Answered by: Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Are Islamic Nasheeds with musical instruments permissible?
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
There are clear narrations which support the fact that to recite poetry and to listen to it is permissible as long as the reciter is not a woman, the subject of the poetry is not vulgar or indecent, and there are no musical instruments involved. (Maariful Quran P.36 V.7)
In Arabic, nasheed means raising the voice when reciting and making the voice sound beautiful and gentle.
It is narrated by Saaidina Anas (RA) that when the Prophet of Allah (SAW) saw how exhausted and hungry we were, he said “O Allah, there is no life except the life of the hereafter, so forgive the Ansaar and the Muhaajireen.” And they said in response: “We are the ones who have pledged allegiance to Muhammed, to make jihad for as long as we live. (Sahih Bukhari P.588 V.2)
It is also narrated in Musanaff Ibn-Abi Shaybah that the companions of the Prophet of Allah (SAW) did not speak in devious tones or in a soft manner. They used to recite verses in their gatherings, denouncing the affairs of the Jahilliyah, but if it was matters in regards to their religion, they would become very serious and cautious. (P.711 V.8)
These ahadeeth indicate that nasheed, whether it is recited individually or together is permissible.
However, if the nasheeds include musical instruments, then such nasheeds will be deemed impermissible.
Allah (SWA) in the Holy Quran says:
“And of Mankind is he who purchases idle talk (Iahwe-hadith) to mislead people from the path of Allah without knowledge.” (Luqman V.6)
Most of the scholars have interpreted “idle talk” (Iahwe-hadith) as meaning singing, musical instruments and every voice that diverts people from the truth. (Maariful Quran P.33 V.7)
It is reported by Sayyidina Abu Malik Al Ashari (RA) that the Prophet of Allah (SWA) said: “Indeed some people from my community will drink wine, giving it a name other than the name it already has. Music will be played right on their faces with instruments and singing women in attendance. Allah (SWT) will make the earth sink with them, while he will make some of them monkeys and pigs.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, Sunan Ibn Majah)
The conclusion we could come to is that to listen to nasheeds and Islamic songs that are played with musical instruments which are for entertainment will not be permissible.
However, if the Islamic nasheed is being played with a “duff”, there is a difference of opinion regarding its permissibility.
Duff is a large-sized frame drum used to accompany both popular and classical music. Some duffs are equipped with rings and small symbols, making them a form of tambourine. (Wikipedia)
The Fuqaha permit only women to beat on the duff and on joyous occasions like the two Eids, weddings and to celebrate the arrival from the travel of a respected individual.
This can be proven through the following Hadith when a woman came to the Prophet of Allah (SWA) and said: “O Prophet of Allah, I have made a vow, if Allah brought you back safe, to beat the duff over your head.” The Prophet of Allah (SWA) sat down and said, “Fulfil your vow” (Sunan Abu Dawud P.113 V.2)
If the Islamic Nasheed consists of beats on the duff and one is listening to it to freshen up or be cheerful etc then it will be permissible, although it is better to avoid it as some scholars have classed the usage of duff as makruh.
Only Allah knows best
Written by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham