a) The definition of 'competitions'.
b) The Islamic ruling regarding competitions.
c) The Islamic ruling regarding the setting of prizes for competitions.
2. The sport of Football.
a) Defining the sport.
b) The history of this sport.
c) The Islamic ruling regarding football.
d) The Islamic ruling regarding the offering of prizes for the winners in football.
3. The evil consequences of sporting competitions.
a) Causing Muslims to love, honour, glorify and esteem disbelievers.
b) Diverting Muslims from thinking about Islamic issues.
Diverting Muslims from the concern of fulfilling their Islamic
objectives and esteemed issues, to occupying themselves frivolity and
d) Inverting standards and corrupting people’s perceptions.
e) Setting an evil example for the Muslim youth.
f) Hindering people from the remembrance of Allaah and from fulfilling their obligations.
g) Enslavement and emotional control.
h) Corrupting community and family relations.
i) Leads to one cursing their own parents.
j) Intensifies hatred and enmity between people.
k) The wasting of money.
l) It is a fertile medium for gambling.
m) Creates victims of stadium catastrophes.
4. Research conclusion.
a) The Islamic ruling and conclusion.
b) An allowed exception.
c) The Islamic ruling on the game of 'flippers'.
d) A Message to soccer fanatics
The definition of 'Competitions':
Scholars of Islaam have differed in their definition of what a
competition is; Imaam Al-Kaasaani, may Allaah have mercy upon him,
said: "It is when two (or more) people have a contest to see who is
faster on horse-back or camel-back, and they have agreed beforehand
that the winner gets a certain prize which comes from the participants
own expense". Imaam Ibn Qudaamah, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said:
"It is the rush towards a destination in a race". Others have said: "It
is a contract between two parties to accomplish a task in order to see
who is the smarter or better of the two."
The Islamic ruling regarding competitions:
proven in the Qur’aan, the Sunnah and the consensus of the Muslim
scholars that generally, such competitions are permissible:
Allaah says that which translates as: “And prepare against them
whatsoever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may
terrify the enemy of Allaah and your enemy and others besides them whom
you do not know [but] whom Allaah knows. And whatever you spend in the
cause of Allaah will be fully repaid to you, and you will not be
wronged." (Al-Anfaal: 60). Imaam Al-Jassaas, may Allaah have mercy upon
him, said commenting upon this verse: "This verse is evidence that
anything which strengthens the believers against their enemies is
mandatory upon the believers to prepare."
Allaah says that which translates as: “And if they had intended to go
forth, they would have prepared for it [some] preparation, But Allaah
disliked their being sent, so He kept them back, and they were told
'Remain [behind] with those who remain.'" (At-Tawbah: 46). Therefore,
Allaah dispraised these people for the abandonment of the preparation
of facing their enemies and going out to fight them, and one of the
means of preparation and strength is to race.
Allaah says that which translates as: “They said: 'O our father, indeed
we went racing each other …'” (Yoosuf: 17) Imaam Ibn Sa’di, may Allaah
have mercy upon him, said: "(This means by) running and competing by
‘Abdullaah Ibn ‘Umar, may Allaah be pleased with him and his father,
narrated that: "The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam raced from
Al-Hayfaa’ to Thaniyyat Al-Wadaa’ and from Thaniyyat Al-Wadaa’ to the
mosque of the tribe of Zurayq’ (Bukhaari & Muslim). ‘Abdullaah Ibn
‘Umar, may Allaah be pleased with him and his father, was among those
who would race.
Ibn Hajar, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said commenting upon this
narration: "This Hadeeth is evidence that racing and other such
competitions are allowed, and that they are not considered to be a
waste of time. On the contrary, they are praised, as they assist a
person's preparation for Jihaad and help him to utilise his physical
fitness when it would be most needed."
Anas Ibn Maalik, may Allaah be pleased with him said: "The Prophet
sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam had a she camel named Al-‘Adhbaa’ which
nobody could beat in a race, until one day a Bedouin came and raced
against it and won, so the companions of the Prophet sallallaahu
‘alaihi wa sallam felt uneasy. Thereupon, the Prophet sallallaahu
‘alaihi wa sallam said: “It is incumbent upon Allaah that everything
which reaches a high rank in this life must come back down again.”
(Bukhaari). Imaam Ibn Hajar, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: "It
is evident from this Hadeeth that it is permissible to use camels for
riding as well as for racing."
‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, said: "Once I was with the
Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam on a trip, and we had a race,
which I won. After a few years, when I became heavier, we went on
another trip and raced again, but this time the Prophet sallallaahu
‘alaihi wa sallam won, and thereupon he said: “This one for that one”
(Ahmad, Abu Daawood and others).
The consensus of the Islamic scholars:
Many scholars have stated that is the consensus of the Islamic scholars
to allow such competitions such as, Ibn ‘Abdul-Barr, Ibn Hazm, Ibn
Hubayrah, Ibn Qudaamah and others.
The Islamic ruling regarding the setting of prizes for competitions:
There are three ways that prizes are set and won in competitions:
First: That there is a third party offering a prize to the competitors.
For example, if this party were to state that: 'The winner of the
competition will win a specified sum of money from me.' This is
islamically permissible according to the consensus of the scholars.
Second: That one of the competitors sets the prize. For example, if
this competitor were to state that: 'The one who beats me will win a
specified sum of money from myself.’ The vast majority of scholars hold
the view that this is permissible.
Third: That every competitor contributes towards the prize which goes
to the winner of the competition. This is amounts to gambling and is
strictly prohibited in the religion of Islaam.
The sport of Football:
Defining the sport:
sport has four factors: Two competing teams each consisting of eleven
players; a rectangular shaped field of specified dimensions; A ball;
And three officials, consisting of one referee on the field and two
linesmen who flank each side. The two teams compete to score the
highest number of goals points by entering the ball into the opponent's
goal, and the winner is the team with the highest number of goals. The
game consists of two halves, each forty-five minutes in duration with a
fifteen minute break in between.
The history of this sport:
sport as a contest during which each team tries to score more goals
than the opposing one goes as far back as the celebrations which used
to take place in Egypt and other ancient civilisations. In China for
example, one writer reports that soccer was played in the year 5000 BC
and that it was played with a ball filled with hair. The Greeks later
gave this sport the name ‘Harbistom’. After this, the Romans played
this sport all over their empire and it spread to England through the
Romans and fascinated the English people.
end of the twelfth century CE football matches were held in England on
Tuesdays, and after a few years, Tuesday became a regular festival of
football in England and an official holiday. People would gather to
watch the games and the Lord Mayor of London would kick the ball to
start the game.
city of Chester was among the cities which were famous for their
Tuesday games and it is said that the games were held specifically on
this day in memory of one Tuesday in the year 217 CE when the locals
expelled the Romans from that city.
the nineteenth century, two factions appeared in the sport; one wished
to involve the use of hands in the game, whilst others did not. This
eventually led to the creation of two separate games; one is commonly
known as football, or soccer, and the other is rugby. After this, the
rules and regulations of the game of football were set in the cities of
London and Cambridge.
there are more than one hundred and thirty countries as members of
‘FIFA’, the International Football Federation, which was established on
the 21st of May 1904 CE in Paris, France. This organisation initiated
what is known as the 'World Cup' on the thirteenth of August 1930 CE in
Uruguay, and this tournament takes places once every four years. There
are also many other tournaments which take place in different parts of
the world, such as the European Championships which was established in
1958 CE to compete against the World Cup.
The Islamic ruling regarding football:
Islaam, all matters that are not in the category of worship, or
Ibaadah, are permissible, unless there is specific evidence from the
Islamic texts that would render them prohibited. In fact, such matters
could even be recommended if it strengthens the Muslim due to his
participation in it. Islaam actively encourages the practice of
everything that would strengthen the body in order to be constantly
prepared for Jihaad. Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him,
narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “A strong
believer is better and dearer to Allaah than a weak believer, and there
is goodness in both” (Muslim).
Al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: "If
playing with a ball (whether on horseback (polo) or with the feet) is
beneficial to the horse or the person, by keeping the person or the
horse in shape and as a way of preparing for Jihaad, then it is good.
Otherwise, if it is harmful (to either), then it is forbidden."
The Islamic ruling regarding the offering of prizes for the winner in football:
prizes for contests in horse and camel races as well as arrow shooting
is permitted according to the consensus of the Islamic scholars because
the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “No prize
offering is allowed except for horse and camel races and arrow
shooting.” (Ibn Hibbaan).
