Sunday, 10 December 2006

Sports - Playing & Making A Living

With regards to the above, this question has been asked to the traditionalists among the scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah, and they have answered accordingly:

Any past time sports or games, inclusive of whether on video, computer, etc. will fall under the category of Lahw and La'ab (useless and past-time). This will thus make them not permissible.

Allah Ta'ala - the Creator of our Universe - declares in the Noble Qur'an:

"I have not created Man and Jinn except for (the purpose) of worship."(Surah 51:Verse 57)

When our Maker and Rabb whom we, the creation are accountable to, invariably states our purpose in this world, then our objective will be just that despite any human being thinking otherwise.

No creation can change this directive. Having said that, the Noble Qur'an on no less than five places warns about this worldly life - that this life is but a sport and a past-time. The two words used are 'lahw' and 'la'ab' which the Jurists have defined as games, sports, and past-times.

Basically 'lahw' and 'laƔb' do not bring any benefit and together takes one away from the remembrance of Allah Ta'ala and the Hereafter.

Nabi Muhammad SAW advised the Ummah:

"Everything with which a man plays is unlawful, except his shooting of arrows, his training his horse and playing with his wife." (Tirmidhi No.1637, Abu Dawud No.2513, Ibn Majah No.2811 and Hakim Vol.2 Pg.104.

A Narration in Baihaqi (Vol.10 Pg.15), Tabrani (Vol.2 Pg.193) and Sunanul Kubra of Nasai (Vol.5 Pg.302) adds: "and a man's learning how to swim."

Aishah RA that she had raced Nabi SAW and beat him. Later on when they raced again Nabi SAW beat her. Narrated by Ibn Majah (1979) and Ahmad (24163)

Nabi SAW once wrestled Rukanah RA and overpowered him. Narrated by Abdur Razzaaq (Vol.11 Pg.427)

Some Ulama explain that this cannot be used as proof of the desirability of wrestling as Rukanah RA had requested the wrestling bout to ascertian whether Nabi SAW was a true prophet or not. However, there are other narrations that show that wrestling was common amongst the Sahabah RA and they practised it in front of Nabi SAW without him objecting to it. A narration in Sharhu Ma'ani'il Aathar of Tahawi (Vol.3 Pg.219) mentions that Samurah ibn Jundub RA wrestled an Ansari youngster in front of Nabi SAW with the permission of Nabi SAW.

The above ahadith mention archery, horse riding, swimming, running and wrestling. Imam Nawawi RA mentions that the ahadith show that one should learn usage of all the different types of weapons, as well as exercising ones limbs for jihad, in addition to racing ones horse etc. (Sharh Muslim Vol.2 Pg.143)

We thus learn that we should exercise our bodies to keep fit. We should also learn how to use the different forms of weapondery available today.

Nevertheless, the common sports of today, soccer, crickets, rugby, etc. are not permissible due to the so many un-Islamic factors in them which are vert clear even without explanation. Those sports today are all about money, hence, the media, intermingling, neglect of religious duties, etc. in Islam, the purpose of sports is to maintain a healthy body. If that is contaminated with any un-Islamic factor, it will not be permissible.

Also for women, in brief, sports is permissible for females provided laws of Hijaab are adhered to. It is also necessary these sports are beneficial and not harmful to one’s body, mind and soul.

As a whole - the Muslim Jurists have commented that a sport/game :

a) which has no religious OR worldly benefit is not permissible
b) which has worldly or religious benefit is subjected to the following conditions:

i) that none of it should be contrary to the Shari'ah
ii) that it (the sport/game) should not resemble the sport/games specifically identified with other religious communities e.g. Yoga;
iii) which may have some worldly and/or religious benefit but includes an impermissible act e.g. modern wrestling (exposing the awrah).

Due to the many evils in contemporary sports, it is not permissible to earn one's living through that.

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