Q&A (Fatwa)

#378: Authenticity of the Hadith of Listening to Musical Instruments is a Sin

QUESTION

” What’s the authenticity of this hadith:
استماع الملاء معصية والجلوس عليها فسق والتلذذ بها كفر”

ANSWER

Alhamdulillaah, the Hadith to which you refer goes thus:

“ﺍﺳﺘﻤﺎﻉ ﺍﻟﻤﻼﻫﻲ ﻣﻌﺼﻴﺔ، ﻭﺍﻟﺠﻠﻮﺱ ﻋﻠﻴﻬﺎ ﻓﺴﻖ , ﻭﺍﻟﺘﻠﺬﺫ ﺑﻬﺎ ﻛﻔﺮ ”

“Listening to musical instruments is a sin, sitting by them (gatherings of them) is a fisq (transgressive sin) and entertainment by them is kufr.”

This hadith, has no known isnaad and to attribute it to the Rasul – salallaahu alayhi wasallam – is not permissible.

There are several other Ahaadith that imply that the use of musical instruments is Haraam. These ahaadith are sufficient for us than a Hadith that lacks isnaad such as this is unwarranted.

However, this hadith is propagated the most by the Kufan School which is represented by the Hanafis.

Despite their wide use of this Hadith, they do not use it to imply the Kufr (disbelief) of the one who uses and listens to musical instruments. Instead, they interpret it to mean Kufr An-Ni’mah (a disregard of Allah’s bounties) and that the hadith is one of the texts aimed at deterring people from engaging in that. This is argued by Imaam Ibn Aabidin in the ‘Haashiya’ and in the ‘Ar-Raddu Al-Muhtaar’.

Other interpretations for the Hadith can be found in ‘Al-Ikhtiyaar’ and in ‘Al-Nihaayah’ both Hanafi books.

Therefore, do not be carried away by people that use this Hadith to make takfir (anathemize) other Muslims based in their sins of listening to musical instruments.

And this should not be seen as a permission of listening to musical instruments for indeed, musical instruments are of the things that the four Imaams have formed a consensus on the fact that they are Haraam.

Shaykhu Al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah – rahimahullaah – said in ‘Al-Majmu”:

“It is the School of the Four Imams that all the musical instruments are Haraam…and it is not mentioned from any of the (Ulamaa who are) followers of the Imaams any disagreements concerning the musical instruments.”

Allāhu A’alam

Bārakallāhu Fīkum
Jazākumullāhu Khayran.

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