A Compilation of Answers
Dr. Tahir ul-Qadri, Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller and other scholars
Hadra in Intoxication of Love of Beloved Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم
It is confirmed that Ja’far ibn Abu Talib (r) danced in the presence of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) when he said to him,
“You resemble me in my creation and my behaviour.”
Ali (radiyallâhu `anhu) said:
‘I visited the Prophet with Ja`far (ibn Abi Talib) and Zayd (ibn Haritha). The Prophet said to Zayd: “You are my freedman” (anta mawlay), whereupon Zayd began to hop on one leg around the Prophet (hajala). The Prophet then said to Ja`far: “You resemble me in my creation and my manners”,
Ali (radiyallâhu `anhu) said:
I visited the Prophet with Ja`far (ibn Abi Talib and Zayd (ibn Haritha). The Prophet said to Zayd: “You are my freedman” (anta mawlay), whereupon Zayd began to hop on one leg around the prophet (hajala). The Prophet then said to Ja`far: “You resemble me in my creation and my manners” (anta ashbahta khalqi wa khuluqi), whereupon Ja`far began to hop behind Zayd.
The Prophet then said to me: “You pertain to me and I pertain to you” (anta minni wa ana minka) whereupon I began to hop behind Ja`far.
[Ahmad, Musnad 1:108 (#860).]
Shaykh Sanusi in his Musrat al-faqir.
Ibn Layun at-Tujibi said, “As for dancing in the mosque, it is in the Sahih Muslim collection from A`isha (r) who said,
An army came from Ethiopia beating drums on the day of the feast in the mosque. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) invited me and I put my palms on his shoulders and watched them play.’”
Ibn ‘Aynia said that ‘zafaf’ was to dance. If it was forbidden in its essence, it would not have been done in the presence of the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم).
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Two Hadîths from Imâm Ahmad ibn Hanbal’s Musnad
To begin with, here is a chain of authority from Shaykh Tahir-ul-Qadri back to the great Imâm!
Shaykh Tahir-ul-Qadri narrates from al-Imâm Ahmad ibn Hanbal (radiyallâhu `anhu) via many unbroken chains of authority, of which the following is one:
From ash-Shaykh `Alawî ibn `Abbâs al-Mâlikî (the father of ash-Shaykh Muhammad `Alawî al-Mâlikî);
Who from Muhaddith al-Haramayn `Umar ibn Hamdân al-Mahrisî;
Who from ash-Shaykh Ahmad ibn Ismâ`îl al-Barzanjî;
Who from ash-Shaykh Ahmad ibn Zaynî Dahlân;
Who from ash-Shaykh `Uthmân ibn Hasan ad-Dimyâtî;
Who from al-Imâm Abî `Abdullâh Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Amîr al-Kabîr al-Misrî;
Who from ash-Shaykh Abil-Hasan `Alî ibn Ahmad al-`Adawî as-Sa`îdî al-Misrî;
Who from ash-Shaykh Muhammad ibn `Uqayla al-Makkî;
Who from ash-Shaykh Hasan ibn `Alî al-`Ujaymî;
Who from ash-Shaykh Safiyyuddîn Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Qashâshî al-Madanî;
Who from ash-Shaykh Shamsuddîn ibn Ahmad ar-Ramlî;
Who from ash-Shaykh al-Qâdî Zakariyâ ibn Muhammad al-Ansârî;
Who from al-Hâfiz ash-Shihâb Ahmad ibn Hajar al-`Asqalânî;
Who from ash-Shaykh as-Sâlih ibn Abî `Umar al-Maqdisî;
Who from ash-Shaykh Fakhruddîn `Alî ibn Ahmad al-Bukhârî;
Who from ash-Shaykh Abî `Alî Hanbal ibn `Abdullâh ibn al-Faraj al-Makbar;
Who from Abil-Qâsim Hibatullâh ibn Muhammad ibn `Abdul-Wâhid ash-Shaybânî;
Who from Abî `Alî al-Hasan ibn `Alî at-Tamîmî;
Who from Abî Bakr Ahmad ibn Ja`far ibn Hamdân al-Qatî`î;
Who from `Abdullâh ibn Ahmad ibn Hanbal;
Who from his father al-Imâm Ahmad ibn Hanbal ash-Shaybânî [164-241] (radiyallâhu `anhu).
