Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick
Is the duff or any other instrument (to accompany dhikr and nasheed) allowed in the Masjid?
Yes, provided the community that uses the mosque is appropriately informed and has no objection, that this playing is done outside the times of prayer or study, and that complete mosque decorum is kept at all times, and provided the duff used is the small traditional hand instrument played traditionally with spiritually uplifting lyrics. It should be a praiseworthy manner of da‘wa to the youngsters together with food and teaching in sha Allah and has been used in the past by Sufi Shuyukh with success from Allah Most High. [Haddad, Qibla]
Each of the four Schools of Law, the Hanafî, Maliki, Shafi‘i, and Hanbali Schools, regard song accompanied by musical instruments as unlawful (haram). [Karaan, The Islamic Ruling on Music and Raising Funds via Unlawful Means]
Individual fatawa (legal rulings) have permitted some forms of music within certain restrictions. While there are some differing views and conditions, most scholars opine that beating the duff is permissible, especially on special occasions, and Allah knows best.
The Duff Drum
According to most Scholars, the Duff Drum is excluded from the general prohibition of musical instruments. This is because the duff drum was used at the time of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), sometimes even in His presence without His objection. [Al-Mawsu’a Al-Fiqhiyya]
Some have restricted the permissibility of the Duff to use in weddings. Others, however, have given general permission for its use without restriction. [ibid.]
I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan.
Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.
He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.
Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.