What does Islam Say About Music in Islamic Activities?


It is not strange today to see Mbewa Zanga blasting in the Islamic Wedding (NIKAH) ceremonies. No matter which direction we go, we are blasted with music, things which  poses a tremendous danger for Muslims in Malawi and around the world. This is so because some people want to make things lawful even though Islam prohibited it.

The issue of music has been debated for so long by some reliable  Islamic scholars, Maulamas and imams with some saying the use of Music is prohibited but in exception of ad-duff (Tumborine) while quite few have taken a positive approach considering that only Music containing, sensual, pagan, unethical themes or subliminal messages as being categorically forbidden.

Before I continue any further, let me make it clear here that my intention is not to take any side of the argument but instead to present both opinions in a short article. My aim is not to tell you what is haram (forbidden) or what is halal (permissible) but instead to explore some of the points we often debate. I’d like to add that I myself do listen to music, more especially Amudyetsa Khuzumule by Moses Makawa but I assure you that this won’t affect the neutrality of the article.

And I always remember what Sheikh Dinar Chabulika, well renowned Shariah and research expert in Malawi as once said at the Eid-al-adhuha prayers and I quoted: “ Let not technology affects  our beautiful deen by doing things which is not within the context of the Shariah.”

The most entertaining and best thing in Islam is that the Quran and our prophet (saw) already knew that there will be other people who will try to seek and make things lawful despite Islam prohibits it.

“There will be people of my ummah who will seek to make lawful; fornication, wine-drinking and the use of Ma’aazif (musical instruments).” From Bukhari Shareef, the most authentic book of hadith.

Ma’aazif is an Arabic word which refers to the musical instruments, the sounds of those musical instruments and singing with the accompaniment of instruments.

So there are two things we need to consider from this hadith. Firstly, using the words “seek to make lawful” just means that music is forbidden, as logically we can only seek to make lawful things which is not allowed. Secondly, we can see that music would have not brought in the same context as fornication and wine-drinking if it was not prohibited.

According to Sameer Hussain of Islam Point in his article “ Islam and Music, he says: “ we know that there are many other types of music, there is even music that reminds us of our religion and that influences us positively. Some Muslims promote such music though there are others who pose questions about its sincerity. I’m also aware that the use of certain instruments is discouraged by our religion. One of the important points is that The Holy Q’uran doesn’t explicitly forbid music in the way it labels alcohol and gambling as ‘haram’.

It seems that there are many different types of music out there, and the way in which people are influenced by music differs significantly. For example, a Nasheed (Islamic music) might appeal to one person because it contains the message of peace, but for another person it could be the ego or arrogance of the performer that is more appealing. Had our religion given us a blanket statement, such as all music is forbidden, it would’ve been quite misleading.

No doubt, we can argue that Islam totally discourages music which blatantly promotes and explicitly glamourises sinful activity. Islam doesn’t plainly forbid music and the reason for that might be because music takes many forms, it would be unfair and misleading to label them all as one. But for me, the important concept which we must understand is that music can heavily influence the mind and the heart. As Muslims, we must protect ourselves from all influences which take us away from the straight path of Islam. What sometimes annoys me is that the music debate gets far too much attention, and we get people on both sides holding up the ‘halal’ or ‘haram’ card.

For me, what is more important is that each individual understands the role of music in their life and whether it is ruining their character, improving it or not affecting it at all. Paying attention to detail is important but there are times, we must learn not to lose ourselves in it, take a step back and look at the big picture, and ask yourself what music means in your life and how it influences you.”

Romantic music doesn’t contain swearing or abuse, but it does often encourage men and women to engage in acts that are forbidden by Islam. “Your eyes are so beautiful, you’re so sweet, I wish I was with you for the rest of my life”, harmless, right? Well, one will say that it totally depends on the listener, some people will be easily influenced (e.g. to engage in forbidden acts outside marriage) but others won’t be. But again the key point is that music is an influence. Allah has warned us not only to abstain from that which is clearly forbidden but also that which may lead to it. The song may not be harmful but how it affects your character and your way of thinking is what could potentially become harmful. Music which encourages lewd behaviour usually results in increased vulgarity and disrespect for women in society. Islam doesn’t tell us to live on the edge, where there are risks of falling off the edge; we’ve been told to keep our distance. Sounds simple, if you want to avoid an accident, keep your distance from the car in front.


  1. Let us always be cautious mostly when it comes to maintaining our Islamic identity. it really confuses not only non-muslims, but also other muslims who have believed in pure Islamic culture. Why do we muslims bow down to demands by christians during Nikahs by satisfying their lust for music when it has never happened at a christian wedding for Muslims to demand Sikiri? This is a true reflection of our wickness. A true Muslim would not be part of any music at a public function like Nikah. Why are we not contented with our beautiful deen? I have witnessed so many beautiful, fully fleged and successful nikahs.

    Let us know that music is part of life for non-muslims, hence their sermons in churches are full of music, without which, their prayers are insufficient.

