Bismillah,

This is my second post regarding music in Islam. The first one is here.

Quote from Shabir Ally regarding the status of music in Islam. I edited the format of the paragraph for better reading.
The following text were taken from http://www.islaminfo.com/new/qa.asp

Question: I play guitar for almost ten years now im trying to become religious and now i am in a fix whether i have to leave the total music? Or will be a sinner if i continue with music. I have read the whole Quran but didn’t find anything straight about leaving music /haram as it is declared about “WINE”. But in some hadis it is told that music is prohibited but specially for instruments with strings.So Please make my confusion clear if there is any qouts /ayat from QURAN about denying music then please let me know.

Answer: A basic principle in Islam will serve as a background to the answer. Classical scholars, in order to guard matters relating to worship from innovations, have adopted the principle that in this area of Islam nothing is permissible unless proven so in a text from the Quran or the Sunnah. On the other hand, in order to allow for growth and change in other areas, they have also held that things are permissible unless proven otherwise by a clear and authentic text of revelation. Hence if music is to be declared impermissible it must be done so on the basis of a clear and authentic text.

As you noted there is no such in the Quran on this subject. As for the hadith, although some texts have been advanced in this regard, as far as I am aware none of them are authentic. Hence we cannot on this basis declare music to be forbidden. On the other hand, we can look at the content, effects, and associations related to various sorts of music and form an opinion of them on that basis, though such a formulation of opinion will not have the force of a clear textual ruling. Some music have clearly bad content, others clearly good, yet others somewhere in between.

The same may be said of the effects the music has on an individual. Does it propel you towards goodness as nasheeds do, or prompt you towards evil? Or is the effect not clear? I mention effect separately from content only to provide another window of analysis, otherwise there is obviously a close connection between content and effect.

Associations also matter. Some music is associated with people who live very unislamic lifestyles. Others with good people. When one is attracted to good people one also becomes attracted to things associated with them. As a corollary to this, when one is not attracted to unislamic lifestyles, one is not attracted to the music and other paraphernalia associated with those lifestyles. Looking at it from the other angle, one may want to avoid the sort of music which may help foster an attraction for people who live very unislamic lifestyles.

In short, if we are to rule something impermissible then it must be done so on the basis of a clear and authentic text, none of which exists on this subject, and individual judgement aided by scholarly advice must play a greater role. As an illustration of this, consider the eating of bananas. We do not have to prove that eating bananas is halal. But if anyone were to claim that it is haram such a claimant will have to furnish the evidence from a text. Yet individuals will have to judge how much and which types of bananas to consume. Too much is bad for health. Individual tastes will prefer some bananas over others. Some bananas are sweet, as are the sweet figs and honey bananas. Others are sour. More to our point, some bananas are as rotten as are some sorts of music. Let the listener beware. Shabir

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Shabir Ally is one of my favorite scholar in the field of comparative religion. If you’re interested in that field and you want to see some videos of the discussions and debates that he did, just search his name on youtube and you will find plenty. I’m not big on debates but those videos are a rich source of information.

Wassalamu alaikum.

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