One of the most wonderful things in life, that most of us enjoy to the fullest, and what makes us who we are, as human beings, and what moves us and shapes us, what creates memories, is music.
Since the dawn of mankind, people have used and discovered music, and love it, since it was connected to so many things, like the amazing way to express feeling.
But, still in certain religions, like Islam, music is seen as haram, and we can speak more about why this is the case.
It seems like everyone in the Islamic world agrees that the music is haram, but things are not as simple, as there is no rule that specifies this matter.
In the Muslim world, there is a story about the first person who was permitted to listen to or use musical instruments was Abu-Muhammad Ibn-Hazm El-Andelusi, but the Almighty Allah have mercy on him and let him enter into the Heavens.
Still, some hadiths forbid the use of musical instruments and they are seen as authentic, therefore music is seen as haram.
Islamic scholars say that every Muslim person must know Allah’s limits and know what he must and must not do.
When it comes to music it is important to be noted the following general rule – if Allah commands people something to do, they should try to do it as much as they can, and when he forbids something, then people should leave it.
From this, it is concluded that obeying and doing just as it is ordered, is by Allah, and when something is forbidden then the such matter should be left in any case, because leaving the forbidden is easier than practicing the ordered.
Now, the matter of music is not as simple, as some other things, but here, looking at all proof that is available.
Is Music Haram or Halal In Islam?
So, how can we come to the answer to the question is listening to music haram?
In general, it is seen as haram, and the exception is the def and similar instruments, which, unanimously, according to the scholars of all four Madhhabs (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, and Hanbali), are permitted.
More precisely, it is a matter of consensus that for example, def is allowed to be used at weddings and similar celebrations.
It is confirmed with many hadith texts.
It is not only permissible to use def, but it is sunnah to announce the wedding with def and songs.
One Prophet has said that the difference between halal and haram is def and singing at a wedding (ie keeping the marriage secret is forbidden).
Why is music haram?
The opinions of the Islamic schools about music are to a certain extent, very much divided for the reason that there are no categorical and clear texts that deal with this matter.
And not only that there is no clear text, but there are also neither verses nor hadiths, that prohibit or allow it clearly.
And, from this comes the difficulty to come to the conclusion is music haram or halal, and this is something that many Islamic believers deal with.
But, first, we must come to the root of the word music – and when we take a look at the Arabic language, we cannot find the word that is translated as music.
And this may be so hard to understand, having in mind that the Arabic language is perceived as an extremely rich language.
According to some estimates, this language has more than ten million words, and therefore it is very strange that this rich language does not have one special word for music.
In some last centuries, the Arabs use the Greek-Latin word music, which is used mostly in the world.
But, the majority of Islamic scholars say that music is haram since it is not allowed to sing and listen to the music, just for fun, as then people are moving away from praying and reading Quran.
Those who do it, are considered that they are moving away from Allah’s path.
And here, it is not just a matter of music, but more singing, and not just any kind of singing, but immoral singing, which neglects to learn and listen to the Quran.
And, it is said that musical instruments are strictly prohibited generally, and some of them are seen as haram in every situation, such as stringed instruments, wind instruments, etc.
So, as you can see this is true for all modern instruments.
Other musical instruments are banned in certain cases and allowed in some other cases, such as an instrument called def.
This is the instrument that is permitted to be played and listened to at weddings, although not all scholars say this is the case.
There is a certain disagreement as to whether they are allowed during weddings; some allow them and others defend them, while other scholars prohibit them, but they are all unanimous that the use of trumpets and flutes is forbidden outside of weddings.
In addition to the mentioned situations, there is a difference of opinion regarding the halal status of the def.
We must add that there are some scholars that also forbid it, and some scholars allow it.
Likewise, scholars have conflicting opinions as to whether it is permissible for men.
When it comes to a song without instruments, it is forbidden for everyone, just as it is forbidden with any of those instruments except the def.
There is no doubt then, that the usage of any song is not permitted.
Some scholars have exempted singing without the use of instruments in certain situations, as an escape from solitude but not for entertainment and leisure, and this is something that must be remembered, that even in this sole exception, songs and music is not used for fun, but just as a way someone can escape from being alone.
Now, when it comes to poetry, and for example, those who enjoy quoting poetry, this is something that is not seen as haram.
It is not, in fact, prohibited if it does not contain prohibited details, if it does, then it is prohibited.
If the poetry is aligned with the Islamic rules if it does not speak of anything that is sinful in the eyes of Allah, then it is seen as permitted, and people can speak poetry.
Is music allowed in Islam?
It was said that listening to music and the usage of musical instruments is seen as a sin, but at the same time, we can see numerous Muslim believers who are praying the five daily prayers while listening to music.
This is not permitted, and this is most true when it comes to speaking lewd satanic voices, and even more lewd verses that often mention women, adultery, wine, immorality, etc.
Somewhat less evil are those who listen to some kind of Islamic prayers with music, as just as instruments.
But, regardless, both cases are seen as sinful behavior.
Have in mind, at all times, that in the Islamic religion, there is no such thing as is perceived as “Islamic music” – all music is then forbidden, and calling a certain music Islamic, is not what makes it to be halal.
It simply is not – all of it is seen as haram and delusion, strictly prohibited by clear Quranic and hadith texts.
