Rejecting he who presents a hadith is not rejecting the Prophet but their so-called, “correction,” and understanding of that hadith.

In Bukhari and Muslim from Ibn `Umar: On the day of the battle of al-Ahzab (the battle of the Trench) the Prophet said (to a travelling party): “Let none of you pray the `Asr prayer [in Muslim also: the Zuhr prayer] except after reaching the Banu Qurayza.” The `Asr prayer became due for some of them on the way. Some of those said: “We will not offer it till we reach the Banu Qurayza,” while others said: “Rather, we will pray at this spot, for the Prophet did not mean that for us.” Later on it was mentioned to the Prophet and he did not take to task any of the two groups.”

This is a proof that there is more than one way to understand a hadith.

So when Imam Shafi said, “If the hadith is Sahih (rigorously authenticated), then it is my position (madhab).” He doesn’t necessarily mean your understanding of it. So it is not fanaticism (ta’assub) when I reject your presentation of hadith, I am merely preferring the scholarly understanding of that hadith over yours.

I love this hadith.

The Prophet said, “Let none of you pray the `Asr prayer except after reaching the Banu Qurayza.”

Look at what follows, it’s like watching a debate between the Salafis and Sufis.

Some of those said: “We will not offer it till we reach the Banu Qurayza,” while others said: “Rather, we will pray at this spot, for the Prophet did not mean that for us.”

The Salafis would say, “We will not offer it till we reach the Banu Qurayza,” (This is the obvious methodology of the Salafi Minhaj) (And it appears to be the most obvious meaning of the Prophet’s statement)

The Sufis would say, “Rather, we will pray at this spot, for the Prophet did not mean that for us.” (This is the obvious methodology of the Sufis and those who follow a madhab)(This understanding takes into account other injunctions of the Quran and Sunnah as well as looking into the wisdom of the Prophet )

This hadith is such a breath of fresh air.

And Allah knows best.

Is Allah everywhere?

No, Allah is not everywhere. Allah does not indwell in His creation, nor does His creation indwell in Him.

Allah is closer to me than my jugular vein (1), Where ever I turn there is His face (2), He is with me wherever I am (3), and He is established on the throne (4), All in a manner that befits His Majesty.
While at the same time, there is nothing above Him, nor below Him, as the Prophet said in a dua to Allah, ” “… You are the Outwardly Manifest (dhahir) so there is nothing above You, and You are the Inwardly Hidden (batin) so there is nothing below You.” (Sahih Muslim)

(1) We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein (50:16)
(2) So wherever you [might] turn, there is the Face of Allah. (2:115)
(3) He is with you wherever you are. (57:4)
(4) The Merciful established Himself over the Throne. (20:5)

And Allah knows best.

Imam al-Habib Abdallah bin ‘Alawi al-Haddad,(r), said,

If you look with a sound understanding into the those passages relating to the Faith (Aqidah) in the Book and Sunnah and the saying of the virtuous predecessors(Salafus Saleh), whether they be companions or folllowers, you will know for certain that the truth is with the party called the Ashari, named after Shaykh Abu’l Hasan Al Ashari, may Allah have Mercy on him, who systematized the foundations of the creed of the people of truth (Ahlul Haqq), and recorded its earlier version, these being the belief which the Companions and the best among the Followers agreed upon. (the Book of Assistance)


Translation by:
Dr. Mostafa al-Badawi

Imam Abdullah al-Haddad said (may Allah bring us benefit from him):

“Praise belongs to Allah alone. May Allah bless our master Muhammad, and his Family, and Companions, and grant them peace. We know, assent, believe, confess with certainty, and testify, that there is no god but Allah, Alone without partner. He is a Mighty God, a Great King. There is no lord beside Him, and we worship none than He. He is Ancient and Pre-Existent, Eternal and Everlasting. His firstness has no beginning, neither has His lastness any end. He is Solitary, Self-Subsistent, neither begetting nor begotten, matchless, without partner or peer. There is nothing that resembles Him, and He is the Hearer, the Seer. [42:11]

