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Sound Effects in Computers, etc and Applications, Softwares, etc

Fatwaa ID: 085

Question:
Assalaamu ‘Alaikum.

I have questions regarding sound effect. Since music is haraam in islam how about sound effect.
My questions are:

  1. In many software applications today whether for examples in Google’s Android or Apples MacOS or IOS or Microsoft Windows, we got alot of sound effect (not music), such as error “ding”, windows “opening sound”, whatsapp “flute” notification sound. Is this kind of sound halal for muslims? Since some of them was resemble the sound from musical instrument but it still not music.
  2. How about recording nature sounds like bird singing, wind in the forest, waterfall, ocean, rain sound, and used it for software application such as video games or educational apps, is that allowed in Islam?
  3. Are we allowed to create some custom sound effect (again not music) for our software, using “musical” software application such as FL Studio, Pro Tools with their VST plugins etc. They are mostly used for musical production but can be used for making “non-haraam” “non-musical” stuff too. 
  4. What is the differentiation of music and sound according to Islam. In Indonesia some masjid were using drums (they called it “beduk”) for calling the prayer. Is that allowed?

Jazak Allahu Khairan Kaseera.

Answer:

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

The answers to your queries are as follows:

  1. If possible, the sound effect in software applications should be customized so that they do not resemble music.
  2. It is permissible to use recorded sounds of animals, wind, water, etc.
  3. It will be permissible to create custom sound effects provided that they do no resemble music.
  4. It is not permissible to use drums or “beduk” to call for prayer. This is the way of the non-Muslims. Allaah Ta’aala has gifted us with the Azaan to call towards Salaah[i].

And Allaah Ta’aala Knows Best

Muajul I. Chowdhury
Student, Darul Iftaa
New York, USA

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين


[i]  سنن أبي داود (1/ 134)

498 – حدثنا عباد بن موسى الختلي، وزياد بن أيوب، وحديث عباد أتم، قالا: حدثنا هشيم، عن أبي بشر، قال زياد: أخبرنا أبو بشر، عن أبي عمير بن أنس، عن عمومة له من الأنصار، قال: اهتم النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم للصلاة كيف يجمع الناس لها، فقيل له: انصب راية عند حضور الصلاة فإذا رأوها آذن بعضهم بعضا، فلم يعجبه ذلك، قال: فذكر له القنع – يعني الشبور وقال زياد: شبور اليهود – فلم يعجبه ذلك، وقال: «هو من أمر اليهود» قال: فذكر له الناقوس، فقال: «هو من أمر النصارى» فانصرف عبد الله بن زيد بن عبد ربه وهو مهتم لهم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، فأري الأذان في منامه، قال: فغدا على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، فأخبره، فقال له: يا رسول الله إني لبين نائم ويقظان، إذ أتاني آت فأراني الأذان، قال: وكان عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه، قد رآه قبل ذلك فكتمه عشرين يوما، قال: ثم أخبر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم، فقال له: «ما منعك أن تخبرني؟»، فقال: سبقني عبد الله بن زيد، فاستحييت، فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: «يا بلال، قم فانظر [ص:135] ما يأمرك به عبد الله بن زيد، فافعله» قال: فأذن بلال، قال أبو بشر: فأخبرني أبو عمير، أن الأنصار تزعم أن عبد الله بن زيد، لولا أنه كان يومئذ مريضا لجعله رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم مؤذنا

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