Sama’ (Religious singing sessions) and Raqs (Full bodily rhythmic movements)
Sama’ (Sufi Singing) And the Shar’iah
(Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai)
Forty Hadith on Singing and Music
(Maulana A S Desai)
FATWASQ. Jalsahs and public programmes of the Deobandi Maulanas in our time are increasingly assuming the form and style of the jalsahs and programmes of the Bareilli group. Naats, nazams, group thikr, feasting and the like are common to the gatherings of both groups. The only difference is that the Bareillis have their compulsory meelaad accompanying every function. What is happening to the Ulama of Deoband?
A. Normal decadence is setting in. The further one journeys from the source of light, the darker it becomes. Regrettably, the same fate which overtook the Bareilis, is now gradually being adopted by even our Ulama. The liberalism, bid’ah and haraam activities of the Ahl-e-Bid’ah and the modernists are settling over our learned men, our Madaaris and khaanqahs. The Janaazah of Haqq is in the process of being carted away from our Institutions which were at one time the bastions of Haqq and the Beacons of Divine Light. The very same fate which has destroyed and obliterated Jamiah Azhar of Cairo and other great Islamic institutions of learning in Arabia and Central Asia, is now gripping almost all our Deeni institutions, not only here in South Africa, but in India and Pakistan as well. The Uloom of the Deen is no longer being imparted nor pursued for the sake of Allah Ta’ala and the Aakhirah. It is being pursued for mercenary and nafsaani motives, hence today Tasawwuf means halqah thikr, khatm-e-khaajgaan, jalsahs, singing songs (nazams) and poetry. And, knowledge at the Madaaris is being pursued for name, fame, and earning a livelihood. Qiyaamah cannot be too far away.
Q. The latest fad in the Musjids is so-called nasheed artists demonstrating their talents. The Ulama who organize these poetry and singing programs mention that it is one of the Sunnah practices to recite poetry. They quote Hadhrat Hassaan Bin Thaabit (radhiyallahu anhu) who had recited poetry for Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Further, mureeds sing in praise of their sheikh, extolling his virtues and greatness while all and sundry emit queer noises sounding like ‘oohs and aahs’ The latest in the Musjids now are good sound systems for the naa’t (poetry) singers. The trend nowadays is like the devil singers of the west. Mikes are placed facing the crowd to pep the singer and the audience on the receivers in the ladies venue or at home. Please comment on this state of affairs.
A. This trend in emulation of the ‘devils of the west’ come within the scope of the Hadith: “It is better that your stomach be filled with pus than with poetry.” There is no justification for this latest evil trend of singing poetry in the Musaajid despite the fact that some Sahaabah would recite poetry which Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had condoned. The Ahadith and the Qur’aanic verses which condemn poetry are applicable to the new, satanic practice which some of the Ulama-e-Soo’ have innovated and with which they pollute the sanctity of the Musaajid. The Musaajid have been constructed and dedicated for the ibaadat of Allah Ta’ala.
It is haraam to convert a Musjid into a venue for stupid, indolent, misguided singers who follow in the footsteps of the devil singers of the west. The Sahaabah did not make a profession or a vocation (mashghalah) of poetry. They did not organize poetry and singing sessions. There were no stupid poetry/singing sessions ever organized in either the Musaajid or elsewhere from the era of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) to our age. It is only now that evil ulama, slaves of their bestial nafs, have initiated this satanic profession. It is tantamount to kufr to cite Hadhrat Hassan’s poetry as a daleel for the evil which these miscreant molvis are perpetrating in the Musaajid. Reciting even the Qur’aan Majeed aloud in the Musjid is not permissible.
Converting the Musjid into the likes of a dancehall or concert-hall where singing, poetry and evil are committed, with sound systems and silly ‘oohs and aahs’ emanating from stupid people overcome with nafsaaniyat, is an act of capital shaitaaniyat. The holy atmosphere of the Musjid is totally ruined and defiled by the devil singers, the sound systems and the silly ‘oohs and aahs’ emanating from the stomachs filled with a substance ‘worse than pus’, for the Hadith informs us that ‘pus is better than poetry’. Regardless of the ‘good’ content matter of the song/poem, indulgence in poetry/singing is haraam.
