Analysis Of Quraanic Texts And Commentaries
It is vital that one critically assesses the extent to which certain verses of the Quraan allegedly stand as proof for against the legality of music and singing. Some of those verses which might be misconstrued to indicate that music, singing, dancing etc. are permissible, are mentioned first. They are then followed with a sample of verses which certain scholars have claimed to be proof of prohibition regarding this issue.
Verses Claimed To Indicate The Legality Of Music.
The following verses regarding the psalms of Dawood (upon whom be peace) is case in point.
The First Verse:
"And verily, We did favour some of the prophets over others, and to Dawood We gave the Psalms.
How does this verse purport to be proof for those who claim legality? It is a common misconception of certain Muslims-especially those having a western background or living in the west-that Dawood (peace be upon him) composed the Psalms and sang them to the accompaniment of music.
There are even some commentators of English translations of the Quraan who fall prey to the same error. For example, Abdullah Yusuf Ali comments on this verse saying, "The spiritual gifts with which the prophets came, may themselves, take different forms according to the needs of the world and the times in which they lived, as judged by the wisdom of God. A striking example here given is the gift of song and music as given to David. . .
The fact is that the Psalms were not composed by Prophet Dawood(a. s) , but rather were revealed to him by Allah, the exalted, as is clearly stated in the Quraan. Additionally, now where in the Quraan or in the authentic traditions is there any support for this accompanying the psalms with musical instruments.
In order to properly understand the true nature of the psalms (az-Zaboor) , one must look to some of the dependable Quraanic commentaries(tafaseer). Ibn Katheer(Allah's mercy be upon him), explains the meaning of the term Az-zaboor saying: "Az-Zaboor is the name of the book revealed by Allah to Dawood(a. s).
Al-aloosi further confirms this saying, "Az-Zaboor is the name of the book sent down to Dawood (a. s):it was revealed to him gradually, by installments.
As to the nature of these psalms, Al-Qurtubi states, "Az-zaboor is the book of Dawood, consisting of one hundred and fifty chapters; however, it contained no rulings of divine law on matters of prohibited or allowed things. Rather, it consisted of words and wisdom and admonishment.
Al-Aaloosi adds to this description that "the Zaboor also contained divine praises and glorification of Allah,
Prophet Dawoods captivating , melodious voice was exceedingly beautiful and effective. When he recited the Zaboor, men, jinn, birds and wild animals gathered around him.
The Second Verse
Some ignorant people claim that the following text regarding Prophet Ayoob(Job), whom Allah tested with various trials and tribulations , permits music and dancing:
Allah, the exalted...