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The Islamic Ruling on Dancing

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    The Islamic Ruling on Dancing

    The Islamic Ruling on Dancing

    Prepared by A. Idris Palmer (a convert to Islam)
    (This article is stronger and more forceful that the one above. I personally find the first one more balanced although both are trying to convey the same message. - Webmaster)

    I was quite dismayed to hear that in some areas of this country there are some Muslims who deem that public displays of and participation in dancing are halal (permissable). We live in an age where large numbers of Muslims are ignorant of the beauty of their faith; and many have yet to smell the fragrance of Iman.

    Thus, in their zeal, they consider it a virtue to participate in or imitate the basest customs, practices and habits of the non-Muslims in order to find a means of diversion for either themselves or their fellow Muslims, and will even suggest attending, or (may Allah forbid) will organize presentations which include stand-up comedy, rap and dances for the Muslims 'to enjoy, have fun and become better aquainted.'

    Sadly, some people take their position on dancing from a number of Islamically invalid sources, most commonly, the Bibical verse, "Let them praise his name in dance: Let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp." Psalms, [149: 3].

    The Prophet (May prayers and peace be upon him) said in an authentic narration, "You will surely follow in the ways of those before you, inch by inch and step by step, so much so that if they were to enter a lizard's hole, you would follow after them."

    (The Companions) asked, 'O Messenger of Allah, (Do you mean) the Jews and the Christians?'

    He replied, "Who else?" And he (May prayers and peace be upon him) also said in another narration, "Whosoever resembles a people is one of them."

    Allah Most High describes the characteristics of His worshippers, "And those who do not witness falsehood, and if they pass by some evil play or evil talk, they pass by it with dignity." [Al-Furqan, 25:72]

    According to Ibn Katheer, At-Tabari and other reliable commentators of the Qur'an, the word 'zur' '...falsehood...' used in above verse refers to: Shirk, worship of idols, lies, moral depravity, foolish talk, and every type of falsehood. A number of the eminent scholars such as Muhammad ibn Hanifah, state that the verse also includes "listening to or participation in music." Ammar ibn Qais states that it refers to "acting obscenely or using obscene language."

    Izzudeen ibn Abdus-Salam (who is nicknamed "Sultanul Ulama", i.e. the Monarch of Scholars) says in reference to men dancing, "As for dancing and handclapping in a light and frivoulous manner resembling the frivolity of females, none would do it except the light-headed or affected ignoramous."

    Ibnul Qayyim Al-Jowziyyah refers to the music which accompanies dance as "the Qur'an of Shaytaan." I ask you now to reflect on the nature of dance and music, as there is no doubt that the lyrics and rhythms of such music which is 'danceable' also encourages one to the basest of desires and can neither encourage one to righteousness and piety, nor is it played, sung or composed by the pious. This includes those Muslims who compose so-called "Islamic rap", as there is nothing "Islamic" about rap.

    It does not take a stretch of the imagination to see that music, foolish talk, and most of all obscene behaviour, are inextricable elements of Western (and many Eastern) dances. Moreover, it was never from the actions or commands of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa selem) or his companions or any of the pious generations of the Muslims to ever encourage or participate in such action.

    Thus if someone should say, "we were only seeking relaxation and entertainment", I would reply, then why not turn your attention to what pleases Allah? Allah says, "So when you have finished (from your occupation), then stand up for Allah's worship." [Ash-Sharh, 96:7] Dancing does not fit in the category of "worship" or pleasing Allah no matter how much someone may attempt to justify it. Therefore as Muslims, before we jump in haste to initiate something for the pleasure of Allah, we should first check to see if it conforms with the Sunnah of His Messenger, (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam).

    For further reading: "The Islamic Ruling on Music and Singing" by Abu Bilal Mustafa Al-Kanadi, one of the most authoritative texts in any language which includes a section on dancing.

    [This message has been edited by Sadiaa (edited June 04, 2001).]

    OH Gosh! May Allah forgive us all...Thinking about our reguler triditional Pakistani Wedding...Mehandi seems so uncomplete without singing and dances and we are so addicted to it that it seems that there is no way out. On those events i have seen some elderly ladies..pretty much sober and religious.. forcing and telling all of young girls to not just sit there but get up and dance and get the party going as it was a really happy event... even if one person wants to do it rest of the people would go againt him/her saying oh come one its a happy time..enjoy and let us enjoy...even myself would like to have as much dances as possible for my sister's wedding (coming up) because we are so stuck that it seems thats the only way to enjoy some happy event.. even after knowing all this...May Allah forgive us all and guide us to chose the right path...Ameen



      You talk alot about commentaters and narrations.

      ...but where does the Quran actualy forbid singing and dancing?


        I would be very interested to see an answer to Pilot25's question:

        Where does the Qur'an declare singing, dancing and music to be haram, per se?

        They shoot partypoopers, don't they?


