Readings in Qaradawism : Part 2 : Arts and Entertainment


That by which the Ummah has been put to trial in current times is the emergence of a people who wear the gown of knowledge, abrogate the Sharee’ah in the name of “revivalism” and facilitate all of the ways to corruption in the name of “understanding the ease and lenience of Islaam”. And so they opened up evil and despicable avenues in the name of “ijtihaad”. Then they belittled the affairs of the Sunnah in the name of the “understanding of priorities” and they also declared their loyalty for the Infidels in the name of “creating a good picture of Islaam”.

And at the head of them is the muftee known as Yusuf al-Qaradaawi who has worked in order to spread this ideology by way of the Internet, lectures, lessons, books and conferences and others ways.

This brief paper is only a summary of some of the ideas and thoughts of this man. And this is by way of sincere advice to the Ummah and to be free of blame and in order to warn from this man and his likes.

Detailed refutations of this man have already been written, such as “ar-Radd alal-Qaradaawi (Refuting Qaradawi)” of Nasir bin Hamad al-Fahad and also “Iskaat Kalb al-Aawi (Silencing the Hounding Dog)” of Shaikh Muqbil bin Haadee, and other works, both large and small in volume. AL-QARADAWI’S POSITION TOWARDS ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

Al-Qaradawi is one of well-known and most popular of the callers to singing and entertainment and he affirms this matter from numerous angles: ONE: He affirms in many of his books that singing is lawful the cinema is lawful (halaal) and is a good thing. (This occurs in his books in general such as “al-Halaal wal-Haraam”, “al-Marji’iyyah al-Ulyaa”, “Fataawaa Mu’aasirah and others. As for his verdict on the cinema, then he mentions this in “al-Halaal wal-Haraam”). TWO:

He also mentions that he shows rejection towards those artists who do avoid the arts (i.e. from performing). (In an open lesson, when answering questions to bystanders in the programme ‘ash-Sharee’ah wal-Hayaat’, dated 12/4/98). THREE: He gives his blessings to those who wear the Christian cross and who openly show it for the purpose of illustrating (i.e. acting out, tamtheel) the military expeditions of the Crusaders, and declaring this act to be lawful for them by saying “Traverse upon the blessing of Allaah (barakah) and Allaah is with you, and never will He abandon your actions.” (This is in a verdict of this which is present on the Website, Islaam on the Internet, which is under his own supervision and control. And this site contains many great calamities and serious oppositions to Islaam.) FOUR:

He mentions how he himself likes to follow up the songs of Faayizah Ahmad, Shaadiyah, Umm Kulthoom, Fairoz and other women. (In the Qatari magazine called ar-Raayah, no. 5969, dated 19/Jumaadah al-Ulaa/1419). FIVE: He mentions about himself that he follows up the various films and soap series such as “al-Irhaab wal-Kabaab” of Aadil Imaam, and in this film mockery is made of those who follow the religion – and also “al-Layaali al-Hilmiyyah (Sweet Nights)” and also “Ra’fat al-Hajaan” and also the films of Ghawaar, Noor Shareef, Ma’aali Zaayid and others. (In the Qatari magazine called ar-Raayah, no. 5969, dated 19/Jumaadah al-Oolaa/1419. Also in the Weekly News, no. 401, dated 23/Ramadaan/1414H).SIX: He makes it permissible to look at the women which appear on the screens. (In a lesson in his ash-Sharee’ah wal-Hayaat programme dated 13/6/99).

This is only a very small selection of the Qaradawite theorem concerning music and singing. One may refer to the abovementioned books for more of his calamities in this regard. COMMENTS

This then is the condition of this Wicked Muftee who opposes the Book, the Sunnah, the Pious Taabi’een and the Imaams after them, the Muftee who allows the common-folk to persist upon their ignorance, time-wasting and indulgence in vanities and novelties, which are but instruments of the Accursed One, and which but cause them to forget the remembrance of Allaah.

This is the Muftee who has become the authority on current affairs for many of the Qutubiyyah, biased partisans and other strayers.

