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Hasan is invited to a celebration by his closest friend, who always plays different religious songs, or nasheeds, with music during such occasions. Is this permissible? Should he attend?
I. Details about the situation
Hasan’s close friend Samir is celebrating his graduation from college and his family is throwing him a party. As is their tradition, Samir’s family will have various religious songs, or nasheeds that are accompanied by music, playing during the celebration. Hasan does not know if this is permissible and whether he will be committing a sin if he attends and listens to such religious songs. What should he do?
Islam is not against creating a happy and joyous atmosphere, especially to celebrate one’s achievements such as graduating from school, getting married, or reaching any other important milestone. However, such celebrations should not involve unlawful practices such as playing and listening to music that is suitable to gatherings of amusement, dancing, or any other prohibited acts of amusement. Although it is a good practice to commemorate one’s worldly successes with the remembrance of God and the Holy Infallibles (pbut) in the form of nasheeds or religious poetry and songs, it must not include music that is suitable for gatherings of amusement and entertainment, or similar tunes.
Religious songs or nasheeds that incorporate music, whether through the use of certain instruments or by adding it digitally, are permissible to listen to provided the music is not commonly considered or characterized to be suitable for gatherings of entertainment and play in terms of its tune. This would include the music of hip hop, R&B, techno, and similar genres.
Hasan confirms with Samir that the religious songs and nasheeds they are planning to play at the celebration do not include tunes that are considered prohibited music. Therefore, he can attend the gathering and celebrate with him and the rest of their family and friends.