Fatwas on Dancing
Q1160: Is it permissible to dance the traditional dancing in wedding parties and what is the view on taking part in such parties?
A: If dancing entails sexual excitation or committing a ḥarām act, or has bad consequences, it is not permissible. If participating in dancing parties is done by way of supporting the commission of ḥarām by others or leading to committing a ḥarām act, it is not permissible either. Otherwise, there is no harm in it.
Q1161: Is dancing without music in women’s gatherings ḥarām or ḥalāl? If it is ḥarām, should those present leave?
A: Generally speaking, dancing is ḥarām if it is carried out in a sexually exciting manner, entails the commission of a ḥarām act, or leads to bad effects. Accordingly, leaving the party as a kind of protest against the ḥarām act is obligatory if it is a case of forbidding evil.
Q1162: What is the ruling in the matter of traditional dancing in either mixed groups of men and women, men only, or women only?
A: If it is carried out in a sexually exciting manner, entails a ḥarām act, or leads to bad effects, it is ḥarām. The dancing of a woman among non-maḥram men is also ḥarām.
Q1163: What is the view on a group of men dancing? And what is the view on watching little girls dancing on television?
A: If it is carried out in a sexually exciting manner or leads to commission of a forbidden act, it is ḥarām.
As for watching, there is no harm in it if it does not support the action of the wrongdoer, does not dare them to do so, nor entails bad effects.
Q1164: What is the view on women dancing in the presence of women and men in the presence of their counterparts? Attending wedding parties is carried out as a courtesy of the social norms. Is there any objection to doing that if there is a possibility of dancing taking place?
A: Generally speaking, if dancing is done in a sexually exciting manner, lead to the commission of a forbidden act, or entails a bad effect, it is ḥarām.
There is no objection to attending wedding parties where dancing may take place provided it is not regarded as a manifestation of approval, on the part of the partaker, of the misdeeds of the wrongdoer and does not entail the commission of any ḥarām act.
Q1165: Is the dancing of a wife for her husband and vice versa ḥarām?
A: Should it be done without the commission of any ḥarām act, there is no harm in it.
Q1166: Is it permissible to dance in one’s offspring’s wedding party?
A: If it is of the ḥarām type of dance, it is ḥarām, even though the parents do it in their offspring’s wedding party.
Q1167: A married woman dances in wedding parties before non-maḥram people, without the consent of her husband. She is adamant not to give up the habit, despite repeated advice enjoining the good and forbidding the evil by her husband. What could one do in this regard?
A: Dancing of a woman in the presence of non-maḥrams is absolutely ḥarām. Going out of her home without her husband’s permission is also ḥarām in itself; she is regarded as rebellious. Accordingly, she does not enjoy the right of maintenance.
Q1168: What is the ruling in the matter of women dancing in the presence of men in rural wedding parties where musical instruments are played? And what should one do in this regard?
A: Dancing of women before men and every dancing which may entail a bad effect and arousal of sexual desires are ḥarām. Playing music and listening to it is also ḥarām if it is done in a lahwī, enrapturing manner. In this case, the onus is on the mukallaf to forbid the evil.
Q1169: What is the ruling in the matter of dancing of a discerning child, male or female, in the gatherings of men or women?
A: There is no obligation on the child, male or female, which has not attained age of ritual maturity yet. However, it is not good for adults to encourage the child to dance.
Q1170: What is the view on establishing dance-teaching centers?
A: Establishing centers for teaching and promoting dancing goes against the objects of the Islamic system.
Q1171: What is the view on men or women dancing in the company of their maḥrams of opposite sex whether in-laws or blood relatives?
A: What is forbidden of dance is universal, i.e., irrespective of whether it is done by a man, a woman, or in the presence of one’s maḥram or non-maḥram.
Q1172: Is fencing with sticks in wedding parties permissible? And what is the view if it is carried out to the accompaniment of music?
A: There is no problem in it in itself, should it be a kind of recreational sporting game, and provided no harm would befall the participants. As for the use of musical instruments in a lahwī an enrapturing manner, it is not permissible.
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