Where is this Innovator and where are our Righteous Salaf?! Where are those who defend this man, promote his doctrine and poison the sons of Ahl us-Sunnah with his mental decrepitude, his evil verdicts and his annulment and replacement (tabdeel) of the Sharee’ah rulings?

We conclude by quoting from the excellent work of Abu Bilaal Mustafa al-Kanadi’s book on Music and Singing. THE VIEW OF THE TABIEEN IMAMS AND SCHOLARS AFTER THEM The view held by the companions was generally adhered to by the taabieen and their followers, the four imams and the great majority of dependable Islamic scholars up to the present time.From among the tabieen and their followers, there are such authorities as Mujaahid, Ikrimah, An-Nakhai and Al-Hassan Al-Basri.(107) IMAM ABU HANEEFAH

Imam Abu Haneefah (108) has perhaps the harshest view of the four famous Imams of jurisprudence. His school of thought is the strictest, for he detested singing and considered it sinful. As for his disciples, they have explicitly confirmed the prohibition of listening to all musical amusements and pastimes, including wind instruments (mazaameer) (109) all types of tambourines, hand drums(dufoof) (110) and even the striking of sticks9al-qadeeb).They have asserted that such actions constitute disobedience to Allah and that the performer of such action is sinful, therefore necessitating rejection of his testimony (111). They have further stated that it is incumbent upon the Muslim to struggle to avoid listening to such things, even if he were passing by or stationed near them (without any wilful intention). Abu Haneefah’s closest disciple, Abu Yoosuf, stated that if the sound of musical instruments (maazif) and amusements (malaahi) were heard coming from a house, the house could be entered without permission of its owners(112). The justification for this is that the command regarding the prohibition abominable things (munkaaraat) is mandatory, and cannot be established if such entering rests upon the permission of the residents of the premises.This is the madhhab (position) of the rest of the Kufic scholars as well, such as Ibraheem An-Nakhai, Ash-Shabi Hammad and Ath-Thowri. They do not differ on this issue. The same can be said of the general body of jurisprudents of Al-Basrah.(114). IMAAM MAALIK

It is related by Ibnul-Jowzi that Ishaaq bin Eesaa At-Tabaa asked Imaam Maalik bin Anas, (115), the leading jurisprudent of Madeenah, about the view of the people of madeenah regarding singing (ghinaa).He replied, “In fact, that is done by the sinful ones.” Abut-teeb At-Tabari said, “As for Maalik bin Anas, he truly did prohibit singing and listening to it.” He further related that Maalik said, “If one purchased a slave-girl (116) and found her to be a professional singer, he could return her to the original owner for reimbursement on the claim of having found fault in the merchandise.”(117) The ruling of prohibition (tahreem) is generally agreed upon by the scholars of Madeenah. The Maaliki jurisprudent and commentator, Al-Qurtubi , reports Ibn Khuwayz Mandaad as saying that Imam Maalik had learned singing and music as a small boy until his mother encouraged him to leave it for a study of the religous sciences. He did, and his view became that such things were prohibited.(118)Al-Qurtubi confirmed Maaliks view by saying that the only exception to this general ruling was the type of innocent songs such as those sung to placate the camels during travel, or during hard labour or boredom or during times of festivity and joy, such as the Eed days and weddings-the latter to the accompaniment of a simple daff (hand drum). Al-Qurtubi then said, “As for that which is done in our day, by way of the (blameworthy) innovations (bidah) of the Sufi mystics in their addition to hearing songs to the accompaniment of melodious instruments such as flutes, string instruments such as flutes, string instruments etc such is haraam(forbidden)(119). IMAAM SHAFI’EE

