Dancing is so common within women that some people might even find it ridiculous that I’m talking about this. I probably would’ve found it ridiculous a few years ago. I mean, sure, I always get uncomfortable when a woman belly dances at a party for everyone. I’ll sit there in the corner and avert my eyes, wondering if it’ll seem strange if I just stood up and went to the kitchen. I always seemed to be the only one who felt that way. It just never made sense to me – why should everyone just sit and watch as one woman performed this very provacative dance?
Forget about belly dancing – what about just women dancing all together? And we’re obviously not talking folklore or ballroom dancing here; we’re talking hip hop, belly shaking, shoulder shimmying dancing. It is clearly haraam in front of men – but what about within women?
I tried to look up dancing in hadith, etc, but I came up dry. My guess is perhaps that dancing is a rather new phenomenom. This topic did crop up in the Fiqh of Love class I took, taught by Shaykh Yaser Birjas. I clearly remember him saying that old (ancient) school dancing – such as going around in circles while holding hands – is permissible. My husband told me that the shaykh had also said that provocative dancing such as belly dancing is not allowed.
And, you know, forget about all of the fataawa, etc. I think we get so caught up in “is this permissible?” we sometimes forget that if it’s shady….the best thing to do would be to just leave it alone.
Or ask yourself this: is this action praiseworthy? Is it a practice you wouldn’t be ashamed to tell Muhammad sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that you were a part of? What about Allah – don’t we realize that He is watching us all the time and that it’s His opinion that only matters in the end?
Enough of my waffle 😀 Here is what the experts say. And man, this quote by Al-Qurtubi is kind of scary….
Al-Qurtubi (may Allaah have mercy on him) is the one who narrated this report, then he said: Abu’l-Faraj and al-Qaffaal among our companions said: the testimony of the singer and the dancer is not to be accepted. (source)
With regard to dancing, it is not permissible in front of men, non-mahrams, mahrams or women, because of the fitnah that may be caused by the movements of the body. It is well known that women may feel desire for one another, and even if that is not the case, there is no guarantee that one of them will not go back to her menfolk and describe to them what she has seen of the beauty of the dancer and her movement, so this may affect the men and may cause a great deal of mischief. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade such things.
It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No woman should look at another woman then describe her to her husband so that it is as if he can see her.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4839.
In the early days the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) allowed effeminate men to enter upon woman, but when he saw one of them describing women and disclosing their secrets, he forbade them from doing that.
It was narrated from Umm Salamah (may Allaah be pleased with her): The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) entered upon me and there was an effeminate man with me. I heard him say to ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Abi Umayyah, “O ‘Abd-Allaah, if Allaah should enable you to conquer al-Taa’if tomorrow you should look for the daughter of Ghaylaan…” then he described her. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “These people should not enter upon you.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3980; Muslim, 4048.
The alluring movements of a woman are part of her ‘awrah, and it is not permissible for her to show them to anyone but her husband.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
Dancing is makrooh in principle, but if it is done in the western manner or in imitation of the kaafir women, then it becomes haraam, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” Moreover it sometimes leads to fitnah, because the dancer may be a young, beautiful woman, so the other women are tempted. Even if she is among other women, the other women may do things that indicate that they are temped by her. And whatever is a cause of fitnah is not allowed.
Liqa’ al-Baab al-Maftooh, q. 1085.
And he said:
With regard to dancing on the part of women, it is an evil action and we cannot say that it is permissible, because we have heard of incidents that have occurred among women because of it. If it is done by men that is even worse, because that is men imitating women, and the evil involved is well known. If dancing is done among a mixed group of men and women, as some of the foolish do, that is even worse because of the mixing and great fitnah involved, especially when that is done at a wedding party.”
wAllahu ta’aala ‘Alam