Trying to Quit Music?

October 19, 2007

As Muslims, we want our last words in this life to be the shahadah, our declaration of faith, not the lyrics to some song.  Subhana’Allah, music is something one’s heart can become addicted to so easily.  However, there are ‘techniques’ we can use so that we can decrease how much we listen to music as music can easily lead our hearts astray. 

Even though I follow the opinion that “music” is not permissible, I understand there is a difference of opinion in this subject.  Therefore, I will stay away from discussing the fiqhi issue on music as I am no scholar. 

However, I would recommend to the person who wavers in their decision of whether or not they want to listen to music to consider the hadith of Rasoolullah (SAW) in which he said, “”Both legal and illegal things are evident but in between them there are doubtful (suspicious) things and most of the people have no knowledge about them. So whoever saves himself from these suspicious things saves his religion and his honor. And whoever indulges in these suspicious things is like a shepherd who grazes (his animals) near the Hima (private pastures) of someone else and at any moment he is liable to get in it. (O People!) Beware! Every king has a Hima and the Hima of Allah on the earth is His illegal (forbidden) things. Beware! There is a piece of flesh in the body if it becomes good (reformed) the whole body becomes good but if it gets spoiled the whole body gets spoiled. And that is the Heart” (narrated by Bukhari).  To say the least, indeed, the issue of music is doubtful, so let us save our religion, honor, and heart!

In terms of personal reflections on how to leave music, it is a simple process.  Subhana’Allah, some people are able to do such deeds cold turkey where they decide to do something one day and the same day, they implement want they want to.  However, this technique is hard for the majority of people as one becomes prone to return to his or her old ways as is the case with some Muslims in terms of the deen.  May Allah (SWT) protect us.  Ameen.  My personal recommendation would be to leave music in steps or stages with a target date set for each step.  For example, one could give up one genre of music at a time (as I did).  Another way to give up music in stages would be to eliminate the places/times where one can listen to music.  For example, listen to lectures, nasheeds, or the recitation of the Holy Quran instead of the radio in your car.  No doubt, I have become a nasheed fan over time.

Subhana’Allah, we waste so much time listening to music when instead we could be accumulating knowledge (I even listened to MCAT CDs in the car when I was studying for the MCAT).  Furthermore, we can garner soo many good deeds in our remembrance of Allah (SWT) by listening to the Quran or Islamic lectures.  Indeed, when we do something solely for the sake of Allah (SWT), we will see the perks of such deeds.  For example, Rasoolullah (SAW) said, “Whoever says, ‘Subhan Allah wa bihamdihi’ (Glorified is Allah and praised is He), one hundred times a day, will be forgiven all his sins even if they were as much as the foam of the sea” (narrated by Bukhari).  We could definitely take advantage of this hadith in our milk-runs to the supermarket!

May Allah (SWT) accept our deeds.  Ameen.

In closing, consider the statement of Abdullah ibn Masud, the companion of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as Ibn Masud said, “The love of the Quran and the love of music cannot combine in the heart of a believer.”  How true…

18 Responses to “Trying to Quit Music?”

  1. Umm Atiyya Says:

    As Salaamu Alaikum;

    What a nice blog! It’s very focused on deen issues and not extraneous stuff.

    The first thing that went was my whistling. I used to love to whistle. It calmed me. But then I heard about how whitstling calls the shayaateen. I quit almost over night.

    I had a bit of a tough time giving up one particular thing while giving up music: Bob Marley. (Well, actually two, first it was Prince, but I got over it after about a month.) I had been listening to Bob Marley from waaaaaayy back. When I began to visit Jamaica and fell in love with the place, that just sealed it. But when I became Muslim and went to the Masjid in Kingston and heard the imam talk about doing good deeds as soon as you are able and not delaying them, I said okay, this is it for me. So I went home and packed up aaallll of Bob. Even “No Woman, No Cry.” Every other musician and singer went out by the curbside “no problem” for the yard sale. But Bob stayed packed up in that box for a good three years. Never took him out. Never peaked. Just couldn’t seem to totally get rid of him.

    It wasn’t until I began to pursue the study of tajweed that I finally let him go. I began to be almost consumed by the different qaris, and qirat and maqams and the legendary qaris from long ago. My Qur’an teacher is so awesome that she made me really strive to memorize and implement what I was reciting. Subhanallah, may Allah protect her.

