What is music?

What will be regarded as music and what won’t be regarded as music, what is the differentiating factor?


As far as music is concerned, this much should be known that the Ulama have unanimously declared all types of music as haram. 

The ruling of haram is also passed on the following: 

1) All such singing which is solely for entertainment and amusement. It has no Deeni benefit, whether the singer sings to himself or in front of others. Also, the presence or absence of any musical instrument makes no difference to its impermissibility in this case. 

2) All instruments of music, whether accompanied by singing or not. 

3) All such music which distracts a person from his Waajib obligations, or gets him involved in any haraam activity, e.g. the subject matter of the song is incorrect and contrary to Shari’ah. 

4) To make singing and music one’s occupation or to prepare any musical instrument, or to derive income from singing, music and musical instruments. This is also haraam and not permissible. 

Shariah has allowed the rendering of Nazams, Na’ts, Ash’aar, Anaasheed, etc. and this is substantiated from Hadith, Hazrat Hassaan bin Thaabit and other Sahabah used to render poetry.

Mufti Muhammed Shafi Saheb Rahimahullah has mentioned in Ahkaamul-Qur’aan that the Ulamaa’ have agreed that rendering ash’aar etc in itself (without musical instruments and other factors that could render it unlawful) is permissible when the following four conditions are met: 

1) It must not be merely for enjoyment and pastime. 

2) It must not be rendered with distinct musical tunes that conform to the rhythms of musicians. 

3) It must not contain any unlawful or undesirable speech such as backbiting, mocking others, or the description of any woman, etc. 

4) It should not lead to discarding any compulsory act (such as Salaat or any other command of Allah) or to committing any other evil/sin.

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.


Islam aur Musiqee pg.339/40

 Ahsanul-Fataawa Vol.8 pg.380

Shami Vol.5 pg.482

Bahr Vol.7 pg.88/9

Fataawa Mahmoodiyyah Vol. 17 Page 284

Ahkaamul-Quran vol. 3 pg. 235

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