Splendid Pearls

The Innovation of singing and dancing in Mosques – Ibn al-Hajj al-Maliki [died 737 AH]

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Al-Imām ibn Al-Hājj Al-Mālikī is one of the scholars who al-Hāfidh Ibn Hajar al-‛Asqalānī transmitted a lot [of his views] in his book ‘Fath al-Bārī’. From the most famous of his (Ibn al-Hājj’s) works is his book “Al-Madkhal”, in which he refuted many of the innovations of the Sūfīs.

Ibn al-Hājj said in his book “Al-Madkhal” (Volume 3, Page 99) while talking about Sūfīs and the innovation of singing and dancing, the following:

“It was mentioned that some people asked for a fatwā (verdict) in the year 661 AH, and sought and collected the opinions of the four madhāhib(schools of thought) in this matter, and its wording is:

What is the opinion of the masters of Fiqh (Jurisprudence), the Imāms of this Religion, and the Scholars of the Muslims – May Allāh grant them success to His obedience, and assist them in what Pleases Him – regarding a group from among the Muslims, who arrived to a city and headed to the Mosque, and started clapping, singing, and dancing, once with their hands and in another time using tambourines (Duff) and flutes (Shabābah). Is such an act Islamically permissible in a Mosque, answer us – May Allāh the Exalted reward you and have mercy on you?

The Shāfi’īs said: Samā’ (Listening [to the above mentioned]) is a detested form of play which is similar to Bātil (Falsehood), and whoever says by it (i.e. agrees on it and accepts it), his testimony would be rejected (Turad Shahādatuh), and Allah knows best.

The Mālikīs said: The rulers and the ones responsible should restrain and prevent them [from this], and expel them from the Mosques until they repent and return [to Allāh], and Allāh knows best.

The Hanbalīs said: Whoever does this, one should not pray behind him, and his testimony should not be accepted, and his ruling should not be accepted even if he was a judge/ruler, and if he performs a marriage ‘Aqd (contract) then it is Fāsid (Void), and Allāh knows best.

The Hanafīs said: The rug that they dance on is not to be prayed on until it is washed, and the earth that they dance on is not to be prayed on until its sand is dug and thrown away, and Allāh knows best.❞

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