What’s the ruling on nasheeds that don’t use instruments? Not listened to on a regular basis but special occasions like a wedding etc.
The scholars have mentioned generally that making use of nasheeds for special occasions like a wedding is permissible, especially if it has nothing forbidden in them due to the following narrations:
عَنْ عَامِرِ بْنِ سَعْدٍ، قَالَ دَخَلْتُ عَلَى قَرَظَةَ بْنِ كَعْبٍ وَأَبِي مَسْعُودٍ الأَنْصَارِيِّ فِي عُرْسٍ وَإِذَا جَوَارٍ يُغَنِّينَ فَقُلْتُ أَنْتُمَا صَاحِبَا رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَمِنْ أَهْلِ بَدْرٍ يُفْعَلُ هَذَا عِنْدَكُمْ . فَقَالاَ اجْلِسْ إِنْ شِئْتَ فَاسْمَعْ مَعَنَا وَإِنْ شِئْتَ اذْهَبْ قَدْ رُخِّصَ لَنَا فِي اللَّهْوِ عِنْدَ الْعُرْسِ .
It was narrated that ‘Amir bin Sa’d said:
“I entered upon Quradhah bin Ka’b and Abu Mas’ud Al-Ansari during a wedding and there were some young girls singing. I said: ‘You are two of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah who were present at Badr, and this is being done in your presence!’ They said: ‘Sit down if you want and listen with us, or if you want you can go away. We were granted a concession allowing entertainment at weddings.'” [Reported by an-Nasaa’i and graded authentic by Shaykh Albani rahimahullah]
عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، أَنَّهَا زَفَّتِ امْرَأَةً إِلَى رَجُلٍ مِنَ الأَنْصَارِ فَقَالَ نَبِيُّ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم “ يَا عَائِشَةُ مَا كَانَ مَعَكُمْ لَهْوٌ فَإِنَّ الأَنْصَارَ يُعْجِبُهُمُ اللَّهْوُ ”.
It was narrated on ‘Aisha:
That she prepared a lady for a man from the Ansar as his bride and the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “O ‘Aisha! Haven’t you got any amusement (during the marriage ceremony) as the Ansar like amusement?”
[Reported by al-Bukhari]
Ash-Shaykh Yahya al-Hajooree, hafidahullah, was asked the following,
“What is the ruling on having country style poetry and nasheeds for the wedding night?”
“It is permissible as long as they don’t contain anything forbidden or have any fitnah [i.e evil temptations] in them.” End. [Reference]
A similar verdict was given by Shaykh Muhammad bin Hizaam, hafidahullah, as found here.
The scholars generally have listed a number of things to avoid concerning modern day nasheeds:
Ash-Shaykh Bin Baz, rahimahullah, was asked the following,
“There has been a lot of speech in regards to the ruling of Islamic nasheeds and as a result people have become confused [about them] and a number of questions have come concerning this topic. Therefore, we hope from you, oh eminent Shaykh, [if you can] bring clarity regarding it?”
“Islamic nasheeds require some detail since it is not possible to give an absolute answer [regarding them]. Therefore, there must be some details given; all poems and nasheeds, whether they are referred to as Islamic or not, must be void of that which opposes the sacred religion of Islam. Therefore, if it is free from what opposes this sacred religion and is used for praising it, as well as good character, nobility, generosity, and used as words of encouragement for Jihad in the cause of Allah, protecting one’s land from the enemies, and as an encouragement for being sincere when performing good deed, being encouragement for being good to one’s parents, good to the neighbors, and so on from the Islamic affairs, upon clear methods that do not oppose the sacred religion of Islam, then in this case there is no harm in it. It is similar to what Al-Imam Shaafie rahimahullah said concerning poetry that it is like regular speech. The good of it is good and the repugnant of it is repugnant…”. End.
Ash-Shaykh Saalih Al-Fawzaan, hafidahullah, was asked the following,
“I have a shop that sells religious tapes wherein I produce Islamic nasheeds and other than it. So what is the ruling on selling these [nasheeds]? May Allaah preserve you and protect you.”
“As for Islamic nasheeds, then do not sell them. There is no such thing as Islamic nasheeds. This oh my brother is singing. Nasheeds just say nasheeds and do not add the word ‘Islamic’ to it. There is no such thing in Islam called nasheed; this is a made up name. Also, most nasheeds have become used for the Soofiyah since they carry out their acts of worship through nasheeds or are used for the people of hizbiyyah from those who have specific agendas whereby they motivate their followers to follow them through these nasheeds. Therefore, it is either a symbol for the soofis or the people of hizbiyyah.” End.
