Date : 12-01-2012

Question :

What is the ruling of Sharia on reciting the names of Allah with a melodious voice? In addition, what is the ruling of Sharia on dancing in weddings while listening to tape recordings which include remembrance of Allah and sending prayers upon His Messenger (Peace be upon him)? 

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

There is nothing wrong with reciting Allah`s names (Asma Allah Alhusna) with a melodious voice under the condition that this isn`t accompanied with musical instruments except the Duff (tambourine). The proof of this is that Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) saying, "Allah does not listen so attentively to anything as He listens to the recitation of the Qur'an by a Prophet who recites well with a melodious and audible voice."

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. Al-Shafie commented on this Hadith, "There is nothing wrong with reciting the Quran with a melodious voice and beautifying voice as much as possible." {Shareh al-Sunnah, V.4:487}. As it is permissible to recite the Quran with a melodious voice, reciting Allah`s names in this manner is permissible by default.

However, it is worth pointing out that, in principle, one should listen to the Quran or Dhikr (Remembrance of Allah) with humbleness. Al-Ghazali said, "The Quran shouldn`t be listened to for enjoying the melodious voice of the reciter, as this would distract one from this great act of worship and humble submissiveness." {Ehya` Ulum Al-Deen, V.2:303}.

As for the Islamic ruling on dancing in weddings, it is permissible under conditions: There is no mingling between men and women, there is no imitation of women by men, there is no sissy dancing amongst the men or the women themselves, and no forbidden music is played. It is stated in the Shafie book {Daleel al-Mohtaj Shareh al-Menhaj, V.4:171}:"Dancing isn`t forbidden because it is just movements. This is supported by the narration by Bukhari and Muslim who reported from `Ayisha (May Allah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) stood in font of her as a screen to enable her to look at the Abyssinian boys dancing. However, sissy dancing is forbidden for both men and women. Ibn 'Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) cursed those men who are effeminate, and women who imitate men. Another narration is: The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) cursed men who copy women and cursed women who copy men. [Al-Bukhari]. And Allah the Almighty knows best.