1) The nature of the battle between mankind and Shaytaan (Satan).
2) Musical instruments and singing are tools of deception used by Shaytaan.
3) The ruling on singing and musical instruments, its corruption, and the pitfalls that songs and musical instruments can lead to.
Dear brothers, the battle between Satan, supported by his human and jinn soldiers, and the believers is endless; it never ceases. We experience this battle each day, hour and even each minute. On the very day that Allaah cursed him and dismissed him down to earth, Satan swore that he would wage a bitter war in which he would mobilize all those he could manage to corrupt. He adopted many methods and different means in order to trap the children of Aadam. Among such traps through which he snares people with little religious knowledge and understanding is listening to songs accompanied by prohibited musical instruments. Songs make the heart deviate from the Holy Qur'aan and turn towards ugly deeds and vices. They are the "holy books" of Satan and the thick veil that stands as a stumbling block between a person and his Lord. It is the gate to adultery and sodomy. It is the means adopted by dissipated lovers in order to attain their ends. It is the method through which vicious jinns harm mankind.
Almost all people, save those whom Allaah chose, are taken to singing to the extent that you may find a father teaching his child how to sing and encourage him to do this ugly deed. It has more than ten different names in religion. It is called idle tales, nonsense, falsehood, whistling and clapping, the gate to adultery, the holy book of Satan, the source of hypocrisy in hearts, the foolish voice, the dissolute voice, the voice of Satan, the piper of Satan, and Sumood (singing in the dialect of the old people of Yemen).
Its names indicate its characteristics. What evil and wicked names! As for its first name, it has been mentioned in Allaah's saying which means: "But there are, among men, those who purchase idle tales, without knowledge (or meaning), to mislead (men) from the Path of Allaah and throw ridicule (on the Path): for such there will be a humiliating Penalty. When Our Signs are rehearsed to such a one, he turns away in arrogance, as if he heard them not, as if there were deafness in both his ears: announce to him a grievous Penalty." ( Luqmaan: 6-7).
Ibn Mas`ood said: "I swear by Allaah that these "idle tales" are nothing but songs." He repeated it thrice. Ibn `Umar and Ibn `Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with them, said the very same thing. These Companions were living when the Qur'aan was revealed and hence they are among the most versed in interpreting the words of Allaah. They interpreted these "idle tales" as songs. You will never find any person taken to singing and listening to musical instruments without at least a degree of deviation from true guidance. He does not have the desire to listen to the Qur'aan and even prefers songs to it, to the extent that if he had to choose between the two, he would listen to songs. Even if he listens to the Qur'aan, he finds it hard to understand and assimilate it, and this may lead him to ask the one reciting to stop his recitation session because he feels that it is too long. As for songs, he asks the singer for more and feels that the song was very short.
A man came to Ibn `Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with him, and asked him: “What is the legal judgment pertaining to singing? Is it permissable or prohibited?” Ibn `Abbaas replied: “On the Day of Judgment, will singing be classified with truth or falsehood?” The man said: “With falsehood”. Ibn `Abbaas commented: “You have reached the judgment yourself”.
Songs are the gateway to adultery as they contain inviting the beloved to an appointment, sitting with him (her) alone, practicing love, friendship, and lamentation over missing him (her). Besides this, songs call for dissolution of the veiling of women. Al-Fudhayl Ibn `Iyaadh said: “Songs are the gate to adultery”. Yazeed bin Al-Waleed also said: “O Bani Umayyah, beware of songs. They decrease decency, increase lust, and do away with one's integrity. It has the very same effect of wine and even replaces it. If you have no alternative but to listen to songs, do not let your women do the same, because songs are the gateway to adultery”.
Women are more affected by songs, musical tunes and the meanings of their words than any one else. Listening to songs may lead a girl to fall in love with the singer, to the degree that his songs and pictures are never far away from her mind. Is there an evil temptation greater than this? Many are the decent girls who have become prostitutes because of such songs.
Songs cultivate hypocrisy in one's heart just like grains grow and thrive in the presence of water, as Ibn Mas`ood said. Songs and Qur'aan can never co-exist in a believer's heart because of their contradictory nature. The Qur'aan enjoins us not to follow our lusts, or the footsteps of Satan and to stick, instead, to virtuousness. As for songs, they invite us to the opposite.
Is it not true that songs encourage one to satisfy his lusts? Don't they motivate one to practice each and every bad deed? Don't they tempt a person to have an affair with a woman or even a child? Songs and wine are companions, and they tempt one to commit sins and evil deeds. Satan made a bargain between these two evils so that, together, they will support each other in calling to corruption. Songs lead to prohibited adoration and committing ugly deeds. O Allaah, keep us away from Your Wrath and things which lead to Your Punishment. Hereby I end my sermon and ask Allaah for forgiveness.
All praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds Who guides whomever He wills to His straightforward path. May Allaah have peace, mercy and blessings on His slave and Messenger, Muhammad, his family and Companions.
Our Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam warned against listening to songs and musical instruments, as he said: "There will be people of my Community who will hold fornication, silk, wine, and musical instruments to be lawful'' (Bukhaari)
If such things mentioned in the hadith had been lawful, the Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam would have never condemned those who consider them legal, and he would not have mentioned them along with the already prohibited wine and silk.
Sahl bin S`ad As-Sa`di reported that the Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam said: "This Community will experience the swallowing up of some people by the earth, the metamorphosis of some into animals, and being rained upon with stones.'' Someone asked, ``When will this be, O Messenger of Allah?''. He said, ``When female singers and musical instruments appear and wine is held to be lawful.''(Ahmad & Tirmithi)
The four Imaams ruled singing to be prohibited. Imaam Maalik used to prohibit it and say: It is done by wicked people. He also said: If one bought a slave girl and found that she is a singer, he has the full right to return her because of this defect.
Abu Haneefah hated singing and considered it a sin. His followers believed that listening to all musical instruments, such as the pipe (wind instrument) is prohibited. They also said that it is a sin that makes the person to be considered dissolute and his testimony is not accepted.
As for Shaafi`i, his followers believe that listening to songs is prohibited. They also said that hiring a singer, practicing songs as a profession, giving money to a singer as a remuneration are all prohibited just like giving money in return of the already prohibited animal's blood and corpse. They also believe that using a pipe is prohibited. If the pipe, which is the simplest of all musical instruments is prohibited, what about the flute and other instruments?
As for Ahmed's School of Jurisprudence, his son `Abdullaah said: I asked my father about singing, and he replied: It cultivates hypocrisy in hearts and therefore I do not like it. Then he mentioned the saying of Imaam Maalik: It is done by dissolute (loose or evil) people.
As for listening to songs sung by a female or a beardless lad, it is considered as one of the gravest sins that corrupts one's religion.
Dear brother, if you commit this sin or your family does it at home, hasten to repent to Allaah for He is the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful as He said which means: "Tell My servants that I am indeed the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Al-Hijr: 49).
Hasten to sincere repentance and know that whenever a person gives up an evil act for the sake of Allaah, Allaah will compensate him with far better than what he abandoned. I would like to express my gratitude to those who abstain from committing sins and abandon evil acts and deeds practiced by the people of our time. They are the ones who have attained true happiness.