Reason for prohibition of music not being clearly mentioned in Quran

28 Jul 2021 Ref-No#: 3219

Why didn’t Allah clearly mention that music is impermissible in the Qur’an? Assalamu Alaikum. From Sahih Bukhari Hadith No. 5590 we find that music is impermissible. However, as Allah سبحانه وتعٰلىٰ states “He (has) explained in detail to you what He (has) forbidden”. Seeing as he explained in detail to you that which was forbidden, why didn’t Allah clearly mention that music is impermissible in the Qur’an?


Wa’alaykum as Salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

The exegesis or explanation of the Qur’ān is at times done by other verses of the Qur’ān, and at times done by the prophetic traditions.

In line with the statement of Allāh (found in the Qur’ān), that you have mentioned, Allāh Ta’ālā says:

“Then it is surely upon Us to make it clear (to you)” [Al-Qur’ān 75:19]

In the aforementioned verse, Allāh tells us that the explanation to the Qur’ān, apart from other verses, would also be taught to the Prophet ﷺ. Therefore, the Sunnah also holds a weighty status in terms of ‘explaining in detail what Allāh has forbidden’.

After having established the above-mentioned aspects, let us analyze the following verse:

“And of mankind he who purchases idle talks to mislead (people) from the Path of Allah without knowledge, and takes it (the Path of Allah) by way of mockery, For such there will be a humiliating torment.” [Al-Qur’ān 31:6]

Al-Wāhidī (may Allāh be pleased with him), along with other scholars of Tafsīr (exegesis of the Qur’ān) who were the companions and direct students of the Prophet ﷺ said that ‘idle talk’ in this verse refers to ‘singing’.

Since music, in general, is coupled with singing, it will not be permissible.

One may further argue that not all types of music are coupled with singing, and hence, those types which are free from the element of singing should be permissible.

In response to this argument, there exists the prophetic tradition wherein the Prophet ﷺ said:

“From among my followers, there will be some people who will consider illegal sexual intercourse, the wearing of silk, the drinking of alcoholic drinks, and the use of musical instruments, as lawful. And there will be some people who will stay near the side of a mountain and in the evening their shepherd will come to them with their sheep and ask them for something, but they will say to him, ‘Return to us tomorrow.’ Allah will destroy them during the night and will let the mountain fall on them, and He will transform the rest of them into monkeys and pigs and they will remain so till the Day of Resurrection.” [Al-Bukhārī]

This Hadeeth states that musical instruments too are Ḥarām, and there is no disagreement among the scholars regarding this.

When the Prophet ﷺ  said, ‘render as lawful,’ he meant that it was unlawful, then the people made it lawful.”

Abū Hurayrah (may Allāh be pleased with him) has also narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said:

A group of this nation will be transformed into monkeys and swine.” They said, “Do not they testify that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammed is His Messenger?” He said, “Yes. And also they fast pray and perform Hajj.” They said, “Then, what is their problem?” He said, “They use musical instruments, drums, and female singers. (One day) they will go to sleep after a night of drinking and having fun, In the morning, they will be transformed (by Allah) into monkeys and swine.”

From the above-formulated response, it is clear that the prohibition of music is from the Qur’ān, irrespective of whether it has been mentioned explicitly or ambiguously.

For mankind is such that if Allāh had explicitly mentioned ‘music’ instead of ‘idle talk’ it would allow for all other practices which make one heedless of Allāh to be permissible and only prohibit music.

Lastly, it should be noted that Allāh is Al-Ḥakīm (The All-Wise). When Allāh prohibits a certain practice, it is done so solely from His ultimate wisdom, taking into consideration the best interest of mankind at large. There have been numerous books written regarding the harmful effects of music.

I further implore you to read the book titled ‘Music Made Me Do It’ authored by Gohar Mushtaq for more insight on this matter. Please also refer to the following link:

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