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Music and Singing

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Joined: 01 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:51 am    Post subject: Music and Singing Reply with quote

The Islamic Ruling on Music and Singing

A meticulous, critical analysis of the relevant texts from the hadeeth literature reveals that, contrary to the commonly-held belief, there are a number of authentic narrations from the prophetic sunnah which clearly point to the indisputable fact that music, instruments, singing to accompaniment, etc. are objects prohibited by the Islamic Shar'iah. The exceptions to this general rule are specific, limited types of innocent singing or chanting without any instrumental accompaniment or to the accompaniment of the simple hand drum (daff) on certain occasions designated by the sunnah.

The Jewish Ruling on Music and Singing is similar

The Gemara in Gittin (7a) states that making music is prohibited, both instrumentally and vocally: "They sent [a query] to Mar Uqba: How do we know that song [in the aftermath of the destruction of the Temple] is prohibited? He etched [on a piece of parchment] writing Rejoice not, O Israel, As other peoples exult; (Hosea 9:1) [The Talmud asks:] Let him reply from here: Do not drink wine with song, let the beer be bitter to its drinker. (Is. 24:9) If [he had replied from] this verse, I would have thought that [the prohibition] applies to song with musical instruments but that [unaccompanied] vocals were permissible, the [other verse] comes to teach me that even vocals [alone are prohibited.]" *

The reason Jews prohibit it, is because they are mourning for the destruction of the Temple (Beis HaMikdash). On the 9th of Av they also sit on low chairs, and at certain times of the year (for example Sefira which is corresponds with Ramadan) Jews forbid music for any reason.

Is it possible that Muslims sat on low chairs, divans or footstools (ottomans) and prohibit music for a reason that is no longer remembered?

There is actually a dispute among Islamic scholars whether Music is prohibited. There are two Haddith that seem to permit it, and three that seem to prohibit it.

The Jewish opinion is that music and singing will be only be fully permitted when the Temple is rebuilt, and our joy is complete. Perhaps one could propose that this is the difference between the two Haddith that permit and the three that prohibit - that Muslims are also waiting for the Temple to be rebuilt?

My 0.02 cents
R' Abrahamson

* Rashi and Tosafos (ad loc.) explain that this is referring to making music in a pub (beis ha-mishta'o). However, Tosafos add that it is proper to be strict for the view expressed in the Yerushalmi that making music is also prohibited outside of a pub in the case of someone who wakes up and goes to sleep with music, who enjoys it overmuch (she-mis'aneg be-yose). Even though there are other views that are stricter, the Rema (Orah Hayim 560:3) rules according to Tosafos' view that making music - and listening to it - outside of a pub is permissible to those who do not enjoy it overmuch, i.e. those who wake up and go to sleep with music like kings. In Jerusalem the custom is to limit music to one accompanient instrument like a drum.
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Joined: 08 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very much for this information.
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