Islamic Studies

The Best Way to Stop Listening To Music Advice from Abu Bakar's Grandson

al-Qasim ibn Muhmmad* was asked about music and said the following:

“On the day of Judgement, when Allah distinguishes between truth and falsehood, where will music be?”

The questioner: “It will be in the precincts of falsehood!”

al-Qasim: “Then, ask yourself.”

Quoted by Imam al-Muhasibi in Risalah al-Mustarshidin

* Al-Qasim bin Muhammad was the grandson of Abi Bakar al-Siddiq [May Allah be pleased with them all], one of the seven great jurist of Medina and considered one of the great students of the Companions [May Allah be pleased with them]. He was born 37 A.H and died 106 A.H.

About the author

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb is a contemporary American-Muslim educator, activist, and lecturer. His work bridges classical and contemporary Islamic thought, addressing issues of cultural, social and political relevance to Muslims in the West. After converting to Islam in 1992, Webb left his career in the music industry to pursue his passion in education. He earned a Bachelor’s in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and received intensive private training in the Islamic Sciences under a renowned Muslim Scholar of Senegalese descent. Webb was hired as the Imam at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, where he gave khutbas (sermons), taught religious classes, and provided counselling to families and young people; he also served as an Imam and resident scholar in communities across the U.S.

From 2004-2010, Suhaib Webb studied at the world’s preeminent Islamic institution of learning, Al-Azhar University, in the College of Shari`ah. During this time, after several years of studying the Arabic Language and the Islamic legal tradition, he also served as the head of the English Translation Department at Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah.

Outside of his studies at Al-Azhar, Suhaib Webb completed the memorization of the Quran in the city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. He has been granted numerous traditional teaching licenses (ijazat), adhering to centuries-old Islamic scholarly practice of ensuring the highest standards of scholarship. Webb was named one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in 2010.


  • Music as listening/playing instruments as well? Can you please elaborate? I have heard fatwas that playing or listening [just] instruments are permissible.

  • er……
    sorry I don’t get the meaning.
    Listening music is impermissible?

    Or… some kind of music is ok,and others not?

  • There’s a difference of opinion amongst the scholars so no one should comment that music is totally outright haram.

    Let’s be as open and harmonious as possible with this.

  • Hazrath Anas (R.A.) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “There will certainly be people from my Ummah who will attempt to legalize fornication, the wearing of silk (for males), the consuming of wine and the use of musical instruments” (Al-Jaamius Sagheer – Pg. 139). Indeed this prophesy of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is glaring before us. Despite the clear prohibition of the use of musical instruments, great efforts are being made to “legalize” their use. While some people wish to declare all music permissible, others are opening the door slowly by declaring that only the use of the “duff” is permissible. Thus it is necessary to examine the reality of these claims in the light of the Qur’an and Sunnah.

    In Surah Luqman Allah Ta’ala declares:

    “And among the people are those who purchase idle talk in order to mislead others from the path of Allah in ignorance.”

    Hazrath Abdullah bin Masood (R.A.) states emphatically that this verse was revealed regarding singing and musical instruments. The same has been reported from Hazrath Abdullah bin Abbas (R.A.) and Hazrath Jaabir (R.A.) (Tafseer Qurtubi). Thus when these illustrious students of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), who witnessed the revelation of the aayaat (verses) of the Qur’an are clear that this verse prohibits music and musical instruments, the “view” of any twentieth century “scholar” to the contrary holds no weight.


    Various Ahadith also clearly prohibit music and the use of musical instruments. Hazrath Abdullah bin Umar (R.A.) reports that once Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) heard the sound of the flute of a shepherd. He immediately placed his fingers into his ears (to block out the sound) (Musnad Ahmad). How tragic it is that our beloved Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) blocks his ears to the sound of music but his Ummah opens their ears wide to the same sounds. In another narration Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said: “ Verily Allah Ta’ala has sent me as a guidance and as a mercy to the Believers and He has commanded me to destroy musical instruments” (Musnad Ahmad).


    As for the duff, it is also a musical instrument and therefore it will primarily be included in the above prohibition. However, some concession was given for the use of the duff on the occasion of a Nikah. The Sahaaba (R.A.), who were the direct students of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) understood the commands of the Qur’an and Hadith far better than we can ever hope to understand. It is reported regarding Hazrath Umar (R.A.) that if he heard the sound of a duff he would immediately send somebody to investigate. If it was found to be the occasion of a Walima, he would not do anything. Otherwise he would go for his whip (i.e. he would forcefully stop the playing of the duff) (Fathul Qadeer – Vol. 6, Pg. 389).


