Reciting the Qur’aan with Maqaamaat – Shaykh Saleh as Suhaymi

Reciting the Qur’aan with Maqaamaat (tune/melody)

By Shaykh Saaleh bin Sa’ad As-Suhaymi

Translated by:

Abu Maryam Akram As-Saylanee an-Najdee


Some of the people have nothing with the Qu’raan except singing it, and some of them have been tested regarding that with what is called: “Maqaamaat” (Melody/Tunes): (for example:) Maqaamaat Al-Hijaaziyyah, Maqaamaat Al-Masriyyah, and Maqaamaat Al-Fulaaniyyah (etc).

We do not know of anything called Maqaamaat of the Qur’aan! Rather, the Maqaamaat is well-known among the singers and musicians, isn’t that so? Some of the Salaf and some of the students of knowledge wrote about the prohibition of these Maqaamaat, so we should pay attention to that! This thing known as Maqaamaat, where there is no differentiation between it and singing, does not befit the Book of Allaah -جل وعلا -. Yes, it’s incumbent to recite beautifully  [1] and it is incumbent to beautify your voice with the Qur’aan. However, it has to be different from the tunes of the singers and immoral people. The Qur’aan is far above this. As for the Maqaam Fulaan, and Maqaam Fulaam, and Maqaam Fulaan…  today it’s Maqaamaat and tomorrow they’ll apply music to it! Due to this, some of the ignorant writers and thinkers from the authors of ideological books that have fallen into takfeer (excommunication from Islam) of the Muslims and in negating the Names and Attributes of Allaah, have also fallen into abuse of the Noble Qur’aan. They called it: “Music”, “bells”, “lyres”, and similar to that. One of their followers said about the Qur’aan: “It is the lyre of the heavens”. If they try to use the statement of the Prophet – صلى الله عليه وسلم- to Abi Musa al-Ash’ari as evidence: “He has been given a Mizmaar [2] from the Mazameer of Aal Daawood”, we say to them: there is no evidence (for you) in this, the intent of it is that he was given a voice and that is why the Qur’aan is not called Mizmaar (wind instrument). Rather, the intent here is the voice and the beauty of the voice with the Qur’aan.

Some of the reciters now, many of them are Munashidoon (those who sing ‘Nasheeds’), singers in celebrations who sing after they have filled their bellies with sweets and meat at funeral ceremonies and they aren’t able to breath from the large amount their bellies have consumed. Then they sit and play with the Qur’aan. An hour for singing tunes and and hour with the Qur’an with the false claim of (recited) supplications! These (recited) invocations and poetic stanzas have nothing to do with the religion of Allaah, rather it’s playing around with the religion of Allaah. The Nasheeds that are exist today, they are playing with the religion of of Allaah -جل وعلا-. Because of this, you now find in some of the recordings: “Al-Qari Fulaan” (so-and-so reciter), I call him a singer! “The singer so-and-so”… it’s not permissible to call him a reciter because he ruined his recitation by performing his singing, what he refers to as: Nasheeds. Regardless if he is called so-and-so, regardless if he’s invited to big celebrations. This is not a proof!

(Allaah says:)

“وَإِن تُطِعْ أَكْثَرَ مَن فِي الأَرْضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللّهِ”

“And if you follow the majority of the people on Earth, they will mislead you from the path of Allaah.” [Surat al-An’aam: 116]

I consider these people as singers, and I draw closeness to Allaah by deeming them singers. Yes. Be cautious! Don’t be deceived by them. Perhaps if you asked one of them the meaning of a verse, they wouldn’t know! Because he memorized the Qur’aan in tone only, due to that he ruined his memorization. It’s true that his voice is beautiful, but he’s ruined it with his songs, what he calls “Islamic Nasheeds”!

Islaam is burdened, everything is attributed to it. “Islamic Nasheeds”, “Islamic songs”, “Islamic invocations”, “Islamic pants”, “Islamic shoes”… My Brother, fear Allaah regarding these labels! Say this is a clothing that is in accordance with the Sunnah or this is in opposition to the Sunnah. The principle regarding clothing is permissible as long as it’s free from three issues:

The first issue: that it imitates the disbelievers in their religious clothing.

