What follows are the fataawa of our respected and trustworthy scholars regarding nasheeds.
Shaykh Muhammad Naasiruddeen al-Albaanee (may Allaah have mercy on him)
Al-Shaykh Al-Albaani said: We have to be careful of those who try to change the matters by changing their names such as what is called as Islaamic Nasheed!! There has not been in Islaam, for the whole 14 centuries, anything known as Islaamic Nasheed. This is from the inventions of the current modern times. This is a method of inserting that which was known for many centuries and which was refuted by the scholars all along, which is the Sufi songs which they call, ?Gathering of Remembrance?. So now they use it to substitute for the songs which the Sufis used to sing before. The scholars have fought against it fiercely especially in this recent age until you could almost not hear anything of these Sufi songs. So now they came and changes the title and substituted it what new title which they call ?Islaamic Nasheed? yet it still contains elements which Islaam prohibits and forbids. These anasheed are based on the same Sufi tunes and rhythms but without the extreme exaggeration of the Sufis. So the poetry has its origin in Islaam.. the poet of the Prophet Peace be Upon him Hassaan Ibn Thaabit used to refute the kuffar with his poetry per the command of the Prophet. Reciting poetry has its roots in Islaam when it calls them to good character and to excite and encourage them to struggle for the cause of Allaah. But to recite this poetry according to the known musical notes and melodies and tunes whether they are western or eastern, indeed this has nothing to do with Islaam. Rather the poet used to deliver his poetry that was in its content and goals and method, in total accordance with the legislation. His delivery is also according to the known method used by Arabs, not by using the musical tunes that are governed by the music notes which is in harmony with the eastern and western music. The current Anasheed we have were not available during the early times, not in its content or the method of delivery.
Upon this a questioner asked him. Ya Shaykh, why don?t we look at it differently. Rather than saying that this is an act of disobedience. Why don?t we say that this is a better solution than for example having a wedding with music and stuff. Instead, we get some nasheed band and they sing some Islaamic songs, from the principal of committing the lesser of the 2 evils.
The Shaykh replied: This statement of yours, may Allaah bless you, is incorrect. A Muslim commits the lesser of 2 evils when he has no choice but to do so. Example, if a man is in the desert and he is about to starve to death and he found meat of a dead animal that has not been slaughtered Islaamically which makes it haraam to consume. So, here both, consuming this meat and dying are evil. But eating a dead meat is the lesser of 2 evils. So this principal only applies when the Muslim has no choice but to commit one of the 2 evils so he chooses the lesser one. But If I were to have a wedding, what would force me to have any form of evil when I am able to invite a scholar maybe or a Qur’aan reciter or a lecturer to admonish people.
(Translated by Abu Mussab) from: Silsilat alhuda wannuur… tape number 334
Shaykh Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid:
Nasheed means words with a tune, and the ruling thereon is known if the words of the nasheed are known, and how it is performed, and whether it is accompanied by musical instruments or not.
By studying the words of the scholars and trustworthy Shaykhs, we can compile a list of the guidelines and conditions which must be fulfilled in order for the nasheed to be permissible. These include the following:
1- The words should be free of haraam and worthless content.
2- The nasheed should not be accompanied by musical instruments. No musical instruments are permissible except the duff for women on specific occasions.
3- It should be free of vocal effects that imitate the sound of musical instruments.
4- The nasheed should not be a habit for the listener, or waste his time, or affect his obligatory duties or mustahabb actions, such as affecting his reading of Qur?aan and calling people to Allaah.
5- The performer should not be a woman in front of men, or a man in front of women.
6- One should avoid listening to people with soft voices or who move rhythmically when performing, because all of that is fitnah and an imitation of immoral people.
7- One should avoid the images that are put on their cassette cases, and more importantly one should avoid showing them in video clips of their nasheeds, especially images of provocative movements and imitations of immoral singers.
8- The focus of the nasheed should be the words, not the tune.