“And we confess that His holiness (Exalted in He!) renders Him beyond time and space, beyond resembling anything in existence, so that He cannot be encompassed by directions, nor be subject to contingent events. And that He is Stablished on His Throne in the manner which He has described, and in the sense which He has intended, in a Stablishment befitting the might of His Majesty, and the exaltation of His glory and magnificence. And that He (Exalted is He!) is Near to everything in existence, being closer to man than his jugular vein. [50:16] He is Watchful and Seeing over all things. He is the Living, the Self-Subsistent, slumber overtakes Him not, nor sleep; [2:255] He is the Originator of the heavens and earth; when He decrees a thing He only says to it Be! And it is. [2:117] Allah is Creator of all things, and He is Guardian over everything. [39:62]

“And that He (Exalted is He!) is over all things Powerful, and of all things Knower; His knowledge is all-embracing and He keeps count of all things. Not an atom’s weight in the earth or in the sky escapes your Lord. [10:61] He knows what goes down into the earth and that which comes forth from it, and what descends from heaven and what ascends into it. He is with you wherever you may be, and Allah is Seer of what you do. [57:4] He knows the secret thought, and what is even more concealed. [20:7] He knows what is in the land and the sea. A leaf cannot fall but that He knows it, nor is there a grain amid the darkness of the earth, nor a wet or dry thing, but that it is recorded in a clear Book. [6:59]

“And that He (Exalted is He!) wills existent things, and directs events. And that nothing may exist, whether good or evil, beneficial or harmful, except by His decree and will. Whatever He wills is, whatever He does not, is not. Should all creatures unite to move or halt a single atom in the universe, in the absence of His will, they would be unable to do so.

“And that He (Exalted is He!) is Hearer, Seer, Speaker of a Speech that is pre-existent and does not resemble the speech of creatures. And that the Mighty Qur’an is His ancient speech, His Book which He sent down upon His Messenger and Prophet Muhammad (may He bless him and grant him peace).

“And that He (Glorious is He!) is Creator of all things and their Provider, Who disposes them as He wills; neither rival nor opponent is there in His realm. He gives to whomsoever He wills and withholds from whomsoever He wills. He is not questioned about His actions, rather they are questioned. [21:23]

“And that He (Exalted is He!) is Wise in His acts, Just in His decrees, so that no injustice or tyranny can be imaginable on His part, and that no one has any rights over Him. Should He (Glorious is He!) destroy all His creatures in the blink of an eye, He would be neither unjust or tyrannous to them, for they are His dominion and His slaves. He has the right to do as He pleases in His dominion, and your Lord is not a tyrant to His slaves. [41:46] He rewards His slaves for obeying Him out of grace and generosity, and punishes them when they rebel out of His wisdom and justice.

“And that to obey Him is an obligation binding upon His bondsmen, as was made clear through the speech of His messengers (upon them be peace). We believe in every Book sent down by Allah, and in all of His messengers, His angels, and in destiny, whether good or bad.

“And we testify that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, whom He sent to jinn and to mankind, to the Arabs and the non-Arabs, with guidance and the religion of truth, that He may cause it to prevail over all religion, though the polytheists be averse. [9:33] And that he delivered the Message, was faithful to his trust, advised the Nation, did away with grief, and strove for God’s sake as is His due, being truthful and trustworthy, supported by authentic proofs and normbreaking miracles. And that Allah has made it incumbent upon His bondsmen to believe , obey, and follow him, and that a man’s faith is not acceptable – even should he believe in Him – until he believes in Muhammad (may Allah bless him and his Family and grant them peace) and in everything that he brought and informed us of, whether of the affairs of this world or the next. This includes faith in the questioning of the dead by Munkar and Nakir about religion, tawhid and Prophethood, and in the bliss which is in the grave for those who were obedient, and the torment which it contains for the rebellions.

