I used to be one of those who listen to songs all the time, to such an extent that I memorized them, but praise be to Allaah, for nine years I have not listened to them. But there is another problem; I started to love Islamic nasheeds very much and they take up a considerable amount of my time. Is there any sin in that?.
Songs which are accompanied by musical instruments or which contain words of love or provoke desire, are undoubtedly haraam, because of a great deal of evidence to that effect, which you will find in the answers to questions no. 5000 and 20406.
So we praise Allaah for having enabled you to give up listening to songs and turned your heart away from them.
There is nothing wrong with listening to Islamic nasheeds which contain words of wisdom, exhortation, encouragement to do good, and promotion of noble attitudes, so long as there are no musical instruments and the voices do not provoke fitnah or incite one to do haraam deeds, and so long as one does not listen to them a great deal.
The Standing Committee issued a detailed fatwa concerning the ruling on Islamic nasheeds, which states the following:
You have spoken the truth concerning the prohibition on songs as they exist nowadays, because they include immoral and indecent words, and they include things in which there is nothing good. Indeed, they are full of idle talk and provocation of desire, sexual urges and promiscuity, and softening of the voice in such a way that it tempts the listener to evil. May Allaah help us and you to do that which pleases Him.
It is permissible, as an alternative to these songs, for you to listen to Islamic nasheeds which include wisdom, exhortation and words that promote enthusiasm and protective jealousy for Islam, and stir up Islamic feelings, and put one off evil and the things that lead to it, to motivate the one who “sings” the nasheeds and the one who listens to them to obey Allaah and deter them from sin and transgressing the sacred limits of Allaah, and encourage them to live life within the framework of sharee’ah and to strive in jihad for His sake. But he should not regard that as a “wird” that he must adhere to, or a habit in which he engages on a continual basis, rather it should be something that he listens to from time to time on appropriate occasions when there is a need for it, such as at weddings, when travelling for jihad, and so on, or when he is feeling listless and needs something to revive his spirits and encourage him to do good, or when he feels inclined towards evil so he listens to it to deter himself from it.
Even better than that is committing oneself to reasing a portion of Qur’aan on a daily basis, or a wird of dhikrs that are narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). That is purer for his soul and is more effective in bringing comfort to the heart. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Allaah has sent down the Best Statement, a Book (this Qur’aan), its parts resembling each other (in goodness and truth) (and) oft‑repeated. The skins of those who fear their Lord shiver from it (when they recite it or hear it). Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allaah. That is the Guidance of Allaah. He guides therewith whom He wills; and whomever Allaah sends astray, for him there is no guide”
“Those who believed (in the Oneness of Allaah — Islamic Monotheism), and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allaah verily, in the remembrance of Allaah do hearts find rest.
29. Those who believed (in the Oneness of Allaah — Islamic Monotheism), and work righteousness, Tûbâ (all kinds of happiness or name of a tree in Paradise) is for them and a beautiful place of (final) return”
[al-Ra’d 13:28, 29]
The way of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) was to pay particular attention to the Qur’aan and Sunnah, memorizing it, studying it and acting upon it. Along with that they also had nasheeds and chants which they would recite, such as when digging the ditch and building mosques, and when travelling for jihad, and on other such occasions, without making that their habit or focusing all their attention on it; it was simply something with which they would relax occasionally or stir their emotions.
With regard to the tabl drum and other musical instruments, it is not permissible to use them with these nasheeds, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) did not do that.
Allaah is the Guide to the Straight Path. May Allaah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon his family and companions. End quote from Fataawa Islamiyyah, 4/532
You should remember Allaah a great deal (dhikr) and read Qur’aan; set yourself a daily wird to memorize and review. Also keep yourself busy listening to some lessons and lectures, because this is the best means of reducing the amount of nasheed you listen to, and making use of your time with something that is beneficial and useful.
It is very unfortunate that the one who listens to nasheed a great deal finds it difficult to read Qur’aan or even to listen to it; this is something harmful which should not be taken lightly. Even if the harm is only causing him to miss out on a great deal of reward, that is should be sufficient deterrent for the people of faith from becoming attached to nasheeds and always listening to them.
It is well known that if a believer spends an hour reading Qur’aan, thousands of hasanaat will be recorded for him, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever reads one letter of the Book of Allaah will have one hasanah for that, and a hasanah brings a tenfold reward. I do not say that alif-laam-meem is a letter, rather alif is a letter, laam is a letter, meem is a letter.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2910; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
One hour is sufficient to read twenty pages of Qur’aan, in which there are no less than nine thousand letters.
How can a person let listening to nasheeds distract him from listening to the Book of Allaah and reciting it?
Strive to reduce the amount of time you spend listening to these nasheeds as much as you can, so that you only listen to them during weddings, Eid and so on, and make the best use of your time so that you may rise in status. Soon, by Allaah’s leave, you will find delight in reading Qur’aan, and the joy of worship and the sweetness of faith, with the words of the Most Merciful.
We ask Allaah to help us and you to do that which He loves and which pleases Him.
And Allaah knows best.