Is it acceptable for Muslims to play sports?

Yes. Allah prohibits that which is harmful to the physical, mental and spiritual health of individuals and to overall health of society. Because many Islamic scholars believe music is forbidden, there has been some debate over the permissibility of sports among Muslims.

After all, the same idol-worship that often occurs from fans toward musicians and entertainers also happens with athletes. Some of the harmful behaviors glorified in music are also glorified (and practiced) in the sports world. And in the same way that becoming wrapped up in music is distracting to what should be one’s purpose of submitting to the will of Allah, many sports fans become so obsessive that it distracts their focus and brings out the worst in them.

However, Allah wants us to have sound bodies, as well as sound minds and sound morals. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “The strong (active) believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, while there is good in both.” The Prophet himself participated in swimming, archery, running and horseback riding, and was said to have encouraged parents to involve their children in these sports.

There is also a famous story in which Muhammad (pbuh) encountered Rukaana, a renowned strongman and wrestling champion in Mecca. After the smaller Muhammad took Rukaana down multiple times in a row, the champ converted to Islam:

Being physically fit and active enhances the body’s immune system and protects it from diseases. From daily prayers to fasting during Ramadan to the actions performed during Hajj, a Muslim who is in shape is better equipped to perform the duties of Islam.

As in every activity in life, Muslims who play sports (and are sports fans) should conduct themselves respectfully and in a manner that pleases Allah. That means showboating, cheating and unnecessary roughness are discouraged. Humility and modesty should be a trait of all Muslims, and it’s no different for Muslims when competing in sports. As the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “Almighty Allah has decreed that nothing shall have a permanent glory,” which means every situation has its ups and downs, and no condition is permanent.”

Are Muslim women allowed to play sports?

Yes. Aisha, the wife of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon them), competed against her husband in footraces. She said, “I competed with the Messenger of Allah (in running) and overtook him. Later, when I had put on some weight, I once again competed with him, but this time he overtook me and said: ‘We’re even now.'”

Islam does not allow co-ed participation in some sports and does not allow men to watch women compete in certain sports, in order to close doors to seduction, temptation and corruption.

46 replies

  1. I love to know abt islam very well because i see people running away from sport and any other thing that will bring us together like gathering together to eat and laugh together , thx

      • well I’m no expert in Islam I’m a 14-year-old girl who likes running but recently I came to this youtube video of sheikh Assim al hakeem that says that there’s no problem, in that providing that the conditions are fixed and that it is
        1.totally segregated no way a man can film it or look at it.
        2.the components, the woman playing should wear proper attire cloths. should not contain any form of harm no boxing because harming your opponent is haram.
        4.there should be no music (that’s what the sheik says).
        and otherwise, it is permissible inshallah.

      • well I’m no expert in Islam I’m a 14-year-old girl who likes running but recently I came to this youtube video of sheikh Assim al hakeem that says that there’s no problem, in that providing that the conditions are fixed and that it is
        1.totally segregated no way a man can film it or look at it.
        2.the components, the woman playing should wear proper attire cloths. should not contain any form of harm no boxing because harming your opponent is haram.
        4.there should be no music (that’s what the sheik says).
        and otherwise, it is permissible inshallah.

  2. from my experience, i’ve been great in sports in the practice days. but when the main day comes, like tournament days, i play well throughout the whole game by not calling Allah lose whenever i call Allah. like i’m close to win, and i call Allah, “please give me the last support i need from You, Allah”, and then the game turns and i lose. its like making Allah mad for seeking help from Him to the work prohibited. Allah has made me successful in many works, i’m so grateful to Him. but He never helped me at sports. i’m still unsure whether sports is haram or halal.

    • i pray to Allah to make me best player on Earth. My skill increase, my knowledge increase and am above many in our locality. ones the sport do not affect your worship i think there is no problem. i said to my Boys every training that You must not Love sport than Allah. and not only sport, whatever you do that your love for that thing has surpass love of Allah is Haram, Allah your Wife, Children, Your Wealth, can be enemy for you. but nearness to Allah is a great reward.

    • I go through the same thing whenever I play sports. Alhamdulilah I can also say that I’m great in sports, especially basketball (given my height). So whenever I play I may come off as too dominating. Yet, some games, we would be losing and my ego would be telling me “you can’t lose to them” then in that heated moment I’d pray to Allah to seek his help. But then end up getting smoked. After going through many of these ego-crippling games I look back and can’t help but smile. While in those moments of loss I feel betrayed and maybe a little pissed, don’t ever think that Allah betrayed you. Always remember that Shaitan is out there and trying to stray you from the true path. Allah answers us in ways we might perceive as counterproductive, yet there is a wisdom behind it. If He hadn’t made me lose those games, who knows how high my ego would’ve reached. Who knows how strayed I would’ve been because of that unchecked ego. So brother, whenever you come across these situations, always thank Allah no matter what.

