Songs accompanied by a flute or any stringed instrument

Q 2: We acknowledge that it is not permissible to listen to songs accompanied by playing a flute or a string instrument. Nevertheless, sometimes we are busy and we can not listen attentively to the broadcasted Qur'an or Hadith so we just listen to the songs mentioned above bearing in mind that they do not divert us from `Ibadah (worship), performing Salah (Prayer), or answering Adhan (call to Prayer). Please tell us whether listening to such songs is Haram (prohibited) in all circumstances.

A: Listening to music is a means to Fitnah (temptation). It seduces people to commit evil and neglect their religious duties. It is thus Haram (prohibited) to do so whether such songs are accompanied by music, playing with a flute or a string instrument, or not accompanied by any of the foregoing. Moreover, a Muslim is forbidden to listen to songs whether doing so diverts them from fulfilling some of their duties - as mostly happens - or not - as it is rarely the case of some people for certain personal circumstances. It is worth mentioning here that any ruling on a specific thing is based on its predominant but not its rare or exceptional nature. On the other hand, being too busy to listen to the broadcasted Qur'an is not a Rukhsah (concession) for someone to listen to distraction that will increase the carelessness of their hearts to adhere to the truth, take them further away from beneficial practices, or make them more interested in songs and similar things that tempt to evil and spoil hearts. Rather, they have to get some rest and relaxation without resorting to harmful things or practices leading to them. Finally, `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "Songs plant hypocrisy in (Part No. 26; Page No. 238) the heart as water plants legumes."May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.