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The Status of Music in Islam
by Saleem Bhimji
لما مات آدم عليه السلام وشمت به إبليس وقابيل فاجتمعا في الارض فجعل إبليس وقابيل المعازف والملاهي شماتة بآدم عليه السلام فكل ما كان في الارض من هذا الضرب الذي يتلذذ به الناس فإنما هو من ذاك.
"When Adam (peace be upon him) passed away, Iblis and Qabil (the son of Adam) were delighted. They both gathered on the Earth and Iblis and Qabil used a Ma'azif (stringed instrument - violin, guitar, piano, etc.) and the Malahiyah (any type of musical instrument) to rejoice on the death of Adam (peace be upon him). Thus, whatever types of instruments are on the Earth that people derive pleasure from are from these instruments (that they had first used).
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله: كان إبليس أول تغنّى
The Prophet of Allah (blessings of Allah be upon him and his family) said: "(Iblis was the first person to play music/sing."
قال الامام جعفر الصادق عليه السلام: مَنْ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ بِنِعْمَةٍ فَجَاءَ عِنْدَ تِلْكَ النِّعْمَةِ بِمِزْمَارٍ فَقَدْ كَفَّرَهَا وَ مَنْ أُصِيبَ بِمُصِيبَةٍ فَجَاءَ عِنْدَ تِلْكَ الْمُصِيبَةِ بِنَائِحَةٍ فَقَدْ كَفَّرَهَا
Imam Ja'far ibn Muhammad as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) had said: "When a person is graced with a blessing from Allah and with this blessing, the person goes towards music, then verily he has been ungrateful to Him. As well, if a person is afflicted with trials and tribulations and he responds to them by sighs or lamenting, then too, verily he has been ungrateful to Him."
As for the punishment of one who listens to Music, we read the following narrations from the Prophet and his Ahl al-Bait:
قال الامام جعفر الصادق عليه السلام: ان شيطاناً يقال له: القفندر، اذا ضرب في منزل اربعين صباحاً بالبربط ودخل عليه الرجال وضع ذلك الشيطان كل عضو منه على مثله من صاحب البيت، ثم نفخ فيه نفخة فلا يغار بعدها حتى تؤتى نساؤه فلا يغار.
Imam Ja'far ibn Muhammad as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) said: "Verily Shaitan is referred to as al-Qafandar (one with a bad face) because he spends fourty days in the house of a person who plays drums and cymbals. The Shaitan strokes all the parts of the person's body (so that the eyes, ears, tongue and all other parts of the body are placed under the control of Shaitan so that they can all fall into sin). After this, in order to completely drown the person in evil and darkness, Shaitan blows a wind into this person, making him become utterly shameless so much so, that even if his own wife was to have unlawful relations with another person, he would not be concerned or affected." (Usul al- Kafi, Volume 6, Page 432)
قال الامام جعفر الصادق عليه السلام: يت الغناء لا تؤمن فيه الفجيعة، ولا تجاب فيه الدعوة، ولا تدخله الملائكة
Imam Ja'far ibn Muhammad as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) further said: "Those who live in a house in which music is played are not protected from painful death and troubles, their supplications are not answered, and the Angels do not enter (their house)." (Usul al-Kafi, Volume 6, Page 433)
قال الامام جعفر الصادق عليه السلام: لا تدخلوا بيوتا الله معرض عن أهلها
Imam Ja'far ibn Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Do not enter into the houses which due to committing sins (listening to music) have been prevented from enjoying the mercy of Allah." (Usul al-Kafi, Volume 6, Page 432)
قال الامام جعفر الصادق عليه السلام: ضرب العيدان ينبت النفاق في القلب كما ينبت الماء الخضرة
Imam Ja'far ibn Muhammad as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) said: "Playing music (for example hitting the drum, etc.) makes hypocrisy grow in the heart, just like water makes vegetation grow." (Usul al-Kafi, Volume 6, Page 434)
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله: إنّما نهيت عن صوتين أحمقين فاجرين: صوت عند نعمة لهو ومزامير الشيطان وصوت عند مصيبة خمش وجوه، وشق جيوب، ورنة شيطان.
