Q: Is dancing haraam? if so then why? and is it permissible for females to dance with females as a form of exercise to keep fit?
A: If the exercise is performed without the accompaniment of music, and is designed solely for the circulation of body joints and limbs, and does not resemble A PARTICULAR dance, nor is it the intention to dance when doing the exercises, then this is totally lawful.
In his time The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) allowed and even watched a group of Abyssinians train with their spears and lances, yet the hadith states that “their maneuvers resembled dancing movements”. This hadith appears in Saheeh Al Bukhari. This proves that when the intention is to do exercise or training and not to dance, and there is no imitation of a particular dance of the non-Muslims, then such exercise is lawful.
Mufti Siraj Desai adds:
On the other hand:
Both singing and dancing are Haraam. Allaamah ibni Katheer records a narration in his Tafseer under verse 6 of Surah Luqmaan: And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks… Sayyidina Abdullah ibni Mas’ood (Radhiyallaahu Anhu) was asked regarding the meaning of idle talks. He answered thrice under oath that it refers to music. (Tafseer ibni Katheer V6 P330). This is also the verdict of other scholars of that time, including Sayyidina Hasan Basri (Rahmatullaahi Alayh).
Sayyidina Abu Maalik Al Ash’ari (Radhiyallaahu Anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said: Some people among my Ummah will consume alcohol whilst giving it another name. Their gatherings will consist of music and dancing girls. Allah will let the earth swallow them and some of them will be transformed into apes and swine. (Sunan ibni Maajah V2 P1333). May Allah Ta’aala save us. Aameen.
Moulana Yusuf Laher