Music and Singing: Preface
All praise is due to Almighty God, Allah. We praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. And we seek refuge in Allah from the evil of our own selves and from our wicked deeds. Whosoever has been guided by Allah, there is none to misguide him. And whosoever has been misguided by Allah, none can guide him. I bear witness that there is no other god except Allah, alone, without partner or associate. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger. May Allah, the Exalted, bestow His peace and blessings on Prophet Muhammad, upon his good and pure family, as well as upon all of the noble companions and upon those who follow them in righteousness until the Day of Reckoning.
Verily, the most truthful speech is the Book of Allah, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (Allah's blessings and peace be upon him); while the worst affairs are novelties, for every novelty is a blameworthy innovation. Every innovation (in matters of religion) is misguidance and every misguidance is in the Fire.
The legality of music and singing in the Islamic shari'ah (the divinely-revealed law) is an issue which is hotly debated among individuals and scholars in Islamic societies of our present day. Arriving at the correct view requires unbiased, scholarly research of the available literature which must be supported by authentic, decisive proof.
A considerable amount has been said and written both for and against this subject, and the proliferation of doubt and confusion necessitates another more critical, meticulous analysis and assessment of this whole matter, in order for one to come to a clear, decisive conclusion which leaves not the least bit of doubt in the mind of the reader.
In hope of achieving such a difficult and lofty goal, I have applied a distinctive method which I trust, by Allah's leave, will succeed in achieving these treasured aims and objectives.
Firstly, I analyzed and assessed the claims made by differing factions that certain Quraanic verses support or prohibit the legality of the issue at hand. Secondly, I stringently researched the area of pertinent hadeeth literature in order to shed light on the issue as well as to dispel a number of misconceptions about the authenticity of certain traditions. Thirdly, I presented a consensus of the Islamic scholars with special reference to the pious predecessors of the Islamic ummah; i.e. the noble companions, the taabi'een, the famous imams and other jurisprudents (fuqahaa). Fourthly, I attempted to explain the infinite wisdom which underlies the ruling of prohibition as ordained by the divinely-revealed shari'ah. Fifthly, I cited examples of exceptions to the general rule of prohibition, as either defined by the authentic sunnah or agreed upon by the scholars. Finally, I presented a synopsis of the shar'iah texts and a conclusion which clarifies the prohibited aspects of music, singing and their adjuncts.
I pray that Allah grants success in this endeavor, accepting it as a work done purely for His sake and bestowing upon us and our brethren in faith, sincerity and guidance to His straight path.
Abu Bilal Mustafa Al-Kanadi
Ramadaan 1406/May 1986