Imâm Ahmad ibn Hanbal (ra) narrates the following two narrations:
Anas ibn Mâlik (radiyallâhu `anhu) said that the Abyssinians (Habashîs) danced in front of the Messenger of Allâh (sallallâhu `alayhi wa sallam); dancing (yarquSûn/raqS) while saying “Muhammadis a Righteous Servant (Muhammadun `Abdun Sâlih)” (in their dialect/language). Allâh’s Messenger (sallallâhu `alayhi wa sallam) asked, “What are they saying?” And they responded, “Muhammadun ‘Abdun Sâlih!”.
[Ahmad ibn Hanbal, al-Musnad (Beirut: Dâr Sâdir), 3:152, #12564]
This has been narrated with a chain of transmission all of whose narrators are those of Bukhari except Hammad ibn Salama, who is one of the narrators of Muslim.
Related to this, Imâm Ahmad ibn Hanbal also reports the following in his Musnad:
“Aisha stated that Allâh’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) put her cheek on his shoulder while looking at the Abyssinians (Habashîs) dance.”
Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (ra) himself said about the Sûfîs:
“I don’t know people better than them.” Someone said to him: “They listen to music and they reach states of ecstasy.” He said: “Do you prevent them from enjoying an hour with Allâh?” (Muhammad ibn Ahmad as-Saffarînî al-Hanbalî (died 1188) who related in his Ghidha’ al-albab li-sharh manzumat al-adab from Ibrahim ibn `Abd Allah al-Qalanasi) (Cairo: Matba`at al-Najah, 1324/1906)
In some Hadîths the word used is yazfinûn. But this word itself means yarquSûn (they dance) according to the classical authorities of Islam:
Qâdî `Iyâd, Sharh Sahîh Muslim, Kitâb Salâtul-`Îdayn 3:310 (yazfinûna ma`nâhû yarquSûn waz-zifunu ar-raquS); an-Nawawî, Sharh Sahîh Muslim, Kitâb Salâtul-`Îdayn, 6:186 (yazfinûna hâdhâ kâna yazfinûn fî yawmil-`îd ma`nâhû yarquSûn); `Asqalânî, Fathul-bârî, 2:444 (yazfinûn ay yarquSûn).
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Hajar al-Haytamî mentions that some scholars have seen in this evidence for the permissibility of dancing (ar-raqs) upon hearing a recital (samâ`) that lifts the spirit.(al-Haytamî, Fatâwâ hadithiyya p. 212). al-Yâfi`î concurs with him in Mir’ât al-jinân.(al-Yâfi`î, Mir’ât al-jinân, 4:154).
Both of them mention al-`Izz ibn `Abdus-Salâm as the chief example of such scholars, since it is authentically reported that he himself ‘attended the samâ` and danced in states of ecstasy’ (kâna yahduru al-samâ` wa yarqusu wa yatawâjadu), as stated by Ibn al-`Imâd on the authority of al-Dhahabî, Ibn Shâkir al- Kutabî, al-Yâfi`î, an-Nabahânî, and Abû al- Sa`âdat. (Ibn al-`Imâd, Shadharat al-dhahab 5:302; Ibn Shâkir al-Kutabî, Fawat al-wafâyat, 1:595; al-Yâfi`î, Mir’ât al-jinân, 4:154; an-Nabahânî, Jâmi` karamât al-awliyâ, 2:71; Abû al-Sa`âdat, Tâj al-ma`ârif, p. 250)
Sahih Bukhari: Volume 2, Book 15, Number 103:
Narrated `Urwa on the authority of `Aisha: On the days of Mina, (11th, 12th, and 13th of Dhul-Hijjah) Abu Bakr came to her while two young girls were beating the tambourine and the Prophet was lying covered with his clothes. Abu Bakr scolded them and the Prophet uncovered his face and said to Abu Bakr, “Leave them, for these days are the days of `Id and the days of Mina.” `Aisha further said, “Once the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was screening me and I was watching the display of black slaves in the Mosque and (`Umar) scolded them. The Prophet said, ‘Leave them. O Bani Arfida! (carry on), you are safe (protected)’.” [ Sahih Bukhari: Volume 2, Book 15, Number 103]
Sahih Muslim: Book 004, Number 1942:
`A’isha reported: The Messenger of Allah (way peace be upon him) came (in my apartment) while there were two girls with me singing the song of the Battle of Bu`ath. He lay down on the bed and turned away his face. Then came Abu Bakr and he scolded me and said: Oh! this musical instrument of the devil in the house of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him)! The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) turned towards him and said: Leave them alone. And when he (the Holy Prophet) became unattentive, I hinted them and they went out, and it was the day of ‘Id and negroes were playing with shields and speare. (I do not remember) whether I asked the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) or whether he said to me if I desired to see (that sport). I said: Yes. I stood behind him with his face parallel to my face, and he said: O Banu Arfada, be busy (in your sports) till I was satiated. He said (to me): Is that enough? I said: Yes. Upon this he asked me to go. [Sahih Muslim: Book 004, Number 1942]
Book 004, Number 1938:
`A’isha reported: Abu Bakr came to see me and I had two girls with me from among the girls of the Ansar and they were singing what the Ansar recited to one another at the Battle of Bu`ath. They were not, however, singing girls. Upon this Abu Bakr said: What I (the playing of) this wind instrument of Satan in the house of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) and this too on `Id day? Upon this the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Abu Bakr, every people have a festival and it is our festival (so let them play on).
