The Hadith about the listener to singing having molten lead poured into their ears

Q 4: I read and heard the following Hadith in which the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, Anyone who listens to singing will have molten lead poured into their ears on the Day of Resurrection. Is this Hadith Sahih (authentic)? I also read and heard of another Hadith in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, Verily, singing produces hypocrisy in hearts as water produces grass. Is this Hadith Sahih or not?What is the ruling on a person who listens to songs including all kinds of music but not in their houses, such as in a car or in other places where they have no control over them?


A: Listening entails paying attention to a sound produced and being inclined to it. Accordingly, listening to songs entails being inclined to them. However, there are two kinds of listening; attentive listening which is described as voluntary listening and takes its same ruling, and inattentive listening which cannot be described as voluntary listening and does not take its same ruling.Consequently, listening to songs including all kinds of music - as referred to in the question - is Haram (prohibited), both for men and women and 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). (Part No. 26; Page No. 230) The singing mentioned 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". Anyone who 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 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 until 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 and listening to them. He included using musical instruments among the other major sinful acts 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. (Part No. 26; Page No. 231) 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 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 scope.A group of scholars prove their case by using authentic evidence and then try to support it by citing Hadith which have some weakness, whether in their Sanad (chain of narrators) or significance. Such Hadith do not invalidate their case, which is already proven by other authentic evidence, because they have only cited them by way of citation and not for the sake of using them as reliable evidence.The following are a few examples of these Hadith which are cited by some scholars about the issue of prohibiting singing and listening to songs after already proving this prohibition using authentic evidence. Hence, the fact that the Hadith being cited - after proving the prohibition using authentic evidence - are questionable do not affect their proven case. Al-Tirmidhy related on the authority of Abu Musa Al-Ash`ary that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, Anyone who listens to the sound of singing will not be permitted to listen to the Qur'an reciters in Jannah (Paradise). Another example was related by Ibn `Asakir on the authority of Anas that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, Whoever listens to a girl singer will have (Part No. 26; Page No. 232) molten lead poured into their ears on the Day of Resurrection. When dispraising musical instruments, Ibn Abul-Dunya related on the authority of Ibn Mas`ud that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, Singing produces hypocrisy in the heart as water produces grass. It was related by Al-Bayhaqy on the authority of Jabir that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, Singing produces hypocrisy in the heart as water produces plants. Moreover, it was related by Abu Dawud on the authority of Sallam ibn Miskin from a shaykh who witnessed Abu Wa'il in a Walimah (wedding dinner) where the attendants kept playing and singing that Abu Wa'il sat and said that he heard `Abdullah saying that he heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saying, Singing produces hypocrisy in the heart. Although these are weak Hadith, their weakness does not affect the prohibition of singing and listening to songs, because this prohibition is already proven by other evidence taken from the Qur'an and Sunnah. Allah is the One Who grants success!May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.


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