Is listening to music haram? Talking about music and songs in Islam is indeed an exciting conversation, especially about whether listening to music is haram or halal in Islam. So, regarding the law of hearing music, singing, songs, and various forms of beautiful voices, there are differences of opinion among scholars. Some scholars allow it and some forbid it.
In listening to music in Islam, the famous Islamic scholar Imam al-Ghazali raised the opinion that it is forbidden to hear music and who allows it. However, in his book Ihya Ulumuddin, al-Ghazali responds to the opinion of the scholars who forbid listening to music.
Imam al Ghazali Opinion: Whether Listening to Music Haram?
Here we try to bring up Imam Ghazali’s opinion about “is listening to music Haram”. So, please read to the end.
So, in Hujjatul Islam Imam al-Ghazali’s review, it tends to allow listening to music, singing, songs and the like. The following is a quote in the book of Ihya Ulumuddin:
اعلم أن قول القائل السماع حرام معناه أن الله تعالى يعاقب عليه وهذا أمر لا يعرف بمجرد العقل بل بالسمع ومعرفة الشرعيات محصورة في النص أو القياس على المنصوص وأعنى بالنص ما أظهره صلى الله عليه و سلم بقوله أو فعله وبالقياس المعنى المفهوم من ألفاظه وأفعاله فإن لم يكن فيه نص ولم يستقم فيه قياس على منصوص بطل القول بتحريمه وبقى فعلا لا حرج فيه كسائر المباحات ولا يدل على تحريم السماع نص ولا قياس ويتضح ذلك في جوابنا عن أدلة المائلين إلى التحريم ومهما تم الجواب عن أدلتهم كان ذلك مسلكا كافيا في إثبات هذا الغرض لكن نستفتح ونقول قد دل النص والقياس جميعا على إباحته أما القياس فهو أن الغناء اجتمعت فيه معان ينبغي أن يبحث عن افرادها ثم عن مجموعها فإن فيه سماع صوت طيب موزون مفهوم المعنى محرك للقلب فالوصف الاعم انه صوت طيب ثم الطيب ينقسم إلى الموزون وغيره والموزون ينقسم إلى المفهوم كالاشعار والى غير المفهوم كأصوات الجمادات وسائر الحيوانات أما سماع الصوت الطيب من حيث إنه طيب فلا ينبغي أن يحرم بل هو حلال بالنص والقياس
It means, “You know, the opinion that says, ‘The activity of hearing (singing, sounding, or music) is haram’ must be understood that Allah will punish someone for that activity.” . The way to know the laws of syara’ (religion), is limited to texts and qiyas against texts. What I mean by ‘nash’ is what the Prophet (PBUH) explained through his words and actions. Meanwhile, what I mean by ‘qiyas’ is an analogical understanding that is understood from the words and actions of the Prophet himself. If there is not a single text and qiyas argument against the text on the matter of listening to this song or music, then the opinion that prohibits it is invalid. That is, listening to singing or music is still an activity that is not worth sin, just like other permissible activities.
However, at a glance we see that listening to music and others, there is not a single argument that is nash, qiyas which forbids it. This is clear when we look at the arguments presented by groups that forbid music and singing. Where in this case, the argumentation of giyas and texts shown does not point to haram but to the permissible (permissibility) of hearing music and singing or songs.
If we look at Qiyas, then when we look at this argument the word “sound” is something that needs to be studied separately or as a whole. This word indicates the activity of hearing something beautiful, rhythmic, and understandable, and can touch feelings.
More generally “sound” means something beautiful. The beautiful sound is a sound that is rhythmic, heard in a pattern, and is also divided into those that are not rhythmic. Meanwhile, rhythmic sounds can be divided into sounds that can be understood, such as poetry, and divided into sounds that cannot be understood, such as certain sounds that are not in the form of language. So, hearing something beautiful, when viewed from the side of beauty, does not immediately become hateful, even the sound that arises from the movement of inanimate objects or animals is lawful to hear based on texts and qiyas arguments. (See Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali, Ihya Ulumiddin, Egypt, Mustafa Al-Babi Al-Halabi, years 1358 H/1939 H, Juz 2, page 268).
From the explanation above, Imam Ghazali did not find any texts that clearly forbid listening to music or songs. Even if there are texts that forbid music, it is not because of the music itself, not because of its beauty, but because of other factors called (amrun ‘aridhi) For example, music because it is accompanied by immorality such as music accompanied by gambling, adultery, drunkenness. – drunkenness and other things that neglect the obligation.
So, according to Imam al-Ghazali the activity of listening to music and singing itself is lawful. He separates between music and singing as well as things that are in the form of immorality which makes listening to music unlawful.
Thus our brief review of the law of listening to music in Islam is in accordance with the opinion of Imam al-Ghazali. However, of course there are opinions of other scholars who forbid it even to the point that musical instruments are forbidden. This is the diversity of laws in Islam according to the ijtihat of the scholars (ulama) and looking at certain factors.