You may wonder, ‘how on earth does one sin with the ears?’.
Well, in actual fact when you realise that your body is a test for you, and that includes each and every one of your organs including your tongue, your eyes and even your ears then you will come to the realisation that you can actually commit good or bad deeds with your ears.
In sha Allah in this blog we will discover the way the ears can sin and offer practical tips on how to avoid sinning with them.
Sins of the Ears according to Quran, Sunnah and reliable commentary
Allah ﷻ says in the Noble Quran,
“When you hear men engaged in vain discourse about Our signs, turn away from them unless they turn to a different theme. If Satan ever makes you forget, then after recollection, do not sit in the company of those who do wrong.” (6:68)
And the Cream of existence ﷺ is reported to have said,
“…Whoever listens to the talk of men hated by God and men alike will have hot lead poured into his ears on the Day of Judgement…” (Bukhari, Ibn Abass)
Also we read from Imam Birghivi’s book “The Path of Muhammad” that:
“God has created sounds in nature to remind people of Him. The wind whisper and howls; the rain patters, thunders roars, birds sing. But the best of music is silence, which comforts the hearts and quiets the mind… Do not listen to meaningless noise and rhythm that makes your flesh crawl and turns you into an animal yet which some people call music and amusing song”
Positive & Negative use of the ears
Our ears are actually a great tool for us to get closer to God Exalted is He, because with them we can hear words of wisdom and increase ourselves in religious knowledge and the knowledge of God Almighty.
Our ears are also important for communication among us so that we can better our relationship with the creation.
However, the ears become a means to sins when it meets a sinful tongue and like the seven organs the body, a corrupted ear corrupts also the heart of man.
That’s why it has been emphasized in the verses above to avoid listening to that which displeases Allah ﷻ.
Practical Tips to control the ears
To control your ears you will have to work out who or what you should lend you ear to. And this can be influenced by either the company of the people that you keep, your conversation with people, and listening to music.
The company you keep is actually the major means to corrupting or cleansing your ears.
The people around you play a major role in fashioning your behaviour and opinion.
When your ears are exposed to bad company where only mundane things are the subject, it will become easier for your heart to espouse it and embrace it as its purpose of life.
The wise Ibn Ata’Allah al-Sakandari (RA) said in his “Taj al-Arus” that,
“When you keep company with worldly people, they draw you to the life of this world. When you keep company with other-worldly people, they draw you to God. The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘A person imbibes the religion of his intimate friends.’ Just as you choose wholesome food to eat that is free from harmful ingredients to eat and just as you choose a beautiful woman to marry, seek intimate friendship only with those who can give you knowledge of the path to God the Exalted.”
Also, remember that when it comes to conversation with people, you should know that the same way that it is sinful for the tongue to lie, to slander, to backbite and to ridicule, the same sinfulness applies to the ears that listen to such a tongue.
The Prophet of God ﷺ said,
“O Ali! When someone hears the backbiting of his Muslim brother committed in his presence, yet he does not rally to his assistance despite being capable of doing so, God shall humiliate him in the world and in the Hereafter”
The second most popular means of corruption of the ears is to listen to music.
Indeed, music by itself has a powerful influence upon our spiritual welfare. The kind of music one listens to, has a good or bad effect on the person. Thus, we need to nuance between permissible and impermissible kind of music.
Music in general appeals to a sound, this could be either a song with instrument or without it.
In both cases the common harmful aspect will be the purpose of the song and this is judged by the nature of the lyrics. Thus, it is forbidden to listen to any sort of music or song that carries an un-islamic message which doesn’t not remind you of your ultimate purpose of life which is to know and love God Exalted is He.
If a person listens to music that appeals or praises sinful behaviour the listener will eventually succumb to that bad behaviour. Thus, to listen to the popular music of our current shameless modernity that promotes lewd talk and objectification of people, especially women, will make sinful habits such as unwanted sexual behaviour inviting to the listeners.
Moreover, such a listener is committing the adultery of the ears, for Abu Huraira (RadhiAllahu ‘anhu) reported, Allah’s Messenger ﷺ as saying:
“Allah fixed the very portion of adultery which a man will indulge in. There would be no escape from it.
The adultery of the eye is the lustful look; and
the adultery of the ears is listening to voluptuous (song or talk); and
the adultery of the tongue is licentious speech; and
the adultery of the hand is the lustful grip (embrace); and
the adultery of the feet is to walk (to the place) where he intends to commit adultery; and
the heart yearns and desires which he may or may not put into effect”.(Muslim)
As mentioned in the Prophetic sayings above, the adultery of the ears is to listen to sensual or sexually explicit lyrics or anything that will corrupt your mind and heart.
Now concerning the song with instruments, it is forbidden to listen to two sorts of musical instruments. They are stringed musical instruments such as guitar, violin and alike, and also it is forbidden to listen to horned musical instruments such as trumpet, trombone and alike.
We can conclude that what should be permissible as music will be a song without the two instruments mentioned above, and most importantly it should be a song that increases the listener in awe, love and fear of God Exalted is He.
Finally, we read from Ibn Ata’Allah al-Sakandari’s Taj al-Arus that,
“Whoever abandons listening to that which is forbidden, God Exalted is He, will enable him to hear his word.”
The meaning of the aphorism could be that a person will gain the understanding of the words of God, for many among us hear it but don’t benefit from it, so to control one’s ears will enable a person to benefit from the Quran, hadith and words of wisdom calling to God ﷻ.
Positive usage of the ears
Now, if it is forbidden to listen to anything that will corrupt your mind and your heart and wreak havoc on your faith, it is important to also mention that which a believer should lend his ear to.
The best things a person should often listen is of course the Qur’an, the tradition of the Glory of Humanity ﷺ and the words of wisdom from the saints and friends of God.
Also, with regards to the positive usage of the ears, we read from the book “The Path of Muhammad” written by Imam Birghivi (RA) that:
“In addition, to the things it is recommended we not listen to, there are also things we are require to listen to. It is wrong not to listen the advice of people of knowledge. It is wrong for children to ignore their parents, for students to ignore their teachers, for the one who does not know to ignore the one who knows… A judge who does not heed the word of the accused, a religious counselor who does not respond to the question of someone who asks for advice, a husband who does not listen to his wife, a rich man who does not care about the pleading of the poor are certainly guilty of playing deaf to words they are obliged to hear.”
Using Prophetic Path to purify your ears
Like the rest of the organs of the body, Prophetic Path offers a daily sheet or chart of self-accounting available on our website or App on the go. The daily sheet of self-accounting reveals to be effectively beneficial in giving you the mindfulness and awareness you need to avoid the sin of the Ears.
Such psycho-spiritual training will help a person to leave a life of sin and embrace a life of righteousness.
After the completion of 30 consecutive days of streak or abstinence of the sin of the ear, then the person is also trained how to make a positive use of one’s ear until this becomes the nature of the person.
The ultimate aim of the purification of the ear is to enable you to come to the stage whenever you hear a sound or vibration, it reminds only of the blessings of Allah ﷻ and the Hereafter, because the ears that do not remind you of God will testify against you on the Day of Judgement and God, Exalted is He, declared in the Noble Qur’an,
“And do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart – about all those [one] will be questioned.” (17:36)