    Now, the “music” to my ears is recitations by Khalid al-Qitani, Abdul Basit, Haroon Baqi, Mohammed al-Ra’ee and my favorite, Mishary bin Rashid al-Afasy. Subhanallah. When you leave off something haram or questionable for the sake of Allah, He really does replace it with what is better. Wa alhamdulillah.

  2. Jordan Says:

    I have many questions because I am ignorant in this matter, and I am not a Muslim. What exactly do you mean by “music”? Do you just mean music made by non-Muslims? I noticed you posted a music video by Ahmed Bukhatir earlier. Is that not music? Is there anywhere in the Qur’an that specifically addresses this? Doesn’t the Tawrat endorse music?

    • Anonymous Says:

      im happy for your interest in this topic there is a lecture by abu mussab wajdi akkari that will answer all of your questions it’s called “the classical hit… it’s bad” i hope it will answer all your questions.

  3. Umm Atiyya Says:

    Good you asked before making assumptions. Sign of a smart person. I am in NO WAY a scholar, so I can only relate to you what I understand, and my understanding is faulty because I am not a scholar. Most people understand music to mean what you hear from instruments; horns, strings, keys, etc., even some persussive instruments. It can include the voice with musical accompaniment or just the instrument alone or just the voice alone. There is some difference of opinion on the matter and one can get into long and specific dicussions about semantics and certain Arabic words that can mean music or song, etc.

    There is a verse in the Qur’an in Surah Luqman, verse 6 which some have interpreted to indicate music. The translation of the meaning of the verse is

    “And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks (i.e. music, singing, etc.) to mislead men from the Path of Allah without knowledge, and takes it (the Path of Allah, the Verses of the Qur’an) by way of mockery. For such there will be a humiliating torment (in the Hell-fire).”

    I am not qualified to analize this verse, but it is thought by numerous scholars both contemporary and in the past that music does lead one to forget about Allah and focus on whatever thing or emotion the music is stirring up. Think about how when you’ve heard a song that somehow touched some memory or evoked some response in you and you can’t get the thing out of your head for a day or two! Music and song can be so seductive that a well written or composed one can take your mind off troubles, stir memories of a forgotten person, elicit an emotion, etc.

    As Muslims, we are encouraged to remember Allah and this religion and the lessons we read in Quran and the traditions of Muhammad (peace be upon him) that help us be better Muslims.

    A lot of people are in doubt about music and its place in Islam. But Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) gave us a hadith, (a saying or action of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him) a great, sensible and practical way to deal with things that you are uncertain will affect your faith:

    The halal(permissible) is clear and the haram(prohibited) is clear. Between the two there are doubtful matters concerning which people do not know whether they are halal or haram. One who avoids them in order to safeguard his religion and his honor is safe, while if someone engages in a part of them he may be doing something haram, like one who grazes his animals near the hima (the grounds reserved for animals belonging to the King which are out of bounds for others’ animals); it is thus quite likely that some of his animals will stray into it. Truly, every king has a hima, and the hima of Allah is what He has prohibited. (Reported by al-Bukhari’ Muslim, and others; the narration is taken from al Tirmidhi.)

    So we try to be on the safe side by not engaging in what is uncertain so that we don’t fall into what might be haram. If you have further questions your best course would be to go visit a masjid (mosque) in your area. Ask to speak to the imam about your question and any others you may have. Don’t worry, he won’t bite your head off. When you approach a Muslim respectfully with a sincere question about some aspect of the religion you’ll come away with a better understanding of the topic, of Muslims and Islam.