“And that one should believe in the Resurrection after Death, the gathering of bodies and spirits to stand in the presence of Allah the Exalted, and in the Reckoning; and that His slaves will be at that time in different states, some being called to account, some being exempted, while others shall enter the Garden without reckoning. One should believe in the Scales in which good and evil deeds will be weighed; and in the Sirat, which is a bridge stretched over the depths of Hell; and in the Pool [hawd] of our Prophet Muhammad, (may Allah bless him and his Family, and grant them peace), the water of which is from the Garden, and from which the believers shall drink before entering the Garden. And in the Intercession of the Prophets, followed by the Truthful Saints [siddiqun], and then the ulema, the virtuous [salihun] and the other believers. And that the Greatest Intercession is the prerogative of Muhammad (may Allah bless him and his Family, and grant them peace). And that the people of tawhid who have entered the Fire shall be taken out of it until not one person in whose heart there lies an atom’s weight of faith shall remain in it eternally. And that the people of polytheism and disbelief shall abide in the Fire eternally and for evermore, their suffering shall not be diminished; neither shall they be reprieved. [2:162] And that the believers shall abide in the Garden eternally without end, wherein no tiredness shall affect them, and from which they shall not be expelled. [15:48] And that the believers shall see their Lord with their eyes, in a way befitting His Majesty and the Holiness of His Perfection.

“And that the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and his Family, and grant them peace) were virtuous, that their status was of various ranks, and that they were just, good, and trustworthy. Is not lawful to insult or denigrate any of them. And that the rightful successor [khalifa] to the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and his Family, and grant them peace) was Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, followed by ‘Umar al-Faruq, then ‘Uthman al-Shahid, then ‘Ali al-Murtada, may Allah be pleased with them and with all his other Companions, and with those who follow them with excellence until the Day of Judgement, and with us also, by Thy Mercy, O Most Merciful of the Merciful!”

Such is the rightly-guided creed, which conforms to be the Book and the Sunna. No male or female Muslim should be ignorant of it. Without affirming it one’s faith is not sound. It is not a condition that every person should be able to articulate it fluently; rather, what counts is what lies in the heart.

[Source: This Aqeeda tu’l Islam (The Muslim Creed) forms the concluding chapter of one of the classics of Muslim spirituality titled An-Nasaaih id-Diniyya wa’l Wasaya al-Imaniyyah (Sincere Religious Advices and Counsels of Faith) of Sayyidunal Imam al-Habib Abdallah bin ‘Alawi al-Haddad, Rady Allahu ‘Anhu. His blessed descendant, Sayyidunal Imam al-Habib Ahmad Mash-hur al-Haddad Rady Allahu ‘Anhu included it as chapter 17 in his well-known classic Miftahul Jannah (The Key To The Garden). The translation provided here is by Dr. Mostafa al-Badawi.]

Refutation of Salafism



The difference between the Salafi and Hanbali creed

Salafi creed is essentially Ibn Taymiyyah’s understanding of the creed of Imam Ahmad and the Salafus Salih, while the Hanbali creed is essentially the creed of Imam Ahmad. One can argue that Ibn Taymiyyah was a Hanbali and thus what he said is part of the Hanbali school, as with any school, all their scholars make up the school, not just the founder. Fair enough, Ibn Taymiyyah followed the Hanbali school in matters of creed but he still differed with Imam Ahmad on particular issues. (1)

Despite Imam Ahmad wanting to be conservative in matters of creed, when he said, “How can I say what was not said before?” Ibn Taymiyyah differed with him in this by saying and attributing things to the Salafus Saleh, they never said, like taking the literal meaning or apparent meaning (dhahir) of the ambiguous statements from the Quran and Sunnah. Ibn Taymiyyah said, “Those who followed the Salaf,…, such as A Khattabi, Abu Bakr Al Khatib and others have stated that the way of the Salaf is to take the verses and hadiths of the Attributes upon their literal or apparent meaning (dhahir) and to state at the same time that they neither know their nature, nor conceive of them on human patterns.” (Majmo al Fatawa 33:176) This is the same position that is taught by most if not all Salafi scholars including Ibn Uthaymeen, Bin Baz and the other leading Salafi scholars, that the verses and hadiths are to be taken literally.

