The newspaper al-Nakhbah al-Khaleejiyyah (issues nos. 128 and 133) mentioned a group of artists who start their songs with a mawwaal (poem in colloquial language) which starts with the singing of some verses from the Qur’aan. This has become common among many artists and actors. What is the Islamic ruling on singing the verses of the Qur’aan or giving them a tune like singing?
Praise be to Allaah.
By the inherent nature (fitrah) with which he is born, man instinctively recognizes the enormity of this action and the seriousness of this sin, and the ugliness of this crime. The sound human nature which believes in pure Tawheed does not approve of these satanic practices.
All the Muslims are unanimously agreed that it is obligatory to respect and venerate the words of Allaah, and to protect them from faults and shortcomings.
The Qur’aan is the word of Allaah and is one of His attributes. Allaah still speaks whenever He wills. This is what is indicated by the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and this was the view of the imaams of Islam.
Mocking the words and Book of Allaah, or trying to undermine their sanctity and respect, is blatant kufr – no one would dispute that. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“If you ask them (about this), they declare: ‘We were only talking idly and joking.’ Say: ‘Was it at Allaah, and His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and His Messenger that you were mocking?’
Make no excuse; you disbelieved after you had believed…”
This aayah clearly states that those who mock Allaah, His Signs or His Messenger are kaafirs, regardless of whether they regard that as being permissible or not. Simply making fun of them is apostasy from Islam (riddah), according to the consensus of the Muslims, even if the person did not really intend to mock them but was “only” joking or trying to be funny.
Those people were guilty of kufr who said of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his companions, “We have never seen any people who love their stomachs more or tell more lies or are more cowardly in battle than these Qur’aan-readers.” This was narrated by Ibn Jareer in his Tafseer (10/172) with a jayyid isnaad via Hishaam ibn Sa’d from Zayd ibn Aslam from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar, who said: “During the campaign of Tabook, a man said in a gathering, ‘We have never seen any people who love their stomachs more or tell more lies or are more cowardly in battle than these Qur’aan-readers.’ Another man who was present said, ‘You are lying, and you are a hypocrite. I will most certainly tell the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about this. He conveyed that to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and Qur’aan was revealed.’” Then ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar said: “I saw him hanging on to the saddle-bag of the camel of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), stumbling on the rocks and saying, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, we were only talking idly and joking!’ and the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was saying, ‘Was it at Allaah, and His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and His Messenger that you were mocking? Make no excuse; you disbelieved after you had believed!’”
The apparent meaning of the aayah is that they were believers prior to that, but then they became kaafirs by mocking that which they knew that it was haraam to mock, but they did not think that this was kufr.
The same is also true of those who begin their songs with a mawwaal (poem in colloquial language) which starts with the singing of some verses from the Qur’aan. They have taken the verses of the Holy Qur’aan for singing, entertainment and amusement. This is one of the most serious forms of belittling the Qur’aan and mocking its sanctity.
The ummah is agreed that the one who belittles or mocks the Qur’aan or any part of it is a kaafir. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, this (the Qur’aan) is the Word that separates (the truth from falsehood, and commands strict laws for mankind to cut the roots of evil).
And it is not a thing for amusement”[al-Taariq 86:13-14]
Anyone who takes any part of the Qur’aan for amusement, singing, dancing or entertainment has taken it for amusement and play, and Allaah warn such people of a humiliating torment:
“And when he learns something of Our Verses (this Qur’aan), he makes them a jest. For such there will be a humiliating torment
“And it will be said: ‘This Day We will forget you as you forgot the Meeting of this Day of yours. And your abode is the Fire, and there is none to help you.’
This, because you took the Revelations of Allaah (this Qur’aan) in mockery, and the life of the world deceived you. So this Day, they shall not be taken out from there (Hell), nor shall they be returned to the worldly life (so that they repent to Allaah, and beg His Pardon for their sins)”
Al-Qaadi ‘Iyaad (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Sharh al-Shifaa’ (2/549): “Know that whoever belittles the Qur’aan or the Mus-haf, or any part thereof, or insults them, or denies it, or even one letter or aayah thereof, or disbelieves in it or in any part thereof or in anything that is clearly stated therein, whether it be a ruling or a story, or he knowingly affirms something that is denied therein, or denies something that is affirmed therein, or he doubts any of that, then he is a kaafir according to the scholars, by consensus. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
‘And verily, it is an honourable well‑fortified respected Book (because it is Allaah’s Speech, and He has protected it from corruption).