  4. Umm nowun Says:

    look yehh
    some muslims say its haram others say it aint
    who are you to tell people what to do
    if they quit they quit you aint gona get the credit so dont hype it tuu us

  5. Umm nowun Says:

    im sorry sometimes my words come out wrong. subhanalah im looking at what i wrote and im shocked.. may allah forgive me.. you put up this blog for the sake of the ummah and to save us sins.. alhamdulilah may allah guide you towards the straight pathh

  6. Umm nowun Says:

    by the way im only 14 years of age..
    and i dont know how to give up music.. i just love it,,, i stopeed listening to other artists but its so many i listen to .. its too hard.. pray for me and make dua for a little sister in need of some advice

    allah yarhamukk

  7. Umm nowun Says:


    IM OFF

  8. mrd junayd Says:

    I am in the same situation as Umm Atiyya. I dont know if Bob Marley’s music is addictive to some sort of muslims – maybe someone should sing nasheed with the same flow as Bob did – it would be great to listen to. But anyway I am also at the stage of trying to get rid of aproximately 12 albums that I have of Bob Marley. Still its just mp3’s so I am waiting for my determent to rise so I can press that delete button and finish it. I also just succeed giving up all other genres including music from my origin country Algeria but Bob just hangs in there. I will try to listen to more Qur’an tajwid and hope it will free me like Umm Atiyya. May Allah show forgiveness and mercy upon us all wassalamu alaykum

  9. amran Says:

    Masha allah, thanks for sharing that with us! I have been slowly trying to cut down on listening to music yeah its hard as I use to listen to slow jamz almost 24/7 almost for 2 years ago I gave away my cd’s even though i dont listen that often I do get the urges once in a while..but insha allah after readin through the above responses I couldnt agree more quran and music cant be in the heart of the beliver..may allah make it easy for all of us who aim to quit this terrible addiction.

  10. amran Says:

    Mishary bin Rashid al-Afasy is truely an amazing recitor thanks for sharing that with us Umm Atiyya jaz khyr

  11. Raheema Says:

    Jazakallah. That was a very nice article and Inshallah many Muslims, and non- Muslims alike, will benefit from it(Ameen)When I started quiting music, 1 week ago Subhanallah, Any lyric, note, or melody that came into my head was rejected and sent away by my constant Zhikr of Astaghfirullah. However by the third day I loosened up and listened to some music, not from an iPod or the radio but whatever was recorded in my head. Now, today, I looked for help on the famous search of the world wide web(internet) “Google”!!! And Subhanallah you have done a rightmost deed delivering it to me, and may I add that it was nicely delivered. I have another step- by- step procedure instead of quitting by genre, one may only be restricted to listen to and/ or sing a certain amount of songs in a day according to the way believe it is best for them or how it is made easy on them instead og being a burden.

  12. Diamond Says:

    This blog helped me understand a bit better so thank you very much.May Allah bless you!

  13. Tom Says:

    The idea of music being forbidden is one of many things that really peeves me off about Islam.
    I listen to music, I whistle, I’ve studied music since I was a kid and I want to make music my career. Why should that be forbidden? Because a few muslims couldn’t balance their religion with the rest of their lives and decided to use music as a scapegoat? Because they don’t know how to have a good time? Because they can’t use things in moderation, showing a lack of self control amongst muslims?
    Excuse my language, but it’s fucking ridiculous. I don’t like to insult anyone’s way of life, and this isn’t an attack on any of you personally, but there are some things I just can’t stand about Islam.

    Aside from that little rant of mine, may peace be upon EVERYONE in the world.

  14. Aziza Says:

    I enjoy this article and the fact that it leaves the situation in Allah’s hands. You are not trying to force feed us and say MUSIC IS HARAM, you are simply telling us to think about it. Great reminder, may Allah reward you!
    For me personally, I am still on the fence about the issue. I’ve found it helpful to be extremely careful about what I listen to and I always try to somehow tie the music back to remembering Allah. For example, I’ll listen to Enya and try to think of Allah’s beautiful creation. Still, music has always been a weakness for me and I find it difficult to not let it take over my whole being. SO….I tried to channel this love for music to nasheeds instead and now I have them stuck in my head instead of Lady Gaga. 🙂

  15. True Believer Says:

    MashAllah, brilliant page. Thanks for all the advice.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    How do you quite music if your phone can download free music and you have youtube…I tryed to quit so many times and yet I always go back. I know its harm to listen to music but I heard that phrase so many time that it doesn’t have a efect on me. The funny thing is I never use to listen to music till last year. I read the Quran every day and try to pray my five daily prayer but I also listen to music as well.. I waste so much time instead of doing my hw or cleaning I would listen to it instead..sometimes I can listen up to five hours or more. Please I need your help.. I can’t do it by myself although I use to tell I can…

  17. Ahl Feroz Says:

    Mashallah very well said, I fully agree!

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