Is listening to Islamic songs such as by Yusuf Islam allowed, as they contain the sound of drums?



Q: Muhtaram Mufti Saheb; Assalaamu Alaykum

Is it permissible to listen to Islamic songs with the sound of music in the
background. Some people assert that beating of the Duff (drum) is
established in Hadith.

A: To assert on the basis of some Ahaadith that to listen to Islamic songs
with music in the background is incorrect. Several Ahaadith clearly prohibit
the use of the drum as well as other musical instruments. Consider the
following Ahaadith:

* Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) reports that Rasulullah
(Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) declared every wine, gambling, beating of
drums and every intoxicant as Haraam. (Abu Dawud)

* Hadhrat Ali (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu
Alayhi Wasallam) prohibited the beating of drums. (Kanzul Ummaal)

* The Kubah (drum) is Haraam. (Bayhaqi; Musnad Bazzar)

These Ahaadith are general and prohibit the beating of the drum. Those who
claim that the beating of drums is permissible generally use the Hadith
wherein it is reported that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said,
‘Announce the Nikah even though it be with the Duff.’ (Mishkat)

In another narration, it is reported that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi
Wasallam) passed by little girls who were beating drums. (Ibn Maajah)

However, to use these Ahaadith to substantiate the beating of drums as a
musical instrument is baseless. The beating of drums on the occasions was
for the purpose of announcement of a Nikah or the arrival of somebody or the
sighting of the moon. There is no evidence whatsoever that drums were used
merely for ‘entertainment’. Rather it is reported that when Umar
(Radhiallaahu Ánhu) heard the sound of beating drums, he would send a person
to inspect the occasion. If it was a Nikah (which was being announced by
means of the drum) he would keep quite. Otherwise, he would punish those
involved. (Fathul Qadeer)

In contemporary times there is no need to use the drum to announce any
occasion, nor is it used for such purposes. In these times, it is used
commonly as a musical instrument. The use of the drum as a musical
instrument is expressly forbidden as has been clearly ascertained from the
Ahaadith mentioned in the beginning. Also, music itself is expressly
forbidden in Deen. Allah Ta’ala says:

* Almighty Allah Taãla says in the Noble Qurãn: ‘And there are some people
who purchase idle talk. for them is a severe punishment’. Ibn Masóod
(Radhiyallaahu Ánhu) says that this verse was revealed regarding singing.

* Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said, ‘Allah ordered me to
destroy musical instruments.’

* Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said, ‘People from my Ummat will
drink wine and give it other names and singing girls and musical instruments
will be played before them. Allah will cause the earth to swallow them, and
disfigure their faces into apes and pigs.’

* Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) mentioned, ‘When singing girls
and musical instruments becomes common, wait for red winds, earthquakes, the
earth swallowing people, disfiguring and many more punishments.’ (Mishkãt

In the light of the above, it is not permissible to hear Islamic songs
having the sound of beating drums in the background.