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Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Women practicing sports|
|04/28/05 at 13:37:51|
I would like to know what does Islam say concerning women practicing sports. I“m doing my final reasearch in University about islam and sports, and I would like to hear your knowledge and experiences in practicing sports.
Thank you again for helping me with your answers!
|05/09/05 at 16:01:47|
There is no ayah in the Qur'an nor a hadith of the Prophet (saw) that I know of which prohibits women from playing sports. Neither is there one which encourages or permits it. However, there are ayaat and ahaadith which speak about the permissibility of halal means of entertainment, the commendability of being physically strong, the dislike from wasting time, and the prohibition from revealing one's awrah (bodily parts that need to be covered in front of the marriageable kin).
Therefore, if playing a particular sport falls under any one of the above categories, its ruling should take the ruling of what it falls under. For example, if a sport requires the player (man or woman) to reveal his/her awrah, then it would be haraam for the person to play that sport. Similarly, if the person was spending so much time playing that sport that he/she was neglecting other important things in life, then it would be at least disliked for him/her to continue playing that sport. And so on.
However, if the person stays away from anything which is haraam, and doesn't excessively indulge in the sport then the scholars have said it is commendable to indulge in such sports that would enhance the physique of the person. Physical exercise was recommended by the Sahaabah and the Prophet (saw), who said, "A strong believer is better than a weak believer." He (saw) was pleased with the female warrior among his Sahabah, Nusaybah, when she fought skillfully in the Battle of Uhud.
Regarding female sports specifically, the general concept of hayaa' in our Deen would protect Muslim women from becoming objects of display. Therefore, for Muslim women to perform in front of men, in a manner where the men would look at them for several hours while they are running, moving, stretching and bending, would be considered a breach of the values of hayaa' that Islam has legislated (for the well-being of women, of course), and thus it would be at least disliked if not forbidden. Wallahu a'lam.
It is for these reasons that some Muslim countries have begun making arrangements for female athleticism. They have teams of Muslim women playing soccer, badminton, and other sports, where the audience is comprised of only females. Similarly in the US, several Masajid have made attempts to provide opportunies for sisters to swim, play basketball and other sports, without the presence of men. As long as these activities do not prevent Muslim women from fulfilling their duties as daughters, wives and mothers, and do not become a focus of their lives, they should be encouraged.
|05/09/05 at 16:12:47|
I just want to add that Islam is a religion which demands seriousness from its followers. It seeks the well-being of people, in all aspects of their lives (earthly and heavenly). However, it encourages its followers to be people of intellect, of depth, to be goal-oriented and not to be superficial, wasteful and immature. There is a purpose for our creation, there's a purpose why we're here. We, as Muslims, have great responsibilities that we need to fulfill. Especially in times of such turmoil in the world, Muslims need to focus their energies in bringing peace to the world, educating themselves and others about God and the teachings of His Prophet, and remain cognisant of their journey to the Afterlife.
Physical exercise and sports, though neither forbidden nor disliked, come secondary in our Deen to many other things. One needs to prioritize things in life, and our Sharee'ah has a system of priorities to help us do just that. If one is not able to fulfill the waajibaat [obligations], it is completely unwise to be focusing his/her time and energies on something which is mubaah [permissible]. Similarly, where fard kifaayah [collective duties] are not being fulfilled by the larger community, one would be doing an injustice to the Ummah by spending all of his/her time on things that are mubah or even mandub [recommended].
A lot of times people spend hours watching (not even playing) sports while they can't even read the Qur'an. They skip the weekly lesson in the Masjid for their daily dose of basketball, while they can barely understand Surah al-Fatihah. These are messed up priorities. Islam came to elevate people from being people of heedlessness, of no purpose in life, of being drunk by means of entertainment and dying in a state of having achieved nothing. Islam wants us, men and women, to be much more than that.
Hakeem Olajuwon has done an immense service to this Deen by being a basketball player. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against sports. But he did it right. He didn't just play basketball, he played it with a mission. He excelled in the sport *as a Muslim*, and he made it known the world. Not only that, basketball wasn't all he did. He had regular halaqahs with a local shaykh of his to increase his knowledge about the Deen and closeness with Allah (swt). He donated most generously to Islamic causes, with his money and time. And after retirement, he is spending his time in the middle-east learning Arabic and Islam.
So sports are not haram if they're done right. But that was not why we were created. That is not our purpose in life. It can be used as a means to achieve the purpose of our life, but one needs to be mindful of that.
|05/09/05 at 16:13:16|
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