          I do strongly believe that dancing is something not permissible for us as Muslims.. But read what some people are trying to do in muslim countries. I am sure so sad and angry at these people.

          There are only two forces in the world, the sword and the spirit. In the end the sword will always be conquered by the spirit. --Napoleon Bonaparte


            Whilst I personally follow a different ruling on singing and dancing to the one posted here, in response to Pilot25 I would say that Islam is not based entirely on following solely the Quran..the hadith are important.
            For example, where in the Quran does it say that we should recite Surat-ul-Fatiha during each rakaat of prayer, or that we should say "Subhana rabi al-ala" during prostration?

            To the me, the best anology is that the Quran provides the skeleton of our faith - it is the core. The Hadith, however, expand on it and give our religion more depth.
            Muslims are so good at dividing that they can divide the atom. If you see two Muslims, probably they belong to 3 parties.


              Saadia--I agree with the gist of your article that the kind of dancing you seem to mention between guys and girls is haraam.

              BUT dancing is not 100% haraam in all circumstances.

              1. What about the hadith where Hazrat Ayesha radhi Allah anha was permitted by Our lord and Master sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam to watch the dance of the black slaves (?) until she herself stopped.

              2. When Allah's Messenger sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam entered Madina Sharif for the first time the people of Madina made a jaloos [procession] to greet him (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) and the girls danced and sung and played drums in their happiness to greet the Best of Creation (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam).

              Allah Knows Best.


                Singing, Dancing and music are vain activities and are not encouraged in Islam. Infact they are quite discouraged in Islam.
                The tolerance or allowance up to a limit of certain forms of these is exclusive and not inclusive.
                The prophet(pbuh) in his life did discourage these activities and looked upon them with distaste. This is something that we as muslims should always remember. The fact that prophet(pbuh) did discourage muslims from engaging into most froms of these is a very important fact to remember.

                In general if these activities contain anything unislamic, immoral, lustful or glamarous or vain then these are not allowed.
                Very few pass thorugh this....

                The Quran says, in Surah Mominoon as a sign of the believers,

                "And they avoid what are vain (things)".

                This ayah should serve as a guidline in this matter.

                [This message has been edited by Ahmed (edited June 06, 2001).]


                  Originally posted by PureLand:
                  I do strongly believe that dancing is something not permissible for us as Muslims.. But read what some people are trying to do in muslim countries. I am sure so sad and angry at these people.
                  Sad Indeed, over here in US egyptions in my high schools did belly dances on international night or talent shows and the sad part would be their clothing. Not only that day but on any other day they would dress up just like any American would be. All their clothings were too exposing. One thing rest of the non Muslim students would ask us that "well they are Muslims aswell then how come they wear those clothes and you guys don't." Then there would be those long explonation, that there are all kind of ppl in every religion, some good some bad. Christians are not allowed to expose their body etc etc but the Bible has changed over time or ppl don't care....ahh long story...But only wish that All Muslims would follow what thier Religion teaches them. Azab is horrifying for such ppl but may Allah forgive All and show them the right path. Ameen

                  Thanx for sharing the article, good to know that they did object in Egypt on that topic.


                    Originally posted by Paki Khans:
                    Sad Indeed, over here in US egyptions in my high schools did belly dances on international night or talent shows and the sad part would be their clothing.
                    I fail to comprehend how a belly-dancing culture survived under over a thousand years of Muslim rule.... lewd dancing in lewd clothes? Where were the scholars who should have struggled against this?????

                    Muslims are so good at dividing that they can divide the atom. If you see two Muslims, probably they belong to 3 parties.


                      Bhangra, is the most popular folk dance of Punjab (India and Pakistan), performed on all festive occasions, particularly at sowing and harvest celebrations. nothing wrong to indulge in dancing on happy occasions.


                        A similar question was posted yesterday, but I can't find it here anymore. The question was "Can muslims dance? ... Is it religiously sanctioned one way or another?

                        I am curious myself, cz I have seen many arabic tribes with their own dances. In most cases men dance in their own gatherings and women probably dance in their own.

                        I known muslim women dance in Pakistani weddings and stuff, which is probably not permissible if men are also present.

                        What is also important is to find out Quran's ruling, if any. Ahmed did post an ayat. If anyone else have any other argument to further this discussion, please add here.


                        "Let your friends underestimate your virtues. Let your enemies overestimate your faults." - Godfather.


                          Religious Police?

                          Would be fun to get the religious police dancing..

                          Only because..

                          Joy is a gift from God.

                          I truly believe that in order to be able to respect and worship God, one needs to know how to feel joy.

                          My thinking is that if one hasn't ever felt Joy then one hasn't ever truly lived.

                          Same goes for pain.

                          If one has never truly felt anything.

                          It isn't possible to feel Joy or Pain.


                            is belly dancing originiated in mid-east? a culture without dancing
                            singing and other expression joy and happines would be too sterile.
                            religen should be fun should not restrict natural expression of human emotions.