Question: Is it permitted to play or listen to music? What about religious music?
There’s no evidence on Quran that forbids playing or listening to music. But there are some narrations that seem like forbidding it. The common points of those narrations are “parties” in which, a lot of inappropriate acts are performed.
The main issue about music is the content. If the content is inappropriate, lyrics include words that insult the religion or encourage sins, then playing or listening to it cannot be permitted. Otherwise, there is no reason to forbid it.
It is not true to separate music to religious and non-religious. The important thing is its message. We often observe inappropriate and exaggerated lyrics that praise and idolize beings other than Allah in many examples of so-called “religious music”. Songs like those cannot be permitted to write, play or listen to, either.