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In the Name of God بسم الله

Rules On Music

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Glitzmen

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Ayatullah Sistani HA is not my marja, but these are some of his rulings on music. Please see your own marja for his rulings.

Question and Answers

Question: Many questions are asked concerning permissible and forbidden music.
Is it correct to say that the music that arouses sexual, lustful urges and promotes unstable and degrading behaviour is the forbidden one?
And is it correct to say that the music that soothes the nerves or causes relaxation, the music that forms the background of a scene in a movie to increase the effect of the scene on the viewers, the music that is used for physical exercise during workouts, the music that dramatizes a particular scene by its tune, or the one that arouses the zeal [in soldiers] is the permissible one?

Answer: Forbidden music is the music that is suitable for entertainment and amusement gatherings, even if it does not arouse sexual temptations.
Permissible music is the music that is not suitable for such gatherings, even if it does not soothe the nerves like the martial music and that played at funerals.

Question: Just as many questions are asked about halal and harammusic, many questions are asked about halal and haram songs.
Is it correct to say that haram songs are those that arouse sexual, lustful urges and promote unstable and degrading behaviour?
Is it correct to say that songs that do not arouse lustful desires, but elevate the souls and thoughts to lofty levels like religious songs of praise dedicated to the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) and the Imams (a.s.), or the songs that lift the spirits and morale [of the fighters] and the like are halal songs?

Answer: All songs (al-ghina’) are haram. Based on the definition that we accept, al-ghina’ is the entertaining expression by way of tunes that are common to those who provide entertainment and amusement.
In this prohibition, we should include the recitation of the Holy Qur’an, supplications (du‘as), and songs of praise of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) uttered to the accompaniment of those tunes [that are used by the entertainers]. The prohibition of reciting other non-entertaining expressions —like songs intended to lift the morale [of fighters]— is based on compulsory precaution.
However, the tune that cannot be described as such is not haram by itself.

Question: Is it permissible to listen to religious songs in praise of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) that are accompanied with music?

Answer: Songs (al-ghina’) are haram absolutely. However, singing praise [of the Prophet or the Ahlul Bayt] that is sung with a good tune but is not in ghina’ form is without problem.
As for the music, it would be allowed, if it is not suitable for entertainment and amusement gatherings.

Question: Is it permissible to soothe the senses by listening to the reciter of the Qur’an who recites in a vibrant, quavering tone?

Answer: If the tune used in its recitation is not ghina’, there is no problem in listening to it.

Question: Some of the reciters, singers or chanters adopt the tunes of sinful people [i.e., haram entertainers] and then sing or chant with their tunes poems in praise of the Prophet (s.a.w.) and his family—the result is that the context is different from that of the sinful people, yet the tune is suitable to theirs. Is it forbidden to sing in this way? Is it forbidden to listen [in this case]?

Answer: Yes, based on obligatory precaution it is forbidden.

Question: Is it permissible for women to sing in the a wedding party in whatever tune, even if it is suitable for the gatherings of sinful people? Is it permissible for them to use musical instruments while singing that night? Is it permissible for them to sing, wearing henna [on the bride’s hand and feet], or on the eve of the seventh night [after the marriage]? Or is the permission restricted to the marriage eve?

Answer: Based on compulsory precaution, they should refrain from it, even on the marriage eve, let alone other occasions. As for the issue of music, its rules have already been mentioned earlier.

Question: Is it permissible to listen to revolutionary songs accompanied by sounds of piano, lute, drum, wind-pipe, and electronic piano?

Answer: If the music accompanying it is that which is suitable for entertainment and amusement gatherings, it is not permissible to listen to it.

Question: What is the meaning of the phrase: “common among sinful people”?

Answer: This expression is not mentioned in our fatwas (religious edicts). What we have mentioned in defining al-ghina’ is “the tunes that are common for those who provide entertainment and amusement;” whose meaning is clear.

Question: A non-practicing Muslim has recently become more committed [to Islam]. Is it permissible for him to softly hum what he remembers from the past songs by himself or in front of his friends?

Answer: If it falls in the category of al-ghina’, then it is not allowed.

Question: There are certain songs in foreign languages that the teachers of linguistics recommend listening to in order to expedite the learning process of that language. Is it permissible to listen to such songs for that purpose?

Answer: If it falls within the category of al-ghina’ as explained earlier, it is not allowed.