Unfortunately we have to say that the Shaza channel does not pay attention to most of these conditions and guidelines, and its broadcasts are filled with all kinds and types of nasheed, even if it contains something that goes against sharee?ah. They showed a male nasheed group who were wearing a uniform and performing a dabkeh dance, whilst using vocal effects that sounded like musical instruments, and some of the nasheeds depicted wedding parties, and among the audience could be seen people who were smoking openly in front of people, and this was broadcast as though it was an Islaamic nasheed.
They also broadcast some of these nasheeds from festivals and celebrations in which could be heard clapping and whistling to encourage the singer and applaud him. As for some of them shaving their beards or cutting them too short, or letting their garments hang below their ankles, this happens a great deal.
There is another serious issue related to these anasheed, which is that women are attracted to these male singers. So you see them coming out wearing the finest clothes, or even wearing makeup! And the singers have started to put their pictures and cell phone numbers on the covers of their cassettes, like immoral singers. The fact that some women are attracted to these nasheed singers is something that cannot be denied, so heads of households who are responsible for their flocks should pay attention to this serious matter.
Some of those who are in charge of this channel have tried to market it from a shar?iah angle by giving prominence to Shaykh ?Abd al-?Azeez al-Fawzaan?s praise of them, but when the Shaykh found out what they are really like, and that it is not one of the al-Majd channels, and that it is only for nasheed ? when he had been told that it belonged to al-Majd and was a youth channel ? he recanted his praise for them and warned them not to publish it.
Warnings against this channel have also been issued by the General Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Shaykh ?Abd al-?Azeez Aal al-Shaykh (may Allaah preserve him).
In a meeting with the Shaykh at ?Asr on Thursday 13/9/1427 AH on the al-Majd channel, on its program called Ma?a Samaahat al-Mufti, he was asked about the Shaza nasheed channel and he replied:
With regard to the Shaza channel which is for nasheed, I hope that the people in charge of al-Majd will close down this channel, because in fact they are nasheed which may include Sufi nasheeds, and they may contain melodious voices that could distract people from that which is better than that. Sufi styles and Sufi nasheeds and so on are things that were denounced by the scholars who said: This prevents the people from remembering Allaah, and it is singing, but they made it appear good by saying that it is Islaamic nasheeds and prayer to Allaah and so on.
What one should do is not introduce this channel. I do not watch it and I advise people to avoid it. I hope that those who founded it will fear Allaah and keep away from this channel and avoid supporting it or spending on it, and will not be tempted by it or by those who promote it or who try to find a justification for it, because it is no more than nasheed that distract people from that which is better for them. End quote.
The veracity of what Shaykh ?Abd al-?Azeez Aal al-Shaykh (may Allaah preserve him) said is supported by the fact that it may include Sufi nasheeds:
(a) The presence of prominent Sufis who take part in it, who are regarded as geniuses of nasheed by them
(b) A lot of songs about Madeenah, its inhabitants and the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
(c) Many Sufi expressions in a lot of their nasheeds, such as Mawlaya (my master), ya sanadi (my support), umarrigh al-khadd bi?l-i?taab (I rub my cheek on the threshold of your door), aghithni minka bi?l-madad (help me by your aid), and so on.
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-?Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked:
I hope that you can explain in detail the issue of nasheeds, and the ruling on selling them.
Shaykh: What nasheeds?
Questioner: The Islaamic nasheeds that are sold on recordings.
He replied: I cannot give a ruling on them, because they vary, but I can give you a general guideline.
1- If the nasheeds are accompanied by the duff, then they are haraam, because the duff is only permissible in a specific situation, not all the time. It is more forbidden if it is accompanied by music or tabl (drums other than the duff).
2- If it is free of those things, then we examine it further. Is it performed in the manner of immoral songs? This is also not permissible because one soon finds that one gets used to this immoral manner of performance and enjoys it, and that may lead one to start listening to haraam kinds of songs.
3- If these nasheed are sung by young men with attractive voices, i.e., they could provoke desire, or a person may enjoy listening to the sound regardless of the content of the nasheed, then this is also not permissible.
