Islam is a religion of moderation and does not approve of either extremism or negligence. It does not prevent people from having entertainment; however, it provides the rules that regulate this entertainment. At the same time, Islam does not tolerate any kind of entertainment that contains haram (unlawful) or even leads to haram behavior.
Dancing can be either between women, between men, or mixed between both sexes. It is allowed for women to dance together unless it involves revealing any of the woman’s `awrah – that is, the parts of the body between the navel and the knee – in front of other women. It is also allowed unless the dancing means that mandatory obligations will not be carried out or if it coincides with unlawful acts.
In this regard, Dr. Su’ad Salih, professor of Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) at Al-Azhar University , states:
Islam is a religion of moderation; it does not prevent singing and dancing, but it forbids anything that stimulates people’s desires, whether it be among men or women. Women are supposed to observe good manners if they dance in front of other women. They should not exceed the limits by doing anything that stimulates desires and incites evil. There are many cases where women are tempted by other women.
However, if a woman dances in front of her husband, then there is no restriction, as it is a way of cementing relations between spouses – and this a key pillar of establishing the Muslim family.
Moreover, Dr. Salim Ahmad Salamah, Dean of the Faculty of Usul Ad-Deen at the Islamic University, Gaza,adds: It is permissible for women to dance and sing as long as there are no males around. In addition, the words of the song should be free from any foul words or vulgarity. Thus, as long as the words of the song are pure and clean and there are no males, there is nothing wrong in dancing.
By analogy, men are allowed to dance together as long as they cover their `awrah (the parts of the body between the navel and the knee) and there is no fear of temptation.
Men and women dancing together is absolutely haram in all cases, except when a wife dances in front of her husband. The reason behind this prohibition is that with mixed dancing bodily contact is close and improper sexual desires are aroused. This has been strictly forbidden by Islam in an attempt to block the way against evil. If men and women were permitted to dance together, a lot of haram acts could occur. That is why mixed dancing is not allowed.