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Is Music Prohibited In Islam?

I have following questions to ask.

1) I am quite satisfied with your stance on Music. I had a discussion with some friends of mine, where they were comparing music with alcohol. According to them, music is banned for the same reason that it can lead to some thing worst, and the history tells us that at large music has been used in a wrong way. So what will be your response on this analogy, the result of which is an understanding that music can also be banned as a “saddan li al-zaree’ah” (ban on the ground that a legal thing may lead to some illegal and harmful consequences) order, just like alcohol? And if not then why a small amount of alcohol that does not take away the senses of an individual is forbidden.

2) Can we question religious scholars who have entered into contracts with some TV Channels and receive money for the knowledge they share? Isn’t it clearly taking money for preaching Islam? There a hadith according to which the Prophet (sws) prohibited taking money to teach Quran. Kindly explain.


1. This is not a correct analogy. Alcohol is prohibited in the absolute sense. On the other hand, music in itself is not prohibited in the absolute sense. If it is, then the sources of Islam must mention it and your friends should come with arguments from these sources to support this stance. Prohibiting something because its use might lead to sin is always a prerogative of the state. If at times, state authorities think that something is being used in an evil way and evil is spreading in a society, it can impose a ban on it. However, this ban does not make a thing religiously forbidden. Of course it can be lifted as well when the state authorities think that people are not misusing that thing. Thus for example for this very reason, a state at times prohibits kite flying because it may cause injury etc. Similarly, a state can also decide to ban musical concerts if it thinks that they are for example promoting licentiousness in the society. Again this ban can be lifted, if no harm is being caused by them.

In short, what is prohibited by the shariah in the absolute sense can never be allowed come what may and what is prohibited by the evil use of a thing not prohibited per se by Islam can never be regarded as an absolute prohibition. Circumstances will govern it.

2. What will you say to the salary being paid to an Islamic studies school college or university teacher? Can anyone say that they are selling religion or the Quran? I am pretty sure that very very few would say so. The reason is that this is like hiring a professional for his expertise. Our society needs professional preachers and teachers so that people can devote their time to serve Islam and be relieved of the burden of earning through other means. It was this need which the caliph ‘Umar (rta) fully realized and hired professional teachers and preachers at the state level and deputed them to various areas of his empire.

3. As far as the hadith narrative is concerned, it must relate to some specific circumstances and cannot be generalized otherwise ‘Umar and other caliphs would never have violated it. Of course, a final opinion can only be given after analyzing its text. If you can send its text, this can be done.

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