Music is Haraam

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

There has been a lot of debate as to whether music is haraam or not. Some people say it’s OK to listen to it. But how can anyone with sound mind think that music, i.e. word of shaytaan and word of ar-Rahmaan can remain in the same heart simultaneously?

Most of us know the lyrics these days (and even older days) are no where islamic but also bear in mind, it’s not just the lyrics that makes songs haraam but it’s the music and the instruments.

I will start by statement that is based on the punishment of listening to music.

Shaykh al-Fawzaan said:

If cold water enters your ears it would hurt, then what about molten lead [being] poured into them as a punishment [for] listening to music

Ighathat al-Lahfan 1

What follows are some of the reasons why is it considered haraam in Islam.

Allaah Glory be to Him says:

وَمِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ مَن يَشْتَرِى لَهْوَ ٱلْحَدِيثِ لِيُضِلَّ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ وَيَتَّخِذَهَا هُزُوًا

And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks (i.e. music, singing) to mislead (men) from the path of Allaah…

Surah Luqmaan 31:6 2

Mufassir of the Qur'an from the companions (sahaba), Ibn Mas'ood may Allāh be pleased with him was asked concerning this ayah and he said

This means singing.

Musanaf ibn Abi Shebah 3

The above statement is cited in many books of tafaaseer, mostly under the tafseer of this ayah but here is the scan from Musanaf ibn Abi Shebah and the narration is classified as hasan (i.e, good)

Tafseer Ibn Katheer Surah AL-Mu'minoon p.688

Mujaahid may Allāh have mercy on him who is from the top students of Ibn Abbas may Allāh be pleased with him said:

This means playing the drum (tabl).

Tafseer al-Tabari 4

Al-Hasan al-Basri may Allāh have mercy on him who is also a taba'ee said:

This aayah was revealed concerning singing and musical instruments (lit. woodwind instruments).

Tafseer Ibn Katheer 5

Imam Ibn Katheer may Allāh have mercy on him commented on the ayah saying

Instead, they turn to listening to flutes and singing accompanied by musical instruments

Tafseer Ibn Katheer 6

Shaykh Abdul-Rahman al-Sa'di may Allāh have mercy on him [d. 1376H] said in his tafseer of this ayah:

This includes all manner of haraam speech, all idle talk and falsehood, and all nonsense that encourages kufr and disobedience; the words of those who say things to refute the truth and argue in support of falsehood to defeat the truth; and backbiting, slander, lies, insults and curses; the singing and musical instruments of the Shaytaan; and musical instruments which are of no spiritual or worldly benefit.

Tafseer al-Sa’di 7

Imam Ibn al-Qayyim may Allāh have mercy on him said:

The interpretation of the Sahaabah and Taabi’in, that ‘idle talk’ refers to singing, is sufficient. This was reported with saheeh isnaads from Ibn ‘Abbaas and Ibn Mas’ood.

Abu’l-Sahbaa’ said: I asked Ibn Mas’ood about the aayah (interpretation of the meaning), ‘”And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks” [Luqmaan 31:6]. He said: By Allaah, besides Whom there is no other god, this means singing‘ – and he repeated it three times.

It was also reported with a saheeh isnaad from Ibn ‘Umar may Allāh be pleased with them that this means singing. There is no contradiction between the interpretation of “idle talk” as meaning singing and the interpretation of it as meaning stories of the Persians and their kings, and the kings of the Romans, and so on, such as al-Nadr ibn al-Haarith used to tell to the people of Makkah to distract them from the Qur’aan. Both of them are idle talk. Hence Ibn ‘Abbaas said: “Idle talk” is falsehood and singing. Some of the Sahaabah said one and some said the other, and some said both. Singing is worse and more harmful than stories of kings, because it leads to zinaa and makes hypocrisy grow (in the heart); it is the trap of the Shaytaan, and it clouds the mind. The way in which it blocks people from the Qur’aan is worse than the way in which other kinds of false talk block them, because people are naturally inclined towards it and tend to want to listen to it. The aayaat condemn replacing the Qur’aan with idle talk in order to mislead (men) from the path of Allaah without knowledge and taking it as a joke, because when an aayah of the Qur’aan is recited to such a person, he turns his back as if he heard them not, as if there were deafness in his ear. If he hears anything of it, he makes fun of it. All of this happens only in the case of the people who are most stubbornly kaafirs and if some of it happens to singers and those who listen to them, they both have a share of this blame.

Ighaathat al-Lahfaan 8

Now if someone likes this or not is a different matter altogether. It is indeed a consensus amongst salaf-us saleheen that listening to music is haraam in Islam. Many people smoke cigarettes knowing it’s haraam and they have no intention of quitting, that doesn’t make it halaal. Same goes for music, your agreeing or disagreeing doesn’t change the Deen of Allāh.

May Allāh guide us to the truth and keep us steadfast on His religion. Āmeen

  1. ^   Ighathat al-Lahfan 17/6/1437
  2. ^   Surah Luqmaan 31:6
  3. ^   Musanaf ibn Abi Shebah 21130
  4. ^   Tafseer al-Tabari, 21/40
  5. ^   Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 3/451
  6. ^   Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 3/451
  7. ^   Tafseer al-Sa’di 6/150
  8. ^   Ighaathat al-Lahfaan, 1/258-259