Based on answers from questions like (Music in Islam?), it seems that music is haraam.

My question is, has Islamdefined for muslims what music is?

For example, is music:

  1. singing without musical notes from musical instruments?
  2. singing with musical notes from musical instruments?
  3. musical notes from musical instruments without singing?
  4. singing without musical notes from the human mouth?
  5. singing with musical notes from the human mouth?
  6. musical notes from the human mouth without singing?
  7. singing without musical notes from non musical instruments?
  8. singing with musical notes from non musical instruments?
  9. musical notes from non musical instruments without singing?
  10. singing without musical notes from natural sources?
  11. singing with musical notes from natural sources?
  12. musical notes from natural sources without singing?
  13. any combination or all of the above?
  14. something totally different which is not in the list above?

When I say musical instrument, I mean an instrument produced specifically for creating musical notes. When I say non musical instrument, I mean an instrument used to create musical notes where the instrument was not created specifically for musical purposes, i.e. when a person produces drum like sounds using his hands on a hard surface such as a table. When I say human mouth, I mean when a person produces musical instrumental type sounds via his mouth. When I say natural sources, I mean the sound of the ocean, a bird tweeting etc etc.

If Islam has defined what music is, please provide authentic sources, Quran and/or Hadith, and/or fatwa's which provide evidence using Quran and/or Hadith. If no such authentic references exist, can anyone provide an example of music used in the days of the prophet of Islam, which was used as an example of music?

I ask this question because to me, music is anything which sounds pleasing, i.e. a childs laughter, the sound of the ocean, a tree rustling in the wind, someone tapping musical taps on a table, someone playing something which sounds nice on a piano, someone playing something which sounds nice on a violin etc etc.

Whereas to me, music is not the sound of a child crying, large ocean waves crashing into rocks, a piano used to produce a horrible sound, a violin used to produce a horrible sound.

If you think about all these literally, they are all forms of sound waves pleasing to the human ear based on personal preference. For example, some people might hate the sound of the ocean, while others love it. Some people hate the sound of a piano, while others love it.

So I am hoping that music has been defined in Islam for Muslims. What I don't want to do is stop listening to music based on what I think music is. I want to stop listening to music based on what the Islamic definition of music is. If I use my definition, then I can't listen to a child laughing, the ocean waves, a nice tune from a piano, where at the same time, it would be ok for me to listen to a child crying, crashing ocean waves on rocks and a rubbish tune on a piano, as I don't consider them music... I wouldn't want to give up on listening to a child laughing, as that type of sound wave is music for me!

So, just incase the question is not clear. What is the Islamic definition of music.

(Sunni view prefered, but would be interested to read about other views too)

  • < Comments Deleted > Please do not use comments to answer the question, please only use the answer feature to answer the question. Thank you.
    – مجاهد
    Mar 23, 2013 at 20:39
  • have a look here it's describe exactly what you want islamqa.info/en/ref/5000
    – 7addan
    Apr 8, 2013 at 9:20

1 Answer 1


Definition: Music includes sounds and songs which take the human to a world that he cannot explain about. It dominates the human's nerves in a way that sometimes makes him cry and some other times makes him laugh, sometimes makes the human organs move unconsciously, sometimes excites love and passion and sometimes makes a slave out of the human and rules his brain, mind and psyche.

There are two kinds of music: Natural and Artificial.

The natural music includes the sound of flowing waterfalls, moving branches in the wind, the song of nightingales and so on. These sounds and songs not only do not harm the human, but also increases the power of thinking and reasoning in him.

On the other hand, the artificial music includes man-made songs which itself consists of different types:

  • Some of them excite transcendental and spiritual feelings in the listener, reminds him the God and heaven, and reduces his interest to this world. In one word, they ground the religious experience which is the ultimate goal of every mystic.

  • However, some others are produced and consumed simply to excite lust or materialistic and animalistic tendencies. These musics are said to be Haraam.

And Allah knows best


Source (in Persian)

  • 1
    also we have mouth-produced songs without instrumental musics, they are also Halal in most (not all) cases. About the first class of man made musics that you discussed although they are not Haram but some scholars believe they are discouraged or even احتیاطا حرام, for example see the idea of Ayatullah Bahjat about musics. Also there are many other musics which belong to none of these two groups, they might also be Halal as long as they are not specifically proper for sinful gatherings and parties.
    – owari
    Apr 9, 2013 at 23:29
  • 1
    @owari Agreed. However, I don't think that using or not using an instrument could be a good measurement for detecting Haraam musics. The key point seems to be the music's influence on the listener.
    – Zahra E
    Apr 10, 2013 at 6:41
  • 1
    @Ezati Jazaklahir for the beautiful explaination, however it seems has no reference to any Islamic materials that at least, recognizable. Most importantly, the reference is a dead link, beside the fact that none of its reference has been pull out and indicated in the answer. Plz improve. I.e. some sort of reference number of hadith / quran / such.
    – Adam
    Jan 21, 2015 at 22:02

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