Fatwa: # 15176
Category: Hadith
Country: South Africa
Date: 10th May 2007

Title

Some peiople use this hadees to say that music and dancing is allowed or to do zikar while dancing?

Question

Some peiople use this hadees to say that music and dancing is allowed or to do zikar while dancing?

Imam Ahmad relates from Anas (Allah be well pleased with him), 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, that
the Ethiopians danced in front of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace); dancing and saying [in their language], “Muhammad is a righteous servant.” The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “What are they saying?” And they said, “‘Muhammad is a righteous servant’”
(Musnad al-Imam Ahmad. 6 vols. Cairo 1313/1895. Reprint. Beirut: Dar Sadir, n.d.., 3.152).

Answer

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatoh

There is no doubt in the authenticity of the Hadeeth mentioned in the query. It has been mentioned on the foot notes of Musnad Ahmed (Darul Hadeeth – Cairo) that it has been narrated by an authentic chain of narrators.

However, it is incorrect to prove the permissibility of music, dancing or zikr while dancing through this Hadeeth.

Firstly, the words mentioned in the Hadeeth are yazfinoon (يزفنون) and yarqusoon (يرقصون); and the most appropriate translation for these two words is: “they were engaged in sports”.

Lisanul Arab Vol:3 Pg:186 (Dar Sadir)

( زفن ) الزفن الرقص زفن يزفن زفنا وهو شبيه بالرقص

 ( * قوله وهو شبيه بالرقص بعد قوله الزفن الرقص هكذا في الأصل )

 وفي حديث فاطمة عليها السلام أنها كانت تزفن للحسن أي ترقصه وأصل الزفن اللعب والدفع ومنه حديث عائشة رضي الله عنها قدم وفد الحبشة فجعلوا يزفنون ويلعبون أي يرقصون  
 

Secondly, Ahadeeth of similar meaning have been narrated in Bukhari and Muslim and the word yal’aboon is used, which clearly means that they were doing some activity of sport.

Sahih Al Bukhari Vol:1 Pg:65 (Kutub Khana Rasheediyah)

أن عائشة قالت لقد رأيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يوما على باب حجرتي والحبشة يلعبون في المسجد ورسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يسترني بردائه أنظر إلى لعبهم 

Moreover, the Ethiopians were praising Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and not making zikr, so it is very farfetched that zikr while dancing is proven from this Hadeeth.

And Allah knows best

Wassalam

Ml. M. Jawed Iqbal,
Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa

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