Q. Is it permissible to attend functions where the Qur’aan is recited collectively and qaseedas are sung etc? Also if one chooses not to join in congregational dua is that being rude or disrespectful?
A. The customary collective reading of the Quran followed by the singing of Qaseedas did not exist in the three blessed periods of the Muslims. This custom was not prevalent among the Sahabahs, nor was it seen during the period of the Tabieen (2nd generation Muslims), and it was not practiced by the Tab’ut Tabieen (3rd generation Muslims). Hence, it is an innovation of the latter-day Muslims.
The Sacred Shariah has provided complete and perfect guidance to all believers with respect to their actions. Whether acts are connected to worship or rituals, social living or commerce, the birth of a child or the death of a person, marriage or divorce, Allah Has given a perfect and complete way of doing everything which was shown by the Prophet (SAS). Islam, being a comprehensive way of life, provides sufficient and correct guidelines in each and every aspect of our lives. As such, when it comes to expressing joy and happiness, the Prophet (SAS) has taught us how to do it. When it is a matter of showing grief, the Prophet (SAS) has shown us how to behave, and when it is a matter of celebrations, the Prophet (SAS) has also guided us.
Based on this, it becomes clear that whatever need may arise for the hosting of collective Quran reading and qaseeda singing, Islam has already (from before) given us a way to fulfill that need.
From among all these teachings which have been given by the Prophet (SAS), none of them gives any indication to the customary practice of the collective recitation of Holy Quran, followed by Qaseeda singing. The blessed and illustrious companions, although they were fully acquainted with all the virtues of reciting Quran and other acts that are rewarding, they did not bring about such practices. Along with the fact that these practices were invented, the latter day Muslims, have gone further by actually ‘understanding it to be a ritual in Islam’ which should be done occasionally. Today, Muslims show great importance to these practices to the extent that those who do not practice it are condemned, while those who do it think that they are fulfilling a requirement of Islam. Practices such as these, have thus become innovations which have been brought into Islam and, hence, have been opposed continuously by the sound, authentic reliable and credible Scholars throughout the ages.
In this regard, we find that the authoritative book of Islamic legal verdicts, Fatawa Bazaziya has condemned this practice as being innovated, (Fatawa Bazaziya Vol. 1 pg. 81). It has also been highlighted in Shami Vol. 1 pg. 842 that one must refrain from attending such functions.
With respect to not joining in congregational dua’, this amounts to total disregard for the supplication which is being made for everyone. As mentioned in traditions, it is evident that the Prophet (SAS) supplicated with the companions collectively, and it is also evident that he lifted his hands in dua. As such, if someone is making dua for an entire gathering, it is from the Islamic etiquettes that one should join in the dua (supplication).
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan
This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.