Eating at Restaurants That Play Music

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Is it permissible to eat at a restaurant run by Muslims and that claims to provide halal meat, but where music is played and the owner shaves his beard?

Answer: In the name of Allah, Most Merciful.

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

There are two issues here:

The legal limits;
What piety (taqwa) and recommended restraint entail.

As for the legal limits, one can assume that the food itself is permitted if the Muslim says it is and there is no cause for reasonable surety otherwise.

However, going to a restaurant where music is being played is blameworthy. Choosing to be in a place where there is sin taking place when it is not unavoidable is blameworthy and undignified (khilaf al-muru’a). Going to or remaining in a “place of sin” (such as a bar or night club, and other places whose primary purpose is vice) is impermissible (haram) and a serious sin indeed.

If, without thinking ill of others, circumstances make one doubt the reliability of the owner’s claims, then piety entails not eating at such a restaurant.

The grandson of the Beloved Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), Sayyiduna Hasan ibn Ali (Allah be pleased with them), narrates from his noble grandfather, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), that he said, “Leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt.” [Tirmidhi, Nasa’i, and Ahmad; Tirmidhi deemed it soundly authentic (hasan sahih), and this was confirmed by other hadith masters]

Imam Bukhari narrates from Hasan ibn Abi Sinan, one of the Followers (tabi`i: of those who met the Companions of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)), that he said, “I have seen nothing easier than scrupulousness (wara`): leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt.” [Bukhari, al-Jami`, al-Sahih, Bab Tafsir al-Mushabbahat]

May Allah give us success to be of those of piety, devotion, and true love for Allah and His Beloved Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him, his family, companions, and followers).

Faraz Rabbani