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Are Muslims Allowed To Dance?

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August, 2012

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(RNS) The Taliban in Afghanistan shocked the world this week (Aug. 27) when they beheaded 17 people, allegedly for the crime of dancing at a mixed-gender gathering.

Which prompts the question: Does Islam forbid dancing? While Islamic scholars are divided on the answer, it’s easy to find Muslims in America and abroad who love to boogie down.

“Even though there are scholars who forbid dancing, there is a long tradition of dancing in Muslim cultures,” said Vernon Schubel, a Muslim and professor of religious studies at Kenyon College in Ohio.

There is no mention of dancing in the Quran, which serves as Muslims’ primary source of guidance. There is a story about dancing in the hadith, or collected stories about Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, which are the second-most important source of guidance for Muslims.

Are Muslims Allowed To Dance

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Chief Editor’s comments:

Whether dancing is allowed or not, indecency is not allowed, the verse of the Holy Quran recited in the second part of every Friday sermon, all over the world, is:

Indeed, Allah enjoins justice, and the doing of good to others; and giving like kindred; and forbids indecency, and manifest evil, and wrongful transgression. He admonished you that you may take heed. (Al Quran 16:91)

Now you do the math!

However, the more important issue is, killing to prohibit dancing is certainly not allowed in Islam and it is like perpetuating a holocaust and creating a complete collapse of civil society and law and order.

Killing for such alleged offense may be in line with the teachings in Deuteronomy, if you invest a few hours and read it cover to cover, in the Old Testament, but, certainly, not the Holy Quran:

On account of this, We prescribed for the children of Israel that whosoever killed a person — unless it be for killing a person or for creating disorder in the land — it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and whoso gave life to one, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind. And Our Messengers came to them with clear Signs, yet even after that, many of them commit excesses in the land. (Al Quran 5:33) 

Posted by on August 30, 2012. Filed under Culture and Traditions,Islam,Religion,Religious Values. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

18 Responses to Are Muslims Allowed To Dance?

  1. Rafiq A. Tschannen

    August 31, 2012 at 4:42 am

    This post was the ‘most read of the day’. I wonder whether the readers hoped the answer was ‘yes’ and they could go dancing tonight?

  2. maria tariq

    August 31, 2012 at 6:18 am

    well I was praying for a ‘NO’.

  3. Raziya Mohamedali

    August 31, 2012 at 6:56 am

    These Taliban and like-minded persons truly are very blood-thirsty. They seem to believe that for any alleged breaking of Islamic law, the punishment is to dispatch the miscreant/s without further ado, to the hereafter!

    May Allah keep such minded people as far away from us as possible, Ameen.

  4. MNA KHAN

    August 31, 2012 at 7:35 am

    QUESTION:-Are Muslims allow to dance in a mixed- gender gathering?
    ANSWER:- No because it can lead to a sinful life.By speech and advise this can be handled.Other wise every one has to answer about his/her on the day of judgement on his/her sinful doings.
    But killing of peaceful peoples is a great sin.Islam can never allow this cruelty.Killers are miss-guided and mad peoples.

    Ubaidullah Aleem say’s

    “MAIN YEH KEHTA HUN MUHABAT SAY KARO JO BHI KARO
    WOH YEH KEHTAY HAIN KEH SHAMSHIR SAY HO JOKUCHH HO”

    English translation:-
    ( My advise is to use love and affection i,e peaceful strategy in all your doings but they insist to handle all the matters with sword).

  5. Munir Varraich

    August 31, 2012 at 8:12 am

    I need not comment on this brutal incident. Human being is capable of being the worst animal.

    The other issue is whether dancing is permitted in Islam.

    If Islam is the religion of “human nature”, then like all life forms there is a need of “human nature” to express itself in sound (speech), body movements,(dance) and in other manner whatever is within its reach.

    Dancing is a powerful way of expression. The birds dance, the animals dance, and how come any religion will go counter to this natural urge.

    Come to think of it, even the body movements in the Muslim prayers is also a form of dance. Just imagine a higher form of life-form observing the Juma prayers where humdereds of human species move in unison to perform a act, a movement, which is also a type of dance.

