If a person is interested in listening to foreign music that has been mixed with a song by a female singer and which, on the whole, keeps us relaxed and uplifted for daily activities – not for sin – what is the Islamic law about it?
If it is a kind of music which is, according to Muslims’ view, used for debauchery and entertainment gathering, it is haram and it is not permissible to play or listen to it irrespective of whether the song mixed with it is sung by a female singer or a male one, or whether it is sung directly or played on a tape, or whether one listens to it in private or in the presence of others or whether it has an effect on him or it does not. Prohibition of music is a part of the fixed rules of Shiite jurisprudence and it will not change insofar as any of the above circumstances concerning music remain applicable. Therefore, the pretexts like becoming lively, relaxed and uplifted for work etc. will not make it halal.
For further information about the reasons for prohibition and impermissibility of music and its rationales, see: Answer: 932 (site: 1004).
We have also sent your question to the offices of some grand jurists and the following answers have been received:
Office of Grand Ayatollah Khamenei (may Allah grant him long life):
Generally speaking, if music is frivolous and exciting and it is considered to be commensurate with the gatherings of sin, it is forbidden to listen to it. As for a woman’s voice, if it is in a ghina tone or if a person listens to it with the intention of seeking pleasure or if it entails an evil, it is not permissible.
Office of Grand Ayatollah Sistani (may Allah grant him long life):
It is not permissible to play or listen to music that is suitable for entertainment and amusement gatherings. The crucial line is in it being commensurate with the gatherings of entertainment and moral depravity.
Office of Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi (may Allah grant him long life):
It is not permissible.