Dancing Sufis: An Innovation?

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is adapted from Dancing Sufis: An Innovation? by Ustadz Andrew Sanders.

Regarding the Sufis that dance and chant Allah’s (s.w.t.) Names, and recite blessings upon the Prophet (s.a.w.), their practices have been indeed passed down from the time of the Salaf.  One may argue that the Prophet (s.a.w.) and the main swabahah never did.  Of course, it can also be shown that neither the Prophet (s.a.w.) nor the Swahabah forbade it.  The next common argument is that it is bid’a and was never done before in the time of the Salaf but that is incorrect.

In a well-known incident that happened in the very masjid of the Prophet (s.a.w.), Imam Ahmad (r.a.) relates from Anas ibn Malik (r.a.), with a chain of transmission, all of whose narrators are those of Imam al-Bukhari (r.a.) except Imam Hammad ibn Salama (r.a.), who is one of the narrators of Imam Muslim (r.a.) ,that the Ethiopians danced in front of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) , dancing and saying in their language, “Muhammad is a righteous servant.”

The Prophet (s.a.w.) asked, “What are they saying?”

And they replied, “Muhammad is a righteous servant.”

This is found in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad (r.a.).

The Prophet (s.a.w.) never forbade dancing, nor their praise of him.  Those who teach such practices are engaged in a bid’a and not found within the first three generations are simply the liars of this Diyn, and the enemies of the people of truth.  The fact of the matter is, that it was done in front of them, and was never condemned.  Those who condemn are actually saying they know better than the Prophet (s.a.w.) and the swahabah, and are introducing an innovation into the Diyn.


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