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Yusuf al-Qaradawi
  Readings in Qaradawism : Part 2 : Arts and Entertainment
Source: ar-Radd alal-Qaradawi
Article ID : NDV160002  [23029]  
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Imaam Ahmads (126) position regarding this issue has been narrated in detail by the Hanbalite jurisprudent and Quranic commentator, Abul Faraj Ibnul-Jowzi (d.597H.) in his treatise, Tablees Iblees(Sataan's deception).He tells us that ghinaa during Ahmads era consisted primarily of a rhymed, rythmical chanting (inshaad)of poems (127) whose puropse was to lead people to a pious, abstentious way of life.However, when such chanters began to vary their simple style to one of a throbbing, affected melody, the narrations regarding Ahmad began to differ.His own son and student , Abdullah, relates that his father said, "Singing (128) sprouts hypocricy in the heart;it doesnt please me."The scholar, Ismaeel bin Ishaaq ath Thaqafi, reports that Ahmad was questioned regarding ones listening to those poems (qasaaid) to whichhe replied, "I despise it, for it is a bidaah(innovation).Dont sit down to listen to its reciters.'Abul-Haarith relates that Ahmad said, "At-Taghyeer (129) is an innovation"whereupon it was said, "But it sensitizes and softens the heart".Ahmad rejoined, "It is a bidaah (blameworthy innovation)." Yaqoob Al-Haashimi narrates that Ahmad said, "At-taghyeer is a recent innovation" and Yaqoob bin Gayyath reports him a s saying that he despised at-taghyeer and prohibited ones listening to it.(130)

Ibnul-Jowzi then mentioned some narrations related by Abu Bakr Al-Khlallaal and Ahmads son Saalih, which indicate Ahmads not being averse to poetry sessions. It is related that Ahmad heard a singer(qawwal) and didn’t reproach him, whereupon Saalih said to him, "Oh father, didn’t you used to criticise and censure such a thing?" Ahmad replied, "That was because I was told that they were doing reproachable things, so I despised it; as for this, I do not dislike it" Ibnul-Jowzi commented at this point, "Some of the scholars of our (Hanbalite) school mention that Abu Bakr Al-Khallaal (d.311 H) and his disciple, Abdul-Azeez, permitted singing(ghinaa).Such a statement refers to the spiritual poems (qasaaid zuhduyyaat) which were prevalent during their time. This is precisely the type of singing which was not disliked by Ahmad(as previously mentioned)" (131).

Ahmad bin Hanbal attests to this in the instance where he was asked regarding a deceased person who left behind him a son and a professional singing) slave-girl(132). The son then needed to sell her.Ahmad said that she was not to be sold on the basis of her being a singer.Upon this it was said to him that, (as a singer), she was worth, 30000 dirhams, whereas if she were sold only on the basis of her being simply a slave-girl"Ibnul Jowzi explained, "The reason Ahmad said this is because the singing slave-girl doesnt sing spiritual poems(qasaaid zuhdiyaat);rather she sings throbbing lyrics which incite passion in ones being.This is proof that such singing is haraam, for if it were not so, the incurred loss of the orphans sons wealth would not be permissible(133). Furthermore, it is reported by the jurisprudent Al-Marwazi that Ahmad bin Hanbal said, "The earnings of the effeminate (mukhannath) singer are foul (khabeeth) because he doesn’t sing spiritual poems, but rather, he sings erotic poetry(al-ghazal)in a licentious , cooing manner."

Ibnul-Jowzi concluded that it is obvious from what has preceded that the variant narrations relating to Ahmads dislike of( karaahah)or permission for singing depended upon the type of singing that was meant. As for the type of singing which is popular today, (134)it would be forbidden according to Ahmads view. If only he could see what the people have added to it by way of innovation.(135)

In conclusion, the general consensus of the companions, Taabieen and the following generations of Islamic scholars up to the present day, including the four Imams , points to the ruling of prohibition of music and song (other than the exceptions to be mentioned later)


(107) See pp.67-68 of Kaffur Raa;Al-Qurtubis tafseer, vol.19, p.51 and Shaykh Saalih Fowzaans Al-Ilaam bi Naqdi Kitaabil Hallaali wal Haraam, pp.72-74.

(108) The first of the four famous imaams.He was bron in koofa, Iraq in the 80th year of the Hijrah.He died in Baghdad in the year 150H see Adh-Dhahabis Seeyar Alaamin Nubalaa , vol.6, pp.390-403.

(109) Such as flutes, pipes, horns and related wind instruments.

(110) Small hand drums without steel jangles.This permitted type is to be used on certain restricted occassions as designated by the sunnah, the details of which will follow.

(111) Testimony given by witnesses concerning matters or crimes involving punishments is only accepted from trustworthy, obedient Muslims.

(112) In shariah, the mere suspicion of vice is not sufficient to warranat invasion of privacy by the authorities.Here, however, the violation is not confined to the privacy of the home and should be prevented, even forcibly, to avoid corruption of society.

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