In the book, Aadaabul Qadaa, As-Shafiee is reported as saying, “Verily, song is loathsome (makrooh); it resembles the false and vain thing (al-baatil). The one who partakes of it frequently is an incompetent fool whose testimony is to be rejected.”(121) His closest and most knowledgeable disciples clearly stipulate that his position on this issue is that of prohibition (tahreem)and they rebuke those who attribute its legality to him(122) This is confirmed by the later Shafiite scholar, Ibn Hajar Al-Haythami. He related that one of the Ash-Shaafiites disciples, Al-Haarith Al-Muhaasibi (d.243 H) said, “Song is haraam, just as the carcass (maytah).” (123). Further more, the statement that singing is haraam is found in the treatise, Ash-Sharh Al-Kabeer, by the authoritative Shaffiite Scholar, Ar-Raafiee(d.623 H).This is further corroborated by the accomplished Shaaffi’ite jurisprudent, Imam An-Nawawi(d.676 H)in his Rowdah)(124). Such is the correct view of the dependable scholars of the Shaffi’ite madhab. However, due to limited knowledge and personal fancy and desire, a few of their later day scholars disagree with this view.(125)  IMAM AHMAD BIN HANBAL

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) NOTES

(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. (113) Quoted from “Ownul Mabood Sharhu Sunan Abi Dawood”, vol.13, pp.273-274.

(114) Stated by Abut Teeb Taahir At-Tabari and quoted in Al-Qurtubis Al-Jaamili Ahkaamil Quraan, vol.14, p.55.

(115) He was born at Madeenah in the year 93 of the Hijrah and died there in 179H.For details of his life and times, see Qaadi Ayyads Tarteebul Madaarik, vol.1, pp.107-147.

(116) In the time of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) , the world economy was almost completely based upon the institution of slavery. Wisdom and foresight demanded a gradual elimination of this deeply rooted social system. The Islamic method was to limit the ways in which slaves could be taken to only one-jihaad(lawful warfare), while at the same time imposing conditions under which a slave must be freed and encouraging the freeing of believing slaves as an act of worship which brings one closer to Allah. Mistreatment of slaves was strictly prohibited and they were always entitled to respect as human beings. These guidelines protecting slaves are still applicable today.

(117) The previous sayings related to Maalik were quoted from Ibnul-Jowzis Talbees, p.29.

(118) Al-Jaamili Ahkaamil Quraan, vol.14, p.55

(119) Ibid, vol.14, p.54.

(120) He was born 150 H In Gazzah in Palestine. He died and was buried in Cairo, 204 H. Details of his life and works are chronicled in Al-Bayhaqis Manaaqibush Shaafiee.

(121) See Al-Qurtubis tafseer, vol.14, p.55 and Ibnul-Jowzis Talbees Iblees, p.231.Also refer to footnote no.111.

(122) See Ownul Mabood, vol.13, p.274.

(123) Designates the carcass of the animal which has not been slaughetered in a manner acceptable to the shariah, but has died in a manner rendering it unlawful for food, such as dying from a disease, accident, naturally or by being hit by a blow, etc. However, the skin of such an animal may be used after proper curing.

(124) Kaffur Raaa.p.61.

(125) Talbees iblees, pp.230-231.A sample of such scholars along with a refutation of their position will follow in the next section of this work.

(126) He was born in Baghdad, 164 H and died there in 241 H.See the excellent biography of his life

(127) In Arabic these are called qasaaiduz zuhd.

(128) “Singing” here means without musical accompaniment.

(129) Indicates a change in the state of mind or disposition of a person who appears “overcome” by the mention (dhikr) of God in supplication (duaa) performed in a humble, humiliating stance. Those who partake in this experience of being “overcome” are moved to extreme delight or grief by the manner in which such poetry is delivered.It is usually delivered in an affected, throbbing style which moves them to dance and gyrate to the beat and melody of such rythmic poems. Because of this “change’ (taghyeer) which overcomes them, they were called al-mughayyarah. Refer to Talbees Iblees, p.330.

(130) Talbees Iblees, p.228.

(131) All of these scholars, including Ahmad, didn’t not mind a certain type of chanting, singing and recitation of poetry or stories, etc without musical accompaniment or other prohibited aspects.

(132) Refer to footnote no.116.

(133) The loss incurred by selling the slave girl not as singer but as an ordinary worker.

(134) This statement was made during the 6th century of the Islamic era. Therefore, what could be said of what we hear and see of music and singing today!

(135) Talbees Iblees, pp.228-229.


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