The occasional, unofficial and spontaneous recitation of good poetry is excluded from the prohibition. But the shaitaaniyat which is nowadays enacted in the Musaajid is haraam. The sheikhs who get transported into nafsaani ecstasy by the stupid praises which their stupid mureeds sing, should go to some Muhaqqiq sheikh for Islaah of their nafs. Their shows of ecstasy are specious. These ‘shaikhs’ who love aggrandizement and praises, have not even perceived the fragrance of Tasawwuf. They do not have the faintest idea of the meaning of Tasawwuf and of its objectives, hence they squander their time and ruin the morals of their ‘mureeds’ with singing and poetry. And, tomorrow will follow dancing – the so-called dervish dances which transport the stupid actors into Jahannum via their vehicle of nafsaani ‘ecstasy’.
The contention that poetry is Sunnah, and that too in an organized manner right inside the Musjid, is not only a despicable lie, but a lie blasphemed in the name of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). About such deliberate and despicable lies, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “He who speaks a lie on me (i.e. saying something is Sunnah when it is not), should prepare his abode in the Fire (of Jahannum).” The vile molvi who made this slanderous claim has implied that this ‘sunnah’ was dead right from the time of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), and had remained dead for fourteen centuries, and it is only now in this belated era in close proximity to Qiyaamah that some miserable molvi has unearthed this ‘sunnah of singing and poetry’ from some buried archives of Satanism.
Is there a single instance in the entire history of Islam from Rasulullah’s age down the long corridor of Islam’s fourteen centuries, that any of the Sahaabah and the Ulama-e-Haqq had organized sessions of poetry and singing in the Musjid? Did they ever invite Muslims to come to the Musjid to participate in poetry and singing? The Qur’aan Majeed said: “The la’nat of Allah is on the liars.’ And, the lie uttered in the name of the Deen is an aggravated sin of terrible proportions. It is haraam to pollute the Musaajid with performances in emulation of the devils of the west. It is haraam to sit in the Musjid to listen to the hypocritical poetry and singing. The Musaajid are Allah’s Houses exclusively for His ibaadat.
Q. Is it permissible to sing na’ts in the Musjid?
A. The singing of na’ts, nazams/nasheeds in the Musaajid, is haraam. The Musaajid have been constructed and dedicated to Allah Ta’ala for the purpose of ibaadat. The Musjid is not a place for Satanism and nafsaaniyat. Singing of songs – even so-called ‘religious’ songs – on an organized basis to a crowd is haraam even if the concert is held in a private house.
Q. Why are Na’t and Nazam functions not permissible?
A. Na’t and Nazam functions are haraam. Such functions are based on the hurmat of ghina. This is just one factor of the prohibition. In fact, the current type of Qiraa’t jalsahs are also prohibited. This prohibition is based on several factors: Riya, gathering of fussaaq, beardless qaaris, reciting for money, defiling the sanctity of the Musjid, etc. As for the newlyintroduced satanic cult of Na’t and Nazam, the Fuqaha have explicitly forbidden such organized ghina (singing). It is all nafsaaniyat and shaitaaniyat which according to the Hadith sows nifaaq in the hearts. When Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam0 said that most of the ‘munaafiqeen’ of his Ummah are the Qaaris, then what epithet should be applied to these qawwaals who publicly, and even in the Musaajid rauciously and stupidly insult their intelligence and the intelligence of the stupid crowd trying to sway in tune of the Satanism which defiles the sanctity of the Musjid?
Q. Are loud thikr and naa’t programmes permissible in a Musjid?
A. The loud thikr and naath (singing songs) programmes are haraam in a Musjid. The Musjid is not a venue for merrymaking, singing and gratifying the nafs with acts which are presented as ‘ibaadat’ but which have neither origin nor sanction in the Sunnah.
