Answered by: Maulana Belaal Ahmed
Is anything written on the difference between simaa’ and istimaa’ of music?
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Allah mentions in the Quran:
“And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks (i.e. music singing), to mislead (men) from the path of Allah without the knowledge and takes it by way of mockery. For such there will be a humiliating torment (in the hellfire).
(Surah Luqman: Ayah 6)
Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Masood r.a was asked regarding this verse and he replied, “It is music, by the oath of that being there is no deity except Him.”
In regards to music, there is no doubt that it is Haraam (prohibited) in Islam and we can see this clearly from the above ayah.
In regards to listening to music below are a few ahaadith :
Imran bin Husain (r.a) narrates that the Prophet (s.a.w) said, ‘This Ummah will experience the swallowing up of some people by the earth, transformation of some into animals, and being rained upon with stones’. A man amongst the Muslims asked: ‘O Prophet of Allah! When will this be?’ He said: ‘When female singers and musical instruments appear and alcohol will be consumed’.
Narrated Abu ‘Amir or Abu Malik Al-Ash’ari: that he heard the Prophet saying, From among my followers there will be some people who will consider illegal sexual intercourse, the wearing of silk, the drinking of alcoholic drinks and the use of musical instruments, as lawful. And there will be some people who will stay near the side of a mountain and in the evening their shepherd will come to them with their sheep and ask them for something, but they will say to him, ‘Return to us tomorrow.’ Allah will destroy them during the night and will let the mountain fall on them, and He will transform the rest of them into monkeys and pigs and they will remain so till the Day of Resurrection.
From the above ahaadith, we learn the harms of listening to music and the punishment for it.
However, in regards to istimaa’ of music (in this case, hearing music unintentionally), we live in a time where music has spread to such an extent that nobody is free from it. Individuals are confronted with situations where they are forced to listen to music. It is played nearly in all department stores and supermarkets and it is very hard to stay away from this evil.
What should one do in such situations?
Firstly, one should try to avoid putting oneself in such a situation. For example, try going somewhere where no music is played.
However, places where you need to go, for example, supermarkets, etc, you can go there as the music is not related to the purpose of your going to the supermarket.
Only Allah knows best
Written by Maulana Belaal Ahmed
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham
 Sunan- At -Tirmizi (pg 45 vol 2 (Qadeemi kutub khana print)
 Sahih Bukhari Hadith 5590 (vol 2 pg 1593 Altaf and sons print)