Dancing is a movement of the body that follows the rhythm in a special place and time. Commonly, It is followed by music or song. Dancing in Islam is ar-raqshu. In the dictionary of Mu’jam Al Wasith, dancing is someone who moves his position and shakes his body according to the rhythm of music or song. Allah says:
وَلَا تَمْشِ فِي الْأَرْضِ مَرَحًا إِنَّكَ لَن تَخْرِقَ الْأَرْضَ وَلَن تَبْلُغَ الْجِبَالَ طُولًا
“And (do) not walk in the earth (with) insolence. Indeed, you will never tear the earth and will never reach the mountains (in) height.” (Surah Al-Isra: 17:37).
Commonly, dancing is done by women. Men do that, too. But women dancer is more numerous than men dancer because they are more interesting for the viewers. In this chance, this article will discuss the prohibition of dancing in Islam below:
Prohibition of dancing in Islam based on the verses of Al-Quran
Most women dance as their entertainments that lead to worldly pleasures, they often dance with clothes that do not cover their aura, shaking their body and their hips to give happiness for the viewers. Allah says:
يَا نِسَاءَ النَّبِيِّ لَسْتُنَّ كَأَحَدٍ مِّنَ النِّسَاءِ إِنِ اتَّقَيْتُنَّ فَلَا تَخْضَعْنَ بِالْقَوْلِ فَيَطْمَعَ الَّذِي فِي قَلْبِهِ مَرَضٌ وَقُلْنَ قَوْلًا مَّعْرُوفًا
“O wives (of) the Prophet! You are not like anyone among the women. If you consciously revere (Allah) then (do) not be soft in speech, lest should be moved with he who, in his heart (is) a disease, but say a word appropriate.” (Surah Al-Ahzab: 33:32)
The explanation from that verse is Allah SWT forbids humans to conduct excessively in the pursuit of worldly pleasures. Allah SWT and His Messenger never command or recommend their people to dance, moreover if that dancing is done by a woman who shows their aurat because it can cause the lust of the viewers and sins for that woman.
Prohibition of dancing in Islam based on the Hadith
In the era, Rasulullah saw, there was a dancing show from people in the mosque (Exactly in the Eid al-Fitr). This hadith is narrated by Aisha (the wife of Rasulullah saw) “The people of Habasyah played with their war equipment, Rasulullah spread out silk, so they did not show me (Aisha) I watched them. I continued to do so until I was reluctant to saw them again.” (Bukhari number 5190),
“They played spears in front of Rasulullah.” (Narrated by Muslim)
That hadith tells that there was a group of a dancer who dances with playing war equipment. At that time, Aisha watched them with Rasulullah saw. That dancing was done by men (there were no women). That dancing was allowed because it did not contain lust, that dancing contained about war and no women dancer showed their awra.
Dancing is allowed if it does not imitate disbelievers, for example, dancing with showing awra, shaking their hips, and other ways that cause lust. But if the dancing is done like a modern dance that shows the awra of dancers and it causes lust, then the law is haram. It is narrated by the hadith below,
“The law of dancing is makruh, but if it is done with imitating disbelievers, then it becomes haram.” (Liqaa Baabil Maftuh page 18)
Why is dancing prohibited?
There is no verse in the Quran or any Hadith that dancing is Haram but normally because people dance to show to the other people, you know we have dance performance on the stage and thousands of watching you so normally in terms of Hijab reason and we wouldn’t like to expose our ladies, our mothers, our sisters, our daughters on the stage and thousands of people looking at them. Allah says:
إِلَّا عَلَىٰ أَزْوَاجِهِمْ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ غَيْرُ مَلُومِينَ
“Except their spouses or what they rightfully possess then indeed, they (are) not blameworthy.” (Surah Al-Mu`minun 23:6)
So any profession in which the body is used as a show to entertain the people is prohibited that is the reason dancing in public and dancing in parties where the opposite sex mixing many times and the rules of dancing conflict with the rule of Islamic Shariah and normally today we have girlfriends and boyfriends and you dance in front of other people so because it breaks the system of Islamic Hijab and that is the reason first face it is prohibited.
The Law of Dancing for Women
Women are not allowed to dance by movements that can cause lust, such as:
- Move breast and hip: “Order your wife to use clothes inside the outer garment, so she does not show her body.” (Narrated by Abu Dawud). That hadith is the advice Rasulullah saw for women. They have to wear clothes as the cover of their body (underwear) before they wear outer garments, so they do not show their body. Moreover, they shake their breast and hips, of course, it will cause lust for the viewers and it makes them ignorant women.
- Soften the voice: A woman who softens her voice (singing) while dancing is forbidden in Islam. Because her voice is also awra. The law of dancing for women is haram because dancing it looked like the dancing of disbelievers.
- Stomp feet: “Do not that woman stomp her feet when she walks to let others hear the sound of her anklet. That is as shown in awra.” (Narrated by Muslim)
- The Causes Why Islam forbids dancing: The law of dancing for women who dance like disbelievers is haram. Islam always has laws or the best Shari’a that have many benefits from our lives. Here are the causes of why the law of dancing for women in Islam is haram :
- Do not keep their honour: Allah SWT said in Al-Quran surah An Nisa verse 25 “Good women in Islam are those who good in society, they can keep their selves and do not do something only for the worldly pleasures. While those are women who keep their selves, not adulterers and not also women who take men as their playmates.”.
- It is adultery: There are many kinds of adultery such as hand adultery, eyes adultery, mind adultery and behaviour adultery. Dancing for women can cause lust and adultery. Now, many women dance as they want (free dancing). Because of that, men who are not their mahram can see their awra easily. This thing is one of the reasons that women are forbidden to dance.
As the servant of Allah SWT, we should follow His commands, so that we can be avoided from bad deeds and behaviour beyond the boundary.
We know it’s not possible, no man can get the stars or the moon for his lover but yet we keep on repeating so because of this general rule is that music does take a person from the remembrance of the Almighty and that is a reason our Beloved Prophet (SAW) prohibited music in instrument except for duff or as generally with your voice, for example: when a person recites the Quran and his voice is good, that’s permitted because that takes a person towards Almighty.
“Dance a woman in front of her husband without anyone seeing, then it is no problem. Because sometimes it can arouse a husband’s love for his wife. And all things that can arouse the husband’s love for his wife are things that can be charged in Sharia as long as it is not haram deeds.” (Liqa Asy-Syahri page 19)
The musical instruments along with the background create a different ambience otherwise singing is (Mubah) optional as long as the words of the song take you towards your creator Allah. If the words of the song take you away from Allah even that type of song is prohibited.
Dancing That is Allowed in Islam
Allah the Merciful never makes His servant in difficultness; He always provides us with how to make life easy in Islam. Allah SWT always gives goodwill as His loves. Every woman has had a body that is used to do her activities. Sometimes, she wants to move and dance to make them happy.
Here are the laws of dancing for women that are allowed in Islam:
- Do not show your aurat in front of the opposite sex (Non-Mahram): For example, the gym and dancing are accompanied by music in an enclosed space. Women close their awra and no non-mahram sees them. Dancing like that is allowed because their goal is to keep their health.
- In front of the husband: There is no prohibition about a woman dancing in front of her husband, in any way and by any intentions, especially How to give pleasure to the husband as long as her husband allows her, the law of dancing like that is allowed.
That hadith explains that women are free to dance in many ways as long as it is in front of their husbands. Instead, it becomes rewards and worships for her.
“The dancing of a wife special for her husband, the law is halal in anyways.” (Fatawa Syaikh Masyhur Alu Salman number 49)
We have to realize that many times when you dance, you dance in public, you dance at parties and you move around otherwise with your wife you can do what you want as long as it doesn’t go against the Islamic Shariah but because most of the time dancing exploits the body and it includes singing, dancing. We Muslims love and protect our mothers, our daughters and we don’t want to exhibit them and that is the reason profession which involves singing in public or dancing or modelling, these professions are prohibited.