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I was wondering if you would...

I was wondering if you would possibly be able to help me with the topic of music...I have been told by some that music is haram

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Assalamu alaikum
I was wondering if you would possibly be able to help me with the topic of music...I have been told by some that music is haram, or not allowed to be listened to in islam, but then others have told me that you can listen to it, the prophet (saws) had even listened and sang songs in his time, and as long as your are not listening to anything with bad lyrics it is ok...all this has left me VERY confused, and i need inshallah if you can...please help, inshallah.....jazak allahu khairun for your time and inshallah, may allah (swt) reward you for your efforts!

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In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person,  no grave, no prophet,  no imam,  no dai,  nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 7.494B       Narrated by Abu Amir

that he heard the Prophet (saws) saying, "From among my followers there will be some people who will consider illegal sexual intercourse, the wearing of silk, the drinking of alcoholic drinks and the use of musical instruments, as lawful.”

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 3153        Narrated by Muhammad ibn Hatib al-Jumahi

The Prophet (saws) said, "The distinction between what is lawful and what is unlawful is the song and the tambourine at a wedding."

Beloved brother in Islam, if one takes ‘music’ to mean the melodious sound of the Muaddin while calling to prayer,  or the beautiful sound of the ‘Qari’ when he recites the Holy Quran,  or the musical sound of the ‘daff’ (tambourine) that is played to celebrate one’s wedding, or the tunes of chorus sung by the mujahideen, etc.;  these are not only permitted,  these types of music are absolutely encouraged in Islam.

Thus, ‘music’ per say is not forbidden in Islam; what is indeed forbidden in Islam is the illegal string music which is so rampant in movies, television, radios, etc. which encourage ‘fahisha’ and indecency.

If one looks around the society we live in today, one would notice that conventional ‘music’ is related to almost every place that encourages ‘fahisha’ or indecency; and it is this concept of ‘fahisha’ and indecency that Allah has strictly declared haraam for the believers.  The principle in Islam is that every road that leads to the forbidden is also forbidden; and as illegal conventional ‘music’ is an accomplice to and leads or encourages ‘fahisha’ and indecency, it too would be considered forbidden.

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 2.103         Narrated by Urwa on the authority of Aisha

On the days of Mina, (11th, 12th, and 13th of Dhul-Hijjah) Abu Bakr came to her while two young girls were beating the tambourine and the Prophet (saws) was lying covered with his clothes. Abu Bakr scolded them and the Prophet (saws) uncovered his face and said to Abu Bakr, "Leave them, for these days are the days of 'Id and the days of Mina."

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 3154        Narrated by Aisha

I had a girl of the Ansar whom I gave in marriage, and Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "Why do you not sing, Aisha, for this clan of the Ansar like singing."

Singing in its essence is neither prohibited nor unlawful in Islam.  Provided none of the commands and tenets of Islam are violated, it is permissible in Islam for one to sing, especially on joyous occasions like marriage, Eid, etc. if one wishes to do so.

What determines whether a song or singing is lawful or unlawful is what is said in the songs and whose ears access those songs.  The Muaddin (or caller to prayer) chanting the adhaan, or one reciting the Quran in a melodious voice, or the chanting of the ‘talbeeyah’ during pilgrimage, or the chanting of the mujahideen in battle, etc. are not only lawful but highly encouraged and meritorious in the Sight of Allah Subhanah. 

But if the songs being sung encourage indecency, ‘fahisha’, or glamorize elements of evil, or disbelief, or hypocrisy, or ‘shirk’, etc.; or songs which are sung by women when in the company or presence of non-mehram men; or songs being sung with illegal string music, etc.;  then all such songs and all such singing would be deemed prohibited in Islam.

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

Your Brother in Islam,