Can Muslims Listen To Music? Is Music Haram In Islam?

The concept of whether Muslims are allowed to listen to music or not has been a topic of perplexity amongst religious circles for years. With the rise of social media platforms and Westernized culture, more and more Muslims ask whether listening to music is permissible in Islam.

According to Surah Luqman, ayah-6, and most Islamic scholars, listening to music, with or without instruments, is considered haram or forbidden. This prohibition is rooted in the belief that music can lead to immoral behavior, distract from religious obligations, and promote sinful attitudes and actions.

Also, the four main Islamic groups (Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki, and Hanbali) concur that musical instruments are haram. Throughout this article, we will discuss the reasons behind the prohibition of music in Islam. We will also discuss the potential consequences of listening to music.

Why Can’t Muslims Listen to Music and Why Is Music Haram in Islam?

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Muslims are prohibited from listening to music due to religious reasons. There are several reasons why music is haram, or forbidden, in Islam.

Can Muslims Listen To Music? Is Music Haram In Islam?
  • Religious prohibition
  • Consensus among scholars
  • Negative impact on behavior
  • Associations with immorality
  • Distraction from religious obligations
  • Satanic influence

1. Religious Prohibition

Listening to music is considered haram in Islam due to religious prohibitions and the belief that it can lead to sinful behavior.

Religious Prohibition

Islamic scholars and schools of thought argue that music, especially music with inappropriate or immoral content, can distract Muslims from their religious duties and values. They believe that indulging in music can lead to a neglect of prayer, fasting, and other religious obligations.

Also, some Muslims consider music to be a form of entertainment that promotes worldly desires and materialism, which goes against the teachings of Islam. The prohibition of music is seen as a means of protecting individuals from engaging in sinful behavior and focusing on their spiritual development.

Allah says in the Quran,

وَمِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ مَن يَشْتَرِى لَهْوَ ٱلْحَدِيثِ لِيُضِلَّ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍۢ وَيَتَّخِذَهَا هُزُوًا ۚ أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌۭ مُّهِينٌۭ

“But there are some who employ theatrics,1 only to lead others away from Allah’s Way – without any knowledge – and to make a mockery of it. They will suffer a humiliating punishment.” [Surah: Luqman, 6]

2. Consensus Among Scholars

The prohibition on music in Islam stems from a consensus among scholars, who unanimously consider it haram because it can lead people astray from their religious obligations. This consensus is based on interpreting various Quranic verses and hadiths (sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad).

3. Negative Impact on Behavior

Music can potentially influence individuals in ways that may lead to undesirable actions. Islamic scholars argue that music can incite adultery, intoxication, and wearing forbidden materials like silk. It’s a common belief that music can awaken inner desires and emotions, which can cloud judgment.

Negative Impact on Behavior

Also, music can manipulate emotions, making people attach to worldly pleasures and distractions, deflecting their focus from spiritual growth and worshiping Allah. The Quran criticizes wasting time on pastimes and amusements, including singing:

أَفَمِنْ هَـٰذَا ٱلْحَدِيثِ تَعْجَبُونَ ٥٩  وَتَضْحَكُونَ وَلَا تَبْكُونَ ٦٠  وَأَنتُمْ سَـٰمِدُونَ ٦١

“Do you find this revelation astonishing, laughing ˹at it˺ and not weeping ˹in awe˺, while persisting in heedlessness?” [Surah: an-Najm, 59-61].

4. Associations with Immorality

Associating music with immorality and haram, Muslims are urged to refrain from engaging in its consumption. Islamic teachings emphasize the importance of upholding moral values and avoiding anything that may lead to sinful behavior.

Music, especially certain types and lyrics, can often promote inappropriate behavior, indecency, and indulgence in worldly desires. The association between music and immorality isn’t only based on the content of the songs but also on the atmosphere and environment that often accompanies musical events.

These environments can be filled with temptations, such as alcohol, immodest clothing, and inappropriate behavior. Therefore, Muslims are encouraged to protect their spiritual well-being by avoiding music that has a negative influence on their behavior.

5. Distraction from Religious Obligations

Music is deemed haram in Islam due to its potential to divert believers from their spiritual path and decrease their connection with Allah. It’s seen as a distraction that can hinder their focus on religious obligations and the remembrance of God.

