It is haram to listen to music. It is also invalid to draw analogy between music and the sounds of birdsongs or sounds of nature.
Many believe that Dawood(Alai hi salaam) used to play flute to seek forgiveness of Allah. It must be noted that this statement has no basis in Islam.
In an authentic hadith, it is mentioned that Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him) said to Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari, “You have been given a beautiful voice (mizmaar, lit. flute) like the beautiful voices of the family of Dawood” (narrated by al-Bukhaari (5048) and Muslim (793))
What is meant by these words is that he had a beautiful voice and it was likened to the sound of the flute. Hence what is meant by flute here is not actual flute but the beautiful voice.
The original meaning of the word zamr is singing, and phrase “the family of Dawood” refers to Dawood himself. The phrase “the family of So and so” may apply to the person himself. Dawood (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had a very beautiful voice. End quote.
The mizmaar here means the beautiful voice. The original meaning is the musical instrument that is blown into. Therefore the beauty of voice is compared to that of the sound of flute. He had an extremely beautiful voice in recitation.
This word is used as a simile to show the quality of the voice.
Hence, we must understand that Dawood (alaihi salaam) did not use flute in his worship rather his voice was extremely beautiful that it was like the sound of flute and most people confuse it with him having the actual flute that he played, which is not true.
The example is like that of the incident that took place at the time of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him).
Narrated from ‘Aa’ishah that Abu Bakr entered upon her when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was with her on the day of (Eid) al-Fitr or Adha, and there were two young girls singing lines of poetry that were said by the Ansaar on the day of Bu’aath. Abu Bakr said: Flutes of the Shaytaan! The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Let them be, O Abu Bakr, for every people has its Eid and our Eid is this day.” al-Bukhaari (3931) and Muslim (892)
Here Abu Bakr has described the singing as the flutes or musical instrument but if we analyze, we find that the girls did not play any musical instrument but they were only singing. Abu Bakr described their singing as the flutes or musical instruments of shytaan. He compared the two to indicate the displeasure.
Dawood (alaihi salaam) did not own a flute and never played one. He would sing and recite the beautiful names of Allah in his beautiful gifted voice.
And Allaah knows best.