Music is haram in Islam, however, there are a number of ways that it is permissible to recite and listen to it. It was narrated in saheeh reports that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his noble Companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) listened to verse, recited it (as nasheed) and asked others to recite it, both when they were travelling and when they stayed at home, in their gatherings and whilst they were working, individually, as in the case of Hassaan ibn Thaabit, ‘Aamir ibn al-Akwa’ and Anjashah (may Allaah be pleased with them), and in unison, as in the hadeeth of Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) which describes the digging of the ditch (al-khandaq). Anas said:
When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saw how exhausted and hungry we were, he said (in verse):
“O Allaah, there is no life except the life of the Hereafter, so forgive the Ansaar and the Muhaajireen.”
And they said in response:
“We are the ones who have pledged allegiance to Muhammad, to make jihaad for as long as we live.”
(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3/1043)
And in gatherings too: Ibn Abi Shaybah narrated with a hasan isnaad that Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmaan said: “The Companions of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not speak in devious tones or in a soft manner. They used to recite verses in their gatherings, denouncing the affairs of their jaahiliyyah, but if it was the matter of their religion, they would become very serious and cautious (8/711).
These evidences make it clear that nasheeds are permissible. In Arabic language, nasheed means raising the voice when reciting the verse and making the sound beautiful and gentle. Nasheeds can be recited individually or in unison.
However, following conditions must be paid attention to with regard to this matter.
1. No haram musical instrument must be used with it.
2. Not getting obsessed with it. It must not make one take up most of his time and forget the obligatory duties.
3. It should not be recited by women, in public.
4. It should not include any haram or obscene speech.
5. The tunes must not resemble to that of the people of immorality or promiscuity.
6. It should be free of any sound or vocal effects that sound like that of musical instruments.
7. Nasheed should be void of any moving tunes that make a person high. It must not have the same effect on a person as that of the songs. This is the case with many of the nasheeds which appear nowadays so that the listeners no longer pay any attention to the good meaning of the words because they are so entranced by the tunes.
8. Words must be used very carefully, it must not lead to kufr or shirk.
And Allaah is the Source of strength.