Why Zumba ain't Haram
So apparently, Zumba has been added to the list of prohibited (aka haram) things within Islam. Alongside eating pork, drinking alcohol, and gambling.
Well, that's the word among some Muslim families, as parents continue to tell their daughters that they can't participate in Zumba class with other females because it's haram. And when you dig a little deeper, it's because the class encourages girls to "shake it" and the music elicits emotions that should otherwise remain suppressed.
Wait, are we talking about Zumba?
I've done a few Zumba classes so far, and it does everything BUT elicit emotions. The class is so fast paced, cardio-packed, and thinking on your feet and trying not bump into your neighbour choreography infused...there's no time or space to think or do anything else. And you're in a class full of women. By the end of our class last night, we were drenched in sweat, rosy cheeked, and trying to catch our breath. We then quickly did wudu and prayed in the same space.
Is this haram?
I constantly remember the phrase "people are scared of what they don't know". And of course parents would freak about their daughter asking to join a Zumba class. It has music and dancing wrapped into one little package. One haram plus another haram makes one BIG haram!
But what parents don't know are the benefits of Zumba. First of all, all women classes are being offered (all MUSLIM women classes at that!), so the fear of exposing their daughters to the opposite genders are gone. Second, it's an intense workout and you don't even realize you're working out. Time flies as song after song with new choreography is stepped out, and it's only when you're huffing and puffing and sweating that you realize it's a workout. Third, it's a lotta fun! I've never laughed as much while working out as during Zumba. Whether it's because of friends making exaggerated facial expressions, or looking at my grasshopper extremities in the mirror as they try to follow the choreography, it's hilarious. And lastly (but perhaps the most importantly), all of us need to let loose once in a while. In a good way! Life is stressful and sometimes, so just letting loose to some music around other women is not a bad thing. And again, Islam takes into account our intentions.
So I encourage and challenge parents to not take the easy way and call something haram for the sake of preventing their children from wanting to take part in it. Especially in this day and age when "no, that's haram!" doesn't work. If parents aren't sure what something is, before they Google it, they should ask someone they trust if they know anything about it. And then moms themselves should perhaps give it a shot and see for themselves what an all women's Zumba class is.
Dare I say "cha-cha-cha!"