Ibn Rajab Al Hanbali on the creed of Imam Ahmad and the Salafus Salih

Ibn Rajab al Hanbali said, “The correct position in all of this is the position of the Righteous Salaf in their leaving the verses and hadiths concerning the Attributes as they came without explanation, asking how or likening them to creation. There is nothing at all contravening this position that is authentically reported from them, especially Imam Ahmad. Neither is anything reported from them proving that they probed into their meanings or propounded analogies and similitudes for them. This, even though there some who lived close to the time of Ahmad who did do some of this, following the way of Maqqatil, but they are not to be followed in this. Those who should be followed are the Imam of Islam such as ibn al Mubarak, Malik, Thawri, Awza’I, Shafi, Ahmad, Ishaq, Abu ‘Ubaid and their likes.” (Fadhl ‘Ilm al-Salaf ‘ala ‘Ilm al-Khalaf )

It is interesting to note in this statement of Ibn Rajab explaining the creed of the Salaf and in particular the creed of Imam Ahmad, he does not mention that their position concerning the unclear verses (ayat) and hadiths (narrations of the Prophet –sallahualayhiwasalam) related to Allah’s Attributes, that they are to be taken upon the literal meaning (ala dhahiri), but rather they would simply narrate them as they received them, as in the words of the Salaf themselves, “Leave them as they are without asking ‘How?”

The Creed of Imam Ahmad

Imam Ahmad (d. 241 AH) said, “Allah is not to be described other than in the terms with which He has described Himself, or in which the Messenger of Allah – sallahu alayhi wa salam- has described Him. We do not exceed the Quran and hadtih.” (IbnTaymiyyah Hamawiyya – pg 271-272)(IbnTaymiyya-majmu fatawa – 5:26)

Imam Ahmad also said, “We believe and confirm the hadiths of the Attributes without how and without meaning (wa la kayf wa la ma’na.) (Narrated from Hanbal ibn Ishaq through al Khallal by Ibn Qudamah in Dhamm al Tawil.)

The Creed of Those Who came before Imam Ahmad

Imam Shafi (d. 204 AH) was asked about the Divine Attributes. He said, “It is forbidden for the minds to represent Allah. It is forbidden for the imagination to conceive limits for Him. It is forbidden for speculation to presume anything about Him. It is forbidden for souls to think about His Essence. It is forbidden for consciences to deepen reflection about Him. It is forbidden for thoughts to grasp other than what He described Himself with, as conveyed by His Prophet –sallahualayhiwasalam. (Narrated from al Rabi ibnSulayman by IbnQudamah in Dhamm a Tawil g 20-21) Nothing about the literal meaning or apparent meaning…

Imam Shafi also said, “I believe in what comes from Allah in the meaning meant by the Messenger of Allah, sallahu alayhi wa salam.” (Ibn Qudamah in Lam’at al Itiqad) Again nothing about taking them upon their literal meaning or apparent meaning.

Al-Walid ibn Muslim (d. 194H) said, “I asked Malik, al-Awza’i, Laytb ibn Sa’d and Sufyan al-Thawri, may Allah have mercy upon them, concerning the reports related about the Attributes, so they all said, ‘Leave them as they are without asking ‘How?” (Reported by al-Aajurri in Ash-Sha’ri’ah, p. 314, al-Bayhaqi in Al-Asma was-Sifat, p. 453 and also al-I’tiqad, p. 118 and the chain of narration is hasan.) Again nothing about taking them upon their literal meaning. .