    Nevertheless, to extract the laws of Shariah directly from the Qur’an and Sunnah is possible only for one who is a mujtahid [in the calibre of the four great Imaams viz. Imaam Abu Hanifa (R.A.), Imaam Malik (R.A.), Imaam Shaafi (R.A.) and Imaam Ahmad bin Hambal (R.A.)]. Together with an expert in-depth knowledge of the Qur’an and hundreds of thousands of Ahadith, they had also mastered all the numerous sciences pertaining to the Qur’an and Sunnah.

    According to the Zaahirur Riwayah (the most authentic narrations) of the Hanafi school of thought, the use of the duff is completely disallowed. Latter day scholars who have attributed a restricted permissibility to the Hanafi school have erred. This complete disallowal is based on the Juristic principle of “saddan lil baab” i.e. to restrict an act that would invariably lead to impermissible actions.

    The Shafi’ee Ulama have permitted the use of the duff only on the occasion of a walima subject to several conditions. Allamah Ibn Hajar Makki, Shafi’ee has detailed the various conditions, among which is that the duff should not be beaten in a manner that produces a musical sound, but rather just a simple beating which does not produce any tune or melody. Only the palms may be used to beat the duff and not the fingers. It should also be beaten only for a short while. Having stated this he says that “in our era it is makrooh to beat the duff” (since people cannot fulfil the stringent conditions).

    Therefore in the light of the above one should not listen to such nazams which are accompanied by the playing of the duff.


    As for the “background zikr,” this should be considered very carefully. What is the purpose of having people say “Allah” in unison in the background? Is it for the purpose of zikr itself? If yes, then why in the background? If the purpose is to create a background effect to make the nazam more entertaining, in the manner that background music is used, this is an extremely dangerous thing. It is abuse of the name of Allah Ta’ala. The name of Allah Ta’ala is not for the purpose of entertainment. If it has been deliberately made to resemble the beating of drums, it will be even more serious and even dangerous for one’s Imaan. One should totally refrain from listening to such nazams.


  • I appreciate the advice, but honestly, because we are in a position facing Shaytan and also with all these worldly desires, that advice is just not enough. Yes, doing something against Allah (swt)’s commandments are always going to be bad, but you know what? Muslims will do it anyway because they do not feel any punishment on Earth, that is when the human selfishness comes in.

    So telling someone that you will be punished in the Day of Judgment is enough for a very firm believer to stop, but for us who are trying to improve ourselves being Muslims, we cannot resist as easily.

    @Nailla: Here are some types I used to stop listening to music:

    1) Remove music and songs from your computer/mp3/CDs/etc slowly. AstigfirAllah, I would say remove all, but this is how I slowly overcome music. By removing everything slowly, your choices are lessened, therefore you will not be tempted to listen to music.

    2) Shut off radios and listen to lectures, Quran or read in the bus or train, and listen to Islamic lectures in the car. This will stop you from turning up the radio or listen to other peoples’ loud music from their headphones.

    3) By deleting all your music, you will feel that all the music is going to take a while to redownload, which is why I did not bother.

    4) Avoid clicking on videos that are unIslamic and seem musical especially on youtube. Most music videos serves no purpose but distraction and now many people cannot “live” without music in their life. Take some time to learn from How-To videos that teach useless techniques in life such as cooking, cleaning, fixing things, etc.

    5) Convince yourself that spending money on a music file and buying music is a waste of money. Also, convince yourself that downloading music illegally is wrong (if you do not buy music normally.)

    By avoiding music, you can benefit so much such as freeing your “soul” from the evils of music and the distraction. You feel much more in control of your own life and you feel closer to Allah (swt)

    You will also free yourself of another burden of organizing music, spending on music, and stop thinking about the entertainment industry such as the latest trends, music, celebrity gossip, and all that useless information. By avoiding music, you will also be less likely to be influenced by the horrible role models whether male or female, and their influences on teenagers and children.

    I learned a lot of this from experiences during my teenage years, music is not great and I wish I did not spend so much time with it.

  • Asalamu laikum warahmatul lah, Im so addicted to listening to musics and i really want to stop but Im really struggling heard to but its difficult for me, even if I stop it doesn’t take long and it comes back. I really need an advice of how to get rid of it please.

  • I took advice of what brother Alleypies said, I have removed most of my music, thrown cd’s away, and only have a few songs which I don’t listen to a lot (trying to delete them still!)

  • I agree, but we should try to understand what Allahtala orders us to do. We don’t feel punishment here. But we don’t know when we will die. On judgement day Allah will be jabbar. We will surely feel astonishing punishment. So we should take that into consideration and use self control like we do on ramadan. We should become true muslims and prevent the shaytaan from poisoning our minds and making us nonbelievers. (Wisdom from a 13 yr old girl:)

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