert man from Allah’s remembrance or they induce him to commit futility and haraam.

(2) Narrating from Abu Salmah (radhiyallahu anhu), Imaam Baghawi (rahmatullah alayh) states:“Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘It is not lawful to teach girls to become singers and their price is haraam. In this regard was revealed the aayat: “And, among people are those who purchase lahwal Hadith….”

(3) Tirmizi and other Muhadditheen, narrating from Abu Umaamah (radhiyallahu anhu) said:“Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘Do not sell singing girls nor purchase them, and do not teach them. There is no goodness in any trade-dealing in them. The money thus acquired is haraam….. In this regard was revealed the aayat: “And among people are those who purchase lahwal Hadith…”

(4) The eminent Mufassir, Imaam Mujaahid (rahmatullah alayh) said: “The reference (of lahwal Hadith) is to singing girls and singers.” In another narration, Hadhrat Mujaahid
(rahmatullah alayh) said: “It refers to singing and every play and futility.” (Ahkaamul Qur’aan)

(5) In an exceptionally stern rebuke for those who indulge in singing and music, Hadhrat Makhool (rahmatullah alayh) said: “I do not perform Janaazah Salaat on him (one who indulges in music and singing) because Allah Ta’ala says (in the Qur’aan): ‘And, among people are those who purchase lahwal Hadith…” (Tafseer Mazhari)

(6) Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) who was a very senior Aalim among the Sahaabah, explaining this aayat said:“By Allah! Its meaning is singing.” (As-Sunanul Kubra of Baihqi) The same is mentioned in Mustadrak and Tafseer Ibn Jareer. Imaam Ibn Jareer (rahmatullah alayh) narrates in his Tafseer that when people asked Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) about the meaning of this aayat, he responded:“It refers to singing. I take oath by The Being besides Whom there is no deity but He.’ He repeated this statement thrice.” (Tafseer Ibn Jareer)

(7) Explaining this aayat, Hadhrat Hasan Basri (rahmatullah alayh) said:“Verily, lahwal Hadith refers to everything which diverts you from the ibaadat of Allah and from His remembrance, such as story-telling during the night, jokes, futility, singing and similar acts.” (Tafseer Ruhul Ma-aani)

(8) In another narration, Hadhrat Hasan Basri (rahmatullah alayh) said: “This aayat was revealed in regard to singing and musical instruments.” (Tafseer Ibn Katheer)

(9) Haafiz Ibn Hareer (rahmatullah alayh) states in the tafseer of this aayat: “It refers to singing and listening to it.”

(10) The eminent Sahaabi, Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) said: “It means singing.” (Ighaathatul Luhfaan) This Qur’aanic aayat which severely criticizes lahwal Hadith, while it brings all forms of futility and nonsensical activities within its scope, specifically refers to singing and music. This is the unanimous tafseer of the authorities of the Shariah – the Sahaabah, Taabieen and Tab-e-Taabieen.

Allah Ta’ala states in the Qur’aan Majeed:“They (the Mu’mineen) do not attend zoor. And when they pass by futility, they pass by with dignity.” (Surah Furqaan, Aayat 72)

(1) Commenting on the meaning of this aayat, Hadhrat Muhammad Bin Hanafi (rahmatullah alayh) said:“Az-zoor here means singing. Laith said so on the authority of Mujaahid…………And, az-zoor is baseless talk and it also applies to baseless acts. Singing is of the greatest acts of zoor.” (Shawaahidut Tafseer)

(2) Imaam Abu Bakr Jassaas, commenting on this aayat said: “It has been narrated from Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh) that az-zoor is singing.”

Allah Ta’ala states in the Qur’aan Majeed:“And hound from among them with your voice whomever you are able to gain control over.”

When shaitaan was ignominiously expelled from Jannat, he vowed to mislead the servants of Allah Ta’ala. In response, Allah Ta’ala made the aforementioned proclamation.
The Mufassireen of the Qur’aan say that the meaning of ‘your voice’ in the context of this aayat refers to singing. Shaitaan has been given the ability of singing. He inspires his myriads of followers with his art of music and singing, thereby gaining an effective grip over their brains and hearts. With his voice (singing and music), shaitaan casts his spell over human beings. With music and singing, he deposits them into the dregs of immorality, futility and falsehood. Smitten by the spell of music and singing, people wander aimlessly in lands of fantasy and imagination. They are separated from reality and truth by the nifaaq which music and singing implant into the heart. Allah Ta’ala therefore, in this aayat, proclaims to shaitaan to proceed with his evil work using his voice.

(1) Hadhrat Mujaahid (rahmatullah alayh) in his tafseer of the aayat says: “With your voice, i.e. with singing.” (Ruhul Ma-aani)

(2) Allaamah Suyuti (rahmatullah alayh) states:“Mujaahid said: ‘It means singing and musical instruments.’ Hasan Basri (rahmatullah alayh) said: ‘It refers to the duff.’” (Al-Akleel)

It is significant that according to Hadhrat Hasan Basri (rahmatullah alayh) even the duff comes within the scope of this prohibition since he avers that the voice of shaitaan also applies to the sound of the duff. Since Hadhrat Hasan (rahmatullah alayh) was the Khaleefah (spiritual representative) of Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu), he actively propagated the Math-hab of Hadhrat Ali in this regard. According to Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu), even the duff is haraam.

(3) Hadhrat Dhuh-haaq (rahmatullah alayh) comments: “It is the sound of the flute.” (Tafseer Qurtubi)

(4) Ibn Abu Haatim (rahmatullah alayh) narrates in his tafseer of this aayat that Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) said:“It refers to every act which invites to sin. It is well-known that singing is among the greatest acts inviting towards sin. Precisely for this reason has it been described as the voice of shaitaan.” (Ighaathatul Luhfaan)

Allah Ta’ala states in the Qur’aan Majeed:“What! Are you surprised at this speech (the Qur’aan)? You laugh, do not cry and you sing.”

(1) Imaam Abu Ubaid said that in the dialect of Hameer the word samood (from which the term saamidoon’ in this aayat is derived) refers to singing. Hadhrat Ikramah also tenders the same explanation. (Ruhul Ma-aani)

(2) Allaamah Ibn Manzoor says: “It is narrated from Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) that he said: ‘Samood is singing in the dialect of Hameer.’” (Lisaanul Arab)

(3) Abdur Razzaaq, Bazzaar, Ibn Jareer and Baihqi narrated that Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) said in the tafseer of this aayat: “It is singing in the Yamaani dialect. When they (the mushrikeen) would hear the Qur’aan, they would sing to show their disdain.” (Ruhul Ma-aani)

In these verses, the Qur’aan Majeed criticizes singing. It describes singing and music variously with the terms lahwal Hadith, samood and zoor. In one aayat it is described as the voice of shaitaan. From the Qur’aan Majeed it is abundantly clear that the general rule pertaining to singing even without music is prohibition. All the authorities of the Shariah from the very time of the Sahaabah, unanimously claim that the Qur’aan prohibits singing and music. There can, therefore, be no scope for difference on this issue. Any difference attributed to an accepted personality of Islam is undoubtedly an error of judgement.

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