A Nasheed is a devotional song, sung in solo or in chorus. It is basically accompanied by percussion instruments such as drum (or daf), which was the most popular musical instrument to be used in the time of Muhammad ﷺ. However, the new generation of Nasheed artists use a wide variety of musical instruments in their art, like sting instruments, wind and brass instruments and lamellaphone.
While some Muslims believe that playing any other instrument other than daf is haram in Islam, there are others who say that any instrument is lawful, as long as it is used for the permissible kind of music. Those who do not allow music believe that Muhammad ﷺ censured the use of musical instruments when he said: “There will be among my Ummah people who will regard as permissible adultery, silk, alcohol and musical instruments“. Those who argue that music is halal (permitted), point out that in the Quran, it is stated that Prophet Dawud was given the Psalms (an-Nisa, 4/163; al-Isra, 17/55), and the Psalms given to Prophet Dawud were sent down in the month of Ramadan, that it contained sermons and words of wisdom and that Prophet Dawud usually recited it accompanied by a melody and a musical instrument, therefore music is permitted. Supporters of this view also point out that in classical Islamic jurisprudence and Sharia, the Quran is the higher authority on correct Islamic practice. The hadith (sayings of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ), while important, are secondary to the Quran.
Anasheed (plural of Nasheed) are popular throughout the Islamic world and are sung in praise of Allah and Muhammad ﷺ, in various languages like Urdu, Punjabi, Arabic, Farsi, English etc. The lyrics of Anasheed usually make reference to Islamic beliefs, history and religion, as well as current events. In today’s era, when the young generation have little time to study about the teachings and history of Islam, Anasheed play a vital role in the upliftment of their Iman. The basic purpose of Anasheed is to spread the message of Islam, and what else can be a better way than music itself, which has the power to conquer minds and souls. In different countries, with different languages, among different races and people of different beliefs, the soulful music of Nasheed has not only attracted people, but has achieved to spread the teachings of Islam throughout the globe.
The most popular and widely sung Anasheed are the one’s that are sung in praise of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. They are important for today’s generation from the view point that it teaches the Prophetic characteristics so that one can try to implement them in his daily life. Around the world, Anasheed are sung in his honour, consisting study about his noble characteristics, teaching how he interacted with family, friends, and foes. Many Anasheed have also been written to raise the voice against injustice and oppression, which is one of the most important principles and teachings of Islam, which says, “O who you believe, stand firm for justice even against your own selves” [Surah Al-Nisa].
At present, there are a lot of Nasheed artists all over the world. My favourite being Ismail Hussain. He is young, extremely talented and increasingly popular international Nasheed Artist born in the UK, Bradford. He has an extreme love for Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, spreading out his message of love, peace and harmony all over the world. His Nasheed, ‘Hum Madiney Chaley’ is my favourite among all and has gained a lot of popularity. Do watch this soulful video of Nasheed at