Ijmaa and the 4 Madhaahib on the Tahreem (prohibition) of Musical Instrument


Few Muslims try to confuse the masses that there is no Ijmaa on the prohibition of Music and then they use weak hadith to support their claim. I will not be going into the Hadith part at this time. In sha Allah sometime else.

I will be Quoting the Sayings of few Scholars who have said that there is Ijmaa on the prohibition of Musical instrument and likewise will quote from the scholars of the 4 Madhaahib that they too consider Music to be Haram.


Amongst the Ulema who have reported Ijmaa on the prohibition of Music are:

Ibn Rajab in his “Nazhatal Asmaa fee Masaa’ilat as Samaa in page 3” where he quoted al Aajuree saying:

[ And Aboo bakr al Aajuree and other than him ruled a consensus (Ijmaa) of the Ulemaa upon that ]


Ibnus Salaah as was reported by Ibnul Qayyim in his Ighaathatul Lahfaan [ 1/228 ]

Al Qurtubee and Ibn Taymiyyah in his fatawaa [ 11/576 ]

Ibn Hajr al Haytamee in his Kaff ar-Ri’aa [page124]


The Imaams of 4 Madhaahib have ruled upon the Tahreem of Musical instruments.


Madhhab of Imaam Aboo Haneefah (Rahimahullah)-

Abee Tayyib at-Tabaree said:

Aboo Haneefah used to hate music (singing); he placed the one listening to singing among the sinners. And this is the madhhab of the rest of the people of Koofah.

[Talbees Iblees 282]

Imam Aboo Haneefah is also reported as Saying:

Music/singing is Haram according to all religions.

[Roohul Ma’aanee of al-Aloosee (21/67) ]


Abu Haneefah’s closest disciple, Abu Yoosuf, stated that if the sound of
musical instruments (ma’aazif) and amusements (malaahi) were heard coming from a house, the house could be entered without permission of its owners. The justification for this is that the command regarding the prohibition of abominable things (munkaaraat) is mandatory, and cannot be established if such entering rests upon the permission of the residents of the premises.

[Quoted from ‘Ownul Ma’bood Sharhu Sunan Abi Dawood, vol. 13, pp. 273-274].


This is the madhhab (position) of the rest of the Kufic scholars as well, such as Ibraheem An-Nakha’i, Ash-Sha’bi, Hammaad and Ath-Thowri. They do not differ on this issue. The same can be said of the general body of jurisprudence of Al-Basrah.

[Stated by Abut Teeb Taahir At-Tabari and quoted in Al-Qurtubi’s Al-Jaami’li Ahkaamil Quraan, vol. 14, p. 55.]


Ibnul Qayyim Reported,

The Madhhab of Imaam Aboo Haneefah concerning that was the Harshest of the Madhaahib, and his statement concerning it is from the harshest of statements. Indeed his companions clarified that it is Haraam to listen to any musical instruments such as the wood-wind oboe, the hand drum, or striking bars. And they clarified that it is disobedience obligating rebellious sinning and they would reject him as a witness. The most profound evidence of that is their statement that listening to music is rebellious sinning and taking pleasure in it is kufr. These are their words.

[Ighaathatul Lahfaan of Ibnul Qayyim (348)]



Madhhab of Imam Maalik bin Anas (Rahimahullah)-

Abee Tayyib at-Tabaree also said:

As for Malik bin Anas, then he prohibited Music/singing and listening to it…and this is the madhhab of the rest of the people of Madeenah.

[Talbees Iblees 272]


Ishaaq ibn Eesaa at-Tibaa said:

I asked Maalik bin Anas about the position of the people of Madeenah on singing so he said: Indeed those people who do this with us are the (rebellious) sinners.

[al Khallaal recorded it in Amr bil Ma’roof wan-Nahiyy an al-Munkar (142)  and Ibnul Jawzee in Talbees Iblees (282)]


The Maaliki jurisprudence 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 religious sciences. He did, and his view became that such things were prohibited. [Al-Jaami’li Ahkaamil Quraan, vol. 14, p. 55.]


Al-Qurtubi confirmed Maalik’s 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 labor or boredom or during times of festivity and joy, such as the E’ ed 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, etc., such is haraam [forbidden].

[Ibid., vol. 14, p. 54.]



Madhhab of Imam Ash-Shafi’ee (Rahimahullah)-

In the book, Aadaabul Qadaa, Ash-Shaafi’ee 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.”

[See Al-Qurtubi’s tafseer, vol. 14, p. 55 and Ibnul-Jowzi’s Talbees Iblees, p. 231. Also refer to footnote no. 111.]


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.

[See ‘Ownul Ma’bood, vol. 13, p. 274.]


This is confirmed by the later Shafi’ite scholar, Ibn Hajar Al-Haythami. He related that one of Ash-Shaafi’ee’s disciples, Al-Haarith Al-Muhaasibi (d.243 H) said,

Song is haraam, just as the carcass [maytah]* is.”

Furthermore, the statement that singing is haraam is found in the treatise, Ash-Sharh Al-Kabeer, by the authoritative Shafi’ite scholar, Ar-Raafi’ee (d.623 H.). This is further corroborated by the accomplished Shafiiite jurisprudent, Imam An-Nawawi (d.676 H.) in his Rowdah. [Kaffur Ra’aa, p. 61.]


Such is the correct view of the dependable scholars of the Shafi’ite madhhab. However, due to limited knowledge and personal fancy and desire, a few of their latter-day scholars disagree with this view.

[Talbees Iblees, pp. 230-231.]


Abee Tayyib at-Tabaree also said:

Music/singing is not permissible, nor listening to it nor is the hitting the bars, and whoever ascribes that to ash-Shaafi’ee has lied upon him.

[Talbees Iblees 283]



Madhhab of Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal (Rahimahullah)-


Imaam Ahmad’s position regarding this issue has been narrated in detail by the Hanbalite jurisprudent and Quranic commentator, Abul-Faraj Ibnul-Jowzi (d.597 H.) in his treatise, Tablees Iblees (Satan’s deception). He tells us that ghinaa during Ahmad’s era consisted primarily of a rhymed, rythmical chanting (inshaad) of poems whose purpose 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 sprouts hypocrisy in the heart#; it doesn’t please me.”


The scholar, Ismaa’eel bin Ishaaq Ath-Thaqafi, reports that Ahmad was questioned regarding one’s listening to those poems (qasaaid) to which he replied,

“I despise it, for it is a bid’ah [innovation]. Don’t sit down to listen to its reciters.”

Abul-Haarith relates that Ahmad said,

“At-taghyeer^ is an innovation,” whereupon it was said, “But it sensitizes and softens the heart.” Ahmad rejoined, “It is a bid’ah [blameworthy innovation].” Yaqoob Al-Haashimi narrates that Ahmad said, “At-taghyeer is a recent innovation,” and Yaqoob bin Gayyaath reports him as saying that he despised at-taghyeer and prohibited one’s listening to it.

[Talbees Iblees, p. 228.]


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,[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!]  it would be forbidden according to Ahmad’s view. If only he could see what the people have added to it by way of innovation. [Talbees Iblees, pp. 228-229.]




* Designates the carcass of the animal which has not been slaughetered in a manner acceptable to the shari’ah, 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.


Abdullah ibn Masood (radiAllahu anhu) said: Singing sprouts hypocrisy in the heart. [ Sunan al Bayhaqee no. 20795]


^ Indicates a change in the state of mind or disposition of a person who appears “overcome” by the mention (dhikr) of God in supplication (du’aa) 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.


Related Link:

      A Practically Dead Sunnah- When You Hear Music…

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