Is Playing the Violin Permissible in Islam?

12 September, 2020
Q Dear scholars, As-Salamu `alaykum. Is it haram to learn to play the violin? I am very fond of it. Listening to it soothes me, and I think it will be a great companion (even though it's non-living) when we do not find the support of people around us. But before enrolling in this course, I wanted to make sure whether or not it is haram. I intend to do this for my personal use only and not to entertain people or make money. When you do not have a companion, this can be very useful for the heart. Jazakum Allah khayran.

Answer

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.


In this fatwa:

It is very important to note that if the violin is used for a good purpose, it can be permissible. If, on the other hand, we use it for unlawful purposes, then it is forbidden.


In responding to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

The violin like all forms of musical instruments cannot be totally impermissible or totally permissible. Rather we should look at it from the point of view of its use. If we use for a good purpose it can be permissible. If, on the other hand, we use it for unlawful purposes, then it should be haram (forbidden).

Islam allows us to have recourse to lawful outlets, and these outlets help us to recuperate; to soothe our nerves, and thus make us more creative. If, therefore, you were to use it in this way as an occasional outlet, without being addicted to it, and the themes are ennobling to the spirit, and not degrading or filthy, then you are allowed to use it in moderation.

While using it, never allow yourself to be distracted from your important religious duties or obligations. We are told in a tradition, “Go ahead and let your hearts have occasional outlets for the sake of recuperation.”

Finally, let us always keep this point in mind, Islam is the path of moderation. It steers clear of both extremes of permissiveness and excessive spirituality.

Editor’s Note:

We would like to stress that the Quran, as the word of Allah, gives rest and peace to the heart. You should learn to recite the Quran and learn Arabic so as to understand it. Try your best to seek companionship with good Muslims and stay with true believers, then you will no longer have the need of the violin.

Allah Almighty knows best.