Squash, Cricket etc…
In the Holy Qur’an Allah (Swt) has said,
“And from the people there is he who buys the distracting amusement things so that he being devoid of knowledge may mislead people from the path of Allah.” (Luqman V5)
One tafsir of the word lahwe-hadith amongst the majority of the Sahabas, tabeens and the commentators is everything which makes one fall into a state which stops him remembering Allah (Swt). (Maariful Qur’aan P28v7)
Hakim in his Mustadrak has stated that the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam has said, “Every lahwe of the world is false except three things; 1) that you practice with your bow and arrow 2) and you train your horse 3) and that you play with your wives. Because these are among acceptable rights. (Mustadrak-Hakim)
Participating in modern day sports will be permissible with the following conditions:
- His clothing conforms the regulations of the Shariah i.e his satr should not be exposed, (for a man is from his bellybutton until and including his knees)
- His involvement in such sports does not prevent him from the farz and the wajib acts
- No form of gambling is involved in such activities.
- He does not become the cause of others neglecting their religious duties.
- Free mixing with women does not take place
Therefore, we could deduce that playing squash, cricket, football etc will be permissible to play as long as it does not prevent someone from remembering Allah (Swt) and it will not fall under lahwe-laaib. Similarly to play for the intention of fitness is also permissible as it can be deduced from the Hadith mentioned in Mustadrak Hakim.
As for watching live sports on TV, Mufti Taqi Usmani Saheb has said that live broadcasting does not fall within picture making (which is prohibited in Islam). A picture is something that is permanent and static whilst the image broadcasted live is not permanent, thus it cannot be termed as a picture. Therefore a live broadcast of an image of a human or animal will not fall under picture making. (Taqrir- Tirmizi P351 V2)
As long as the content of the programme i.e. the live sports one is viewing is lawful in terms of the satr not being exposed or not watching a female participating sport, then it will be permissible.
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham.