Is Playing in a Rock Band Permissible?

10 March, 2018
Q As-salamu`alaykum. Is it permissible to play in a rock band? What about earning money from it?


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:

1- The ruling concerning playing in a rock band really varies according to the kind of messages delivered. If the band is organized by Muslims who are keen to convey a sublime message from the Islamic perspective, then there is nothing wrong in the act as well as the money earned from it.

2- On the other hand, if the band is concerned with spreading moral laxity such as we see in Western music nowadays, then playing in such a band is haram and must be avoided by a Muslim.

In his response to the question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a Senior Lecturer and Islamic Scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states,

The question whether we can play in a rock band depends on the kind of music played and the messages such music delivers. If you are asking whether you can play in a rock band organized by Muslims following the principles of Islam with the specific purposes of conveying sublime messages and themes, it is perfectly accepted. Not only that, but the act may be highly recommended depending on your intention.

Also, you are allowed to make lawful or legitimate profits from such an enterprise so long as you abide by the terms of Islamic business ethics.

If, on the other hand, the mission of the rock band is concerned with spreading corruption and moral degeneration, it is considered an abomination in Islam; no Muslim should ever consider even joining it or condoning it.

Abu Sa`id al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) say, ‘Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.” (Muslim)

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.