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A Pied Piper Who Took The Whole Orchestra Into A Mosque With No Remorse

Umran Hussain

Maulana Sheikh Abdul Gani Bhat – A familiar name, popular as a religious figure in Kashmir loves to be in the news but every time for a very bad reason.

In the year 2020, Maulana Abdul Gani created a controversy when he was seen openly abusing and beating his followers somewhere in Pampore area of Pulwama. His question “Wan Fakeeri Kyah Gai?” (Tell me what Monkhood is) became the talk of the town and his abusive actions were strongly called out by the netizens at that time.

In a very recent controversy, Maulna Abdul Gani took a giant and a quite unexpected leap by playing musical instruments in the mosque where he usually delivers Friday sermons, which left every kashmiri Muslim suprised and shocked for some obvious reasons.

A Rabab – lute-like musical instrument and a ghatam (Not) – large, narrow-mouthed earthenware water pot used as a percussion instrument, are the instruments which Maulana Abdul Gani took into the mosque and was apparently trying to teach how earth can be used in its different forms (in case of Ghatam) and the seven notes ‘Saat Sur‘ in case of Rabab.

Once the video was uploaded on social media, Muslims all across the Jammu and Kashmir were fumed by this uncalled for action of Maulana.

Hundreds of videos with background commentaries including some renowned Islamic scholars strongly condemned the actions of Maulana, as according to the Islamic principles, using musical instruments and listening to music is forbidden.

Music And Islam:

Though there are no direct references to music in the Quran, certain Hadiths (sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad) argue that music is haram, like when Abu Huraira reported the Prophet Muhammad saying: “the bell is the musical instrument of the Satan.” Sayings of prophet (PBUH) with other authentic references were quoted by various religious scholars to prove Maulana Abdul Gani’s actions wrong.

Evidence of prohibition of music and singing in the Quran and Sunnah: 

Allah says in Surah Luqman (interpretation of the meaning):

And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks (i.e. music, singing) to mislead (men) from the path of Allah…” [Luqman 31:6]

The scholar of the ummah, Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: this means singing . Mujahid (may Allah have mercy on him) said: this means playing the drum (tabl). (Tafsir al-Tabari, 21/40)

Al-Hasan al-Basri (may Allah have mercy on him) said: this ayah was revealed concerning singing and musical instruments (lit. woodwind instruments). (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, 3/451)

Al-Sa’di (may Allah have mercy on him) said: this includes all manner of haram speech, all idle talk and falsehood, and all nonsense that encourages kufr and disobedience; the words of those who say things to refute the truth and argue in support of falsehood to defeat the truth; and backbiting, slander, lies, insults and curses; the singing and musical instruments of the Shaytan; and musical instruments which are of no spiritual or worldly benefit. (Tafsir al-Sa’di, 6/150)

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“The interpretation of the Sahabah and Tabi’in, that ‘idle talk’ refers to singing, is sufficient. This was reported with sahih isnad from Ibn ‘Abbas and Ibn Mas’ud. Abu’l-Sahba said: I asked Ibn Mas’ud about the ayah (interpretation of the meaning), ‘“And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks’ [Luqman 31:6]. He said: By Allah, besides Whom there is no other god, this means singing – and he repeated it three times. It was also reported with a sahih isnad from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both) that this means singing.

Al-Daff: An appropriate exception:

The exception to the above is the daff – without any rings (i.e., a hand-drum which looks like a tambourine, but without any rattles) – when used by women on ‘Eids and at weddings. This is indicated by sahih reports.

Shaykh al-Islam (may Allah have mercy on him) said: But the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) made allowances for certain types of musical instruments at weddings and the like, and he made allowances for women to play the daff at weddings and on other joyful occasions. But the men at his time did not play the daff or clap with their hands. It was narrated in al-Sahih that he said: “Clapping is for women and tasbih (saying Subhan Allah) is for men.” And he cursed women who imitate men and men who imitate women. Because singing and playing the daff are things that women do, the Salaf used to call any man who did that a mukhannath (effeminate man), and they used to call male singers effeminate.

Though Maulana Abdul Gani’s actions drew strong condemnation from various sections of the Muslim society, yet there are certain sections who admire and commend what Maulana did on the holy pulpit.

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