Transcendent Of The Rhythms
Say, “Who prohibited the nice things God has created for His creatures, and the good provisions?” Say,”Such provisions are to be enjoyed in THIS life by those who BELIEVE. Moreover, the good provisions will be exclusively theirs on the Day of resurrection.” We thus explain the revelations for people who know.” 7:32
Those who close to ALLAH and preserve the remembrance of ALLAH’s Greatness through not only their music/song (naat, qasidah, -r&b, soulful, harmony genres of nasyeed-) but by their actions (qudwah) & works (da’wa) will always be my fav. There are always new nasyid artists and new released but not all can captured my heart. I’m looking for a sound that carry a message/essence which can transcend the soul and heart to Almighty ALLAH and HIS Greatness. Not to mention making our heart warm&fuzzy with the love to our Prophet. Promoting Islam will be a bonus tough.
Recently, producing a music that has the essence of spirituality has become a trend. I didn’t have anything to say about that but what I preferred is not a trend nor just simply making the music that speaks out loud about ALLAH but those who are singing it has to comes among who are right in their word, true with their action and obey ALLAH. Our submission to Almighty ALLAH can’t be done partially and based upon on our nafs, comfort and excuses.
As Ismail Raji AlFaruqi (May ALLAH Bless his soul) stated below:-
According to the ethnomusicologist Al-Faruqi, religious opinion makes a hierarchy of music and singing in forbidden, unfavored, indifferent, recommended and commendable forms. The recitation of the Quran stands at the peak of the hierarchy, immediately followed by the call to prayer and religious chants. Also legitimate are various types of songs connected to family celebrations, caravan chants, work songs and the music of military bands. At the bottom of the hierarchy, we find “sensuous music that is performed in association with condemned activities, or that is thought to incite to such prohibited practices as consumption of drugs and alcohol, lust, prostitution etc.” These genres are clearly forbidden, haram. Most forms of music and singing, though, fall between these clear categories and are controversial.
Of course a good message can be grasp from any human being but as for myself I would love to strictly restrict myself to ONLY hear what -selective- munsyeed are singing. As my nafs is not that good yet (I may be lost in the middle of it if I choose otherwise) and listen from those who close, submit and obey ALLAH will fill my ruh and heart with much fulfillment of good dzauq and bring me to remember HIM in the purest content of glass (methodology) InshALLAH it will lead/help me to hear what ONLY ALLAH want us to listen to.
Every single thing around us can lead us to ALLAH of course. Even the sound of the birds, the waves of water. As Imam Chelebi mentioned but it has to be inline in what ALLAH favor.
The seventeenth-century Muslim scholar Chelebi distinguishes three categories of music: that coming from birds, from the human throat and from instruments. He states that in Islam it is permissible to listen to the melodies produced by birds, and to those produced by the human throat, subject to certain conditions and rules. To listen to instruments that are blown or struck however, is never permissible. Certain instruments are forbidden because they are supposed to incite drinking. The kuba, an oblong drum, for instance, is prohibited because of its association with drinking wine, licentious songs and dissolute people. With respect to the human throat, if it produces songs about wine and debauchery, it is not permissible to listen to them. 
In short, it is not outer appearance that are importance but how they carried themselves and being in the limitation of syara’ while performing. Music and entertainment in Islam is not only about the music itself but our scholars has put a strict guideline that the performance, lyrics, singers, music, crowds of the listeners has to follows Islamic principle and Maqasid Shara’ that been stated by those applicable in that area.
Meaning that you can be as dashing as Maher Zain or as humble as Zain Bikha for instance, but have to keep a straight rule whilst performing, not conduct any inappropriate acts, keeps right with thier actions/words and not mingling with mixed-gender crowds as they have showed us. All single of action in Islamic music/sing/song will be accountable by ALLAH.
Not everything evolving around music to determine what a good music are in ALLAH’s sight. Imam Ghazali (Rahimahullah) has underline a clear guideline on how to conduct ourselves while mingling around music and whats not around that.
The approval or disapproval of performers is not only related to the genre but also to the context of the performance. Regarding the permissibility of the context, three elements are deemed important by the eleventh-century Muslim scholar Imam al-Ghazali, that is, time, place and associates. It is not acceptable if too much time is devoted to performances so that it interferes with the higher Islamic goals and distracts the believers’ attention from the devotion to God. Full-time professional performers are accordingly less acceptable than non-professional amateurs. The acceptability of the place and occasion of the performance is also an important factor in judging the legitimacy of the entertainers and their public. Lastly, the type of people present during the performance affects the permissibility of the performers and their audience. A certain genre of music can thus be permissible in one context while it is rejected in another circumstance. Playing the tambourine is, for instance, acceptable if it is done by women at a wedding but forbidden if it is done by men in contexts of homosexuality or prostitution.