Falsehood cannot come to it from before it or behind it, (it is) sent down by the All‑Wise, Worthy of all praise (Allaah)’
Shaykh al-‘Allaamah Abu Bakr Muhammad al-Husayni al-Husni al-Shaafa’i said in his book Kifaayat al-Akhyaar (494): “With regard to committing kufr by one’s actions, this may take the form of such things as prostrating to idols or to the sun or moon; throwing the mus-haf onto a rubbish-heap; practising magic which involves worshipping the sun; offering sacrifices to idols; or making fun of one of the names of Allaah, or His command or His warning; or reciting Qur’aan to the beat of the daff (hand-drum)…”
Using the verses of the Qur’aan for singing and putting musical accompaniment to them is a worse act of kufr and a greater sin than reciting the Qur’aan to the beat of a daff.
The great scholar Shaykh al-Bahooti al-Hanbali (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his book al-Rawd al-Murabba’ Sharh Zaad al-Mustaqna’ (p. 282), in the chapter on the rulings concerning apostates: “… or he blatantly says or does something to mock the religion, or shows disrespect towards the Qur’aan, or does not regard it as sacred…”
The great scholar Ibn Farhoon al-Maaliki (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his book Tabsirat al-Hukaam (2/214): “Whoever belittles the Qur’aan or any part of it, or denies it or one letter of it, or disbelieves in any part of it, or knowingly affirms something that it denies or denies something that it affirms, or doubts any part of it, is a kaafir according to the consensus of the scholars.”
The person who approves of their kufr and their belittling of the word of Allaah and His Book is a kaafir like them. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And it has already been revealed to you in the Book (this Qur’aan) that when you hear the Verses of Allaah being denied and mocked at, then sit not with them, until they engage in a talk other than that; (but if you stayed with them) certainly in that case you would be like them. Surely, Allaah will collect the hypocrites and disbelievers all together in Hell”
BEWARE of two very serious matters:
Firstly: the punishment and vengeance of Allaah for those who mock or belittle His words. It was narrated in Saheeh al-Bukhaari (3617) via ‘Abd al-Waarith, ‘Abd al-‘Azeez told us from Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that he said: “A man was a Christian, then he became a Muslim. He read al-Baqarah and Aal ‘Imraan, and he used to write things down for the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Then he went back to Christianity and he used to say, ‘Muhammad does not know anything except that which I wrote for him.’ Then Allaah caused him to die, and they buried him, but the following morning the earth had thrown him out. They said, ‘This is the work of Muhammad and his companions, because he left them, so they dug him up.’ So they dug a deep hole for him, but in the morning the earth had thrown him out again. They said, ‘This is the work of Muhammad and his companions, because he left them, so they dug him up.’ So they dug another hole for him, making it as deep as they could, but the following morning the earth had throw him out again. Then they knew that it was not people who were throwing him out, so they left him where he was.”
(Narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh, 2781, via Sulaymaan ibn al-Mugheerah from Thaabit al-Banaani from Anas, who said: “There was among us a man from Banu al-Najjaar…” and he mentioned the same story, at the end of which he said, “so they abandoned him.”
Secondly: leaving this crime without punishment. For the Qur’aan is the word of Allaah, and it has a special status and a special place in the hearts of the Muslims. So belittling its sanctity and making fun of any part of it is a serious crime and a major sin.
If the most evil elements of humanity in the twentieth century can come and mock the sanctity of the words of Allaah or one of His attributes, and make them like the words of any human beings or the words of the dregs of humanity, and use it for singing, amusement and entertainment, and they can get away with that and not have any punishment or ruling of Allaah carried out against them, then this will open the door for people to mess about with the sharee’ah and to insult the Divine Essence and the attributes of Allaah, and to show disrespect towards the greatest things in which the Muslims take pride.
If worldly punishments such as imprisonment etc. are imposed upon those who slander rulers and governors whether they deserve it or not, but those who make fun of the Book of the Lord of the Worlds and any of His Attributes are not taken to task, this is one of the most serious and shameful of major sins.
I am afraid that by turning a blind eye these people who mock the signs of Allaah, the modern governments are sinking to the level described by the poet:
“When someone slanders the leader, he is taken to prison,
but when someone slanders Allaah, we tell him that people are free to speak as they wish.”
In that case there can be no joy in a life lived under the shadow of corruption, when things have gone out of control.
Shaykh Sulaymaan ibn Naasir al-‘Alwaan
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