Question: Musical instruments are of different kinds. Sometimes they are used in musical gatherings and sometimes for soothing the soul. Is it then permissible to buy these instruments, manufacture them, deal in them, or play them to soothe the soul or listen to the ir sounds when someone else is playing them?

Answer: It is not permissible to deal in the instruments of haramentertainment: neither selling nor buying, just as it is not permissible to manufacture them and accept remuneration for making them.
“An instrument of haram entertainment” means that its physical shape—that gives its value and eventually the purpose for acquiring it— is not suitable except for use in haram entertainment.

Question: Is it permissible to manufacture, sell, or buy musical instruments that are made for children’s play? And is it permissible for adults to use them?

Answer: If the music that is suitable for entertainment and amusement gatherings comes out of it, then it is neither permissible to deal in, nor are adults allowed to use them.

Question: In government schools of the United Kingdom and may be some other countries also, students have to take part in dance classes to the sound of special musical tunes that synchronize the movements of the students while they are dancing.

Is it permissible to attend such classes?

Is it obligatory on the parents to prevent their children from attending such classes if the young boy or girl is inclined towards attending them?

Answer: It is not permitted, if it has any negative effect —which is quite common— on their religious upbringing. Rather, it is not permitted at all, as a matter of obligatory precaution.

Yes, it is obligatory. Also please refer to the answer to question no. 563 below.

Question: Is it permissible to learn dancing?

Answer: It is not allowed at all, as a matter of obligatory precaution.

Question: Is it permissible to organize dance parties where each husband dances only with his own wife to the sound of soothing musical tunes, wearing dresses that are not indecent?

Answer: It is not allowed.

Question: Is it permissible for women to dance in front of other women or for men to dance in front of other men in a gender-wise segregated gathering with or without music?

Answer: Dancing of women in front of women or dancing of men in front of men is problematic, as a matter of obligatory precaution, one must refrain from it. The rules governing music have already been discussed earlier.

Question: Is it permissible for a wife to dance for her husband with music or without music?

Answer: It is allowed as long as dancing is not accompanied withharam music.

Question: Some schools in the West make it obligatory that their male and female students learn dancing. This dancing is neither accompanied by the common song, nor is it for entertainment; it is part of the educational curriculum. So, is it haram for the parents to allow their sons and daughters to attend such classes?

Answer: Yes, if it contravenes the religious upbringing. Rather it is, based on obligatory precaution, forbidden absolutely, if the student has reached the age of maturity — except if he has a valid reason for approving of it; for example, if he follows a mujtahid who allows it. In the latter case, nothing prevents him from allowing his child to take part in [such activity].

http://www.najaf.org/books/205/?id=55

Music

Q166: What is the limit separating lawful from unlawful music? If the criterion is its being labeled 'entertainment or amusement' then this is not clear according to convention because there are differences of opinion on that.

A: The separating limit is its being of suitable quality for the gatherings of amusement and of immorality. (MMS, p. 28, Q53)

 

Q167: Also, regarding musical tunes, what is the criterion for their prohibition? Is the criterion their actual use in songs by people of immorality or is it enough for them to be suitable for such purposes? Is there any difference in situation if they are used during the commemoration of (Imam) Husayn or Islamic songs, for example, etc.?

A: The rule also is their being suitable for gatherings (of amusement and of immorality) and their prohibition is absolutely not lifted by using them during the commemoration or otherwise, based on precaution. (MMS, p. 28, Q54)

 

Q168: What is the ruling on so-called music in present customary usage?

A: It is of two kinds. One of them suits the places of amusement and entertainment and thus listening to it is prohibited. The other one is other than this and therefore is not prohibited. (FM, p. 437)

 

Q169: Some types of music are broadcast before the recitation of the noble Qur'an or the adhan, before the religious program begins or during. Is it permissible to listen to it?

A: The great majority of them are of the second type and thus are lawful. (FM, p. 437)

 

Q170: Musical interludes and music that precedes announcement of the news.

A: The same applies. (same answer as Q169) (FM, p. 438)

 

Q171: Some types of watches, in addition to specifying the time, have musical pieces for the pleasure of the owner whenever he wishes (to hear them). Is it permissible to buy and sell them (watches), or even to listen to their music?

A: It is permissible. (FM, p. 438)

 

Q172: Is it permissible to listen to religious songs?
Follow up: You mean religious phrases that are composed with musical tunes that are common amongst the people of amusement and entertainment?
Response: Yes.