    Dancing can be graceful movements and that can be vulgar body movements. All religions engourage graceful behaviour. Of course all religions also give “choice” to the human being.

  6. Namelee

    April 27, 2014 at 11:54 am

    To start with, quran 5:33 is plagiarized from the Jewish Mishna Sanhedrin, which is not a revelation but the writing of an individual. The quran said the instruction was given to the children of Israel and there is no indication that it was incumbent on muhammadans to abide by it. It does not have a persuasive let alone a binding effect on the muhammadans.

  7. Zia Shah

    April 27, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    There seems to be a consensus among the Muslim commentators that the whole story of Able and Cain is told, along with this teaching for the Israelites, not only to stress its historic importance, but, to highlight its relevance for the Muslims.

    As regards the charge of plagiarism, thoughtful Christians have stopped leveling that as more and more vulnerabilities of the Bible have been exposed in the last few decades.

    At any rate, here is some reading on this subject:

    The Bible, The Quran and Science: Is the Quran copied from the Bible?

  8. Rafiq A. Tschannen

    April 28, 2014 at 12:17 am

    The readers of TMT will know that Namelee’s comments are his personal views mostly not shared by Muslims. We believe that the Holy Qur’an is the direct revelation from Allah. No single sentence is ‘plagiarized’. As Islam is the continuation of the Jewish and Christian religion it is natural that many teachings will be similar, as the revelations come from the same ONE (and only) creator of us all. That has nothing to do with ‘plagiarization’.

  9. Rafiq A. Tschannen

    April 28, 2014 at 12:21 am

    Is Music allowed in Islam? Here is an answer to this question by Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IV:

    We present below part of a question and answer session with Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad(ru), Khalifatul Masih IV, Fourth Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community.
    Questioner: “Somebody I know has a bad habit of listening to music. My question is: what is the status of music [in Islam]?

    Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad(ru): “You see, this is what you call a bad habit; it all depends on the degree of the habit and the nature of the music. The music in itself, as a whole, cannot be dubbed as bad. Even wine in the Holy Qur’an is not dubbed as totally bad. Even juggling and these things are not dubbed as entirely bad. What is described, the principle described, is a thing which has overwhelmingly, or more than 50% bad in it should be abandoned and rejected and a thing which has less than 50% of bad things, its better things should be utilised and the bad things avoided. Now music falls in the no man’s land in fact; it is neither forbidden entirely nor permitted without any conditions. We know at the time of Hadhrat Muhammad(saw) when he walked into Madinah, the ladies of Madinah, welcoming him, sang a song of welcome plus they beat on the drum, which is called daff. Now, that was a sort of music which was available to the Arabs; nobody can say that it was not music. But this was not the practice of Rasulullah(saw) [(the Holy Prophet)] to permit the Companions to go on enjoying music revelries and music sessions, and to be given up to music. That was not their habit. Instead they enjoyed [the] recitation of the Qur’an, or listening to the good verses, or meaningful verses, of great poets. But gradually their taste was developed and they shifted from poetry to the Qur’an ultimately. So, it requires some time of patience to improve the quality of your taste, and without that to abandon certain things would be rather cruel.

    In these things it is a matter of taste. In some other things the matter of prohibition is fast and hard and you can’t change it. You can’t say I have to improve my taste for water before I can stop drinking wine. No, no, that will not be permissible because wine is forbidden and what is forbidden is forbidden, but music does not fall into that category. For that you can acquire a wise approach of a systematic, gradual deliverance from that habit.

    And as far as pop music is concerned I don’t know how people can tolerate that! Just sheer nonsense! I don’t disrespect music altogether, because I know the classical music had some nobility in it. It brought out the best in man, in a way that man would not understand. But the music writers were noble minded. They wanted to bring, even if the theme was miserable, they wanted to bring the question of misery of others to the listeners of music – that the others were suffering. They became sad, without anybody naming the people, without any tale being told in words. The music delivered all these things, and they became sad and started crying, not knowing for what, but when they came out of the music halls they were nobler people than before. So the music served a purpose, and a noble purpose.

