Watching and Participating in Sports

By Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Posted: 3 Jamad-ul-Awwal 1423, 14 July 2002

Q.) Are sports tournament allowed in deen or not? What could be the right way of arranging the tournaments according to the deen?

A.) Sports tournaments involve 2 parties: a) participants, and b) spectators

As far as the participants are concerned, Islam encourages physical fitness and health consciousness. Keeping these objectives in mind participation in modern day sport will be permissible with the following conditions:

a) His attire conforms with Shariah regulations.

b) His involvement in such sport does not make him negligent of his religious obligations.

c) No form of gambling is involved in such activity.

d) He does not become the cause of others neglecting their religious duties.

e) Intermingling of sexes does not take place.

f) That the intention will be solely to build physique in preparation for Jihad and not for imitation of kuffar.

As far as the spectators are concerned the primary benefit of watching sport is relaxation but modern sport on an organized level has gone far beyond the boundaries of exercise and relaxation. Besides becoming an obsession for many a great number of those who participate in such sports end up in untold vices. The harms of watching sport at a stadium include the effects of crowd behavior, intermingling of sexes, singing, dancing, wastage of time and money. Hence in this case, the harms far outweigh the benefits. (Islam and Sport, published by Madrasa Arabia )

And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best