Al-Awza’i (d.157H) said, “I asked az-Zuhri and Makhul about the ayat pertaining to the Sifat (Attributes of Allah), so they said, ‘Leave them as they are.” (Reported by al-Laalikaa’ee in SharhUsulul-I’tiqad 3/430 and IbnQudamah al-Maqdisi in Dhammut-Ta‘wil, p. 18 and the chain of narration is hasan.) Again nothing about taking them upon their literal meaning or apparent meaning.

There seems to be a pattern….

In Daf Shubah al Tashbih (Rebuttal of the Insinuations of Anthropomorphism) (2) by Ibn Jawzi al Hanbali, he pleaded with his Hanbali brothers who insisted that the ambiguous verses and hadith are to be taken literally when he said, “Companions! Brothers! You are the People who adhere to the texts and follow them. This was the example of your Imam, the greatest Imam, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, May Allah Exalthed be He, have mercy on him, who under pain of torture, proclaimed, ‘How can I say what was not been said before?’ So, take care not to introduce into his madhab what does not belong in it.”

And Allah knows best.

(1) Despite Imam Ahmad staunch condemnation of speculative theology (Ilm al Kalam), Ibn Taymiyyah was a fervent Mutakallim, or speculative theologian, as one can discover from reading his Majmoo al Fatawa. Some defend him saying, he only engaged in study and language of the speculative theologians in order to refute them, yet this is the exact same argument the Shafis, Hanafis, Malikis use to defend the Asharis and the Maturidis, in that they used Ilm Kalam to refute the Mutazila. Yet, Imam Ahmad said, “Do not sit with the people of kalam, even if they defend the Sunna.” And Allah knows best.

(2) Daf Shubah al Tashbih (Rebuttal of the Insinuations of Anthropomorphism) by Ibn Jawzi has been translated into english with the title “The Attributes of God” by Shaykh Abdullah bin Hamid Ali.

Is Allah Above His Creation, literally?

A brother presented the ‘Where is Allah?’ Hadith to prove that Allah was above His creation literally. And I responded as follows:

This hadith cannot be used to support any point of aqida, although it is authentic, there are two other authentic narrations of the same situation with slightly different wording, which means this hadith cannot be used as a proof to establish certainty. We don’t know exactly what the Prophet, said during this interaction.

Hadith 1) Muawiya ibn al-Hakam came to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and told him, “I am very newly from the Jahiliyya, and now Allah has brought Islam,” and he proceeded to ask about various Jahiliyya practices, until at last he said that he had slapped his slave girl, and asked if he should free her, as was obligatory if she was a believer. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) requested that she be brought, and then asked her, “Where is Allah?” and she said, “In the sky (Fi al-sama)”; whereupon he asked her, “Who am I?” and she said, “You are the Messenger of Allah”; at which he said, Free her, “for she is a believer” (Sahih Muslim, 5 vols. Cairo 1376/1956. Reprint. Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 1403/1983, 1.382: 538).

Hadith 2) Ibn Hibban in his Sahih with a well-authenticated (hasan) chain of transmission, in which the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) asked the slave girl, “‘Who is your Lord?’ and she said, ‘Allah’; whereupon he asked her, ‘Who am I?’ and she said, ‘You are the Messenger of Allah’; at which he said, ‘Free her, for she is a believer'” (al-Ihsan fi taqrib Sahih Ibn Hibban, 18 vols. Beirut: Muassasa al-Risala, 1408/1988, 1.419: 189).

Hadith 3) In another version, related by Abd al-Razzaq with a rigorously authenticated (sahih) chain of transmission, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said to her, “Do you testify that there is no god but Allah?” and she said yes. He said, “Do you testify that I am the Messenger of Allah?” and she said yes. He said, “Do you believe in resurrection after death?” and she said yes. He said, “Free her” (al-Musannaf, 11 vols. Beirut: al-Majlis al-Ilmi, 1390/1970, 9.175: 16814).

