40 Hadith on Singing and Music

[Extracted from Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai’s book ‘Sautush Shaitaan‘]

(1) Hadhrat Abu Maalik Ash’ari (radhiyallahu anhu) says that he heard Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) say: “Most certainly, there will be in my Ummah people who will make lawful fornication, silk, liquor and musical instruments.” (Bukhaari)

(2) In another version of this narration, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Most certainly, people from my Ummah will consume liquor which they will describe with some other name. Over their heads will be playing musical instruments and singing girls. Allah will cause the earth to swallow them, and from among them He will transform into apes and pigs.” (Ibn Maajah)

The punishment for music and singing is exceptionally severe. Some juhhaal (ignoramuses) have attempted to escape the condemnation of music and singing stated in this Hadith by presenting a very stupid argument.

This Hadith is an unambiguous assertion of the hurmat (being haraam/prohibition) of musical instruments. In this Hadith, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) uses the word (Yasta-hil-loona, i.e. they will make lawful). He mentioned four acts which people in the later ages would make lawful, viz. fornication, liquor, silk and music. This presupposes that these acts are haraam. It is meaningless to say that a lawful act will be made lawful. This absurdity is the consequence of the stupid and false contention of the proponents of music and singing. A haraam act is made lawful, and this is precisely what Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said.

The time will dawn when Muslims will make halaal these four haraam acts.

(3) Imraan Bin Husain (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “In this Ummah will be earthquakes, disfiguration (of faces which will be transformed into apes and pigs) and showers of stone (descending o­n them from the heaven).” A man from among the Muslimeen said: “O Rasulullah! When will this be?” Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “When singing girls and musical instruments will become profuse and when liquor will be consumed (in abundance).”(Tirmizi)

(4) Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “During the last of ages (in close proximity to Qiyaamah) a nation from my Ummah will be disfigured (and transformed) into apes and pigs.” The Sahaabah said: “O Rasulullah! Will they be Muslim?” Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Yes. They will be testifying that there is no deity but Allah and that I am His Rasool, and they will be fasting (in the month of Ramadhaan).” The Sahaabah asked: “O Rasulullah! What will be their condition (to warrant such chastisement)?” Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “They will be indulging in musical instruments, singing girls, musical drums, and they will be consuming liquor. They will o­ne night go to sleep after their liquor and amusement. When they arise in the morning, they will have been disfigured (and transformed into apes and pigs).” (Kaf-fur Ruaa’)

It is apparent from this Hadith that the musical drum (the tablah of the qawwaals) and similar other kinds of musical drums are not the duff mentioned in the Ahaadith. Musical drums have been declared haraam unanimously by all authorities from the very age of the Sahaabah.

(5) According to another Hadith, also narrated by Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu), Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “I take oath by The Being Who has sent me with the Haqq (Truth)! The world will not come to an end until earthquakes, the descent of showers of stones (from the heaven) and disfigurement of faces (which will be transformed into apes and swines) had not taken place.’ The Sahaabah said: ‘When will that happen, O Rasulullah?’ He replied: ‘When you see women seated o­n saddles (i.e. riding horses and in this age, driving cars); when singing girls are to be found in profusion; when false testimony becomes rampant, and when homosexuality and lesbianism become prevalent.” (Bazzaar and Tibraani)

(6) Hadhrat Ali Bin Abi Taalib (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “When my Ummah indulges in fifteen misdeeds, calamities will settle o­n them. Among these are singing girls and musical instruments.” (Tirmizi)

(7) Sahl Bin Sa’d (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “There will befall this Ummat earthquakes, disfigurement of faces and showers of stones.’ It was said: ‘O Rasulullah! When will this happen?’ Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘When singing girls become in profusion and liquor is made lawful.” (Ibn Maajah)

Numerous Sahaabah have narrated Ahaadith in which Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) warned of disasters overwhelming the Ummah as a consequence of the profusion of music, singing and singing girls. Among these Sahaabah are: Hadhrat Abu Maalik Ash’ari, Hadhrat Imraan Bin Husain, Hadhrat Abu Hurairah, Hadhrat Ali, Hadhrat Sahl Bin Sa’d As-Saaidi, Hadhrat Ubaadah Bin Saamit, Hadhrat Abu Umaamah, Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas, Hadhrat Saeed Bin Khudri, Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Bishr, Hadhrat Anas, Hadhrat Abdur Rahmaan Bin Saabit and Hadhrat Aishah (ridhwaanullaahi alayhim aj-maeen).

(8) Hadhrat Naafi’ (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates: “Once when Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) heard the sound of a shepherd’s flute, he placed his fingers in both ears (to block the sound of the music), and he diverted his mount from that path. (As they rode o­n), he would say: ‘O Naafi’, can you still hear (the sound)?’ I would say: ‘Yes.’ He would then continue riding. o­nly when I said: ‘I can no longer hear it’, did he remove his fingers from his ears. Then he returned to the road. He then said: ‘I saw Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) doing like this when he had heard the flute of a shepherd.” (Ahmad and Abu Dawood)

This was the reaction of the devotees of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). They could not tolerate the voice of shaitaan. When music dinned into their ears, they literally plugged their ears with their fingers. By what stretch of reasoning and o­n what basis of shame and honesty can it be claimed that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had permitted music and singing? He had described it as the voice of shaitaan. He would plug his ears to block the sound of shaitaan’s voice entering his ears.

