Home » Burning Topics » Shariah Ruling On Cultural Programs

Cultural programs, which are organized on Annual Days or any other occasion, are permissible (Jayaz), provided they consist of only educational demonstrations and presentations and do not involve singing, dancing, any kind of immodesty or any other violation of the laws of the Shariah; however if they involve singing, dancing or any other violation of the Shariah, then organizing them is Haram i.e. forbidden not only from the point of view of the Shariah, but also from the viewpoint of morals and ethics. 

Allah SWT says: But there are, among men those who purchase idle tales, without knowledge (or meaning), to mislead (men) from the Path of Allah and throw ridicule (on the Path): for such there will be a humiliating Penalty. (6)- Surah Luqman (31:6) 

It is written in Kasshaf, Tafseer Baidhawi, Durr Manthur, Ruh ul Bayan, (all famous and standard books of Tafseer) about the background of the revelation of this verse (shaan e nuzool) that there was a person Nazar bin Harith from among the Mushrikin of Mecca. He was a big businessman and used to go on business tours to many places like Iran, Syria, Iraq, etc. He bought from there the tales of Rustum and Isfandaryaar, the war stories of other kings and other such tales and told the people of Mecca: Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) tells you about the nations of A’ad and Thamud etc, I will tell you the stories and anecdotes of Rustum and Isfandaryaar and other kings of the world. 

Whenever the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) read out the Quran for the people, this mean man used to organize his own meetings of his absurd tales, which were an entertainment for the people. This way, he used to prevent the people from listening to the Holy Quran. Even more than that, this man had bought some dancing girls, who were well versed in their craft. Using all this, this man used to prevent people from listening to the Holy Quran. He used to entertain people with his dancing girls and used to tell them: Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) reads out the Quran to you and asks you to offer Salaat, to fast and to sacrifice your life. There is nothing in it but difficulty. You come here and listen to these songs and make merry. In condemnation this man, this verse of the Holy Quran was revealed. 

Hadhrat Muhaddith-e-Deccan Abdullah Shah Naqshbandi Mujaddidi Qadri (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) writes in Zujajatul Masabeeh, Vol 4, Pg No:46 on the authority of Fatawa Hameedia and ‘Awarif ul Ma’arif, under the explanation of this verse of the Holy Quran: 

Translation: Hadhrat Abdullah bin Abbas (May Allah be well pleased with him) used to say on oath, that we have heard the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) saying that the words her mean singing and music. 

The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: Lead will be poured into the ears of the person, who sits with a songstress and listens to her song. 

Singing and music foster hypocrisy (Nifaq) in the heart the way water fosters crops. In Tafseerat e Ahmadiya there is Hadith of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam): 

Translation: Whoever raises his voice in singing, 2 devils are set upon that person. One on one shoulder and the other on the other and both of them keep dancing until this person relapses into silence. 

From the above mentioned verses and Hadith, it becomes clear that singing and music, enjoying and presenting cultural programs involving all this is not permissible in any way for a Muslim. There are Hadith that condemn presenting such programs and attending them: 

Translation: The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Singing and music are Haram (forbidden); enjoying it is denial of Allah’s ni’mah (bounties) and attending a singing performance is sin and transgression.”


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