But if the nasheeds speak of Islaamic zeal and not as described above, then there is nothing wrong with them, but it is better to listen to Qur?aan rather than that, or to listen to a useful lecture, or to listen to a lesson by a scholar. This is better, as it will serve a religious purpose and also make it easy for a person, because a person may be travelling from Makkah to Madeenah, for example, and he needs something to keep him awake.
Questioner: But what is the ruling on selling them?
Shaykh: I will give you a guideline. Everything that it is haraam to use, it is also haraam to sell, because the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ?When Allaah forbids a people to eat something, He also forbids its price to them.? Narrated by Abu Dawood, and it is saheeh.
Liqaa?aat al-Baab il-Maftooh (111/question 7).
Question: Noble Shaykh, Muhammad Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen, as-Salaam ‘alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuhu. Is Islaamic inshaad (singing/chanting) permissible for men? And is it permissible to accompany inshaad with the playing of the duff? Is inshaad permissible for other than `Eeds and parties?
Response: In the Name of Allaah, All Gracious, All Merciful, as-Salaam ‘alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuhu. Islaamic inshaad is an innovation, resembling that which the Soofiyyah (Soofees) have invented. Because of this, it is befitting to abandon this for the message of the Qur’aan and Sunnah.
O Allaah, were it that this had occurred on the battlefield then it would motivate courage and Jihaad in the Path of Allaah, the Almighty. Then this is good. And if the duff is used along with this, then this is (venturing) further from that which is correct.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen
al-Bid’u wal-Muhdathaat wa maa laa Asla lahu – Page 229;
Fataawa fadheelatush-Shaykh Muhammad as-Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen – Volume 1, Page 134
Shaykh Saalih ibn Fawzaan al-Fawzaan (may Allaah preserve him)
The noble Shaykh is a member of the Council of Senior Scholars, and member of the Fiqh Committee in Makkah (part of ar-Raabitah), and member of the Committee for Supervision of the Callers (du’aat) in Hajj, whilst also presiding over (his main role) membership of the Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa. He is also the imaam, khateeb and teacher at the Prince Mut’ib Ibn ‘Abdul-‘Azeez masjid in al-Malzar.
Reference: Majallatut-Da?wah No: 1632. 7th Dhul-Qa?dah 1418 A.H. Corresponding to 5th March 1998
A considerable amount of discussion has taken place with regards to ?Islaamic Nasheeds?; some have given a formal, legal opinion of it being permissible, whilst others hold them to be an alternative to music. What is your opinion with regards to the above, your eminence?
The phrase ?Islaamic Nasheeds? is incorrect, because it is a newly invented phrase. Hence, for this reason there are no such things [known as] ?Islaamic Nasheeds? in the books of the pious predecessors, and from the rulings of those who are considered and relied upon to be from amongst the people of knowledge.
Rather what is well known is that the Sufis  are the ones who have accommodated and incorporated these ?Islaamic Nasheeds? into their Deen, and they name this Deen of theirs as (ÇáÓãÇÚ) ?As Samaa?.
In this day and age, when different parties & groups have arisen and increased, this has resulted in all these groups & parties adopting their own fanatical zealous anthems which they have named as ?Islaamic Nasheeds?. This labeling of ‘Islaamic Nasheeds’ has no authenticity or soundness [in our Deen]. Therefore, it is not permissible to accept these Nasheeds or to circulate and promote them amongst the people.
Allaah is the possessor of all prosperity & success.
 For a detailed case study on the history of Sufism & their heretic beliefs refer to the English translation of the book ?The reality of Sufism? by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Rabee? ibn Haadee Almadhkhalee, published by Alhidaayah, Birmingham, U.K. [TN]
 A gathering of Sufis who listen & chant songs [with music] about Allaah, [TN]
Haraam issues in modern anaasheed and the conditions of nasheed being permissible
Are the modern nasheeds permissible ‘video clips’? Is it not similar to the normal songs of ‘kuffar’? Are these video clips permissible although it includes women wearing makeup and showing their faces and hands, many sound effects and men without beards. Is it permissible for all this to be displayed? Please answer in details. May Allah reward you!.
