Ramadan is the month of fasting for the Muslim community. In this holy month, Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset. They also refrain from smoking, sexual activity, and sinful behavior.
Islamic scholars have different opinions regarding the permissibility of music, both in Ramadan and in general. While some scholars consider listening to music haram, others consider it permissible. Moreover, of the scholars that consider music to be halal, some consider instrumental music to be impermissible.
We will now explore the different opinions of Islamic scholars and the Islamic sources they refer to.
1- Is It Haram To Listen To Music During Ramadan?
The answer to this question depends on which Islamic school of thought you follow. Some schools of thought consider all music to be impermissible, while others believe that listening to music is halal in general.
Some scholars, however, consider listening to music to be impermissible during the holy month of Ramadan. The schools of thought that follow this opinion refer to the following verse of Surah Luqmaan in the Quran:
“And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks (i.e., music, singing) to mislead (men) from the path of Allah…”
Surah Luqmaan 31:6 (source)
Here, scholars argue that the concept of ‘idle talk’ includes singing and music as well. Their understanding of the matter was also based on the Hadith:
“Fasting does not just mean (abstaining) from eating and drinking, rather fasting means (abstaining) from idle and obscene talk…”
Narrated by al-Haakim who said: This hadeeth is Saheeh according to the conditions of Muslim. (source)
However, the Quran itself does not explicitly declare music as haram.
Thus, some scholars consider listening to music during Ramadan to be permissible. These scholars caution Muslims to avoid any music that contains vile or explicit lyrics, though, and advise us against disturbing fellow Muslims by listening to it.
Many schools of Islamic thought believe that listening to music is permissible in Islam. A renowned Muslim scholar, Imam Ghazzali, argued in favour of music being halal after consulting several Hadith. His statement was:
“All these Ahadith are reported by al-Bukhari, and singing and playing are not haram.”
Imam Ghazzali (source)
The Imam shared many more arguments to support his understanding in Ihya Ulum al-Deen.
Check out our full post, is music haram in Islam, to learn more about the permissibility of listening to music.
2- Can You Listen To Instrumentals During Ramadan?
As with the permissibility of music itself, the permissibility of instrumental music is debated by several Muslim scholars.
Some scholars consider ‘Nasheed’ to be halal. Nasheed is an ‘acapella’ – music without instruments and with lyrics – that praises Allah and the Prophet Muhammad. Thus, as per this opinion, fasting Muslims can listen to Nasheed but not instrumental music – in Ramadan or otherwise.
“There will be people from my community who will seek to make lawful: fornication, the wearing of silk [by men], wine, and musical instruments.”
Narrated by Abu-Malik al-Ashari and related by al-Bukhari in his Sahih collection. (source)
Other schools of thought believe that instrumental music is halal, and state that Muslims may listen to it during Ramadan. However, Muslims should not disturb others while listening to music in Ramadan.
3- Does Music Break Your Fast?
In matters of sinning, Muslim scholars unanimously agree that intention matters.
For example, looking at non-mahrams is considered impermissible, but accidental looks are allowed. Similarly, it does not break their fast if one accidentally listens to vile music while out and about. Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah’s understanding is as follows:
“The obligation of enjoining good and forbidding evil (in this context) is related to intentional listening (to music) and not to merely hearing it, just as in seeing something that is prohibited by looking at accidentally … The same ruling applies to experiencing any prohibitions by the five senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. The obligation of enjoining good and forbidding evil is related to the willful actions of the person. As for what happens without his choice, there is no obligation of enjoining good and forbidding evil therein.”
Majmoo’ Al-Fataawa (source)
Looking for other things to watch out for during ramadan? Here are some 7 Ramadan rules for unmarried couples to be mindful of.
4- Can I Listen To Music During Ramadan After Iftar?
Whether you can listen to music during Ramadan, after iftar, depends on the Islamic opinion you follow. In general, scholars vary in their understanding of the permissibility of both music itself and the allowance of listening to it during Ramadan.
For Muslims that consider listening to music to be haram, they must always abstain from the action. However, if they accidentally listen to music, such as in public, then they are not sinful.
If you consider music to be halal, then it is permissible to listen to it during Ramadan after iftar. However, it is best to:
- Avoid music that contains any vile language or mentions .
- Avoid disturbing others with music. You can do so by listening to music with a pair of earphones or headphones.
Before forming a final opinion on the matter, it’s best to do your own research. May Allah (SWT) guide us all.