Immoderation of Nasheeds

Since 2012-11-21

Over-indulgence in listening to Nasheeds leads to deserting listening to the Noble Qur'an.

All perfect praise is due to Allâh The Almighty and may the prayers and peace of Allâh be upon our Prophet Muhammad, all of his family and his companions.

It is reported that there was a singer who intended to repent. He was advised to join Sufi groups for they work only for the sake of the Hereafter and avoid the pleasures of the worldly life. So he joined them. They began to use him in singing Nasheeds. He felt that he is about to lose his repentance (i.e. will return again to singing), so he immediately left their company and said: I was on the way of repentance, but I did not know what really happened. [Refer to the discussion about the question of listening p. 342 in the book Ighâthat Al-Lahfan]
This incident was related by Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allâh have mercy upon him. It reminds us with the excessiveness and exaggeration in the question of Nasheeds of nowadays which overtakes some people who say Nasheeds to the extent that some of them began to imitate the way of the prohibited shameless singing.
Some Nasheeds became accompanied by performers who have soft voices and move their bodies in rhythm, and imitation of the tunes of the immoral singing. Some of the Munshdeen (those who sing Nasheeds) pay much care to the beauty of their photos, dressing well, shaving the hair of their faces. Rather, this have led also to using musical instruments in such immoral Nasheeds, adding to that the sound technologies and effects which made ears unable to distinguish between the immoral signing and Nasheeds.
Ibn Al-Jawzi, may Allâh have mercy upon him, pointed out such fact and warned against such act, saying: “When Ibliss (Satan) was disappointed to listen form the worshipers of Allâh The Almighty something of the prohibited sounds such as the sound of the lute, he reflected upon the meaning carried out by the lute and then included it in singing without the lute and beautified it for them. He aimed to introduce that to them gradually and bit by bit. But, the most intelligent one is he who reflects upon the causes and effects and then contemplates on the aims behind them.”
Excessive engaging in such Nasheeds instills some specific feelings and passions in the hearts of some people, but without any insight or understanding. They (Nasheeds) stir up feelings and stimulate passions. Sufis have been overtaken by excessive listening to poems, so this resulted in a decrease in their knowledge and weakening their Fiqh. This made Sufyân Ath-Thawri, may Allâh have mercy upon him, say: “Those who are most dear to Allâh The Almighty are five in number amongst them: A Sufi Faqih (scholar of Fiqh).” [Madârij As-Sâlikeen (2/330)]
Therefore, Shaykh Al-Islam ibn Taymiyyah, may Allâh have mercy upon him, said: “That is what really made deviated Sufis listen to poems instead of listening to the Noble Qur’ân. That is because it (listening to poems) stirs up the movement of love without being followed by any knowledge or belief. It really has effects on stimulating passions and grief, but it has nothing at all to do with knowledge.” [Majmû‘ Al-Fatawa (2/42)]
As for those who indulged in excessive listening to Nasheeds, they will get no understanding nor will gain knowledge of the religion of Allâh The Almighty, but it is just a kind of emotional passion, agitation, and excitement.
Over-indulgence in listening to Nasheeds leads to deserting listening to the Noble Qur’ân. Therefore, you find that who listens to such poems excessively, seeking to reform his heart, has a feeble desire to listen to the Noble Qur’ân, rather he even may hate it. [Iqtidaa’ As-Sirât Al-Mustaqeem (1/484)]
Imam Ash-Shâfi‘i, may Allâh have mercy upon him, has said: “I have left Baghdad while the dissolute have done something in it which they called At-Taghbeer (it is hitting with sticks, it is an musical instrument what accompanies the musical composition of songs (Al-Istiqâmah) so as to divert people from listening to the Noble Qurân.” [Reported by Ibn Al-Jawzi, may Allâh have mercy upon him, in Talbees Ibless p. 257]
Imam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allâh have mercy upon him, said commenting on the words of Ash-Shâfi‘i, may Allâh have mercy upon him: “This due to the perfect knowledge of Ash-Shâfi‘i with the religion, because if the heart used to listen to poems and poetic verses and enjoy them, it will hate and turn away from listening to the verses of the Noble Qur’ân. Accordingly, it (heart) will dispense with listening to the devil and turn away from listening to Ar-Rahmaan, (the Most Gracious i.e. Allâh The Almighty). (Majmû‘ Al-Fatawa (10/532), or refer to Al-Istiqaamah (1/238)]
