Beating the Duff

Q 1: What is the ruling on beating the Duff (a tambourine-like instrument without bells)?

A: Al-Tirmidhy, Al-Nasa'y and others reported on the authority of Muhammad ibn Hatib that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: The difference between what is legal and illegal (in marriage) is beating the tambourine and announcing the marriage in a loud voice. Moreover, Al-Bukhari and others related on the authority of Khalid ibn Dhakwan from Al-Rabi` Bint Mu`awwidh that she said: The Prophet (peace be upon him) came to me after I got married, and he sat down on my bed as you (the sub-narrator) are sitting now, and young girls were beating the tambourine and singing in lamentation of those who had been killed on the day of the Battle of Badr. Then one of the girls said, "There is a Prophet amongst us who knows what will happen tomorrow." The Prophet (peace be upon him) said (to her), (Part No. 19; Page No. 113) "Do not say this, but go on saying what you have spoken before." This indicates that it is permissible for women to beat the Duff (a tambourine-like instrument without bells) to announce a marriage. However, this has to be free from all sins such as intermingling between men and women and unlawful songs. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.