Islamic scholars have differed in their rulings regarding prizes for
things other than what was mentioned in the above Hadeeth. In some
cases, there is a consensus among them that it is prohibited, such as
offering prizes for rooster and goat fighting contests, or in contests
between craftsmen and people with special vocations; for example, if a
person were to offer a prize to the best carpenter in a specially
devised competition to see who could craft the finest table. This is
because the carpenters would spend their time, effort and money in
making such tables and at the end of the competition, only one would
take the reward. Islamically, this is not permissible because it
involves a guaranteed risk factor of losing for each participant, as
only one will win the prize. With regards to this, Imaam Ibn Al-Qayyim,
may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: "It is not known that any scholar
has permitted such a contest."
are certain cases where controversy exists between the scholars, such
as contests for memorizing the Qur’aan, Ahadeeth and other beneficial
knowledge. Also running, swimming, wrestling, sword fights, weight
lifting and races on donkeys, cows and elephants. It was allowed in
camel and horse races and arrow shooting because these are things that
are considered preparation for Jihaad. This is the reason why some
scholars have allowed the above mentioned types.
Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allaah have mercy upon him, divided all these types
of competition into three distinct categories and gave the Islamic
ruling for each one as follows:
First: Contests in which the benefits far outweigh any possible harm.
These include things that Allaah and His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi
wa sallam love, or things that lead to it, or help achieve it, such as
horse and camel races and arrow shooting. This category is loved by
Allaah and His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam and pleasing to
them. Allaah has made these types of competitions permissible for His
slaves and legislated all means that lead to them and help achieve them.
this category of competition is allowed in order to encourage people to
partake in them. People would compete in these competitions for two
reasons; to enjoy the win, or to gain a prize. The prizes gained from
such contests are Islamically lawful, and this is not considered a form
of gambling. Correspondingly, it is lawful to give prizes for any
contest which helps people prepare for Jihaad.
Second: Contests in which the harm is not expected to outweigh the
benefits, and which do not include that which Allaah and His Messenger
sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam commanded. For example, running,
swimming, wrestling and weightlifting are things that are neither loved
by Allaah (i.e. did not ordain them) nor are they prohibited by Him, so
there is neither a command nor a prohibition for these.
contests are permissible as long as there is no prize money involved.
This is because they have not been prohibited by Allaah and they give
satisfaction to people who take part in them. However, it is not
permissible to take prizes for them, due to the fact these would lead
people to become pre-occupied in preparing and training for them in
order to win these prizes, which in turn would lead them to neglect
more important matters.
Third: Contests in which the harm outweighs any possible benefit, such
as playing with dice and the game of chess. These are hated by Allaah
and His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam and lead other things
that displeases Allaah.
type of competition is prohibited and any money resulting from it is
unlawfully gained gambling money according to the consensus of the
scholars. Even if there is no prize money for such a contest, the
majority of scholars rule that it is prohibited, and there is no
scholar who said that it’s evil and good are equal in proportion.
that this has been established, it becomes very clear that football
tournaments and competitions which have prizes involved are not
permitted Islamically and that the money gained from them is considered
ill-gotten. It is not a sport which is useful in a war, nor is it a
preparation for Jihaad. Moreover, this sport in its current form
destroys the very foundation of loyalty and disavowal which our
religion stands upon. Due to this sport, the Muslims develop love for
the disbelieving players and imitate them. Also, this sport acts as a
tranquilizer for the Muslim nation which numbs their senses to the
current reality of their situation. The enemies of Islaam have huge set
budgets and spent lots of money on this sport in order to divert the
Muslim nation from its preparation for Jihaad and therefore the actual
performance of Jihaad has become distant in their minds. If the Islamic
scholars have ruled unlawful the setting prizes for sports which do not
help in the preparation for Jihaad, then what would they say about a
sport which actually hinders them from preparing for and performing
The evil consequences of sporting competitions:
sport of football has developed over last few centuries from being a
means of keeping physically fit into an activity that is full of
Islamic prohibitions and forms of Jaahiliyyah (pre-Islamic ignorance)
as well as moral deviation and ideological deformation. The following
points highlight some of these prohibitions and expose the deviations
1) Causing Muslims to love, glorify, esteem and honour disbelievers:
the most dangerous consequences of these contests is the breaking and
dissolving of the barrier of disavowal between Muslims and disbelievers
which is the most important base of belief.