    Here in the pop music when people leave that hall, they leave with some sort of madness and craving for something they cannot have, and for that even they have to go to kill others or mug others for some drug or something; that elation, artificial elation, requires further help of drugs. So the taste left behind by this modern ‘so-called music’ is ugly and evil, and the society under its influence is becoming uglier and more permissive, more careless of the traditional values, so this music is obviously evil and sinful.

    So I can’t treat every music alike; that is why I said you have to be wise and be selective in your choice. [An] occasional brush with music cannot be considered a practice whereby you will be sent to hell, I assure you not! But, an occasional brush with music which draws you into itself at the cost of higher values, at the cost of memory of Allah, at the cost of prayers, where you are taken over by music and that becomes all your ambition and obsession; if that happens then you are a loser, obviously.”

    - See more at: http://www.reviewofreligions.org/1933/is-music-allowed-in-islam/#sthash.PDVBV5GM.dpuf

  10. Namelee

    April 28, 2014 at 1:12 am

    Rafiq,
    The Jews do not regard the Mishna Sanhedrin as revelation. To them it is folklore by Pirke Rabbi Eleazar(AD 150-200).
    The allegation in the quran that someone else was substituted for Christ at the crucifixion is not original to Muhammad. It comes from the Gnostic Gospels.
    The story of the seven sleepers in sura 18 comes from the Latin Works of Gregory of Tours entitled ‘THE SEVEN SLEEPERS OF EPHESUS’.
    Circumnavigating the kabba seven times, kissing the black stone, running between the two hills, the pilgrimags, etc, are all rehashed from pagan Arabian customs.
    The fable of Jesus making live birds from clay is taken from the ‘GOSPEL OF THOMAS THE ISRAELITE FIRST AND SECOND FORMS’It says:”AND HAVING MADE SOFT CLAY, HE FASHIONED OUT OF IT TWELVE SPARROWS –AND JESUS CLAPPED HIS HANDS, AND CRIED OUT TO THE SPARROWS, AND SAID TO THEM: ‘OFF YOU GO’! AND THE SPARROWS FLEW, AND WENT OFF CRYING”.
    There are many more.
    Yusuf Ali has been quoted as admitting that the quran borrowed from apocryphal gospels in his book ‘THE HOLY QURAN’, footnotes 388 and 390.
    Neal Robinson is also quoted to admit in his book ‘CHRIST IN ISLAM AND CHRISTIANITY’, that some of the features of the quranic representation of Jesus cannot be traced to the canonical Gospels but are reminiscent of the apocryphal infancy gospels.

  11. Dr. Koya

    April 28, 2014 at 3:29 am

    While the dancing is not clearly permuted in Islam, the power to punish anyone is not prescribed. Staunch fundamentalists – the likes of Taliban – the Saudi officials engage in dancing. You need to see the how they take to sword dancing with former President George W. Bush during one of his official visits when Iraq was under attack.

    In Sufism, they take to dance during a full moon period and in other Middle Eastern Muslim countries they dance during Maulid and Ratib recitals. However, they are most all male participants with some musical instruments.

    There may be some spirituality involved in it but certainly male/female participation is absolutely a NO, NO in Islam even from cursory glance of the Holy Quran. It is a source of great indecency and it just end at any given point: it simply escalates form smoking to liquor and drug to sex and complicated crimes. ( Former CID).

  12. Safiyyah Summernight

    July 17, 2014 at 12:45 am

    Namelee,
    History. Of course some past accounts should coincide with the past. It would be more misleading or should I say disturbing if the Qur’an has something that didn’t have a proof, supporting document, or something similar.

    Don’t make yourself worthy of being a critique of revelations beyond Human Knowledge.
    If you would excuse me, if Qur’an was plagiarized, who did the plagiarizing process?

    If this is a test to the credibility of the statements in the Qur’an, its authenticity, or the fact that it came from God, let me tell you something, and ask you another.

    Prophet Muhammad (saws) is not an educated man.