The enchanting melodies and rhythmic beats of music have the power to captivate individuals, leading them to prioritize worldly pleasures over their duties towards Allah. Islam emphasizes the importance of maintaining a constant awareness of God and striving to fulfill religious obligations.

Therefore, indulging in music can be seen as a deviation from these obligations and a hindrance to one’s spiritual growth. Muslims are encouraged to prioritize their relationship with Allah and refrain from engaging in activities that may lead them astray.

6. Satanic Influence

Muslims are forbidden to listen to music due to its association with Satanic influence in Islam. This belief stems from the idea that music can distract individuals from their religious obligations and lead them toward sin.

Satanic Influence

In the Quran, there are references to Satan’s voice being connected to singing and music, further reinforcing the notion of its negative influence. The concept of music being haram, or forbidden, in Islam is based on the belief that it can corrupt one’s soul and distance them from the path of Allah.

According to the Quran,

وَٱسْتَفْزِزْ مَنِ ٱسْتَطَعْتَ مِنْهُم بِصَوْتِكَ وَأَجْلِبْ عَلَيْهِم بِخَيْلِكَ وَرَجِلِكَ وَشَارِكْهُمْ فِى ٱلْأَمْوَٰلِ وَٱلْأَوْلَـٰدِ وَعِدْهُمْ ۚ وَمَا يَعِدُهُمُ ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنُ إِلَّا غُرُورًا

“And incite whoever you can of them with your voice, mobilize against them all your cavalry and infantry, manipulate them in their wealth and children, and make them promises.” But Satan promises them nothing but delusion.” [Surah: al-Isra, 64]

By abstaining from music, Muslims aim to maintain purity in their thoughts and actions, avoiding any potential influence that may lead them astray from their faith.

What are the Punishments for Listening to Music in Islam?

Regarding the punishments for hearing music, there are two important points to consider.

What are the Punishments for Listening to Music in Islam?

1. Spiritual Consequences in Earthly Life

If you frequently listen to sinful or immoral music as a Muslim, you may experience various spiritual consequences in your earthly life. Indulging in sinful music can potentially lead to a cycle of sinful actions because it can desensitize the heart.

Also, there are other punishments that individuals may face in their earthly lives for indulging in music. These punishments include,

  • Being a source of hypocrisy (Nifak),
  • Motivating adults to commit adultery,
  • Creating a coating on the brain,
  • Developing a dislike for the Quran,
  • Eliminating concerns about the hereafter,
  • Acting as an attractor to sin,
  • Destroying the jihadist spirit,
  • Even leading to tyranny and natural disasters.

Also, engaging in music may lead to other sinful activities, such as drinking alcohol, getting drunk and committing crimes, or committing suicide.

2. Consequences in the Afterlife

In the afterlife, individuals who listen to music may face severe punishments. According to the Quran (Surah: Luqman, 6), Allah may cast such individuals into the fire of hell and subject them to intense suffering.

Also, our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said,

“There will be people from my Ummah who will make fornication, wearing silk, intoxicants and musical instruments halal… Allah will destroy them during the night, causing the mountain to fall on them, transforming others into monkeys and pigs..” (Bukhārī no. 5590)

Hadiths and statements from Muslim scholars regarding punishment for listening to music vary from one individual to another. There will be different punishments for listening to music at varying times. And if a person confesses well, he may be released from the consequences of listening to music.

The punishment for listening to music in Islam is considered to be a grave matter, as it’s seen as a violation of the teachings of the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad. The Quran emphasizes the importance of avoiding sinful acts and striving for righteousness.

Can Muslims Listen To Music: Understand the Spiritual Impact

It’s clear that Muslims are forbidden from listening to music according to Islamic Shariah. This prohibition stems from the belief that music can have a negative influence on one’s spiritual well-being.

Most Islamic schools of thought and Islamic scholars prohibit it due to religious prohibition, consensus amongst scholars, associations with immorality, distraction from religious obligations, and Satanic influence.

Hence, Muslims must prioritize their religious obligations and avoid any activity that may lead them towards sin. By refraining from music, Muslims demonstrate their commitment to their faith and strive for a higher level of spiritual purity.

Talha Ubaidullah
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