#268: Woman Recite Poetry in a Ceremony


Assalamualaikum ustaz. Is it permissible for a woman to recite poetry in a ceremony? Hope for an explanation.


Waalaikumussalam wrt. wbt.,

Alhamdulillah, praise and gratitude to Allah SWT for His countless blessings for us all. Praise and salutations to our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions, and all those who follow his footsteps until the Final day.

We start with the statement of Allah SWT:

زُيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ حُبُّ الشَّهَوَاتِ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ

“Beautified for people is the love of that which they desire – of women,” [1]

This verse means that Allah SWT beautifies the vision of people with matters that they love, of which in it are blessings. Then, Allah SWT begin by mentioning women for their great desire towards them. [2]


According to the 4th Edition of Kamus Dewan, reciting poetry with a certain tone, voice and feeling. [3] Thus, reciting or delivering poetry is uttering it loud to be heard.

Women’s voice

Basically, in our opinion, women’s voice is not aurah. The reason is the Prophet PBUH and his companions listen to it and there was an incident where women asked the Prophet PBUH to hold a ceremony, especially for them in a certain place. Thus, all of these are evidence that women’s voice is not aurah. However, in certain situations, it can be considered aurah when it is mellowed or softened that it incites the desires of men. This is based on the statement of Allah SWT:

يَا نِسَاءَ النَّبِيِّ لَسْتُنَّ كَأَحَدٍ مِّنَ النِّسَاءِ ۚ إِنِ اتَّقَيْتُنَّ فَلَا تَخْضَعْنَ بِالْقَوْلِ فَيَطْمَعَ الَّذِي فِي قَلْبِهِ مَرَضٌ وَقُلْنَ قَوْلًا مَّعْرُوفًا

“O wives of the Prophet, you are not like anyone among women. If you fear Allah, then do not be soft in speech [to men], lest he in whose heart is disease should covet, but speak with appropriate speech.” [6]

Ibn Kathir cited from al-Suddi that the meaning of the phrase “فَلَا تَخْضَعْنَ بِالْقَوْلِ” is softening her voice when talking to men. Likewise, al-Qurtubi in his commentary stated that its meaning is it is a prohibition to soften her words. Allah SWT commanded the wives of the Prophet PBUH to be firm and clear in conversation and don’t talk in the form of showcasing what is the heart of a relationship with what is apparent from the softness of speech, the same as the situation that happened amongst Arab women who speaks softly to men, the style of speech of a confusing woman or prostitutes. [8]

Furthermore, al-Baghawi when commenting on the above verse stated that don’t – for women – lower or soften their voice when speaking to men that it incites desire in the heart of a person with a sickness in his heart, which is heinous acts and syahwat (desires). It is said (this sickness) is hypocrisy and a person with bad character, a way to fulfil their desires towards the wives of the Prophet PBUH. Thus, it is sunnah for a woman to firms her voice when talking with ajnabi men to sever the desire (heinous acts and syahwat), at the same time only speaking with good words such as in matters commanded in Islam clearly without needing to soften their voice. [9]

Regarding this matter, Dr Yusuf al-Qaradhawi said Islam permits singing as long as there is no elements of sin, transgression, dirty meaning, pornographic lyrics and whispers towards deviance of faith. It is fine if it is accompanied by music that doesn’t incite desires. He argued presenting a hadith from Aisyah R.Anha, when she prepared a lady for a man from the Ansar as his bride and the Prophet said:

يَا عَائِشَةُ، مَا كَانَ مَعَكُمْ لَهْوٌ؟ فَإِنَّ الأَنْصَارَ يُعْجِبُهُمُ اللَّهْوُ

“O ‘Aisha! Haven’t you got any amusement (during the marriage ceremony) as the Ansar like amusement?” [11]

In another hadith it is stated that Rasullullah PBUH said:

إِنَّ الْأَنْصَارَ قَوْمٌ فِيهِمْ غَزَلٌ، فَلَوْ بَعَثْتُمْ مَعَهَا مَنْ يَقُولُ: أَتَيْنَاكُمْ أَتَيْنَاكُمْ فَحَيَّانَا وَحَيَّاكُمْ

“The Ansar are people who give a place to love songs. I wish you had sent with her someone to say, ‘We have come to you, we have come to you; so, may God preserve us and preserve you’.” [12]

The same is stated in another hadith from Aisyah R.Anha: During the Mina days, Abu Bakr came to her, while there were two girls with her, beating drums, and the Prophet (ﷺ) was (lying) covering himself with his garment. Abu Bakr rebuked the two girls, but the Prophet (ﷺ) uncovered his face and said,

دَعْهُمَا يَا أَبَا بَكْرٍ، فَإِنَّهَا أَيَّامُ عِيدٍ، وَتِلْكَ الأَيَّامُ أَيَّامُ مِنًى

“O Abu Bakr! Leave them, for these are the days of Id (festival).” [13]

Furthermore, al-Ghazali stated that the voice of a woman other than in singing is not aurah, for the women during the time of the companions R.Anhum always talked to men when offering salam, asking fatwa, requesting something, in meetings and others. Moreover, singing can incite desires. [14] Thus, in our opinion in the issue of women’s singing, if it is performed following the correct manners without softening her voice that it incites desire is permissible.


According to the above discussion, in our opinion, the ruling of women reciting poetry is permissible on the condition that it isn’t done excessively that it could incite syahwat.

May Allah SWT grant us all a clear understanding in religion. Amin.

Wallahu a’alm.


[1] Surah Ali ‘Imran: 14

[2] See Zubdah al-Tafasir min Fath al-Qadir, pg. 64.

[3] See https://prpm.dbp.gov.my/Cari1?keyword=deklamasi.

[4] See https://prpm.dbp.gov.my/Cari1?keyword=mendeklamasikan.

[5] See https://prpm.dbp.gov.my/Cari1?keyword=bersyair.

[6] Surah al-Ahzab: 32

[7] See Mukhtasar Tafsir Ibn Kathir, 2/93.

[8] See Tafsir al-Qurtubi, 14/177.

[9] See Tafsir al-Baghawi, 3/635.

[10] See al-Halal wa al-Haram fi al-Islam, pg. 564-566.

[11] Narrated by al-Bukhari (5162)

[12] Narrated by Ahmad (15209); Ibn Majah (1900)

[13] Narrated by al-Bukhari (987); Muslim (892)

[14] See Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din, 2/281.