Question: Who does verse 31: 6 refer to when it refers to those who “purchase idle talk”?
Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
Thank you for your important question.
The verse ‘And of men are those who purchase idle talk to mislead [others] from the way of Allah without the knowledge and who takes it [His way] in ridicule. Those will have a humiliating punishment.’ (Qur’an, 31: 6) in its general sense refers to people who use language and other media to distract people from Allah. I apply it to anti-Islamic propaganda, mocking of Islam, and general media, music, songs, cartoons, and films that encourage Allah’s disobedience.
According to many Early Muslims, “idle talk” applies to immoral songs (ghina), singing them and listening to them. (Tafsir Tabari)
In that playing and listening to musical instruments are forbidden, the verse would be inclusive of these two things in the general sense, but not directly. Hasan al-Basri has, however, been narrated to have said that it applies specifically to musical instruments (ma’azif). (Tafsir al-Qurtubi)
I pray this helps.
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the Arabic language sciences and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years, he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.