With respect to the Hadith quoted last week, the Chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), Shaykh (Dr) Yusuf Qaradawi clarified that; “This indicates that these two girls were not as young as claimed by some scholars. If they were, Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) would not have been angry with them in such manner”.
In addition, in this Hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) wanted to teach the Jews that Islam has room for merriment and that he himself was sent with a moderate and flexible legislation.
There is also another important lesson to learn here. The Hadith draws our attention to the fact that one needs to introduce Islam to others in a good fashion, along with displaying its moderateness and magnanimity.
This goes to tell the world that despite the opposing views to music by some scholars, Islam permits merriment and amusement with or without celebrations, which can be accompanied by singing, dancing and lots of fun. The revered Islamic scholar rightly revealed that;
“Love for singing and melodic voices are almost a human instinct. We can observe an infant lying in his cradle soothed and sleeping by the sound of a lullaby. Mothers and nannies are always in the habit of singing for babies and children. Moreover, birds and animals respond to nice voices and rhythmic melodies.”
In his famously-read book, Al-Halal Wal-Haram Fil-Islam, Shaykh Qaradawi mentioned several narrations from the Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the great Muslim scholars that permitted singing and dancing, even with the use of musical instruments such as flutes and lutes.
He also quoted Abu Al-Fadl Ibn Tahir (may Allah be pleased with him) who said, “The people of Madinah never disputed over the permissibility of playing the lute.
In concluding this discourse, we say, music generally is one of the Mas’alatun Khilafiyah (aspects where scholars differ and where differences of opinions are allowed) and it could be deduced that not all music are instruments of the Shaytaan; just as not all sorts of songs are permitted.
Thus, let those who hold the view that music (with or without instruments) is prohibited stay away from music and let those who see nothing wrong with singing as long as it doesn’t have musical instruments stick to their belief. The third group – those who want to sing and dance to different melodious musical instruments – must not go beyond the standards set by Islam. They must shun all the ridiculous local and particularly foreign hip-hop beats other than the recommended flute and lute.
The truth is that we cannot keep condemning an ingrained practice, norm and tradition such as music without proactive measures. Islam is simple and not rigid. It is a moderate religion. Thus, there is the need for a truly Islamic brand – an alternative entertainment industry for Muslims – especially in a country where thousands have been lured out of Islam through music and evangelical movies (this is a topic for another day).
If we must save our children from the evils of modern music such as “One Corner” dance and others in the same category, we must adhere strictly to the following conditions.
1. The permissible song should comply with the Islamic teachings and ethics. Therefore, songs praising tyrants and corrupt politicians (leaders) or fraudulent characters are diametrically opposed to the teachings of Islam. Same goes for the marriage of inconvenience and unruly collaboration between the so-called Muslim singers and the Fuji musicians, who are known for vulgar songs and reckless lifestyles.
2. Singing should not be accompanied by alcohol, drugs, nudity, and other acts of immorality and indecency. Like we wrote last week, these are the common features of today’s songs and videos. Islam forbids the promotion of Al-Fawaish (excessiveness and shameful acts) through music and other forms of entertainment.
3. The idea of adult males and females dancing together provocatively has no place in Islam and should be stopped forthwith. Even if the dancers are kids, free mixing should not be encouraged. Muslim women, married or unmarried, should not sing and dance in the mixed audience of males (adults) and females.
This is exactly what is playing out in today’s music videos, where the dancers (vixens) dress sexually and indecently, including the so-called female Muslim singers who adorn themselves in transparent and see-through “Hijabs”, twerking before the camera with other women’s husbands. This is totally forbidden in Islam.
On a final note, the Islamic Musicians Association of Nigeria (ISMAN) has a great role to play in addressing the disgraceful and un-Islamic conducts among its members, especially the women. At present, the bulk of songs being dished out from the stables of ISMAN are nothing but a shame and there is no way they could be recommended as a better and an ideal alternative to the corruption called modern day songs.
While the lyrics of their songs may be good, their stage performances and mode of dressing are a betrayal of the principles of Islamic teachings. The no-holds-barred display of nudity with virtually naked and unclad ladies nullifies Islamic ethics of dressing. Except a few, what is obtainable from most of the female artists and the ladies they showcase in their videos can best be described as a mockery of the Hijab and indeed a show of shame by Islamic standards already outlined above.
In Islam, women are regarded as naturally sensitive creatures, hence, continuous flagrant display of their beauties and ornaments – which are meant to be covered – all in the name of making musical videos can only lead to, and promote temptations and tribulations. That is why they are commanded to adorn themselves in the Hijab – a spacious cloth that covers female nudity and all tempting and erogenous parts of their bodies.
All hands must, therefore, be on deck to bring about Islamically lawful entertainment for the Muslims. At this stage, outright condemnation of ISMAN and abandoning the few members of the association to the uphill task of repositioning the industry to profoundly serve Islam is surely not the way to go.
It could be through seminars organised by ISMAN in collaboration with Muslim organisations and scholars with sound ideology, where the topic of the permissibility of music will be discussed beyond this column.
ISMAN and its members should not be left alone. Muslim scholars, elites and parents should come up with an ideal model as well as functional ways of regulating their entertainment content (music or movies). This definitely must be based on knowledge and wisdom that are beneficial to the society and the youths, who are the major consumers of the content and ultimately the victims of their corruption and its consequences.
By asheed Abubakar, a journalist and the author of “Hijab and the Nigerian Press”. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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