Q. Is it permissible to pay a Qaari for reciting the Qur’aan?
A. It is haraam to pay the qaaris money for their recitation. They are exchanging the aayaat of Allah Ta’ala for a miserable price.
Q. Is it permissible to attend the Qir’aat gatherings in which Qaris who sport kuffaar beard styles recite the Qur’an?
A. It is not permissible to attend a gathering where a faasiq qaari recites. Shaving the beard is a kabeerah sin which renders the man a faasiq. Every moment the ghadab and la’nat of Allah Ta’ala descend on a person who is beardless as a result of shaving his beard. To attend such a gathering is to honour the faasiq. Rasulullah (sallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “When a faasiq is honoured, the Arsh of Allah shudders.” Furthermore, these qaaris with their belief that it is permissible to shave the beard are guilty of bid’ah, and regarding a man of bid’ah, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “He who honours a man of bid’ah, aids in the demolition of Islam.” When one goes to listen to the qiraa’t of a faasiq qaari, one is in fact honouring him. The faasiq is given front stage, musaafahah(shaking hands) and muaanaqah (embracing) are made with him. He is respectfully addressed. In general he is treated as a guest of honour. Whoever denies this fact, is a liar. Thus the contention that he is not honoured is baseless.
Regardless of whether one has the intention of honouring or not honouring, the mere attendance of the function is to aid, support and honour the faasiq qaari who shows absolutely no shame for Allah Ta’ala and the Makhlooq. The actions of the people clearly testify that they are honouring him. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that in Jahannam there is a valley which daily petitions Allah Ta’ala 400 times to save it from the heat of that valley. The name of this valley in the dregs of Jahannum is Jubbul Huzn. When the Sahaabah asked about those who are destined for entry into this terrible Valley of Torment, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that Jubbul Huzn has been prepared for the Qaaris who display their a’maal. This will be the ultimate destination of fussaaq qaaris who barter the Qur’aan Majeed for this dunya. Close Answer
Q. Why should it not be permissible to listen to a clean shaven qaari? A qaari is praised for his excellent recitation, not for his shaving his beard or because of his sins.
A. Go to a brothel and listen to a prostitute’s qiraa’t. Praise her for her qiraa’t, not for her zina and sins, then pose the same question to yourself. There are many brothels in Pakistan and Bangladesh and elsewhere where you will be able to locate prostitutes who are able to present excellent qiraa’t with sweet and melodious voices. Have your head examined for mental equilibrium.
Q. Please comment on the abundance of Qaaris and Ulama-e-soo’ today.
A. The predicted Fitnah as overtaken us. Narrating a Hadith, Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) said: “How will you be when such a fitnah engulfs you, which will make senile the elders, and cause the little ones to grow (swiftly, i.e. age swiftly), and people will regard such fitnah to be Sunnah. If anything of the fitnah is left out, they will say that a Sunnah has been abandoned. They said: ‘When will it be so?’ He said: ‘When your Ulama have disappeared, your qurraa’ have become abundant, your Fuqaha have become extremely few, your rulers have become abundant, your trustworthy have become few, and when the dunya is pursued with the amal of Aakhirah.” Observe the ulama-e-soo’ and the evil qaaris of this age, and you will realize that this Hadith has now materialized.
Q. The Qaaris who recite the Qur’aan should not be branded faasiq because they shave their beards. No one can see into their hearts. Why does the Majlis judge them so harshly? Only Allah Ta’ala judges people.
A. The Qaadhi judges people in terms of the Shariah. If your idea of judgment relates to even the judgment of the Qaadhi, then you are barking up the wrong tree. Judgment in the Aakhirah is the prerogative of Allah Azza Wa Jal, and this will take place in Qiyaamah. Here on earth we are under Shar’i obligation to administer the law and to issue the hukm on the zaahir and apply the law of the Shariah. If a man mingles with women, commits zina, consumes liquor, etc., he shall be labelled a faasiq in terms of the Shariah while perhaps in the Aakhirah he may be in a better position than numerous pious men and Ulama. That is for Allah Ta’ala to judge. But here on earth, we are required to apply the law of the zaahiri Shariah.
