Soccer - A Relegion?

Approximately 1400 years ago..
Great Favour
The First Incident
The Second Incident
Injunction Regarding Football Shirts
Fantasy Football
A Religious Injunction Regarding Football by a Particular Jurist
see also: Food in Islam

To take part in any physical activities such as football is clearly permissible and at times beneficial. However, there are certain rules and regulations which the Shari’ah lays down, if these regulations are breached then it will be impermissible. Personally, as a devoted football fan, I write this article with a great burden upon my heart. Always looking for a loophole in which I may be able to dodge the issues these injunctions present me with. However, no luck! Football is an addiction! Every time I ask myself, what do I gain by purchasing a certain (expensive) football kit? I fail to find an answer that balances the need to help clothe the homeless.  

Approximately 1400 years ago . . .

...the world was engulfed in darkness, indecency was prevalent, cries for a reformer were loud and clear, the world was begging for the man whom Allah had promised it,  upon its initial creation. Oceans of oppression and wilderness were overflowing. 
The Quranic explanation of this particular era is clear and vivid: 
‘Corruption was prevalent on the Earth and oceans’

(Al-Room 30:41)

A Great Favour

Allah bestowed this world with His greatest creation, whom he had promised would reform the world. Making it a better place to live. After years of constant striving a small but courageous group of Arab individuals placed their hearts in his hands. Each and every advice or request made from his part was treated like a commandment. They promptly sacrificed their health, wealth and spent their lives on his behalf and on behalf of his revolution, more importantly for the sake of their Lord. In return their hearts were liberated from the evils and indecencies of their time, making them the perfect specimens, to gain salvation and more significantly, he changed their previous barbaric actions and lifestyle into humane. These people were the ideal humans. The Quran constantly describes their attributes. To make the Muslims fully aware that salvation only remains in following their footsteps, a salvation of this world and the Hereafter. 
Imaam Muslim (rahmatullahi alaihe) narrates on the authority of Anas Ibn Malik Radiallah anhu in the section of Al-Bir, ‘A person came in the presence of the Prophet Salallahu Alaihi Wasalam  and asked: "When shall the Day of Judgement take place?" Upon this the Prophet of Allah Salallahu Alaihi Wasalam  questioned: "How have you prepared?" The person answered: "I have prepared not, with an abundance of Salaah, Zakah or Saum. However, I do bear love for Allah and his Messenger Salallahu Alaihi Wasalam ". Hearing this the Prophet of Allah Salallahu Alaihi Wasalam  stated "You will be with whom you love." Anas Ibn Maalik Radiallah anhu reports upon hearing this statement the hearts of the Sahabah melted and their eyes flowed relentlessly. He explains, ‘Since after our acceptance of Islam, we had never been happier then we had been on that day on which the Prophet Salallahu Alaihi Wasalam  stated "You will be with whom you love." The books of Ahaadith, on different occasions describe the clear love held by the Sahabah for Allah and his Messenger Salallahu Alaihi Wasalam .
Alas, if only we could compare to that. 
Apparently, the great enigma of this day and age is we love everything other than Allah and His Prophet Salallahu Alaihi Wasalam. Shaytaan has enchanted us through their devious tricks. Our hearts have hardened. We do not recognise the truth when in front of us! Contrary to the lives of the Sahabah our lives revolve around everything, but the teachings of the Prophet Salallahu Alaihi Wasalam.  

Football, over the years has expanded. Previously, it had been a harmless sport, in which twenty-two men kicked an inflated piece of leather, and presently it has become a monopoly in which the fan is completely brainwashed, conned and bewitched! Previously, a Muslim would relax by watching a match or two; presently, its an addiction. To make my point clear on how the football factory’s psychological process in brainwashing the fan takes place, read on. Throughout this year, a satellite broadcasting company has been displaying a billboard in which the slogan ‘Football no longer remains a game. Football is a religion!’ was advertised. Whose religion? Mine? Yours? Negative! 
Allah states in the Quran: 
‘I have chosen for you Islam, as a religion.’

