When The Taliban Shot Up a Wedding

Were they following or violating Islam?

Taliban terrorists have killed two people and injured at least 10 people in the Sra-road in Nangarhar district of Afghanistan, as they opened fire at a wedding on Saturday. A preliminary Jihad Watch report is here, and more on the story is here: “Afghanistan: 2 Killed, 10 Injured As Taliban Opens Fire To Stop Music Played At Wedding,” by Aakansha Tandon, Republic World, October 30, 2021:

As reported by ANI, citing local media, an argument between Taliban members and wedding participants occurred after which the Talibani outfit resorted to violence, injuring innocent people. Reportedly, the argument had broken out when the Taliban forces stormed into the wedding and demanded that the music playing at the party should be stopped.

When people resisted the Taliban and tried to convince them [that wedding music was not halal] the terror force resorted to firing upon a mere incident [sic for “pretext”] of argument with the guests in the wedding party, reported ANI citing the local news sources.

Reacting to the same, former Afghanistan Vice-President Amrullah Saleh, who declared himself as the Acting President of Afghanistan after former president Ashraf Ghani surrendered to the Taliban and fled the country, condemned the violence against Afghan nationals by the Taliban. Saleh added that condemning the killing of the people cannot be the only medium to express rage against such violence induced by the Talibani regime, and urged people to stand up against the Taliban.

He further expressed his rage against the ‘Pakistan sponsored Talibani outfit’ and said that they have been receiving training in Pakistan for the last 25 years to destroy the Afghan culture and to perpetuate the ideology of ISI to control Afghanistan.

In the tweet, Saleh wrote on Saturday, “Taliban militiamen have massacred 13 [sic] persons to silence music in a wedding party in Nangarhar. We can’t express our rage only by condemnation. For 25 years Pak trained them to kill Afghan culture & replace it with ISI tailored fanaticism to control our soil. It is now in the works.”

Vice-President Amrullah Saleh wants to blame Pakistan for teaching the Taliban an extremist version of Islam, one which Saleh wants us to believe is illegitimate. Amrullah Saleh cannot allow himself to recognize that the Taliban shooters were not violating Islam, not practicing an “extremist” variant of the true faith, but were only being good Muslims when they tried to stop the wedding music. They were following the commands of Muhammad; in a famous hadith, Abdullah ibn Umar narrated that the Prophet said that “Indeed, Allah has forbidden alcohol, gambling, drum and guitar….” “Drum and guitar” have traditionally been taken to signify all musical instruments. And in another hadith, found in the most authoritative collection, that of Bukhari, Muhammad is quoted as saying that in the future, “there will appear people who will hold adultery, silk (clothes for men), alcohol, and musical instruments to be lawful” — a list of things that are clearly all forbidden as haram. This hadith shows that traditional Islam continues to hold musical instruments just as impermissible as alcohol, or adultery. Traditionally it has been a common practice of pious Muslims who “enjoined what was good and forbade what was bad” (Qur’an 3:110), in accordance with Islamic law, to destroy musical instruments. It did not start with the Taliban, or with the Pakistani teachers of the Taliban. The popular Salafi fatwa website Islam Question and Answer states “the majority of scholars say that [music] is haraam (forbidden), including the four imams of fiqh,” i.e. the founders of the four Sunni schools of fiqh: Abu Hanifa an-Nu‘man, Malik ibn Anas, Al-Shafi‘i and Ahmad ibn Hanbal. In his survey of Islamic scholarship about “enjoining what was good and forbidding what was bad” in accordance with Islamic law, historian Michael Cook found that “attacks on offending objects are a ubiquitous theme … There are, for example, chess-boards to be overturned, supposedly sacred trees to be cut down and decorative images to destroy or deface … But the targets that are mentioned again and again are liquor and musical instruments.”

It is not only in the hadith, but also in the Qur’an itself that many Muslims, including those of the Salafi, Wahabi, and Deobandi schools, find a prohibition on music. The Quran does not specifically refer to music itself. Yet some scholars (Ibn ‘Abbaas, Al-Hasan al-Basri, Al-Sa’di, Ibn al-Qayyim, Abu’l-Sahbaa’) have interpreted this passage as referring to music: “And among mankind is he who buys amusing discourse, so that he may mislead people from Allah’s way without knowledge, and makes it the butt of mockery. For such people there is a shameful doom.” (31:6) They say “amusing discourse” includes music. Other scholars propose as evidence that music is forbidden the Qur’anic passage in which Allah says to Iblis: “And startle with your voice any of them whom you can, and urge your horse and foot against them, and be a partner in their wealth and children, and promise them. Satan promises them only in order to deceive.” (17:64)

When the Taliban shot up a wedding where music was being played they were only being good Muslims. They have the authentic hadith of Bukhari, and the rulings of the founders of the of the four Sunni schools of fiqh, to support their belief that music, and musical instruments, are haram. They have passages in the Qur’an that have been interpreted as banning music. Vice President Amrullah Saleh doesn’t want to admit this. He prefers to blame the Pakistani ISI for turning the Taliban into “extremists” following a false version of Islam. But we who are not Muslims don’t need to misrepresent it, as Amrullah Saleh does. We can afford to state — as we do right here — the unhappy truth.

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