A: It is prohibited to listen to them. The same ruling applies to all phrases that are not for pleasure and amusement َ such as supplication or dhikr َ but composed with these musical tunes. (FM, p. 437)

 

Q173: Classical music is believed to soothe excited nerves, and is also prescribed at times for treatment of some psychological ailments. Is it permissible for me to listen to it?

A: Yes, it is permissible to listen to music which is not suited for the gatherings of amusement and entertainment. (FM, p. 438)

 

Q174: Music with pictures that is associated with television films, popular serial programs, the aim of which is to raise the degree of excitement of the viewers in accordance with the atmosphere of the film. For example, if the exhibited scene is frightening, then this music helps in prompting fear and its effect on the viewers.

A: The great majority of them are of the lawful type. (FM, p. 438)

 

Q175: . . . emotional and national poetry that are at times accompanied by music.

A: The same criterion as was previously mentioned (in Q168). (FM, p. 438)

 

Q176: The buying and selling of flutes, musical recordings and the like, from among the instruments of pleasure and amusement, is prohibited. However, there are instruments made for children's amusement. Is it permissible to buy and sell them?

A: It is permissible as long as they are not classified among the instruments of forbidden pleasure and amusement. (FM, p. 411)

 

Q177: Is it permissible for a Muslim to send his son to one of the musical institutes to study music as a profession under the condition that he will not use his profession for forbidden things?

A: There is no objection to studying lawful music in itself, but in sending children to musical institutes one should ensure that it does not negatively affect them in their religious upbringing. God knows best. (MMS, p. 17, Q19)

 

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Thank you so much for posting this, sister!  Before I reverted, I was an amateur musician.  I often want to take a guitar down and play around, but always fear a grave sin.  It is not surprising to see that the Shi'a position is well reasoned and reasonable!  But again, this is so helpful for a clueless revert like myself! :)

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Sister Hameedeh, thanks a tonne:)

 

Alhamdolillah, I have quit music since a long time but there are some religious songs in Arabic/ Farsi / English that I feel like listening to because the meanings are just profound but sometimes have a doubt whether it's allowed or not..for example this one  

 

I just love this song but dunno if the music falls in the permissible category or not..please do enlighten me in this case?

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^^ Verily that has itraab. Alot of Liberal Maraje` might allow that, that is music suitable for gatherings. Sistani and other strict maraje` won't allow that.

From Ayatullah Sistani HA:

Music

Q166: What is the limit separating lawful from unlawful music? If the criterion is its being labeled 'entertainment or amusement' then this is not clear according to convention because there are differences of opinion on that.

A: The separating limit is its being of suitable quality for the gatherings of amusement and of immorality. (MMS, p. 28, Q53)

 

An Islamic song that describes the good characteristics of the 12 Holy Imams AS is not amusing or immoral. 

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From Ayatullah Sistani HA:

Music

Q166: What is the limit separating lawful from unlawful music? If the criterion is its being labeled 'entertainment or amusement' then this is not clear according to convention because there are differences of opinion on that.

A: The separating limit is its being of suitable quality for the gatherings of amusement and of immorality. (MMS, p. 28, Q53)

 

An Islamic song that describes the good characteristics of the 12 Holy Imams AS is not amusing or immoral.

Yes this is one is for amusement. It doesn't matter what's in it, it's like me bringing a Michael Jackson song but changing the lyrics to praise the Ahlulbayt and deem it "Islamic". This song above had piano, violin etc..

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Yes this is one is for amusement. It doesn't matter what's in it, it's like me bringing a Michael Jackson song but changing the lyrics to praise the Ahlulbayt and deem it "Islamic". This song above had piano, violin etc..

If you think it is haram, why did you watch it?

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I am not familiar with Michael Jackson songs, but I'm sure that video is not like his songs. In May of 2011, Ayatullah Khamenei HA spoke to poets and reciters, singers of Islamic music on the birthday of Fatima Zahra AS. His speech mentioned the difference between Islamic music and haram music:

Fortunately we have good poets, poets who compose poetry about the Holy Prophet's (s.w.a.) household in different languages and their poems are eloquent and beautiful. And if you create a demand for their poetry, this demand will cause them to supply such poetry. Therefore, good poetry, good music and a good voice are important. Of course good music does not mean we should imitate unlawful kinds of music that are associated with debauchery. Pay attention to this point. Certain kinds of music are bad. They are wrong. They are associated with debauchery. These kinds of music must not be allowed...

