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:
Asalamualaikum, Is listening to music prohibited in Islam? Because I consider it as art and enjoy listening to it.
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)
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.
The music that is forbidden in Islam is the impure and string music which facilitates shirk, faheshaa and indecency. The contemporary music which is so rampant in movies, television, radios, etc. which encourage indecency, is definitely forbidden.
Brother, it is the tendency in this age of modern-day-ignorance to give fancy and righteous names to forbidden things, to give them a legality in the eyes of the beholder. Fahisha, indecency, and the open portrayal of women is called fashion, the stark vulgarity of half-naked women parading in front of men is called a beauty-contest, the free-mixing of the sexes is called socializing, the forbidden music is called art, etc. But a believer, who sincerely believes in Allah and the Last Day, sees through all these fancy names and always turns back to Allah and His Messenger (saws) for guidance.
But if one takes music to mean the melodious sound of the Muazzin while calling to prayer, or the beautiful sound of the Qari when he recites the Holy Quran, or the tunes of chorus sung by the mujahideen; these are not only permitted, these are considered virtues and a means of getting a huge reward from Allah Subhanah.
If one writes poetry in the Praise of Allah and sings it in a melodious voice, there is absolutely no harm. Even if one writes poetry of love and sings them to his wife, and there is no indecency in the wordings, there is no harm. Even the playing of the daff (a circular drum type instrument played by the hand) at special occasions like marriage, etc. was allowed by the Messenger of Allah (saws) in Islam.
Every word has a specific meaning, and when we use the term music it is understood to mean the music that we hear today on the radio and televisions. If one takes music to mean the pure music, like the melody of the azaan, or the recitation of the Quran, or the music made by the daff, or the music created by nature, these are absolutely legal in Islam.
What is forbidden are the string instrumental music, and the other forms of music and songs that we hear today whereby the words and the music exhort shirk, faheshaa and indecency.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,