In terms of the Shariah, a man will most certainly be judged from even his outer-appearance. Thus, if a man wears a cross around his neck, he shall be branded a murtadd. If a man wears female clothes, he shall be a mal-oon, for the simple reason that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said so. So regardless of his intention, the hukm of the Shariah cannot be cancelled. Intention is never an abrogator (Naasikh) of Shar’i ahkaam. What is the difference between zina and shaving the beard, or liquor and shaving the beard, or pork and shaving the beard, or killing a person and shaving the beard, or committing any other haraam act and shaving the beard? In nafs-e-hurmat- per se – they are all in the same class of fisq and fujoor. These acts of immorality differ only in degree of intensity of hurmat (prohibition).
Furthermore, those who believe that there is nothing wrong with shaving the beard and that such a person is not a faasiq, do so at the peril of losing their Imaan because in this attitude is tahleel-e-haraam (making haraam lawful). The averment that it is wrong to call a shaver of the beard a faasiq is a statement of kufr. The contender must renew his Imaan and Nikah. In making this averment, he is in fact saying that Allah Ta’ala –Nauthibillaah! – has erred for classifying a flagrant sinner to be a faasiq. The ahkaam of the Shariah are the effects of the Revelations of Allah Ta’ala. What this person says is that for fourteen centuries all the Fuqaha have erred in saying that keeping the beard is Waajib and shaving it is haraam. There is no benefit in discussing with such a jaahil who suffers from massive ghabaawat. The beard is of fundamental importance for Taqwa. A man who shaves his beard is among the worst of fussaaq. He is guilty of perpetrating a haraam act, and he invites Allah’s la’nat every second while his face is beardless.
Q. These Qaaris whom you are branding faasiq have spent their whole lives learning and reciting the Holy Book of Allah. They deserve better.
A. Yes, they are deserving. But they deserve Jubbul Huzn. While these qurra may have ‘spent their entire lives “learning and reciting the Qur’aan’, the Book of Allah Ta’ala has had no effect on their hearts, hence they prefer the appearance of the kuffaar to the appearance of the Ambiya and the Sahaabah, and the appearance of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). They are decidedly evil – extremely evil, and their spending their lives with the Qur’aan will not help them, because Allah Ta’ala has prepared one of the worst valleys of Jahannum for them. In this regard Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Seek refuge with Allah from Jubbul Huzn. They (the Sahaabah) said: ‘O Rasulullah! What is Jubbul Huzn?’ He said: ‘It is a valley in Jahannum. Daily Jahannum seeks refuge from it 400 times.’ It was said: ‘O Rasulullah! Who will enter it?’ He said: ‘It has been prepared for such qurraa’ who display their deeds. Verily, the most hated qurraa’ by Allah are those who visit the rulers.” About men of this ilk, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) will complain to Allah Ta’ala on the Day of Qiyaamah: “Verily, my people have taken this Qur’aan to be an object for discarding.” (Qur’aan)
Q. Among our senior Ulama of Deoband there were some who listened to the qiraa’t of clean-shaven qaaris. What is the answer for this?
A. The errors of elders are never Shar’i daleel. The personal acts and attitudes of elders which conflict with the Shariah must be set aside. Such conflicts with the Shariah are not masaa-il on which to make amal. Allaamah Sha’raani (rahmatullah alayh) and numerous other Ulama said: “He who takes on to the rare/obscure views of the Ulama, verily he has made his exit from Islam.” We do not make taqleed of the errors of the Ulama of Deoband. The attitude of elevating the errors of seniors to the status of Shar’i masaa-il is the way of the Barelwi graveworshippers. This is not our way. We are the Muqallideen of Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh). Those who argue in favour of the fussaaq should present Shar’i dalaail, not stupidities and errors of seniors or the personal whims, fancies and idiosyncracies of seniors which conflict with the Shariah.