Why is Islam anti-music?

This question is incorrect to ask in the first place because one should ask: ‘Why are musicians against music?’ Yes, this is correct. If you ask a skilled musician or a learned singer today about doubling vocals, or modern equipment such as auto-tune, and other forms of cheats, that allow even the most disgusting and least melodious voices to become celebrities, you would see that they are against such technologies and may even call for a ban on them. If a law was to be made that all songs have to be in the singer’s own voice without any instrument or support, you would see that a large majority of the singers would be out of business.

These experts attempt to limit music and are against many forms of music; however, they put a limit later in the chain as opposed to the Islamic limit. Many of them do not even consider some genres such as rap, rock, and metal as art forms and consider these to be noise pollution and these people are skilled musicians themselves. We see that the music world itself is not united on this aspect and consider a lot of music to be problematic which should be discouraged.

In our times, we see that the singers are not popular because they are talented; they are so because they are the products that the greedy corporations sell. The appeal of the products is because of the marketing behind them and the perception created.

Islam puts a limit much earlier than where these skilled musicians do. It is not just about skilled musicians, and even lay people have their boundaries. What Islam allows is singing poetic words without music and permits adding some surrounding items to create rhyme and rhythm such as beating the duff.

A song may have these categories in the order presented:

Poetic words without music —> Use of some surrounding items to add more to it such as beating hands on table, beating the duff etc. —> Using proper equipment to create music —> Using new technology such as auto tune and so on.

All these eventually lead to —> dancing around —> immorality, nudity and so on —> intoxication (alcohol and drugs) —> depression; and the only cure to these people appears to be to increase the dose of drinking, music, and clubbing —> and a whole list of items.

If you hate your job and find solace in the weekends’ night-outs, you will hate the life outside it even more. The weekdays appear even more miserable and the only relief is in the weekend party.

None of the above things in the chain are far-fetched and the list is not even comprehensive as I have not even discussed some other aspects such as music promoting violence, and Satan worship among others. Once one enters the chain, each goes to a different extent; some go as far as dancing around, immorality and wasting their lives while others go even beyond these levels.

Who decides where to put the limit? Each may do so as per his or her own judgment while some may go very far and suffer more harm. For the believers, the limit is put by the One who created us; the Creator of the heavens and the earth.

God says in Q.2:168: “…do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.” Everything that eventually leads to Satan, or his ways, are {the footsteps of Satan}. Islam forbids us from treading on the path that eventually leads to Satan even though the area being treaded may not actually have Satan there. Take, for example, a person, who has the habit of spitting on the road; he argues in his defense that the sun would burn it up or it would evaporate and cause no harm to anyone. Would it be taken as a valid justification for his action? Would the law find it legal and would the people find it justified? Even though his logic, that the spit will vanish itself, may be valid, it is still not acceptable as this is step one towards pollution, and other ills, even though one small spit may not directly cause it itself. The small footstep eventually leads to much greater harm and hence such footsteps of the devil are prohibited in Islam to be followed.

If you have no issues putting a stop somewhere down the line based on your own desires, then why do you have a problem with Islamic full stop within the music chain presented above? Someone may come and disagree with your limit and put his or her own limit and so no solution would be reached. If you are totally against putting limits and believe in allowing everyone the choice to make their own decision, then you should be consistent at the least and allow children the choice of whether to go to school or not, whether to refrain from excessive sweets or not and so on. We may have grown up to make our own decisions but we can never grow up enough to challenge the limitless wisdom of the Almighty.

What is presented above are the worldly harms of music; spiritual harms are much more; our Creator knows best and we are not aware of all of them; however, we do experience lack of khushoo’[1] in our prayers when listening to music and our worship becomes merely physical acts of movements.

[1] Khushoo’ is the tranquility and peace along with detailed concentration one finds in worship.

Indeed, Allah knows best.

13 thoughts on “Why is Islam anti-music?

  1. ma sha Allah, great article dear brother! Thank you for your efforts and may Allah reward you and make it easy for you. Ameen. I wanted to ask you, if you can do an article against some Ahmadiyya claims. They cite different saying of scholars like Imam Malik, Ibn Al-Qayyim and others who allegedly believed Jesus died. Maybe you can check this references if you have time and could do an article in sha Allah if you want brother? Thank you again and assalamu alaikum !

  2. brother? Sorry I‘m asking again, maybe you didn‘t see the comment, but could you or not in sha Allah, just so I can know dear brother.. Sorry I‘m asking so often..

  3. brother.. It‘s me again. I may be annoying for asking this much and I wanna apologize! And I know I said it‘s the last question so sorry I‘m asking again. I saw and forgot to ask you about Ibn Hazm, he is also quoted there in the link and he says that Jesus died in this quote, so I thought he is a famous scholar and this would be important to clarify this quote.. Could you help? Sorry again. May Allah reward you!

    • It is said that Ibn Hazm’s view of Jesus’ death is quoted under 3:55 (tafsir Jalalayn) but if you go there, it is not to be found. You may read the commentary here: http://bit.ly/2oM0j3Q The same for Mahalli; I could not find what they’re ‘quoting’. If they’re really honest, they should quote in full and properly and with Arabic text and since they have repeatedly been exposed to fabricate things, they should also put a snapshot from the page so that the readers can see whether it exists and if it does, what is the context!

      • Moreover, even if someone says that the literal raising up of Jesus to heavens was in a state of death, how does it mean that he will not return?

  4. Yes, they are not to be trusted when they „quote“.. But about Ibn hazm they show this picture, but I don‘t know if this is to be found anywhere in the sources.. They cite the arabic:


    And thanks again for taking you‘re time! I wanna do an article with all your respones in sha Allah in the language of german in our website, because ahmadiyya come often with such quotes. So thank you very much

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