Is music forbidden?

Is it really haraam (forbidden) to listen to music? I am from a culture that is rich in music and I am living in a culture that expresses itself through music.

It’s a popular fatwa (religious opinion) that is deeply flawed. Its basis is two pieces of evidence:

1. The interpretation of Ibn Abbaas, may God have been pleased with him, of verse 31:6. What’s wrong with it is that it is his interpretation only and not something the Prophet, peace be upon him, said. It also makes no sense since music is not discourse.

2. A hadeeth without a narration chain (Mu`allaq) that Al-Bukhaari mentions as a comment, not as one of the authentic hadeeths in his book. The hadeeth bundles music bands and female dancers at parties with drunks. Clearly the reference in that hadeeth is to night-club type parties, not to music per se. That could very well be the reason Ibn Abbaas interpreted 31:6 that way: he never knew music in any context other than wild parties.

Nobody who has said that music is forbidden has ever bothered to say why, or to refute the documented evidence that music can be beneficial and healing. Nobody has ever explained what possible evil can come from listening to Rachmaninoff’s second piano concerto!

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