Linguistically, music is defined as a sound or the study of such sound organized in time. It is a pleasing and interesting sound with a melody and tune. A melody is a sequence or note that makes up a musical phrase. A tune is the modification of musical instruments to produce certain pitches. Islamically, Music is one of the signs of the nearing of the Day of Resurrection. Narrated by Abu Malik Al-Ashari:
The Messenger of Allah(PBUH) said, Some people of my Ummah will drink wine, calling it by other than its real name, merriment will be made for them through the playing of musical instruments and the singing of lady singers. Allah will cleave the earth under them and turn others into monkeys and swines.
[Ibn Majah Vol.5 Hadith No.4020]. Listening to music is an habit that is cultivated by a lot of people in recent times. It is an addictive habit that takes on away form Allah and reduces our eemaan and taqwah. Music is a tool used by Iblees to darken the mind of believers. It is said in the Qur’an. Indeed, Satan is an enemy to you; so take him as an enemy. He only invites his party to be among the companions of the Blaze.(35:6). Without a doubt, and as proven by science today, music has an effect on the mind. Some music is slow and calming, while other types are played in gatherings such as parties, discos, and nightclubs, where the mind becomes almost possessed. People dance and move to the rhythm of the music, allowing it to control them and their desires, until they effectively begin to lose control. Losing all restraint, they give in to their desires and engage in lustful behavior without shame. Many singers while performing today make gestures which are clearly very inappropriate. They have male and females dancing together with provocative clothing to attract our gazes. Indeed, music is prohibited in Islam because of this shamelessness and hypocrisy that it inevitably leads to.
Music is very addictive; if one listens to it, the effect is like that of drugs or smoking – you want more and more, and pretty soon it becomes very difficult or seemingly impossible to stop.
Muadda Ibne Ziyad says: I was in the company of Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) when a person said, When I go to the toilet, I can hear the singing girls next door. Sometimes I remain (in the toilet) longer so that I may listen to more of it. Imam said in reply: Desist from listening to music and songs attentively. The man further said: Master, I do not go to music gatherings! I only hear the sounds! Imam replied: Have you not read this Quranic verse? – Surely, the hearing and the sight and the heart, all of these shall be questioned about.’ (17:36) The man said: I was not aware of this verse. I regret my actions. I shall not do so in the future. I repent for my past sins, and I seek forgiveness from my Lord.
Seeing his condition, Imam said: Get up! Go and perform Ghusl and offer Salat and pray for forgiveness. You have certainly been involved in a deadly sin and a terrible situation. You have repented for it, and I thank Allah for that; and I seek forgiveness of Allah for all those things that He dislikes. Certainly, Allah only dislikes the evil things. Leave the evil things to the evil people, because there are different people suitable for different things. (Al-Kafi)
This incident teaches us that no matter where we are, no matter how attractive the voice may be, we should restrain ourselves from listening to music – even if we are faced with it without initially intending to listen to it.
It was reported from Abu Umaamah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not sell singing slave women, do not buy them and do not teach them. There is nothing good in this trade, and their price is haraam. Concerning such things as this the aayah was revealed (interpretation of the meaning): ‘And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks (i.e. music, singing) to mislead (men) from the path of Allaah…’ [Luqmaan 31:6].” (Hasan hadeeth)
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Among my ummah there will certainly be people who permit zinaa, silk, alcohol and musical instruments…” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari ta’leeqan, no. 5590; narrated as mawsool by al-Tabaraani and al-Bayhaqi. See al-Silsilah al-Saheehah by al-Albaani, 91).