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Is listening to music a major sin?


Question and Answer:
Q. I want to ask: is it allowed (permitted) to listen to the music, which is performed by the musical instruments? And please tell me – is it a big sin (kabair) to listen such music?

(Query published as received)

A. The Fuqaha (Jurists) have ruled that all types of music are prohibited; be it produced digitally, by the agency of musical instruments or by any part of the body (hands mouth, throat etc). The underlining factor here is that music is prohibited regardless of how it is produced.

Sayyiduna Anas (Radiyallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “There will be people from my Ummah who will attempt to legalize fornication, the wearing of silk (for males), the consuming of wine and the use of musical instruments” (Al-Jaamius Sagheer – Pg. 139)

Yazeed ibnul Waleed (Rahimahullah) said, “Abstain from music for it robs a person of modesty, increases the carnal desires, leaves a person devoid of morals and has a similar effect to that of liquor. In fact, it is more harmful than liquor. If ever you have to listen to music, then be sure to stay away from the opposite sex for it incites one to commit Zina (adultery)”. (Rouhul Ma’ani)

Imam Dahhaak (Rahimahullah) said, “Music brings about a loss in wealth, makes the lord (Allah) angry and corrupts the heart” (Rouhul Ma’ani)

It has been recorded that Imam Qaasim bin Muhammed (Rahimahullah) was once asked about Music. He replied, “I prohibit you from it and I do not wish you to soil yourself in it” The questioner asked, “Is it Haraam?” Qaasim replied, “Look, Allah has placed all things into two categories, one is Haqq (truth and good) and the other is Baatil (falsehood and evil). Under which category do you think Allah has placed music?” (Rouhul Ma’ani)

It is recorded by Bayhaqi that Allah has cursed the person who sings and the one who listens to music. (Rouhul Ma’ani).

Sayyiduna ibn Mas’ood (Radiallahu Anhu) said, “Music causes Nifaaq (hypocrisy) in the heart like how water nourishes a plant” (Rouhul Ma’ani)

The gravity of the sin of listening to music becomes evident from the above mentioned quotations. Listening to music is from the Kaba’ir (major sins).

And Allah Knows Best

Mufti Suhail Tarmahomed

Fatwa Department
Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)
Council of Muslim Theologians

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