Listening to songs

Q 2: What is the ruling on listening to songs?

A: Listening to songs including some kinds of music is Haram (prohibited), (Part No. 26; Page No. 233) both for men and women, whether they are in their houses or elsewhere, such as in cars or in public and private gatherings. This is because this entails choosing and being inclined to participate in what Shari`ah (Islamic law) has prohibited. Allah (Exalted be He) says, And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks (i.e. music, singing, etc.) to mislead (men) from the Path of Allâh without knowledge, and takes it (the Path of Allâh, or the Verses of the Qur’ân) by way of mockery. For such there will be a humiliating torment (in the Hell-fire). The singing referred to in the question is a kind of idle talk. It is, thus, Fitnah (temptation) to the heart that attracts it to evil and distracts it from good. Even more, it wastes time idly and, thus, falls under the purport of "idle talk". Whoever sings or listens to such songs is classified among those who purchase idle talk to distract themselves or others from the Path of Allah. Allah has dispraised this act and threatened the doers with humiliating torture. Moreover, as the Qur'an generally prohibits singing and listening to songs, the Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet) also supports this prohibition. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, Verily, among my Ummah (nation) there will be people who will deem as lawful Zina (sexual intercourse outside marriage), (wearing) silk (for men), (drinking) Khamr (intoxicant) and using musical instruments. And verily some people will stay near a high mountain; their shepherd will come to them with one of their herds in the evening, and the poor will come to them for a need, but they will say, ‘Return to us tomorrow.’ So Allah will destroy them by night and bring down upon them the high mountain, and He will transform others into apes and pigs to the Day of Resurrection. (Related by Al-Bukhari and other Imams of Hadith). Musical instruments refer to amusement and the instruments used in it, including singing and listening to songs. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) dispraised those who render as lawful, Zina, silk for men, Khamr, and musical instruments (Part No. 26; Page No. 234) and listening to them. He included musical instruments among the other major sins listed and he threatened at the end of the Hadith those who commit these acts with torture. This proves that playing and listening to musical instruments is Haram. Regarding inattentive listening, such as when passing by stores or cars playing songs or when sitting in one's house and hearing songs coming out from neighbors' houses, this person is regarded as helpless and is, thus, not sinful as long as they are not inclined to what they hear. They should give advice and forbid Munkar (that which is unacceptable or disapproved of by Islamic law and Muslims of sound intellect) with wisdom and fair preaching. Furthermore, they should try hard as much as they can to get rid of this involuntary listening according to their means, for Allah does not burden a person beyond their ability.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.