Is it Permissible to Learn to Play the Violin?

27 February, 2017
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.


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.

Dear questioner, we would like to thank you for the great confidence you place in us, and we implore Allah, the Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His Sake alone.

It is very important to note that if the violin is used for a good purpose, it can be considered as permissible. If, on the other hand, it is used for unlawful purposes, then it should be considered haram (forbidden).

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

The violin like all forms of musical instruments cannot be considered as totally forbidden or totally permissible. Rather we should look at it from the point of view of its use; if it is used for a good purpose it can be considered as permissible; if, on the other hand, it is used for unlawful purposes, then it should be considered 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 Qu’ran, as the word of Allah, gives rest and peace to the heart. You are advised to learn to recite the Qu’ran 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.