contests aim to eradicate the Muslim’s hatred towards the disbelievers,
the hatred which is a natural result of the disbeliever's enmity
towards the Muslims and their fighting against them using all available
means. What is even worse than this is when the Muslims begin loving,
esteeming, praising, admiring, glorifying and exalting the mention of
the disbelievers. They even become angry if anyone dispraised these
disbelievers whom they admire and love and go out of their way to get
their shirts, autographs, or even a hand-shake
Muslims hang pictures of these disbelieving football stars in their
houses and cars and even on their bodies in the form of tattoos; others
would go as far as carrying these disbelieving players or coaches on
Ibn ‘Amr , may Allaah be pleased with him, was with Abu Sufyaan, who
was not a believer at that time, on the day the Prophet sallallaahu
‘alaihi wa sallam conquered Makkah to meet the Prophet. As they
approached, some of the companions of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi
wa sallam said: "Here comes Abu Sufyaan and ‘Aa’idh Ibn ‘Amr."
Thereupon, the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “No, rather,
here comes ‘Aa’idh Ibn ‘Amr and Abu Sufyaan. Islaam honours and nothing
else can give honour beside it.” (Daaraqutni). Imaam Ibn Hajr,
may Allaah have mercy upon him, said commenting upon this Hadeeth:
"Mentioning someone’s name first reflects their virtue." This was the
case due to the companions of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam
merely mentioning the name of a disbeliever before that of a believer,
therefore, what is the case when Muslims praise, honour and glorify the
disbelievers and even carry them on their shoulders?
2) Diverting Muslims from thinking about Islamic issues:
enemies of Islaam have been successful in overwhelming the Muslims with
these competitions and making them forget about their religion and
their responsibility of propagating it. They have succeeded in
exterminating their sense of duty and pride towards their religion;
this is precisely the reason why you see many football fans that
closely monitor these competitions not caring about what happens to
their oppressed fellow Muslims around the world. It does not concern
them whether their brothers and sisters in Islaam are killed,
displaced, tortured or that their sacred places are profaned; their
only concern is monitoring the news of football matches and monitoring
the lifestyle and financial conditions of the players.
A poet said describing the situation of sport lovers:
People stay watching it, dazzled until day light.
And when the call comes for Jihaad, to make their future bright.
They are all in deep sleep, as if they say, ‘The team’s victory is our delight’.
Diverting Muslims from the concern of fulfilling their Islamic
objectives and esteemed issues, to occupying themselves with trivia and
reality, these competitions are a tool of the disbelievers which they
are using to destroy the Muslim nation and their sense of ambition.
This is confirmed by the thirteenth protocol of the 'Learned Elders of
Zion' which states: "In order to keep the masses misguided and unaware
of what is ahead of them and behind them, or what is plotted against
them; we will increase ways of keeping them busy by establishing new
forms of entertainment, fun, games and different sports, then have
newspapers call for contests and tournaments of these."
4) Inverting standards and corrupting people’s perceptions:
refers to what is known as ‘Terminological warfare’; which is the most
lethal weapon that our enemies use against us. This is the mislabelling
of matters and the fabrication of facts; our enemies label the truth as
ugly and disgraceful whilst labelling falsehood as attractive and
relation to the subject of this research, we can observe that this
phenomenon occurs very often. Football players who are wasting their
time and others are labelled as heroes, stars, history makers and
accomplishers of might. Winning games are called victory and success
while respecting opponents is called sportsmanship; and in this they
try to avoid attributing this mutual respect to the Islamic teachings
which is where this behaviour originates. Fans that waste their time
are called allies and supporters, but we must ask ourselves, what are
these fans doing when it comes to the support that they owe to this
religion? Also, some football matches are called ‘friendly', even if
they were played against the very worst enemy of Islam!
5) Setting an evil example for the Muslim youth:
cultivation of youth by setting an example is one of the greatest and
most effective ways of achieving it. The Qur’aan has guided us to this
as Allaah says that which translates as: “There has already been for
you an excellent example in Ibraaheem and those with him…”
(Al-Mumtahinah: 4) and also: “Those are the ones whom Allaah has
guided, so from their guidance take an example” (Al-An’aam: 90). Also,
the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam attached great importance to
this. Hudhayfah may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the
Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “Follow the example of
those who will come after me; Abu Bakr and ‘Umar” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi and
competitions set evil examples for the Muslim youth and are an obstacle
to them benefiting from wholesome and pure examples. In order for them
to accomplish this evil, the disbelievers focus their media heavily on
famous athletes, follow their lifestyles closely and describe them as
heroes, stars and celebrities. This affects our children to the extent
that it makes them become intensely fascinated by these athletes and
the only concern that they have is to be like them in every way. Due to
this, any ambitions that they hold with regard to working for the
religion of Islaam disappears. In many cases the Muslim youth imitate
these athletes even in acts that are of disbelief.