(9) Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates: “Verily, Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) made haraam liquor, gambling, the musical drum and the tambourine. And, every intoxicant is haraam.” (Ahmad and Abu Dawood)

(10) Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Verily, Allah has made haraam liquor, gambling, the musical drum, and every intoxicant is haraam.” (Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Baihqi, etc.)

(11) Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated: “The musical drum (tablah) is haraam. Liquor is haraam, and musical instruments are haraam.” (Kaf-fur Ruaa’)

(12) Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated: “Verily, Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) heard a man singing o­ne night. He then said: ‘His Salaat is unacceptable! His Salaat is unacceptable! His Salaat is unacceptable!” (Nailul Autaar)

(13) Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Listening to music and singing is sinful. Sitting at such gatherings is fisq (immoral transgression). Deriving pleasure from it is kufr.” (Nailul Autaar)

(14) Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “I have been sent (by Allah) to destroy musical instruments……..The earning of a male singer and a female singer is haraam. The earning of zina is haraam. It is incumbent o­n Allah not to allow a body nourished by haraam, entry into Jannah.” (Kaf-fur Ruaa’)

The evil of music and singing is sufficiently abominable to warrant it being lumped together with zina (fornication). o­ne Hadith describes singing as “the spell of shaitaan.”

(15) Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “I have been sent (by Allah Ta’ala) to destroy the musical drum (tablah) and the flute.” (Jam’ul Jawaami’)

The tablah and other forms of musical drums are not to be confused with the duff for which there is limited permissibility.

(16) Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “The earning of a singer is haraam and her singing is haraam.” (Nailul Autaar)

(17) Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) said: “Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) prohibited beating of the duff (drum) and the sound of the flute.” (Nailul Autaar)

From this Hadith as well as others, the ambiguity about the duff is eliminated. It is clear from several Ahaadith that the general ruling of prohibition applies to even the duff. However, an exception has been made for o­nly the duff for the Days of Eid and marriage occasions provided no haraam acts are committed. This Hadith has the effect of abrogation. It cancels out the other narrations in which the duff was allowed. The fact that Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) and other Sahaabah too propagated the general prohibition of the duff even after the demise of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is sufficient substantiation for the abrogating force of this Hadith as well as other Ahaadith which also mention the prohibition of the duff.

(18) Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated: “Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) forbade beating the duff, playing the harp and blowing the flute.” (Kanzul Ummaal)

(19) Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Verily, singing generates hypocrisy in the heart just as water causes farm-produce to grow”. (Baihaqi)

(20) Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Love for singing germinates hypocrisy in the heart just as water causes plants to grow.”

(21) Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Beware of listening to musical instruments and singing, for verily, both these acts germinate nifaaq (hypocrisy) in the heart just as water causes vegetables to grow.” (Kaf-fur Ru’aa’)

(22) Hadhrat Anas (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Whoever sits and listens to a singing girl, Allah will pour molten lead into his ears o­n the Day of Qiyaamah.” (Ibn Asaakir)

On what basis now can the permissibility of music and singing be argued? The severity of the punishment should be an adequate deterrent to abstain even if some narrations indicate permissibility.

(23) Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Whoever dies while he has a singing slave girl, do not perform Janaazah Salaat for him.” (Haakim)

(24) Safwaan Bin Umayyah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that Amr Bin Qurrah said (to Rasulullah – sallallahu alayhi wasallam): “I am very unfortunate. I do not see any way for acquiring my rizq except by means of my duff. Therefore, grant me permission to sing (i.e. with my duff) such songs which will be devoid of any immorality (evil).’ Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) replied: “I do not give you permission. There is no honour and no goodness (in what you are saying). O enemy of Allah! You are a liar. Most certainly, Allah has ordained for you halaal rizq, but you have chosen what Allah has made haraam for you in place of what He has made halaal for you of the sustenance He has decreed for you.” (Baihqi, Tibraani, Dailmi)

(25) Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “On the Day of Qiyaamah, Allah Azza Wa Jal will proclaim: “Where are those who had protected their ears and their eyes from the musical instruments of shaitaan?” (Allah Ta’ala will instruct the Malaaikah): “Separate them (from the multitudes of people).” They (the Angels) will separate them, and have them seated o­n dunes of musk and ambergris then Allah Ta’ala will say to the Malaaikah: “Recite to them My Tasbeeh and My Tamjeed.” The Malaaikah will then recite to them with such beautiful voices, the likes of which no o­ne had ever heard.”

