What Is Halal and What Is Haram?


Question:     As-Salaam `Alaykum... Is dancing prohibited in any case in Islam? (i.e. dancing with a group of people like bhangra, or by oneself, dancing with females) Thank you for your time. Jazakullah Khairan!  


Name of Mufti       Group of Muftis 


Answer:   Wa`alykum As-Salaamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuh.


In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.


All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.


Dear brother/sister in Islam, we would like to thank you for showing keenness on learning the teachings of Islam, and we appreciate the great confidence you have in us. We hope our efforts meet your expectations, yet we apologize for the late reply.


Islam is a religion of moderation and does not approve of either extremism or negligence. Islam does not prevent people from having entertainment; however, it gives the rules that regulate this entertainment. On the other hand, Islam does not tolerate any kind entertainment that contains Haram or even lead to Haram things.


As far as the issue of dancing is concerned, it can be either between women, or between men, or mixed between both. If dancing happens between women, then it is allowed unless this involves showing any of woman’s `Awrah – that is between the navel and knee – in front of other women, or the dancing impedes carrying out mandatory obligations or coincides with unlawful acts.


n this regard, Dr. Su’ad Salih, professor of Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) at Al-Azhar University, states:


“Islam is a religion of moderation; it does not prevent singing and dancing, but it forbids anything that stimulates people’s desires, be it among men or women. Women are supposed to observe good manners if they get to dance before other women. They should not exceed limits by doing anything that stimulates the desire and incites evil. We have seen many women tempted by other women.

However, if a woman gets to dance before her husband, then there is no restriction, as it is a way of cementing relations between spouses – and this a key pillar of establishing the Muslim family.”


Dr. Salim Ahmad Salamah, Dean of the Faculty of Usulud-Deen at the Islamic University, Gaza, adds:


“It is permissible for women to dance and sing so long as there are no males around. In addition, the words of the song should be free from any foul words or vulgarity. Furthermore, no non-Muslim women should be attending, for the `Awrah of a Muslim woman before them is the same as in the case of a man. Thus, so long as the words of the song are pure and clean and there no males or non-Muslim women around, there is nothing wrong in dancing.”


By analogy, men are allowed to dance together as long as they cover their `Awrah (between the navel and knee) and there is no fear of temptation.


As for the mixed dancing between men and women, it is absolutely Haram in all cases, save for a wife dancing before her husband. The reason behind this prohibition is that with mixed dancing bodily contact is close and improper sexual desires arouse. This has been strictly forbidden by Islam in an attempt to block the way against evil. By letting men and women dance together, lots of Haram acts can happen. That is why mixed dancing is not allowed.


Another important point that should be stressed here is that in all cases where dancing is Halal music, if used, has to be also Halal. To know about the conditions of the permissibility of music, please refer to the following fatwa:

Islam's Stance on Music


Allah Almighty knows best.