As salamu alaikum,
I will appreciate if you could provide answers to the following questions (with evidences where possible):
1) I hear a lot of fellow sisters say the position of scholars is that music is allowed, and that at worst it is controversial. Please respond to this and also comment on nasheeds by famous muslim singers at concerts.
2) If a sister invites me to a walimah and I get there to find that men and women are seated together in an uncomfortable way, what should I do without straining our relationship?
3) If one is a Chemist seeking a job or an internship, and an opening exists in an analytical lab. The main clients of this lab are breweries, thus 70% of their analyses are for alcoholic beverages. What would you advise the person to do?
I look forward to your reply.
All praise be to Allah, and may His peace and blessings be on the greatest messenger, Muhammad.
The issue of music and songs is one that has been recently rigorously debated, though, it was not so controversial in the past, because the vast majority of scholars have forbidden it.
وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَشْتَرِي لَهْوَ الْحَدِيثِ لِيُضِلَّ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ وَيَتَّخِذَهَا هُزُوًا أُولَئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُّهِينٌ”
“And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks (i.e.music, singing, etc.) to mislead (men) from the Path of Allah without knowledge, and takes it (the Path of Allah, the Verses of the Quran) by way of mockery. For such there will be a humiliating torment (in the Hell-fire).” (Luqmaan 31:6)
It was reported from Ibn ‘Abbas and Ibn Mas’ood of the companions and Mujahid and al-Hassan al-Basri of their followers, as well as many others, that this idle/vain talk is music and singing. (Review al-Tabari, al-Qurtubi or Ibn Katheer.)
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
” ليكونن من أمتي أقوام يستحلون الحر والحرير والخمر والمعازف .. ”
“There will be among my ummah people who regard adultery, silk, pork and musical instruments as permissible…” (Reported by al-Bukhari and though in the mo’allaq (disconnected chain) form, the sanad (chain) was connected by al-Isma’eely, at-Tabaraani and al-Bayhaqi).
Imam Ibn al-Qayyem said that this hadeeth indicates the prohibition of music in two ways:
1 – The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “[they] will regard as permissible…..” he is blaming them for making permissible that which is not.
2 – Musical instruments are combined in this report with three enormities. (saying that music is only impermissible if combined with them is not a strong argument, since each one of the other three is forbidden by itself and there are other reports that forbid music and that argument does not answer the Prophet’s saying in condemning those people “regard as permissible…”.
The scholars of Islam, generation after generation, forbade music and enlisted musical instruments in the fiqh books, chapters of transactions, under the goods impermissible to sell. The four madhhabs agree on the prohibition of musical instruments as evident in their classical writings.
By agreement, there is an exception of the duff (hand drum without the metal rattles on the sides) for women in weddings, since the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) allowed it in this occasion.
- Some say it is not limited to weddings.
- Some say there is no harm if played by men.
- Some expand this to include all percussion instruments.
- Some go as far as saying the duff may have rattles.
At any rate, the air/blowing and string instruments, and whatever makes their sounds, are forbidden by the vast majority of the scholars of the past and present, because of the here above proofs and many others.
A few earlier scholars and some contemporary ones allowed them if there is no inappropriate content in what is said in the songs, but their opinion is in conflict with the textual proofs, the sound reasoning, and the (almost) agreement of the scholars of Islam through the generations.
A quick look at the producers of music and songs, the singers and those intrigued by music and a brief examination of their character and lifestyle shows those with clear vision and insight the evils of music. Many parents listen to music, and blame their kids for listening to certain types of music, because of their dangers, and their bad associations. The kids are wrong in listening to music, but they are not wrong in perceiving their parents as contradictory. After all, where do you draw the line, and how do you distinguish between the benign and malignant forms of music!
This issue remains to be one of the issues that are not matters of consensus, thus, you should propagate the truth you believe in without creating enemies of your Muslim brothers and sisters who cling to the other opinion and refuse to see your viewpoint.
As for the nasheeds, if there is no music, and their content is appropriate, then I hope they are permissible.
As for your question about the mixing in wedding parties, you should not stay in a place where there is excessive social mixing between the opposite genders, particularly if there are other prohibitions, such as music. You may congratulate your sister who is getting married and excuse yourself. Many times, the parties are at a place where you may be able to sit outside of the hall in which there is impropriety. If it was not just the music and the social mixing, but there was dancing in front of the other gender or obviously inappropriate mixing, then you should not respond to such invitations in the first place, and if you unknowingly did, then you may excuse yourself when you arrive. As long as you act politely and with dignity, do not fear from people when you are pursuing the pleasure of their creator.
As for the chemist, he should wait to find a halaal job, and Allah will not let him down if he forsakes this job for Him.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
“من ترك شيئا لله عوضه الله خيرا منه.”
“He who forsakes something for Allah, Allah will make him up with something better than it.”
Allah knows best.