    What can you say about the Scientific contents/facts of the Qur’an that have been uncovered years after the Qur’an was revealed?

  13. Lutf

    July 17, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Those who seek permission for music and dancing in Quran, and not finding them there, prohibit these practices have simply no knowledge of the book.
    Quran clearly says that God has prohibited in he Quran what was necessary. Nothing more can be added to those prohibitions.
    Quran does not directly address music or dancing. Therefore neither can be prohibited by anyone.
    Of course the context is important. Indecency in any of the above will be discouraged. Since there is no coercion in religion, no punishments can be given by anyone on this basis. Particularly those whose authority is entirely due to religion have no power punish.
    One comment for namelee. “Plagiarism”!! Really!!
    If there is only one God and one Message then every Prophet plagiarized. New Testament was plagiarized from the Old Testament which in turn contains the teachings of Hadhrat Ibraheem. And lot of the moral code of Islam is the same as in the Jewish and Christian religion. So I understand your prejudice but be fair. You are undermining your own credibility.

  14. p

    July 27, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    Lutf, the new testament was not plagiraised from the old! You would soon see when you read it. Matthew, Mark Luke and John all were followers of Jesus and retold the events they saw. They are actually easy to read stories – accounts of events like healings, teachings, going from town to town etc.

    The Quran is quite different – it is not an account of events that actually happened. Quran means spoken word of God. Once Written down, the Quran is no longer a spoken word. It is a retelling of sayings of God. It is not easy to follow as it is not a story. Muslims should read both the Bible and Quran to be true followers of God. In fact they are not obeying God by only reading the Quran.

  15. Luca Lambruschini

    August 14, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Rafiq A. Tschannen,
    Asalamu aleykum, I loved your argument on pop music and I believe you definitely hit the target when you say “when people leave that hall, they leave with some sort of madness and craving for something they cannot have”. This is valid also for rock music and I see it clearly and daily, very very visible in teenagers of our society. I always say the same thing to our teenagers.
    I just want to add some hope to that through my own experience: Sometimes, in the middle of evil, God uses evil itself to bring someone to Him. Elvis Presley started his music in rebellion to human values and he died with 19,000 drugs in his body at 42 years of age. But toward the end of his life he got so much away from God and his life was so destroyed by it that he came to realize this in his heart and to transmit his suffering feelings through his latest music especially sacred hymns. And it’s these strong feeling of his search for God in his music that brought me to God after a life of atheism.
    I’m a Christian, but I love God as much as you do.

  16. Sulayman Ibrahim

    September 4, 2014 at 2:21 am

    Since there is no part in Quran about dancing I think husband and wife can dance (halal) as they are a covering for each other and should please each other as prescribed by Quaran. I think however I should submit that single brothers and sisters should refrain from such actions as it could lead to (haram) acts.

  17. Rafiq A. Tschannen

    September 4, 2014 at 2:23 am

    Well, but that would mean that husband and wife could / should dance only in the privacy of their home, not in public.

  18. Ghulam Sarwar

    September 4, 2014 at 10:27 am

    Dear P, your post of July 27 is interesting mixture of good and bad. You can see that Muslims do read the Bible and respect it too. But do the Christians do that? They do not read the Quran. The Catholics are distributing books to Muslims but the Catholics do not take any book from Muslims. It was one Clergy (Catholic) who told me that they were forbidden to take any book from the Muslims. WHY??
    Next is the respect in heart of Muslims for Jesus and his mother even though Muslims do not agree to Jesus being son of God or God himself. What respect do the Christians give to Muhammad? In such a bad state of mind, it will be useless for the Christians to study the Quran.
    I am a witness to prove that the Quran is well worded without any extra words, even some words are omitted and are to be understood and wisely interpolated. It is concise. I can prove its accuracy and beauty.
    We Muslims read the words of Jesus a.s. in the gospel and we enjoy the beauty of his teaching. We love Jesus and his mother. But we do not like the enemies of Jesus a.s.
    It would be good if the Christians and the Muslims came on the same footing (level) with justice. Wassalam.

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