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Music In Islam

There are no general rules about listening to music in Islam; measures, limits, and principles have been determined. In line with these principles, in some cases, a prohibition was given for music. In some cases, there was no objection.

Music; It is performed with the use of voice and instruments. Music has a side that affects the heart (emotions) and appeals to the ear with a voice, an instrument, or a combination of both. The provision also changes according to the content and effect of these sounds. While music can leave a sublime and spiritual feeling, it can also drag a person into a mood that leads to sins and rebellion.

Suppose a piece of music reminds us of Allah, invigorates religious feelings, increases love for the Messenger of Allah, does not contain any words or content that may lead to haram, and gives peace to the person. In that case, there is no harm in making or listening to this music.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) advised playing the tambourine to announce the marriage [1].

Similarly, he did not object to women enjoying the feast by playing the tambourine and singing among themselves during the holidays [2]. If the music performed contains shirk and rebellion against Allah, conveys content contrary to the basic teachings of Islam, or encourages harams, if it leads people to despair and unhappiness regarding worldly matters, this music is prohibited for both the maker and the listener.

The song sung during a wedding says, “There is a prophet among us who knows what will happen tomorrow.” Hearing that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Only Allah knows what will happen tomorrow.”; By this saying, He warned not to the song but to the word it contains. [3]

In addition, if the environment where music is played/listened to is an environment that encourages sins and drives people to haram, this is also an unacceptable situation in Islam.

There are specific criteria for listening to music whose content does not contradict religion.

The main ones of these criteria are that it does not prevent them from fulfilling their responsibilities towards Allah, does not cause waste of time,  does not occupy most of the day, and does not prevent them from fulfilling their servitude duties to Allah.

Generally, it is incorrect to say that music is strictly halal [4] or forbidden in Islam [5]. Music is a subject that cannot be adhered to a single rule. Its judgment is determined according to the situation and environment it contains.

Imam Ghazali, one of the Islamic scholars, examines music under three main headings as, haram, makruh, and mubah, and expresses it as follows:

“For those overflowing with worldly desire and lust, only the sounds that provoke these feelings are haram (forbidden).

It is makruh (religiously regarded as ugly) for a person who spends most of his time on it and makes it a habit of being busy.

It is mustahabb for a person filled with the love of Allah and whose beautiful voice he hears only provokes beautiful attributes in himself (considered religiously appropriate).” [6]

Along with all this, it is necessary to remember that while Allah created the universe, He also created harmony from sounds. And He gave the creation of man a feature to enjoy this harmony of sounds.

In this direction, Allah has given the recitation of the Qur’an a harmonious sound arrangement that will be pleasing to the ear. Throughout the centuries, Muslims have trained many qualified composers. They have always added musical rhythm to the azan and the Qur’an recitation.

At the same time, music is one of the proofs of the existence and unity of Allah. Allah, who creates countless landscapes and colors in the universe and keeps harmony between them, has designed the human eyes to perceive and enjoy them. A similar key-lock harmony exists between sounds and rhythms in the realm of existence and human ears. The situations mentioned earlier reveal that eyes and sights, ears and voices are works of a single Supreme Creator.

[1] Tirmidhi, Marriage, 6
[2] Muslim, Iydeyn, 17
[3] Bukhari, “Marriage”, 49; Tirmidhi, “Marriage”, 6
[4] Halal: Religiously approved
[5] Haram: Religiously forbidden
[6] Ihya, II/279-81