Music is Not Haraam (Prohibited) in Islam

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Music is Not Haraam (Prohibited) in Islam

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Post by Al-Fatihah »

The argument that Music is haram stems from a hadith found in Bukhari which says:

“From among my followers there will be people who will consider illegal sexual intercourse, the wearing of silk, the drinking of alcoholic drinks, and the use of musical instruments as lawful�.

This would lead us to believe that all music is haram. Yet we also read in Bukhari the following:

Narrated Aisha: “Abu Bakr came to my house while two small Ansari girls were singing beside me the stories of the Ansar concerning the day of Buath. And they were not singers. Abu Bakr said protestingly, “Musical instruments of Satan in the house of Allah’s Apostle!� It happened on the Id day and Allah’s Apostle said “O Abu Bakr! There is an Id for every nation and this is our Id�.

Narrated Urwa on the authority of Aisha: "On the days of Mina, Abu Bakr came to her while two young girls were beating the duff and the Prophet was lying covered with his clothes. Abu Bakr scolded them and the Prophet uncovered his face and said to Abu Bakr, “Leave them, for these days are the days of Id and the days of Mina. “

So some scholars (not the Prophet) have interpreted that musical instruments are haram because of the hadith that says that the use of musical instruments are illegal. Yet we find that the duff is being used in the presence of the Prophet as music. So there is a contradiction. To address this contradiction, scholars say the duff was allowed because it was not a musical instrument. Others say it is allowed but only during Islamic events, such as the Id.

None of these answers are accurate because the Prophet just stated in one narration that musical instruments are haram. How can you now say the duff is allowed or permissible only in Islamic festivities? That is a contradiction. Additionally, there is also no logical basis to ban all instruments except the duff or drum.

We can also dig further and see that the authenticity of this hadith in Bukhari is not reliable. This does not mean that the collection of hadiths in Bukhari are not the most reliable but as we will see, Bukhari himself did not include this hadith in his authentic collection. Bukhari would include a title for an authentic hadith, then under it lists the authentic hadith. The titles would include some of his fiqh and also another hadith that was not on the same level as his authentic hadith. This was done to bring clarification to the authentic hadiths listed below it. So the hadith about music was a title by Bukhari and he did not put it in his authentic collection. According to Imam al-Muhallab, the reason is because the narrator Hisham was not sure of the name of the companion. Therefore, Bukhari did not include it. Yet some scholars found another connected chain for this type of hadith according to Ibn Hajr. Therefore, they deemed that the hadith is authentic themselves, but Bukhari never did so. Yet this does not resolve the issue because some prominent scholars still have a problem with Hisham as a reliable narrator. They include Imam al-Thahabi, Imam Ahmad, and Abu Dawud. Ibn Hazm and other scholars go further and says that all hadith that claim that singing is haram are false and agrees that singing is permissible as long as it does not include indecency.

So we have scholastic evidence that the hadith in Bukhari is not authentic and there is no logical rebuttal to the argument to show otherwise. We also see that even if we accept the hadith, it contradicts other hadith when trying to enforce that musical instruments are haram, and any reason one can make to accept only the duff or certain instruments are halal. Therefore those who rely on the authority of the hadith in Bukhari as proof that music or musical instruments are haram have no logical basis since the evidence that the hadith is authentic or reliable is not sound. The correct position is that Music is halal, as long as it does not contain indecency.

Finally, in regards to whether the vast majority of scholars accepted that music is haram since the time of the Sahabas until now and only a few disagreed, this is not true. There were many. Some are:

Imam Ibn al- Hazm
Abu Bakr al-Arabi
Abu Hamed al-Ghazali
Abdullah bin Ja’far bin Talib
Ibn al-Nawhi
Abu Al-Fadi ibn Tahir
Iman Abdul-Ghani al-Nablusi
Imam al-Thahabi
Sultan al-Ulema al-Iz ibn Abdul-Salam
Al-Qadi Ibn Qutaiba al-Daynoor
Yusuf al-Qaradawi

And Allah knows best

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