Thursday, July 16, 2009

Doubtful Matters


On the authority of Al-Numan bin Basheer, who said : I heard the messenger of Allah say : "That which is lawful is plain and that which is unlawful is plain and between the two of them are doubtful matters about which not many people know. Thus he who avoids doubtful matters clears himself in regard to his religion and his honor, but he who falls into doubtful matters falls into that which is unlawful, like the shepherd who pastures around a sanctuary, all but grazing therein. Truly every king has a sanctuary, and truly Allah's sanctuary is His prohibitions. Truly in the body there is a morsel of flesh which, if it be whole, all the body is whole and which, if it be diseased, all of it is diseased. Truly it is the heart." narrated by Bukhari and Muslim

In my class last Friday we discussed this hadith. I found it interesting because it makes clear to me those 'doubtful matters' that we all think about. I also thought this might help some Muslims that are struggling to give up things where there are differing opinions. Basically this hadith is saying that there are things that are haram and things that are halal. These things are clear. Then there are the things that are doubtful. It is best for us to avoid these things... as it says above to clear ourselves in regard to our religion and our honor. So things like music (which I think is one of the clear things, but a lot of people do not) should be avoided because its a doubtful matter. Perhaps this will be the thing that will help those that are struggling with those sticky subjects that have 'differing opinions.

25 comments:

Sacrifice4Allah said...

As Salaamuu 'alaikum Jamilah,

Another beautiful post, JazakiAllahu khairan katheeran for the beautiful reminder. I agree with you, music is haraam there is no doubt about that one.

Rasulullah Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam said:

`There will be people of my Ummah who will seek to make lawful; fornication, wine-drinking and the use of ma`aazif ( musical instruments ).` [Bukhari]

Pixie said...

I think stringed instruments are clearly haraam, but other ones, like acapella singing, and the duff (provided material is for a halal purpose) actually halal from various daleel on the matter. That stringed instruments are haraam though is very, very clear. I think people confuse the other instruments (like duff and accapella singing) with the other hadith, and don't realize it is specific because they don't have the knowledge.

Jamilah said...

Pixie, its one of the doubtful things... yes the duff is ok on certain occasions, but singing has been linked to idle talk, and there are hadith and Quran ayat about that too

“And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks (i.e. music, singing) to mislead (men) from the path of Allaah…” [Luqmaan 31:6]

The scholar of the ummah, Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: this means singing. Mujaahid (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: this means playing the drum (tabl). (Tafseer al-Tabari, 21/40).

Al-Hasan al-Basri (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: this aayah was revealed concerning singing and musical instruments (lit. woodwind instruments). (Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 3/451).

Sarah Plain And Short said...

Salam aleikom revert muslimah, many ulemma interpret this differently (surprise surprise) come check out my blog, i am posting about the various opinions about it. www.saveoursunnah.blogspot.com

Sarah Plain And Short said...

Asalam Aleikom,

I wanted to ask you since you wear niqab, how did your husband feel about it? I am researching it, and I am starting to believe more and more that it is fard. can u email me saveoursunnah@hotmail.com

jazakallah khair

Pixie said...

Yet at weddings, young girls are encouraged to sing, and the Prophet sallahu alahi wa salaam said that when the companions worked they recited poetry (at other times referred to as a form idle talk) it is how you use it that makes it harraam (beside stringed instruments) that were always harraam. For me it is not a doubtful matter. Any matter the Prophet allowed (and in that same situation) I would be wary to label it harraam or even doubtful:D

Jamilah said...

Salam Pixie.. its not me finding it doubtful its the top scholars.

Pixie said...

BTW Jamilah, I am sorry if I sound like I am disagreeing with you---there are different opinions in fiqh and they are to me they are ALL valid, but for me, I always go with the one closest to the evidence in the Qu'ran and sunnah.

But I LOVED your post about doubtful matters--sorry I even brought up soemthing outside the specifics of the post itself to nitpick--not a side derailed comment:P

Doubtful matters to me I suppose would be images on clothing with the shapes of things---- when you commented on my post on that... since there are no ahadith about the sahaba wearing image son clothing, the way there are of them singing...

Jamilah said...

Its ok Pixie, no big deal. When I heard my teacher explain this hadith it just made sense to me now... all of those things that people go back and fourth on...

Candice said...

It's a good message to stay away from doubtful matters. :)

Pixie said...

Jamilah: top scholars or no, lol, I'd still email them about the hadiths where singing was in the Prophet's [sallalahu alahi wa salaam] presence and he encouraged it, and they still say, always--all instruments???? Beause HE, over you, did didn't seem to think so here. Maybe I am missing the time frame of events or something. Please clarify!:D [what I'd write to the scholars:D]

But that's why I annoy alot of online Sheikh's.... but I want the truest guidance on the matter. if it doesn't make sense I want to know the hadith is sahih, and if it is, if it came before or after, or if there is another hadith that is specific.

Myself, having almost entirely abstained from stringed instruments (it is hard to find music of a halal content that has drums and accapella singing) find that simply doing that, I prefer listening to the Qu'ran over the other kinds of music left. But they are good for weddings:D

Jamilah said...

Pixie, as far as I know there was that one hadith where the Prophet told Umar to leave the girls alone who were singing... perhaps he just didn't want him to be so harsh with them. I trust the tafsir of the ayat that I mentioned before.