Imam Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani has said of the various versions of this hadith, “There is great contradiction in the wording” (Talkhis al-habir, 4 vols. in 2. Cairo: Maktaba al-Kulliyat al-Azhariyya, 1399/1979, 3.250)

When a hadith has numerous conflicting versions, there is a strong possibility that it has been related merely in terms of what one or more narrators understood (riwaya bi al-ma’na), and hence one of the versions is not adequate to establish a point of `aqida.  What is clear concerning the hadith is that the Prophet question a slave girl, and her faith was confirmed and she was freed. What isn’t clear concerning the hadith is what did the Prophet really asked, and how did the slave girl respond.

After this, another brother presented the following verses and hadiths to prove Allah was literally above us:
“And to Allah prostrates whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth of creatures, and the angels [as well], and they are not arrogant.They fear their Lord above them, and they do what they are commanded. (Quran 16:49-50).

Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven (Allah), will not cause the earth to sink with you, then behold it shakes (as in an earthquake)? Or do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven (Allah), will not send against you a violent whirlwind? Then you shall know how (terrible) has been My Warning? (Quran 67:16-17).

As scholar says among his deeds is the gesture of pointing up with his finger, when addressing the people prophet () in the greatest gathering, on the Day of ‘Arafaah during his Farewell Pilgrimage. He asked the people, “Have I not conveyed the message?” and they said, “Yes!” He asked again, “Have I not conveyed the message?” and they said, “yes!”. He asked a third time, have I not conveyed the message?” and they said “Yes!” Each time, he said: “O Allaah, bear witness!” – pointing up to the sky and then at the people.”

And I responded:

1) Abu Dawud-may Allah have mercy upon him-said in his chapter regarding the Sunnah found in his Sunan (6452) Its chain of transmission being conveyed by Saleem bin Jubair who said: I heard Aboo Hurayrah reciting this verse: “Allah has ordered you all to render back the trusts to those to whom they are due…” to the end of the verse “All-Hearer All-Seer.” (Quran 4:58) He then said: I saw the messenger of Allah place his thumb to his ear then he pointed to his eye.

Yet no one from Ahlus Sunnah believes Allah has one eye and one ear, nor do we believe that Allah has eyes and ears like we do nor do we believe Allah sees and hears like we do.

2) The belief that Allah is literal above us, is refuted when the Messenger of Allah said in a dua, “O Allāh, You are the first: there is nothing before You; and You are the last: there is nothing after You. You are the Manifest (al-Zāhir): there is nothing above You. You are the Hidden (al-Bātin): there is nothing below You. [Sahih Muslim]

There is nothing below Allah. So Allah being above us cannot be understood literally.

3) Believing Allah is literally above us is against the creed of Ahlus Sunnah and the understanding of the Salaf, Imam Tahawi said, “The six directions do not contain Him as they do created things.” (Aqidah Tahawi)

And Allah knows best.

Dancing and Sufi Dancing According to the Shafi Madhab

Dancing is Permissible in the Shafi School

Imam Nawawi said about dancing, ““Dancing is not unlawful, unless it is languid, like the movements of the effeminate. And it is permissible to speak and to sing poetry, unless it satirizes someone, is obscene, or alludes to a particular woman” (Minhaj al-talibin wa ‘umdat al-muttaqin. Cairo 1338/1920. Reprint. Cairo: Mustafa al-Babi al-Halabi, n.d., 152).’

Imam Muhammad Shirbini in his commentary of Al Minhaj Talibeen comments, “It is not unlawful because it is only motions made while standing or bowing. Furani and others have expressly stated that neither is offensive, but rather is permissible, as is attested to by the hadith related in Sahihs Bukhari and Muslim that the Prophet (Sallahu alayhi wa salam) stood before Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) to screen her from view so that she could observe the Abysinians sporting and dancing) (Mughni al muhtaj ila marifa ma ani alfaz al Minhaj 4/430)

Authentic Hadith for Permissiblity of 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).

Shaykh Nuh Keller comments, “Other versions of the hadith clarify that this took place in the mosque in Medina, though in any case, the fact that dancing was done before the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) establishes that it is mubah or “permissible” in the shari‘a, for if it had been otherwise, he would have been obliged to condemn it.”

