The Office of the Supreme Leader

Criterion for ḥarām music

Q: Is mutrib and lahwī nature of a particular type of music the only criterion for judging that it is ḥarām or should one considers the element of excitement also? If it causes the listener to feel sadness and eventually make him cry, what is the ruling then? And what about listening to love poems that are vocalized to the accompaniment of music?
A: The criterion is to observe how the music is being played in all its characteristics and whether or not it is enrapturing, deviating from the path of Allah and appropriate to the gatherings of pleasure and sin. Any music categorized due to its nature as lahwī is ḥarām, irrespective of whether it contains the element of excitement or not. Whether it engenders in the listener a state of melancholy and crying is also immaterial.
Should reciting love poems to the accompaniment of music take the form of ghinā’, which is suitable for gatherings of lahw, it is ḥarām to sing, or to listen to them.
 
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