Islamic Laws

What is the opinion of Islam about singing and dancing in wedding ceremonies?

By: Abdul Adheem al-Muhtadi al-Bahrani
Question: What is the opinion of Islam about singing and dancing in wedding ceremonies? The opinions of people are contrary; some say it is lawful while others say it is unlawful.
The answer: In Islam, they are unlawful. The Prophet (S) has said, ‘Allah has sent me as mercy to people, and to eradicate musicals, pipes, and the habits of the pre-Islamic era (jahiliyyah).’[86] It is because play, amusement, and singing do not meet with the aims of mercy, worship, and closeness to Allah.
Jurisprudents have agreed that during the night of the wedding, singing poetry with good and polite meanings is lawful, especially if it has praises of the Prophet (S) and his progeny. Some jurisprudents have permitted classical and quiet dancing, which is not mixed (between men and women) and which does not excite lust.
This exception (in permitting singing and dancing) is limited to weddings. Abu Baseer narrated, ‘Once, I asked Abu Abdullah (Imam as-Sadiq) (a.s.) about the income of a songstress (the money she gains for singing) and he said, ‘It is unlawful for one, to whom men come, but there is no problem for the one, who is invited to weddings.’[87]
The wisdom in this exception is that Islam has made a distinction between marriage and adultery. Since adultery is done without the presence of people, Islam has intended for marriage to be performed openly and with attractive sound so that people can recognize this new marital relation between these two persons.
Many arguments have taken place between jurisprudents about the new methods in the world of singing and music. Many of them have considered singing and music unlawful because they cause many bad consequences. From the instruments of music and amusement, which incite lust, unlawful behaviors begin besides the bad poetry used in songs and the mixing between men and women until major sins are committed. Then, no excuse will remain for the angels to attend and bless that marriage.
Those who try to close their eyes to these unlawful doings under demonstrations of istihsan (approval) and assent have ignored that Islam wants weddings to be performed in spiritual and moral spheres fitting the principles of Islam and not the desires of the disease-hearted people who imitate the corruptive methods of the West.
We disagree with using instruments of amusements to turn weddings, which are acts of worship, to a stage of unlawful doings and behaviors. We reject the inviting of the Satan and the preventing of the angels to attend this honorable occasion.
The believers, who desire to be free from bad deeds until the Day of Resurrection, should avoid all that is performed by bad and disobedient people in their weddings, and thus they will be kept away from those upon whom Allah has brought His wrath.
Let us think about it in this way: would any of our infallible Imams (a.s.) attend a wedding in which singing and dancing were practiced if he were invited to it?
If we suppose that we are in the age of the reappearance of Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.) and he is amongst us now, what will he think about our behaviors in the wedding?
Come! Let us make this faith in the unseen and our love for the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) the criterion of our behaviors on the occasions of joy so that Allah may bless these occasions for us.
We hope that the believers adhere to the limits of Islam and do not follow the Satan who wants them to fall in his traps and lose the blessings of weddings, which are from the Sunna of the Prophet (S) and the recommendable acts that are semi-obligatory.
[86] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 71 p.250.
[87] Wassa’il ash-Shia, vol.12 p.84.

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