Anasheed (Arabic: singular نشيد Nasheed, plural أناشيد Anaasheed; also spelt Nasyid in Malaysia and Indonesia; ilahi in Turkish; Naat in Pakistan), is Islamic vocal music that is either sung a cappella or accompanied by percussion instruments such as the daff. In general, Islamic anasheed does not contain lamellaphone instruments, string instruments, or wind and brass instruments, although digital remastering—either to mimic percussion instruments or create overtones—is permitted. This is because some Muslim scholars interpret Islam as prohibiting the use of musical instruments except for some basic percussion.
Anasheeds are popular throughout the Islamic world. The material and lyrics of anasheed usually make reference to Islamic beliefs, history, and religion, as well as current events. Nasheeds are also popular among Sufis.
Some Ulema argue that the use of musical instruments is implicitly prohibited in the Ahadith. The founders of all four of the major madhabs—schools of thought in Islam—as well as many other prominent scholars, have debated the legitimacy and use of musical instruments. One such example of the scholars' opinions is of the famous Muslim scholar, Abu Hanifa, according to whose madhab, the Hanafi madhab, if a person is known to listen to such forbidden musical instruments, their testimony is not to be accepted. Another Islamic scholar, Ibn Taymiyyah, once said that music is like alcohol to the soul. A majority of Muslim scholars traditionally have held that music with all its instruments are Haraam: forbidden by the hadith, as well as by tradition. . An interesting example of counter-arguments on this issue are presented in the controversial movei 'Khuda Key Liye' (released 2007) Khuda Kay Liye, in which the issue is debated and finally settled in favour of accepting music as part of culture and religion.
The only instrument commonly used in Anasheeds is the duff, which is a small hand drum, similar in size to a tambourine, but lacking bells