(Al-Maidah 3:5)
Many may claim that this slogan holds no real relevance. My brothers understand; think; psychologically we are being affected. 
In another incident a so called philosopher, was foolishly made to look like one of the greatest philosophers ever when he made the statement, ‘Football is life!’ He logically, by means of two phrases, deduced ‘Football is a game!’ Now even if we (for the sake of argument) accept this, he then goes on to say, ‘Life is a game!’ Blowing everything out of all proportions! 
Islam on the other hand teaches that life is a grazing ground for the Hereafter; a test and a tribunal. By merging the first term (subject) and the second term (predicate) and omitting the syllogism (Had-e-ausat) he came to the conclusion (Major Term) that, ‘Football is life!’ Well, quite clearly this shows the importance given to football over precious life. 
If you were to ask a typical (Muslim) football fan, "Name me your football team’s first eleven?" he would be able to name them with relative ease. On the contrary, if he was to be asked far more serious Islamic matters, such as, "How many compulsory acts are there in Salaah and what are the consequences if you fail to comply with them?" The response would be a muted silence. If you were to ask him, "How many children did the ProphetSalallahu Alaihi Wasalam  have and how many mothers do the believers have etc." the answer again would be a muted silence. Apparently, these are the most primary and basic questions one can ask another. Our love for the Kuffar (plural non-believer) is manifest even over Islam, regarding these people who hold intimate friendship with the Kuffars (over an above mutual respect), there are many Qur’anic ayaahs cautioning and warning. The Prophet Salallahu Alaihi Wasalam 's ahadeeth are also numerous. A Hadith which should really soften the heart, is: 
Imam Bukhari (rahmatullahi alaihe) narrates on the authority of Hadhrat Abu HurairahRadiallah anhu
"That the Prophet of Allah Salallahu Alaihi Wasalam has stated; "I swear by He, in whose hands my life lies, that none of you are true believers until I am not more beloved to him than his parents, children and the whole mankind."
(Al Bukhari, Kitaab-ul-Imaan)
 My brothers, as I previously mentioned, football hardly remains the harmless sport, which we were so used to accepting. To prove my point, I will relate two heart-rending incidents, which have left me totally shocked. 

The First Incident

A couple of years back Southampton F.C were caught dog fighting in the relegation zone. One of their greatest players ever, secured their Premiership life by playing extremely brilliant at decisive times. Whenever Matt Le Tissier would go forward to take a corner, the spectators upon his arrival would bow and prostrate before him. Not once, nor twice, but numerously. Blatant Shirk (ascribing partners with Allah) and guess who watches this type of shirk? Our children and their parents watch with them! As I previously mentioned, it no longer remains harmless. 

The Second Incident
This is more of a shocking incident than the previous one. Upon recognizing the dangerous effects this has had, if a Muslim were to cry over this incident, it would be normal for him to do so. 
I was walking down a street and I spotted a couple of Muslim children playing football in a far corner. I smiled to myself remembering the old times in which I used to play on this very same place. A child then played an extremely brilliant defense splitting ball through the middle, which was equally breathtakingly controlled and finished in one movement. I gasped at the skill and finish. Hence, when the child started to celebrate I was completely heart-broken. He was pointing to himself and calling himself ‘God’, imitating a certain footballer. Again blatant Shirk and again our children’s minds are being polluted. Many may argue the fact that he is only a child and does not understand, if he was to understand it wouldn’t happen. I totally accept this. But one thing leads to another.  Definitely, this is not an individual case. Hundreds of children are probably caught up in the very same mess. 
My brothers, the Prophet of Allah Salallahu Alaihi Wasalam  wept constantly in his prayers for the removal of this Shirk from the world. Today Islam’s children, and Islam’s future are being ruined and spoiled. Regarding what the Qur’an states about shirk is as follows: 
"Verily Allah Ta’ala does not forgive that associates are made with Him and forgives whomsoever He wishes other than that."