 

The quote was from here, for those who want to know:

http://english.khamenei.ir//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1492&Itemid=4

 

There is a difference between haram and halal music. Saying that Ayatullah Sistani would NOT allow that song is not within your right. You can only say that you don't like that song.

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Lol. I'm not judging from my own head, listen to that song you'll see all types of Western tunes.

 

"Western tunes" aren't necessarily a barometer. In fact, I've heard plenty of music on the Iranian television stations which makes use of "Western" instruments and tunes. Not to mention the concerts Iran holds for Western classical music from Europe and Japan.

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"Western tunes" aren't necessarily a barometer. In fact, I've heard plenty of music on the Iranian television stations which makes use of "Western" instruments and tunes. Not to mention the concerts Iran holds for Western classical music from Europe and Japan.

Iran isn't infallible, Iranian allied Hezbollah allowed a Christian Singer to sing on Manar TV (Hezbollah TV).

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Imam Al-Sadiq (AS) has said, " Singing or music is one of the things that Allah, Mighty and Exalted has threatened to requite with the fire, and this is the purport of Allah's Verse: "Among the people is he who buys diversionary words that he may lead people astray from Allah's way without any knowledge, and he takes t in derision." Quran 31:6

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Salaam!

 

In the book "Greater Sins" by Ayatullah Sayyid Abd Al Husayn Dastghaib Shirazi, it is the 15th greatest sin among all sins.

 

Read here: http://www.al-islam.org/greater-sins-volume-1-ayatullah-sayyid-abd-al-husayn-dastghayb-shirazi/fifteenth-greater-sin-music

 

 

Hazrat Imam Jaffer Sadiq (as)  said: "Music is the nest of hypocrisy.", "Music is the worst of the sounds.", "The place where music is performed, Allah does not look at its participants (with mercy)." & "Listening to music & vain (sounds) grows hypocrisy as the water grows the plants."

 

Source: http://www.islamic-laws.com/musicanditseffect.htm

This page also explains how dangerous music is for health.

 

Dear brother, when you listen to music it kind of gets recorded in your mind and you are reminded of it often. Imagine if you are offering salaat and you get reminded of the music.... or during fasting, Hajj/Umrah or The Ziarat of a Masuum  (as)! That would be a very bad thing....

Listen to the recitation of Quran & Name of Allah etc. They will have the opposite effect! You will be reminded of the recitation which is not a sin. You should recite The Quran in a melodious voice (but WITHOUT music for that would be a grave sin) and you should try to memorize, follow & understand it's verses (ayaat).

 

Here are some beautiful recitations:

99 Names of Allah:

http://playit.pk/watch?v=wBZkDMO6hDs

 

Surah Rahmaan:

http://playit.pk/watch?v=6WvHMNuhH3Y

 

Surah Yaseen:

http://tune.pk/video/77819/surah-yasinfull-shaikh-mishary-rashid-al-afasy

 

Send salawaat on the 14 Masumeen  (as)  who taught us all this!

 

And Allah knows best.

Your well wisher in Islaam, Shees.

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salamun alaykum,

 First of all we all have to understand which kind of music is prohibited in islam. the music having lehbo laheb are haram, means the song which contain those instrument which are made just for music purpose and they are played at haram place (mixed gathering). istrument playde like guitar, tabla,harmoneum,fluit etc when comes in song make the song haram. Now the song which is written or sung for any specific girl is also haram means when a person sing he imagine the face of that person.

The poets or the gazal which is written considering an imaginary love n person is made halal but when the haram instrument are used in this halal gazal makes the gazal haram.

 

i hope this make u clear.

 

regards

Mushahid Hasan

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It's better not to take only one hadith and judge based on that. That's why we follow the teachings of Islam via Maraje unless we ourselves are Mujtahid. Because Maraje know all of the ahadith about music (for example) and thus have the enough knowledge needed for giving a Fatwa on that.

 

WS

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You can hadith yourself to death over what is and what is not, but there are no Quranic restraints on what music is. Is it haram to listen to devil music? Depends on your heart. You listen for entertainment or to learn? Shaytan did not invent music, and nothing says he has an exclusive on it. 