Ash-Shaykh Albani, rahimahullah, said,
بل قد يكون في هذا – [ أي : الأناشيد ] – آفةٌ أخرى ، وهي أنّها قد تُلحَّن على ألحان الأغاني الماجنة ، وتوقع على القوانين الموسيقية الشرقية والغربية التي تطرب السامعين وترقصهم ، وتخرجهم عن طورهم ، فيكون المقصد هو اللحن والطرب ، وليس النشيد بالذات ، وهذه مخالفة جديدة ، وهي التشبه بالكفار والمجّان ، وقد ينتج من وراء ذلك مخالفة أخرى ، وهي التشبه بهم في إعراضهم عن القرآن وهجرهم إياه ، فيدخلون في عموم شكوى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم من قومه ، كما في قوله تعالى : ( وقال الرسول يا رب إن قومي اتخذوا هذا القرآن مهجوراً
“…Rather what also may be found in these nasheeds is another defect which is that it could be melodiously recited upon certain flirtatious musical tunes which are aligned with specific musical rhythms from the eastern and western world which makes them want to react to the musical beat and to want to dance and it makes them feel a different sensation. Therefore, what is mainly intended is the melody and the musical beat and it is not the actual nasheed and this is a new opposition [to the religion] which is imitating the kufaar and the indecent characters. This could lead to another opposition to the religion, which is imitating them in how they have averted and abandoned the Quran and as a result they will fall generally under those who the Prophet (ﷺ) complained about concerning his people as found in the statement of Allah,
‘And the Messenger will say: “O my Lord! Verily, my people deserted this Qur’an.”’ [25:30]
“End. [Tahreem Aalaat al-Lahwi wat-Tarib, pg 181]
Ash-Shaykh Muqbil, rahimahullah, was asked the following,
“What is the ruling on Islamic nasheeds?”
“The ruling on Islamic nasheeds is that they are permissible as long as they are not a fitnah for verily the Sahaabi Hasaan bin Thaabit would recite nasheeds [poetry] in the presence of the Prophet (ﷺ)… So, nasheeds that incite enthusiasm, then there is no harm in them. However, the people have become excessive concerning them to the extent that perhaps a young man who once memorized the Quran and was later introduced to nasheeds became from the group of people who are so concerned about nasheeds and as a result he begins to forget the Quran. And perhaps a young man who once used to admonish the masses through the benefits that were derived from the exegesis of the Quran – and he would do so in a manner as if Tafsir Ibn Kathir was before his two eyes – then he gets transformed through nasheeds and hizbiyyah. Hence people are of various types concerning these nasheeds…The nasheeds that incite enthusiasm, then there is no harm in them. However, they shouldn’t be used more than the Book of Allah and the Sunnah and if they are played along with a duff [one sided drum], then there is no harm in this. As for being accompanied with music, then it becomes haraam and the origin concerning the ruling on musical instruments is that they are haraam except for what the religion has exempted such as the duff [i.e., the one sided drum].” End.
Ash-Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih al-Uthaymeen, rahimahullah, was asked the following,
“What is the ruling of listening to nasheeds that are referred to as islamic nasheeds?”
“I can’t rule them with one general ruling since they vary. If they are presented similar to how the indecent songs are presented, then they are haraam. If they are recited with beautiful voices that become a fitnah for the listener, then they are haraam. Also, if they consist of false beliefs, then they are haraam. If they are accompanied with drums or music, then they become haraam. Therefore, I’m not able to rule them with one general ruling of them being halal or haraam up until I see what these tapes consist of and in all cases it is better to listen to the Book of Allah, the prophetic hadiths, islamic lectures, and talks on islamic jurisprudence.” End.
The Mufti Abdul Azeez Aali-Shaykh hafidahullah, hafidahullah, was asked the following,
“What is the ruling on listening to islamic nasheed tapes?”
“Verily we have listened to some of what are referred to as islamic nasheeds and unfortunately we found them to be aligned with musical tunes; the softest, most soothing, and best of sounds which attract the hearts are chosen for them, and it is presented as if it is music. Rather, some sounds may even excel professional musicians in their sounds since it is given a specific rhythm and it is brought in the name of Islam while the religion of Islam is free from these affairs. The religion of Islam is based upon might and honor. The people have started to become preoccupied with these nasheeds away from the Speech of Allah, and these nasheeds would hinder them from reciting the Quran since they will become attached to them. Unfortunately, these nasheeds may [even] be accompanied with musical beats and drums upon certain rhythms that are referred to as ‘Islamic’ and this with no doubt is wrong. Therefore, I hope from my fellow brothers that they avoid it and keep far from it.” End. [Al-Jaam’i al- Mufeed fi kalaam Ahlil Ilm fil Anaasheed]
Note: Some of the modern day nasheeds have additional sound effects that resemble musical tunes. Therefore, one should make use of the nasheeds that are free from such musical sound effects as been mentioned by the scholars.
Ash-Shaykh Sulaymaan ar-Ruhayli, hafidahullah, said,
“… They have added now what is referred to as sound effects which in reality by Allah is more effective than music and they have claimed it is only sound effects and that it is not music. Actually music is a sound that has a beat with it even to the extent if a nail was used to pound on a piece of rock [to make music with it]. So, what about the likes of this trial [i.e., musical sound effects] which they have introduced to the Muslims?” End.
AbdulFattaah Bin Uthman