Is It Harmful to Play Music to a Baby?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

Our friends and families noticed that our 15-month-old baby boy enjoys nasheeds. I play them for him and he’ll enjoy it and start dancing to them. So upon noticing that, our relatives started playing different types of music (nothing extreme or inappropriate) just for his reaction and to have a laugh, however, it’s happening more frequently. They play normal songs but not Nasheeds or Salawat, which I normally play for him.

Is any or all of this music harmful for a baby?

Answer

Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for being concerned about your child and for your willingness to stay within the parameters that Allah has defined.

Normal Music

You mention normal music in your question, and I assume that you speak of contemporary music. Please see the ruling below, and seek to cut it out completely. It will definitely have a negative impact on your child, as anything haram would. They have a right to be kept safe and away from the haram:
What Is the Shafi’i Ruling on Listening to Music and Singing?
Rights of Children in Detail

Nasheeds

There is no question that the mention of God, His Messenger, and their praise is beneficial for all. As such, I recommend that you play it for your baby as often as you like, but not at a high volume. In addition to this, your child’s input should be balanced with hearing Quran, hearing Nasheeds or dhikr, interaction with people, and some silence. Listening to anything all day is exhausting and a healthy balance should be sought.

Please see more details here and consider enrolling in a course on parenting:
Raising Children with Deen and Dunya
The Orphan’s Song For The Kaaba By Novid Shaid
The War Within Our Hearts – Imam Zaid Shakir
Keys to Raising Righteous Children: Eight Lessons on Successful Parenting

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.