It is noted by Islamic scholars that the true Islamic believer is proud and advanced with Islam, before which fall all systems and arrangements that are not organized according to the religion of Allah.
Is music forbidden in Islam?
It is, and here is the proof that believers who are in some kind of doubt can look at it.
It is since the Almighty Allah in the Quran forbade music with the words -and that some people are not aware of how music sinful is; and that all musical instruments are banned.
Just as there is no original Arabic word for music, there is no tradition that forbids it.
Therefore, all the traditions that are used as an argument for the prohibition of music, actually talk about certain musical instruments and singing, or singing only.
Some people would say that both, in a wider sense, music, and songs
were very widespread among the pre-Islamic Arabs.
With the advent of Islam, the Prophet a.s. allowed certain forms of music and songs to be listened to, or sung to, also allowing some of them to attend and listen to the concert.
The proof on which those who ban all kinds of music base their position, saying that is by all means credible, even when in Islamic text there is not any clear ban, and it is seen as sufficient to make a final judgment about something that seems to be a bit blurry, for the people of the Islamic faith.
Therefore, the clear conclusion regarding music is that it can be haram if it contains something that is haram or encourages a person to sin, and if it does not contain something that is forbidden and does not encourage sin, and here there cannot be any doubt that music is haram and that us bit allowed.
At the same time, if that music, in some, to a certain extent encourages a person to do something positive, to be more relaxed, to pray, not to be distracted but directed toward good thinking or is something that helps a person to relax and never to distract that human being, a person who is a believer, from what the Almighty Allah has defined, there is nothing wrong with it and it is permissible.
For those Islamic scholars who consider themselves not to jump to conclusions too fast, attention must be drawn to those who lightly reach for haram, and here, when it comes to music, this is not the case.
The word haram must not ever be taken lightly, as many see it as a dangerous word that means that something is being completely denied.
Something is forbidden to the extent that a person does not have any right to do something, and if something is done, then the punishment for that is on its way as the person has done something sinful.
But, there must be caution – since the word haram must not be used lightly, as it cannot be based on one’s personal opinion or desire, or worse, based on some read an old or new book, of a certain author who thinks so.
Haram can be clear from the Quran or the Sunnah of the Prophet, prohibited or there is a consensus of the entire Islamic leaders and community.
If this is not the case, then we must know that the circle of what is permitted and forgiven in Islam is much wider than some people think.
So, in this sense, it is always a good idea for a person to educate himself or herself.
The issue of listening to music is known to be controversial among Islamic scholars, and there is not a complete agreement among them, making this issue (and avoiding music is a pretty hard thing to do, especially in modern times) very hard to follow, especially when you do not know is it permitted or not.
Some Islamic schools allow it under certain conditions, while others consider it forbidden or at least encourage people not to do it, as it can lead to sinful behavior.
Anything that would imply leisure, entertainment, or distraction is understood as elements that prevent obedience, and forgetting strict duties that are present in Islamic life.
Also, music can lead to avoiding secondary duties and preoccupation with haram (strict prohibitions) and indulgences, such as when musical instruments are listened to with alcohol (wine), fornication, and similar prohibitions.
The conclusion that suggests itself, when everything is taken into account, is that no tradition forbids music – what kind of music is forbidden or allowed in Islam?
Realistically, music belongs to permissible actions that Islam neither prohibits nor prescribes.
However, it can take the form of obligation, but also the form of temptation and prohibition.
For example, war music is obligatory, if it aims to raise the morale of the Muslim army, and to instill fear and demoralize the enemy.
This was seen for example, in wars that the Turkish empery ( Ottoman) was having, and there it was mandatory to have this so-called military music.
But, when music should be played for the purpose of entertainment, then it is at least limited, and there can be a situation when the fatwa is issued a prohibition of the musical instruments in question from being limited to their use for entertainment.
So, from this, we can see that the usage of musical instruments is permitted when they are used for war purposes, and if they are used for something else then they are not permitted and are considered to be haram.
Therefore, if musical instruments are not used for distraction, then they are not considered haram (forbidden), but permissible (halal) for all Muslims and believers that belong to the Islamic faith, regardless of where they belong.
The fact is that no one is generally left out by this regulation, and people of this faith must obey this regulation, but the question arises, is it possible to do it, when we know that in modern times this strict rule regarding something that is almost a daily thing that could not be avoided, can be a bit hard.
So, in the end, we can say, that in today’s time, in these modern times, when the Muslim community tries to adapt to it, the majority of music is still banned or restricted to a certain extent.
Therefore, it is forbidden to listen to music, not for the music itself, but for what it can do to a believer, what it can make him or her do, to do something very sinful.
It is a strict haram when the music a person listens to or sings to, infuriates passions and incites sin and immorality.
Music is also forbidden when it damages hearing, disturbs others, dulls the feeling for prayer, and is forbidden to listen to music that takes a lot of time, etc.
Any type of distraction from prayer and reading the Quran, doing things that make a person a true believer of the Muslim faith is seen as undesirable behavior.
And just to add up, it is also prohibited to listen to the music and songs of singers who have indulged in a sinful and immoral life, as well as any song whose lyrics are not following Sharia.
In the realm of music that is to a certain extent allowed, lies music and songs that are standard on the occasion of a wedding or any other celebration.
But this celebration must not have any sinful elements, it must be an event that is not prohibited, provided that it does not lead to any of the above-mentioned prohibitions.
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