    • As much as I know, yes.
      Because it is a sport where you exercise violence and especially Muay Thai is designed to be the best martial art for killing, which is of course forbidden in our religion.
      So I‘d say it is not allowed, but you should still do some research on your own, for I am no sheikh or scholar.

    • Any sport which can harm you physically is porhabited, and also acording to hadith it is totally prohabited to hit some one on the face. as Allah (Sbh) says: I have given human faces from my own face, so dont cut anyone’s face even when you are in jihad. so by referring to this hadith we are not allowed.

      • Well, the purpose of boxing is actually to take your opponent down. But, for that, you have to beat your opponent. If you practice for sport, its haram. But, for self defence, it can be Halal

    • I would say, yes.
      Because you exercise violence and could kill someone in a match, for we all know that this has happened before, more than one time.
      But because I am not a scholar not sheikh you should do some extra research.
      Jazikallah Khair.

  3. Are women allowed to play volley ball ,basketball and badminton in public and competitions while fully observing pardah (in niqab and burqah)?

    • Women are not allowed to play sports which includes jumping, running, or any activity which can get them out of their controll phsically, as they may fall on the ground, or the possibality of there dress getting teared apart, or their hijab can get harm publically. so they can practic the mentioned sports, but not in public. or infront any men, or male coach.

      • Sir u are wrong. This is a very conservative thought bcz jumping, running and all these are the main sports activities that grooms and makes a women physically fit that’s why women in Islam are allowed to play all these such sports like running jumping, bat ball, basketball, cricket, foot ball, swimming bcz all these are the need of a woman that’s why we can not stop women from these sports
        And I have the proof for you from an Islamic example as well
        Once hazrat used to run with the prophet and she even win that race and thus prophet also used to encourage women to participate in sports andwhen his own wife used to play running than how can other women not do running
        Bcz Allah has asked a man to lower his gaze as well and to guard his modesty as well
        And that’s why specially there is one more thing that all the sports are played separately in Pakistan u can see women plays but separate they don’t mix with man and man don’t mix with women
        Thus that’s why due to all these reasons
        Women in Islam can play all good sports which includes running jumping hopping and all this bcz all sports include all this running that’s why women in Islam can play all good sports that includes running jumps and hops and there is no problem in it
        That’s why see islam deeply than u will get to know about your self…

  4. So I am a 14-year-old boy and I am wondering if I could join the NBA or if I could just play professional basketball in general or is it haram and I am also wondering if I could play in tournaments to compete for championships or money?

    • it’s not haraam to play to play professional basketball or play in the NBA as long as i get to play. On a real one it is not haraam as the prophet said you should look after your body.

  5. Some Arab countries allow women to play football, both for adult Muslim women and teenagers. Is it right or wrong to let them play football?

  6. The Article written is written to perfection following all laws in Islamic sport listed. The main focus is intermingling, putting men and women in the same environment; that is totally forbidden. Sport is not forbidden in Islam, only certain sports are makrooh in the eyes of Allah. Don’t be hesitant to play sport with your friends of the same gender, just abide the laws and regulations of Islam when doing so. Competing for money is also not haraam. Some people depend on it as their living source of income; but as i said, don’t do anything prohibited in Islam.

  7. Is it haram to become a professional football player? (football as in using your feet to play not american football)

  8. ASC, my question is it haram for female to play basketball if it is a girls only team, no boys, and if you have a shirt under the jersey and have pants under the shorts?

  9. Is sports like boxing, reselling, and dangle allowed for Muslim women and men to play or not?
    Are women allowed to play sports like cricket, betminton, basket ball, foot ball, swimming and good sports like this with women only in Islam?

  10. We are the United World Martial Arts Federation which includes all martial arts worldwide. I am its Executive Chairman my name is Kaicho Imtiaz Abdulla a 8th Dan Black belt in Karate and kobudo. We encourage all martial arts organizations to join our organization as we believe in unity and development in martial arts for all people of this world and especially the developing countries and our focus is on giving everyone an opportunity in all martial arts. We also are here to assist in skills development and upgrading. Women empowerment and youth empowerment a paramount on our agenda and getting the youth to develop positive and productive lives through martial arts is our goal and mission.

  11. Im a girl and I want to play soccer professional is that halal. And if it’s not can you please tell my why???

  12. Professional muslim footballer income is haram?what says islam? football league like uefa champions league,la liga,etc this league is gamble? because i am a Muslim footballer…i hope 1day i will be a professional footballer

  13. Yes you can, but just wear modestly and be aware of what you’ll be putting out there, in front of people.

  14. If professional player income is haram…why hashem amla,moen Ali play professional cricket.they are a great Muslim

  15. Aslamualikum , I am a grade 9th student and our school is having a school fest coming up. Where women play with women however they are in public. My query is this that can I or any other Muslim women participate in such an activity.

  16. My dad is not letting me play soccer because he said it’s haram is he true? I started crying because he is taking everything away from me in an excuse that I am a Muslim..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s