Seek to Make Lawful
Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “There will be (at some future time) people from my Ummah who will seek to make lawful: fornication, the wearing of silk, wine-drinking and the use of musical instruments (ma’aazif). Some people will stay at the side of the mountain and when their shepherd comes in the evening to ask them for his needs, they will say, ‘Return to us tomorrow.’ Then Allah will destroy them during the night by causing the mountain to fall upon them, while He changes others into apes and swines. They will remain in such a state until the Day of Resurrection.” [Sahih Bukhari]
This hadith is clear in its prohibition of (1) fornication, (2) wearing of silk, (3) wine-drinking and (4) musical instruments. It is clearly established that the word ma’aazif - according to correct Arabic usage – indicates a specific number of things: (a) musical instruments, (b) the sounds of those musical instruments – music, and (c) singing to instrumental accompaniment.
An analysis of this hadith’s wording clearly indicates the unlawfulness of music. The text says that people from the Prophet’s Ummah will “seek to make lawful” that which is termed ma’aazif. Obviously, one can only seek, desire or attempt to make lawful that which is not lawful. For if something is already lawful, it is nonsensical for one to seek to establish it.
Other things that people will attempt to make lawful are named along with ma’aazif. These additional matters are also well known to be prohibited in Islam – namely, illegal sexual intercourse, the drinking of wine or liquor, and the wearing of silk (by men). Had ma’aazif not been prohibited, they never would have been associated with other prohibited objects in one and the same context. [The Islamic Ruling on Music and Singing by Abu Bilal Mustafa Al-Kanadi]