Imam Afoz Ali writes that in Islam the rulings of the Shari’ah separates music and singing as being essentially two different subjects. Islam acknowledges that in order to have music in your life an instrument is not required, as the voice is still considered to be an instrument, therefore singing with or without a musical instrument is not often allowed. Music and singing come under two headings, what is prohibited and what is allowed. In regards to singing, the kinds of singing that are not allowed in Islam are songs that give celebration to the material world and contain lyrics which are sexual in nature or are course and abusive. Most Hollywood and Bollywood songs would fit within this genre, or modern pop music in general for that matter. Therefore, any kinds of singing that removes a person from worship and being in the presence of Allah as well as ignoring one’s rights and daily responsibilities is strictly prohibited. After taking all of this into consideration, it would seem that singing is seldom incorporated into Islamic life. Therefore, that begs the question; what is actually permitted in regards to singing. Most scholars agree that it must be in the form of glory to Allah and praise of the Prophet. Singing, when it soothes the heart and brings one closer to Allah, used for festivals or weddings is also permitted, as are songs about politics or the environment.
In regards to music. The kind of music that is simply for entertainment, dance and enjoyment is strictly prohibited, again Hollywood, Bollywood and pop songs fall into this category. However, music from the duff and similar types of drums are permissible when used for festivals, weddings and other ceremonial functions. The most important things to remember in regards to instruments, is that not all of them are prohibited by Islam, however no list of permissible instruments have been outlined. As with singing, if the music being played is part of the process of glorifying Allah and His Messenger, then it is deemed permissible. Although music is prohibited if used for entertainment only. Again, if the music is for soothing the mind and helps one to connect with Allah, and as long as it does not interfere with your obligations and responsibilities it is allowed. However, it is suggested that followers of Islam keep activities to do with music and singing to a minimum.