Should I Relent If My Wife Insists on Listening to Music?

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question: My wife listens to music but generally turns it off when I am around because she knows I don’t want to listen to it.  When we are in the car though, she wants to listen to music on the radio.  Recently, she asked if she could turn it on and I said I would prefer that she didn’t.  This resulted in a strong emotional backlash.  How can I handle this situation with gentleness? I want to protect myself from listening to music and promote that which is good to her but in this case should I allow it seeing her response?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum,

In the Name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful

Dear Brother,

Assalamu alaikum,

I pray this message finds you well.

To defuse the situation, perhaps it is best if you acknowledge your wife’s interest and get to the heart of what it is about music that she likes. This is not an endorsement of the project; however, Mustafa Davis recently made a documentary “Deen Tight” which looks at the appeal of Islamic hiphop to young people coming into Islam. I think this might be a good starting point for a discussion between you and your wife.

To be fair, however, your wife should understand that the most precautionary position among Muslim scholars is that music, with the exclusion of that produced by percussion, is to be avoided. She should appreciate your trying to uphold safety in your religion.

Having said that, what she does on her own time is up to her as long as it does not involve any disrespect to your household. But when the two of you are sharing space, as in the car, a compromise needs to be reached. You shouldn’t be expected to listen to something you deem unlawful and she should be mature enough to respect that. On the other hand, perhaps you both could find some work from Muslim artists that both of you feel comfortable listening to.

I pray you reach a solution,

Zaynab Ansari