          (An-Nisaa’ 4:112)

Injunction Regarding Football Shirts

The matter regarding football shirts (tops) is simple. Firstly, the Muslims’ imitation of the kuffar is impermissible. Again the Prophet Salallahu Alaihi Wasalam  has given grave warnings regarding it. 
Imaam Abu Daud (rahmatullahi alaihe) narrates on the authority of Ibn Umar Radiallah anhu
"that the Prophet Salallahu Alaihi Wasalam  has stated, "Whosoever emulates a group of people, he is of them."

(Abu Daud, Kitabul Libas)
 Muslims imitating the Kuffar and leaving the sunnah and ways which our Prophet Salallahu Alaihi Wasalam has so mercifully taught us should be means of concern for all. Hence, there are two points that I would like to raise and make clear. 
    a) Wearing football shirts which advertise breweries 
    b) Wearing red football shirts 
    c) These injunctions, regarding wearing football shirts in which advertisements of breweries are made are totally im-permissible in Islam. Firstly, on the basis of squandering wealth. The cost of each top is exhorbitant and the Qur’an is clearly states against the over spending of such clothing. 
It is mentioned in the Qur’an: 
"Verily the spendthrifts are brothers of the shaytaan and shaytaan was ungrateful to his Lord."
(Al Isra’ 17:27)
Secondly, by wearing such shirts one would be advertising and promoting a sin. Which, in effect, encourage others to consume intoxicants. 
Regarding this the Qur’aan states: 
"Do not help one another to commit sin and transgression."
(Al-Ma’idah 5:2)
 However, greater and graver prohibition has been made clear in a hadith in which the Prophet Salallahu Alaihi Wasalam has cursed ten, who deal with intoxicants. 
Imaam Tirmizi (rahmatullahi alaihe) narrates on the authority of Anas ibn Malik Radiallah anhu
"that the Prophet Salallahu Alaihi Wasalam  has cursed ten people who deal with ‘khamr’ (intoxicants). One who crushes, one who is engaged in crushing it, one who drinks, one who carries it, the one to whom it is carried, one who gives it to drink, one who sells it, one who devours its price, one who purchases and the one for whom it is purchased".
From this we can perceive that whosoever has any link or connection with the buying and selling of intoxicants has been cursed by the Prophet of Allah Salallahu Alaihi Wasalam. We can also claim through the sternness of this hadith, the prohibition of advertising (of intoxicants). 
The religious injunction concerning the wearing of red shirts is that many jurists declare it haraam and impermissible. However, the most dominant view amongst the jurists which is stated, in Durrul Mukhtar: 
"To wear red clothing is undesirable (makrooh-e-tanzihi)."
(Durrul Mukhtar volume 5, page 249)

Fantasy Football

Another addiction, which has been brought out to fool the public, is fantasy football. By changing the appearance of something and brandishing it with a different name will not change its realities and facts. 
"The definition of gambling is a dealing in which the chance profit and loss is ambiguous."

         (Jawhar al-Fiqh vol 2 page 346)
 In reality (whatever the cost) one is paying the enrolment fee, which then upon enrolment, would make him ambitious and hopeful to make a gain. If he were to win, he would remain happy otherwise… 
In the Qur’aan, the harm and ill effects of gambling have been explained in many ayahs, which there remains no need to make explicit. 

A Religious Injunction Regarding Football Given by a Particular Jurist

This is an extremely fine matter to comment on. Many jurists, such as Mufti-e-Azam of Pakistan, Moulana Rashid Ahmed Ludhyanwi have dealt with it at length. His point of view is as follows: 
Firstly, he defines the words ‘physical exercise’ into two. 
a) One which is apparently linked with martial/military exercise. 
b) And one which has no apparent link. 
Mufti Rashid Saheb places football in the latter category. He then goes on to state, "For football to be permissible, due to it being linked with the latter group of physical activities, there are many pre-requital conditions, which need to be studied. 
Firstly, there are three conditions: 
1. There should be no physical or financial loss. 
2. The person who takes part in such activities, himself, should not be encountering any loss, nor those   who are participating with him. 
3. The aspect of futile entertainment should not be dominant. 
For the former two conditions he puts forward two ahaadith from which he puts forward his deductions. 
The Holy Prophet Salallahu Alaihi Wasalam has stated: 
"Every play from which pleasure is gained is baseless (impermissible) apart from the practicing of bows and the training of horses or playing with his wife. Verily, these are permissible."

