Aspects Of Islamic Faith — 59: Singing On Eid Days - As
Related In The Prophet Traditions
Islamic Perspectives - Muslim Journals
& Information - By Adil Salahi
The Prophet (peace be upon him) treated every occasion
according to its nature. He did not give a serious
atmosphere to a joyous occasion. Had he done so, he
would have marred the occasion and killed all its joy.
Nor did he approach a serious occasion with an air of
frivolity. He realized that people needed relaxation,
particularly after exerting some hard effort.
Therefore, he let a relaxed occasion be truly relaxed.
Aishah, the Prophet’s wife, reports: “God’s messenger
came in my home when I had two maids singing some of
the poetry said on the occasion of the Battle of
Bu’ath. He reclined on the bed and turned his face
away. Abu Bakr came in later and he reproached me,
saying: “How can Satan’s tool be played in God’s
messenger’s home?” The Prophet turned to him and said:
“Leave them alone.” When he was preoccupied, I gave
them a signal and they left.” (Related by Al-Bukhari).
A fuller version of this Hadith mentions that the
Prophet said to Abu Bakr: “Leave them alone, for these
are Eid days.”
The Eid is a joyous occasion, and people like to play
games, sing and enjoy themselves on such occasions.
They are entitled to do so. Muslims have two Eids
every year, and both are associated with an act of
worship that requires much effort. The Eid Al-Fitr
comes immediately after the end of Ramadan, a month of
fasting during which Muslims endure the hardship of
going without food or drink from dawn to sunset, every
day. They also attend to a strongly recommended
additional worship every night. When the month is
over, they deserve to have a period of relaxation and
the Eid serves that purpose. The other Eid is
associated with the pilgrimage, which is a major act
of worship that involves tiring physical effort for
pilgrims. Muslims who do not go on pilgrimage are
recommended to fast the nine days preceding this Eid,
or any number of them.
On the occasion described in the Hadith, the Prophet
found those two maids singing. He neither reproached
his wife for bringing them in, nor did he order the
maids to stop singing. It was left to Abu Bakr to do
that when he came in later. He rebuked his daughter,
the Prophet’s wife, for having those two maids
singing, describing the singing as Satan’s tool and
expressing amazement at finding it done in the
Prophet’s home. Obviously, Abu Bakr would not have
used such words without having had some knowledge from
the Prophet that singing is not acceptable from the
Islamic point of view. On this occasion, however, the
Prophet turned his face towards Abu Bakr and told him
to leave the maids alone, explaining that these were
days of Eid.
It does not follow that on Eid days relaxation of the
rules goes as far as making lawful what is unlawful in
other days. The Prophet meant simply that on such
joyous occasions there is nothing wrong with singing.
However, we may deduce that perhaps the censure that
Abu w might have heard earlier about singing related
to the songs themselves. If the singing uses frivolous
language, obscene words, or false exaggeration, then
it may be prohibited for that. What those maids sang
was of the serious nature, since it commemorated the
heroics of the Ansar in their pre-Islamic wars.
We note how Aishah took the first chance, when the
Prophet and her father were preoccupied to signal to
the maids to leave. Now that the Prophet and his guest
were engaged in some serious talk, the singing became
out of place.