Some people express outright opposition to Muslim's participation in sports. They argue that modern sport on an organised level has gone far beyond the boundaries of exercise or relaxation. Besides becoming an obsession for many, a great number of those who participate in such sports end up in untold vices. Even Muslim teams have displayed extremely un- Islaamic behaviour on and off the field. The attendant evils totally preclude the permissibility of participating in such sports or spectating them.
All of the various opinions that exist regarding participation in the modern day sports are all agreed on one point, which is that whichever sport or game constitutes a barrier to the observance of Islaamic etiquettes, then participation is not permissible.
Today, it is evident that a number of abominable and haraam things have entered into sports. For example, that part of the body which should be covered, is kept bare, and this has become a rule of the game. Moreover, given that more and more people are taking part in such games in which the awrah remains bare; to play with such people and, similarly, to meet them is not free from abomination (karaahah). Hence to play sports in the present conditions is abominable (makruh). Whatever takes a person away from his obligation towards Allaah can never be acceptable.
However, if a person participates in any of the 'modern day' sport, it will be permissible on these conditions:
I. His attire conforms to Shari'ah regulations;
2. His involvement in such a sport does not make him negligent of his religious obligations;
3. No form of gambling is involved in such an activity;
4. He does not become the cause of others neglecting their religious duties;
5. Intermingling of sexes does not take place;
6. His intention be solely to build the physique in preparation for Jihad.
If sport has managed to prevent or divert us from performing our religious duties, we should immediately prioritise our deen.
Secondly, if sport interferes with our worldly and social responsibilities, than we should reverse this state of affairs.
Thirdly, we should aim to increase our involvement in optional noteworthy activities such as dhikr, reciting the Qur'aan, etc.
Fourthly, we should constantly make attempts to read and learn more about Islaam and the Muslim world.
Fifthly, we could involve ourselves in community activities like Islamic lectures and programmes.
Sixthly, we should attempt to fulfil the rights of those around us (i.e. parents, friends, children, neighbours, etc).
If we as Muslims can only direct our energies in the correct avenue we will not only improve our own lives but also contribute towards the wellbeing of society as a whole. By doing these things we should realise that sport and entertainment is secondary and of lesser importance. We should also come to realize that Islaam will instill in us a deeper peace of mind and contentment of heart than any modern sport and entertainment ever will. And Allaah knows best.
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited