From The Evils Of Football, By Sh. Muhammad Ibn Ibraaheem Aal-Shaykh


Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem Aal-Shaykh (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

Playing football nowadays is accompanied by reprehensible things which mean that playing it should be disallowed. These things may be summed up as follows:

1) It is proven to us that play continues during the times of prayer, which results in the players and spectators missing prayers or prayers in congregation, or they delay performing prayers until the time for them is over. Undoubtedly any action that interferes with performance of prayers on time or leads to missing prayers in congregation with no valid shar’i excuse is haraam.

2) The nature of this game leads to factionalism, stirring up fitnah and hatred. These results are the opposite of what Islam promotes of tolerance, friendship and brotherhood, and cleaning hearts and souls of hatred, resentment and grudges.

3) The game involves physical danger for the players as a result of collisions and injuries. Usually the players do not end the game without some of them falling on the pitch unconscious or with broken arms or legs. Nothing is more indicative of that than the fact that there must always be an ambulance present throughout the game.

4) The purpose behind allowing sports is to make people become physically active and to train them for fighting and to ward off chronic disease. But playing football nowadays has no such aim. As well as the things mentioned above, it is now also taking people’s money for false purposes, let alone the danger of physical injury and the generation of hatred in the hearts of players and spectators, and the stirring up of fitnah. It has even gone so far that some spectators attack some players, which could go as far as murder, as happened in a match a few months ago. This alone is sufficient reason to disallow it. And Allaah is the source of strength.

[Fataawa Ibn Ibraaheem, 8/116, 117]

He also said:

Playing football in this organized manner, making the players into two factions, whether they are paid or not, should not be done, because it involves preventing remembrance of Allaah (dhikr) and prayer. It may also involve consuming wealth unlawfully and may be accompanied by gambling; it is akin to playing chess in some ways.

Fataawa Ibn Ibraaheem (8/119)

Sh. Saalih Al-Munajjid said:

In the answer to question no. 22305 we have explained the conditions for it to be permissible to play football. Among the things we said there was the following:

The third condition: that it should not take up too much of the player’s time, let alone take up all his time or mean that he becomes known among people for that, or it becomes his job, because then there is the fear that the words of Allaah may be true in his case: “Who took their religion as an amusement and play, and the life of the world deceived them. So this Day We shall forget them” [al-A’raaf 7:51]. End quote.

Thus it is clear that taking football as a profession as it exists nowadays is haraam, because it includes things that are forbidden in Islam, even if playing football is basically permissible.

This applies especially if we realize what is involved in taking football as a profession, such as travelling to kaafir countries to play against international teams. It is obvious to everyone what kind of kufr, evil and sin is present in those countries, and it is also well known that the players are exposed to the temptations of women and desires because of their fame, stardom and wealth.

It should also be noted that settling in kaafir countries is haraam, and it is not permissible except in cases of need, subject to certain conditions which have been explained in question no. 38284.

And Allaah knows best.

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One Response to “From The Evils Of Football, By Sh. Muhammad Ibn Ibraaheem Aal-Shaykh”

  1. Abu Mas'ood Says:

    Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatUllahi wa barakatuh,

    JazakAllahu khair for the post, may Allah reward you.

    Although I respect and cherish these scholars, this is a fatwa that is very out of context and seems to becoming from those who, may Allah bless and reward them, are quite knowledgeable in shari’a, but may not be as much in contemporary issues such as these. All of the proofs mentioned are very general and not decisive, and are based on conditions that firstly can be applied to many things that are not seem with the same ruling, and secondly can and are avoided by many who participate or watch the sport. The fatwa should have also at least consider the distinction between those who play football as a past time with friends, those who watch moderately, and those who are as they described. To pass such a blanket ruling is not very academic. I am not giving my fatwa of my own or passing a ruling, but just stating that this is a very generic ruling and should be given more depth and insight.

    And Allah azza wa jal knows best

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