Book 004, Number 1939:
This hadith has been narrated by Hisham with the same chain of transmitters, but there the words are:” Two girls were playing upon a tambourine.”
Book 004, Number 1940:
`A’isha reported that Abu Bakr came to her and there were with her two girls on Adha days who were singing and beating the tambourine and the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) had wrapped himself with his mantle. Abu Bakr scolded them. The Messenger of Allah (may peace he upon him) uncovered (his face) and said: Abu Bakr, leave them alone for these are the days of `Id. And `A’isha said: I recapitulate to my mind the fact that once the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) screened me with his mantle and I saw the sports of the Abyssinians, and I was only a girl, and so you can well imagine how a girl of tender age is fond of watching the sport.
Book 004, Number 1941:
`A’isha reported: By Allah, I remember the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) standing on the door of my apartment screening me with his mantle enabling me to see the sport of the Abyssinians as they played with their daggers in the mosque of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him). He (the Holy Prophet) kept standing for my sake till I was satiated and then I went back; and thus you can well imagine how long a girl tender of age who is fond of sports (could have watched it).
Book 004, Number 1942:
`A’isha reported: The Messenger of Allah (way peace be upon him) came (in my apartment) while there were two girls with me singing the song of the Battle of Bu`ath. He lay down on the bed and turned away his face. Then came Abu Bakr and he scolded me and said: Oh! this musical instrument of the devil in the house of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him)! The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) turned towards him and said: Leave them alone. And when he (the Holy Prophet) became unattentive, I hinted them and they went out, and it was the day of ‘Id and negroes were playing with shields and speare. (I do not remember) whether I asked the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) or whether he said to me if I desired to see (that sport). I said: Yes. I stood behind him with his face parallel to my face, and he said: O Banu Arfada, be busy (in your sports) till I was satiated. He said (to me): Is that enough? I said: Yes. Upon this he asked me to go.
Book 004, Number 1943:
`A’isha reported that some Abyssinians came and gave a demonstration of armed fight on the `Id day in the mosque. The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) invited me (to see that fight). I placed my head on his shoulder and began to see their sport till it was I who turned away from watching them.
Book 004, Number 1944:
This hadith has been narrated by Hisham with the same chain of transmitters but (the narrators) did not make mention of the mosque.
Book 004, Number 1945:
`A’isha said that she sent a message to the players (of this armed fight) saying: I like to see them (fighting). She further said: The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) stood up and I stood at the door (behind him) and saw (this fight) between his ears and his shoulders they played in the mosque. `Ata’ (one of the narrators) said: Were they persians or Abyssinians? Ibn `Atiq told me they were Abyssinians.
Book 004, Number 1946:
Abu Huraira reported: While the Abyssinians were busy playing with their arms in the presence of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) `Umar b. Khattab came there. He bent down to take up pebbles to throw at them (in order to make them go off). The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said to him: `Umar, leave them alone.
Volume 8, Book 73, Number 229:
The Prophet was on a journey and a slave named Anjasha was chanting (singing) for the camels to let them go fast (while driving). The Prophet said, “O Anjasha, drive slowly (the camels) with the glass vessels!” Abu Qilaba said, “By the glass vessels’ he meant the women (riding the camels).”
Volume 8, Book 73, Number 230:
Narrated Anas bin Malik: The Prophet had a Had (a camel driver) called Anjasha, and he had a nice voice. The Prophet said to him, “(Drive) slowly, O Anjasha! Do not break the glass vessels!” And Qatada said, “(By vessels’) he meant the weak women.”
Many pseudo-salafis claim that the “Sufis” act upon desires and not proof.
Yet, as Shaykh Nuh H.M. Keller (May Allah (SWT) continue to illuminate his heart) stated, “The sufi lives by the principle; amal-bil-’ilm (acting with knowledge).”
Amongst the scholars of law (fuqahaa’) the issue of spiritual dancing is an issue of ikhtilaaf (disagreement). Generally, amongst the Muslim Community, only Sufis dance (raqs) or sway when remembering Allah (SWT)’s name. The noble Shaadhili tariqa performs this swaying in a group form of dhikr known as the Hadhrah. This act, as you will soon see, does not contradict the Shari’ah, and hence is not a misguided deviation as many pseudo-salafis claim1 .
A major proof for those who say that dancing (ar-raqs) is permitted is based on what is reported from Imām ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (Radiya Allahu ‘Anhu) that states,
حدثنا عبد الله حدثني أبي ثنا أسود يعنى بن عامر أنبأنا إسرائيل عن أبي إسحاق عن هانئ بن هانئ عن على رضي الله عنه قال : أتيت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وجعفر وزيد قال فقال لزيد أنت مولاي فحجل قال وقال لجعفر أنت أشبهت خلقي وخلقي قال فحجل وراء زيد قال وقال لي أنت منى وأنا منك قال فحجلت وراء جعفر
Ali ibn Abi Taalib said, “I visited the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) with Ja’far [ibn Abī Tālib] and Zayd [ibn Harithah].
The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) said to Zayd, “You are my freedman (mawlā’i), whereupon Zayd began to hajala (hop on one leg – a type of dancing) around the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa Sallam).
The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) then said to Ja’far:
“You resemble me in my physical form and character” (Khalqī wa Khuluqī), whereupon Ja’far began to do the same behind Zayd.
The Nabi (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) then said to me, “You are a part of me and I am a part of you” (anta minnī wa anā mink) whereupon I began to do the same behind Ja’far.”
This is reported by Imām Ahmad in his Musnad (1:537 #857). Ash-Shākir declared it authentic in his review of the Musnad. Al-Bazzār in his Musnad with a sound chain according to Imām Al-Haythamī in his Majma’ Az-Zawā’id (5:157). Also reported by Imām Al-Bayhaqī in his Sunan Al-Kubrā (8:6 #15548, 20816) as well as Ibn Abī Shaybah in his Musannaf. Ibn Sa’ad reported this in Mursal form in his Tabaqāt, 4:22.
The criticism of this chain is Haani’ ibn Haani’. Imaam An-Nasaa’i said about him, “There is nothing wrong with him.” Ibn Hibbaan mentioned him in his Ath-Thiqaat (the trustworthy narrators). Imaam Al-’Ijli decalred him, “Thiqah (trustworthy)”. There are however criticisms as mentioned by Ibn Hajr in his Tahthib at-Tahthib:
A) Al Harmalah reports from Ash-Shaafi’i, “Haani’ ibn Haani’ is not known and the people of knowledge do not establish his hadith due to his jahaalah (un-knowness) in hadith.
B) Ibn Al-Madeeni stated, “Majhul (unknown).”
Ibn Hajr concludes in his Taqrib, “Mastoor”
Imaam Al-Bayhaqi in his Sunan Al-Kubraa reports this narration with minor variation while including the crux of the above hadith. Although Imaam Al-Bayhaqi includes a second individual who heard this from ‘Ali Ibn Abi Taalib. He mentions the following in the chain:
قَالَ أَبُو إِسْحَاقَ وَحَدَّثَنِى هَانِئُ بْنُ هَانِئٍ وَهُبَيْرَةُ بْنُ يَرِيمَ عَنْ عَلِىِّ بْنِ أَبِى طَالِبٍ
Abu Is-Haaq said and Haani ibn Haani, as well as Hubayrah ibn Yareem, narrated to me from ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib…Hubayrah ibn Yareem was a Taabi’i, just as Haani ibn Haani, and a student of Sayyidunaa ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (radiya Allahu ‘Anhu).
