I have a growing interest in learning how to play the guitar and piano because I enjoyed playing the keyboard as a little girl in school and have been interested in learning how to play guitar from the same age. However, upon asking different Muslims, some have said it is outright forbidden, whereas others have expressed that they see nothing wrong with it. I have also encountered a hadith in which the Prophet (pbuh) says "Among my ummah there will certainly be people who permit zina, silk, alcohol, and musical instruments..." which sounds as if it isn't encouraged. Could I please get some more opinions on this subject?


  • NazminA


    So this is a completely non-scholarly reply based on my own thoughts and feelings but hear me out - There is so much research out there that shows music therapy has lots of benefits. Dementia UK have said music can help people with dementia express their thoughts and feelings. It can uplift moods and reduce depression. It can help aid physical movement/exercise. It can reduce social isolation. It can help give an individual purpose. It is a universal language that can bind all individuals, communities and cultures together. If music and musical instruments have so many benefits, how can it be a bad thing?

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  • ZaraS


    This is one of those topics that will have a thousand different answers, depending on whom you ask! Music is everywhere, so does hearing even a few seconds of a melody make us sinful? And when we talk about 'music' what are we actually narrowing the discussion down too? Melodies on their own or with lyrical components? The Qu'ran says nothing about whether music is permissible and some of the most famous scholars, jurists, philosophers and Sufi poets, such as Rumi and al-Ghazali, saw music as permissible. The hadith you quoted could relate to the usage of musical instruments as music in worship is not allowed. Notice how nasheeds are more acapella then a musical composition. The Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran has spoken openly and admired his love for Western music and music is even permitted in Iran (although only Iranian folk, classical or pop music). In fact, many modern-day instruments derived from Arabia and even words for these instruments come from the Arabic language such as Lute (al'ud), fiddle (kamancha) and harps (Qanun). These wouldn't exist if there were no musical instruments in the Islamic world. I'd say - go for it! Learning to play a musical instrument has so many benefits from increasing the capacity of your memory, enhancing your coordination and improving your reading and comprehension skills. I, myself, played the piano for five years and even contemplated taking up the violin!

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  • Shai


    Well the primary source which is the Quran does not mention anything. Surely if it was something so major it would have been mentioned there. As for the hadith you mention which is often used to justify a very conservative stance on this issue, however, analysing the issue objectively, it cannot be used for an outright total prohibition because not all playing of instruments or singing even leads to sinful acts or lead you astray from God's path. There are so many people now using music positively. It is frustrating that scholars and others point out all the things one cannot do and the punishments associated with Islam. Yet if anyone reads the Quran and made a note of the number of times God says 'He is forgiving and merciful' and that 'small sins are wiped away with away with good deeds' one would lose count! If you are still confused think about Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) when he converted to Islam he was told something similar and he stopped playing the guitar and singing. I understand then he regretted this and eventually after many years started again and he uses his music positively. My advice is go for it and play the instruments. i wish i could play an instrument. My son bought a guitar recently and is learning to play it!

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