To each his own.

Jamilah said...

One other thing that might help. This site always helps me with things....

http://muttaqun.com/music.html

It goes through when duff is permissible etc... the one thing that that I find interesting is that it says women can sing at Eids and to announce a wedding but not loud enough for anyone but other women to hear. So.. it doesn't say men can sing and it says that when women sing no one should hear them but other women.

Lazeena Umm Yusuf said...

I really love this hadith as well, Allah has made the answer clear - when in doubt, do without!

Jamilah said...

Nice rhyme!

Baji said...

From what i've "studied" on the music subject is that even when the daff and singing is allowed it's really just for women during Eid and weddings or the daff for men at war. But i like this post, it's actually helped me decide something: avoiding the doubtful. I gave up listening to music in late March, and since then have been around others who play it (family, etc) and it IS very tempting and just couple days ago I got to the point of "well maybe like so and so's blog says i can listen to acapella, so maybe acapella is ok." but i'm glad u wrote this post, Insha'Allah you will receive reward for helping me stay firm in my decision to avoid the doubtful.

Jamilah said...

Asalamu Alaikum Baji... that is what the hadith did for me as well... not with music but for other things.

Sacrifice4Allah said...

"That stringed instruments are haraam though is very, very clear. I think people confuse the other instruments (like duff and accapella singing) with the other hadith, and don't realize it is specific because they don't have the knowledge."

You're absolutely correct Pixie, stringed instruments are haraam all the way. The duff and women singing in the presence of women are halaal but for special occasions.

@ Baaji:
I gave up listening to music a few yrs ago and it was difficult at first because i had over 200 CDs, countless dvds and a few Motown records! One day i packed them up and got rid of all of them. I read and re-read about the Islamic perspective and left music alone. Alhamdulilah, now from time to time i listen to anasheed(voice only) like Abu Ali, Al Ansari, Ahmed Bukhatir, Kamal Uddin and Zain Bhikha. Ofcourse it was hard to stop listening to music but when you examined the content it was shocking. With time it gets easier. May Allah make it easy for you. Ameen.

May Allah guide us all to that which He loves. Ameen!

Maz said...

Assalamu alaykum Jamilah.

I agree with your views but i'll be interested to know what you think of music with regard to children.
My husband and I don't listen to music (except nasheen sometimes) however, we let our young ones listen to their nursery rhymes & to specially designed children islamic CDs (such as I look I see / Allah knows etc).
Although some CDs have some music in the background, I believe that they (my daughters) are too young to notice the music but really enjoy the lyrics. As a revert, I find that type of CDs really useful in helping children build an islamic identity.
What do you think?

Jamilah said...

As a blanket statement.... the whole point of this post was to talk about the hadith.. music just was an example. Its a doubtful matter.. but we all do things now and then that we don't even think about. Sometimes nasheeds are beautiful, but we have to be so careful of the content... if its not in our language we have no idea what they are saying and it could contain bida or shirk. Even if its in our language, we still may be too swept away by the nice things they song says to realize that there is something bad in there. As for kids..my son is autistic... he watches scooby doo and other things that have songs in them.. I don't like it, but its very hard to find anything for him to watch without it..

We all strive to do the best. If we know what is right, wrong and doubtful we can strive to do what pleases Allah most...its when we fight fight fight to say something is perfectly ok when there are doubts about it that we fall into sin.

I also want to say, that all that I write in my blogs are things I've learned from lectures, classes and reading books of the scholars. I don't make this stuff up for myself.

alshaimaa said...

Salam alykum sisters,

IMHO any matter if there are different opinions from (trusted) scholars we can't just wrong someone who takes the other opinion as each of them have daleel .

From Wabisah ibn Ma’bad, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said, “I came to the messenger RasuluLLah sallaLlahu alayhi wa alihi wassalam and he said, “You have come to ask about birr?” I said, ‘yes!’ He said, ‘Ask your heart for a judgement. Birr is that towards which the self is tranquil and towards which the heart is tranquil. Isthm is that which becomes agitated in self and it goes agitatedly to and from in the breast even though people repeatedly give you a judgement’.”

I think the hadith you mentioned and this one complete each other.

Allah guide us all to the best and righteous deeds.

Jamilah said...

The hadith that I wrote about is from An- Nawawi's 40 Ahadith. It was selected on its own by this scholar to make a point. It has also been explained further by many other great scholars.

Sometimes I find it amazing that people just can't see the beauty of the hadith and its meaning and accept it.... argue argue argue...

Maz said...

Thank for your reply Jamilah. Much appreciated.
Salaam.

Amy said...

Assalaamu alaykum

I'm glad you mentioned music in correlation with this hadith, and it's an excellent example. In fact, whenever I try to justify something to myself, I tend to remind myself of this hadith and say, at the very best, it's something that's doubtful. And that should be reason enough to avoid it.

Even if someone is not convinced of the evidence prohibiting music (e.g.), then they have to at least acknowledge that music is doubtful just by the very existence of that evidence.

Jazakillahu khayran.

Traveller said...

Alssalamu Aleikum,
This is exactly how I see music.
There is difference in opinion among ulama whether music is haraam or not.
So keep away from it to be on the safe side.
Allah knows best.