Questioner: In relation to some of the Sufis lodges [zawaayaa], they beat the daff and use skewers, yes, what is the ruling regarding this issue?
Al-Albani: Striking the daff for entertainment is haram, but that which is even more severe than this haram is to include it as a part of worship in the remembrance of Allaah the Mighty and Majestic.
This is haram and is not permissible.
Because committing an act of disobedience is [in and of itself] disobedience, but more severe than that is seeking nearness to Allaah the Blessed and Most High, through it.
These Sufis or those who follow these tariqahs who dance when performing dhikr and beat the daff, indeed even the drum [tabl], the saying of one of the people of knowledge applies to them:
“When did the people come to know that in our religion singing is a Sunnah which is followed
And that a man eats just as a donkey does and dances amongst hordes until he falls
And they say, ‘We are drunk with the love of Allaah.’ But nothing intoxicated them except a platter stuffed with food
Just like the animals who prance around once quenched and satiated
So O People of Intellect and O Men of Understanding! Is there not one from you to denounce such innovations?
Our Mosques are disgraced by listening [to Music] and are now ‘honoured’ as churches are?” [i.e., singing and dancing is part of worship in churches under the pretense that they are honouring their places of worship through that, so these Sufis have imitated them in this by dancing and singing in the mosques].
And another said:
“O You evil, innovating generation!
You have come with an affair which is inconceivable.
Was it in the Quraan that my Lord told you–
to ‘Eat like animals and dance for Me?!”
Far be it.
So, the forbiddance of beating the daff or the drum [tabl] as part of dhikr is more severe than beating the daff as part of mere entertainment. Because the [following] Saying of Allaah the Mighty and Majestic in His Book applies to them, “Those who took their religion as amusement and play and the life of the world deceived them.” [Al-A’raaf 7:51]. And the Blessed and Most High said regarding the polytheists, “Their prayer at the House was nothing but whistling and the clapping of hands.” [An’aam 8:35].
“Their prayer …” i.e., their worship, “… at the House …” the Haram, [Ka’bah].
“… was nothing but whistling …” whistling, and nowadays you see how the youth whistle. This is a legacy which the disbelievers have inherited one from another. During the Days of Ignorance the polytheists would seek nearness to Allaah through whistling and clapping.
“Their prayer at the House was nothing but whistling and the clapping of hands.” Likewise some of the Muslims today do the same thing, and you have come to know the censure of the faqihs of the Muslims and their severe repudiation of them. So much so that some of them declared that the place where these eating dancers perform their ‘remembrance’ be razed because it is impure, i.e., the disobedience of Allaah the Mighty and Majestic having occurred therein.
That dhikr which they regard as being remembrance [of Allaah] is only idle speech.
As for striking oneself with skewers, this is the calamity of all calamities–that there are hundreds of thousands of Muslims who falsely assume that harming oneself in this way is a miracle. It is a miracle [karaamah] for those people who falsely think that they are on some [sort of Truth] in regards to the religion.
But they follow nothing.
Because the religion is [nothing but] following what the Prophet was upon عليه السلام. And neither the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم nor his noble Companions remembered Allaah in this manner. [A method of remembrance] which you have come to know something about from the lines of poetry that I recited to you.