As part of this year’s RIS convention, they will have a benefit concert to support the victims of the Gaja Cyclone in Tamil Nadu. They have invited AR Rahman, a famous Academy and Grammy award winner, to perform for the audience. Since the convention is ‘Islamic’, AR Rahman will not be playing his famous hits but rather Sufi music! It states on the RIS website: “This is a sufi music concert where AR Rahman and his orchestra will be performing on the songs from the Sufi music genre (Qawwali etc)” [Reference]. Qawwali music: “[…]emerged in what is now India and Pakistan in the 13th century, in close association with the Sufi and their Islamic mysticism. Typically, there are a lot of people involved in a performance, with eight or nine players making music with harmoniums, tabla, dholak and other percussive instrument.” [Reference]
While Qawwali music emerged in the 13th century, Sufi music emerged well before that and was warned against by the great Imams. At the head of these Imams was Imam ash-Shafi’ee (may Allah have mercy upon him) who said: “I left behind in Baghdad something called at-Taghbeer which the Zanaadiqah invented in order to occupy people from reciting the Quran” [Reported in al-Amr bil-Ma’roof wan-Nahi ‘an al-Munkar of al-Khallal (no. 194). Hafidh Ibn Rajab said it is authentic from ash-Shafi’ee in his essay Nuzhatul-Asmaa’ fi Mas’alah as-Samaa’ as cited in Majmoo’ Rasaail of Ibn Rajab (2/463)]
The Zanaadiqah Imam ash-Shafi’ee is referring to here are the Sufis according to the Scholars.
Shaikhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah have mercy upon him) said in explaining what at-Taghbeer is: “The Salaf called it at-Taghbeer because at-Taghbeer is hitting a branch upon an animal skin and alters the voice of a person to sound melodious. The voice of a person is accompanied with either clapping, or the beating of a branch on one’s thigh or an animal skin, or upon a duff or drum, or on a bell like that of the Christians, or alongside the blowing of a trumpet like the trumpet of the Jews. Whoever engages in these amusements as a form of Religion and drawing near to Allah, then there is no doubt in his misguidance and ignorance . . .” [Majmoo’ al-Fatawa (11/313)]
Likewise Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy upon him) referred to at-Taghbeer as an innovation [Reported in al-Amr bil-Ma’roof wan-Nahi ‘an al-Munkar of al-Khallal (no. 184)]
Imam al-Qurtubi (may Allah have mercy upon him) said: “With regard to what is innovated by Sufis today, who are addicted to hearing songs accompanied by different musical instruments, this is Haram” [Tafsir al-Qurtubi under the Tafsir of (31:6)]
Shaikhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah have mercy upon him) said: “As for the innovated “listening” (samaa’), such as the listening to clapping, drums and chimes, none of the Companions of the Prophet (ﷺ) nor the righteous followers nor any of the leaders of Islam held that to be a way to Allah. They did not consider it to be of that which brings one closer to Allah nor to be an act of obedience to Him. Rather, they considered it a blameworthy innovation (bid’a”) [The Criterion Between The Allies Of the Merciful & The Allies Of the Devil (pg. 123 English Translation)]
So Sufi music has long being rejected as being Islamic. Not to mention that this Qawwali music uses musical instruments which the Quran and Sunnah have clearly prohibited in many texts.
Furthermore, this benefit concert is suppose to raise funds for people in need. How can they use a haram means to obtain funds to help people when the Prophet (ﷺ) said:
إنَّ اللَّهَ إذا حرَّمَ شيئًا حرَّمَ ثمنَهُ
Verily Allah, if He prohibits something, He prohibits its price [Graded Saheeh by Imam al-Albani in Ghayaatul-Maram (no. 318)]
Again, is this what is intend by reviving the Islamic spirit? Presenting Sufi music to the people which the great Imams of Islam, including the Four Imams, prohibited and disallowed!
Yet another clear sign that Muslims should not attend such a convention.
May Allah guide the Muslims to the straight path
Faisal bin Abdul Qaadir bin Hassan