Samā‘ according to Hāji [Imdādullāh Muhājir-e-Makki] saheb rahimahullāh – narrated by Mawlānā Muhammad Ya‘qūb saheb rahimahullāh
Translated by Abu ‘Asim Badrul Islam
During a summers day the question once arose in the mind of this servant that there is a form of ecstasy in samā‘ and the heart attains peace and tranquillity through it; why should it therefore be harām? I reached Deoband at midday [hoping to seek a satisfactory answer to my question from Hāji ‘Ābid Ḥusayn]. When I reached his Masjid-e-Chatta I found that he had gone into his house. In the adjacent room was Ḥadhrat Mawlānā Ya‘qūb saheb engaged in teaching his son Ḥadīth. As soon as he saw me he ordered his son out of the room and asked me, “What is your question?” I asked him the reason why samā‘ was harām. He replied, “I once posed this very question to [my Master] Hāji [Imdādullāh Muhājir-e-Makki] saheb rahimahullāh. It was at a similar time [of the day] that I asked him this question. Hāji saheb replied with one sentence and that satisfied me. I shall tell you what that sentence was.” I said, “Very well.” He said, “Hāji saheb said, “It is harmful to the novice [in tasawwuf] and the proficient one has no need for it” (“Mubtadī ra nuqsān ast wa muntahī ra hājat nīst”). Thus, I was satisfied. I immediately took leave and returned to Sahāranpūr. I have remained satisfied ever since.
Ja‘far ‘Ali (may he be forgiven)
Note [from Ḥakīm al-Ummah]: I have related the above with the knowledge that it is beneficial.
(Ḥakīm al-Ummah Mawlānā Ashraf ‘Ali Thānwi, Bawādir al-Nawādir, p.348 )
Translator’s note: The word should be samā‘ (with a fatha on the letter sīn and not a kasra as most people would take for granted). Samā‘ is the name given to a specific form of instrumental music and (usually accompanied by) singing practised by some ‘sūfi’ orders.