For other meanings of 'DAF or daf of daff or similar, see DAF.
A daf is a large-sized frame drum used to accompany both popular and classical music in Iran,Iraq,Syria, Azerbaijan, Kurdistan and other countries of the Middle East. Some dafs are equipped with rings or small cymbals, making them a form of tambourine.
The earliest evidence of Daf dates back to Sassanid Iran. The Pahlavi (an ancient Iranic language) name of Daf is dap. The word daf is therefore the arabicized form of the word dap. Some pictures of dap have been found in the paintings to be painted before the birth of Christ. The presence of Iranian dap in the reliefs of Bisotun is enlightening and is hard proof that dafs existed long before the rise of Islam. Dafs were part of religious music in Iran much before Sufism. In fact, Iranian music has always been a spiritual tool. It shows that dafs played an important role in Mazdean Iran emerging as an important element during the Sassanian times during the KÃĒvusa