Is music really haram? It’s the question almost everyone wants to argue about and the debate that never seems to end.
And before you drop the “Haram Police” card and get ready to prepare an essay response in the comments, can I just say that I’m not here to argue the different rulings and opinions on musical instruments, singing, beat boxing, drums and what not. I’m not even going to go there.
I’m going to be doing something different.
I want us to answer this question for ourselves, openly and honestly. In fact, we can even forget the question of is music really haram.
Let’s instead just ask the question:
Is Music harmful?
And when we say music, I’m going to be very blank, I’m referring to the music that the majority of people are listening to today because that’s what we should be concerned about. The music that’s on our radios, TV’s, phones and iTunes playlists on repeat. The songs that are topping the charts week-in-week-out and have us memorizing their lyrics from A-Z. This is the music I’m referring to.
Should we, as Muslims be fine listening to this stuff?
Well, let’s take a look for yourselves and decide.
The Hot 100 Billboard Charts has these songs topping the charts for the current week.
Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber
“You fit me tailor-made, love how you put it on
Got the only key, know how to turn it on“
DJ Khaled, Rhianna, Bryson Teller
“I don’t know if you could take it
Know you wanna see me nakey, nakey, naked”
That’s what I like
“Go pop it for a player, pop-pop it for me
Turn around and drop it for a player, drop-drop it for me”
“I’m the One”
DJ Khaled, Justin Bieber, Lil Wayne, Quavo
“Roll my eyes
And when she on the molly she a zombie”
“If you loved the girl then I’m so, so sorry
I got to give it to her like we in a marriage
No, no I won’t tell nobody”
“If you want drama, Grab the Uzi”.
A quick Google search of the lyrics of these songs will let you know exactly the kinds of messages they contain. You honestly don’t have to read far until you come across references to drugs, sexual promiscuity, violence or alcohol. Even when lyrics can seem somewhat innocent, they are underlined with the most vulgar and shameless of meanings. And the saddest part of it all, there’s even some Muslims actually making these songs.
Yes, I’m sure we can argue all day that not all songs are this bad and there are some “good songs” out there, but the fact of the matter is the statistics speak for themselves when they mention that the vast majority of today’s music is riddled with such references and as the day’s go by content is only getting worse.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not here to argue the Islamic rulings on instruments and the various opinions of scholars on music, because, in all honesty, these opinions are irrelevant when we consider them in light of the music being listened to today. I mean, do you seriously want to argue the permissibility of instruments when Muslims are listening to Nicki Minaj?
We can go ahead and argue that we’re strong and that the music isn’t necessarily influencing us, but the fact of the matter is – it does. And whether you realize it or not, when you constantly grant such music free access to your ears, it is affecting you. It’s normalizing the worst of sins to the point we can sing about them happily and joyfully.
And if you were so sure that the things you listen to won’t affect your life, why not switch up a music playlist with some Quran and see what change it would have in your life. Even if you don’t understand a word being recited, just listen to it and see what kind of impact it will leave on your soul. Before you ask is music really haram, think about this; there’s no denying that our ears are gateways into our hearts and we should be very careful who we allow access to.
See this article by Yaqeen Institute on Islamic Ethics.
And lastly, I know we all have shortcomings and weaknesses, and I know not all of us are the perfect ideal Muslims – but the least we can do is acknowledge that it’s wrong so that perhaps we can start making an effort to change.
May Allah help us all.