The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) said: “Verily I was prohibited from two types of sounds which are useless and vain- one is the sound of the vain song or chant and the sound of Shaitan that misguides people; and the other is the crying that one does when he hears of a problem which accompanied by the scratching of the face, ripping of the clothes and the satanic sound of crying accompanied with this.” (Al-Ghadir, Volume 8 Page 235 Mustadrak al-Wasa’il, Volume 13, page 218)
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله: لا تدخل الملائكة بيتا فيه خمر أو دف أو طنبور أو نرد ولا يستجاب دعائهم و ترفع عنهم البركة.
The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) said: "The Angels do not enter into that house in which there is alcohol, a drum, a tanbour or cards (gambling instruments); their supplications are not answered and the blessings are removed from them." (Wasa'il ash-Shi'a, Volume 12, Page 235 I Mustadarak al-Wasa'il, Volume 13, Page 218)
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله: الغناء رقية الزنا.
The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) said: "Singing (music) is close to adultery." (Ad-Dur al-Manthur, Volume 5, Page 308 I Mustadarak al-Wasa'il, Volume 13, Page 215 (new print))
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله: إياكم والغناء ، فإنه يُنقص الحياء ويزيد في الشهوة ويهدم المروءة ، وإنه لينوب عن الخمر ، ويفعل ما يفعل السكر ، فإن كنتم لا بُدّ فاعلين فجنبوه النساء ؛ إن الغناء داعية الزنا.
The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) said: "Stay away from ghina (singing and music) because it destroys the shame (modesty) and increases the sexual excitement. It kills one’s manliness and verily leads one to alcohol and he will then become drunk. Thus, if you are lead into music, then stay away from women since music and singing will lead a person to commit adultery." (Ad-Dur al-Manthur, Volume 5, Page 308)
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله: إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ بَعَثَنِي هُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِلْعَالَمِينَ , وَأَمَرَنِي رَبِّي أَنْ أَمْحَقَ الْمَزَامِيرَ ، وَالْمَعَازِفَ ، وَالْخُمْورَ ، وَالأَوْثَانَ وامور الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ إلى ان قال إن الات المزامير شراؤها وبيعها وثمنها والتجارة بها حرام. الخبر.
The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) said: "Verily Allah, the Highest appointed me to guide (mankind) and as a mercy for the entire universe, and commanded me to remove the Mazamir (a type of drum), the Ma'azif (a stringed instrument such as a piano, violin, guitar, etc.), the autar and the awthan as well as the acts of the period of Ignorance." He then said, "Verily the instruments of music, its construction, selling, profit and trading (of them) are all forbidden." (Mustadarak al- Wasa'il, Volume 13, Page 219)
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله: يحشر صاحب الطنبور يوم القيامة وهو اسود الوجه وبيده طنبور من نار ، وفوق رأسه سبعون الف ملك بيد كل مقمعه يضربون وجهه ورأسه ويحشر صاحب الغناء من قبره اعمى واخرس وابكم ويحشر الزاي مثل ذلك وصاحب المزمار مثل ذلك وصاحب الدف مثل ذلك
The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) said: "The person who plays the drum will be raised on the Day of Judgement while his face will be black and in his hands will be a drum made of fire. Above his head will be 70,000 angels and in the hand of each of them will be a chain, which they will hit against that person's head and face. The person who sang will be brought forth from his grave blind, deaf and mute. The one who performed adultery will be gathered and raised in the same manner. The one who played the wood instrument will be the same, and so will the player of the drum." (Mustadarak al- Wasa'il, Volume 13, Page 219)
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله: من استمع الى اللهو يُذاب في اذنه الإنك.
The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) said: "One who listens to lahw (music or any vain talk) will have hot molten lead poured into his ears on the Day of Judgement." (Mustadarak al-Wasa'il, Volume 13, Page 222)
قال الامام جعفر الصادق عليه السلام: المغنية ملعونة ومن اداها ملعون وأكل كسبها ملعون.
Imam Ja'far ibn Muhammad as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) said: "The female slave girl or woman who sings is cursed, and so is the one who gives her money, as well one who spends that money is also cursed." (Safinatul Bihar, Volume 2, Page 32)
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