This Hadith has been narrated by Allaamah Ibn Hajar Makki from Dailmi. The Sahaabi narrating it is Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu). Allaamah Ali Muttaqi also narrates this Hadith, but from the Sahaabi, Hadhrat Jaabir (radhiyallahu anhu)-Kanzul Ummaal. Allamah Muhammad Bin Muhammad Maghribi narrates this Hadith from Hadhrat Bin Al-Munkadir (Jam’ul Fawaaid). Imaam Tha-aalabi also narrates it from Muhammad Bin Al-Munkadir, but from Ibn Wahab. – (Jawaahirul Hassaan)

Those who indulge in the haraam music and singing of this world, will be denied the music of Jannat.

(26) Hadhrat Abu Musa Ash’ari (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Whoever listens to the sound of singing, he will not be given permission to listen to the (beautiful) voices of the Ruhaaniyyeen in Jannat.” When it was asked: ‘Who are the Ruhaaniyyeen?’ Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “The Qaaris of Jannat.” (Kanzul Ummaal)

In his Tafseer, Imaam Qurtubi comments: “We have mentioned this Hadith in Kitaabut Tathkirah along with other similar examples. Thus, he who consumes wine will be denied the pure drink (of Jannat) in the Aakhirah. He who wears silk will not wear silk in the Aakhirah, etc. All this is correct in meaning……”

(27) Hadhrat Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates: “Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) prohibited singing and listening to singing, and (he also prohibited) gossip.” (Kaf-fur Ruaa’)

(28) Zaid Bin Arqam (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates: “Once a youth while singing passed by Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) who was walking in a street of Madinah. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘Alas! O young man! Why do you not sing with the Qur’aan (i.e. recite it beautifully instead of singing songs)?’ He repeated this statement several times.” (Dailmi)

(29) Hadhrat Abu Umaamah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “When someone raises his voice with singing, Allah sends two shaitaans who sit o­n his shoulders striking his breast with their heels until he stops (singing).” (Tibraani)

(30) Hadhrat Abdur Rahmaan Bin Auf (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “I have forbidden two ignorant immoral voices: (The first)- the sounds of futility at the time of merrymaking, and the musical instruments of shaitaan. (The second)- the wailing sounds at the time of calamity when the face is struck and the garments are torn.” (Haakim in Mustadrak)

(31) Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “The bell is among the musical instruments of shaitaan.” (Abu Dawood)

(32) Kisaan narrates that Hadhrat Muaawiyyah (radhiyallahu anhu) stated in his Khutbah: “Verily, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) forbade seven things, and I too forbid you from these things. Know that these things are: Loud wailing (on occasions of death), singing, pictures………” (Tibraani)

(33) In a lengthy Hadith narrated by Hadhrat Abu Umaamah (radhiyallahu anhu), it is mentioned that o­n the occasion of the expulsion of shaitaan from the heaven and his exile to earth, he (Iblees) supplicated to Allah Ta’ala: “O my Rabb! You have exiled me to earth and you have made me accursed………Now, therefore bestow to me a caller (who can call to my path).’ Allah Ta’ala said: “(Your caller) is musical instruments………..” (Tibraani)

(34) Allaamah Qurtubi, in his Tafseer, narrates the following Hadith: “Verily, o­nce when Abdullah Bin Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) heard someone singing, he hastily left the place. This reached Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). He thereupon commented: ‘Indeed, Ibn Umm Abd (i.e. Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud) is an honourable abd (slave ofAllah).”

Two salient facts emerge from this Hadith: o­ne- Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) was aware of the prohibition of music and singing, hence he hastily left the place. Two- Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) approved of his action and commended him. This too clearly indicates the evil of singing and music.

(35) Hadhrat Abu Burzah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated: “We were with the Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) o­n a journey when he heard two men singing. The o­ne was responding to the other (by means of singing poetry). Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) then said: ‘Look who these two are.’ They (the Sahaabah) said: ‘They are so and so (naming them).’ Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) then cursed, saying: ‘O Allah! Cast them upside down in Jahannum.” (Majmauz Zawaaid)

The gravity of the prohibition of singing and music should be apparent from the vehemence of the curse of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

(36) Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Verily, Allah Ta’ala sent me as a Mercy and a Guide to the worlds, and He has commanded me to destroy musical instruments……”

(37) Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates: “Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘Verily, the bell is of the musical instruments of shaitaan.” (Muslim and Abu Dawood)

(38) Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “The Malaaikah do no associate with a group in which there is a dog or a bell.” (Muslim and Abu Dawood)

(39) Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) narrated: “Verily, Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) instructed that all bells be cut off from the necks of the camels o­n the Day of Badr.” (Musnad Ahmad)

(40) Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated: “I heard Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) saying: “Verily, with every bell is a shaitaan.” (Abu Dawood)

The tinkling and jingling of bells are also associated with shaitaani music, hence the stringent prohibition.

Now that these numerous Ahaadith in which Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) severely condemns music and singing has dawned o­n those who lacked awareness, there cannot be a Muslim with a healthy Imaan who will still believe in the permissibility of the voice of shaitaan.

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