Shaykh Abdul Qadir Isa comments, “This hadith contains evidence that it is permissible to gather between permissible movements and exaltation of the Messenger of Allah (sallahu alayhi wa salam) it also proves that movement during remembrance is not describe as forbidden dance, rather, it is permissible because it energizes the body for remembrance and assists one in having presence of heart with Allah – if one’s intention is sound – for actions are according to their ends and actions are based on their intentions and every person shall have what he intends. (Haqaiq Tasawwuf)

The Sufi Hadra

It is appropriate to address the issue of the Sufi Hadra , which is dancing, with remembrance (dhikr), and the singing of poetry, since this hadith as Shaykh Abdur Qadir explains, indicates it permissible. We have established that dancing is permissible. Now in regards to the hadra, which Imam Shafi has not spoken about, other Imams such as Imam Ibn Hajar Al Haytami and Imam Suyuti have said it was permissible. Imam Ibn Hajar Al Haytami said, “It is permissible to stand and dance during gatherings of remembrance [of Allah] and audition (sama’) according to a great group of scholars, among them Shaykh al Islam Ibn Abd Salam. [” (Fatawa Hadithiyya pg 298)

Quranic basis for the Sufi Hadra

Imam Jalal al-Din Suyuti has provided more proof for dancing as well as the proof for mixing dhikr with any permissible act, Imam Suyuti was asked for a fatwa or formal legal opinion concerning “a group of Sufis who had gathered for a session of dhikr,” and he replied:

“How can one condemn making dhikr while standing, or standing while making dhikr, when Allah Most High says, “. . . those who invoke Allah standing, sitting, and upon their sides” (Koran 3:191). And ‘A’isha (Allah be well pleased with her) said, “The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to invoke Allah at all of his times” [Sahih Muslim, 1.282: 373]. And if dancing is added to this standing, it may not be condemned, as it is of the joy of spiritual vision and ecstasy, and the hadith exists [in many sources, such as Musnad al-Imam Ahmad, 1.108, with a sound (hasan) chain of transmission] that Ja‘far ibn Abi Talib danced in front of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) when the Prophet told him, “You resemble me in looks and in character,” dancing from the happiness he felt from being thus addressed, and the Prophet did not condemn him for doing so, this being a basis for the legal acceptability of the Sufis dancing from the joys of the ecstasies they experience.” (1)

(al-Hawi li al-fatawi. 2 vols. Cairo 1352/1933–34. Reprint. Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya, 1403/1983, 2.234)

The Conclusion with regards to Dancing

We have Quran, authentic hadith and sound Islamic scholarship, which support dancing and sufi dancing. So we have four Shafi Imams, who have stated that dancing is permissible, Imam Nawawi, Imam Suyuti, Imam Shirbini, and Imam Ibn Hajar Al Haytami, and two authentic hadiths have been used to validate the position and a Quran basis for the Sufi Hadra provided by Imam Suyuti.

And Allah knows best.


(1) Ali Ibn Abi Talib narrated, “I once visited the Prophet (sallahu alayhi wa salam) with Jafar (Ibn Abi Talib) and Zayd (ibn Haritha). The Prophet (sallahu alayhi wa salam) said to Zayd, “You are my freedman, where upon Zayd began to hop one one leg around the Prophet. The Prophet (sallahu alayhi wa salam) then said to Jafar, “You resemble me in my form and manners”, where upon Jafar began to hop behind Zayd. The Prophet (sallahu alayhi wa salam) then said to me, “You are part of me and I am part of you” where upon I began to hop around Jafar. (Narrated fron Ali by Ahmad in his Musnad with a sound chain as stated by Shakir (1:537 #857) and by Al Bazzar in his Musnad with a sound chain according Al Haytami in Majma al Zawaid (5:176). Ahmad chain is graded as “Strong” by Al Arna’ut in Sahih Ibn Hibban(15:520 #7046)


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