Al-Athram reports from Imaam Ahmad the following regarding him, “There is no problem with his narrations…”.
Ibn Hibbaan mentions him in his Ath-Thiqaat. Imaam An-Nasaa’i has contradictory statements reported from him. For example he states, “Not strong in hadith” and in Jarh wa Ta’dil he states, “We hope that there was nothing wrong with his [reports].” Ibn Ma’in stated he was Majhul (unknown) while Ibn Khurrash said he was “Da’if (weak)”.
With both Haani’ ibn Haani’ and Hubayrah ibn Yareem reporting this from ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib the chain becomes strong.
As we stated above, Imaam Shaakir in his edition of the Musnad stated it was Sahih. Shaykh Nuh H.M. Keller declared it “Hasan”2 .
There is yet another Mursal chain report in the Tabaqaat of Ibn Sa’ad that supports this conclusion.
قال أخبرنا الفضل بن دكين قال حدثنا حفص بن غياث عن جعفر بن محمد عن أبيه قال: إن ابنة حمزة لتطوف بين الرجال إذ أخذ علي بيدها فألقاها إلى فاطمة في هودجها قال فاختصم فيها علي وجعفر وزيد بن حارثة حتى ارتفعت أصواتهم فأيقظوا النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم من نومه قال: هلموا أقض بينكم فيها وفي غيرها فقال علي: ابنة عمي وأنا أخرجتها ، وأنا أحق بها. وقال جعفر: ابنة عمي وخالتها عندي. وقال زيد: ابنة أخي. فقال في كل واحد قولا رضيه ، فقضى بها لجعفر ، وقال: الخالة والدة. فقام جعفر فحجل حول النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم دار عليه فقال النبي عليه السلام: ما هذا.؟ قال: شيء رأيت الحبشة يصنعونه بملوكهم
This chain is through Ja’far ibn Muhammad from his father Muhammad. It includes the ending, “The Nabi (s) asked, ‘what is this?’ To which Ja’far (radhiya allahu ‘anhu) stated, ‘I saw the Abyssinians doing this for their Kings.’ This is a Mursal narration as stated by Shaykh Gibril Haddad and other than him. Imaam Diyaa’ Al-Maqdisi includes the previous narration in his Ahadith Mukhtaara (the chosen narrations) deeming it authentic.
Another proof for dancing is the hadith of the Abyssinians dancing in front of Sayyidnaa Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam),
حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الصَّمَدِ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا حَمَّادٌ عَنْ ثَابِتٍ عَنْ أَنَسٍ قَالَ كَانَتْ الْحَبَشَةُ يَزْفِنُونَ بَيْنَ يَدَيْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَيَرْقُصُونَ وَيَقُولُونَ مُحَمَّدٌ عَبْدٌ صَالِحٌ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مَا يَقُولُونَ قَالُوا يَقُولُونَ مُحَمَّدٌ عَبْدٌ صَالِحٌ
Anas ibn Maalik (radhiya Allahu ‘anhu) said that the Abyssinians danced in front of Rasulullah (sallalllahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) while saying “Muhammad is a Righteous Slave” (in Ethiopian) upon which Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) asked, “What are they saying?” And they responded in Arabic, “Muhummadun ‘Abdun Saalihun”.
This hadith is Saheeh, established in the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad, and all of the men are from the conditional reporters of Sahih Al Bukhaari except for Hammaad ibn Salamah who is one of the men used by Imaam Muslim in his Saheeh!
This incident is also reported from ‘Aa’ishah (radhiya Allahu ‘Anhaa), as is found in the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad as well:
قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا سُلَيْمَانُ بْنُ دَاوُدَ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ يَعْنِي ابْنَ أَبِي الزِّنَادِ عَنْ هِشَامِ بْنِ عُرْوَةَ عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنْ عَائِشَةَ قَالَتْ وَضَعَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ذَقْنِي عَلَى مَنْكِبَيْهِ لِأَنْظُرَ إِلَى زَفْنِ الْحَبَشَةِ حَتَّى كُنْتُ الَّتِي مَلِلْتُ فَانْصَرَفْتُ عَنْهُم
“‘Aa’ishah stated that Rasulullah (s) put her cheek on his shoulder while looking at the Abyssinians dance…”3
These narrations are used by Imaam Al-Ghazzaali in his Ihyaa’ ‘Ulum Ad-Deen to declare dancing Mubaah (permitted).
لأدب الرابع: أن لا يقوم ولا يرفع صوته بالبكاء وهو يقدر على ضبط نفسه ولكن إن رقص أو تباكى فهو مباح فيجوز تحريكه. ولو كان ذلك حراماً لما نظرت عائشة رضي الله عنها إلى الحبشة مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وهم يزفنون هذا لفظ عائشة رضي الله عنها في بعض الروايات.
وقد روي عن جماعة من الصحابة رضي الله عنهم أنهم حجلوا لما ورد عليهم سرور أوجب ذلك وذلك في قصة ابنة حمزة لما اختصم فيها على بن أبي طالب وأخوه جعفر وزيد بن حارثة رضي الله عنهم فتشاحوا في تربيتها فقال صلى الله عليه وسلم لعلي ” أنت مني وأنا منك ” فحجل علي وقال لجعفر ” أشبهت خلقي وخلقي ” فحجل وراء حجل علي وقال لزيد ” أنت أخوناً ومولانا ” فحجل زيد وراء حجل جعفر ثم قال عليه السلام ” هي لجعفر لأن خالتها تحته والخالة والدة ” وفي رواية أنه قال لعائشة رضي الله عنها ” أتحبين أن تنظري إلى زفن الحبشة ” والزفن والحجل هو الرقص
So note that the Abyssinians were doing this act while praising Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) which is a type of ‘ibaadah to Allah (SWT). This is from the clearest proofs that this is permitted as long as done out of worship to Allah (SWT) ta’alaa.
Ibn Hajr Al-Haytami stated in his Fatawaa Hadithiyya,
“It is permissible to stand and dance during gatherings of dhikr (remembrance of Allah (SWT)) and Samaa’ (audition) according to a number of great scholars including Shaykh-ul-Islaam Al-’Izz ibn Abdus-Salaam.”
Shaykh Nuh H.M. Keller (May Allah (SWT) bless him always) quotes Imaam An-Nawawi (Rahimahullah) as saying,
Dancing is not unlawful, unless it is languid, like the movements of the effeminate. And it is permissible to speak and to sing poetry, unless it satirizes someone, is obscene, or alludes to a particular woman”
(Minhaj al-talibin wa ‘umdat al-muttaqin. Cairo 1338/1920. Reprint. Cairo: Mustafa al-Babi al-Halabi, n.d., 152 )
In the same article Shaykh Nuh (May Allah (SWT) always send his Mercy upon him) quoted Imam As-Suyuti thus (Note: We have added the Arabic from the text for the seeker to see for themself):
وكيف ينكر الذكر قائما والقيام ذاكرا وقد قال الله تعالى (الذين يذكرون الله قياما وقعودا وعلى جنوبهم) وقالت عائشة رضي الله عنها كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يذكر الله على كل أحيانه، وإن انضم إلى هذا القيام رقص أو نحوه فلا إنكار عليهم فذلك من لذات الشهود أو المواجيد وقد ورد في الحديث رقص جعفر بن أبي طالب بين يدي النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لما قال له أشبهت خلقي وخلقي وذلك من لذة هذا الخطاب ولم ينكر ذلك عليه النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فكان هذا أصلا في رقص الصوفية لما يدركونه من لذات المواجيد وقد صح القيام والرقص في مجالس الذكر والسماع عن جماعة من كبار الأئمة منهم شيخ الإسلام عز الدين بن عبد السلام.
Translated by Shaykh Nuh as:
How can one condemn making dhikr while standing, or standing while making dhikr, when Allah (SWT) Most High says, “. . . those who invoke Allah (SWT) standing, sitting, and upon their sides” (Koran 3:191).
And ‘A’isha (Allah (SWT) be well pleased with her) said, “The Prophet (Allah (SWT) bless him and give him peace) used to invoke Allah (SWT) at all of his times” [Sahih Muslim, 1.282: 373].
