Selling a Musical Instrument

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Answered by Sidi Salman Younas

Being Hispanic it was natural for me to learn how to play the guitar, and I studied classical guitar and become quite adept at it. Now I have given up the practice as I am no longer convinced of its permissibility and find it unworthy of my time compared to other more erudite or spiritual pursuits, but because of my former enthusiasm for the instrument I am now in possession of several guitars, some of which are of significant value. If I were to sell these guitars I could easily use the proceeds to fund an education abroad in the Islamic sciences (such as theosophy) for many months if not years, but is it permissible for me to do so?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

I pray you are well and in the best of health. May Allah grant you all good in this life and the next.

The vast majority of Islamic scholarship has declared musical instruments – except the duff – to be impermissible. The general principle that applies to the sale of that which is not permitted in the shari`ah is, “That which is not permitted to use is not permitted to give to another.” (Majalla, Ashbah al Nadha’ir)

Some of the texts, like the Ashbah al Nadha’ir, explicitly mention the sale of musical instruments when discussing this principle. Thus, it would not be permitted for one to sell such instruments.

Despite the difficulties we perceive in letting go of these worldly things, the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) encouraged us to do so. He (Allah bless him) stated in a sound narration, “Whoever leaves something for the pleasure of Allah, Allah will compensate him with something better than it.” (Ahmad) As believers, we only seek the pleasure of Allah since the religion is nothing but obedience and total attachment to Him and His Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace). Imagine the compensation of the Creator of the Worlds… it is unimaginable. Seek His pleasure sincerely and the path will be lit brighter than ever and the veils of the dunya will crumble.