Shaafi'e Scholars Prohibiting Music

The Sahaabah radhiyallahu'anhum were the best people after the Messenger of Allaah sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, and best understood the deen of Islaam as they understood it directly from the Messenger sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam. The ijmaa' (consensus) of the Sahaabah radhiyallahu'anhum is therefore binding upon the Muslim Ummah, as is the complete consensus of any generation of scholars on a certain religious issue.

The Sahaabah radhiyallahu'anhum unanimously agreed upon the prohibition of music and song but allowed particular exceptions specified by the authentic sunnah. In the preceding article (Evidences From The Quran That Music Is Haram) we have already quoted some of the Sahaabah such as Ibn Masood and Ibn Abbaas radhiyallahu'anhum. This was also the view of the Four Rightly Guided Khulafaa and the fuqahaa from amongst the Sahaabah radhiyallahu'anhum.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah [d. 728H] (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
"The view of the four Imaams is that all kinds of musical instruments are haraam... None of the followers of the imaams mentioned any dispute concerning the matter of music." (al-Majmoo’, 11/576)
Now, let's examine the views of the scholars (imaams) of Islam from the mazhab of Imaam al-Shaafi'e rahimahullah.

The mazhab of Imaam al-Shaafi'e:

1) Syaikh Abu Ishaaq as-Syiraazy as-Syafiey [393-476H]

He ( may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
"And It is not permissible. (ie. hiring for a prohibited use, such as singing, flutes and carrying alcoholic drinks)." ( at-Tanbeeh )

2) Syaikh al-'Allaamah Abu Bakr Muhammad al-Husayni al-Husni as-Syafiey [752-829H ]

He was one of the Shaafi’es, said:
"...musical instruments such as flutes and others are munkar (evil), and the one who is present (where they are being played) should denounce them. He cannot be excused by the fact that there are bad scholars, because they are corrupting the sharee’ah, or evil faqeers (meaning the Sufis, because they call themselves fuqaraa’ or faqeers) because they are ignorant and follow anyone who makes noise; they are not guided by the light of knowledge; rather they are blown about by every wind." (Kifaayat al-Akhyaar, 2/128)
3) Imaam Al-Baghawi [died 516H]

He was a scholar from the Shaafi'e school (may Allaah have mercy on him) stated in a fatwa that:
" is haraam to sell all kinds of musical instruments such as mandolins, flutes... If the images
are erased and the musical instruments are altered, then it is permissible to sell their parts, whether they are silver, iron, wood or whatever." (Sharh al-Sunnah, 8/28)
4) Imaam As-Suyuthy [849-911H]

He was another Shaafi'e scholar said :
"And among them ( innovations ) what is innovated from singing/music, dancing and al-wajd ( a Sufi state of in-trance ), the person who indulges in them is of low integrity, his testimony is rejected, he is a sinner to Allah and His messenger, and it is prohibited." ( al-Amru bi Ittiba' pg 99)
5) Imaam An-Nawawy [died 676H]

The famous Shaafi'e scholar said :
"Musical instruments such as flutes and Tunboor ( a stringed instrument like a mandolin ) and others, if after being broken up and smashed to pieces are not considered as something of value, selling and buying it is not permissible, for there is no benefit in it according to the Syaree'ah. That is how the companions (of Imam Shaafi'e) verdicted in all their narrations, except al-Mutawally and ar-Rawyaany, both of them narrated an opinion, which is : it is pemissible to sell and buy it, and this is Syadz ( weird ) and Bathil ( false )." ( al-Majmu', kitab al-Buyu')
He also said :
" sing with some musical instruments which is the character of alcoholics, such as Tunboor, Oud ( a short necked lute ), as-Sunj ( a stringed instrument ) and all other musical instruments and strings, their usage and listening to them are haraam. As for yuraa' ( a kind of flute-horn played by cattle herders ), there are two opinions : al-Baghawy confirmed its prohibition and then mentioned from al-Ghazaly its permissibity and said : The correct one is the prohibition of yuraa'." (ar-Raudhah)
7) Qadhy Abu Tayyib [348-450H]

Imaam Shaafi'e said :
"The owner of a slave girl, if he gathers people to listen to her ( singing ), he is an idiot and his testimony is rejected. It is an act of diyathah, the one who does that is a dayyuth."
Qadhy Abu Tayyib, one of the senior Syaikhs of as-Shaafi'e school, commented the above saying :
"The reason why he made the owner an idiot is because he calls people to falsehood, anybody who calls people to falsehood is an idiot and faasiq."
And it is mutawatir from Imaam Shaafi'e that he said :
"I left Baghdad ( seeing ) something that is innovated by the heretics ( zanadiqah ), they named it " at-taghbeer ", swaying people from the al-Quran."
Taghbeer is singing of poetry regarding zuhd accompanied by beating on a leather rug ( drum ) with a stick. ( Ighaathat al-Lahfaan )

Furthermore, the statement that singing is haraam is found in the treatise, Ash-Sharh Al-Kabeer, by the authoritative Shaafi'e scholar, Imaam Ar-Raafi'ee (died 623H).

Wallaahu waliyyut-tawfeeq





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