And if dancing is added to this standing, it may not be condemned, as it is of the joy of spiritual vision and ecstasy, and the hadith exists [in many sources, such as Musnad al-Imam Ahmad, 1.108, with a sound (hasan) chain of transmission] that Ja‘far ibn Abi Talib danced in front of the Prophet (Allah (SWT) bless him and give him peace) when the Prophet told him, “You resemble me in looks and in character,” dancing from the happiness he felt from being thus addressed, and the Prophet did not condemn him for doing so, this being a basis for the legal acceptability of the Sufis dancing from the joys of the ecstasies they experience.
(al-Hawi li al-fatawi. 2 vols. Cairo 1352/1933–34. Reprint. Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya, 1403/1983, 2.234).
In Defense of The Sufic Hadrah
There is no doubt that as of recent there is an agenda and conspiracy by some to fight the Sunni Tasawwuf movement. One particular fiqh issue that is constantly mentioned by the enemies of tasawwuf, and ‘used’ against the Sufi Tariqahs, is that they do some form of Raqs – ’dancing’, generally called a hadra. This generally involves swaying of the body or some type of body movement while doing group dhikr (remembrance).
It is not our goal to ‘convince’ everyone of the hadras permissibility. Rather it is our goal to simply show that this is an issue of jurisprudential ikhtilaaf (disagreement), and thus warrants respect from both sides for each other.
Comprehensive Proofs for the Permissibility of Raqs (Dancing) in Islamic Law
Al-Hafith Ibn Hajr Al-’Asqalaani on the Dancing of the Sufis
The Issue of Dancing (Ar-Raqs), Swaying (at-Tamayul), etc in Islam
We hope this benefits the reader and helps them to understand the legitimacy of the Sufic Hadra in Islam. We would also like to remind the seeker that Imam An-Nawawi once stated,
“Scholars only protest against that which musters unanimous consensus; as for what does not muster unanimous consensus, then there is no permission to protest.”
[Sharh Sahih Muslim in the chapter of commanding the good and forbidding the evil]
The ‘dancing’ (raqs) of Sufis during their emotional states (tawajud)
|Fatwas of Ibn Hajar al-Haytami on ‘dancing’ during Dhikr|
|He was asked, may Allah benefit [us] with him, about the ‘dancing’ (raqs) of Sufis during their emotional states (tawajud), does it have a legal basis (asl)?He replied: Yes, it does have a legal basis, it was certainly narrated in the hadith that Jaafar b. Abi Talib, Allah be well-pleased with him, ‘danced’ right in front of the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace [Musnad Ahmad and Sahih Ibn Hibban] due to the pleasure he experienced at hearing the Prophet address him [with the words ‘You resemble me physically and morally’]. It is certainly authentically narrated that a number of major imams stood up and ‘danced’ in the gatherings of remembrance of Allah, among them Shaykh al-Islam `Izz al-Din Ibn `Abd al-Salam.
Ibn Hajar al-Haytami, Fatawa Hadithiyya, Cairo: Mustafa Babi al-Halabi, 2nd ed. (p. 298).
He said something similar in a longer response in his Fatawa al-Kubra al-Fiqhiyya (4:355), also allowing the daff even inside the mosque.
“I would play this drum near you and sing for you”
“One lady came to the Prophet when he was returning from one of his battles and she said, “Ya Rasulallah, I have made an oath that if Allah sends you back safe, I would play this drum near you and sing for you.”
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “Fulfill your oath.”
[ Recorded by Abu Dawud (3:237 #2880), Tirmidhi (#3623), Imam Ahmad (5:353 #21911, 5:356 #21933), Ibn Hibban (#4386), Bayhaqi (Sunan, #20681), and Tabarani (M. Awsat, 4:191).]
“Beating the Tambourine”
Narrated `Urwa on the authority of `Aisha:
On the days of Mina, (11th, 12th, and 13th of Dhul-Hijjah) Abu Bakr came to her while two young girls were beating the tambourine and the Prophet was lying covered with his clothes. Abu Bakr scolded them and the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) uncovered his face and said to Abu Bakr,
“Leave them, for these days are the days of `Id and the days of Mina.”
`Aisha further said, “Once the Prophet was screening me and I was watching the display of black slaves in the Mosque and (`Umar) scolded them.
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, ‘Leave them. O Bani Arfida! (carry on), you are safe (protected)’.” [Sahih Bukhari: Volume 2, Book 15, Number 103]
Originally published by seekingilm.com
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