As–Salamu ‘Alaykum brother,
Thank you for your question. Just for clarification purposes: I am not a scholar, but a sister who can provide some humble advice in sha‘ Allah from a counseling perspective. If you would like a scholar to answer your question, then please contact our ‘Ask the Scholar’ section.
From a counseling perspective, in order to overcome any kind of addiction in general, you should first ask yourself what the reason is that you are addicted to listening to music. Is it because it helps you escape a harsh reality, or is it because it is difficult to find friends whom you can socialize with or alternatively other halal ways of entertainment?
It may also help to calculate the amount of hours you actually spend listening to music. When you realize how many hours are spent, it can hopefully provide you with a sort of motivation to overcome this addiction in order to make sure that you are spending your time in that which is useful for you, your faith, and also others around you.
Imagine all of the other things you can be doing with your time to benefit yourself and others. On the other hand, imagine you continue being addicted to music, which means you are usually on your own, not engaging with others, which could lead to isolation, depression, etc. Try to get out more and engage in other types of activities that are more aligned with Islam and contribute to increasing your faith. This could include walking in nature, socializing with good friends and family, helping out in a community or even global initiative.
As with any addiction, it it may be more manageable to cut back the amount of music you listen to gradually until you stop. Also, remove the triggers such as your Ipod or headphones so that they are not easily within reach; leave them at home when you are out and try to replace them with other alternatives which first and foremost can be listening to the Quran more often.
Try to fill your heart with the love of the Quran by choosing a reciter who really helps you feel the beauty of Allah’s words. Also, try to engage with and understand the Quran more by studying its meanings; I would recommend brother Nouman Ali Khan’s lectures on meanings of the Quran which can be found on YouTube.
We are told that the Quran is a source of happiness, mercy, guidance and healing for us:
“Oh mankind, there has come unto you an exhortation from your Lord, a healing for that which is in the breasts and a guidance and a mercy for believers. Say in the bounty of Allah and in his mercy therein let them rejoice – it is better than what they hoard.” (Yunus, 57-58)
There is also a growing industry of Islamic singing (anasheed) that you can also access and replace with the music you are hoping to stop listening to.
Finally, make du‘aa‘ that Allah (SWT) helps you overcome this addiction, and remember Allah’s promise in the Quran: “And whoever fears Allah, He will make for him a way out, and provide for him from whence he could never imagine.” [ Surah al-Talaq : 2-3], and remember the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) hadith: “Whoever gives up something for the sake of Allah, Allah will compensate him with something better than it.” (Al-Albani).
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