6) Hindering people from the remembrance of Allaah and from fulfilling their religious obligations:
of those who watch and follow these contests are thereby hindered from
remembering Allaah and performing prayers. This is known fact to
everybody and only an arrogant person would attempt to refute this fact
or reject it. Anything which leads to abandoning prayer or not praying
on time is prohibited. Many people stay up all night watching the games
and therefore miss the following Fajr prayer, others abandon
congregational prayers just so that they can watch these games. What is
worse than this is when some miss Jumu’ah prayer for the sake of
watching the games. In addition to all this, many neglect their ties
with their parents, children and relatives and give precedence to these
says that which translates as: “Satan only wants to cause between you
animosity and hatred through intoxicants and gambling and to avert you
fromn the remembrance of Allaah and from prayer. So will you not
desist?” (Al-Maa’idah: 91). Imaam Al-Qurtubi, may Allaah have mercy
upon him, said commenting upon this verse: "Any fun which leads to more
fun and results in enmity and hatred between those who practice it, or
hinders them from remembering Allaah or praying becomes as prohibited
as the consumption of alcohol is."
person may argue that 'The consumption of Alcohol causes a person to
become drunk such that they cannot even pray, whereas playing chess and
rolling dice does not do any of that.’ The answer to that is Allaah
combined the prohibition of both alcohol and gambling in the same
verse, and described them both to be causes for hatred and enmity
between people and hinderers from the remembrance of Allaah and prayer.
It is obvious that alcohol is an intoxicant whilst gambling is not, yet
Allaah made them equally prohibited because both lead to the same
result. Moreover, consuming a small amount of alcohol will not
intoxicate a person, just as playing chess and rolling dice does not,
yet it still remains just as prohibited as consuming a large amount.
Therefore, there is no problem or contradiction in prohibiting it along
with intoxicants in the same verse. This is because alcohol was
prohibited due to it causing a person to become intoxicated and thereby
hindering them from prayer. Playing chess and rolling dice would
naturally take the same ruling because it results in people becoming
heedless and hinders them from praying.
7) Enslavement and emotional control:
can deny that football affects the personality and emotional well-being
of the players as well as the fans. Nothing can be more evident to
illustrate this than the heart attacks which occur to some football
fans during and after games which frequently result in death. This is
because such people would usually be observing the games in a state of
true aim of sports, which is to develop the human-body and discipline
the soul, has clearly failed to be achieved. In fact, sport has become
a lethal weapon which attacks the very bodies and souls that it was
meant to develop. One of the ugliest ways in which one can die is on
the football pitch, or in a stadium, or to die for the sake of a soccer
team, and what an evil state to be in at the time of resurrection, for
everyone will be resurrected according to how they were at the time of
example of this is a story that was published in ‘Al-Akhbaar’ which is
an Egyptian newspaper, it stated that: "The chairman of An-Nasir
Company for rubber manufacturing died of a heart attack when his
favourite team lost in a final game. He was watching closely with his
family members and became very excited and started jumping and kissing
his family members when his team scored the first goal. However, the
other team scored an equaliser and then came the second goal which
meant defeat for his team. Afterwards, he went to his bedroom to rest
and shortly afterwards, his wife went into the bedroom to find that he
had died of a heart attack."
8) Corrupting communities and family relations:
infatuation of these competitions has become widespread in the homes of
many people. It entered without permission, spread corruption and
created problems and disputes. Many cases of divorce resulted from
these competitions; if the husband’s favourite team loses, he vents his
anger at his wife and may even beat her. Many brothers have fought
because they support different teams. This is precisely what the
enemies of Islaam are eager to cause so that the structure of the
family collapses and calamities befall the Muslim nation.
9) Leads to one cursing their own parents:
many cases people start cursing each other during games and may even
use words which would affect their belief. Many people are habitually
foul-mouthed and rude and so they direct this towards the referee,
players, or other fans. This eventually results in somebody cursing
their own parents, which is a major sin is Islaam. ‘Abdullaah Ibn ‘Amr,
may Allaah be pleased with him, said that the Prophet sallallaahu
‘alaihi wa sallam said: “It is one of the major and great sins that one
curses his own parents” it was said: "O Messenger of Allaah! How would
a person curse his own parents?" he sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam
replied: “He curses somebody's father and that person responds by
cursing his father back, or he curses the somebody's mother and he
responds by cursing his mother back.” (Bukhaari & Muslim).
