Shaykh Saalih Al-Fawzaan and Shaykh Saalih Al-Uthaymeen on 'Islamic Nasheeds'

Said Ash-Shaykh Al-Allaamah Saalih Al-Fawzaan, may Allaah preserve him, in Al-Khutab Al-Mimbariyyah [vol.3/184-185]

It is pertinent to call attention (of all) to the prevalence of recorded tapes of Nasheeds in the hands of youths striving to be religious; tapes that contain recorded voices sung in congregations. They are popularly referred to as 'Islamic Nasheeds.' (In actual fact, they) are music. These Nasheeds are often sung with captivating voices and sold in stores where the Qu'raan and religious lecture tapes are sold.

Naming these Nasheeds 'Islamic Nasheeds' is not correct because Islam does not permit Nasheeds. What Allaah has legislated (for the Muslims) are (saying) words of remembrance, recitation of the Qur'aan and (learning and) teaching beneficial knowledge. As for Nasheeds, they are from the innovated religious practices of the Soofis (deviant mystics); the Soofis who have turned the religion to a play and amusement. To say Nasheeds is part of the Deen, is an emulation of the Christians who have turned their religion into singing of hymns and other congregational songs.

It is obligatory (on all) to shun these Nasheeds. They should not be sold and spread about. Not spreading them will curtail what they have brought of tribulations and sentimental dispositions, and what they have caused in terms of conflicts among the Muslims.

Some people have justified listening to these Nasheeds by saying poems used to be chanted in the presence of the Prophet (salaLLaahu alayhi wa sallam) and he would listen to them.

The answer to that is that the poems that were chanted in the presence of the Messenger of Allaah (salaLLaahu alayhi wa sallam) were not chanted in congregation as music is sung, and they were not called 'Islamic Nasheeds' rather they were known as Arab poems that contained words of wisdom, anecdotes and descriptions of bravery and generosity. The Companions used to chant them singularly due to what they contained of those meanings (earlier mentioned), and they used to chant some of the poems when they engaged in hard activities such as building (mosques, trenches, etc.) and when travelling in the night. That therefore indicates the permissibility of such in circumstances that were mentioned alone but not that they should be made a discipline among the educational and Da'wah fields as they are today. Learners chant Nasheeds today and call them Islamic or religious Nasheeds.

It is therefore obligatory (on all) to pay attention to this hidden danger. They should not be sold as tapes. An evil starts small and becomes big when it is not nipped in the bud.

Source: Waqafaat Ma'a Tandheem Al-Ikhwaani al-Muslimeen p.138.

Shaykh Muhammad Saalih Al-Uthaymeen - may Allaah bestow mercy on him - was asked:

Is it permissible for men to chant the 'Islamic Nasheed'?

Is it permissible for men to chant the 'Islamic Nasheeds'? Can beating of the duff (tambourine) be accompanied with the chanting? And is it permissible to chant Nasheeds on circumstances other than Islamic festivals and occasions?

Answer: 'Islamic Nasheed' is an innovation. It resembles what the Soofis innovated in the Deen (of mystic chants). Therefore, it is better to turn away from it and go instead for preachings of the Qur'aan and the Sunnah except on battle fronts where such can be chanted to encourage bravery in the path of Allaah, then that is good. And when beating of the duff is accompanied with it, it becomes more reprehensible.

Source: Al-Ajwibah Al-Mufeedah as quoted by the author of Waqafaat Ma'a Tandheem Al-Ikhwaani al-Muslimeen p.139.

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