Sheikh Sajid Umar, please advise me regarding the following hadeeth: “It is better for one of you to fill their stomach with pus than poetry.” Is it authentic? My classmate warned me against listening to Nasheed based on this narration.
باسم الله والحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آله وأصحبه ومن والاه
Dear sister, may Allah Almighty bless you and your family.
The narration you have cited is an authentic one and found in both Saheeh alBukhari and Saheeh Muslim as well.
However, it is important we understand this narration in light of other narrations and events from the life of the Messenger ﷺ related to poetry.
After an expansive study of the sources of our Shariah, our scholars, may Allah shower upon them His mercy, have explained this narration to refer to a specific type of circumstance and not every circumstance. They say that the hadeeth stated is specific to a person who spends most of their time listening to poetry or nasheed in a manner that prevents them from worshiping Allah Almighty. They also explain this narration to include those who listen to poetry or nasheed of an impermissible nature.
Their evidence for the above explanation is the fact that we have established reports of poetry being recited in the presence of the Messenger ﷺ, with the Messenger ﷺ taking a keen interest in listening to some of what was recited.
As further guidance; our scholars have shared some conditions that we should look after in order to ensure our activity remains halaal and permissible. These conditions are as follows:
1. There should be no use of musical instruments. The use of the ‘duff’ is an exception though.
We should also note that sounds that emanate from other than musical instruments but resemble the sounds of musical instruments are impermissible as well.
2. The process should not be so frequent and for time periods that prevent you from using your day appropriately in the worship of Allah Almighty and the development of your paradise.
3. The words used in the nasheed should not be obscene or carry meanings of an impermissible nature.
4. The listener should focus on the meanings of the words used and not become affected or entranced by the nature of the tune in and of itself. This means that the focus of our listening should be the message and not only the tune or rhythm accompanying the words.
And Allah Almighty knows best.
Before signing off, allow me stress that the Qur’aan is filled with the best messages you will ever hear. Listening to the Qur’aan is the best decision you will always make. And if you looking for some treble; pick up the recitation of the Qur’aan by Sheikh Sudais. If bass is what you after; pick up the recitation of Sheikh Shuraim (May Allah preserve them both and all our reciters – Ameen)