10) Intensifies hatred and enmity between people:
claim that these competitions are a civilised way to strengthen bonds,
build deep feelings of harmony and build bridges of communication
between people. Reality is quite the opposite. History proves that such
competitions and contests act as sparks which ignite huge fires, both
between the players themselves and the fans of each competing team. The
fact that the disasters and subsequent victims which result from such
competitions are very many makes it easy for sincere people who are
truly seeking the correct Islamic ruling of these competitions to reach
the truth; that they take the rulings of other prohibitions because of
their evil consequences. The following are some evidences from the
August 16th 1950 CE: The organisers of the World Cup in a game between
Brazil and Uruguay where forced to dig a thirteen metre long and one
and a half metre wide trench to protect players from the crowd.
May 23rd 1963CE: During a game between Peru and Argentina a dispute
arose regarding the soundness of a goal which was scored. A clash
followed which took place between rival fans that which resulted in the
death of 320 people and the injuring of 1000 others.
September 17th 1967 CE: 48 people were killed and 606 injured in a
fight between the fans of two Turkish teams, caused by a disputed goal.
June 25th 1969 CE: 15 people were killed and 102 injured in a fight
between the fans of two teams over a disputed goal during a game in
August 16th 1980 CE: 18 people were killed and 100 injured in India
after the referee sent two players off the field.
November 18th 1982 CE: 24 people were killed and 210 injured in a fight
between drunken rival fans at a match in Colombia.
May 29th 1985 CE: 39 people were killed and 600 injured with broken
bones resulting from an intense fight in Brussels, Belgium between the
fans of an Italian team (Juventus) and an English team (Liverpool).
These are just a few examples of events that have occurred and which remain as a mark of disgrace in our minds.
evil consequences of the some football matches have been even worse
than those already mentioned and have even affected diplomatic
relations between countries. For example, in 1969 CE, war broke out
between El Salvador and Honduras due to the result of a football match
between those two countries. In fact, this war was called 'The Battle
of Football', it lasted for seven days and left more than 2000 people
11) The wasting of money:
competitions are the reason for the wastage of huge sums of money. This
is because vast amounts are spent in preparing the pitches, securing
the money needed to hold the games and refurbishing damages which
result from unruly fans when their team loses. Moreover, the security
that is required during and after games is an extra financial burden.
There is no doubt that all these costs are ultimately shouldered by the
poorer section of society.
extremely unfortunate that some Muslim countries are at the top of the
list of countries that set a high percentage of their budget for
sports, others spend more on sport than they do on educational and
else which is shocking is when a foreign guest sportsman is invited to
participate in a game and paid huge sums of money to do so. One of the
North African Arab countries paid a huge amount for the foreign coach
of their national team which exceeded the salary of fifty university
professors. Another Muslim country hired a Serbian Christian coach for
their national team while our brothers where being slaughtered like
sheep and our sisters were being raped by his nation.
12) It is a fertile medium for gambling:
competitions open the door for gambling and speculation which is
prohibited Islamically. For example, FIFA hold weekly gambling sessions
for guessing the result of the weekly games between the European teams
and LOTO does the same thing in some of the Arab countries. Abu
Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that he Prophet
sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, “He who says to his brother 'let us
gamble' must give to charity (as an expiation).” (Bukhaari &
Muslim). Imaam Ash-Shawkaani, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said
explaining this Hadeeth: "This charity is an expiation, which is a
clear indication that this act is prohibited".
therefore clear what evil and destructive effects gambling has on a
nations economy; It wastes human resources and increases unemployment,
consumes a nation’s wealth and instils hatred and enmity. There are
many more evil consequences than one can mention in a single research,
but the few examples given should suffice as an illustration of the
13) Creates victims of stadium catastrophes:
often become over filled due to peoples' zeal and enthusiasm to watch
the matches, as well as the organisers aiming to maximise their
profits. The danger of this is that disasters and catastrophes may
result leaving behind them many victims. They die when stadiums
collapse, or when fans rush to leave to stadium after a game is over,
or for many other reasons. The following are some examples of what
history has preserved for us:
March 9th 1946 CE: 33 people were killed and 500 injured when people
rushed out of a stadium in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
January 1966 CE: 66 people were killed in Glasgow, Scotland as a result
of bad match organisation.