Praise be to Allaah.
Nasheeds have changed from what they were at first.
Unfortunately nasheeds and munshids (nasheed-“singers”) have sunk to this level. Whereas nasheeds used to have meanings of faith, jihad and knowledge, they have now – in many cases – become akin to the songs of evildoers, with softening of the voice, putting a picture of the munshid on the cover of the tape, and making video clips to accompany the nasheed, which contain haraam things such as the presence of women or evildoers, and using musical instruments. The best of them nowadays are those that use sound effects that mimic the sound of musical instruments. No attention is paid to the meaning, rather all the attention is focused on the tune and other sound effects. Otherwise tell me how a munshid can produce a nasheed in English which the [Arab] listeners enjoy listening to so much even though they do not understand a single word of it?!
Nasheeds have overtaken other kinds of educational and beneficial audio material and nasheed groups have proliferated in the Muslim world. These groups do not hesitate to publish pictures of their groups in newspapers and magazines wearing identical clothing, and their faces often proclaim their going against the guidance of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), as they have shaved their beards. Some Qur’aan readers whom Allaah has blessed with beautiful voices and talent in reading that makes one weep have followed in their footsteps. Some of them became very keen to go down that path and released some recordings which do not befit their status. So you may find one of them producing a recording with some clean-shaven evildoers and pictures of women appearing in the video clip with the nasheed. The camera zooms in on the face of the munshid when he is looking his best and he stares soulfully into the camera and behaves like a pop singer.
We are not exaggerating, and we are not talking about things that do not happen. These munshids who publish their pictures and mobile phone numbers know that women are tempted by them, and they know what effect their movements and looks and images have on that weak section of mankind. Unfortunately we only see them producing more of these nasheeds with images.
Hence some of the prominent Shaykhs who permitted nasheeds at first were upset by what nasheeds and munshids have become – and this was before they found out about the video clips – so they retracted the view that it is permissible or they stipulated conditions for it to be said to be permissible.
Among these prominent Shaykhs are: Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him).
1. He said (may Allaah have mercy on him):
I think that Islamic nasheeds have changed from what they were before. They were done with voices that were not enchanting, but now they are done with enchanting voices, and they are also accompanied by evil and corrupting tunes and they say that they are accompanied by the duff, but all of this means that one should keep away from these nasheeds. But if a man comes to us and sings anaasheed that have a sound meaning, and which do not include any nonsense, and uses his voice only with no musical instruments, there is nothing wrong with that. Hassaan ibn Thaabit used to recite poetry in the mosque of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
Duroos wa Fataawa al-Haram al-Madani, 1416 AH, question no. 18.
2. He also said (may Allaah have mercy on him):
There has been a lot of talk about Islamic nasheeds. I have not listened to them for a long time. When they first appeared there was nothing wrong with them. There were no duffs, and they were performed in a manner that did not involve any fitnah, and they were not performed with the tunes of haraam songs. But then they changed and we began to hear a rhythm that may have been a duff or it may have been something other than a duff, and they began to choose performers with beautiful and enchanting voices, then they changed further and began to be performed in the manner of haraam songs. Hence we began to feel uneasy about them, and unable to issue fatwas stating that they were permissible in all cases, or that they were forbidden in all cases. If they are free of the things that I have referred to then they are permissible, but if they are accompanied by the duff or performers are chosen who have beautiful and enchanting voices, or they are performed in the manner of indecent songs, then it is not permissible to listen to them.
Al-Sahwah al-Islamiyyah (p. 185).
3. Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
As for that which is called Islamic nasheeds, they have been given more time and effort than they deserve, to such an extent that they have become an art form which takes up space in school curricula and school activities, and the recording companies record huge numbers of them to sell and distribute, and most houses are full of them, and many young men and women listen to them, and it takes up a lot of their time, and they are listened to more than recordings of Qur’aan, Sunnah, lectures and useful lessons.
Al-Bayaan li Akhta’ Ba’d al-Kuttaab (p. 342).
4. Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
I remember full well that when I was in Damascus, two years before I migrated here to ‘Ammaan, some of the Muslim youth started to sing some anaasheed that had sound meanings, intending thereby to counteract the Sufi songs like the Busayri poems and others, and they recorded that on tapes, but soon it was accompanied by beating the duff! At first they used it in wedding parties, on the basis that the duff is permissible in such parties, then the tapes became widespread and copies were made of them, and they started to be used in many homes, and they started to listen to them day and night, whether there was an occasion or not. That became their way of relaxing. But that is due only to their whims and desires and their ignorance of the shaytaan’s tricks, so he diverted them from paying attention to the Qur’aan and listening to it, let alone studying it, and it became forsaken by them, as it says in the verse (interpretation of the meaning): “And the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) will say: ‘O my Lord! Verily, my people deserted this Qur’aan (neither listened to it nor acted on its laws and teachings)’” [al-Furqaan 25:30].
Tahreem Aalaat al-Tarb (p. 181, 182).
It is regrettable that some of those who appoint themselves to issue fatwas have reached such a level that they issues fatwas to adult women allowing them to perform nasheed in front of men, and even on satellite channels in front of millions, and these female performers use musical instruments which are forbidden in sharee’ah, but are permitted by this so-called mufti.
The guidelines and conditions of permissible nasheeds:
By studying the words of the scholars and trustworthy Shaykhs we may compile a list of guidelines and shar’i conditions which must be fulfilled for the nasheed to be permissible. That includes:
1. The words of the nasheed must be free of haraam and foolish words.
2. The nasheed should not be accompanied by musical instruments. No musical instrument is permitted except the duff for women on certain occasions. See the answer to question no. 20406.
3. It should be free of sound effects that imitate musical instruments, because what counts is what appears to be the case, and imitating haraam instruments is not permissible, especially when the bad effect is the same as that which happens with real instruments.
4. Listening to nasheed should not become a habit which takes up a person’s time and affects his duties and mustahabb actions, such as affecting his reading of Qur’aan and calling others to Allaah.
5. The performer of a nasheed should not be a woman performing in front of men, or a man with an enchanting appearance or voice performing in front of women.
6. One should avoid listening to performers with soft voices who move their bodies in rhythm, because there is fitnah in all of that and it is an imitation of the evildoers.
7. One should avoid the images that are put on the covers of their tapes, and more important than that, one should avoid the video clips that accompany their nasheeds, especially those which contain provocative movements and imitations of immoral singers.
8. The purpose of the nasheed should be the words, not the tune.
There follow some of the comments of the scholars which include the guidelines and conditions mentioned above.
1. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
To sum up, what is well known in the Islamic religion is that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not prescribe for the righteous, devoted worshippers and ascetics of his ummah to gather to listen to poetic verses recited to the accompaniment of clapping or the beating of a duff. It is not permissible for anyone to deviate from following him and following that which he brought of the Book and wisdom, whether that has to do with inward or outward matters, either for an ordinary man or a member of the elite. But the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) granted concessions allowing some kinds of entertainment in weddings and the like, and he allowed women to beat the duff during weddings and other celebrations.
As for the men of his era, not one of them used to beat the duff or clap, rather it is proven in al-Saheeh that he said: “Clapping is for women, and tasbeeh is for men” and he cursed the women who imitate men and the men who imitate women.
Because singing, beating the duff and clapping are things that women do, the salaf used to call a man who did those things effeminate, and they called men who sang effeminate, and this is well known among their sayings. End quote.
Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (11/565, 566).
2. Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
Islamic anasheed vary. If they are sound and contain nothing but calling people to what is good, and reminding them of what is good, and obedience to Allaah and His Messenger, and calling people to defend their homelands against the plots of the enemy, and preparing to face the enemy and so on, there is nothing wrong with that. But if they are something other than that, and they promote sin and are performed before mixed audiences of men and women, or audiences in which women are uncovered in the presence of men, or any other evil action, then it is not permissible to listen to them. End quote.
Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz (3/437).
3. He also said (may Allaah have mercy on him):
Islamic nasheeds are like poetry: if it is sound then it is sound and if there is anything objectionable in it then it is objectionable.
The conclusion is that you cannot pass one judgement on all types of nasheed, rather each should be examined on its own merits. There is nothing wrong with sound nasheeds, but nasheeds which contain anything objectionable or promote anything objectionable are objectionable and evil. End quote.
Shareet As’ilah wa Ajwabah al-Jaami’ al-Kabeer (no. 90/A).
4. The scholars of the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas said:
It is permissible for you to replace these songs with Islamic nasheeds which contain words of wisdom and exhortation and lessons, which promote keenness to follow Islam and invoke Islamic feelings, which put one off evil and the things that promote it, and which motivate the one who “sings” them and the one who hears them to obey Allaah and discourage them to disobey Him or transgress His limits; they make one keen to protect His sharee’ah and strive in jihad for His sake. But you should not take that as a habit which one persists in, rather that should be something that is done only sometimes, on special occasions such as weddings or when travelling for jihad and so on, and when one feels low, in order to revive the spirit and motivate oneself to do good, or when one feels inclined towards evil, so listening to such nasheeds may ward that off. End quote.
Fataawa Islamiyyah (4/533); we have quoted the fatwa in full in the answer to question no. 47996 and 67925.
5. Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
There may be another sin involved in that [i.e., nasheeds], which is that they may be performed in the manner of immoral songs and performed according to the rules of eastern or western music which makes the listeners enjoy it and makes them dance and behave in a foolish manner. So the aim becomes the tune and the enjoyment thereof, and not nasheed per se. This is a new error, and it is an imitation of the kuffaar and immoral people. That may lead to a further error, which is imitating them in turning away from the Qur’aan and forsaking it, and being included in the general meaning of the complaint of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) will say: ‘O my Lord! Verily, my people deserted this Qur’aan (neither listened to it nor acted on its laws and teachings)’” [al-Furqaan 25:30]. End quote from Tahreem Alaat al-Tarb (p. 181).
6. He also said:
If these anaasheed contain Islamic meanings and are not accompanied by any instruments such as the daff, tablah drum and so on, then there is nothing wrong with them, but we must point out an important condition of their being permissible, which is that they should be free of anything that goes against sharee’ah, such as exaggeration and the like. Then there is another condition, which is that they should not become a habit, because that distracts the listeners from reading Qur’aan which is encouraged in the Sunnah, and it also distracts them from seeking beneficial knowledge and calling people to Allaah. End quote.
Majallat al-Asaalah (issue no. 2, 15 Jumaada al-Aakhirah 1413 AH).
7. In the answer to question no. 11563 we mentioned a number of guidelines, which we will mention again here, because they are useful:
Not using forbidden musical instruments in nasheed.
Not doing it too much or making it the focus of the Muslim’s mind, occupying all his time, or neglecting obligatory duties because of it.
Nasheed should not be recited by women, or include haraam or obscene speech.
They should not resemble the tunes of the people of immorality and promiscuity.
They should be free of vocal effects that produce sounds like those of musical instruments.
They should not have moving tunes which make the listener feel “high” as happens to those who listen to songs. This is the case with many of the nasheeds which appear nowadays, so that the listeners no longer pay any attention to the good meaning of the words, because they are so entranced by the tunes.
We have too high an opinion of our brothers who perform nasheeds and recite Qur’aan to think that they could be a cause of fitnah for young men and women, and a cause of their being distracted from obedience to Allaah. They know how great an effect their voices and pictures may have on males and females; if you go to chat rooms you will see very weird things. You will see a woman who is infatuated with a munshid or one who cannot sleep unless she is listening to the voice of So and so, and those who call themselves ‘aashiqat fulaan (lover of So and so – a munshid) and you see men and women venerating those munshids, giving them titles and high status, even though some of them are not religiously committed at all, and some of them have fallen into the trap of singing immoral songs, and if you go to some websites that have these nasheed