Show Me the Daleel

Since I mentioned it, I am incumbent to demonstrate the proofs: Is Whistling Haram? Well, google is showing me that lots of folks believe it is haram for varing reasons (“My auntie told me not to whistle in the bathroom. . . . “I told my brother whistling is haram and he wants the proof”), but I’m not finding much by way of daleel. So I hate to ask, and know it is in bad form, but if anyone has anything more specific that maybe isn’t available online-please share. Otherwise this is one view that it is disliked, though I have seen others say it is haram for this reason and it isn’t the reason that I was thinking made it haram):

Shaykh al-Islam said in al-Fataawa (11/569):

“I know that in the ‘golden age’, the first and best three centuries, in the Hijaaz, in Syria, in the Yemen, in Egypt, in the Maghreb, in Iraq, in Khorasan, none of the religious and righteous people, the ascetics and those who worshipped Allaah much, would gather to listen to this whistling and clapping and drum-beating and so on. This was innovated after that at the end of the second century, and whenever the imaams saw it, they denounced it.”

both clapping and whistling are disliked

“Their Salaah (prayer) at the House (of Allaah, i.e. the Ka‘bah at Makkah) was nothing but whistling and clapping of hands”

[al-Anfaal 8:35]

The Standing Committee was asked about men clapping when they play with children, or children clapping to encourage their classmates. They replied:

This clapping is not appropriate, and at the very least it is intensely makrooh because this is one of the characteristics of the jaahiliyyah, and because it is something that is done only by women, to draw attention to a mistake in the prayer. And Allaah is the Source of strength.

From Fataawa Islamiyyah, vol. 4, p. 332-333

Children can be encouraged by saying ‘Allaahu akbar’ if they do something that the watcher or listener likes, or one may use other suitable phrases, or raise one’s hands, or raise one’s voice in words of praise such as “Well done!” or “Excellent!” and so on. And Allaah is the Source of strength.



8 thoughts on “Show Me the Daleel

  1. So far this also sums up my quick google session but when I read that comment it rang a bell in my memory form somewhere that whistling was not good. Darn if I can remember the context or the person that told me about it. (That in itself would help me know where to look for this info.) I am on a mission and will share when (if) I find it…insha’allah.

  2. Salaams

    Here’s one that states it’s permissible:

    Fatwa #  13343  from South Africa    Date: Tuesday, August 16th 2005  
    Jurisprudence and Rulings (Fiqh)
       What’s the Islamic ruling on whistling?
       What’s the Islamic ruling on whistling?  Please support your fatwa/answer with some text for the Qur’an or Sunnah or statement of earlier scholars. Thank you.
    Firstly, it should be understood that not all Masaail (laws of the Shari’ah) are expressly mentioned in the Qur’aan and Hadith. However, through the principles found in the Qur’aan and Hadith, Masaail are deduced.

    Whistling, since it is merely, a sound emitted from the mouth is permissible. However, if it is used as a musical device, then it will not be permissible.

    and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

    Mufti Ebrahim Desai



  3. Salams Sissys,

    Thanks Saffiyah. I had considered tagging you, but didn’t want to burden you. And sorry for “disturbing” you Umm Nusy 😉

  4. As-Salaamu ‘alaikum,

    Is there a single non-Wahhabi scholar among “the standing committee”, that is, of the Saudi religious establishment? If they don’t tell us who’s in it then how can anyone rely on them for fatwa? You can’t guarantee that you are getting a balanced opinion or that they will consider positions other than their own, given that it’s a Wahhabi state.

    For most Muslims, “bid’ah” means things introduced to Islam itself (not to worldly activities) that are foreign to it and don’t belong, particularly if any religious benefit is ascribed to it. On the other hand, there is good evidence for giving takbeer after any kind of religious display (such as reciting the Qur’an) rather than clapping or whistling, much as when complimenting a pretty child or something similar.

  5. Disliked because “it is something that is done only by women, to draw attention to a mistake in the prayer”
    I’m sure it only means that is is onlyapplicable for women to use in this situation, but I keep reading it the other way, disliked because it is a “women’s” thing…
    Yusuf Smith has a good point about bidah being related to Islam not worldy activities. This makes sense…But my current issue is that there is a treasure trove of hadiths/common answers in my memory to counteract that–as much as I dislike it… (seriously, inshallah, I’d like to get educated so I can understand context and intent)…so my evil side says fine, OK to whistle? Well if there is anything disliked about it, or questionable–then don’t do it! Avoid the grey areas. (this must be fatwa, not hadith that mentions this chain of thought?) or the —our entire life is religious so every thing and every action is done in the name of Islam….therefore whistling is haram. Please, I want to come in for a memory wipe and then get re-educated!
    : )
    Well Even Muft Desai say it’s ok but not as music… So it’s ok to whistle–like to call your kids, but not as a tune you might hum or whistle? Geez. This is certainly a case of better not to even ask if something is haram or not. I’m going to cover my ears now.

  6. As salaamu aleikum!
    How did I miss this?
    Well, anyway while this is completely unrelated to an Islamic ruling, I wanted to share. We five daughters were not allowed to whistle at home. Why? Because my mother always quoted the following:
    “A whistling woman and a crowing hen shall never come to any good end.”
    Funny, because it was my mother’s brother who taught me how to whistle and it’s one of my fondest memories of that uncle. 😉

    1. Walaikum asalam,

      I love your mommy!!! And your daddy too!! That uncle is an antagonist isn’t he?? He’s the instigator huh? Love those guys.

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