June 23rd 1968 CE: In Argentina, fans lit fireworks which caused fear
to spread between people who thought that a fire had broke out. Due to
the rush to leave the stadium, 89 people were killed and 150 injured.
December 25th 1973 CE: 27 people died and 52 were injured in the Congo
as a result of people rushing out of a stadium.
February 7th 1973 CE: 80,000 rushed into the ‘Zamaalik’ stadium in
Egypt to watch a game, although the stadium was built to accommodate
only 40,000. This resulted in the death of 48 people and the injuring
of the same number.
August 4th 1979 CE: 24 people were killed and 27 injured in Nigeria due
to match officials turning off all stadium lighting before the stadium
October 20th 1982 CE: in Moscow, USSR, the Holland team scored a goal
while a large number of people were leaving the stadium. This caused
them to rush back in joy, which resulted in the death of 20 people.
May 11th 1985 CE: A fire broke out during a match in Bradford, England
which terrified people into rushing towards the exit gates only to find
that they were locked. This resulted in the deaths of 53 people and
injuring of more than 200.
March 14th 1988 CE: In Nepal, 72 people were killed and 27 injured when
a power-cut resulted from a strong gust of wind which cause people to
rush out of the stadium that they were in.
April 15th 1989 CE: in Sheffield, England large numbers of people
entered a stadium which was completely full, resulting in the deaths of
95 people and the injuring of more than 200 in two hours.
the people who propagate this sport deliberately and shamelessly
broadcast their games during religious seasons for the Muslims and
thereby pre-occupy them with it. They fill the newspapers and magazines
with commentary, analysis and discussion on this.
· The Islamic ruling and conclusion:
have seen the evil consequences of these competitions, and what has not
been mentioned is far more than what was mentioned, and each one of
these evil consequences is a root which has other evils sprouting from
it. It is not possible for one seeking the truth after reading all this
to do anything except that this it is prohibited to hold such
competitions or to monitor them. Also, each one of us must encourage
people not to waste their time with it.
Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: "If one were to
monitor these competitions, they would not fail to notice that they
have exactly the same influence on people as alcohol does, and
partaking in them in a very limited way leads to partake in them in a
bigger and bigger way, so they are addictive in nature. The more people
partake in them, the more they are hindered from doing that which
Allaah and His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam love, and the
closer they are to committing that which Allaah and His Messenger
sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam hate. Even if there is not a specific
text (from the Qur’aan and Sunnah) referring to this, the general rules
and principles in Islaam, and judging according to that which brings
benefit and prevents harm and evil, is enough to prohibit them." This
statement was made during the era of Imaam Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allaah
have mercy upon him, so what would he say if he saw the competitions in
must be more concerned and protective of our religion than the Kings of
England were about their personal interests, for they prohibited these
competitions when they saw the violence and brutality that they lead
to. They were prohibited in 1314 CE by King Edward II, in 1365 CE by
King Edward III and after that by King Richard II, Henry IV and the
Queen Elizabeth I.
1314 CE King Edward II announced the following: "The loud noise and
fighting which results from this game where people run after a ball,
and the evils that result from it, and the fact that God prohibits such
evil behaviour compels me as the King to prohibit these to take place
in the future, and anyone who disobeys this will be imprisoned."
· An allowed exception:
it is prohibited to practice the sport of football due to the
prohibitions and evils that result, one can play this sport on the
condition that they can guarantee that these prohibitions will not take
place. One can play this sport if it improves physical fitness, even if
it is less than that which would result from the military training
which the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam recommended the Muslims
to take part in.
the physical gains derived from this sport, we can utilise and direct
this sport to achieve other important objectives, such as:
To prevent the youth from getting involved in worse and more evil
matter which they might waste their time doing, and would do more
damage to their morals and manners.
Second: To strengthen relations between the Muslim youth, and introduce them to the objectives of Islamic propagation.
Satisfy the sense of competition which in natural in youth and which
would otherwise be fulfilled in other frivolous ways, or even in a
prohibited manner, such as gambling.
are suggestions which one must consider due to the nature of the
circumstances that the Muslim nation is currently in. When this nation
comes back to its senses and returns to the way our Lord wants it to be
and realises the necessity of being equipped with Islaam as a
comprehensive way of life, it is only then that nurturers of the youth
as well as those in charge of the Muslims can set a curriculum for the
youth which includes the performance of sports in a dignified and
respectful manner, which coincides with the responsibility of enjoining
good and forbidding evil. Allaah describes this in the Qur’aan with
that which translates as: “You are the best nation produced [as an
example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong
and believe in Allaah…” (Aal ‘Imraan: 110).