 It has been narrated by Saeed ibn Jubair Radiallah anhu: "that a relation of Abdullah ibn Mughaffal Radiallah anhu was, once throwing stones. He prevented him by stating, "Verily, Rasulullah Salallahu Alaihi Wasalam  has prohibited the throwing of stones and stated that verily you will not hunt prey nor cause harm to an enemy but you will either break a tooth or damage an eye." He states that the relation repeated his act, upon this he said to him, "Did I not inform you that the Prophet Salallahu Alaihi Wasalam   has prohibited this action? Then he stated, "I will never speak to you again.
(Muslim vol. 2 page 152)
 From the above ahaadith Mufti Rashid deduces that in football there are: 
1. Possibilities of physical loss and incidents are manifest to justify. 
2. Financial losses are could become apparent i.e. breaking of windows, causing harm to building sites and homes. 
3. Football’s financial, physical and religious harms are apparent (many have been quite clearly pointed out through this article). 
4)  The aspect of futile entertainment and baseless pleasures are dominant and manifest over the aspect of physical exercise. 
He relates four points explaining this matter: 
1. The aspect of physical activities and futile entertainment should never be dominant over physical exercise. Such is the case in football. 
2. For mere physical exercise, others don’t gather to spectate in the same manner which is encountered in football. 
3. Television viewing of football squanders hours upon hours of a person’s time, which is haram. 
4. In physical exercises, no one goes over the appointed limit. Which so blatantly is the case in football. In football hours pass and the player is not aware of the time. 
With the above points, Mufti Rashid clearly explains his opinion and his injunction he issues on the matter of football. 


Throughout this booklet, I have mentioned the negative aspects, which would make football impermissible by bringing the view of a leading jurist. However, one should not be deceived and take an extreme role in the abolishing of football from our streets. Undoubtedly, through ahaadith it has been proven that to look at the satar (thighs) of a living or dead human is haram. Other aspects such as spending excessive hours playing it or wasting time will again issue the very same verdict. Causing intentional harm to fellow footballers will also conclude with the same injunction. 
A principle point in the science of jurisprudence should be taken into consideration. "Each and every thing that leads to haram is haram". From this we can conclude all the actions which have been forbidden by Shari’ah, if and when football leads to it, will also make football forbidden but Mufti Rashid Ahmed Saheb, himself has left a loophole in his injunction by stating: 

"The physical exercises which have no apparent link to martial/military, if these types of exercise are for the sole purpose and sake of keeping fit so that they are means of aid in religious and worldly matters are not in itself only permissible but also to an extent necessary. However, there are a number of pre-requitals which are as follows (These have been previously mentioned above in his verdict)"

(Ahsanul Fatawa page 259 vol. 8)
 From this we can conclude that to take part in any physical activities such as football is clearly permissible and at times beneficial. However, there are certain rules and regulations which the Shari’ah lays down, if these regulations are breached then it will be impermissible, on a different light if this is not the case then so be it. 
I pray to the Almighty, make this article not only beneficial to me but also to the entire mankind. We invoke blessings on the greatest creation of the Almighty, the Holy Prophet Muhammad Salallahu Alaihi Wasalam, may Allah be pleased with him, all his companions and followers till the Day of Judgement. 


Inter-Islam: Home: Relaying the message of the Prophets Adam - Muhammad (peace and blessing upon all) Home
List the entire contents of Inter-Islam: Text,  Audio and Mobile. Relays the same message brought by the Prophets Adam - Muhammad (Peace & blessing upon them all). It provides you with authentic Islamic literature and other resources beneficial to humanity. Contents
Inter-Islam: LifestyleLifestyle
Inter-Islam Options
Copyright Inter-Islam 1998-2001 ©