A Practically Dead Sunnah- When You Hear Music…

وَعَنْ نَافِعٍ :  أَنَّ ابْنَ عُمَرَ سَمِعَ صَوْتَ زَمَّارَةِ رَاعٍ ، فَوَضَعَ أُصْبُعَيْهِ فِي أُذُنَيْهِ وَعَدَلَ رَاحِلَتَهُ عَنْ الطَّرِيقِ وَهُوَ يَقُولُ : يَا نَافِعُ أَتَسْمَعُ ؟ فَأَقُولُ : نَعَمْ ، فَيَمْضِي حَتَّى قُلْتُ : لَا ، فَرَفَعَ يَدَهُ وَعَدَلَ رَاحِلَتَهُ إلَى الطَّرِيقِ وَقَالَ : رَأَيْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ – صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ – سَمِعَ زَمَّارَةَ رَاعٍ فَصَنَعَ مِثْلَ هَذَا

Naf’I narrated that Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) heard the sound of a wind instrument playing. As a result of this he placed his fingers in his ears and turned his riding camel away from the road (the music was playing). Ibn Umar said, “ Naf’i can you hear it?” I said, “Yes”. Ibn Umar continued riding with his fingers in his ears until I said, “I can’t hear it anymore.” After that, Ibn Umar removed his fingers from his ears and changed the road he was riding on. Then Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “I saw the Messenger of Allah(peace and blessings be upon him) place his fingers in his ears when he heard wind instruments and music playing.”

Collected  by Ibn Abi Dunya in (Tham Mulaahee #288), Abu Dawud (4943), Ahmed (2/8) . Ash-Shaykh Al-Albani (may Allah have mercy on his soul) graded this hadeeth as being Saheeh.



 Benefits for this topic:

  • Abu Tayyib Aabaadi (may Allah have mercy on him) commented on this hadeeth in “Awanul Ma’bude Sharh Sunnan Abi Dawud”.
  • He placed his fingers in his ears…” This act shows that it is legislated to place the fingers in the ears when you hear wind instruments or music.
  • Abu Dawud titled the Chapter for this hadeeth in his Sunnan, “The Prohibition for Music and Wind Instruments.”
  • There is some confusion over why Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) didn’t prevent Naf’I from hearing the music. The answer to this could be that Naf’I wasn’t the age of puberty. This is the view of Ash-Shawkani.
  • Al-Khataabi said the wind instrument that Ibn Umar heard was a whistle.
  • As-Suyuti (may Allah have mercy on him) said, “Some scholars reject this hadeeth because Ibn Umar didn’t prevent Naf’I from hearing the music. However the prohibition is in listening to music, not hearing it unintentionally. Hearing music unintentionally, isn’t a person’s fault. This act is similar to when a person in Ihram smells perfume. He is prohibited from smelling this fragrance intentionally, and when the odor simply passes his nose he’s unaccountable. Furthermore this act also resembles when something haraam catches a person by surprise, unlike the person who looks and stares at a Haraam sight.
  • The reason Ibn Umar didn’t prevent Naf’I from hearing this sound or stop the people playing this instrument, doesn’t prove that music is Halal. There is a possibility that Ibn Umar didn’t see where it was coming from, or the music was playing at the top of mountain, or a place he couldn’t reach. And the reason he didn’t order Naf’I to do the same thing was because he wasn’t an adult” [ Muraqus Saud]

Translated and prepared by Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Battle-Adam

Doha, Qatar 1431 ©

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