He also said in another place: “Getting drunken with the beautiful voices may be included in the category of the intoxicant drinks, so that it may avert them from the Remembrance of Allâh The Almighty and from performing prayers, and it will prevent them from enjoying the beautifulness of the Noble Qur’ân, understanding its meanings and following it. In this way, they will be very similar to those who purchases idle talks to mislead from the Path of Allâh The Almighty…” [Majmû‘ Al-Fatawa (10/643)]
Hearts are just like vessels, so if they are filled with the love of poems and Nasheeds, then where will then the love of Qur’ân and Remembrance of Allâh The Almighty reside in such vessel?
Ibn Al-Jawzi, may Allâh have mercy upon him, said in criticizing Sufism: “The love of listening to Nasheed has grown in the hearts of some of them, so they preferred it to the recitation of the Noble Qur’ân. Their hearts became softened by that while they were not affected in the same way with the recitation of the Nobel Qur’ân. This is only because the inward desires have overtaken them and their evil natures had full grip on them. [Talbees Ibliss p. 276]
If we would like to know the religious ruling in such indecent Nasheeds, we have to reflect upon the results and consequences of them. Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah and his student Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allâh have mercy upon them, have laid down a basic rule in that effect and applied it on the newly-invented listening to Nasheed. Amongst what Ibn Al-Qayim said in this regard: If one is not able to reach the ruling of something i.e. whether it is permissible or prohibited? Then he should think about its bad effects, benefits and aims. So if it implies apparent certain bad effects, then it is impossible for the religion to enjoin or allow it. Rather, knowing that is it prohibited in religion has to be decisive, especially, if it is something that will incur the Wrath of Allâh The Almighty and His Messenger, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him.
How can one believe that The All-Wise, The All-knowing may forbade something like the smallest amount of the intoxicant, for it will make one drunken and this in turn will lead one to commit prohibited matters, while allowing what is more grievous than that which may lead one to commit even more bitter prohibited matters?
He then added: According to what we have experienced and known through experiments that musical and stringed instruments did not appear and widespread among any people and they engaged in them except Allâh The Almighty will make their enemy prevail over them and test them by drought, barrenness, and tyrant governors. Let the wise and reasonable person contemplate thoughtfully on the conditions of the world around him. And Allâh is the One Whose help we seek. [Madârij As-Sâlikeen (1/496 - 497- 500) and Majmû’at Ar-Rasâil Al-Kubra by Ibn Taymiyyah (2/308)]
Such immoral Nasheeds are an example of an indecent way of seeking concessions in the present time. In the recent times, some trends and compilations began to deviate from the rulings and teachings of the religion of Islam and violate the prohibitions of Allâh The Almighty such as shaving beards, allowing listening to songs, over-indulgence in the different kinds of marriages, earnings, and foods without confirming with the rulings of the religion.
In fact, there are more grievous and more bitter things than that such as taking the means and ways that lead to Shirk (associating partners with Allâh The Almighty) lightly and turning a blind eye to the principle of Al-Walâ’ wal Barâ’ (loyalty and friendship vs. disavowal and enmity), and the like.
Such awful reality obligates scholars and callers to Islam to educate the individuals of the Islamic nation to hold fast to the rulings of the religion, call them to adhere firmly to the Sunnah of the Prophet, sallAllâhu prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, warn them against following concessions, prohibited tricks and irregular opinions. They should also revive the principle of fearing of Allâh The Almighty in the hearts of the people of Islam, reminding them that they will stand before Al-Jabâr (the Compeller i.e. Allâh The Almighty) Who knows the secret and that which is yet more hidden. Allâh The Almighty says: {Nay! Man will be a witness against himself [as his body parts (skin, hands, legs, etc.) will speak about his deeds]. Though he may put forth his excuses (to cover his evil deeds).} [Al-Qiyâmah 75: 14-15]
{بَلِ الإِنْسَانُ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ بَصِيرَةٌ (14) وَلَوْ أَلْقَى مَعَاذِيرَهُ} القيامة: 14-15
Transliteration: Bali al insanu ‘ala nafsihi baseerah. Walaw alqa ma’atheerah.
By: ‘Abdul Azeez ibn Muhammad Aal Abdillateef
Dar Al-Watan



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