The second issue: that it is impermissible, like silk or gold and silver for men.

The third issue: that it shows the ‘Awrah, exposing it or portraying it

If it’s free from these three issues, then it is permissible. We don’t say: Islamic pants, Islamic jacket, Islamic Music, or Islamic invocations. Pay attention!

These labels are not permissible. It’s incumbent for the store owners and sellers to repent from these labels. The principle regarding clothing is that it’s permissible as long as it’s free from the three issues that I mentioned.

Fear Allaah O reciters! Keep the recitation of the Qur’aan away from the funeral ceremonies. Keep the recitation of the Qur’aan away from the birthday celebrations of Jaahiliyyah and the celebrations of Jaahiliyyah, regardless of if it’s the Birthday of the Prophet -صلى الله عليه وسلم- as they claim or other than it from the birthdays. Keep the recitation of the Qur’aan away from those who earn a living by performing professional Ruqya (healing). Do you know the meaning of professional Ruqya? What’s the meaning of it? It means: those who take Ruqya as a trade and a profession. These people are criminals who harm the people – by Allaah- they harm the people.

Due to that, nowadays they distribute cans… “This is the Ruqya of so-and-so!” I’ve seen it with some of the sellers of perfumes here. Ruqya of so-and-so and Ruqya of so-and-so, “this paste has the Ruqya of so-and-so performed on it”, “This saffron has the Ruqya of so-and-so performed on it”, “This water has the Ruqya of so-and-so performed on it”, “This rose oil has the Ruqya of so-and-so performed on it.” This is fraud! This is fraud! Playing with the Book of Allaah -عَزَّ وَجَلَّ- . This is a wrecked trade .

O Reciters! This is a wrecked trade! You are playing with the Book of Allaah – عَزَّ وَجَلَّ- and selling your recitations uttered on the pastes, and saffron, and water, and salt, and oils, and then sell it to the Muslims. I am not preventing you from Ruqya. However, don’t take it as a profession, because this is not the Prophetic guidance. Rather, it’s the guidance of those who consume the wealth of the people with falsehood. If your brother requests Ruqya from you, then perform it, or if you see someone who needs it, then perform it for free for the sake of Allaah. If something is gifted to you without any conditions, then it is okay to accept the gift. However, to make a clinic for yourself and make a person with twisted arms  regulate the people and get a microphone and recite in a group and everyone puts 500 riyals or 1000 riyals,  in the pockets of this twisted one and you walk between them “uff..f..f” This tank of water is filled and sold for 70 riyals per gallon or 70 dirhams.

No O Servant of Allah! Fear Allaah, -by Allaah- this is not a recitation , this is not accepted and has no value and you will not be healed by it. Rather, this is from cooperating upon sin and transgression and from playing around with the Book of Allaah -عَزَّ وَجَلَّ-

Be careful! Fear Allaah O reciters, Fear Allaah! Yes.

[1] I translated يتغنى as “recite beautifully” as opposed to “sing” due to the statement of Imaam an-Nawawee in his Sharh Saheeh Muslim:

“وقوله : ( يتغنى بالقرآن ) معناه عند الشافعي وأصحابه وأكثر العلماء من الطوائف وأصحاب الفنون : يحسن صوته به”  “And his statement: ( يتغنى بالقرآن) it’s meaning according to Ash-Shaafi’ee and his companions and most of the scholars from the groups and the people of the (religious) sciences is: He beautifies his voice with it. “

[2] Mizmaar is often translated to “Wind Instrument”, and those who try to justify Music will use also translate Mizmaar as wind instrument in this Hadeeth. However, the correct understanding is that it refers to the voice rather than a musical instrument as the narrator of the Hadeeth mentioned that the Prophet – صلى الله عليه وسلم- heard Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari’s recitation and commented on his recitation.