Listening to drums is not permissible, because they are among the musical instruments for which there is evidence that it is haraam to listen to them. In fact there is a text which specifically forbids the drum. Abu Dawood (3685) narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr that the Prophet of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade khamr (alcohol), gambling, drums and wine made from millet, and said: “All intoxicants are haraam.” Abu Dawood said: Wine made from millet is a drink made by the Abyssinians. The hadeeth was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
If the ‘ardah includes musical instruments such as drums and flutes, except the daff, then it is not permissible to attend it or listen to it.
If it includes the daff, then there is a difference of opinion as to whether the ruling that the daff is permitted on Eid and at weddings applies only to women, or to both women and men.
With regard to the view of Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) on this issue, I could not find it, but the Shaykh (may Allaah have mercy on him) regarded it as haraam for men to use the daff, on weddings and other occasions, as is stated in question no. 20406. If this applies to the daff, then how about the drum?
With regard to Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him), he clearly stated that the ‘ardah is haraam if it includes drums or flutes, but he granted a concession allowing the daff.
He (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: What is the ruling on the ‘ardah (”folk music”) they recite poetry in local dialects and it may include criticism of others, love poems and praise of others? May Allaah reward you with good.
He replied: If there is no reason for the ‘ardah, then it is idle leisure and a waste of time, but if there is a reason for it, such as Eid, then there is nothing wrong with it. There is nothing wrong with the people playing with swords and rifles and the like, and beating the daff. As for drums and flutes, and songs that include criticism and slander of others, they are haraam and it is not permissible for a person to attend such concerts. They should be banned and the people should be told not to attend them, because if a person attends a gathering of evil he will be sharing the burden of sin with them even if he does not actually do it, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And it has already been revealed to you in the Book (this Qur’aan) that when you hear the Verses of Allaah being denied and mocked at, then sit not with them, until they engage in a talk other than that; (but if you stayed with them) certainly in that case you would be like them. Surely, Allaah will collect the hypocrites and disbelievers all together in Hell”
End quote from Liqa’ al-Baab il-Maftooh 52, question no. 11.
See also Liqa’ al-Baab il-Maftooh 8, question no. 39.
And Allaah knows best.