  2. This is indeed one of the most controversial topics. but whether something is favoured by us or not, if it is forbidden is better to discuss it than keeping queit as though there was no problem.personally I listen to music though of late I have taken keen interest in anasheeds.it is important to engage the masses in such topics so that even though we listen to music but we should know the position of our religion on music. whether we like music or not, that will not change the position of our religion on it. so we better take precautions on issues. it is good for our faith. considering the influence that music can have on someone's mind.May Allah help us avoid such things

  3. Frankly speaking brothers and sistera it is forbidden for a moslem to play music in public because the effect of music to the mind of a human being is the same as alcohol.The messages and the beats in the music can nfluence changes in behavior, it thefore very important to abstain from acts which can lead us into temptations or sinning.Islam is a religion whch incourages a concept of prevention is better than cure.Which means that if music being played can prompt some people to do sinnful act then dont play it because it is haram.

    What i mean here is that it is forbiden to play music at islamic functions because the effect is the same as inviting moslems to drink bear, so lets try to follow islamic rules as much as possible whether at funerals or functions.

    to those who like listening to music let them do so in their homes but they should not impose it to the others it is haram to so.

  4. Bros and sisters lets not bow down to non islamic or selfish interests by allowing music to be part of our deen. bro they article is cool keep it up

  5. Question differed by Muslims today in answer to it, their behavior differed depending on the different answers, some of them opens the ears of each type of singing, and every sort of music, claiming that during the good of the good things of life that has permitted to worship God. And some of them close to radio or closes his ears when he hear any song, saying: The flute singing is the devil, and is a modern and prevents people from remembering God and prayer, especially if the singer was a woman, a woman have her voice rougher without singing, so how about if she is singing? All agreed on the prohibition of singing includes obscenity or debauchery, or incitement to sin, because singing is not more than only words, that is good is good, and that is ugly is ugly, and all words containing haram is haram. They (Muslim scholars) agreed that it is permissible, except that of singing mildew-free machines and excitement, and pleasure in a legitimate citizen, and on holidays, and the like, provided that the woman singer is not singing in the presence of foreign ones. And do not forget to add restrictions to this opinion; caution must be taken into account in listening to music.

    1 –I have highlighted above that not every song is permissible; it must be a theme consistent with the literature of Islam and its teachings. The song which says: "The world is a cigarette and cup (chipanda chamowa)" contrary to the teachings of Islam, which makes the wine (Kuchekuche, Chikalo, Chibuku) an abomination of the devil and curse Sharp "cup" the grapes etc seller and the holder and all of which helped the work. Smoking is also not the scourge behind only harm the body and soul and money.

    And songs praising the tyrants and oppressors and tyrant rulers who have plagued their nation, contrary to the teachings of Islam, who curse the oppressors, and all appointed by, but silent on them The song that glorifies His eyes bold or Her eyes daring (love) songs violates the literature of Islam, which calls to believing men and women (Say to the believing men to lower their gaze … Say to the believing women to lower their gaze) (Al-Nur / 30-31) Prophet said: "O Ali, do not follow one glance, for the first but not the second.

    2 – and then that the way of performance are important, the theme might be quite a bit and dusted it off, but the way the singer or the singer in the performance and the deliberate sensationalism, and intended to awaken the instincts, dormant, and the lure of hearts the patient is transferred the song from the Department it is permitted to the Department of privacy or suspicion or dislike, such as what is broadcast on people and asking listeners and listeners of the songs that insist on one side. Love and its proceedings with all methods of excitement and irritability, especially among young men and young women.

    The Qur'an addresses the wives of the Prophet not to soften their words that may give desire who’s in his heart disease. So how if the music contains the melody and the emotional tone and influence?

    3 – In the third should not be accompanied by singing something haraam, such as drinking alcohol or Finery immoral or mixing between men and women, without restrictions or limits, and this is uncommon in the councils of singing and singing of old. It is ahead in mind when he mentions the singing, especially singing maidens, and women. This is indicated by the hadeeth narrated by Ibn Majah and others: "For people of my ummah will drink wine, calling it by another name, playing on their heads with knowledge and singers, God swallow their land and turn them into monkeys and pigs. The question might be what kind of music do we listen to, what kind of video clips do we watch? Sometimes you find good massage from a video clip or any music, inside the same clip somebody dancing undressed, or a singer is a woman roughness of her voice also poses a challenge to men, so which is which! That’s why Qur’an encourages its followers to use their brain and open their eyes instead of just following what others are doing. To say this is Halal or Haram (generalize) from my point of view I see is beyond our capability and it needs more care. And Allah knows best.

  6. Allah subhana wa ta'ala said in the qur'an that your companion(Muhammad s.a.w) was neither a poet nor possessed……This indicates the probability of music and drama( symbolised as poetry ). It is therefore our responsibility to at least stay away from those things that were not practiced by our nadi s.a.w unless if we are muslims but not mu'minun.

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