What Is Riya (Ostentation)?

Answered by Shaykh Farid Dingle

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Is it disbelief to listen to songs about shirk?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam,

Listening to forbidden musical instruments, and listening to shirk are two separate sins, neither of which constitute disbelief.

You should repent from both, and leave them both.

Listening to the songs of people who have weak faith (iman) takes away one’s own faith bit by bit. We have to be very selective about what we let our eyes see or ears hear.

Allah Most High says, ‘O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your own families from a Fire whose fuel is mankind and stones.’ [66.6] One of the most important ways of doing this is by monitoring what comes into one’s head through the eyes and ears.

Jalal al-Din al-Rumi says,

اي عاشقان اي عاشقان هنگام کوچست از جهان
در گوش جانم ميرسد طبل رحيل از آسمان

O lovers! O lovers! It’s time to depart from the world,
I can hear with the ear of my heart the drum from the Heavens above.

How can we hope to hear with our hearts when we stuff our physical ears with the vile and sensory? And how can we hope to hear from the ‘Heavens above’ when we give ear to nonsense? “Kaisa khuda hai tu”?! Kaisa gadha hai tu?!

I pray this helps.

Farid

P.S. I don’t know Persian, but I just added it for completeness. You can listen to a rendition of part of Rumi’s poem here.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Farid Dingle

Shaykh Farid Dingle grew up in a convert family in Herefordshire, UK. In 2007, he moved to Jordan to pursue traditional studies. Shaykh Farid continues to live in Amman, Jordan with his wife and kids. In addition to continuing his studies he teaches Arabic and several of the Islamic sciences.

Shaykh Farid began his journey in sacred knowledge with intensives in the UK and Jordan (2004) in Shafi’i fiqh and Arabic. After years of studying Arabic grammar, Shafi’i fiqh, hadith, legal methodology (usul al-fiqh) and tafsir, Sh. Farid began specializing in Arabic language and literature. Sh. Farid studied Pre-Islamic poetry, Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid, and Andalusian literature. He holds a BA in Arabic Language and Literature and continues exploring the language of the Islamic tradition.

In addition to his interest in the Arabic language Shaykh Farid actively researches matters related to jurisprudence (fiqh) which he studied with Shaykh Hamza Karamali, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, and continues with Shaykh Amjad Rasheed. 

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