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My younger brother emailed Ayatollah Sistani a question about music and this was his reply. His question was more about listening to nasheeds with musical instruments (such as Sami Yusuf) but I think this answer may help you out as well. Hope it clears things up for you  :)


 


In the Name of God, the Most High


 


It is not permissible to play or listen to music that is suitable for entertainment, amusement gatherings and dancing. [The crucial line is in it [music] being commensurate with the gatherings of entertainment and moral depravity.] Other types of music such as those that are used in army or martial parades, the epical music and the music that is used for mourning are allowed. If classical music is included in the first category, then it is haram, otherwise it is not, and it is better to exercise precaution in regards to such type of music.


 


If the singing is ruled as ghinā’ – i.e. a kind of singing accompanied by vocal undulation and rapture so that it is suitable for gatherings of lahw and sin – it is ḥarām and the content makes no difference.


"Ghina means prolongation and vibration of sound with variation of the pitch to such an extent that people may say that 'he/she is singing."


 


May Allah grant you success

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Salam ,

If a persons aim is to attain taqwa , than you must fully refrain from intentionally listening to any music, even nasheeds which have instruments played along side it.

If Quran orders constant Zikr you cannot be intentionally listening to any sort of music along with Zikr.

No prophets reached such high level with listening to music intentionally , and deemed it appropriate .

But if one is ok just being a muslim and is not concerned with building character thats another issue.

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Salam. 

 

No. Music (exept for Music that contains/advocates Haram behavior (promiscuity, drunkenness etc.)  is Halal.

 

And any Music that reminds you of Allah (SWT) is obviously fine.  That's the opinion of My sheikhs anyway. And the opinion I hold.

 

As for Shi'ism, it depends on the Marja. Ayatollah Sistani holds that it is Halal except for ones that are suitable for sinful events. 

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On 1/28/2015, 9:45:51, narsis said:

Bismillah.

 

Salaam.

 

There are various types of musics that some are Haraam while others are Halaal. To distinguish Halaal musics and Haraam ones you have to refer to your Marja's verdict.

 

With Duas.

 

Narsis.

salam

all Marjas have the same verdict about music. u can check it

Edited by Muhamad
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So what about particular music like drumming in qawwali (through halal instruments for eg. Tub or something).

And what about clapping in qawwali ?

I'm only asking because I perform frequent Qawalis.

Is it OK to drum in qawalis by halal instruments as substitute for tabla and Clap to create the environment of a Qawwali ?.

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When scholars say "suitable for public gatherings", "of immoral people", "for amusement" etc understand they're saying it in light of traditions and cannot add or deduct their own interpretation more that what's available. It always leaves way too much open for individual interpretation. 

What's amusement for one person might not be same for another. What's immoral for one culture could be very normal for another.

It's always better to err on side of caution.

Completely refraining from music, irrespective halal or haraam with intention of seeking nearness to Allah isn't going to harm anyone in anyway.

 

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I'm shocked and appalled to discover that Islam takes a dim view of music!

:shock:

Is the reason that today's Classical Music thread was locked that it is considered to be a discussion of immoral behavior similar to a discussion about sexual practices might be? Is it possible to speculate on how seriously are the rules on music taken by Muslims generally? I'd imagine not seriously at all for the most part as my Iranian penpals are inclined to send me dreadful western pop music videos with scantily clad ladies dancing around in them. I had a read through Ayatollah Sistani's rulings on music listed on page and it least it seems clear that if you enjoy a particular type of music then you should stay away from it. This at least leaves room for the theory that one man's trash is another man's treasure whereas in Iran, if I understand correctly, certain music is forbidden outright (e.g. rock music) while other music is allowed.  Is there any point in regulate musical genres for the purposes of distinguishing between good and bad forms or is it something best left to the individual? 

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13 minutes ago, Klanky said:

Is there any point in regulate musical genres for the purposes of distinguishing between good and bad forms or is it something best left to the individual?

The way it usually works is that if you like classical then rock is bad and if you like rock then punk is bad etc. Also we don't set our moral compass according to what is or isn't allowed in a specific country.

While we'd avoid any specific discussions of sex the fact remains that Islam considers sex as entirely natural, healthy and indeed recommended, whereas there are no such recommendations anywhere that I have seen for music.

Edited by Haji 2003
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9 hours ago, Guest Layla said:

Hi so by “suitable for amusement and gatherings” is it meant like upbeat and sings with a beat for example?

like songs that are sad or like calm if ygm are okay?

this is true.

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