· The Islamic ruling on the game of 'flippers':
The following question was put to the committee of senior scholars in Saudi Arabia:
playing flippers is permitted in Islaam - especially when a condition
is that the loser pays for the game and the winner plays for free?"
[NOTE: This game involves the use of a table with a picture or a statue of a footballer on it]
The answer was as follows:
"If the case was as described then such a game includes the following prohibitions:
* Wasting time and missing out on many good things which can benefit one in both this life and the hereafter.
Making statues and/or possessing them is prohibited and considered to
be one of the major and great sins according to authentic Ahaadeeth,
and the warning is
clear for those who do this that they are deserving of a serious punishment.
The loser having to pay for the game is prohibited because it is
wasting money and the money saved by the winner is considered to be the
same as ill gotten money as it is a form of gambling."
· A Message to football fanatics:
is sincere advice to all football fanatics: Football is for some, a
form of fanaticism which has affected generations of minds. Due to it,
wars have been fought, divorces instigated and family ties broken. Due
to it, a man would stab his own brother in the back with a knife.
a game between two famous teams is announced, it is as though war has
been declared; radio stations discuss it, TV stations fill their slots
with discussions concerning it and fans arm themselves with rocks,
knives and drums as well as songs and slogans in preparation for the
soon as the game is over and one of the teams loses, the battle begins
in the stadium, then it moves out into the homes, schools, cafés, work
places and markets. Irrespective of whether it is a small or big
community concerned, the result remains that casualties occur and
victims are created. It may be that these events die diwn, but not for
long, because as soon as another game starts, this process begins all
over again. If you try to rationalise with any of these soccer fanatics
about the dire consequences of their actions, they would reply to you:
'I am an athlete!’.
is one side of the story, from the point of view of the damage that it
does to our youth, but the other side of the story will only become
clear to us when we understand the objectives of Islaam and how it aims
to build communities. It is only then that we would realise that in
fact Islaam praises and encourage sports like football because it is a
means for gathering and uniting people and creates feeling of
responsibility toward one another rather than enmity; it is a sport
which confirms that objectives cannot be achieved unless people work
collectively and with team spirit, for it is when individuals work in a
group that they become strong.
wonders about the about those football fanatics who know nothing about
the game except for its name, I address them with the following
question: ‘Can a selfish player score completely unassisted, regardless
how good he is?’ Indeed not, for it requires a whole team effort, and
the goal is simply the end product. The best teams are those that have
team spirit and co-operation.
these fanatics learn any lessons from the game of football? Do Muslim
referees and fans realise that disunity and selfishness lead to defeat
on the real battle field? Unfortunately, we did not learn anything and
have taken the means to the end in this matter, and the ends to be the
means. All we have done is consider the outward appearance of the game
and ignored the real content of it.
they realise the stupidity of statements like ‘I worship this team' or
'I am a fan of that team.’ All these statements do is reveal the
shallow minded, selfish, narrow thinking of the people who make them.
Such people do not understand anything about sport or sportsmanship and
only know how to clap and cheer loudly.
not mean to discourage sports, but we must all realise that there is a
vast difference between cheering and enjoying and becoming a fanatic
who knows nothing but rocks and stones when his team loses.
Sportsmanship teaches us that we have to be modest in victory and
gracious in defeat, it also teaches us that our fortunes alternate and
that you win some and you lose some.
Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam set the very best example in
sportsmanship and we would be wise to learn a lesson from it, as in the
story of if we only learn the lesson, as in the story which is
narrated by Anas Ibn Maalik, may Allaah be pleased with him said: "The
Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam had a she camel named Al-‘Adhbaa’
which nobody could beat in a race, until one day a Bedouin came and
raced against it and won, so the companions of the Prophet sallallaahu
‘alaihi wa sallam felt uneasy. Thereupon, the Prophet sallallaahu
‘alaihi wa sallam said: “It is incumbent upon Allaah that everything
which reaches a high rank in this life must come back down again.”
Would these fanatics read this and reflect? I ask Allaah to forgive us and cure us from madness and all other diseases.