This brief article has been motivated by a frequent notion I’ve heard over many years, particularly when people ask me about, or comment on, women dancing at gender-segregated weddings. The idea that dancing is haram is somewhat of a widespread notion, and whilst it can be held as a view that relates to both men and women, there seems to be particular disapproval of women dancing. This isn’t simply a matter of misogyny; women are often the most trenchant in their criticism of other woman.
Here I unpick much of the conversation around this issue and shed light on the basis of erroneous misgivings, that they namely come from two things: incorrect shar’ī understanding, conflations, and/or the imposition of cultural norms on others. The point I’m making in this brief post is that to regard dancing as intrinsically offensive to God and hence impermissible is not only incorrect, but that the antipathy of most tends to be cultural which are substantiated by conflating issues. Of course, if an individual doesn’t like dancing then that’s fine. But as long as the context of dancing doesn’t exceed certain boundaries, some of which I’ll explain, then there’s no legitimate basis to make claims of impermissibility, let alone condemn others for it.