As we the listener we also have to be careful of what your heart, mind, soul, body, and intention based upon. It should be a right based on what ALLAH permitted us to do so. Keep our gaze lower and always listen ONLY what can make we remembered ALLAH. If the heart trembled with an-nafs (evil, bad, uncalled desire), then even what you heard comes from a good Muslim singer and good message then we should stop. That is how delicate a barrier between (an evil, bad, uncalled) soul (an-nafs) desire AND a soul that only want ALLAH.
As my beloved Mursyid has advised after we been entertained by much loved Qasidah recitation during this month Mukhayyam:-
Shame on you if you listen and enjoyed the rhythm and immersed with the songs (qasidah nasyeed) and NOT the essence of it (not immersed with the love and missing Prophet) or the entity of the message/content than what we hear will be a HUJJAH (unfavorable witness) in front of ALLAH in the hereafter!
Shyakh Yusuf Bakhur AlHasani strictly exclaimed. What he said really hit the nail of our head. We know that he want to subtly remembering us to not be way too mesmerized in the rhymes or sounds of any captivating music. It is dangerous to the heart.
What he means is in EVERYTHING we did, we have to put ALLAH first and NOT our nafs. Even in a simple gesture of listening or entertaining ourselves which is of course is permissible (halal) and ibahah in Islam at the first place.
I shuddered with much fear and utter embarrassment knowing that I always listen to what my nafs preferred even when it is comes from a good things i.e Qasidah, naat or nasyid. That’s how delicate of nafs can be and fools us at the same time. Even when we are listening to Qasidah that praised Rasulullah saw, Syeikh Yusuf strongly advice that don’t listen only because of the beauty of the rhythm OR for those who are singing it otherwise it will be a Hujjah on us.
My stand for instrumental nasyeed comes from major (Jumhur) of Fuqaha’. It is a khilaf issues not that I want to make an easy decision out of it (talfiq). I read in the kutubs, study, attend halaqah/seminars and asked the Ulamas. May ALLAH forgive me if I have choose or ever choose a music that will cause me astray if I didn’t repent and listen to what is not pleasurable in the sight of ALLAH. As myself are the weak and full of flaws servant of YOU, so please forgive my sins O ALLAH. Please correct me If I have gone wrong and guide me if I have violate what is righteous before YOUR Will.
Let me not choose anything because of my own desire and excuse my choices because of my own nafs. Fear ALLAH O you, if you ever did or do that.
I wouldn’t want to post the discussion among the jurist here but a short article can be read here.
Having said this, the restriction that jurist and scholars that allowed instrumental nasyeed is very strict. So that we can choose wisely and didn’t go beyond the guideline and the guidance.
The Day of Resurrection draws near, None besides Allah can avert it, (or advance it, or delay it). Do you then wonder at this recital (the Qur’an)? And you laugh at it and weep not, Wasting your (precious) lifetime in pastime and amusements (singing, etc.). So fall you down in prostration to Allah, and worship Him (Alone)” 53-57:An-Najmi
To conclude of course there is NO other purest and noblest enjoyment to a mu’min other than listening, reciting and memorizing the Word’s of HIM; Al-Quran. It is the ultimate and only simple entertainment for a Muhsinin soul. Let us try to seek the noblest one, inshALLAH in our daily routine and life.
30 December 2009
(This is what I conclude for. I may be wrong and I may be right. May Allah correct me if I’m wrong and accept me if I’m right)
 Yahya ibn Ma’adh said, “In my opinion, the worst kind of self-delusion is for someone to sin excessively and then to hope for forgiveness without feeling any remorse; or it is to expect to draw near to Allah, the Exalted, without obeying or worshipping Him; or it is to hope for the fruits of the Garden after having only planted the seeds for the Fire; or it is to seek the abode of the obedient through committing wrong actions; or it is to expect a reward after having done nothing worthwhile; or it is to place hope in Allah, Glorious and Mighty is He, after having exceeded all the limits”.
 Al-Faruqi 1985: 1-13.
 Sawa 1989; Stigelbauer 1975: 39
 Al-Faruqi 1985: 17-20; al-Ghazali 1902: 1
 Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Allah says (interpretation of the meaning) “Wasting your (precious) lifetime in pastime and amusements (singing)” – Sufyaan al-Thawri said, narrating from his father from Ibn ‘Abbaas: (this means) singing. This is Yemeni (dialect): ismad lana means ghan lana [sing to us]. This was also the view of ‘Ikrimah. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer).