Is it allowed to listen to and read the Quran in a place where music is being played and remain sitting there out of laziness while one could move to a better spot? And if a person did this, is he sinful? And what is the case if one is in a place where he has no control over any of this?
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.
There is no harm in reciting the Quran and listening to it in this place as long as the person does not raise his voice or the sound of the Quran such that it leads to overlapping with the sound of the music, because this contradicts the enjoined respect and glorification of the verses and divine names of Allah. Part of the etiquette of reciting the Quran is to stay away from places where there are loud and confusing noises. Muslim scholars underlined that it is prohibited to raise one's voice with the Quran in marketplaces where people promote their goods out loud. They argued that this constitutes disrespect for the Quran. Ar-Ruhaybaani said, “It is impermissible to raise one's voice with the Quran in the marketplaces where people engage in selling and buying their goods and are unable to listen to it attentively because this involves disrespect for the Quran...” [Sharh Al-Muntaha]
Such people should be given advice and reminded of the prohibition of listening to musical instruments; otherwise, it is incumbent on you to leave the place where there is evil that you cannot change. However, if you are present in that place for a valid need, then it is better for you to listen through a headset when you wish to listen to the Quran in such an environment so that the noises around you do not interfere with the Quran. Moreover, this headset blocks the sounds which one is prohibited to listen to.
There is no sin in hearing prohibited songs outdoors unintentionally without enjoying them or being inclined towards them if it is difficult to avoid them. If the person is obliged to be present or needs to be where there is singing or music and he does not enjoy listening to it, he shall not be held accountable for that because Allah does not charge a soul with what is beyond its ability.
Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said:
“The obligation of enjoining good and forbidding evil (in this context) is related to intentional listening (to music) and not to merely hearing it, just as in seeing something that is prohibited by looking at accidentally ... The same ruling applies to experiencing any prohibitions by the five senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. The obligation of enjoining good and forbidding evil is related to the willful actions of the person. As for what happens without his choice, there is no obligation of enjoining good and forbidding evil therein.” [Majmoo’ Al-Fataawa]
Allah knows best.
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